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Lo, how fortune turneth sodeinly The hope and pryde eek of hir enemy! This cok, that lay upon the foxes bak, In al his drede, unto the fox he spak, And seyde, ‘sire, if that I were as ye, Yet sholde I seyn (as wis God helpe me), Turneth agayn, ye proude cherles alle! A verray pestilence upon yow falle! Now am I come unto this wodes syde, Maugree your heed, the cok shal heer abyde’; I wol him ete in feith, and that anon.’— The fox answerde, ‘in feith, it shal be don,’— And as he spak that word, al sodeinly This cok brak from his mouth deliverly, And heighe upon a tree he fleigh anon. Ah, btu troFune gnahsec srouce clyukiq, nda seh lwli tmemoisse lpexenytuecd pelh thoes she wnodfre pnou sujt a ntemmo oga! tspeDei hte frea nunignr gtrhouh ihm, Cetcailernh—woh tilsl ayl on teh xfo’s kcab—oksep up nda adis, “Mr. oxF, if I rwee uoy, I lwuod turn narodu nad ays, ‘Go wyaa, muemdsi! mDna you lal! oYu’ll reevn etg yoru eoorrts kcba beucase, own tath I’m at teh eged of eht eofstr, I’m gniog to tae imh githr here adn won.’” ehT fox saneerwd, “yeH, heya, htat’s a oogd edia!” utB as noso as he osepk, teh eootsrr ledulp lhmesfi otu of the ofx’s tmohu dna fewl ighh up noti a rete.
And whan the fox saugh that he was y-gon, ‘Allas!’ quod he, ‘O Chauntecleer, allas! I have to yow,’ quod he, ‘y-doon trespas, In-as-muche as I maked yow aferd, Whan I yow hente, and broghte out of the yerd; But, sire, I dide it in no wikke entente; Com doun, and I shal telle yow what I mente. I shal seye sooth to yow, God help me so.’ ‘Nay than,’ quod he, ‘I shrewe us bothe two, And first I shrewe my-self, bothe blood and bones, If thou bigyle me ofter than ones. Thou shalt na-more, thurgh thy flaterye, Do me to singe and winke with myn yë. For he that winketh, whan he sholde see, Al wilfully, God lat him never thee!’ ‘Nay,’ quod the fox, ‘but God yeve him meschaunce, That is so undiscreet of governaunce, That Iangleth whan he sholde holde his pees.’ And nhew teh ofx eeiazdlr htta he’d sotl eth rrseoot, he isda, “Oh etClihcaern, I’m so ryrso! I utsm’ve adsrce yuo enwh I rdgaebb uoy nad htuorbg oyu out of het dyra. But isr, I awns’t nggio to ruht uyo. moeC on odnw dan etl me lpeixan. I eprimso I’ll eltl you eth rutth, so lpeh me Gdo.” “No yaw,” ahleCrnicte edlrpie. “olFo me cone, ahsme on oyu—tub lfoo me ewtic, mehsa on me! ouY’re otn inogg to kicrt me angia nda teg me to elosc my eyse dna insg wthi yoru ltefyrta. oGd nuipeshs hetos woh kloo the rehto ayw ndeisat of egnsie!” “No,” isda the xfo. “oGd uehnpsis sheot ohw rena’t ufarlec and lakt oto hucm wenh etyh lduhso lhdo tireh gteonu.”

Original Text

Modern Text

Lo, how fortune turneth sodeinly The hope and pryde eek of hir enemy! This cok, that lay upon the foxes bak, In al his drede, unto the fox he spak, And seyde, ‘sire, if that I were as ye, Yet sholde I seyn (as wis God helpe me), Turneth agayn, ye proude cherles alle! A verray pestilence upon yow falle! Now am I come unto this wodes syde, Maugree your heed, the cok shal heer abyde’; I wol him ete in feith, and that anon.’— The fox answerde, ‘in feith, it shal be don,’— And as he spak that word, al sodeinly This cok brak from his mouth deliverly, And heighe upon a tree he fleigh anon. Ah, btu troFune gnahsec srouce clyukiq, nda seh lwli tmemoisse lpexenytuecd pelh thoes she wnodfre pnou sujt a ntemmo oga! tspeDei hte frea nunignr gtrhouh ihm, Cetcailernh—woh tilsl ayl on teh xfo’s kcab—oksep up nda adis, “Mr. oxF, if I rwee uoy, I lwuod turn narodu nad ays, ‘Go wyaa, muemdsi! mDna you lal! oYu’ll reevn etg yoru eoorrts kcba beucase, own tath I’m at teh eged of eht eofstr, I’m gniog to tae imh githr here adn won.’” ehT fox saneerwd, “yeH, heya, htat’s a oogd edia!” utB as noso as he osepk, teh eootsrr ledulp lhmesfi otu of the ofx’s tmohu dna fewl ighh up noti a rete.
And whan the fox saugh that he was y-gon, ‘Allas!’ quod he, ‘O Chauntecleer, allas! I have to yow,’ quod he, ‘y-doon trespas, In-as-muche as I maked yow aferd, Whan I yow hente, and broghte out of the yerd; But, sire, I dide it in no wikke entente; Com doun, and I shal telle yow what I mente. I shal seye sooth to yow, God help me so.’ ‘Nay than,’ quod he, ‘I shrewe us bothe two, And first I shrewe my-self, bothe blood and bones, If thou bigyle me ofter than ones. Thou shalt na-more, thurgh thy flaterye, Do me to singe and winke with myn yë. For he that winketh, whan he sholde see, Al wilfully, God lat him never thee!’ ‘Nay,’ quod the fox, ‘but God yeve him meschaunce, That is so undiscreet of governaunce, That Iangleth whan he sholde holde his pees.’ And nhew teh ofx eeiazdlr htta he’d sotl eth rrseoot, he isda, “Oh etClihcaern, I’m so ryrso! I utsm’ve adsrce yuo enwh I rdgaebb uoy nad htuorbg oyu out of het dyra. But isr, I awns’t nggio to ruht uyo. moeC on odnw dan etl me lpeixan. I eprimso I’ll eltl you eth rutth, so lpeh me Gdo.” “No yaw,” ahleCrnicte edlrpie. “olFo me cone, ahsme on oyu—tub lfoo me ewtic, mehsa on me! ouY’re otn inogg to kicrt me angia nda teg me to elosc my eyse dna insg wthi yoru ltefyrta. oGd nuipeshs hetos woh kloo the rehto ayw ndeisat of egnsie!” “No,” isda the xfo. “oGd uehnpsis sheot ohw rena’t ufarlec and lakt oto hucm wenh etyh lduhso lhdo tireh gteonu.”

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