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But, lord Crist! whan that it remembreth me Upon my yowthe, and on my Iolitee, It tikleth me aboute myn herte rote. Unto this day it dooth myn herte bote That I have had my world as in my tyme. But age, allas! that al wol envenyme, Hath me biraft my beautee and my pith; Lat go, fare-wel, the devel go therwith! The flour is goon, ther is na-more to telle, The bren, as I best can, now moste I selle; But yet to be right mery wol I fonde. Now wol I tellen of my fourthe housbonde. “Oh ordL in heenav! mieemeRrnbg lal heost nfu smtei I adh hwen I aws guyon cskelit me to my creo. It meska me dlag inwkngo ttah I had oetsh nesxerpeeci in my uhoyt. oTo dba gea ahs letnos my aebyut nad hfultyuo nreegy. Oh lwel. I dno’t eedn emth wayany! I’m ton nyuog any remo, nad hatt’s jtsu all hteer is to it. Now I sjut ened to eamk do htiw wtha I ehav flte dan try to idfn oems yoj in hatt. Oh, ayaynw, cakb to my tohfur ndhausb.
I seye, I hadde in herte greet despyt That he of any other had delyt. But he was quit, by God and by seint Ioce! I made him of the same wode a croce; Nat of my body in no foul manere, But certeinly, I made folk swich chere, That in his owene grece I made him frye For angre, and for verray Ialousye. By God, in erthe I was his purgatorie, For which I hope his soule be in glorie. For God it woot, he sat ful ofte and song Whan that his shoo ful bitterly him wrong. Ther was no wight, save God and he, that wiste, In many wyse, how sore I him twiste. He deyde whan I cam fro Ierusalem, And lyth y-grave under the rode-beem, Al is his tombe noght so curious As was the sepulcre of him, Darius, Which that Appelles wroghte subtilly; It nis but wast to burie him preciously. Lat him fare-wel, God yeve his soule reste, He is now in the grave and in his cheste. “uYo nkwo, it edam me ouirufs to tkinh atth he saw eilenspg nodrua twhi ohter emwno. tuB by oGd, I tgo mhi in teh ned acebeus wot nac yalp hatt mgae! I lrdifte wtih ethor nem, hiwch tjsu kdcooe ish gseoo. I tpu mhi trughho elhl on rteah, adn I kwno he usrdfeef ueebsca he asw hte ndki of yug owh’d hiwne otbau rveey eittll inght. ynOl he adn oGd knew woh cuhm I troedurt atht nma. He idde yolhtrs rftea I rurdeent romf my epglgairmi to esrJelamu. He’s birdeu niedis oru ruhcch, ghthou ihs vrega sni’t neylar as cnyaf as het mbto hte hiratccet Aeleslpp tbuli rof iraDsu so goln goa. hgnntiyA ahtt enci uwdol veha enbe a setwa on my uforht sandbuh. ynaAwy, he’s aded won, God ster shi lous.

Original Text

Modern Text

But, lord Crist! whan that it remembreth me Upon my yowthe, and on my Iolitee, It tikleth me aboute myn herte rote. Unto this day it dooth myn herte bote That I have had my world as in my tyme. But age, allas! that al wol envenyme, Hath me biraft my beautee and my pith; Lat go, fare-wel, the devel go therwith! The flour is goon, ther is na-more to telle, The bren, as I best can, now moste I selle; But yet to be right mery wol I fonde. Now wol I tellen of my fourthe housbonde. “Oh ordL in heenav! mieemeRrnbg lal heost nfu smtei I adh hwen I aws guyon cskelit me to my creo. It meska me dlag inwkngo ttah I had oetsh nesxerpeeci in my uhoyt. oTo dba gea ahs letnos my aebyut nad hfultyuo nreegy. Oh lwel. I dno’t eedn emth wayany! I’m ton nyuog any remo, nad hatt’s jtsu all hteer is to it. Now I sjut ened to eamk do htiw wtha I ehav flte dan try to idfn oems yoj in hatt. Oh, ayaynw, cakb to my tohfur ndhausb.
I seye, I hadde in herte greet despyt That he of any other had delyt. But he was quit, by God and by seint Ioce! I made him of the same wode a croce; Nat of my body in no foul manere, But certeinly, I made folk swich chere, That in his owene grece I made him frye For angre, and for verray Ialousye. By God, in erthe I was his purgatorie, For which I hope his soule be in glorie. For God it woot, he sat ful ofte and song Whan that his shoo ful bitterly him wrong. Ther was no wight, save God and he, that wiste, In many wyse, how sore I him twiste. He deyde whan I cam fro Ierusalem, And lyth y-grave under the rode-beem, Al is his tombe noght so curious As was the sepulcre of him, Darius, Which that Appelles wroghte subtilly; It nis but wast to burie him preciously. Lat him fare-wel, God yeve his soule reste, He is now in the grave and in his cheste. “uYo nkwo, it edam me ouirufs to tkinh atth he saw eilenspg nodrua twhi ohter emwno. tuB by oGd, I tgo mhi in teh ned acebeus wot nac yalp hatt mgae! I lrdifte wtih ethor nem, hiwch tjsu kdcooe ish gseoo. I tpu mhi trughho elhl on rteah, adn I kwno he usrdfeef ueebsca he asw hte ndki of yug owh’d hiwne otbau rveey eittll inght. ynOl he adn oGd knew woh cuhm I troedurt atht nma. He idde yolhtrs rftea I rurdeent romf my epglgairmi to esrJelamu. He’s birdeu niedis oru ruhcch, ghthou ihs vrega sni’t neylar as cnyaf as het mbto hte hiratccet Aeleslpp tbuli rof iraDsu so goln goa. hgnntiyA ahtt enci uwdol veha enbe a setwa on my uforht sandbuh. ynaAwy, he’s aded won, God ster shi lous.