With hym ther rood a gentil PARDONER

With him there rode a gentle Pardoner

of Rouncivale, his freend and his compeer,

from Rouncival*, his friend and companion,

That streight was comen fro the court of Rome.

who had come straight from the court of Rome.

Ful loude he soong 'Come hider, love, to me!'

Very loudly he sang 'Come here to me, love!'

This Somonour bar to hym a stif burdoun;

The Summoner had a strong bass;

Was nevere trompe of half so greet a soun.

No trumpet ever sounded half so strong.

This Pardoner hadde heer as yelow as wex,

The Pardoner had hair as yellow as wax,

But smothe it heeng as dooth a strike of flex;

hanging down as smoothly as a hank of flax;

By ounces henge his lokkes that he hadde,

The curls he had hung in small strands ,

And therwith he his shuldres overspradde;

and his shoulders were covered with them;

But thynne it lay, by colpons oon and oon.

Thinly they fell, in strands one by one.

But hood, for jolitee, wered he noon,

But he did not were a cap to look attractive,

For it was trussed up in his walet.

for it was packed in his pouch.

Hym thoughte he rood al of the newe jet;

He thought he was riding in the very latest fashion;

Dischevelee, save his cappe, he rood al bare.

Bareheaded, except for his cap, he rode completely bareheaded.

Swiche glarynge eyen hadde he as an hare.

he had glaring eyes, like a hare.

A vernycle hadde he sowed upon his cappe.

He had sewed a badge on his cap.

His walet, biforn hym in his lappe,

His pouch, in front of him in a large pocket,

Bretful of pardoun comen from Rome al hoot.

brimful of papal indulgences that came directly from Rome.

A voys he hadde as smal as hath a goot.

he had as high a voice as a goat.

No berd hadde he, ne nevere sholde have;

he had no beard, and never had;

As smothe it was as it were late shave.

it was as smooth as it had been shaved of late.

I trowe he were a geldyng or a mare.

I believe he was a eunuch or a homosexual.

But of his craft, fro Berwyk into Ware

But there was not another pardoner

Ne was ther swich another pardoner.

as skillful as he between Berwick and Ware.

*Rouncivale: the hospital of St Mary of Rouncival, near Charing Cross.