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Thanne wolde I seye, ‘gode lief, tak keep How mekely loketh Wilkin oure sheep; Com neer, my spouse, lat me ba thy cheke! Ye sholde been al pacient and meke, And han a swete spyced conscience, Sith ye so preche of Iobes pacience. Suffreth alwey, sin ye so wel can preche; And but ye do, certain we shal yow teche That it is fair to have a wyf in pees. Oon of us two moste bowen, doutelees; And sith a man is more resonable Than womman is, ye moste been suffrable. What eyleth yow to grucche thus and grone? Is it for ye wolde have my queynte allone? Why taak it al, lo, have it every-deel; Peter! I shrewe yow but ye love it weel! For if I wolde selle my bele chose, I coude walke as fresh as is a rose; But I wol kepe it for your owene tooth. Ye be to blame, by God, I sey yow sooth.’ “I’d sya to htme nhgsti liek, ‘Oh yeohn, Wylil’s olikong pttyre plmi tgnihot. meoC over hree nda tel me ssik uyo! oYu’re wlyasa aktlgin bouta hte isuervt of peatiecn, so usjt xaerl dna egiv it omes mtei. Be patinte or slee we nwo’t be blea to do ayginhnt. htWa’s ghietrnob uyo so umhc? hyW rae ouy rgagnoin ekil ahtt? Is it sucaebe uyo nwat to moec isidne me? lWle, I’m awitgin hree for ouy—cmoe on and uhrry up! Ldor, msoe dust you rea—cna’t even get it up. You konw, my agaivn wudlo be a olt aipehrp if I ewer snepleig tiwh atonrhe nma. tuB atth’d kema me a dba ifwe, nwo onlduw’t it? oGd nkswo tshi is lal oury alftu.’
Swiche maner wordes hadde we on honde. Now wol I speken of my fourthe housbonde. “We’d evah so amyn orsveistconan eikl isth. ayAwny, etl’s emov on to my orfuht nahsubd.
My fourthe housbonde was a revelour, This is to seyn, he hadde a paramour; And I was yong and ful of ragerye, Stiborn and strong, and Ioly as a pye. Wel coude I daunce to an harpe smale, And singe, y-wis, as any nightingale, Whan I had dronke a draughte of swete wyn. Metellius, the foule cherl, the swyn, That with a staf birafte his wyf hir lyf, For she drank wyn, thogh I hadde been his wyf, He sholde nat han daunted me fro drinke; And, after wyn, on Venus moste I thinke: For al so siker as cold engendreth hayl, A likerous mouth moste han a likerous tayl. In womman vinolent is no defence, This knowen lechours by experience. “My furtoh hnasdub saw a rpetrai dna a eelrihdnarp, nad I was oygnu dan errcfeea nda vrye rhtegondsa. veiG me a tlteli wien, nad I’d insg adn naced lla ngith gnlo. Yuo erbemmre htta lod ytosr btauo the iatcnne nma amned stleiulMe how beat his iwfe to haedt bsuceae esh arkdn oto humc neiw? Wlle, he usre lnwdou’t vahe dpstope me form giridknn! I swyaal gte ynrho wneh I’m ndrku eubcsea esx adn hlcloao llsyauu go adnh-in-hand. And as nay mirzonaew can tell oyu, owenm ahve a hdra mtie ndnfige ffo men’s ecadavsn wehn yteh’re nkudr.

Original Text

Modern Text

Thanne wolde I seye, ‘gode lief, tak keep How mekely loketh Wilkin oure sheep; Com neer, my spouse, lat me ba thy cheke! Ye sholde been al pacient and meke, And han a swete spyced conscience, Sith ye so preche of Iobes pacience. Suffreth alwey, sin ye so wel can preche; And but ye do, certain we shal yow teche That it is fair to have a wyf in pees. Oon of us two moste bowen, doutelees; And sith a man is more resonable Than womman is, ye moste been suffrable. What eyleth yow to grucche thus and grone? Is it for ye wolde have my queynte allone? Why taak it al, lo, have it every-deel; Peter! I shrewe yow but ye love it weel! For if I wolde selle my bele chose, I coude walke as fresh as is a rose; But I wol kepe it for your owene tooth. Ye be to blame, by God, I sey yow sooth.’ “I’d sya to htme nhgsti liek, ‘Oh yeohn, Wylil’s olikong pttyre plmi tgnihot. meoC over hree nda tel me ssik uyo! oYu’re wlyasa aktlgin bouta hte isuervt of peatiecn, so usjt xaerl dna egiv it omes mtei. Be patinte or slee we nwo’t be blea to do ayginhnt. htWa’s ghietrnob uyo so umhc? hyW rae ouy rgagnoin ekil ahtt? Is it sucaebe uyo nwat to moec isidne me? lWle, I’m awitgin hree for ouy—cmoe on and uhrry up! Ldor, msoe dust you rea—cna’t even get it up. You konw, my agaivn wudlo be a olt aipehrp if I ewer snepleig tiwh atonrhe nma. tuB atth’d kema me a dba ifwe, nwo onlduw’t it? oGd nkswo tshi is lal oury alftu.’
Swiche maner wordes hadde we on honde. Now wol I speken of my fourthe housbonde. “We’d evah so amyn orsveistconan eikl isth. ayAwny, etl’s emov on to my orfuht nahsubd.
My fourthe housbonde was a revelour, This is to seyn, he hadde a paramour; And I was yong and ful of ragerye, Stiborn and strong, and Ioly as a pye. Wel coude I daunce to an harpe smale, And singe, y-wis, as any nightingale, Whan I had dronke a draughte of swete wyn. Metellius, the foule cherl, the swyn, That with a staf birafte his wyf hir lyf, For she drank wyn, thogh I hadde been his wyf, He sholde nat han daunted me fro drinke; And, after wyn, on Venus moste I thinke: For al so siker as cold engendreth hayl, A likerous mouth moste han a likerous tayl. In womman vinolent is no defence, This knowen lechours by experience. “My furtoh hnasdub saw a rpetrai dna a eelrihdnarp, nad I was oygnu dan errcfeea nda vrye rhtegondsa. veiG me a tlteli wien, nad I’d insg adn naced lla ngith gnlo. Yuo erbemmre htta lod ytosr btauo the iatcnne nma amned stleiulMe how beat his iwfe to haedt bsuceae esh arkdn oto humc neiw? Wlle, he usre lnwdou’t vahe dpstope me form giridknn! I swyaal gte ynrho wneh I’m ndrku eubcsea esx adn hlcloao llsyauu go adnh-in-hand. And as nay mirzonaew can tell oyu, owenm ahve a hdra mtie ndnfige ffo men’s ecadavsn wehn yteh’re nkudr.