Legends and Sagas
The Canterbury Tales and Other Works of Chaucer (Middle English), by Geoffery Chaucer, [14th cent.], at sacred-texts.com
The Canterbury Tales
Chaucer's Retraction Now preye I to hem alle that herkne this litel tretys or rede,
that if ther be any thyng in it that liketh hem,
that therof they thanken oure Lord Jhesu Crist, of whom al wit and al goodnesse.
And if ther be any thyng that displese hem, I preye hem that they arrette it to the defaute
of myn unkonnynge and nat to my wyl, that wolde ful fayn seyd bettre if I hadde had konnynge.
For oure book seith, "Al that is writen is writen for doctrine,"
and that is myn entente.
Wherfore I biseke yow mekely, for the mercy of God,
that ye preye for me that Crist have mercy on me and me my giltes;
and namely of my translacions and enditynges of worldly vanitees, the whiche I revoke in my retracciouns:
as is the book of Troilus; the book also of Fame;
the book of the XXV. Ladies; the book of the Duchesse;
the book of Seint Valentynes day of the Parlement of Briddes; the tales of Caunterbury, thilke that sownen into synne;
the book of the Leoun; and many another book, if they were in my remembrance, and many a song
and many a leccherous lay, that Crist for his grete mercy foryeve me the synne.
But of the translacion of Boece de Consolacione, and othere bookes of legendes of seintes, and omelies, and moralitee, and devocioun,
that thanke I oure Lord Jhesu Crist and his blisful Mooder, and alle the seintes of hevene,
1090 bisekynge hem that they from hennes forth unto my lyves ende sende me grace to biwayle my giltes and to studie
1090A to the salvacioun of my soule, and graunte me grace of verray penitence, confessioun and satisfaccioun to doon in this present lyf,
thurgh the benigne grace of hym that is kyng of kynges and preest over alle preestes,
that boghte us with the precious blood of his herte,
so that I may been oon of hem at the day of doom that shulle be saved.
Qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivit et regnat Deus per omnia secula. Amen.
Next: The Book of the Duchess