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The Canterbury Tales

No Fear The Miller’s Tale Page 18
No Fear The Miller’s Tale: Page 18

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550Abak he sterte, and thoghte it was amis,
For wel he wiste a womman hath no berd;
He felte a thing al rough and long y-herd,
And seyde, ‘fy! allas! what have I do?’
Abaslom sensed that something wasn’t quite right, and he pulled back in surprise. He’d felt some long, rough hairs when he’d kissed her even though he knew that she didn’t have a beard. He quickly realized what had happened, and said, “Yuck! Yuck! What have I done?”
‘Tehee!’ quod she, and clapte the window to;
And Absolon goth forth a sory pas.
“Tee hee!” snickered Alison as she slammed the window shut and Abaslom stumbled backward.
‘A berd, a berd!’ quod hende Nicholas,
‘By Goddes corpus, this goth faire and weel!’
Nicholas cracked up, “A beard! A beard! God, this is hilarious!”
This sely Absolon herde every deel,
And on his lippe he gan for anger byte;
560And to him-self he seyde, ‘I shal thee quyte!’
Absalom heard Nicholas laughing inside, and he bit his lip in rage. “I’ll get them back!” he swore to himself.
Who rubbeth now, who froteth now his lippes
With dust, with sond, with straw, with clooth, with chippes,
But Absolon, that seith ful ofte, ‘allas!
My soule bitake I unto Sathanas,
But me wer lever than al this toun,’ quod he,
‘Of this despyt awroken for to be!
Allas!’ quod he, ‘allas! I ne hadde y-bleynt!’
His hote love was cold and al y-queynt;
For fro that tyme that he had kiste hir ers,
570Of paramours he sette nat a kers,
For he was heled of his maladye;
Ful ofte paramours he gan deffye,
And weep as dooth a child that is y-bete.
A softe paas he wente over the strete
Un-til a smith men cleped daun Gerveys,
That in his forge smithed plough-harneys;
He sharpeth shaar and culter bisily.
This Absolon knokketh al esily,
And seyde, ‘undo, Gerveys, and that anon.’
Well, you’ve never seen anyone rub his lips harder than Absalom. He used dirt, sand, straw, bark, and his arm sleeves to wipe his mouth as he kept saying, “Yuck!” over and over again. He said, “I’d trade my soul to Satan himself if he would punish them for me. Why didn’t I turn my head at the last moment?” All his burning passion for Alison had disappeared the moment he’d kissed her ass, and he was completely cured of his lovesickness and now sick of women. He cried like a baby and swore he’d never love another girl again. He ran across the street to a blacksmith’s shop, which was owned by a guy named Mr. Gervase, who happened to be working on some metal farming equipment. Absalom knocked on the shop door quietly and said, “Mr. Gervase? Please open up.”