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From The Clerk's Prologue, lines 1-20:
The Host asks the Clerk to tell a tale
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Clerk's Prologue
lines 21-56: The Clerk announces a tale that he has learned from Francis Petrarch


       This worthy clerk benignely answerde,
"Hooste," quod he, "I am under youre yerde.
Ye han of us as now the governance;
And therfore wol I do yow obeisance
25As fer as resoun axeth, hardily.
I wol yow telle a tale, which that I
Lerned at Padwe of a worthy clerk,
As preved by his wordes and his werk.
He is now deed, and nayled in his cheste;
30I prey to God so yeve his soule reste.
       This worthy clerk, benignly he answered.
"Good host," said he, "I am under your yard;
You have of us, for now, the governance,
And therefore do I make you obeisance
25As far as reason asks it, readily.
I will relate to you a tale that
Learned once, at Padua, of a worthy clerk,
As he proved by his words and by his work.
He's dead, now, and nailed down his chest,
30And I pray God to give his soul good rest!
       Fraunceys Petrark, the lauriat poete,
Highte this clerk, whos rethorike sweete
Enlumyned al Ytaille of poetrie,
As Lynyan dide of philosophie,
35Or lawe, or oother art particuler.
But deeth, that wol nat suffre us dwellen heer
But as it were a twynklyng of an eye,
Hem bothe hath slayn, and alle shul we dye.
       But forth to tellen of this worthy man,
40That taughte me this tale as I bigan,
I seye, that first with heigh stile he enditeth
Er he the body of his tale writeth,
A prohemye in the which discryveth he
Pemond, and of Saluces the contree,
45And speketh of Apennyn, the hilles hye,
That been the boundes of Westlumbardye;
And of Mount Vesulus in special,
Where as the Poo out of a welle smal
Taketh his firste spryngyng and his sours,
50That estward ay encresseth in his cours
To Emele-ward, to Ferrare, and Venyse;
The which a long thyng were to devyse.
And trewely, as to my juggement,
Me thynketh it a thyng impertinent,
55Save that he wole conveyen his mateere;
But this his tale, which that ye may heere."
       Francis Petrarch, the laureate poet,
Was this clerk's name, whose rhetoric so sweet
Illumed all Italy with poetry,
As did Lignano with philosophy,
35Or law, or other art particular;
But Death, that suffers us not very far,
Nor more, as 'twere, than twinkling of an eye,
Has slain them both, as all of us shall die.
       But forth, to tell you of this worthy man,
40Who taught this tale to me, as I began,
I say that first, with high style he indites,
Before the body of his tale he writes,
A proem to describe those lands renowned,
Saluzzo, Piedmont, and the region round,
45And speaks of Apennines, those hills so high
That form the boundary of West Lombardy,
And of Mount Viso, specially, the tall,
Whereat the Po, out of a fountain small,
Takes its first springing and its tiny source
50That eastward ever increases in its course
Toward Emilia, Ferrara, and Venice;
The which is a long story to devise.
And truly, in my judgment reluctant
It is a thing not wholly relevant,
55Except that he introduces thus his gear:
But this is his tale, which you now may hear.




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From The Clerk's Tale, lines 57-77:
About Lord Walter the marquis
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