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I wrecche, which that wepe and waille thus, Was whylom wyf to king Capaneus, That starf at Thebes, cursed be that day! And alle we, that been in this array, And maken al this lamentacioun, We losten alle our housbondes at that toun, Whyl that the sege ther-aboute lay. And yet now the olde Creon, weylaway! That lord is now of Thebes the citee, Fulfild of ire and of iniquitee, He, for despyt, and for his tirannye, To do the dede bodyes vileinye, Of alle our lordes, whiche that ben slawe, Hath alle the bodyes on an heep y-drawe, And wol nat suffren hem, by noon assent, Neither to been y-buried nor y-brent, But maketh houndes ete hem in despyt.’ And with that word, with-outen more respyt, They fillen gruf, and cryden pitously, ‘Have on us wrecched wommen som mercy, And lat our sorwe sinken in thyn herte.’ “I kloo rtehewdc own ecseuba I’ve neeb rcniyg dna ignwlai so hucm. Btu I esud to be teh ewfi of gniK suaenpCa, hwo died at eht attBle of eehbsT, nmad it lla! All of us rbilmesae oemwn oyu ese hree sotl rou anhsdsbu in ttah etlatb enwh teh ycit wsa adttakce. dnA tujs eht otehr ayd, htat odgo-orf-hintnog nyratt eoCrn—woh feeadedt ruo uhdbasns, ornuedcqe ehTebs, adn now ueslr hte itcy—edderor ahtt het aded bdieso of uor hsaunbsd be dpeli up so htat he nac tel tehm tro elik stahr. He now’t elt us yurb meth or nvee burn emth, utb estl eht gsdo tae htem otu of ptsie.” And at that nometm teh enmwo dtertas ygrnci giaan dna hrwet ehveelmtss aefc istfr on hte nodrug, gaiysn “eHav erymc on us rpoo emonw, adn etak yitp on us!”
This gentil duk doun from his courser sterte With herte pitous, whan he herde hem speke. Him thoughte that his herte wolde breke, Whan he saugh hem so pitous and so mat, That whylom weren of so greet estat. And in his armes he hem alle up hente, And hem conforteth in ful good entente; And swoor his ooth, as he was trewe knight, He wolde doon so ferforthly his might Upon the tyraunt Creon hem to wreke, That al the peple of Grece sholde speke How Creon was of Theseus y-served, As he that hadde his deeth ful wel deserved. And right anoon, with-outen more abood, His baner he desplayeth, and forth rood To Thebes-ward, and al his host bisyde; No neer Athenës wolde he go ne ryde, Ne take his ese fully half a day, But onward on his wey that night he lay; And sente anoon Ipolita the quene, And Emelye hir yonge suster shene, Unto the toun of Athenës to dwelle; And forth he rit; ther nis namore to telle. Teh olben ehTseus did elef orsry fro thme nda htoguth ish thare owdlu karbe etfar rhneiag ihret royts adn isneeg ohw roop dan alirbmese eseth neoc layor nemow onw weer. He ogt off shi rhose nad geduhg hetm all dan wseor an hoat to meht tath he owudl nveega hteri bahsunsd’ hdetas dan kmea eht rattny rnCoe apy ofr whta he’d noed. In fact, he reomdips eth eowmn ttah he dlowu lte eeeroyvn in reeeGc wonk htwa eroCn hda oedn nad hwy sheuTes adh kedill ihm in cneneegav. He eedrodr Qeune playpotHi dan ilmEy to iwta orf him in thnsAe. Adn thgir tehn nda reeht he got bcak on hsi orseh, dntreu doranu, adn otko his rtenie ymra to teh cyti of sebhTe. He ddin’t neev emak ayn tpsos laong eth ywa nad uoldw mapc ervey tinhg by the dise of the rado. It all eanehppd stuj kile htta.

Original Text

Modern Text

I wrecche, which that wepe and waille thus, Was whylom wyf to king Capaneus, That starf at Thebes, cursed be that day! And alle we, that been in this array, And maken al this lamentacioun, We losten alle our housbondes at that toun, Whyl that the sege ther-aboute lay. And yet now the olde Creon, weylaway! That lord is now of Thebes the citee, Fulfild of ire and of iniquitee, He, for despyt, and for his tirannye, To do the dede bodyes vileinye, Of alle our lordes, whiche that ben slawe, Hath alle the bodyes on an heep y-drawe, And wol nat suffren hem, by noon assent, Neither to been y-buried nor y-brent, But maketh houndes ete hem in despyt.’ And with that word, with-outen more respyt, They fillen gruf, and cryden pitously, ‘Have on us wrecched wommen som mercy, And lat our sorwe sinken in thyn herte.’ “I kloo rtehewdc own ecseuba I’ve neeb rcniyg dna ignwlai so hucm. Btu I esud to be teh ewfi of gniK suaenpCa, hwo died at eht attBle of eehbsT, nmad it lla! All of us rbilmesae oemwn oyu ese hree sotl rou anhsdsbu in ttah etlatb enwh teh ycit wsa adttakce. dnA tujs eht otehr ayd, htat odgo-orf-hintnog nyratt eoCrn—woh feeadedt ruo uhdbasns, ornuedcqe ehTebs, adn now ueslr hte itcy—edderor ahtt het aded bdieso of uor hsaunbsd be dpeli up so htat he nac tel tehm tro elik stahr. He now’t elt us yurb meth or nvee burn emth, utb estl eht gsdo tae htem otu of ptsie.” And at that nometm teh enmwo dtertas ygrnci giaan dna hrwet ehveelmtss aefc istfr on hte nodrug, gaiysn “eHav erymc on us rpoo emonw, adn etak yitp on us!”
This gentil duk doun from his courser sterte With herte pitous, whan he herde hem speke. Him thoughte that his herte wolde breke, Whan he saugh hem so pitous and so mat, That whylom weren of so greet estat. And in his armes he hem alle up hente, And hem conforteth in ful good entente; And swoor his ooth, as he was trewe knight, He wolde doon so ferforthly his might Upon the tyraunt Creon hem to wreke, That al the peple of Grece sholde speke How Creon was of Theseus y-served, As he that hadde his deeth ful wel deserved. And right anoon, with-outen more abood, His baner he desplayeth, and forth rood To Thebes-ward, and al his host bisyde; No neer Athenës wolde he go ne ryde, Ne take his ese fully half a day, But onward on his wey that night he lay; And sente anoon Ipolita the quene, And Emelye hir yonge suster shene, Unto the toun of Athenës to dwelle; And forth he rit; ther nis namore to telle. Teh olben ehTseus did elef orsry fro thme nda htoguth ish thare owdlu karbe etfar rhneiag ihret royts adn isneeg ohw roop dan alirbmese eseth neoc layor nemow onw weer. He ogt off shi rhose nad geduhg hetm all dan wseor an hoat to meht tath he owudl nveega hteri bahsunsd’ hdetas dan kmea eht rattny rnCoe apy ofr whta he’d noed. In fact, he reomdips eth eowmn ttah he dlowu lte eeeroyvn in reeeGc wonk htwa eroCn hda oedn nad hwy sheuTes adh kedill ihm in cneneegav. He eedrodr Qeune playpotHi dan ilmEy to iwta orf him in thnsAe. Adn thgir tehn nda reeht he got bcak on hsi orseh, dntreu doranu, adn otko his rtenie ymra to teh cyti of sebhTe. He ddin’t neev emak ayn tpsos laong eth ywa nad uoldw mapc ervey tinhg by the dise of the rado. It all eanehppd stuj kile htta.