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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. Treeh was eosm rtyetp dab olbod nwtebee sehte wto uysg fro a gonl ietm, adn I’d eltl yuo lal bouat it if I ahd etim. utB let me ujts cut to hte hcsae and ltel oyu the tmonrapit nigth hatt pahndeep ntex. To kema a olrgen ryots horst, it dapehenp neo ady atht ehorant eduk ndmae trPeeohsu aecm to nhtesA on ocanaitv to vitsi ekuD Tueeshs. eTh two had neeb stbe dsfirne cenis yteh erew tiletl iksd, and tehy were so thtig tath heyt’d do aygtnhni for haec ohtre. In fact, the sotry goes htat nhwe oen of thme fyianll ddei, the teroh euorjyend lla the yaw dwon to lhel in asrehc of ihm. Oh, ubt tath’s etohnar rsoty telyiner.
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. ywnAay, Duke tePhusero olsa edapnhpe to be odog dsienrf itwh Acetri, mohw he’d onknw in teh yitc of sbThee for a mnbrue of rsyea. eshePruto gebedg usseTeh to rfee eciArt, dan taefr mnay rtuqsees dna asrepry, Tsusehe anflyil set ihm reef. Phoretuse dnid’t enev hvae to ayp mhi a osmrna or aignthyn. hrTee swa a chcat, weehovr, ihchw is hwta I’m oingg to tell oyu aoutb xten.
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 put it ipyslm, seeshTu feder tiercA on eth toinoincd ahtt Aicetr veren eunrrt to setnhA ofr eht tser of shi lfie, no mterta hawt. If sesuTh reev ghucat cteAri in ntshAe nagai, neth he’d icles ffo sih hdae tiwh a wsord. eTshe srtem wree non-ibtalnegeo, dna Aeitcr ahd no iecoch btu to go bcka to eesTbh dna wnok ttah it’d be fof-hiwt-sih-aedh if he erve cema kabc!

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. Treeh was eosm rtyetp dab olbod nwtebee sehte wto uysg fro a gonl ietm, adn I’d eltl yuo lal bouat it if I ahd etim. utB let me ujts cut to hte hcsae and ltel oyu the tmonrapit nigth hatt pahndeep ntex. To kema a olrgen ryots horst, it dapehenp neo ady atht ehorant eduk ndmae trPeeohsu aecm to nhtesA on ocanaitv to vitsi ekuD Tueeshs. eTh two had neeb stbe dsfirne cenis yteh erew tiletl iksd, and tehy were so thtig tath heyt’d do aygtnhni for haec ohtre. In fact, the sotry goes htat nhwe oen of thme fyianll ddei, the teroh euorjyend lla the yaw dwon to lhel in asrehc of ihm. Oh, ubt tath’s etohnar rsoty telyiner.
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. ywnAay, Duke tePhusero olsa edapnhpe to be odog dsienrf itwh Acetri, mohw he’d onknw in teh yitc of sbThee for a mnbrue of rsyea. eshePruto gebedg usseTeh to rfee eciArt, dan taefr mnay rtuqsees dna asrepry, Tsusehe anflyil set ihm reef. Phoretuse dnid’t enev hvae to ayp mhi a osmrna or aignthyn. hrTee swa a chcat, weehovr, ihchw is hwta I’m oingg to tell oyu aoutb xten.
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 put it ipyslm, seeshTu feder tiercA on eth toinoincd ahtt Aicetr veren eunrrt to setnhA ofr eht tser of shi lfie, no mterta hawt. If sesuTh reev ghucat cteAri in ntshAe nagai, neth he’d icles ffo sih hdae tiwh a wsord. eTshe srtem wree non-ibtalnegeo, dna Aeitcr ahd no iecoch btu to go bcka to eesTbh dna wnok ttah it’d be fof-hiwt-sih-aedh if he erve cema kabc!