• The General Prologue
  • Geoffrey Chaucer
  • The Caunterbury Tayles

I chose to read the first bit of the General Prologue from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English; the pronunciation is, I think, more or less accurate, but I’m sure I’ve made a few errors here and there as it’s my first time reading it aloud properly (for example, ‘they’ on the last line should’ve been pronounced ‘thy’). Oh well…

Whan that April with his showres soote 
The droughte of March hath perced to the roote, 
And bathed every veine in swich licour 
Of which vertu engendred is the flowr; 
Whan Zephyrus eek with his sweete breeth 
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth 
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne 
Hath in the Ram his halve cours yronne, 
And smale fowles maken melodye, 
That sleepen al the night with open yë -
So priketh hem Nature in hir corages -
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, 
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes 
To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes; 
And specially from every shires ende 
Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende, 
The holy blisful martyr for to seke, 
That hem hath holpen whan that they were seke.