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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Prologue of Sir Thopas
lines 1-21: The Host asks Chaucer to tell the next tale


Bihoold the murye Wordes of the Hoost to Chaucer.

       Whan seyd was al this miracle, every man
As sobre was, that wonder was to se,
Til that oure Hooste japen tho bigan,
And thanne at erst he looked upon me,
5And seyde thus, "What man artow," quod he,
"Thow lookest as thou woldest fynde an hare,
For ever upon the ground I se thee stare.
       When told was all this miracle, every man
So sober fell 'twas wonderful to see,
Until our host in jesting wise began,
And for the first time did he glance at me,
Saying, "What man are you?"- 'twas thus said he-
"You look as if you tried to find a hare,
For always on the ground I see you stare.

Approche neer, and looke up murily;
Now war yow, sires, and lat this man have place.
10He in the waast is shape as wel as I;
This were a popet in an arm tenbrace
For any womman smal, and fair of face.
He semeth elvyssh by his contenaunce,
For unto no wight dooth he daliaunce.
Come near me then, and look up merrily.
Now make way, sirs, and let this man have place;
He in the waist is shaped as well as I;
This were a puppet in an arm's embrace
For any woman, small and fair of face.
Why, he seems absent, by his countenance,
And gossips with no one for dalliance.

15 Sey now somwhat, syn oother folk han sayd,
Telle us a tale of myrthe, and that anon."
"Hooste," quod I, "ne beth nat yvele apayed,
For oother tale certes kan I noon
But of a ryme I lerned longe agoon."
20"Ye, that is good," quod he, "now shul we heere
Som deyntee thyng, me thynketh by his cheere."
Since other folk have spoken, it's your turn;
Tell us a mirthful tale, and that anon."
"Mine host," said I, "don't be, I beg, too stern,
For of good tales, indeed, sir, have I none,
Except a long rhyme I learned in years agone."
"Well, that is good," said he; "now shall we hear
It seems to me, a thing to bring us cheer."





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From The Tale of Sir Thopas, lines 22-57:
About a knight called Sir Thopas
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