The Pardoner and His Tale
Of Rouncivale, his freend and his compeer,
That streight was comen fro the court of Rome.
Ful loude he soong 'Com hider, love, to me!'
This Pardoner hadde heer as yelow as wex,
But smothe it heeng as dooth a strike of flex;
By ounces henge his lokkes that he hadde,
And therwith he his shuldres overspradde;
But thynne it lay, by colpons oon and oon.
But hood, for jolitee, wered he noon,
For it was trussed up in his walet." (669-672, 675-681)
The Pardoner's Tale describes the adventure of three young men who go out in search of Death, who has been killing their companions. Following the advice given them by an old man, they stumble on a great chest of gold. The youngest goes to collect wine so they can celebrate, and he poisons the bottles so he can keep the gold for himself. Meanwhile, the other two men plot to kill the third on his return. They succeed, but then drink the poisoned wine, so that all three die as a result of their greed.
Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Riverside Chaucer. Ed. Larry D. Benson. 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton, 1987.