The Canterbury Tales: The Prioress's Prologue
Domine dominus noster.
"O lord oure lord, thy name how merveillous
Is in this large world ysprad," quod she
"For noght oonly thy laude precious
Parfourned is by men of dignitee,
But by the mouth of children thy bountee
Parfourned is, for on the brest soukynge
Somtyme shewen they thyn heriynge.
Wherfore in laude, as I best kan or may,
Of thee, and of the whyte lylye flour
Which that the bar, and is a mayde alway,
To telle a storie I wol do my labour;
Nat that I may encressen hir honour,
For she hirself is honour, and the roote
Of bountee, next hir sone, and soules boote.
O mooder Mayde! O mayde Mooder free!
O bussh unbrent, brennynge in Moyses sighte,
That ravysedest doun fro the deitee
Thurgh thyn humblesse, the Goost that in th'alighte,
Of whos vertu, whan he thyn herte lighte,
Conceyved was the Fadres sapience,
Help me to telle it in thy reverence.
Lady, thy bountee, thy magnificence,
Thy vertu, and thy grete humylitee,
Ther may no tonge expresse in no science,
For somtyme, lady, er men praye to thee,
Thou goost biforn of thy benyngnytee
And getest us the lyght, thurgh thy preyere,
To gyden us unto thy Sone so deere.
My konnyng is so wayk, O blisful Queene,
For to declare thy grete worthynesse,
That I ne may the weighte nat susteene,
But as a child of twelf monthe oold, or lesse,
That kan unnethes any word expresse,
Right so fare I; and therfore I yow preye,
Gydeth my song that I shal of yow seye."
The Shipman's Tale | The Prioress's Tale