Foreword from the Canterbury Tales

From The Anglish Wiki

Foreword

This is an Anglish wending of the opening lines of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, first written in Middle English. Went by Wordwork. See the wender's leaf for more on the wordings.

English Spelling

1 When Eastermonth[1] with its sweet showers

2 The drought of Lide[2] has bored to earthy bowers

3 And bathed every adder[3] in such flow

4 By which strength the blossom is born so

5 When the West Wind eke its sweet yield

6 Has breathed into every holt and field

7 The soft crops, and the young sun

8 In the Ram has half its time run,

9 And small fowls with song arise,

10 Those that sleep all night with open eyes

11 (So Kind has pricked 'em in her hearts' worth),

12 Then folk longingly go on a-southforth[4]

13 And southforthers for to seech[5] faraway strands

14 To farn[6] hallows,[7] couth[8] in sundry lands

15 And heartily from every shires end

16 Of England to Canterbury hy wend,[9]

17 The holy blissful throer[10] for to seech

18 Who 'em had helped when hy needed leech.[11]

Anglish Spelling

1 Hwen Eastermonth with its sweet scures

2 The drougt of Lide has bored to earthy bures

3 And bathed efery adder in suc flow

4 By hwic strength the blossom is born so

5 Hwen the West Wind eke its sweet yeeld

6 Has breathed into efery holt and feeld

7 The soft crops, and the yung sun

8 In the Ram has half its time run,

9 And small fules with song arise,

10 Those that sleep all nigt with open eyes

11 (So Kind has pricked 'em in her hearts' worth),

12 Then folk longingly go on a-suthforth

13 And suthforthers for to seec faraway strands

14 To farn hallows, cuth in sundry lands

15 And heartily from efery scires end

16 Of England to Canterbury hy wend,

17 The holy blissful throer for to seec

18 Hwo 'em had helped hwen hy needed leec.

Footmarks

  1. "Eastermonth" as an NE shape of OE "Ēaster-mōnaþ", the Old English word for "April". http://bosworthtoller.com/023108
  2. "Lide" as an obsolete dialectal word for "March" from OE "Hlȳda". http://bosworthtoller.com/019313
  3. "adder" as an NE shape of ME "edre". https://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/middle-english-dictionary/dictionary/MED13001
  4. "southforth" as an NE shape of OE "sūþ-forþ", meaning to fare south, to Rome. http://bosworthtoller.com/058755
  5. "seech" as the inborn South-East English shape of "seek", in which the /k/ palatised to /tʃ/. As in "beseech". https://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/middle-english-dictionary/dictionary/MED39128
  6. farn as an NE shape of OE fern, meaning far-away. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/middle-english-dictionary/dictionary/MED15744
  7. "hallows" meaning "saints". https://www.etymonline.com/word/hallow#etymonline_v_50991
  8. "couth" meaning "well-known". https://www.etymonline.com/word/couth#etymonline_v_19188
  9. "wend" meaning "to go/fare". https://www.etymonline.com/word/wend#etymonline_v_7919
  10. "throer" from OE "þrowere", meaning "martyr". http://bosworthtoller.com/032145
  11. "leech" meaning "doctor". https://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/middle-english-dictionary/dictionary/MED24922