Here biginneth the Book of the Tales of Caunterbury. Around this time of year, the narrator says, people begin to feel the desire to go on a pilgrimage. Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote. One spring day, the Narrator of The Canterbury Tales rents a room at the Tabard Inn before he recommences his journey to Canterbury. Here bygynneth the Book of the tales of Caunterbury Whan that Aprille with his shour e s soot e, The droghte of March hath perc e d to the root e, And bath e d every veyne in swich licóur The narrator opens the General Prologue with a description of the return of spring. The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. Geoffrey Chaucer likely wrote The Canterbury Tales in the late 1380s and early 1390s, after his retirement from life as a civil servant. The narrator begins his character portraits with the Knight. He describes the April rains, the burgeoning flowers and leaves, and the chirping birds. The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne. Inspired hath in every holt and heeth . Geoffrey Chaucer. In the narrator’s eyes, the Knight is the noblest of the pilgrims, embodying military prowess, loyalty, honor, generosity, and good manners. That evening, a group of people arrive at the inn, all of whom are also going to Canterbury to receive the blessings of "the holy blissful martyr," St. Thomas à Becket. The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote, And bathed every veyne in swich licour, Of which vertu engendred is the flour; Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth. Lines 1-200. English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray. 1909-14. In this professional life, Chaucer was able to travel from his home in England to France and Italy. The Knight conducts himself in a polite and mild fashion, never saying an unkind word about anyone.

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