• THE CANTERBURY TALES.

  • THE PROLOGUE.

  • Narrator

    WHEN that Aprilis, with his showers swoot*, *sweet

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  • The drought of March hath pierced to the root,

  • And bathed every vein in such licour,

  • Of which virtue engender'd is the flower;

  • When Zephyrus eke with his swoote breath

  • Inspired hath in every holt* and heath *grove, forest

  • The tender croppes* and the younge sun *twigs, boughs

  • Hath in the Ram his halfe course y-run,

  • And smalle fowles make melody,

  • That sleepen all the night with open eye,

  • (So pricketh them nature in their corages*); *hearts, inclinations

  • Then longe folk to go on pilgrimages,

  • And palmers  for to seeke strange strands,

  • To *ferne hallows couth* in sundry lands; *distant saints known*

  • And specially, from every shire's end

  • Of Engleland, to Canterbury they wend,

  • The holy blissful Martyr for to seek,

  • That them hath holpen*, when that they were sick. *helped