The General Prologue - The Five Guildsmen

A haberdasher and a carpenter,
An arras-maker, dyer, and weaver
Were with us, clothed in similar livery,
All of one sober, great fraternity.
Their gear was new and well adorned it was;(5)
Their weapons were not cheaply trimmed with brass,
But all with silver; chastely made and well
Their girdles and their pouches too, I tell.
Each man of them appeared a proper burgess
To sit in guildhall on a high dais.(10)
And each of them, for wisdom he could span,
Was fitted to have been an alderman;
For chattels they’d enough, and, too, of rent;
To which their good wives gave a free assent,
Or else for certain they had been to blame.(15)
It’s good to hear “Madam” before one’s name,
And go to church when all the world may see,
Having one’s mantle borne right royally.