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Poems By Poet Forrest Hainline  10/24/2014 6:07:24 PM
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General Prologue 17: The Wife of Bath - Geoffrey Chaucer (Forrest Hainline's Minimalist Translation)

A good Wife was there of beside Bath,
But she was somewhat deaf, and that was scathe.
Of cloth making she had such a haunt
She passed them of Ypres and of Ghent.
In all the parish wife was there none
That to the offering before her should go on;
And if they did, certain so wroth was she
That she was out of all charity.
Her coverchiefs full fine were of ground;
I do swear they weighed ten pound
That on a Sunday were upon her head.
Her hose were of fine scarlet red,
Full straight tied, and shoes full moist and new.
Bold was her face, and fair, and red of hew.
She was a worthy woman all her life:
Husbands at church door she had five,
Without them other company in youth -
But there's no need to speak right now.
And thrice had she been at Jerusalem;
She had passed many a strange stream;
At Rome she had been, and at Boulogne,
In Galicia at Saint Jame, and at Cologne.
She could much of wandering by the way.
Gap-toothed was she, truly for to say.
Upon an ambler easily she sat,
Wimpled well, and on her head a hat
As broad as is a buckler or a targe;
A foot-mantle about her hips large,
And on her feet a pair of spurs sharp.
In fellowship well could she laugh and carp.
Of remedies of love she knew per chance,
For she knew of that art the old dance.

© 2009 Forrest Hainline
Forrest Hainline



General Prologue 13: The The Haberdasher, Carpenter, Arras-maker, Dyer and Weaver- Geoffrey Chaucer (Forrest Hainline's Minimalist Translation)

A Haberdasher and a Carpenter,
A Weaver, a Dyer, and a Tapestrer –
And they were clothed all in a livery
Of a solemn and a great fraternity.
Full fresh and new their gear apiked was;
Their knives were mounted not with brass
But all with silver, wrought full clean and fit,
Their girdles and their pouches every-bit.
Well seemed each of them a fair burgess
To sit in a guildhall on a dais.
Each one, for the wisdom that he ken,
Was shapely for to be an alderman.
For cattle had they enough and rent,
And too their wives would it well assent
And else certain were they to blame.
It is full fair to have been called “madame, ”
And go on vigils all before,
And have a mantle royally bore.

© 2009 Forrest Hainline
Forrest Hainline



General Prologue 18: The Parson - Geoffrey Chaucer (Forrest Hainline's Minimalist Translation)

A good man was there of religion,
And was a poor Parson of a town,
But rich he was of holy thought and work.
He was also a learned man, a clerk,
That Christ’s Gospel truly would preach;
His parishioners devoutly would he teach.
Benign he was and wonder diligent,
And in adversity full patient,
And such he was proved oft sithe.
Full loathe was he to curse for his tithes,
But rather would he give, out of doubt,
Unto his poor parishioners about
Of his offering and too of his substance.
He could in little things have sufficience.
Wide was his parish, and houses far asonder,
But he left none out, for rain nor thunder,
In sickness nor in mischief to visit
The farthest in his parish, much and light,
Upon his feet, and in his hand a stave.
This nobel example to his sheep he gave,
That first he wrought, and afterward he taught.
Out of the Gospel he those words caught,
And this figure he added also thereto,
That if gold rust, what shall iron do?
For if a priest be foul, on whom we trust,
No wonder is a lewd man to rust;
And shame it is if a priest take keep,
A shitten shepherd and a clean sheep.
Well ought a priest example for to give,
By his cleanness, how that his sheep should live.
He set not his benefice to hire
And let his sheep encumbered in the mire
And ran to London unto Saint Paul’s
To seek him a chantry for souls,
Or with a brotherhood to be withhold;
But dwelt at home, and kept well his fold,
So that the wolf not make it miscarry;
He was a shepherd and not a mercenary.
And though he holy were and virtuous,
He was to sinful men not despitous,
Nor of his speech dangerous nor digne,
But in his teaching discreet and benign.
To draw folk to heaven by fairness,
By good example, that was his business.
But if were any person obstinate,
What so he were of high or low estate,
Him would he snib him sharply for the nonce.
A better priest I trust that nowhere none is.
He waited after no pomp and reverence,
Nor maked him a spiced conscience,
But Christ’s lore and his apostles twelve
He taught; but first he followed it himself.

© 2009 Forrest Hainline
Forrest Hainline



Geoffrey Chaucer, To Rosamund - (Forrest Hainline's Minimalist Translation)

Madame, you be of all beauty shrine
As far as circled is the mappamund,
For as the crystal glorious you shine,
And like ruby be your cheeks round.
Therewith you be so merry and so jocund,
That at a revel when that I see you dance,
It is an ointment unto my wound,
Though you to me not do no dalliance.

For though I weep of tears full a tyne,
Yet may that woe my heart not confound;
Your seemly voice, that you so small out-twine
Makes my thought in joy and bliss abound.
So courteously I go, with love bound,
That to myself I say, in my penance,
Suffiseth me to love you, Rosamund,
Though you to me not do no dalliance.

No never pike wallowed in galantine
As I in love am wallowed and am wound,
For which full oft I of myself divine
That I am truly Tristan the second.
My love may not refreyd be nor a found
I burn aye in amorous pleasure.
Do what you list, I will your thrall be found,
Though you to me not do no dalliance.

© 2013 Forrest Hainline
Forrest Hainline

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BEST POEMS:  (Click on a topic to list and read the poems)
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Poems By Poet Forrest Hainline