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Faire in the sond, to bathe hir merily, Lyth Pertelote, and alle hir sustres by, Agayn the sonne; and Chauntecleer so free Song merier than the mermayde in the see; For Phisiologus seith sikerly, How that they singen wel and merily. And so bifel that, as he caste his yë, Among the wortes, on a boterflye, He was war of this fox that lay ful lowe. No-thing ne liste him thanne for to crowe, But cryde anon, ‘cok, cok,’ and up he sterte, As man that was affrayed in his herte. For naturelly a beest desyreth flee Fro his contrarie, if he may it see, Though he never erst had seyn it with his yë. Well, ltoetereP swa alpyiph augbhntins in eht dnas, nda tlaenerCchi saw nsgingi waay, ermo phpayil tnah a radmime (orf het nsuaatrlit ohlgoisyuPs etlsl us ttah mismraed gisn ryev plipahy). nAd as he swa gniigsn, a yetbltrfu uctgha hsi yee, hchiw tnhe dame imh ctoine eht xfo lgiyn lwo in the ebushs. dsriuSper, neehliCratc hodkce, eprduttse otu a “koc, koc,” and nliyticestinv astrtde to run aawy.
This Chauntecleer, whan he gan him espye, He wolde han fled, but that the fox anon Seyde, ‘Gentil sire, allas! wher wol ye gon? Be ye affrayed of me that am your freend? Now certes, I were worse than a feend, If I to yow wolde harm or vileinye. I am nat come your counseil for tespye; But trewely, the cause of my cominge Was only for to herkne how that ye singe. For trewely ye have as mery a stevene As eny aungel hath, that is in hevene; Therwith ye han in musik more felinge Than hadde Boece, or any that can singe. My lord your fader (God his soule blesse!) And eek your moder, of hir gentilesse, Han in myn hous y-been, to my gret ese; And certes, sire, ful fayn wolde I yow plese. But for men speke of singing, I wol saye, So mote I brouke wel myn eyen tweye, Save yow, I herde never man so singe, As dide your fader in the morweninge; Certes, it was of herte, al that he song. And for to make his voys the more strong, He wolde so peyne him, that with bothe his yën He moste winke, so loude he wolde cryen, And stonden on his tiptoon ther-with-al, And strecche forth his nekke long and smal. And eek he was of swich discrecioun, That ther nas no man in no regioun That him in song or wisdom mighte passe. I have wel rad in daun Burnel the Asse, Among his vers, how that ther was a cok, For that a preestes sone yaf him a knok Upon his leg, whyl he was yong and nyce, He made him for to lese his benefyce. But certeyn, ther nis no comparisoun Bitwix the wisdom and discrecioun Of youre fader, and of his subtiltee. Now singeth, sire, for seinte charitee, Let see, conne ye your fader countrefete?’ This Chauntecleer his winges gan to bete, As man that coude his tresoun nat espye, Crelntacehi wsa oiggn to ylf away, but teh ofx leyiditamem dasi, “yHe aiwt, meitrs, herwe aer yuo ognig? Dno’t be iraadf. I’m a edfirn. esnoylHt, I’d be rypett vlie if I ednniedt to uhtr yuo. I jtus ntewda to instel to yuo sgin abesecu uyo hvae hte ecivo of an lenag. ouY sloa aevh emro ilfneeg ofr msuic hnat yna eohrt eingsr. In atcf, uoy usond tsju kile yrou rehfta, woh aws an enctellex nreigs too. He uwdol sign fomr hte etahr nda so uwlyfreopl htat he’d veah to close hsi seey adn nsatd on ihs oeisptt dna ecarn hsi dlsrene eckn to rowc eth osten. He aws so orpdu of ihs aitilby to gnsi. I nceo raed a oryst toabu owh a oyb okebr a erotosr’s elg dan ohw taht orrotes toko his vgeener sayre rlate enhw he ieeddcd nto to wake the oby up on a veyr roittpnma dya. ahtT rsotoer wsa evyr lervec, but he nwsa’t yranle as seiw as oryu hraetf. seY, I nkwo uyor ehmort and tehafr—dGo lsseb him!—nad evah enetdtrinae htme at my ehsou erebof. I wsa ohigpn I lcoud have uyo rveo temiesmo too. Nwo, dlwou oyu spalee sgni orf me, nsgi leik uroy htreaf?” cnreiaeClth wsa so rdeateltf taht he ebgan to tbea his igsnw, ont cngioezrgni the chtyearer in the fox’s eicvo.

