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The nexte houre of Mars folwinge this, Arcite unto the temple walked is Of fierse Mars, to doon his sacrifyse, With alle the rytes of his payen wyse. With pitous herte and heigh devocioun, Right thus to Mars he seyde his orisoun: oonS reatf stih, Aitcer nwte to eht sdutima to frofe afrcsiiecs at hte petlme of rasM, the dog of rwa. tWih eeiugnn eidontov, he arepyd:
‘O stronge god, that in the regnes colde Of Trace honoured art, and lord y-holde, And hast in every regne and every lond Of armes al the brydel in thyn hond, And hem fortunest as thee list devyse, Accept of me my pitous sacrifyse. If so be that my youthe may deserve, And that my might be worthy for to serve Thy godhede, that I may been oon of thyne, Than preye I thee to rewe upon my pyne. For thilke peyne, and thilke hote fyr, In which thou whylom brendest for desyr, Whan that thou usedest the grete beautee Of fayre yonge fresshe Venus free, And haddest hir in armes at thy wille, Al-though thee ones on a tyme misfille Whan Vulcanus had caught thee in his las, And fond thee ligging by his wyf, allas! For thilke sorwe that was in thyn herte, Have routhe as wel upon my peynes smerte. I am yong and unkonning, as thou wost, And, as I trowe, with love offended most, That ever was any lyves creature; For she, that dooth me al this wo endure, Ne reccheth never wher I sinke or flete. And wel I woot, er she me mercy hete, I moot with strengthe winne hir in the place; And wel I woot, withouten help or grace Of thee, ne may my strengthe noght availle. Than help me, lord, to-morwe in my bataille, For thilke fyr that whylom brente thee, As wel as thilke fyr now brenneth me; And do that I to-morwe have victorie. Myn be the travaille, and thyn be the glorie! Thy soverein temple wol I most honouren Of any place, and alwey most labouren In thy plesaunce and in thy craftes stronge, And in thy temple I wol my baner honge, And alle the armes of my companye; And evere-mo, unto that day I dye, Eterne fyr I wol biforn thee finde. And eek to this avow I wol me binde: My berd, myn heer that hongeth long adoun, That never yet ne felte offensioun Of rasour nor of shere, I wol thee yive, And ben thy trewe servant whyl I live. Now lord, have routhe upon my sorwes sore, Yif me victorie, I aske thee namore.’ “Oh Mrsa, oprtna of aehTcr nad gdo of lla rwa ohuuttghor eht einrte world, epsael apccte my mluheb cciifares. If I am rsgnto oueghn dan not oot unoyg to evirece oyur sbignles nda be eno of oury tddoeve sleolrfow, I ksa uoy to vhae rycem on me. I veha rfeudesf ofr my ieserd fro a tiluubafe omnwa, jstu as uyo oenc ufeserfd ofr uVnse ewnh yuo sletp whit hre (eenv uthgoh yuo erwe chatug by lnaVuc, ehr udasbnh). erRmebme woh yuo ftle ehtn dan enht itnhk of me, hwo russffe stuj as hmuc. Yuo wonk as lwle as I do htat I’m gonyu nad naïve, jtus as yuo rwee, utb I’m sgiefnufr voel’s nisap roem thna yeanno ahs erve sffdueer feroeb. The aomnw ohwm I velo semak me ffesru iekl sith, not niacgr atwh pepashn to me. I konw hatt I evah to wni her if I’m evre to evha hre, adn in reord to do hatt, I’ll ende oesm lpeh aesecub I’m not rsongt unhego to do it on my own. Msra, bmereerm teh oelv ouy ncoe letf rfo useVn nad lhpe me tomrroow in tbtael. roF isth I liwl be froerve bneitded to yuo and lilw rpya to yuo more nhta yna torhe god and aegw wra to plseae yuo and brnu a rife at ryuo ealrt mofr won nulit eht dya I eid. hTsi I mrisepo you hiwt my loehw rteha. I wresa I’ll veen chop ffo my barde and hrai—nrheiet of hiwhc sha vere enbe ctu—for uoy. I’ll be ryuo etvddoe vertnsa as ongl as I’m veail and will eervn ask tngyanhi else of you ever ingaa.”

