Geoffrey Chaucer

     Ther was also a Nonne, a PRIORESSE,
      There was also a nun, a PRIORESS,

That of hir smylyng was ful symple and coy;
Who, in her smiling, modest was and coy;

Hir gretteste ooth was but by Seinte Loy;
Her greatest oath was but "By Saint Eloy!”

And she was cleped Madame Eglentyne.
And she was called Madam Eglantine.

Ful weel she soong the service dyvyne,
Very well she sang the service divine,

Entuned in hir nose ful semely,
Intoning through her nose, becomingly;

And Frenssh she spak ful faire and fetisly,
And she spoke French fairly and fluently,

After the scole of Stratford-atte-Bowe,
After the school of Stratford-at-the-Bow,

For Frenssh of Parys was to hir unknowe.
For French of Paris style she didn't know.

At mete wel ytaught was she with alle:
At table her manners were well taught withall,

She leet no morsel from hir lippes falle,
And never let morsels from her lips fall,

 Ne wette hir fyngres in hir sauce depe;
Nor dipped her fingers deep in sauce, but ate

Wel koude she carie a morsel, and wel kepe
With so much care the food upon her plate

That no drope ne fille upon hir brist.
That no drop could fall upon her breast.

In curteisie was set ful muche hir list.
In courtesy she had delight and zest.

Hire over-lippe wyped she so clean
Her upper lip was always wiped so clean

That in hir coppe ther was no ferthyng sene
That on her cup no speck or spot was seen

Of grece, whan she dronken hadde hir draughte.
Of grease, when she had drunk her draught of wine.

Ful semely after hir mete she raughte.
Graciously she reached for food to dine.

And sikerly, she was of greet desport,
And certainly delighting in good sport,

And ful plesaunt, and amyable of port,
She was very pleasant, amiable - in short.

And peyned hir to countrefete cheere
She was in pains to imitate the cheer

Of court, and been estatlich of manere,
Of courtliness, and stately manners here,

And to ben holden digne of reverence.
And would be held worthy of reverence.

But, for to speken of hir conscience,
But, to speak about her moral sense,

She was so charitable and so pious
She was so charitable and solicitous

She wolde wepe, if that she saugh a mouse
That she would weep if she but saw a mouse

Kaught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde.
Caught in a trap, whether it were dead or bled.

Of smale houndes hadde she, that she fed
She had some little dogs, that she fed

With rosted flessh, or milk and wastel-breed.
On roasted flesh, or milk and fine white bread.

But soore weep she if oon of hem were deed,
But sorely she wept if one of them were dead,

Or if men smoot it with a yerde smerte;
Or if men smote it with a stick to smart:

And al was conscience, and tendre herte.
Then pity ruled her, and her tender heart.

Ful semyly hir wympul pynched was,
Very seemly her pleated wimple was;

Hire nose tretys, hir eyen greye as glas,
Her nose was fine; her eyes were grey as glass;

Hir mouth ful smal, and therto softe and reed;
Her mouth was small and therewith soft and red;

But sikerly she hadde a fair forheed;
But certainly her forehead was fairly spread;

It was almoost a spanne brood, I trowe;
It was almost a full span broad, I own,

For, hardily, she was nat undergrowe.
To tell the truth, she was not undergrown.

Ful fetys was hir cloke, as I was war;
Her cloak, as I was well aware, had a graceful charm

Of smal coral aboute hir arm she bar
She wore a small coral trinket on her arm

A peire of bedes, gauded al with grene,
A string of beads and gauded all with green;

An theron heng a brooch of gold ful sheene,
And therefrom hung a brooch of golden sheen

On which ther was first write a crowned A,
Whereon there was engraved a crowned “A,"

And after Amor vincit omnia.
And under, Amor vincit omnia.

spoken =Anniina Jokinen