Saturday, 4 April 2009

A Canterbury Tale

Earlier today, while pondering over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, I chanced upon a mediaeval candybar wrapper, on which I discovered a scribbled fragment of Middle English poetry. I'm terribly excited. I think I've found Chaucer's missing 23rd Canterbury Tale. I've sent it out to experts in the field. In waiting for the fame and glory that must surely come with such a discovery, I've translated it for you into present-day English. Enjoy.

Here begynneth the Visittynge Studdentes tale

Once on a time, as old tales tell to us,
There was a happy student on Erasmus.

When sweet February with its weather mild
The snows of January left behind,
So happened that upon a sunny day
He saw a Facebook advert that said "Hey!
One pound will take you really far away."
He quickly clicked and found to his dismay
There were too many options to choose from
And he could not decide on where to go.

"Oh well", he thought, "I might well decide
That I to Canterbury town will ride,
To pay a visit to old friends; and new,
to have a pilgrimage like there've been few."

And so he packed his bags and onwards went,
And on the road found many an accident,
Till late in the morning and sleep-deprived
To Canterbury town his bus arrived.

And he went out the whole town to explore.
"Hey, I recall being here before!",
Every now and then he stopped to exclaim.
For it is true that with touristic aim,
Barely one and a half years agone,
Those very cobblestones he had stepped on.

Up to the University he climbed
(Up a hill with a slope truly inclined)
Where a friend he met -there was much rejoicing-
And crashed at the student halls, well poising.

They covered in their visit the whole grounds
Marking the campus, forests and happy sounds
And the many merry hopping bunnies
(And as a private joke he thought "Yummy!").

Then they gatecrashed a mirthful party
Where they found merriment and company
To last for the full night or even more,
But watchmen came and stopped it well before.

The next day to the Cathedral he went
As had been his first touristic intent.
He found it worthy of admiration
(Especially liked the decoration).

Later in the day, alone he found himself;
Companyless and deserted by friends
After musing a bit he did decide:
He gatecrashed another party that night!

Friends plenty at the party he then made
And from time to time someone would just say
"It's so odd I've never seen you before!"
He would stand, beer in hand, drinking more,
And then reply, grinning from ear to ear,
"That's 'cause I'm a Visiting Student here!"

And this is just the start of his story,
For he did go back to Canterbury.
Yet the remainder is a different tale
And won't be told but after much, much ale.

been there!Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral


euge said...

You're doing better, you are!

Apart from a few improvable rhymes, you've got a square poem there!

[Did you find *touristic attested somewhere, or was it because of intense bunny-marking?xDD]

MasterMan said...

I know not all of the rhyme is syllabic, and some of it is even dodgy. Also, a few verses have an extra syllable. I did my best, as you will understand, to translate and adapt Middle English. Taking into account the scribbled nature of the original manuscript, I reckon it's fairly decent as a first adaptation. I'll keep working on it though! :)

paumickey said...

Qué pasada de cathedral!! Muy chulo el poem. The truth is que yo alucino contigo!! Viajanteeeeeeeeeee!!