Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Cooks Tale

Illustration of the Cook from the Ellesmere Manuscripts, c. 1410.

A prentys whilom dwelled in oure citee,
There lived a 'prentice, once, in our city,

And of a craft of vitailliers was hee.
And of the craft of victuallers was he;

Gaillard he was as goldfynch in the shawe,
Happy he was as goldfinch in the glade,

Broun as a berye, a propre short felawe,
Brown as a berry, short, and thickly made,

With lokkes blake, ykembd ful fetisly.
With black hair that he combed right prettily.

Dauncen he koude so wel and jolily
He could dance well, and that so jollily,

That he was cleped Perkyn Revelour.
That he was nicknamed Perkin Reveller.

He was as ful of love and paramour,
He was as full of love, I may aver,

As is the hyve ful of hony sweete:
As is a beehive full of honey sweet;

Wel was the wenche with hym myghte meete.
Well for the wench that with him chanced to meet.

Excerpt from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.

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