Geoffrey Chaucer

   A SHIPMAN was ther, wonynge fer by weste;   
   A SHIPMAN was there, dwelling far in the west;

For aught I woot, he was of Dertemouthe.
For all I know, he was from Dartmouth.

He rood upon a rouncy, as he kouthe,
He rode upon a cart horse, insofar as he knew how,

In a gowne of faldyng to the knee.
In a gown of woolen cloth (that reached) to the knee.

A daggere hangynge on a laas hadde he
He had a dagger hanging on a cord 

Aboute his nekke, under his arm adoun.
About his neck, down under his arm.

The hoote somer hadde maad his hewe al broun;
The hot summer had made his hue all brown;

And certeinly he was a good felawe.
And certainly he was a boon companion.

Ful many a draughte of wyn had he ydrawe
He had drawn very many a draft of wine

Fro Burdeux-ward, whil that the chapman sleep.
While coming from Bordeaux, while the merchant slept.

Of nyce conscience took he no keep.
He had no concern for a scrupulous conscience.

If that he faught and hadde the hyer hond,
If he fought and had the upper hand,

By water he sente hem hoom to every lond.
He sent them home by water to every land (they walked the plank). 

But of his craft to rekene wel his tydes,
But of his skill to reckon well his tides,

His stremes, and his daungers hym bisides,
His currents, and his perils near at hand,

His herberwe, and his moone, his lodemenage,
His harbors, and positions of his moon, his navigation,

Ther nas noon swich from Hulle to Cartage.
There was none other such from Hull to Cartagena (Spain).

Hardy he was and wys to undertake;
He was bold and prudent in his undertakings;

With many a tempest hadde his berd been shake.
His beard had been shaken by many a tempest.

He knew alle the havenes, as they were,
He knew all the harbors, how they were,

Fro Gootlond to the cape of Fynystere,
From Gotland to the Cape of Finisterre,

And every cryke in Britaigne and in Spayne.
And every inlet in Brittany and in Spain.

His barge ycleped was the Maudelayne.
His ship was called the Maudelayne.

spoken =Brian Ó Broin