Original Text

Modern Text

And with that word he fley doun fro the beem,
For it was day, and eek his hennes alle;
And with a chuk he gan hem for to calle,
For he had founde a corn, lay in the yerd.
Royal he was, he was namore aferd;
He fethered Pertelote twenty tyme,
And trad as ofte, er that it was pryme.
He loketh as it were a grim leoun;
360And on his toos he rometh up and doun,
Him deyned not to sette his foot to grounde.
He chukketh, whan he hath a corn y-founde,
And to him rennen thanne his wyves alle.
Thus royal, as a prince is in his halle,
Leve I this Chauntecleer in his pasture;
And after wol I telle his aventure.
And with that, he flew down from the rafters to begin the day, his hens following after them. He clucked for them to come to him when he found some corn in the yard, and all his wives would come running. He rustled his feathers twenty times for Pertelote and mounted her just as many times too before noon. He looked like a fierce lion as he paced too and fro around the yard on his tiptoes, as it was beneath him to put his whole foot on the ground. He felt powerful and regal—as royal as a prince in his hall—and was no longer afraid.
Whan that the month in which the world bigan,
That highte March, whan God first maked man,
Was complet, and passed were also,
370Sin March bigan, thritty dayes and two,
Bifel that Chauntecleer, in al his pryde,
His seven wyves walking by his syde,
Caste up his eyen to the brighte sonne,
That in the signe of Taurus hadde y-ronne
Twenty degrees and oon, and somwhat more;
And knew by kynde, and by noon other lore,
That it was pryme, and crew with blisful stevene.
The month of March—the same month when God had made the world and first made mankind—had passed, and the day was April 1. Proud Chanticleer, with his seven wives at his side, looked up at the bright sun, which was more than 21˚ through the sign of Taurus. His natural instinct alone told him that it was nine o’clock in the morning, and he crowed happily at the top of his lungs.