1380

CANTERBURY TALES

EPILOGUE

TO THE MERCHANT'S TALE

by Geoffrey Chaucer

Eh! By God's mercy!" cried our host. Said he:

"Now such a wife I pray God keep from me!

Behold what tricks, and lo, what subtleties

In women are. For always busy as bees

Are they, us simple men thus to deceive,

And from the truth they turn aside and leave;

By this same merchant's tale it's proved, I feel,

But, beyond doubt, as true as any steel

I have a wife, though poor enough she be;

But of her tongue a babbling shrew is she,

And she's a lot of other vices too.

No matter, though, with this we've naught to do.

But know you what? In secret, be it said,

I am sore sorry that to her I'm wed.

For if I should up-reckon every vice

The woman has, I'd be a fool too nice,

And why? Because it should reported be

And told her by some of this company;

Who'd be the ones, I need not now declare,

Since women know the traffic in such ware;

Besides, my wit suffices not thereto

To tell it all; wherefore my tale is through."

HERE ENDS THE EPILOGUE