1         Whan that Aprill with his shouressoote
                  When April with its sweet-smelling showers
2         The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
                 Has pierced the drought of March to the root,
3         And bathed every veyne in swichlicour
                 And bathed every vein (of the plants) in such liquid
4         Of which vertuengendred is the flour;
     By which power the flower is created;
5         WhanZephirus eek with his sweetebreeth
                 When the West Wind also with its sweet breath,
6         Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
                 In every wood and field has breathed life into 
7         The tendrecroppes, and the yongesonne
                 The tender new leaves, and the young sun
8         Hath in the Ram his half coursyronne,
                 Has run half its course in Aries,
9         And smalefowelesmakenmelodye,
                 And small fowls make melody,
10         That slepen al the nyght with open ye
                 Those that sleep all the night with open eyes
11         (So priketh hem Nature in hircorages),
                 (So Nature incites them in their hearts),
12         Thannelongen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
                 Then folk long to go on pilgrimages,
13         And palmeres for to sekenstraungestrondes,
                 And professional pilgrims to seek foreign shores,
14         To fernehalwes, kowthe in sondrylondes;
                 To distant shrines, known in various lands;
15         And specially from every shires ende
                 And specially from every shire's end
16         Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende,
                 Of England to Canterbury they travel,
17         The hoolyblisfulmartir for to seke,
                 To seek the holy blessed martyr,
18         That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.
                 Who helped them when they were sick.

19         Bifil that in that seson on a day,
                 It happened that in that season on one day,
20         In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay
                 In Southwark at the Tabard Inn as I lay
21         Redy to wenden on my pilgrymage
                 Ready to go on my pilgrimage
22         To Caunterbury with ful devout corage,
                 To Canterbury with a very devout spirit,
23         At nyght was come into that hostelrye
                 At night had come into that hostelry
24         Welnyne and twenty in a compaignye
                 Well nine and twenty in a company
25         Of sondry folk, by aventureyfalle
                 Of various sorts of people, by chance fallen
26         In felaweshipe, and pilgrimes were they alle,
                 In fellowship, and they were all pilgrims,
27         That toward Caunterburywoldenryde.
                 Who intended to ride toward Canterbury.
28         The chambres and the stables werenwyde,
                 The bedrooms and the stables were spacious,
29         And wel we werenesedattebeste.
                 And we were well accommodated in the best way.
30         And shortly, whan the sonne was to reste,
                 And in brief, when the sun was (gone) to rest,
31         So hadde I spoken with hem everichon
                 I had so spoken with everyone of them 
32         That I was of hirfelaweshipe anon,
                 That I was of their fellowship straightway,
33         And made forward erly for to ryse,
                 And made agreement to rise early,
34         To take oureweyther as I yow devyse.
                 To take our way where I (will) tell you.