THE SQUIRE With him there was his son, a youthful squire, A lover and a lusty bachelor, With locks well curled, as if they'd laid in press. Some twenty years of age he was, I guess. In stature he was of an average length, Wondrously active, aye, and great of strength. He'd ridden sometime with the cavalry In Flanders, in Artois, and Picardy, And borne him well within that little space In hope to win thereby his lady's grace. Prinked out he was, as if he were a mead, All full of fresh-cut flowers white and red. Singing he was, or fluting, all the day; He was as fresh as is the month of May. Short was his gown, with sleeves both long and wide. Well could be sit on horse, and fairly ride. He could make songs and words thereto indite, Joust, and dance too, as well as sketch and write. So hot he loved that, while night told her tale, He slept no more than does a nightingale. Courteous he, and humble, willing and able, And carved before his father at the table.
THE YEOMAN A yeoman had he, nor more servants, no, At that time, for he chose to travel so; And he was clad in coat and hood of green. A sheaf of peacock arrows bright and keen Under his belt he bore right carefully (Well could he keep his tackle yeomanly: His arrows had no draggled feathers low), And in his hand he bore a mighty bow. A cropped head had he and a sun-browned face. Of woodcraft knew he all the useful ways. Upon his arm he bore a bracer gay, And at one side a sword and buckler, yea, And at the other side a dagger bright, Well sheathed and sharp as spear point in the light; On breast a Christopher of silver sheen. He bore a horn in baldric all of green; A forester he truly was, I guess.
THE PRIORESS There was also a nun, a prioress, Who, in her smiling, modest was and coy; Her greatest oath was but "By Saint Eloy!" And she was known as Madam Eglantine. Full well she sang the services divine, Intoning through her nose, becomingly; And fair she spoke her French, and fluently, After the school of Stratford-at-the-Bow, For French of Paris was not hers to know. At table she had been well taught withal, And never from her lips let morsels fall, Nor dipped her fingers deep in sauce, but ate With so much care the food upon her plate That never driblet fell upon her breast. In courtesy she had delight and zest. Her upper lip was always wiped so clean That in her cup was no iota seen Of grease, when she had drunk her draught of wine. Becomingly she reached for meat to dine. And certainly delighting in good sport, She was right pleasant, amiable- in short. She was at