Original Text

Modern Text

And so bifel, that in a daweninge,
As Chauntecleer among his wyves alle
Sat on his perche, that was in the halle,
And next him sat this faire Pertelote,
This Chauntecleer gan gronen in his throte,
As man that in his dreem is drecched sore.
And whan that Pertelote thus herde him rore,
She was agast, and seyde, ‘O herte dere,
70What eyleth yow, to grone in this manere?
Ye been a verray sleper, fy for shame!’
Well one morning at dawn, as Chanticleer was sitting on his perch in his hall with Pertelote and his other wives perched next to him, Chanticleer began groaning as if he were having a nightmare. Worried, Pertelote asked, “What’s wrong, my dear? Why are you groaning like that? You’re usually such a sound sleeper!”
And he answerde and seyde thus, ‘madame,
I pray yow, that ye take it nat a-grief:
By God, me mette I was in swich meschief
Right now, that yet myn herte is sore afright.
Now God,’ quod he, ‘my swevene recche aright,
And keep my body out of foul prisoun!
Me mette, how that I romed up and doun
Withinne our yerde, wher-as I saugh a beste,
80Was lyk an hound, and wolde han maad areste
Upon my body, and wolde han had me deed.
His colour was bitwixe yelwe and reed;
And tipped was his tail, and bothe his eres,
With blak, unlyk the remenant of his heres;
His snowte smal, with glowinge eyen tweye.
Yet of his look for fere almost I deye;
This caused me my groning, doutelees.’
“Nothing, nothing’s wrong.” Chanticleer answered. “I just had a horrible nightmare. It was so awful that my heart’s still racing with fear. God, help me figure out what this dream means, and keep me safe from getting locked up! I dreamt that I was walking around in the yard when I saw an enormous doglike beast that wanted to catch me and kill me. This beast was a reddish-yellow color, but black on the tips of its tale and ears. It had a small nose and two glowing eyes. It’s still scaring me to death just thinking about it, which is probably what caused my groaning.”