The Prioresses Prologue


The Merry Words of the Host to the Sailor and to My Lady Prioress

Well said, by corpus dominus,” said our host,
“Now long time may you sail along the coast,
Sir gentle master, gentle mariner!
God give this monk a thousand years bitter!
Aha, comrades, beware of such a jape!
The monk put into that man’s hood an ape,
And in the wife’s too, by Saint Augustine!
Invite no more monks to your house or inn.
“But let that pass, and let us look about
To see who shall be next, of all this rout,
To tell a tale.”
And after that he said,
As courteously as it had been a maid:
“My lady prioress, and by your leave,
So that I knew I should in no way grieve,
I would opine that tell a tale you should,
The one that follows next if you but would.
Now will you please vouchsafe it, lady dear?”
“Gladly,” said she, and spoke as you shall hear.

Image Credit

The Prioress from Canterbury Tales. Woodcut from a William Caxton publication of Chaucer’s works. Sourced from Luminarium,

Dan Moorhouse

Dan Moorhouse graduated in History and Politics and has since undertaken postgraduate studies in Medieval History and Education. Dan is a member of the Royal Historical Society and has previously been a member of the Historical Association’s Secondary Education Committee. Dan’s early publishing was in the Secondary School History Education field. This included co-authoring the Becta Award shortlisted Dynamic Learning: Medicine Through Time series for Hodder Murray and contributing to the Bafta Award winning Smallpox Through Time documentary series by A former teacher, Dan now concentrates on research and writing, predominantly in Medieval English history. Books by Dan Moorhouse On this day in the Wars of the Roses On this day in the Hundred Years War

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