Now imagine you could have been there,
Just over six hundred years ago,
To witness Geoffrey Chaucer
Reciting his version of that exact same story
For the court, in Middle English.
Here’s how it would have sounded back then:
In Flaundres whilom was a compaignye
Of yonge folk that haunteden folye,
As riot, hasard, stewes, and tavernes.
Whereas with harpes, lutes, and giternes,
They daunce and pleyen at dees bothe day and night,
And ete also and drinke over hir might,
Thurgh which they doon the devel sacrifise,
Withinne that develes temple in cursed wise.