Monday, 1 April 2019

MA English: The Canterbury Tales Lines 13-24


The Canterbury Tales Line 13-24: 
Old English


13.) And palmeres for to sken 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.
19.) Bilfil that in that seson on a day,
20.) In Southwerk at the tabard as I lay
21.) Redy to wenden on my pilgrymae
22.) To caunterbury with ful devout corage,
23.) At nyght was come into that hostelrye
24.) Wel nyne and twenty in a compaignye,

 Modern English:

13.) Then the palmers prefer to seek strange strands,
14.) To visit the famous distant shrines of sundry lands.
15.) Then especially from every shire’s end
16.) Of England, to go to Canterbury they intend,
17.) There the shrine of the holy blessed martyr they seek
18.) who always helped them when they were ill or weak.
19.) it befell so in that season on a day
20.) When in Southward at the Tabard Inn, I lay
21.) To Canterbury, with devout homage,
23.) There entered into that inn at night
24.) A company of twenty-nine, if I am right


Paraphrase:

Then the pilgrims carrying palm branches in their hands also begin to seek (sail to) strange strands (seashores). These pilgrims want to visit those far-off shrines which stand renowned in sundry (various) lands (areas or countries) for their blessed nature. Coming from the corners of every shire of England, these pilgrims specially go the sanctuary situated at Canterbury city, now an administrative district in Kent, south-eastern England, on the River Stour. There they want to seek the grant of their prayers from St. Thomas a becket, the 40th Archbishop of Canterbury, the holy blissful martyr, (who did not agree to the subordination of the Church under the Crown and was murdered in the Canterbury cathedral in 1170 at the instigation of Henry II). He has always helped them whenever they were sick and prayed to him for their health. It so happened that on a day in April in that spring season I was lying at the Tabard inn situated at southward on the south Bank of the Thames River, London. Then I was quite ready to go with my devout (religious) heart on my pilgrimage at Canterbury. At night, there came into that Inn a company (group) of almost 29 different people.

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