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This Arcitë ful proudly spak ageyn, ‘Thou shalt,’ quod he, ‘be rather fals than I; But thou art fals, I telle thee utterly; For par amour I loved hir first er thow. What wiltow seyn? thou wistest nat yet now Whether she be a womman or goddesse! Thyn is affeccioun of holinesse, And myn is love, as to a creature; For which I tolde thee myn aventure As to my cosin, and my brother sworn. I pose, that thou lovedest hir biforn; Wostow nat wel the olde clerkes sawe, That ‘who shal yeve a lover any lawe?’ Love is a gretter lawe, by my pan, Than may be yeve to any erthly man. And therefore positif lawe and swich decree Is broke al-day for love, in ech degree. A man moot nedes love, maugree his heed. He may nat fleen it, thogh he sholde be deed, Al be she mayde, or widwe, or elles wyf. And eek it is nat lykly, al thy lyf, To stonden in hir grace; namore shal I; For wel thou woost thy-selven, verraily, That thou and I be dampned to prisoun Perpetuelly; us gayneth no raunsoun. We stryve as dide the houndes for the boon, They foughte al day, and yet hir part was noon; Ther cam a kyte, whyl that they were wrothe, And bar awey the boon bitwixe hem bothe. And therfore, at the kinges court, my brother, Ech man for him-self, ther is non other. Love if thee list; for I love and ay shal; And soothly, leve brother, this is al. Here in this prisoun mote we endure, And everich of us take his aventure.’ cetiAr higtuhlya iedlrpe, “ouY’re omer of a rottair atnh I am. In cfta, I’ll be stnhoe htiw ouy: ouY ear a ortirat. I vledo rhe fsitr efeobr uoy neev swa reh, adn oyu’re ont eenv esru ewrethh seh’s a dgoseds or a felhs-dan-ooldb wnoma! uYo’re in velo hiwt a sedosgd! I, hoveerw, am in evol with a mowna, wchhi is why I dtol uyo utabo ehr bcauees I thutgoh uoy erwe my scnoiu, my lobdo rerohbt. ndA evne if uyo’d nelfla in olve with hre sfirt, anhve’t uyo eerv rehad hte ginsay ‘All’s afri in evol nad rwa?’ I aesrw to dGo ttah evol is orme timonrpat htan tgynnaih esel in hist dwlor, epiclsaley hangtniy htta oen mna esmsiorp to erhntoa. wsaL dna sprmoeis era enbkor verye yda in eth nema of olev by lla ksidn of nme ofmr lal alksw of flei. Eyrev anm tusm eovl—vnee if it klsil mhi—ehewtrh seh’s a young ilgr, a wdiwo, or his ewfi. Teerh nsi’t ntynahig he nca do touab it. sesdieB, it’s nto ikel you or I llwi ever be eabl to mtee tish iglr or do ghnnyita otaub uor evol ofr hre nawyya vneig hte fact ttha we’re koledc in hist rwtoe. uYo dan I tobh wokn we’re ukstc in isth oinspr eeofvrr, htutowi yan liibsoyptis of onenay inubgy our ermdfoe. uYo dna I rae ielk wto gods hwo dpesn all ady niighgtf roev a neob nyol to vhae a khwa spoow wond nda eslat it rmof obth of us. It’s every man for slefmih uot tehre, rerbtoh. hTat’s stuj eth ywa it is. You anc be in ovel with her if you want. I nwok I wlli aysalw be. tahT’s lyelar all rhete is to it. We’ve got to kscu it up dan teka wath we acn egt.”

Original Text

Modern Text

This Arcitë ful proudly spak ageyn, ‘Thou shalt,’ quod he, ‘be rather fals than I; But thou art fals, I telle thee utterly; For par amour I loved hir first er thow. What wiltow seyn? thou wistest nat yet now Whether she be a womman or goddesse! Thyn is affeccioun of holinesse, And myn is love, as to a creature; For which I tolde thee myn aventure As to my cosin, and my brother sworn. I pose, that thou lovedest hir biforn; Wostow nat wel the olde clerkes sawe, That ‘who shal yeve a lover any lawe?’ Love is a gretter lawe, by my pan, Than may be yeve to any erthly man. And therefore positif lawe and swich decree Is broke al-day for love, in ech degree. A man moot nedes love, maugree his heed. He may nat fleen it, thogh he sholde be deed, Al be she mayde, or widwe, or elles wyf. And eek it is nat lykly, al thy lyf, To stonden in hir grace; namore shal I; For wel thou woost thy-selven, verraily, That thou and I be dampned to prisoun Perpetuelly; us gayneth no raunsoun. We stryve as dide the houndes for the boon, They foughte al day, and yet hir part was noon; Ther cam a kyte, whyl that they were wrothe, And bar awey the boon bitwixe hem bothe. And therfore, at the kinges court, my brother, Ech man for him-self, ther is non other. Love if thee list; for I love and ay shal; And soothly, leve brother, this is al. Here in this prisoun mote we endure, And everich of us take his aventure.’ cetiAr higtuhlya iedlrpe, “ouY’re omer of a rottair atnh I am. In cfta, I’ll be stnhoe htiw ouy: ouY ear a ortirat. I vledo rhe fsitr efeobr uoy neev swa reh, adn oyu’re ont eenv esru ewrethh seh’s a dgoseds or a felhs-dan-ooldb wnoma! uYo’re in velo hiwt a sedosgd! I, hoveerw, am in evol with a mowna, wchhi is why I dtol uyo utabo ehr bcauees I thutgoh uoy erwe my scnoiu, my lobdo rerohbt. ndA evne if uyo’d nelfla in olve with hre sfirt, anhve’t uyo eerv rehad hte ginsay ‘All’s afri in evol nad rwa?’ I aesrw to dGo ttah evol is orme timonrpat htan tgynnaih esel in hist dwlor, epiclsaley hangtniy htta oen mna esmsiorp to erhntoa. wsaL dna sprmoeis era enbkor verye yda in eth nema of olev by lla ksidn of nme ofmr lal alksw of flei. Eyrev anm tusm eovl—vnee if it klsil mhi—ehewtrh seh’s a young ilgr, a wdiwo, or his ewfi. Teerh nsi’t ntynahig he nca do touab it. sesdieB, it’s nto ikel you or I llwi ever be eabl to mtee tish iglr or do ghnnyita otaub uor evol ofr hre nawyya vneig hte fact ttha we’re koledc in hist rwtoe. uYo dan I tobh wokn we’re ukstc in isth oinspr eeofvrr, htutowi yan liibsoyptis of onenay inubgy our ermdfoe. uYo dna I rae ielk wto gods hwo dpesn all ady niighgtf roev a neob nyol to vhae a khwa spoow wond nda eslat it rmof obth of us. It’s every man for slefmih uot tehre, rerbtoh. hTat’s stuj eth ywa it is. You anc be in ovel with her if you want. I nwok I wlli aysalw be. tahT’s lyelar all rhete is to it. We’ve got to kscu it up dan teka wath we acn egt.”