The Prioress's Prologue

The Merry Words of the Host to the Sailor and to My Lady Prioress

Well said, by corpus dominus , " said our host,
" Now long time may you sail along the coast,
Sir gentle master, gentle mariner!
God give this monk a thousand years bitter!
Aha, comrades, beware of such a jape!
The monk put into that man's hood an ape,
And in the wife's too, by Saint Augustine!
Invite no more monks to your house or inn.
" But let that pass, and let us look about
To see who shall be next, of all this rout,
To tell a tale. "
And after that he said,
As courteously as it had been a maid:
" My lady prioress, and by your leave,
So that I knew I should in no way grieve,
I would opine that tell a tale you should,
The one that follows next if you but would.
Now will you please vouchsafe it, lady dear? "
" Gladly, " said she, and spoke as you shall hear.
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