Canterbury Tales: The Franklin’s Prologue

Author: Geoffrey Chaucer  | Date: 1380

THE FRANKLIN’S PROLOGUE

These ancient gentle Bretons, in their days,

Of divers high adventures made great lays

And rhymed them in their primal Breton tongue,

The which lays to their instruments they sung,

Or else recited them where joy might be;

And one of them have I in memory,

Which I shall gladly tell you, as I can.

But, sirs, because I am an ignorant man,

At my beginning must I first beseech

You will excuse me for my vulgar speech;

I never studied rhetoric, that’s certain;

That which I say, it must be bare and plain.

I never slept on Mount Parnassus, no,

Nor studied Marcus Tullius Cicero.

Colours I know not, there’s no doubt indeed,

Save colours such as grow within the mead,

Or such as men achieve with dye or paint.

Colours of rhetoric I find but quaint;

My spirit doesn’t feel the beauty there.

But if you wish, my story you shall hear."

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Chicago: Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales: The Franklin’s Prologue Original Sources, accessed December 1, 2021, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=AH5C6M2EYGE73L5.

MLA: Chaucer, Geoffrey. Canterbury Tales: The Franklin’s Prologue, Original Sources. 1 Dec. 2021. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=AH5C6M2EYGE73L5.

Harvard: Chaucer, G, Canterbury Tales: The Franklin’s Prologue. Original Sources, retrieved 1 December 2021, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=AH5C6M2EYGE73L5.