The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story
Tragedie is to seyn, a certeyn storie,
As olde bookes maken us memorie,
Of hym that stood in greet prosperitee
And is yfallen out of heigh degree
Into myserie, and endeth wrecchedly,
And they ben versified communely
Of six feet, which men clepen exametron.
In prose eek been endited many oon,
And eek in meetre, in many a sondry wyse.
Lo, this declaryng oghte ynogh suffise;
(Monk's Prologue 86 – 95)
I seye for me, it is a greet disese,
whereas men han been in greet welthe and ese
To heeren of hire sodeyn fal, allas!
And the contrarie is joye and greet solas,
As whan a man hath been in povre estaat,
And clymbeth up and wexeth fortunat,
And there abideth in prosperitee.
Swich thyng is gladsom, as it thynketh me,
And of swich thyng were goodly for to telle.
(Nun's Priest's Prologue 9 – 13)
Youre tale anoyeth al this compaignye.
swich talkyng is nat worth a boyerflye,
For therinne is ther no desport ne game.
(Nun's Priest's Prologue 23 – 25)