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The Canterbury Tales: The Second Nun's Tale

The Canterbury Tales: The Second Nun's Tale


by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales: The Second Nun's Tale Lines 120-140 Summary

(This is the beginning of the Nun's tale about St. Cecilia.)

  • This maiden, bright Cecilia, as her life teaches, is Roman born and of noble lineage, and raised in the faith of Christ from the time she was born, always keeping Christ's gospel in mind.
  • I find written that she never ceases loving and fearing God, and praying to him to protect her virginity.
  • And when this maiden is about to be married to a young man named Valerian, and her wedding day has come, she – very devout and humble in character – places a hair shirt underneath her beautiful robe of gold.
  • While the organs (the musical instrument) make melody, she sings to God alone in her heart, like this:
  • "O Lord, keep my soul and body unblemished, lest I be ruined in spirit."
  • And for the love of him who died on a tree, she fasts every second and third day, always praying devotedly.

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