Previous Previous:
From The Merchant's Tale, lines 809-829:
About January's garden
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.



From The Canterbury Tales:
The Merchant's Tale
lines 830-844: About the key to the garden


830        This noble knyght, this Januarie the olde,
Swich deyntee hath in it to walke and pleye,
That he wol no wight suffren bere the keye
Save he hymself; for of the smale wyket
He baar alwey of silver a clyket,
835With which, whan that hym leste, he it unshette.
And whan he wolde paye his wyf hir dette
In somer seson, thider wolde he go,
And May his wyf, and no wight but they two;
And thynges whiche that were nat doon abedde,
840He in the gardyn parfourned hem and spedde.
And in this wyse, many a murye day,
Lyved this Januarie and fresshe May.
But worldly joye may nat alwey dure
To Januarie, ne to creature.
830       This noble knight, this January old,
Such pleasure had therein to walk and play,
That none he'd suffer bear the key, they say.
Except he himself; for of the little wicket
He carried always the small silver clicket
835With which, as pleased him, he'd unlock the gate.
And when he chose to pay court to his mate
In summer season, thither would he go
With May, his wife, and no one but they two;
And divers things that were not done abed,
840Within that garden there were done, 'tis said.
And in this manner many a merry day
Lived this old January and young May.
But worldly pleasure cannot always stay,
And January's joy must pass away.




Next Next:
From The Merchant's Tale, lines 845-856:
About January's mental blindness
Next