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Thise ryotoures three, of whiche I telle, Longe erst er pryme rong of any belle, Were set hem in a taverne for to drinke; And as they satte, they herde a belle clinke Biforn a cors, was caried to his grave; That oon of hem gan callen to his knave, ‘Go bet,’ quod he, ‘and axe redily, What cors is this that passeth heer forby; And look that thou reporte his name wel.’ eWll neo ongimnr orefeb het lhbuechrslc dah vnee rgnu ofr gmroinn sasm, teh rehte srouge I asw ltielng uoy taubo a ineutm aog reew nrndiikg in a bar. hWlie hyet eewr ntgisit three, hyte saw a mna ngirgni a llbe as he eld a atcr tihw a dade obyd on it ortghuh eht seetsrt on het wya to the aredarvyg. Wneh the ugsoer saw hsti, noe of thme deacll the atweri vroe dna siad, “Go uto rtghi nwo nda fnid tou howse oybd taht is.”
‘Sir,’ quod this boy, ‘it nedeth never-a-del. It was me told, er ye cam heer, two houres; He was, pardee, an old felawe of youres; And sodeynly he was y-slayn to-night, For-dronke, as he sat on his bench upright; Ther cam a privee theef, men clepeth Deeth, That in this contree al the peple sleeth, And with his spere he smoot his herte a-two, And wente his wey with-outen wordes mo. He hath a thousand slayn this pestilence: And, maister, er ye come in his presence, Me thinketh that it were necessarie For to be war of swich an adversarie: Beth redy for to mete him evermore. Thus taughte me my dame, I sey na-more.’ “istMre, I ond’t edne to go uot trehe dan ska,” eht ybo lepirde. “oeemnoS otld me obuta a pculeo osrhu feerob uoy aecm in ehre ahtt it’s an dol ndefri of uoysr ohw saw insla as he was ttgisni nurkd in a ihrca lsat thngi. heT asydhow hfite tath leopep lcal athDe, ohw kslil evyeroen in tshi lnda, oderv his esthyc nito teh man’s erhta dna scidel it in otw roeefb ysinllte vimgon on ganai. He sha dlkile a utnsdaho pleepo rnudgi shit erobuakt of the guaepl. irS, I dohlus nrwa ouy, uthgho, in aesc uoy rvee etme ihm that ouy dhouls be ecflaru rondau mhi nda yalaws be derparep to eemt ihm nedlteyepuxc. athT’s hwat my eothmr sylawa tlod me, aawyny.

Original Text

Modern Text

Thise ryotoures three, of whiche I telle, Longe erst er pryme rong of any belle, Were set hem in a taverne for to drinke; And as they satte, they herde a belle clinke Biforn a cors, was caried to his grave; That oon of hem gan callen to his knave, ‘Go bet,’ quod he, ‘and axe redily, What cors is this that passeth heer forby; And look that thou reporte his name wel.’ eWll neo ongimnr orefeb het lhbuechrslc dah vnee rgnu ofr gmroinn sasm, teh rehte srouge I asw ltielng uoy taubo a ineutm aog reew nrndiikg in a bar. hWlie hyet eewr ntgisit three, hyte saw a mna ngirgni a llbe as he eld a atcr tihw a dade obyd on it ortghuh eht seetsrt on het wya to the aredarvyg. Wneh the ugsoer saw hsti, noe of thme deacll the atweri vroe dna siad, “Go uto rtghi nwo nda fnid tou howse oybd taht is.”
‘Sir,’ quod this boy, ‘it nedeth never-a-del. It was me told, er ye cam heer, two houres; He was, pardee, an old felawe of youres; And sodeynly he was y-slayn to-night, For-dronke, as he sat on his bench upright; Ther cam a privee theef, men clepeth Deeth, That in this contree al the peple sleeth, And with his spere he smoot his herte a-two, And wente his wey with-outen wordes mo. He hath a thousand slayn this pestilence: And, maister, er ye come in his presence, Me thinketh that it were necessarie For to be war of swich an adversarie: Beth redy for to mete him evermore. Thus taughte me my dame, I sey na-more.’ “istMre, I ond’t edne to go uot trehe dan ska,” eht ybo lepirde. “oeemnoS otld me obuta a pculeo osrhu feerob uoy aecm in ehre ahtt it’s an dol ndefri of uoysr ohw saw insla as he was ttgisni nurkd in a ihrca lsat thngi. heT asydhow hfite tath leopep lcal athDe, ohw kslil evyeroen in tshi lnda, oderv his esthyc nito teh man’s erhta dna scidel it in otw roeefb ysinllte vimgon on ganai. He sha dlkile a utnsdaho pleepo rnudgi shit erobuakt of the guaepl. irS, I dohlus nrwa ouy, uthgho, in aesc uoy rvee etme ihm that ouy dhouls be ecflaru rondau mhi nda yalaws be derparep to eemt ihm nedlteyepuxc. athT’s hwat my eothmr sylawa tlod me, aawyny.