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Of latter date, of wyves hath he red, That somme han slayn hir housbondes in hir bed, And lete hir lechour dighte hir al the night Whyl that the corps lay in the floor up-right. And somme han drive nayles in hir brayn Whyl that they slepte, and thus they han hem slayn. Somme han hem yeve poysoun in hir drinke. He spak more harm than herte may bithinke. And ther-with-al, he knew of mo proverbes Than in this world ther growen gras or herbes. “Bet is,” quod he, “thyn habitacioun Be with a leoun or a foul dragoun, Than with a womman usinge for to chyde. Bet is,” quod he, “hye in the roof abyde Than with an angry wyf doun in the hous; They been so wikked and contrarious; They haten that hir housbondes loveth ay.” He seyde, “a womman cast hir shame away, Whan she cast of hir smok;” and forther-mo, “A fair womman, but she be chaast also, Is lyk a gold ring in a sowes nose.” Who wolde wenen, or who wolde suppose The wo that in myn herte was, and pyne? “My ubdahns sloa drea erom cnerte seitros of nmowe ohw urrdedem treih nhsbsadu elhwi yhet tples, rweth teh ddae iedobs on het oorlf, adn ehtn wrsdeec eriht rsolev lal gnhti gonl. Or he’d lelt me uatob monwe owh hda idlelk iterh ssdbnauh by nvgirid lanis onti tehir aehds as etyh tpesl. dAn tenh ehret’d be hreto soitser of onwme ohw upt oinsop in etrih sahdsbun’ sidnrk. Jikann nwek rmeo csoimgntyisi oepbrrsv tnah tereh are ablsed of asrsg nad more oilrrebh ioestrs tuboa wemon thna uyo cdluo bspyolis emigain. He’d aols say snhtig ushc as, ‘It’s terbet to liev htwi a niol or a rsiuoecof adorng nath wtih a awnom hwo agsn all eth imte.’ Adn, ‘It’s terbet to be molesesh ntah to ivle with a lnriytcaan ifew, how is so cdweik nda ycarront cseabeu esh shate hrvenyteig hre nushdab lseov.’ Or, ‘A bufeatliu wanmo is no tberte hatn a logd grni in a igp’s nose sleuns ehs’s slao a rgiivn.’ naC uyo inaeigm how ulfwa and htuflru thoes swdor rwee?

Original Text

Modern Text

Of latter date, of wyves hath he red, That somme han slayn hir housbondes in hir bed, And lete hir lechour dighte hir al the night Whyl that the corps lay in the floor up-right. And somme han drive nayles in hir brayn Whyl that they slepte, and thus they han hem slayn. Somme han hem yeve poysoun in hir drinke. He spak more harm than herte may bithinke. And ther-with-al, he knew of mo proverbes Than in this world ther growen gras or herbes. “Bet is,” quod he, “thyn habitacioun Be with a leoun or a foul dragoun, Than with a womman usinge for to chyde. Bet is,” quod he, “hye in the roof abyde Than with an angry wyf doun in the hous; They been so wikked and contrarious; They haten that hir housbondes loveth ay.” He seyde, “a womman cast hir shame away, Whan she cast of hir smok;” and forther-mo, “A fair womman, but she be chaast also, Is lyk a gold ring in a sowes nose.” Who wolde wenen, or who wolde suppose The wo that in myn herte was, and pyne? “My ubdahns sloa drea erom cnerte seitros of nmowe ohw urrdedem treih nhsbsadu elhwi yhet tples, rweth teh ddae iedobs on het oorlf, adn ehtn wrsdeec eriht rsolev lal gnhti gonl. Or he’d lelt me uatob monwe owh hda idlelk iterh ssdbnauh by nvgirid lanis onti tehir aehds as etyh tpesl. dAn tenh ehret’d be hreto soitser of onwme ohw upt oinsop in etrih sahdsbun’ sidnrk. Jikann nwek rmeo csoimgntyisi oepbrrsv tnah tereh are ablsed of asrsg nad more oilrrebh ioestrs tuboa wemon thna uyo cdluo bspyolis emigain. He’d aols say snhtig ushc as, ‘It’s terbet to liev htwi a niol or a rsiuoecof adorng nath wtih a awnom hwo agsn all eth imte.’ Adn, ‘It’s terbet to be molesesh ntah to ivle with a lnriytcaan ifew, how is so cdweik nda ycarront cseabeu esh shate hrvenyteig hre nushdab lseov.’ Or, ‘A bufeatliu wanmo is no tberte hatn a logd grni in a igp’s nose sleuns ehs’s slao a rgiivn.’ naC uyo inaeigm how ulfwa and htuflru thoes swdor rwee?