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The Canterbury Tales

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HERE BIGINNETH CHAUCERS TALE OF THOPAS.
HERE’S CHAUCER’S OWN TALE ABOUT A KNIGHT NAMED SIR THOPAS.





Listeth, lordes, in good entent,
And I wol telle verrayment
    Of mirthe and of solas;
Al of a knyght was fair and gent
In bataille and in tourneyment,
    His name was sir Thopas.
Listen, lords, with good intent,
And I’ll tell you a true event,
    Of bliss and happiness;
About a knight who was a gent,
In battle and in tournament.
    His name was Sir Thopas.



10

Y-born he was in fer contree,
In Flaundres, al biyonde the see,
    At Popering, in the place;
His fader was a man ful free,
And lord he was of that contree,
    As it was Goddes grace.
He was born in a far country,
In Belgium, way beyond the sea,
    In the town of Poperinghe, where
His father was wealthy and free,
And was the king of that country,
    Where he ruled in God’s care.





Sir Thopas wex a doghty swayn,
Whyt was his face as payndemayn,
    His lippes rede as rose;
His rode is lyk scarlet in grayn,
And I yow telle in good certayn,
    He hadde a semely nose.
Sir Thopas grew so strong and couth,
With pale skin as white as a tooth,
    And lips as red as a rose,
With skin the reddish color of youth
And—now I’ll tell you the truth—
    A very handsome nose.

20



His heer, his berd was lyk saffroun,
That to his girdel raughte adoun;
    His shoon of Cordewane.
Of Brugges were his hosen broun,
His robe was of ciclatoun,
    That coste many a Iane.
His hair fell to his waist from his head;
That and his beard were firey red.
    His leather shoes were from Spain;
His brown socks from Belgium instead;
His robe made of very fine thread
    Which was anything but mundane.

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