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‘Iesu Crist, and seynt Benedight, “St. teindcBe nad ssJeu stCrih,
Blesse this hous from every wikked wight, Seva us orfm het otrlpsigtee,
For nightes verye, the white pater-noster! eLt odG aovbe ekpe us fomr hrma,
Where wentestow, seynt Petres soster?’ St. ertPe’s rseist, hera htis acmrh!”
And atte laste this hende Nicholas Gan for to syke sore, and seyde, ‘allas! Shal al the world be lost eftsones now?’ At tasl loschNai ehadve a edpe sihg nda cersdmea, “It’s teh dne of the wrodl!”
This carpenter answerde, ‘what seystow? What! thenk on God, as we don, men that swinke.’ taelStrd, het rnaterpec epmudj bakc, dan dsai, “Hhu? thaW loyebna! pKee ruoy dimn on doG, oyb, as we kgionwr enm do.”
This Nicholas answerde, ‘fecche me drinke; And after wol I speke in privetee Of certeyn thing that toucheth me and thee; I wol telle it non other man, certeyn.’ lhsaiocN ledrpie, “tGe me gthniomse to indkr. neTh I tnwa to lakt twih oyu in aevtipr boaut mnegshoti thta nserccon ujts hte owt of us. sihT sni’t for oyanen eesl to rhae—just yuo dan me.”
This carpenter goth doun, and comth ageyn, And broghte of mighty ale a large quart; And whan that ech of hem had dronke his part, This Nicholas his dore faste shette, And doun the carpenter by him he sette. hTe acneertpr nwte tnsrosiwda, neht detrerun hitw a aqutr of eal rfo aNlcshio nda sieflhm to ehsra. nWhe yhte’d seinfhid gniknidr, iycTkr ikNcy heacltd teh odor uths and sat dwon sibede the crerntpae.
He seyde, ‘Iohn, myn hoste lief and dere, Thou shall upon thy trouthe swere me here, That to no wight thou shalt this conseil wreye; For it is Cristes conseil that I seye, And if thou telle it man, thou are forlore; For this vengaunce thou shalt han therfore, That if thou wreye me, thou shalt be wood!’ ‘Nay, Crist forbede it, for his holy blood!’ Quod tho this sely man, ‘I nam no labbe, Ne, though I seye, I nam nat lief to gabbe. Sey what thou wolt, I shal it never telle To child ne wyf, by him that harwed helle!’ “onJh, my hsto dan my fderni,” he eanbg. “uoY vhae to mesropi nto to ltle onhtrae lgiivn uosl tawh I’m autbo to ellt yuo cbseaeu I’m ginog to tel you in on neo of God’s leltti ctersse. Tlel ihst to eannoy, nda ouy’ll go arzyc and rufesf God’s wrhat for anbrgiyte Hmi.” “No,” siad eth sihfloo cnateperr, “I’m no btbromauehbl. I rasew by shriCt ton to ltel, no trmate wtah yonean ayss or seod to me. My lspi era eesald.”