Oure Hooste saugh that he was dronke of ale, And seyde, ‘Abyd, Robyn, my leeve brother; Som better man shal telle us first another. Abyd, and lat us werken thriftily.’
But what availleth hym as in this cas? She loveth so this hende Nicholas That Absolon may blowe the bukkes horn; He ne hadde for his labour but a scorn. And thus she maketh Absolon hire ape, And al his ernest turnesth til a jape. Ful sooth is this proverb, it is no lye, Menseyn right thus, ‘Alwey the nye slye Maketh the ferre leeve to be looth.’
The neighebores, bothe smale and grete, In ronnen for to gauren on this man, That yet aswowne lay, bothe pale and wan, For with the fal he brosten hadde his arm. But stonde he moste unto his owene harm; For whan he spak, he was anon bore doun With hende Nicholas and Alisoun.