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The Canterbury Tales

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‘Sir Nonnes Preest,’ our hoste seyde anoon,
‘Y-blessed be thy breche, and every stoon!
This was a mery tale of Chauntecleer.
But, by my trouthe, if thou were seculer,
Thou woldest been a trede-foul a-right.
For, if thou have corage as thou hast might,
Thee were nede of hennes, as I wene,
Ya, mo than seven tymes seventene.
See, whiche braunes hath this gentil Preest,
So greet a nekke, and swich a large breest!
He loketh as a sperhauk with his yën;
Him nedeth nat his colour for to dyen
With brasil, ne with greyn of Portingale.
Now sire, faire falle yow for youre tale!’
And with that, our Host said, “Damn! What a great story, Mr. Nun’s Priest! Bless your britches and your balls! And I’ll bet that if you weren’t a priest, you’d be a quite the cock among hens yourself! You could have all the women you wanted—more than a hundred of them, I bet. I mean, just look at the muscles on this priest! What a powerful neck and chest he has! And eyes as sharp as a hawk’s! And what a great complexion. He doesn’t need to use any of that fine Portuguese makeup or anything to hide any blemishes! Man, what a guy, and what a tale!

And after that he, with ful mery chere,
Seide to another, as ye shullen here.
And after that, he happily spoke to another person in our group, as you’ll soon hear.

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