Here bygynneth the Book
of the tales of Caunterbury
1: Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
2: The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
3: And bathed every veyne in swich licour
4: Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
5: Whan zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
6: Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
7: Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
8: Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne,
9: And smale foweles maken melodye,
10: That slepen al the nyght with open ye
11: (so priketh hem nature in hir corages);
12: Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
13: And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
14: To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
15: And specially from every shires ende
16: Of engelond to caunterbury they wende,
17: The hooly blisful martir for to seke,
18: That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.
Read the rest of the Prologue
Today we celebrate the life and writings of Geoffrey Chaucer, who died on 25 October 1400.
A collect for Chaucer and a prayer for today:
O God, who have enlightened your church by the writings of your Servant Geoffrey Chaucer: Enrich us evermore with your heavenly grace, and raise up faithful witnesses who by their life and teaching will show to others the truth of your salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.
Blessed Lord, who hast given to mortals the gift of sexual Love, with its joys and cares and complexities and unanswered questions, and hast made known to us the duty of keeping promises and of showing justice and good will toward those about us: mercifully grant that, in our human loves, and in our choices concerning them, we may be guided by thy commandments and live according to thy will; that we and those we love may abide in thy gracious protection, and that our loves may be fitting images of the love between Christ and his Church; the which we ask through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.