And in his harpyng, whan that he hadde songe,
His eyen twynkled in his heed aryght
As doon the sterres in the frosty nyght.
(= And when he played his harp and sang / His eyes twinkled in his head alright / As do the stars on a frosty night)
This sudden elevation in tone comes from absolutely nowhere. It’s as if Chaucer wants us to leave with one image of the Friar; and it’s an image that sums up all that we’ve just been told. His twinkling eyes are miles away from the seriousness and poverty that he’s supposed to embody— all he can see is the silver up for grabs.
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