Front Page Titles (by Subject) PROLOGUE TO MELIBEUS. (T. 13847-13875.) - The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, vol. 4 (The Canterbury Tales)
PROLOGUE TO MELIBEUS. (T. 13847-13875.) - Geoffrey Chaucer, The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, vol. 4 (The Canterbury Tales) 
The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, edited from numerous manuscripts by the Rev. Walter W. Skeat (2nd ed.) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1899). 7 vols. Vol. 4.
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PROLOGUE TO MELIBEUS.
- ‘NO more of this, for goddes dignitee,’
- Quod oure hoste, ‘for thou makest me2110
- So wery of thy verray lewednesse
- That, also wisly god my soule blesse,
- Myn eres aken of thy drasty speche;
- Now swiche a rym the devel I biteche!
- This may wel be rym dogerel,’ quod he.2115
- ‘Why so?’ quod I, ‘why wiltow lette me
- More of my tale than another man,
- Sin that it is the beste rym I can?’(10)
- ‘By god,’ quod he, ‘for pleynly, at a word,
- Thy drasty ryming is nat worth a tord;2120
- Thou doost nought elles but despendest tyme,
- Sir, at o word, thou shalt no lenger ryme.
- Lat see wher thou canst tellen aught in geste,
- Or telle in prose somwhat at the leste
- In which ther be som mirthe or som doctryne.’2125
- ‘Gladly,’ quod I, ‘by goddes swete pyne,
- I wol yow telle a litel thing in prose,
- That oghte lyken yow, as I suppose,(20)
- Or elles, certes, ye been to daungerous.
- It is a moral tale vertuous,2130
- Al be it told som-tyme in sondry wyse
- Of sondry folk, as I shal yow devyse.
- As thus; ye woot that every evangelist,
- That telleth us the peyne of Iesu Crist,
- Ne saith nat al thing as his felaw dooth,2135
- But natheles, hir sentence is al sooth,
- And alle acorden as in hir sentence,
- Al be ther in hir telling difference.(30)
- For somme of hem seyn more, and somme lesse,
- Whan they his pitous passioun expresse;2140
- I mene of Marke, Mathew, Luk and Iohn;
- But doutelees hir sentence is al oon.
- Therfor, lordinges alle, I yow biseche,
- If that ye thinke I varie as in my speche,
- As thus, thogh that I telle som-what more2145
- Of proverbes , than ye han herd bifore,
- Comprehended in this litel tretis here,
- To enforce with the theffect of my matere,(40)
- And thogh I nat the same wordes seye
- As ye han herd, yet to yow alle I preye,2150
- Blameth me nat; for, as in my sentence,
- Ye shul not fynden moche difference
- Fro the sentence of this tretis lyte
- After the which this mery tale I wryte.
- And therfor herkneth what that I shal seye,2155
- And lat me tellen al my tale, I preye.’(48)