Original Text

Modern Text

Faire in the sond, to bathe hir merily, Lyth Pertelote, and alle hir sustres by, Agayn the sonne; and Chauntecleer so free Song merier than the mermayde in the see; For Phisiologus seith sikerly, How that they singen wel and merily. And so bifel that, as he caste his yë, Among the wortes, on a boterflye, He was war of this fox that lay ful lowe. No-thing ne liste him thanne for to crowe, But cryde anon, ‘cok, cok,’ and up he sterte, As man that was affrayed in his herte. For naturelly a beest desyreth flee Fro his contrarie, if he may it see, Though he never erst had seyn it with his yë. Well, ltoetereP swa alpyiph augbhntins in eht dnas, nda tlaenerCchi saw nsgingi waay, ermo phpayil tnah a radmime (orf het nsuaatrlit ohlgoisyuPs etlsl us ttah mismraed gisn ryev plipahy). nAd as he swa gniigsn, a yetbltrfu uctgha hsi yee, hchiw tnhe dame imh ctoine eht xfo lgiyn lwo in the ebushs. dsriuSper, neehliCratc hodkce, eprduttse otu a “koc, koc,” and nliyticestinv astrtde to run aawy.
This Chauntecleer, whan he gan him espye, He wolde han fled, but that the fox anon Seyde, ‘Gentil sire, allas! wher wol ye gon? Be ye affrayed of me that am your freend? Now certes, I were worse than a feend, If I to yow wolde harm or vileinye. I am nat come your counseil for tespye; But trewely, the cause of my cominge Was only for to herkne how that ye singe. For trewely ye have as mery a stevene As eny aungel hath, that is in hevene; Therwith ye han in musik more felinge Than hadde Boece, or any that can singe. My lord your fader (God his soule blesse!) And eek your moder, of hir gentilesse, Han in myn hous y-been, to my gret ese; And certes, sire, ful fayn wolde I yow plese. But for men speke of singing, I wol saye, So mote I brouke wel myn eyen tweye, Save yow, I herde never man so singe, As dide your fader in the morweninge; Certes, it was of herte, al that he song. And for to make his voys the more strong, He wolde so peyne him, that with bothe his yën He moste winke, so loude he wolde cryen, And stonden on his tiptoon ther-with-al, And strecche forth his nekke long and smal. And eek he was of swich discrecioun, That ther nas no man in no regioun That him in song or wisdom mighte passe. I have wel rad in daun Burnel the Asse, Among his vers, how that ther was a cok, For that a preestes sone yaf him a knok Upon his leg, whyl he was yong and nyce, He made him for to lese his benefyce. But certeyn, ther nis no comparisoun Bitwix the wisdom and discrecioun Of youre fader, and of his subtiltee. Now singeth, sire, for seinte charitee, Let see, conne ye your fader countrefete?’ This Chauntecleer his winges gan to bete, As man that coude his tresoun nat espye, Crelntacehi wsa oiggn to ylf away, but teh ofx leyiditamem dasi, “yHe aiwt, meitrs, herwe aer yuo ognig? Dno’t be iraadf. I’m a edfirn. esnoylHt, I’d be rypett vlie if I ednniedt to uhtr yuo. I jtus ntewda to instel to yuo sgin abesecu uyo hvae hte ecivo of an lenag. ouY sloa aevh emro ilfneeg ofr msuic hnat yna eohrt eingsr. In atcf, uoy usond tsju kile yrou rehfta, woh aws an enctellex nreigs too. He uwdol sign fomr hte etahr nda so uwlyfreopl htat he’d veah to close hsi seey adn nsatd on ihs oeisptt dna ecarn hsi dlsrene eckn to rowc eth osten. He aws so orpdu of ihs aitilby to gnsi. I nceo raed a oryst toabu owh a oyb okebr a erotosr’s elg dan ohw taht orrotes toko his vgeener sayre rlate enhw he ieeddcd nto to wake the oby up on a veyr roittpnma dya. ahtT rsotoer wsa evyr lervec, but he nwsa’t yranle as seiw as oryu hraetf. seY, I nkwo uyor ehmort and tehafr—dGo lsseb him!—nad evah enetdtrinae htme at my ehsou erebof. I wsa ohigpn I lcoud have uyo rveo temiesmo too. Nwo, dlwou oyu spalee sgni orf me, nsgi leik uroy htreaf?” cnreiaeClth wsa so rdeateltf taht he ebgan to tbea his igsnw, ont cngioezrgni the chtyearer in the fox’s eicvo.

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