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The Canterbury Tales
Geoffery Chaucer

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"The Pardoner's Tale" courtesy Gerard NeCastro, University of Maine at Machias.

The Pardoner's Tale (Middle English)

PardT 463 In Flaundres whilom was a compaignye
PardT 464 Of yonge folk that haunteden folye,
PardT 465 As riot, hasard, stywes, and tavernes,
PardT 466 Where as with harpes, lutes, and gyternes,
PardT 467 They daunce and pleyen at dees bothe day and nyght,
PardT 468 And eten also and drynken over hir myght,
PardT 469 Thurgh which they doon the devel sacrifise
PardT 470 Withinne that develes temple in cursed wise
PardT 471 By superfluytee abhomynable.
PardT 472 Hir othes been so grete and so dampnable
PardT 473 That it is grisly for to heere hem swere.
PardT 474 Oure blissed Lordes body they totere --
PardT 475 Hem thoughte that Jewes rente hym noght ynough --
PardT 476 And ech of hem at otheres synne lough.
PardT 477 And right anon thanne comen tombesteres
PardT 478 Fetys and smale, and yonge frutesteres,
PardT 479 Syngeres with harpes, baudes, wafereres,
PardT 480 Whiche been the verray develes officeres
PardT 481 To kyndle and blowe the fyr of lecherye,
PardT 482 That is annexed unto glotonye.
PardT 483 The hooly writ take I to my witnesse
PardT 484 That luxurie is in wyn and dronkenesse.
PardT 485 Lo, how that dronken Looth, unkyndely,
PardT 486 Lay by his doghtres two, unwityngly;
PardT 487 So dronke he was, he nyste what he wroghte.
PardT 488 Herodes, whoso wel the stories soghte,
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