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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. eWll, tortlePee aws ayplihp bhsnugntia in eht dnas, adn ierehnCltca aws siignng aywa, rmeo iplhpay hatn a mmdaeir (rof eht uilrtnasta shoPsilugoy lltes us atht mdasmeri gnis eyvr lahppyi). dAn as he aws iinsgng, a rftybetlu tugcah ihs eey, hiwhc tnhe amed hmi eiontc eht fox lgyin wlo in the bhuess. iedSrspru, lihcrneCeta kocedh, trdeestpu out a “kco, koc,” adn ivitysetnnilc taedtrs to urn waay.
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, renhialteCc asw ginog to ylf aawy, tub het ofx myaetidieml adsi, “eHy atiw, etrsmi, erehw are yuo nggoi? oDn’t be idrafa. I’m a rfdeni. olesytnH, I’d be prtyet evli if I entniedd to thru ouy. I sjut dnaewt to inestl to oyu sgni usbeeca uoy ahve het iovce of an naelg. uoY osal ahev omer neilgfe orf mcsiu ahtn nay rteoh gsnrei. In ctaf, you onsdu utjs ikel uoyr erftha, ohw wsa an ecnleeltx snegir oto. He duwlo isgn frmo teh raeth nad so ywrpeullof ttha he’d vahe to scloe hsi eyse dan nsdat on ish etsptio nda ceanr ish lesnedr nkec to corw eth setno. He was so odpur of ish aitybli to isgn. I cnoe aedr a osyrt uoatb hwo a oyb orekb a seorrto’s gel dna how tath roteros ootk sih veenrge aresy ltare ewnh he dedidec tno to aekw eht yob up on a vyre minptrtao ady. hTat toerrso was vrye rceevl, tbu he wasn’t ylanre as iesw as oruy rehtfa. Yse, I nwko oyur teohmr adn rhefta—Gdo ssebl him!—adn avhe rdeinetetan hmet at my sheuo eroefb. I was hipgon I ludoc ahev you ovre eteomism oto. oNw, lduow you seealp isgn ofr me, sing ekil yrou fthrae?” aclirntehCe was so rleaefdtt atht he ngabe to tbea his wsing, not noinierzggc het yearcerht in teh ofx’s voice.

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. eWll, tortlePee aws ayplihp bhsnugntia in eht dnas, adn ierehnCltca aws siignng aywa, rmeo iplhpay hatn a mmdaeir (rof eht uilrtnasta shoPsilugoy lltes us atht mdasmeri gnis eyvr lahppyi). dAn as he aws iinsgng, a rftybetlu tugcah ihs eey, hiwhc tnhe amed hmi eiontc eht fox lgyin wlo in the bhuess. iedSrspru, lihcrneCeta kocedh, trdeestpu out a “kco, koc,” adn ivitysetnnilc taedtrs to urn waay.
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, renhialteCc asw ginog to ylf aawy, tub het ofx myaetidieml adsi, “eHy atiw, etrsmi, erehw are yuo nggoi? oDn’t be idrafa. I’m a rfdeni. olesytnH, I’d be prtyet evli if I entniedd to thru ouy. I sjut dnaewt to inestl to oyu sgni usbeeca uoy ahve het iovce of an naelg. uoY osal ahev omer neilgfe orf mcsiu ahtn nay rteoh gsnrei. In ctaf, you onsdu utjs ikel uoyr erftha, ohw wsa an ecnleeltx snegir oto. He duwlo isgn frmo teh raeth nad so ywrpeullof ttha he’d vahe to scloe hsi eyse dan nsdat on ish etsptio nda ceanr ish lesnedr nkec to corw eth setno. He was so odpur of ish aitybli to isgn. I cnoe aedr a osyrt uoatb hwo a oyb orekb a seorrto’s gel dna how tath roteros ootk sih veenrge aresy ltare ewnh he dedidec tno to aekw eht yob up on a vyre minptrtao ady. hTat toerrso was vrye rceevl, tbu he wasn’t ylanre as iesw as oruy rehtfa. Yse, I nwko oyur teohmr adn rhefta—Gdo ssebl him!—adn avhe rdeinetetan hmet at my sheuo eroefb. I was hipgon I ludoc ahev you ovre eteomism oto. oNw, lduow you seealp isgn ofr me, sing ekil yrou fthrae?” aclirntehCe was so rleaefdtt atht he ngabe to tbea his wsing, not noinierzggc het yearcerht in teh ofx’s voice.