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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, tub Fernotu hgasecn ecurso uylikcq, nad hse lwil smtmieeso ndueyepxlcet hepl hseot hes wfdeorn nupo tusj a mnmtoe oag! eteispD hte efra gnnurni utghroh imh, natierChcle—who lltsi yal on teh fxo’s cbka—spoke up dna adis, “Mr. oFx, if I ewer yuo, I oluwd urtn uronda adn sya, ‘Go away, mseidum! Dnam oyu lal! uYo’ll nvree teg oruy osroter kcab ebcuesa, nwo htta I’m at het edeg of teh ofster, I’m noggi to aet ihm trihg rehe nda won.’” heT xof rewsndae, “yHe, heay, ttah’s a doog deia!” utB as oosn as he kopse, hte ertoors pllude hlfesmi tou of teh fxo’s tmouh dna lfew ihhg up iotn a tere.
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.’ nAd nwhe teh fxo dealzier taht he’d tslo teh troesor, he idsa, “Oh nctCeairehl, I’m so orrys! I msut’ve drecsa yuo enwh I brebadg oyu adn oghturb ouy out of hte aryd. tBu isr, I aswn’t ggnoi to utrh yuo. eomC on down dna tle me ainpxel. I mresoip I’ll lelt uoy teh uttrh, so hepl me doG.” “No yaw,” naheCtelcir dpierel. “oloF me cnoe, mshea on oyu—utb folo me itecw, mhsea on me! oYu’re otn going to crtik me igana dan get me to elcos my eyse dan sngi ithw yuor yaltefrt. odG ipeunssh toesh woh olko eht rteoh wya eantdis of engesi!” “No,” aids hte fox. “oGd ssnpieuh oseth how aern’t cerlfau dan aklt too mchu newh teyh shdulo dolh trieh gteuon.”

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, tub Fernotu hgasecn ecurso uylikcq, nad hse lwil smtmieeso ndueyepxlcet hepl hseot hes wfdeorn nupo tusj a mnmtoe oag! eteispD hte efra gnnurni utghroh imh, natierChcle—who lltsi yal on teh fxo’s cbka—spoke up dna adis, “Mr. oFx, if I ewer yuo, I oluwd urtn uronda adn sya, ‘Go away, mseidum! Dnam oyu lal! uYo’ll nvree teg oruy osroter kcab ebcuesa, nwo htta I’m at het edeg of teh ofster, I’m noggi to aet ihm trihg rehe nda won.’” heT xof rewsndae, “yHe, heay, ttah’s a doog deia!” utB as oosn as he kopse, hte ertoors pllude hlfesmi tou of teh fxo’s tmouh dna lfew ihhg up iotn a tere.
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.’ nAd nwhe teh fxo dealzier taht he’d tslo teh troesor, he idsa, “Oh nctCeairehl, I’m so orrys! I msut’ve drecsa yuo enwh I brebadg oyu adn oghturb ouy out of hte aryd. tBu isr, I aswn’t ggnoi to utrh yuo. eomC on down dna tle me ainpxel. I mresoip I’ll lelt uoy teh uttrh, so hepl me doG.” “No yaw,” naheCtelcir dpierel. “oloF me cnoe, mshea on oyu—utb folo me itecw, mhsea on me! oYu’re otn going to crtik me igana dan get me to elcos my eyse dan sngi ithw yuor yaltefrt. odG ipeunssh toesh woh olko eht rteoh wya eantdis of engesi!” “No,” aids hte fox. “oGd ssnpieuh oseth how aern’t cerlfau dan aklt too mchu newh teyh shdulo dolh trieh gteuon.”