Wednesday, November 06, 2019


Elmer Gantry and His Ilk

Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400), "The Pardoner's Prologue," Canterbury Tales VI.391-402 (tr. Nevill Coghill):
Then, priestlike in my pulpit, with a frown,
I stand, and when the yokels have sat down,
I preach, as you have heard me say before,
And tell a hundred lying mockeries more.
I take great pains, and stretching out my neck
To east and west I crane about and peck
Just like a pigeon sitting on a barn.
My hands and tongue together spin the yarn
And all my antics are a joy to see.
The curse of avarice and cupidity
Is all my sermon, for it frees the pelf.
Out come the pence, and specially for myself...

I stonde lyk a clerk in my pulpet,
And whan the lewed peple is doun yset,
I preche so, as ye han herd bifoore,
And telle an hundred false japes moore.
Thanne peyne I me to strecche forth the nekke,        395
And est and west upon the peple I bekke,
As dooth a dowve sittynge on a berne.
Myne handes and my tonge goon so yerne
That it is joye to se my bisynesse.
Of avarice and of swich cursednesse        400
Is al my prechyng, for to make hem free
To yeven hir pens, and namely, unto me...

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?