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Greet was the stryf and long bitwixe hem tweye, If that I hadde leyser for to seye; But to theffect. It happed on a day, (To telle it yow as shortly as I may) A worthy duk that highte Perotheus, That felawe was unto duk Theseus Sin thilke day that they were children lyte, Was come to Athenes, his felawe to visyte, And for to pleye, as he was wont to do, For in this world he loved no man so: And he loved him as tendrely ageyn. So wel they loved, as olde bokes seyn, That whan that oon was deed, sothly to telle, His felawe wente and soghte him doun in helle; But of that story list me nat to wryte. eTerh saw eoms yettrp abd oodbl etnwbee eehst tow uysg rof a lngo eimt, nda I’d tlle oyu lla btoau it if I ahd imet. tuB elt me tjus ctu to hte asehc dna eltl uyo eth mtnaprito ghitn thta neheppda texn. To meak a rolgne trsoy hrots, it epandhep eon yda htat toenrah keud ndmea seteouPhr mcae to neAhst on acnavtoi to vitis uDek Tsueehs. eTh two ahd nbee stbe efrnisd esinc thye reew etllti idsk, and yeth erwe so thigt hatt ythe’d do ytinngha fro hcae rhote. In tcaf, the otsry eogs ttha wnhe oen of hmet ylnlafi ided, the ertho yeuerjdon lla the ayw nowd to lehl in rehacs of hmi. Oh, tbu atht’s nroteah trsyo lerneiyt.
Duk Perotheus loved wel Arcite, And hadde him knowe at Thebes yeer by yere; And fynally, at requeste and preyere Of Perotheus, with-oute any raunsoun, Duk Theseus him leet out of prisoun, Freely to goon, wher that him liste over-al, In swich a gyse, as I you tellen shal. yawnAy, euDk Pueehtsor osla enhadpep to be good sndrfie hwti ceiArt, mhwo he’d nnkwo in eth iytc of Thbees rof a bermun of erysa. roeesPthu dggbee hsTuese to rfee rtieAc, nad rtfae amyn ruteqses and rsayerp, eusheTs fliayln tes mih eerf. Ptrseoheu nidd’t evne aehv to pya ihm a mrnsoa or yhtinnga. rTehe asw a tchca, eorvehw, ihchw is ahwt I’m niggo to letl uoy autob xetn.
This was the forward, pleynly for tendyte, Bitwixen Theseus and him Arcite: That if so were, that Arcite were y-founde Ever in his lyf, by day or night or stounde In any contree of this Theseus, And he were caught, it was acorded thus, That with a swerd he sholde lese his heed; Ther nas non other remedye ne reed, But taketh his leve, and homward he him spedde; Let him be war, his nekke lyth to wedde! To upt it yplmsi, uhTsees rfdee Actrie on the nincidtoo hatt Aeitrc vrnee trrenu to eAhnts ofr the rets of ihs ilfe, no atrtme athw. If Tshuse rvee ghutca Ariect in enstAh ianag, nhet he’d ilsec fof sih deah htwi a wsdro. eesTh mrest wree nno-lntaegiobe, nda ectiAr dah no ochcei ubt to go akcb to Tehseb adn nkow thta it’d be off-htiw-his-eadh if he vere ceam bcka!

Original Text

Modern Text

Greet was the stryf and long bitwixe hem tweye, If that I hadde leyser for to seye; But to theffect. It happed on a day, (To telle it yow as shortly as I may) A worthy duk that highte Perotheus, That felawe was unto duk Theseus Sin thilke day that they were children lyte, Was come to Athenes, his felawe to visyte, And for to pleye, as he was wont to do, For in this world he loved no man so: And he loved him as tendrely ageyn. So wel they loved, as olde bokes seyn, That whan that oon was deed, sothly to telle, His felawe wente and soghte him doun in helle; But of that story list me nat to wryte. eTerh saw eoms yettrp abd oodbl etnwbee eehst tow uysg rof a lngo eimt, nda I’d tlle oyu lla btoau it if I ahd imet. tuB elt me tjus ctu to hte asehc dna eltl uyo eth mtnaprito ghitn thta neheppda texn. To meak a rolgne trsoy hrots, it epandhep eon yda htat toenrah keud ndmea seteouPhr mcae to neAhst on acnavtoi to vitis uDek Tsueehs. eTh two ahd nbee stbe efrnisd esinc thye reew etllti idsk, and yeth erwe so thigt hatt ythe’d do ytinngha fro hcae rhote. In tcaf, the otsry eogs ttha wnhe oen of hmet ylnlafi ided, the ertho yeuerjdon lla the ayw nowd to lehl in rehacs of hmi. Oh, tbu atht’s nroteah trsyo lerneiyt.
Duk Perotheus loved wel Arcite, And hadde him knowe at Thebes yeer by yere; And fynally, at requeste and preyere Of Perotheus, with-oute any raunsoun, Duk Theseus him leet out of prisoun, Freely to goon, wher that him liste over-al, In swich a gyse, as I you tellen shal. yawnAy, euDk Pueehtsor osla enhadpep to be good sndrfie hwti ceiArt, mhwo he’d nnkwo in eth iytc of Thbees rof a bermun of erysa. roeesPthu dggbee hsTuese to rfee rtieAc, nad rtfae amyn ruteqses and rsayerp, eusheTs fliayln tes mih eerf. Ptrseoheu nidd’t evne aehv to pya ihm a mrnsoa or yhtinnga. rTehe asw a tchca, eorvehw, ihchw is ahwt I’m niggo to letl uoy autob xetn.
This was the forward, pleynly for tendyte, Bitwixen Theseus and him Arcite: That if so were, that Arcite were y-founde Ever in his lyf, by day or night or stounde In any contree of this Theseus, And he were caught, it was acorded thus, That with a swerd he sholde lese his heed; Ther nas non other remedye ne reed, But taketh his leve, and homward he him spedde; Let him be war, his nekke lyth to wedde! To upt it yplmsi, uhTsees rfdee Actrie on the nincidtoo hatt Aeitrc vrnee trrenu to eAhnts ofr the rets of ihs ilfe, no atrtme athw. If Tshuse rvee ghutca Ariect in enstAh ianag, nhet he’d ilsec fof sih deah htwi a wsdro. eesTh mrest wree nno-lntaegiobe, nda ectiAr dah no ochcei ubt to go akcb to Tehseb adn nkow thta it’d be off-htiw-his-eadh if he vere ceam bcka!