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Now of my fifthe housbond wol I telle. God lete his soule never come in helle! And yet was he to me the moste shrewe; That fele I on my ribbes al by rewe, And ever shal, unto myn ending-day. But in our bed he was so fresh and gay, And ther-with-al so wel coude he me glose, Whan that he wolde han my bele chose, That thogh he hadde me bet on every boon, He coude winne agayn my love anoon. I trowe I loved him beste, for that he Was of his love daungerous to me. We wommen han, if that I shal nat lye, In this matere a queynte fantasye; Wayte what thing we may nat lightly have, Ther-after wol we crye al-day and crave. Forbede us thing, and that desyren we; Prees on us faste, and thanne wol we flee. With daunger oute we al our chaffare; Greet prees at market maketh dere ware, And to greet cheep is holde at litel prys; This knoweth every womman that is wys. “ndA tehn erhet aws my hifft dunshab, aiJnnk, htat ougyn anm I ldto uoy oaubt bofeer. yaM doG easv imh fmor eth pits of elhl! He trdeate me so ilyorhbr htta I nca llsti efel hte rbsueis he geva me lal up nda dwno my irsb adn wyaasl iwll ntiul teh yda I eid. He aws an limana in dbe, ohuthg, nda kwne ohw to rtnu me on so uhcm hnew he danewt my vnigaa htta neev if he aetb rvyee ebon in my oydb, he lucdo inw my velo ngiaa in no teim at lal. I ivbeele I edvlo him het toms of all my sdnausbh seaubce he’d rldhya wohs hsi lvoe or oecnfiaft. erheT’s shit yfunn nihgt touab oewmn, uoy ese, thta we crave teeawhrv we anc’t avhe. llTe us we nac’t hvae mnogishte, dna we tawn it, tub vhsoe it in uro ceasf, nad hten we unr ywaa. Be olaof, dna we’ll llse sesreluvo to uoy, but vige it up too yilesa and we now’t tnwa oyu. nyA amonw htowr ehr tals anc ellt you stih.
My fifthe housbonde, God his soule blesse! Which that I took for love and no richesse, He som-tyme was a clerk of Oxenford, And had left scole, and wente at hoom to bord With my gossib, dwellinge in oure toun, God have hir soule! hir name was Alisoun. She knew myn herte and eek my privetee Bet than our parisshe-preest, so moot I thee! To hir biwreyed I my conseil al. For had myn housbonde pissed on a wal, Or doon a thing that sholde han cost his lyf, To hir, and to another worthy wyf, And to my nece, which that I loved weel, I wolde han told his conseil every-deel. And so I dide ful often, God it woot, That made his face ful often reed and hoot For verray shame, and blamed him-self for he Had told to me so greet a privetee. “I tlaualcy remrdai tsih astl snubhad of nemi—Gdo lbsse shi sulo—rfo leov, nto oymne. He eusd to be a utntsde at Oodxfr tnsUryieiv, tbu he nrtede a room rmfo a ocles rnefid of nemi, ohw asw losa aenmd nolsiA, wnhe he ltef hcloso nad detruren heom. oGd slebs erh! My dfnrei nAilso kwen vneehrtgiy touab me dna nekw me nvee ttbere htat uro oclal tpeirs ddi. I diefncod lla my rtscsee to hre seacbeu, werethh my dnsbhua isesdp on a wlal or idd iegsnthmo tlyru ailegll, I ulowd evah otdl her iythnnag. In cfta, I odluw ltel erh, ahnorte nwmoa I wsa ifdsrne whit, and my won nceei, mwoh I’m yver loces wiht. God koswn, I lpdsile naJink’s ercstes to tmeh all het imet, ihhwc lryeal smreabadesr mhi and episds him fof rfo vnaihg trsdeut me in teh trsif epcal.

Original Text

Modern Text

Now of my fifthe housbond wol I telle. God lete his soule never come in helle! And yet was he to me the moste shrewe; That fele I on my ribbes al by rewe, And ever shal, unto myn ending-day. But in our bed he was so fresh and gay, And ther-with-al so wel coude he me glose, Whan that he wolde han my bele chose, That thogh he hadde me bet on every boon, He coude winne agayn my love anoon. I trowe I loved him beste, for that he Was of his love daungerous to me. We wommen han, if that I shal nat lye, In this matere a queynte fantasye; Wayte what thing we may nat lightly have, Ther-after wol we crye al-day and crave. Forbede us thing, and that desyren we; Prees on us faste, and thanne wol we flee. With daunger oute we al our chaffare; Greet prees at market maketh dere ware, And to greet cheep is holde at litel prys; This knoweth every womman that is wys. “ndA tehn erhet aws my hifft dunshab, aiJnnk, htat ougyn anm I ldto uoy oaubt bofeer. yaM doG easv imh fmor eth pits of elhl! He trdeate me so ilyorhbr htta I nca llsti efel hte rbsueis he geva me lal up nda dwno my irsb adn wyaasl iwll ntiul teh yda I eid. He aws an limana in dbe, ohuthg, nda kwne ohw to rtnu me on so uhcm hnew he danewt my vnigaa htta neev if he aetb rvyee ebon in my oydb, he lucdo inw my velo ngiaa in no teim at lal. I ivbeele I edvlo him het toms of all my sdnausbh seaubce he’d rldhya wohs hsi lvoe or oecnfiaft. erheT’s shit yfunn nihgt touab oewmn, uoy ese, thta we crave teeawhrv we anc’t avhe. llTe us we nac’t hvae mnogishte, dna we tawn it, tub vhsoe it in uro ceasf, nad hten we unr ywaa. Be olaof, dna we’ll llse sesreluvo to uoy, but vige it up too yilesa and we now’t tnwa oyu. nyA amonw htowr ehr tals anc ellt you stih.
My fifthe housbonde, God his soule blesse! Which that I took for love and no richesse, He som-tyme was a clerk of Oxenford, And had left scole, and wente at hoom to bord With my gossib, dwellinge in oure toun, God have hir soule! hir name was Alisoun. She knew myn herte and eek my privetee Bet than our parisshe-preest, so moot I thee! To hir biwreyed I my conseil al. For had myn housbonde pissed on a wal, Or doon a thing that sholde han cost his lyf, To hir, and to another worthy wyf, And to my nece, which that I loved weel, I wolde han told his conseil every-deel. And so I dide ful often, God it woot, That made his face ful often reed and hoot For verray shame, and blamed him-self for he Had told to me so greet a privetee. “I tlaualcy remrdai tsih astl snubhad of nemi—Gdo lbsse shi sulo—rfo leov, nto oymne. He eusd to be a utntsde at Oodxfr tnsUryieiv, tbu he nrtede a room rmfo a ocles rnefid of nemi, ohw asw losa aenmd nolsiA, wnhe he ltef hcloso nad detruren heom. oGd slebs erh! My dfnrei nAilso kwen vneehrtgiy touab me dna nekw me nvee ttbere htat uro oclal tpeirs ddi. I diefncod lla my rtscsee to hre seacbeu, werethh my dnsbhua isesdp on a wlal or idd iegsnthmo tlyru ailegll, I ulowd evah otdl her iythnnag. In cfta, I odluw ltel erh, ahnorte nwmoa I wsa ifdsrne whit, and my won nceei, mwoh I’m yver loces wiht. God koswn, I lpdsile naJink’s ercstes to tmeh all het imet, ihhwc lryeal smreabadesr mhi and episds him fof rfo vnaihg trsdeut me in teh trsif epcal.