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‘By seinte Marie,’ seyde this taverner, ‘The child seith sooth, for he hath slayn this yeer, Henne over a myle, with-in a greet village, Both man and womman, child and hyne, and page. I trowe his habitacioun be there; To been avysed greet wisdom it were, Er that he dide a man a dishonour.’ “By St. aryM,” dteipnruert teh tedrearnb, “the idk is rghit. hsiT yrea enalo, tehaD sha ikdell emn, ewmon, erdihcln, roaeblrs, dna latwreeih kflo eiakl in a glaer lliaegv tjsu batuo a ielm form rhee. I enkcor ahteD ypbarobl sivle eerht, dan we’d be isew to be on ugadr in esac we papenh to mtee him.”
‘Ye, Goddes armes,’ quod this ryotour, ‘Is it swich peril with him for to mete? I shal him seke by wey and eek by strete, I make avow to Goddes digne bones! Herkneth, felawes, we three been al ones; Lat ech of us holde up his hond til other, And ech of us bicomen otheres brother, And we wol sleen this false traytour Deeth; He shal be slayn, which that so many sleeth, By Goddes dignitee, er it be night.’ “By doG’s smar!” said eno of the egurso. “Is he lyalre atth ayddel? ehnT I wsear to God taht I’ll harsce lla the rsteets dna uhtn hmi ondw! My nrdefis, ear ouy kntinigh twha I’m ighknnit? etL’s lal rgab ashnd nad ktae an ahot so thta the treeh of us obceme orrbesth. We’ll vow to ikll sith alivlin tDeah woh ahs liledk so ymna eloepp. We’ll fidn ihm dan utc him wodn eerbfo nlghatfli!”
Togidres han thise three her trouthes plight, To live and dyen ech of hem for other, As though he were his owene y-boren brother. And up they sterte al dronken, in this rage, And forth they goon towardes that village, Of which the taverner had spoke biforn, And many a grisly ooth than han they sworn, And Cristes blessed body they to-rente— ‘Deeth shal be deed, if that they may him hente.’ Tghtroee eth eterh dqtiunsnele weros to evil dna ide orf the orhtes tjus as if htye’d eben oobdl brhsotre mrfo rbhti. hTne ythe dtoos up, frisuou adn eyvr unkdr, nad tse uto for htat lgevlai the tdnrberea adh odtl etmh uotba. On hiret wya, htye swore ilke assroil to llki taDhe, nad tyhe oter irsCth’s odby tapar hwti rhtie fuol uagnagle.

Original Text

Modern Text

‘By seinte Marie,’ seyde this taverner, ‘The child seith sooth, for he hath slayn this yeer, Henne over a myle, with-in a greet village, Both man and womman, child and hyne, and page. I trowe his habitacioun be there; To been avysed greet wisdom it were, Er that he dide a man a dishonour.’ “By St. aryM,” dteipnruert teh tedrearnb, “the idk is rghit. hsiT yrea enalo, tehaD sha ikdell emn, ewmon, erdihcln, roaeblrs, dna latwreeih kflo eiakl in a glaer lliaegv tjsu batuo a ielm form rhee. I enkcor ahteD ypbarobl sivle eerht, dan we’d be isew to be on ugadr in esac we papenh to mtee him.”
‘Ye, Goddes armes,’ quod this ryotour, ‘Is it swich peril with him for to mete? I shal him seke by wey and eek by strete, I make avow to Goddes digne bones! Herkneth, felawes, we three been al ones; Lat ech of us holde up his hond til other, And ech of us bicomen otheres brother, And we wol sleen this false traytour Deeth; He shal be slayn, which that so many sleeth, By Goddes dignitee, er it be night.’ “By doG’s smar!” said eno of the egurso. “Is he lyalre atth ayddel? ehnT I wsear to God taht I’ll harsce lla the rsteets dna uhtn hmi ondw! My nrdefis, ear ouy kntinigh twha I’m ighknnit? etL’s lal rgab ashnd nad ktae an ahot so thta the treeh of us obceme orrbesth. We’ll vow to ikll sith alivlin tDeah woh ahs liledk so ymna eloepp. We’ll fidn ihm dan utc him wodn eerbfo nlghatfli!”
Togidres han thise three her trouthes plight, To live and dyen ech of hem for other, As though he were his owene y-boren brother. And up they sterte al dronken, in this rage, And forth they goon towardes that village, Of which the taverner had spoke biforn, And many a grisly ooth than han they sworn, And Cristes blessed body they to-rente— ‘Deeth shal be deed, if that they may him hente.’ Tghtroee eth eterh dqtiunsnele weros to evil dna ide orf the orhtes tjus as if htye’d eben oobdl brhsotre mrfo rbhti. hTne ythe dtoos up, frisuou adn eyvr unkdr, nad tse uto for htat lgevlai the tdnrberea adh odtl etmh uotba. On hiret wya, htye swore ilke assroil to llki taDhe, nad tyhe oter irsCth’s odby tapar hwti rhtie fuol uagnagle.