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From The Prioress's Tale, lines 183-196:
The dead boy sings again and the abott asks how that is possible
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Prioress's Tale
lines 197-217: The dead boy explains his singing


       "My throte is kut unto my nekke boon,"
Seyde this child, "and, as by wey of kynde,
I sholde have dyed, ye, longe tyme agon,
200But Jesu Crist, as ye in bookes fynde,
Wil that his glorie laste and be in mynde,
And for the worship of his mooder deere,
Yet may I synge O Alma loude and cleere.
       "My throat is cut unto the spinal bone,"
Replied the child. "By nature of my kind
I should have died, aye, many hours agone,
200But Jesus Christ, as you in books shall find,
Wills that His glory last in human mind;
Thus for the honour of His Mother dear,
Still may I sing O Alma loud and clear.

       "This welle of mercy, Cristes mooder swete,
205I loved alwey as after my konnynge;
And whan that I my lyf sholde forlete,
To me she cam, and bad me for to synge
This antheme, verraily, in my deyynge,
As ye han herd, and whan that I hadde songe,
210Me thoughte she leyde a greyn upon my tonge.
       "This well of mercy, Jesus' Mother sweet,
205I always loved, after poor knowing;
And when came time that I my death must meet,
She came to me and bade me only sing
This anthem in the pain of my dying,
As you have heard, and after I had sung,
210She laid a precious pearl upon my tongue.

"Wherfore I synge, and synge I moot certeyn
In honour of that blisful mayden free,
Til fro my tonge of taken is the greyn.
And afterward thus seyde she to me,
215`My litel child, now wol I fecche thee,
Whan that the greyn is fro thy tonge ytake;
Be nat agast, I wol thee nat forsake.'"
       "Wherefore I sing, and sing I must, 'tis plain,
In honour of that blessed Maiden free,
Till from my tongue is taken away the grain;
And afterward she said thus unto me:
215'My little child, soon will I come for thee,
When from thy tongue the little bead they take;
Be not afraid, thee I will not forsake.'"





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From The Prioress's Tale, lines 218-238:
The abott stops the boy and the boy is made a martyr
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