Previous Previous:
From The Prioress's Tale, lines 99-112:
The boy sings Alma redemptoris in the Jewish quarter
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.



From The Canterbury Tales:
The Prioress's Tale
lines 113-133: The Jews kill the choir boy


Fro thennes forth the Jewes han conspired
This innocent out of this world to chace.
115An homycide therto han they hyred
That in an aleye hadde a privee place;
And as the child gan forby for to pace,
This cursed Jew hym hente and heeld hym faste,
And kitte his throte, and in a pit hym caste.
       From that time forth the Jewish folk conspired
Out of the world this innocent to chase;
115A murderer they found, and thereto hired,
Who in an alley had a hiding-place;
And as the child went by at sober pace,
This cursed Jew did seize and hold him fast,
And cut his throat, and in a pit him cast.

120 I seye that in a wardrobe they hym threwe,
Where as this Jewes purgen hire entraille.
O cursed folk of Herodes al newe,
What may youre yvel entente yow availle?
Mordre wol out, certeyn, it wol nat faille,
125And namely ther thonour of God shal sprede,
The blood out crieth on youre cursed dede.
120I say, that in a cesspool him they threw,
Wherein these Jews did empty their entrails.
O cursed folk of Herod, born anew,
How can you think your ill intent avails?
Murder will out, 'tis sure, nor ever fails,
125And chiefly when God's honour vengeance needs.
The blood cries out upon your cursed deeds.

       O martir, sowded to virginitee,
Now maystow syngen, folwynge evere in oon
The white lamb celestial -quod she-
130Of which the grete evaungelist Seint John
In Pathmos wroot, which seith that they that goon
Biforn this lamb and synge a song al newe,
That never, fleshly, wommen they ne knewe.
       O martyr firm in thy virginity,
Now mayest thou sing, and ever follow on
The pure white Lamb Celestial" -quoth she-
130"Whereof the great evangelist, Saint John,
In Patmos wrote, saying that they are gone
Before the Lamb, singing a song that's new,
And virgins all, who never woman knew.





Next Next:
From The Prioress's Tale, lines 134-154:
The boy's mother searches for him
Next