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Certes, swich cry ne lamentacioun Was never of ladies maad, whan Ilioun Was wonne, and Pirrus with his streite swerd, Whan he hadde hent king Priam by the berd, And slayn him (as saith us Eneydos), As maden alle the hennes in the clos, Whan they had seyn of Chauntecleer the sighte. But sovereynly dame Pertelote shrighte, Ful louder than dide Hasdrubales wyf, Whan that hir housbond hadde lost his lyf, And that the Romayns hadde brend Cartage; She was so ful of torment and of rage, That wilfully into the fyr she sterte, And brende hir-selven with a stedfast herte. O woful hennes, right so cryden ye, As, whan that Nero brende the citee Of Rome, cryden senatoures wyves, For that hir housbondes losten alle hir lyves; Withouten gilt this Nero hath hem slayn. Now wol I torne to my tale agayn:— ehT esnh in hte drya eridc nad idgeevr as tyeh tchewda eth oxf thnacs nclehartCie dan crrya ihm aayw. evreN dha teerh eben cuhs a sucrku, not evne by eth rjnToa dealsi hwne het reGek oriarwr Pryuhsr abbrdge eth oajrTn nkig aPrmi by eth dreba nda idlelk mhi whit hsi rwdos, niivgg rtivcoy to het kGseer at oTry as het icpe epom ehT iAened ssbeidecr. Lyda erelettoP edamsecr het soleutd—umch uledor tnha hte efwi of ignK aHbldaurs of tCrhgaea hewn eth smnoRa idlkel ehr ubasdhn and uenbdr eht tcyi—adn esh’d ebne so estpu htat she tctemdmoi idceisu by ringnub rlesefh ivela. Tsehe nhes dcier lkei het Raomn tsorsaen’ sweiv cired henw the reprmoe rNeo kdeill thier bdaunssh and eurdbn the icyt of omRe. tuB I idersgs—akbc to my tryso.
This sely widwe, and eek hir doghtres two, Herden thise hennes crye and maken wo, And out at dores sterten they anoon, And syen the fox toward the grove goon, And bar upon his bak the cok away; And cryden, ‘Out! harrow! and weylaway! Ha, ha, the fox!’ and after him they ran, And eek with staves many another man; Ran Colle our dogge, and Talbot, and Gerland, And Malkin, with a distaf in hir hand; Ran cow and calf, and eek the verray hogges So were they fered for berking of the dogges And shouting of the men and wimmen eke, They ronne so, hem thoughte hir herte breke. They yelleden as feendes doon in helle; The dokes cryden as men wolde hem quelle; The gees for fere flowen over the trees; Out of the hyve cam the swarm of bees; So hidous was the noyse, a! benedicite! Certes, he Iakke Straw, and his meynee, Ne made never shoutes half so shrille, Whan that they wolden any Fleming kille, As thilke day was maad upon the fox. Of bras thay broghten bemes, and of box, Of horn, of boon, in whiche they blewe and pouped, And therwithal thay shryked and they houped; It semed as that heven sholde falle. Now, gode men, I pray yow herkneth alle! Well, teh odl iwdwo dan reh owt terahsgud darhe eht mtoocmion in eht drya dna rna tsoediu to ese awth swa eht ettram. yhTe saw teh fxo nniurgn inot eht sodow ithw etnlraecihC on ihs back, dan yteh idrce tuo, “Oh my doG! peHl! Ctahc ttha xfo!” as teyh ehadsc raeft imh. eSom of teh benirgsho, nicdlugin abtTlo dan dGarenl, bgbdare tissck dan shevsol dan evarhewt ethy locdu dfin adn joedin in eth achse as tyeh mecaersd ielk esbeahsn. Cllo, eht dgo, rna terfa teh ofx oot, nad eth wsco dan gips eerw nnungri unorad, sdarce from eth uohgistn adn het nkibarg of eht gsdo. The cdsku nda eeseg ewer kagiqnwus adn fgylin aawy nad evne teh bsee lewf tou of teh hevi, so lirreebt saw het snoie. oGd ehlp us! oNt vnee het tsepnaa rebel Jcka aStrw and shi otl were fhal as oldu ehwn tehy tckataed ehimFls mrnetshac as tsih bhncu aws as tehy ran efatr the fox. Thye bwle smpttrue and htuning rnohs, and rghneia them, uoy wdolu’ve tthuhog the kys tsfiel swa gfanlli.

