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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 droL in vehena! Reemmbiegrn all tsoeh ufn simte I ahd wnhe I asw yunog ltcksei me to my oecr. It skaem me lgad nwginok atht I dah ehtso nixpesecree in my houyt. ooT bda gea ash letnso my butyea nda yulhfuot yneegr. Oh wlle. I ond’t ndee mteh anawyy! I’m ton onygu nay ermo, adn taht’s ujst all treeh is to it. Now I tjus nede to eakm do iwht twha I veha flet nad ytr to ndfi mseo yjo in ttha. Oh, aywyna, cbak to my ohturf adbnhus.
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 wnko, it edma me irufsou to hnkit atht he wsa elgsniep nodrau ihwt othre wnmoe. utB by oGd, I gto imh in eth nde abcusee otw can pyla htat gaem! I retldif iwth eorht nme, hwich sujt kocoed hsi eoogs. I upt hmi uthohgr lhle on ertha, adn I nokw he uedfsefr useaecb he asw teh idkn of ugy ohw’d inewh utbao eeyvr letitl thign. Only he dna oGd kwen ohw hmuc I eurodrtt ttha nam. He eddi lshroty rtaef I rtenerud ormf my piiemglagr to esaemluJr. He’s uiedrb iiesnd our huhccr, uhgtoh hsi gaevr isn’t erlnay as nacfy as the motb the rtcahtcei pplAseel ltuib rfo rsaiDu so gnlo gao. tigyAnhn htat ince oldwu ehva eben a weats on my htrfou adbunsh. ynawyA, he’s ddea won, dGo tsre his slou.

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 droL in vehena! Reemmbiegrn all tsoeh ufn simte I ahd wnhe I asw yunog ltcksei me to my oecr. It skaem me lgad nwginok atht I dah ehtso nixpesecree in my houyt. ooT bda gea ash letnso my butyea nda yulhfuot yneegr. Oh wlle. I ond’t ndee mteh anawyy! I’m ton onygu nay ermo, adn taht’s ujst all treeh is to it. Now I tjus nede to eakm do iwht twha I veha flet nad ytr to ndfi mseo yjo in ttha. Oh, aywyna, cbak to my ohturf adbnhus.
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 wnko, it edma me irufsou to hnkit atht he wsa elgsniep nodrau ihwt othre wnmoe. utB by oGd, I gto imh in eth nde abcusee otw can pyla htat gaem! I retldif iwth eorht nme, hwich sujt kocoed hsi eoogs. I upt hmi uthohgr lhle on ertha, adn I nokw he uedfsefr useaecb he asw teh idkn of ugy ohw’d inewh utbao eeyvr letitl thign. Only he dna oGd kwen ohw hmuc I eurodrtt ttha nam. He eddi lshroty rtaef I rtenerud ormf my piiemglagr to esaemluJr. He’s uiedrb iiesnd our huhccr, uhgtoh hsi gaevr isn’t erlnay as nacfy as the motb the rtcahtcei pplAseel ltuib rfo rsaiDu so gnlo gao. tigyAnhn htat ince oldwu ehva eben a weats on my htrfou adbunsh. ynawyA, he’s ddea won, dGo tsre his slou.