St. Thomas’s Pilgrims – with apologies to Geoffrey Chaucer

A preste ther was that cam fro Sarum toun,

A godly man, ycleped Jonathoun.

He was a myrie man in ful good point.

In soothe he loved a roosted joint

With draughte of ale and othere fare.

From blessed Thomas in Salisburie

He wenden on his way to Caunterburie

To salve his soule and eke make moneye

To yeve again for chirches wirke and waye.

In his compaignye were ladies two

That jolie were and gay also.

Than oon hight Rhona was, the other Fee,

And gladsome with the prest al thre

Thenne walken they withouten pyne

From Doom of Sarum to St. Thomas shrine.

On ways of Clarendon and Seint Swithin

And northren Downs, thro many a toun

In ech of which ther was a hooly place,

Cathederals ybuildened with Goddes grace.

These worthy folke, they wente in charitee

With ech othere, to live in povertee

Upon their herd and longe viage

To do their choosen pilgrimage,

To reste in chirches or a halle

Or with som freendes who withalle

Did gladly yeve them norryshyng

And then received from ech blessing.

Holpen by pledging pilgrims in their chirche

They reached their end for Christes worke

And also did much moneye raise

To yeve to Godde His glorie and His praise.


John Cox


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