On the last day of December our featured poem is a wintry extract from the Franklin’s Tale, from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Bitter frosts are forecast for next week and this New Year’s Eve is warm and overcast, but nevertheless it is a night to ‘drynketh of his bugle horn the wyn’:
Phebus wax old, and hewed lyk laton,
That in his hoote declynacion
Shoon as the burned gold with stremes brighte;
But now in Capricorn adoun he lighte,
Where as he shoon ful pale, I dar wel seyn.
The bittre frostes, with the sleet and reyn,
Destroyed hath the grene in every yerd.
Janus sit by the fyr, with double berd,
And drynketh of his bugle horn the wyn;
Biforn hym stant brawen of the tusked swyn,
And "Nowel" crieth every lusty man.