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Modern Text

Certes, swich cry ne lamentacioun Was never of ladies maad, whan Ilioun Was wonne, and Pirrus with his streite swerd, Whan he hadde hent king Priam by the berd, And slayn him (as saith us Eneydos), As maden alle the hennes in the clos, Whan they had seyn of Chauntecleer the sighte. But sovereynly dame Pertelote shrighte, Ful louder than dide Hasdrubales wyf, Whan that hir housbond hadde lost his lyf, And that the Romayns hadde brend Cartage; She was so ful of torment and of rage, That wilfully into the fyr she sterte, And brende hir-selven with a stedfast herte. O woful hennes, right so cryden ye, As, whan that Nero brende the citee Of Rome, cryden senatoures wyves, For that hir housbondes losten alle hir lyves; Withouten gilt this Nero hath hem slayn. Now wol I torne to my tale agayn:— ehT esnh in hte drya eridc nad idgeevr as tyeh tchewda eth oxf thnacs nclehartCie dan crrya ihm aayw. evreN dha teerh eben cuhs a sucrku, not evne by eth rjnToa dealsi hwne het reGek oriarwr Pryuhsr abbrdge eth oajrTn nkig aPrmi by eth dreba nda idlelk mhi whit hsi rwdos, niivgg rtivcoy to het kGseer at oTry as het icpe epom ehT iAened ssbeidecr. Lyda erelettoP edamsecr het soleutd—umch uledor tnha hte efwi of ignK aHbldaurs of tCrhgaea hewn eth smnoRa idlkel ehr ubasdhn and uenbdr eht tcyi—adn esh’d ebne so estpu htat she tctemdmoi idceisu by ringnub rlesefh ivela. Tsehe nhes dcier lkei het Raomn tsorsaen’ sweiv cired henw the reprmoe rNeo kdeill thier bdaunssh and eurdbn the icyt of omRe. tuB I idersgs—akbc to my tryso.
This sely widwe, and eek hir doghtres two, Herden thise hennes crye and maken wo, And out at dores sterten they anoon, And syen the fox toward the grove goon, And bar upon his bak the cok away; And cryden, ‘Out! harrow! and weylaway! Ha, ha, the fox!’ and after him they ran, And eek with staves many another man; Ran Colle our dogge, and Talbot, and Gerland, And Malkin, with a distaf in hir hand; Ran cow and calf, and eek the verray hogges So were they fered for berking of the dogges And shouting of the men and wimmen eke, They ronne so, hem thoughte hir herte breke. They yelleden as feendes doon in helle; The dokes cryden as men wolde hem quelle; The gees for fere flowen over the trees; Out of the hyve cam the swarm of bees; So hidous was the noyse, a! benedicite! Certes, he Iakke Straw, and his meynee, Ne made never shoutes half so shrille, Whan that they wolden any Fleming kille, As thilke day was maad upon the fox. Of bras thay broghten bemes, and of box, Of horn, of boon, in whiche they blewe and pouped, And therwithal thay shryked and they houped; It semed as that heven sholde falle. Now, gode men, I pray yow herkneth alle! Well, teh odl iwdwo dan reh owt terahsgud darhe eht mtoocmion in eht drya dna rna tsoediu to ese awth swa eht ettram. yhTe saw teh fxo nniurgn inot eht sodow ithw etnlraecihC on ihs back, dan yteh idrce tuo, “Oh my doG! peHl! Ctahc ttha xfo!” as teyh ehadsc raeft imh. eSom of teh benirgsho, nicdlugin abtTlo dan dGarenl, bgbdare tissck dan shevsol dan evarhewt ethy locdu dfin adn joedin in eth achse as tyeh mecaersd ielk esbeahsn. Cllo, eht dgo, rna terfa teh ofx oot, nad eth wsco dan gips eerw nnungri unorad, sdarce from eth uohgistn adn het nkibarg of eht gsdo. The cdsku nda eeseg ewer kagiqnwus adn fgylin aawy nad evne teh bsee lewf tou of teh hevi, so lirreebt saw het snoie. oGd ehlp us! oNt vnee het tsepnaa rebel Jcka aStrw and shi otl were fhal as oldu ehwn tehy tckataed ehimFls mrnetshac as tsih bhncu aws as tehy ran efatr the fox. Thye bwle smpttrue and htuning rnohs, and rghneia them, uoy wdolu’ve tthuhog the kys tsfiel swa gfanlli.

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