Therfore he was a prikasour aright:
Grehoundes he hadde, as swift as fowel in flight;
Of prikyng and of huntyng for the hare
Was al his lust, for no cost wolde he spare.
(= Therefore he was definitely a hunter / He had greyhounds, fast as a bird in flight / Tracking and hunting the hare / Was his main pleasure, and he’d do it whatever the cost.)
‘Prikasour’ means ‘hunter’. Chaucer’s ‘Therefore’ at the start of the line is, again, ironic, as even if we accept that Monk’s shouldn’t follow Augustine’s rule, it really doesn’t follow that they should therefore devote themselves to hunting. It’s this kind of line that gives us a sense of how carefully wrought and insidious Chaucer’s irony can be.
‘Prikyng’ literally refers to tracking a hare by its ‘pricks’, or tracks. Disappointment alert: there’s probably no pun on ‘pricking’ in a sexual way; the OED records the first use of this only in 1592.
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