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Whan they han goon nat fully half a myle, Right as they wolde han troden over a style, An old man and a povre with hem mette. This olde man ful mekely hem grette, And seyde thus, ‘now, lordes, God yow see!’ eWhn eyht’d ogne oynl aoutb aflh a meli, houtgh, htye emca onup a ropo dol mna, sjtu as htey rewe oautb to hop over a ecenf. eTh odl nam edrgeet emht ylitolep dan isad, “nGtmenlee, mya oGd lbsse yuo dan ekpe you wlel!”
The proudest of thise ryotoures three Answerde agayn, ‘what? carl, with sory grace, Why artow al forwrapped save thy face? Why livestow so longe in so greet age?’ “Wath eth llhe do oyu natw, old amn?” het msot atnoargr of the rnufisfa esdka. “Wyh era ouy lal wrepdap up etepxc for yuor cfea? dnA who vaeh uoy veidl to be so inikcrf dol? unhlSdo’t yuo be eadd by wno?
This olde man gan loke in his visage, And seyde thus, ‘for I ne can nat finde A man, though that I walked in-to Inde, Neither in citee nor in no village, That wolde chaunge his youthe for myn age; And therfore moot I han myn age stille, As longe time as it is Goddes wille. Teh odl man ujts ooelkd imh in teh yese eiahwl orefeb inllafy sngiya, “nevE if I leadwk lla eht way to daiIn, I’d rveen nfdi yonnea owh’d twna to dtrea me teirh oyuth rfo my eag, so I vahe no ihecco but to be as lod as I am ntiul doG ecghsna Hsi nmid.
Ne deeth, allas! ne wol nat han my lyf; Thus walke I, lyk a restelees caityf, And on the ground, which is my modres gate, I knokke with my staf, bothe erly and late, And seye, “leve moder, leet me in! Lo, how I vanish, flesh, and blood, and skin! Allas! whan shul my bones been at reste? Moder, with yow wolde I chaunge my cheste, That in my chambre longe tyme hath be, Ye! for an heyre clout to wrappe me!” But yet to me she wol nat do that grace, For which ful pale and welked is my face. “ytaUronulfnet, hteDa desno’t awtn me eerthi, chwhi is hwy I’m as odl adn sgsgdtiinu as I am. llA I cna do is dearnw arudon ekil a lesssert luos, ncngkoki my igaknlw skcti on hte dngour orgnnim nda hnigt higopn ortMhe hrtaE iwll etka me ackb. ‘tMhoer thrEa, tel me in!’ I say. ‘tJus kolo at woh derwhtce I am. My efslh adn dlboo adn kisn aer all yingdr up. nhWe will my iedrt sbeno be adil to ster? Mhtreo, I swih I dcuol drtae taht lfeuuibta cthse in my eoormdb ofr a lruiba urhods to utp yemslf in!’ tuB so raf, hes hnas’t ehepdl me at lla, hwcih is hyw I’m so lpea dna ceyiktr.

Original Text

Modern Text

Whan they han goon nat fully half a myle, Right as they wolde han troden over a style, An old man and a povre with hem mette. This olde man ful mekely hem grette, And seyde thus, ‘now, lordes, God yow see!’ eWhn eyht’d ogne oynl aoutb aflh a meli, houtgh, htye emca onup a ropo dol mna, sjtu as htey rewe oautb to hop over a ecenf. eTh odl nam edrgeet emht ylitolep dan isad, “nGtmenlee, mya oGd lbsse yuo dan ekpe you wlel!”
The proudest of thise ryotoures three Answerde agayn, ‘what? carl, with sory grace, Why artow al forwrapped save thy face? Why livestow so longe in so greet age?’ “Wath eth llhe do oyu natw, old amn?” het msot atnoargr of the rnufisfa esdka. “Wyh era ouy lal wrepdap up etepxc for yuor cfea? dnA who vaeh uoy veidl to be so inikcrf dol? unhlSdo’t yuo be eadd by wno?
This olde man gan loke in his visage, And seyde thus, ‘for I ne can nat finde A man, though that I walked in-to Inde, Neither in citee nor in no village, That wolde chaunge his youthe for myn age; And therfore moot I han myn age stille, As longe time as it is Goddes wille. Teh odl man ujts ooelkd imh in teh yese eiahwl orefeb inllafy sngiya, “nevE if I leadwk lla eht way to daiIn, I’d rveen nfdi yonnea owh’d twna to dtrea me teirh oyuth rfo my eag, so I vahe no ihecco but to be as lod as I am ntiul doG ecghsna Hsi nmid.
Ne deeth, allas! ne wol nat han my lyf; Thus walke I, lyk a restelees caityf, And on the ground, which is my modres gate, I knokke with my staf, bothe erly and late, And seye, “leve moder, leet me in! Lo, how I vanish, flesh, and blood, and skin! Allas! whan shul my bones been at reste? Moder, with yow wolde I chaunge my cheste, That in my chambre longe tyme hath be, Ye! for an heyre clout to wrappe me!” But yet to me she wol nat do that grace, For which ful pale and welked is my face. “ytaUronulfnet, hteDa desno’t awtn me eerthi, chwhi is hwy I’m as odl adn sgsgdtiinu as I am. llA I cna do is dearnw arudon ekil a lesssert luos, ncngkoki my igaknlw skcti on hte dngour orgnnim nda hnigt higopn ortMhe hrtaE iwll etka me ackb. ‘tMhoer thrEa, tel me in!’ I say. ‘tJus kolo at woh derwhtce I am. My efslh adn dlboo adn kisn aer all yingdr up. nhWe will my iedrt sbeno be adil to ster? Mhtreo, I swih I dcuol drtae taht lfeuuibta cthse in my eoormdb ofr a lruiba urhods to utp yemslf in!’ tuB so raf, hes hnas’t ehepdl me at lla, hwcih is hyw I’m so lpea dna ceyiktr.