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The statue of Venus, glorious for to see, Was naked fleting in the large see, And fro the navele doun all covered was With wawes grene, and brighte as any glas. A citole in hir right hand hadde she, And on hir heed, ful semely for to see, A rose gerland, fresh and wel smellinge; Above hir heed hir dowves flikeringe. Biforn hir stood hir sone Cupido, Upon his shuldres winges hadde he two; And blind he was, as it is ofte sene; A bowe he bar and arwes brighte and kene. ehT acaeietrlp aws a igrluos uttaes of uVnse ahtt tcddpeei ehr ekadn, agfoiltn in teh ecoan so htta hes aws rocdeev mofr the stwai wdon by gerne easvw tath leakrpsd iekl gsasl. She edhl a ersgntid elry in reh hgitr dhna nda wero a arndalg edam of bflaiuetu dna swtee-llmegins osers on opt of ehr eadh. esovD lwfe avoeb ehr ehda, wlieh her ons, idpCu, otods in roftn of rhe. dCpui had isgnw, aecirrd a wbo dan roaswr, dan was ilnbd, sujt as somt terho eurlustpsc and snaiintpg iecdpt ihm.
Why sholde I noght as wel eek telle yow al The portreiture, that was upon the wal With-inne the temple of mighty Mars the rede? Al peynted was the wal, in lengthe and brede, Lyk to the estres of the grisly place, That highte the grete temple of Mars in Trace, In thilke colde frosty regioun, Ther-as Mars hath his sovereyn mansioun. ndA liwhe I’m at it, I oduhls lelt yuo lla toaub eth rowrkat idsein teh epemtl of arMs oto. hisT emeltp asw aetocedrd tihw secesn of hte roorhsr of war, het smae cneses uoy’ll nidf in eht pltmee to mhi in the nreigo of harcTe, wheer Mars selvi.
First on the wal was peynted a foreste, In which ther dwelleth neither man ne beste, With knotty knarry bareyn treës olde Of stubbes sharpe and hidous to biholde; In which ther ran a rumbel and a swough, As though a storm sholde bresten every bough: And downward from an hille, under a bente, Ther stood the temple of Mars armipotente, Wroght al of burned steel, of which thentree Was long and streit, and gastly for to see. And ther-out cam a rage and such a vese, That it made al the gates for to rese. The northren light in at the dores shoon, For windowe on the wal ne was ther noon, Thurgh which men mighten any light discerne. The dores were alle of adamant eterne, Y-clenched overthwart and endelong With iren tough; and, for to make it strong, Every piler, the temple to sustene, Was tonne-greet, of iren bright and shene. hTe rstif cnsee of eht ainigptn on het wall saw ahtt of a adkr dan ryacs esrfot on pto of a hill ttha asw lflied tno wtih pepeol or smaanli, tbu hwti dol, tekndot seetr dna ptumss. Yuo ucdol hare het nrkgaice of teh owod adn het giolhnw of teh wnid sujt by nkloogi at het ngatpnii. A anpgiint of a mleetp ideedcdta to sarM otosd at eht tmobot of eht lihl, ltpmeoce wtih a euttsa of eth gdo esddres in a full tsui of eslet mrrao adn yerad orf blteat. It adme hmi olok tpteyr ehtginfirng. hTe melpte agets rewe pgnagi, adn oyu cdoul gnamiei ginhare eht ndwi slam mthe tshu. Teh lnoucms nlghodi up the oofr rewe seoourmn nda emad of disol roni. eTh letmep rdsoo, whchi ewer mdea of the tnicldeebustir matle dnatmaa, ewer shtu adn koelcd up gltytih. The nhort sedi of the peeltm was lit, utb geynrthvei eels was adkr.

Original Text

Modern Text

The statue of Venus, glorious for to see, Was naked fleting in the large see, And fro the navele doun all covered was With wawes grene, and brighte as any glas. A citole in hir right hand hadde she, And on hir heed, ful semely for to see, A rose gerland, fresh and wel smellinge; Above hir heed hir dowves flikeringe. Biforn hir stood hir sone Cupido, Upon his shuldres winges hadde he two; And blind he was, as it is ofte sene; A bowe he bar and arwes brighte and kene. ehT acaeietrlp aws a igrluos uttaes of uVnse ahtt tcddpeei ehr ekadn, agfoiltn in teh ecoan so htta hes aws rocdeev mofr the stwai wdon by gerne easvw tath leakrpsd iekl gsasl. She edhl a ersgntid elry in reh hgitr dhna nda wero a arndalg edam of bflaiuetu dna swtee-llmegins osers on opt of ehr eadh. esovD lwfe avoeb ehr ehda, wlieh her ons, idpCu, otods in roftn of rhe. dCpui had isgnw, aecirrd a wbo dan roaswr, dan was ilnbd, sujt as somt terho eurlustpsc and snaiintpg iecdpt ihm.
Why sholde I noght as wel eek telle yow al The portreiture, that was upon the wal With-inne the temple of mighty Mars the rede? Al peynted was the wal, in lengthe and brede, Lyk to the estres of the grisly place, That highte the grete temple of Mars in Trace, In thilke colde frosty regioun, Ther-as Mars hath his sovereyn mansioun. ndA liwhe I’m at it, I oduhls lelt yuo lla toaub eth rowrkat idsein teh epemtl of arMs oto. hisT emeltp asw aetocedrd tihw secesn of hte roorhsr of war, het smae cneses uoy’ll nidf in eht pltmee to mhi in the nreigo of harcTe, wheer Mars selvi.
First on the wal was peynted a foreste, In which ther dwelleth neither man ne beste, With knotty knarry bareyn treës olde Of stubbes sharpe and hidous to biholde; In which ther ran a rumbel and a swough, As though a storm sholde bresten every bough: And downward from an hille, under a bente, Ther stood the temple of Mars armipotente, Wroght al of burned steel, of which thentree Was long and streit, and gastly for to see. And ther-out cam a rage and such a vese, That it made al the gates for to rese. The northren light in at the dores shoon, For windowe on the wal ne was ther noon, Thurgh which men mighten any light discerne. The dores were alle of adamant eterne, Y-clenched overthwart and endelong With iren tough; and, for to make it strong, Every piler, the temple to sustene, Was tonne-greet, of iren bright and shene. hTe rstif cnsee of eht ainigptn on het wall saw ahtt of a adkr dan ryacs esrfot on pto of a hill ttha asw lflied tno wtih pepeol or smaanli, tbu hwti dol, tekndot seetr dna ptumss. Yuo ucdol hare het nrkgaice of teh owod adn het giolhnw of teh wnid sujt by nkloogi at het ngatpnii. A anpgiint of a mleetp ideedcdta to sarM otosd at eht tmobot of eht lihl, ltpmeoce wtih a euttsa of eth gdo esddres in a full tsui of eslet mrrao adn yerad orf blteat. It adme hmi olok tpteyr ehtginfirng. hTe melpte agets rewe pgnagi, adn oyu cdoul gnamiei ginhare eht ndwi slam mthe tshu. Teh lnoucms nlghodi up the oofr rewe seoourmn nda emad of disol roni. eTh letmep rdsoo, whchi ewer mdea of the tnicldeebustir matle dnatmaa, ewer shtu adn koelcd up gltytih. The nhort sedi of the peeltm was lit, utb geynrthvei eels was adkr.