The General Prologue - The Yeoman

A yeoman had he, nor more servants, no,
At that time, for he chose to travel so;
And he was clad in coat and hood of green.
A sheaf of peacock arrows bright and keen
Under his belt he bore right carefully(5)
(Well could he keep his tackle yeomanly:
His arrows had no draggled feathers low),
And in his hand he bore a mighty bow.
A cropped head had he and a sun-browned face.
Of woodcraft knew he all the useful ways.(10)
Upon his arm he bore a bracer gay,
And at one side a sword and buckler, yea,
And at the other side a dagger bright,
Well sheathed and sharp as spear point in the light;
On breast a Christopher of silver sheen.(15)
He bore a horn in baldric all of green;
A forester he truly was, I guess.


  1. The narrator uses this long catalogue of the Yeoman's clothing and possessions to show that this servant has all the traits of a good yeoman, and by extension that the Knight keeps good company.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  2. In this context "he" once again refers to the Knight. A Yeoman is a servant that is one step above a groom yet below a squire. Chaucer's emphasis that the Knight had no more servants than this one man further emphasizes his humility.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  3. This is a medallion of St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers. According to legend, Christopher carried child Christ across a river, thus earning his name, which literally means "Christ carrier." Pilgrims and travelers often wore medallions of St. Christopher to incur his blessing on their journeys.

    — Sinead, Owl Eyes Contributor