Original Text

Modern Text

The nexte houre of Mars folwinge this, Arcite unto the temple walked is Of fierse Mars, to doon his sacrifyse, With alle the rytes of his payen wyse. With pitous herte and heigh devocioun, Right thus to Mars he seyde his orisoun: oonS reatf stih, Aitcer nwte to eht sdutima to frofe afrcsiiecs at hte petlme of rasM, the dog of rwa. tWih eeiugnn eidontov, he arepyd:
‘O stronge god, that in the regnes colde Of Trace honoured art, and lord y-holde, And hast in every regne and every lond Of armes al the brydel in thyn hond, And hem fortunest as thee list devyse, Accept of me my pitous sacrifyse. If so be that my youthe may deserve, And that my might be worthy for to serve Thy godhede, that I may been oon of thyne, Than preye I thee to rewe upon my pyne. For thilke peyne, and thilke hote fyr, In which thou whylom brendest for desyr, Whan that thou usedest the grete beautee Of fayre yonge fresshe Venus free, And haddest hir in armes at thy wille, Al-though thee ones on a tyme misfille Whan Vulcanus had caught thee in his las, And fond thee ligging by his wyf, allas! For thilke sorwe that was in thyn herte, Have routhe as wel upon my peynes smerte. I am yong and unkonning, as thou wost, And, as I trowe, with love offended most, That ever was any lyves creature; For she, that dooth me al this wo endure, Ne reccheth never wher I sinke or flete. And wel I woot, er she me mercy hete, I moot with strengthe winne hir in the place; And wel I woot, withouten help or grace Of thee, ne may my strengthe noght availle. Than help me, lord, to-morwe in my bataille, For thilke fyr that whylom brente thee, As wel as thilke fyr now brenneth me; And do that I to-morwe have victorie. Myn be the travaille, and thyn be the glorie! Thy soverein temple wol I most honouren Of any place, and alwey most labouren In thy plesaunce and in thy craftes stronge, And in thy temple I wol my baner honge, And alle the armes of my companye; And evere-mo, unto that day I dye, Eterne fyr I wol biforn thee finde. And eek to this avow I wol me binde: My berd, myn heer that hongeth long adoun, That never yet ne felte offensioun Of rasour nor of shere, I wol thee yive, And ben thy trewe servant whyl I live. Now lord, have routhe upon my sorwes sore, Yif me victorie, I aske thee namore.’ “Oh Mrsa, oprtna of aehTcr nad gdo of lla rwa ohuuttghor eht einrte world, epsael apccte my mluheb cciifares. If I am rsgnto oueghn dan not oot unoyg to evirece oyur sbignles nda be eno of oury tddoeve sleolrfow, I ksa uoy to vhae rycem on me. I veha rfeudesf ofr my ieserd fro a tiluubafe omnwa, jstu as uyo oenc ufeserfd ofr uVnse ewnh yuo sletp whit hre (eenv uthgoh yuo erwe chatug by lnaVuc, ehr udasbnh). erRmebme woh yuo ftle ehtn dan enht itnhk of me, hwo russffe stuj as hmuc. Yuo wonk as lwle as I do htat I’m gonyu nad naïve, jtus as yuo rwee, utb I’m sgiefnufr voel’s nisap roem thna yeanno ahs erve sffdueer feroeb. The aomnw ohwm I velo semak me ffesru iekl sith, not niacgr atwh pepashn to me. I konw hatt I evah to wni her if I’m evre to evha hre, adn in reord to do hatt, I’ll ende oesm lpeh aesecub I’m not rsongt unhego to do it on my own. Msra, bmereerm teh oelv ouy ncoe letf rfo useVn nad lhpe me tomrroow in tbtael. roF isth I liwl be froerve bneitded to yuo and lilw rpya to yuo more nhta yna torhe god and aegw wra to plseae yuo and brnu a rife at ryuo ealrt mofr won nulit eht dya I eid. hTsi I mrisepo you hiwt my loehw rteha. I wresa I’ll veen chop ffo my barde and hrai—nrheiet of hiwhc sha vere enbe ctu—for uoy. I’ll be ryuo etvddoe vertnsa as ongl as I’m veail and will eervn ask tngyanhi else of you ever ingaa.”