Words of the Host
The Words of the Host to the Phisicien and the Pardoner
Our Hoste gan to swere as he were good,
“Harrow!” quod he, “by nails and by blood.
This was a false churl and a false Iustyse!
As shameful deeth as herte may devyse
Come to thise Iuges and hir advocas!
Algate this sely mayde is slayn, allas!
Allas! To dere boghte she beautee!
Wherefore I seye al day, as men may see,
That yiftes of fortune or of nature
Ben cause of deeth to many a creature.
Hir beautee was hir deeth, I dar wel sayn;
Allas! So pitously that I speke of now
Men han ful ofte more harm than prow.
But trewely, myn owene mayster dere,
This is a pitous tale for to here.
But natheles, passe over, is no fors;
I prey to god, so save they gentil cors,
And eek thyne urinals and thy Iordanes,
Thyn Ypocras, and eek thy Galianes,
And every boist ful of thy letuarie;
God blesse hem, and our lady seinte Marie!
So mot I theen, thou art a propre man,
And lyk a prelat, by seint Ronyan!
Seyde I nat wel? I can nat speke in terme;
But wel I woot, thou doost my herte to erme,
That I almost have caught a cardiacle.
BY corpus bones! But I have triacle,
Or ellas a draught of moyste and corny ale,
Or but I here anon a mery tale,
Myn herte is lost for pitee of this mayde.
Thou bel amy, thou Pardoner,’ he seyde,
“Tel us som mirthe or Iapes right anon.”
“It shall be doon,: quod he, “by seint Ronyon!
But first,” quod he, “heer at this ale-stake
I wol both drinke, and eten of a cake.”
But right anone thise gentils gonne to crye,
“Nay! Lat him telle us of o ribaydye;
Tel us som moral thing, that we may lere
Som wit, an thanne wol we gladly here.”
“I graunte, y-wis,” quod he, “but I mot thinke
Up-on som honest thing, whyl that I drinke.”