Of fustian he wered a gypon
Al bismótered with his habergeon;
For he was late y-come from his viage,
And wente for to doon his pilgrymage.

from Geoffrey Chaucer – The Canterbury Tales (General Prologue) on Rap Genius


“A tunic of simple cloth he possessed
Discoloured and stained by his habergeon;
For he had lately returned from his voyage
And now was going on this pilgrimage."
Translation from Librarius

The Knight is described as wearing simple and uncomfortable clothing, not a standard practice for knights of the time period. In fact, it was an act of humility and speaks to the knight’s integrity (one of the few examples in the Canterbury Tales). The fact that he was traveling in simple and stained clothing after returning from his journey suggests he was on the pilgrimage in search of forgiveness and/or thanksgiving, not for honor or glory.

To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “The Canterbury Tales (General Prologue)” by Geoffrey Chaucer and leave a comment on the lyrics box