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Love for our Native Land
Lines Left in a Roverend Friend's House
The Battle of Flodden Field and Death of Marmion
GEOFFREY CHAUCER — Born in London, 1328; Died, 1400.
Geoffrey Chaucer is the first English poet of high rank. He lived through the reign of Edward III. in a good position in society. He is best known by bis “Canterbury Tales," from which the following piece is taken. Many words in his day had still the Norman-French pronunciation-a fact to be remembered in reading his poetry.
THE GOOD PARSON.
A TRUE good man there was there of religiòn,
i parson. The spelling is modern
ized,and the words slightly altered, to make the sense plainer to young people. “Parson” was, in Chaucer's day, spelt persoun. It means the representative or mouthpiece of the Church in a parish (from
persono) I sound, or speak, through. 2 town (toun) a townland, or parish.
Town meant originally a place
hedged or walled-in, if even a single farm house, and it is still
used in this way in Scotland. 3 thereto, besides this. 4 clerk, a cleric, or clergyman. It
came to mean, as it now does, a writer, from the fact that the only persons who could write in early times were the clergymen, or clerics, or clerks.
Benign he was, and wondrous diligent,
Wide was his cure;10 the houses far asunder ;
This noble ensample to his flock he gave,
5 benign, gracious, kind.
9 dues, as parish priest.
proven." 8 contend, to excommunicate any
one for not paying his tithes, or to strive for them.
or, means either. 12 wrought, carried out by his
life and works.