I was having a discussion on my Facebook wall about Chaucer. I’m in the middle of (finally) writing my paper and a friend suggested that I should write it in Middle English to earn “moxie” points with the professor. If you’ve ever read Middle English, you will know why I have no intention of doing such a thing. I do have an end of semester project coming up where I have to write my own tale for the Canterbury tales, and I’ll be writing that in iambic pentameter and in heroic couplets the way Chaucer wrote his tales. I figured if I could write my own spin on the book of Genesis in Spencerian verse, this will be a piece of cake. I thought it might be fun to share a snippet of it. It’s by no means complete, and there are some gaps, so I’m only sharing the first three stanzas of the epic (which, even in its current state is 3 pages and 900 words long).
I sat to sup with family, friends, and more
With plates o’erfilled and goblets full of wine
When suddenly the host, to me, implored
That wouldn’t it be wonderful to dine
Amused by such a tale you tell so fine
Regale us with a story, make it true
Recount to us whilst we feast on this swine
And refill all our chalices with brew
And suddenly which story I should tell I knew.
Good Sirs, said I, and Wondrous Ladies fair
Our host has begged a tale, and I comply
With such a tale, make comfortable your chair
This tale I tell is long, but I shall try
To tell its ending ‘ere the sun is high
To light your way from table to your bed
To slumber deep as though in death do lie
With stomach full and wine imbibèd head
With generosity your gullets our host fed.
I tell with truth this story as it hap’d
So long ago while I was still a boy
And bored, I was, for I was freshly napped
I made myself a world to be my toy
And this new world I truly did enjoy
It started out as nothing, black and stark
And so some light I knew I must employ
To come and sweep away all that was dark
And “Let there be some light” was my only remark.