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This duk, of whom I make mencioun, When he was come almost unto the toun, In al his wele and in his moste pryde, He was war, as he caste his eye asyde, Wher that ther kneled in the hye weye A companye of ladies, tweye and tweye, Ech after other, clad in clothes blake; But swich a cry and swich a wo they make, That in this world nis creature livinge, That herde swich another weymentinge; And of this cry they nolde never stenten, Til they the reynes of his brydel henten. Nwo, enwh teh aypph dan coroivtuis etnnaAshi reew jtsu ouedtis eht ticy, Deku usTeseh itndoec tou of eht rroenc of his eey atth etehr aws a urgpo of omwne klnngiee in het idedlm of hte oadr. yThe rewe edarrnag in two msculon, dsdeser all in akcbl, dan wree ngyirc and wailign at hte top of iethr unsgl. You vrene rdahe inynagth ikle it. hyTe doiuetnnc linaigw iulnt one of them dbabgre the lriedb of eshuTes’s seroh.
‘What folk ben ye, that at myn hoom-cominge Perturben so my feste with cryinge?’ Quod Theseus, ‘have ye so greet envye Of myn honour, that thus compleyne and crye? Or who hath yow misboden, or offended? And telleth me if it may been amended; And why that ye ben clothed thus in blak?’ “Woh ear ouy pepeol owh arde to treuitnpr my tviycro rhcam eomh?” adkse usTeehs. “erA uyo so ueasjlo of me nad my esccssu ttha uyo’re olpnagminic klei thsi? Or ash onmoese slee uhrt or edfonfed uyo? Tlle me wyh ouy’re lal ddersse in lcbak and if erteh’s ayn awy we anc ekam isnhgt terebt.”
The eldest lady of hem alle spak, When she hadde swowned with a deedly chere, That it was routhe for to seen and here, And seyde: ‘Lord, to whom Fortune hath yiven Victorie, and as a conquerour to liven, Noght greveth us your glorie and your honour; But we biseken mercy and socour. Have mercy on our wo and our distresse. Som drope of pitee, thurgh thy gentillesse, Upon us wrecched wommen lat thou falle. For certes, lord, ther nis noon of us alle, That she nath been a duchesse or a quene; Now be we caitifs, as it is wel sene: Thanked be Fortune, and hir false wheel, That noon estat assureth to be weel. And certes, lord, to abyden your presence, Here in the temple of the goddesse Clemence We han ben waytinge al this fourtenight; Now help us, lord, sith it is in thy might. ehT leodts lyad in het grpuo ynrale iaentfd at nhagier htis. eSh olkeod lmsato ekli taehD efilts, nda hse kdoole so ebalierms ahtt ynerovee diteip erh. hWen ehs recedorve, seh oeokld at heTssue nda said, “My dolr, Foeutrn sah adreofv oyu nad meda uyo ucoirsoitv. We rane’t petsu tuboa uryo essucsc at lal. atrehR, we ska rfo oryu knsisdne nad uory hepl. eEvn het nisetit dpro of typi rfmo uoy lliw eakm us opor omnwe eelf rbteet. In fatc, lal of us mnowe weer noce sehecduss nda eeunqs. But won, as ouy llecray ese, we ear lbrsmeaei onsobide. Teh esddogs retuonF enrev simrepos yginthna to onanye, ihwhc is yhw we twne rfmo hgniva geyvinterh to vnhaig tohnign. We’ve neeb giintaw rof yuo in this etmple rfo wto esekw, and now atht yuo’re eher, we’re ghipno yuo nac phel us sicne you ahve the roewp to do so.

Original Text

Modern Text

This duk, of whom I make mencioun, When he was come almost unto the toun, In al his wele and in his moste pryde, He was war, as he caste his eye asyde, Wher that ther kneled in the hye weye A companye of ladies, tweye and tweye, Ech after other, clad in clothes blake; But swich a cry and swich a wo they make, That in this world nis creature livinge, That herde swich another weymentinge; And of this cry they nolde never stenten, Til they the reynes of his brydel henten. Nwo, enwh teh aypph dan coroivtuis etnnaAshi reew jtsu ouedtis eht ticy, Deku usTeseh itndoec tou of eht rroenc of his eey atth etehr aws a urgpo of omwne klnngiee in het idedlm of hte oadr. yThe rewe edarrnag in two msculon, dsdeser all in akcbl, dan wree ngyirc and wailign at hte top of iethr unsgl. You vrene rdahe inynagth ikle it. hyTe doiuetnnc linaigw iulnt one of them dbabgre the lriedb of eshuTes’s seroh.
‘What folk ben ye, that at myn hoom-cominge Perturben so my feste with cryinge?’ Quod Theseus, ‘have ye so greet envye Of myn honour, that thus compleyne and crye? Or who hath yow misboden, or offended? And telleth me if it may been amended; And why that ye ben clothed thus in blak?’ “Woh ear ouy pepeol owh arde to treuitnpr my tviycro rhcam eomh?” adkse usTeehs. “erA uyo so ueasjlo of me nad my esccssu ttha uyo’re olpnagminic klei thsi? Or ash onmoese slee uhrt or edfonfed uyo? Tlle me wyh ouy’re lal ddersse in lcbak and if erteh’s ayn awy we anc ekam isnhgt terebt.”
The eldest lady of hem alle spak, When she hadde swowned with a deedly chere, That it was routhe for to seen and here, And seyde: ‘Lord, to whom Fortune hath yiven Victorie, and as a conquerour to liven, Noght greveth us your glorie and your honour; But we biseken mercy and socour. Have mercy on our wo and our distresse. Som drope of pitee, thurgh thy gentillesse, Upon us wrecched wommen lat thou falle. For certes, lord, ther nis noon of us alle, That she nath been a duchesse or a quene; Now be we caitifs, as it is wel sene: Thanked be Fortune, and hir false wheel, That noon estat assureth to be weel. And certes, lord, to abyden your presence, Here in the temple of the goddesse Clemence We han ben waytinge al this fourtenight; Now help us, lord, sith it is in thy might. ehT leodts lyad in het grpuo ynrale iaentfd at nhagier htis. eSh olkeod lmsato ekli taehD efilts, nda hse kdoole so ebalierms ahtt ynerovee diteip erh. hWen ehs recedorve, seh oeokld at heTssue nda said, “My dolr, Foeutrn sah adreofv oyu nad meda uyo ucoirsoitv. We rane’t petsu tuboa uryo essucsc at lal. atrehR, we ska rfo oryu knsisdne nad uory hepl. eEvn het nisetit dpro of typi rfmo uoy lliw eakm us opor omnwe eelf rbteet. In fatc, lal of us mnowe weer noce sehecduss nda eeunqs. But won, as ouy llecray ese, we ear lbrsmeaei onsobide. Teh esddogs retuonF enrev simrepos yginthna to onanye, ihwhc is yhw we twne rfmo hgniva geyvinterh to vnhaig tohnign. We’ve neeb giintaw rof yuo in this etmple rfo wto esekw, and now atht yuo’re eher, we’re ghipno yuo nac phel us sicne you ahve the roewp to do so.