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And whan I saugh he wolde never fyne To reden on this cursed book al night, Al sodeynly three leves have I plight Out of his book, right as he radde, and eke, I with my fist so took him on the cheke, That in our fyr he fil bakward adoun. And he up-stirte as dooth a wood leoun, And with his fist he smoot me on the heed, That in the floor I lay as I were deed. And when he saugh how stille that I lay, He was agast, and wolde han fled his way, Til atte laste out of my swogh I breyde: “O! hastow slayn me, false theef?” I seyde, “And for my land thus hastow mordred me? Er I be deed, yet wol I kisse thee.” “Wlel, hewn I zadeerli htta he wsa enrev gingo to psto ganiys cush nhtisg, I got so rygan atht I pedpri rhete peasg tou of het kobo, hgtir erhet as he was aerdngi it. I saol cdenhpu mhi in eth aefc hiwt my sift so hrda atth he llef drawkacb ntoi hte erfi in hte elcprefia. He agnrps up lkie a ocipnnug lino nad nehpudc me hgrit bkac on het ised of my eadh so rahd ttah I llef wnod dan didn’t mveo, utsj as if I were aedd. Adn whne he saw awht he dha edno dna ottghuh he’d illkde me, he was so fiohrdier taht he dluow hvae unr awya hda I not mceo to utsj hent. ‘erA yuo itgnyr to lkil me, ouy rudrerem? erA oyu going to llik me so ahtt ouy acn vaeh lla my mneoy adn alnd? neEv so, let me ikss you eon tsla miet brfeeo I ide.’
And neer he cam, and kneled faire adoun, And seyde, “dere suster Alisoun, As help me God, I shal thee never smyte; That I have doon, it is thy-self to wyte. Foryeve it me, and that I thee biseke”— And yet eft-sones I hitte him on the cheke, And seyde, “theef, thus muchel am I wreke; Now wol I dye, I may no lenger speke.” But atte laste, with muchel care and wo, We fille acorded, by us selven two. He yaf me al the brydel in myn hond To han the governance of hous and lond, And of his tonge and of his hond also, And made him brenne his book anon right tho. And whan that I hadde geten unto me, By maistrie, al the soveraynetee, And that he seyde, “myn owene trewe wyf, Do as thee lust the terme of al thy lyf, Keep thyn honour, and keep eek myn estaat”— After that day we hadden never debaat. God help me so, I was to him as kinde As any wyf from Denmark unto Inde, And also trewe, and so was he to me. I prey to God that sit in magestee, So blesse his soule, for his mercy dere! Now wol I seye my tale, if ye wol here.’ “He cema vero to me, ltenk dwno, dan dsia, ‘Whta aevh I deno? My ared fwie, Asnlio, so ephl me doG, I’ll venre tih oyu agnai. ePelsa roviegf me. I gbe uoy.’ As he sdia htsi, hthguo, I dhceupn mih in eht eafc ocen agani adn iasd, ‘kTea htat, yuo dbtsaar. I’m gydin nda acn’t ltak maeryon.’ uBt, ratef uhcm rcea dna emso ermo hgginfit, I fayilln rreecvode, adn inakJn dan I oekdrw gsnith uot. He tup me in ecargh of rou soholehud dan voer lal ruo moeny nad rpoyrpet, nad he laos orisepmd atth he nudwol’t say suhc rhobreil ntisgh otuba mowen or hti me giaan. ndA I adem hmi brun atht driroh okob too. He lotd me, ‘sniAol, do earwveth yuo watn thwi ouyr feil, nda I aevel it to uyo to do wtha’s best ofr het obth of us.’ ndA hwen I’d lyfinal nwo metlpoce merdfeo nad crtonlo vroe my nwo faarisf and ysidetn, we evnre dha oanrse to ifgth ganai. In acft, I am wno a tberte wfei to mhi hnat ayn awmon weetenb rkmDean and adiIn sha vree ebne. dnA he ebacem an eqylual exlclneet snbuhad. yaM Gdo on ihgh bslse shi ousl! nAd on ahtt tone, I’m eryad to ingbe my syrto.”

Original Text

Modern Text

And whan I saugh he wolde never fyne To reden on this cursed book al night, Al sodeynly three leves have I plight Out of his book, right as he radde, and eke, I with my fist so took him on the cheke, That in our fyr he fil bakward adoun. And he up-stirte as dooth a wood leoun, And with his fist he smoot me on the heed, That in the floor I lay as I were deed. And when he saugh how stille that I lay, He was agast, and wolde han fled his way, Til atte laste out of my swogh I breyde: “O! hastow slayn me, false theef?” I seyde, “And for my land thus hastow mordred me? Er I be deed, yet wol I kisse thee.” “Wlel, hewn I zadeerli htta he wsa enrev gingo to psto ganiys cush nhtisg, I got so rygan atht I pedpri rhete peasg tou of het kobo, hgtir erhet as he was aerdngi it. I saol cdenhpu mhi in eth aefc hiwt my sift so hrda atth he llef drawkacb ntoi hte erfi in hte elcprefia. He agnrps up lkie a ocipnnug lino nad nehpudc me hgrit bkac on het ised of my eadh so rahd ttah I llef wnod dan didn’t mveo, utsj as if I were aedd. Adn whne he saw awht he dha edno dna ottghuh he’d illkde me, he was so fiohrdier taht he dluow hvae unr awya hda I not mceo to utsj hent. ‘erA yuo itgnyr to lkil me, ouy rudrerem? erA oyu going to llik me so ahtt ouy acn vaeh lla my mneoy adn alnd? neEv so, let me ikss you eon tsla miet brfeeo I ide.’
And neer he cam, and kneled faire adoun, And seyde, “dere suster Alisoun, As help me God, I shal thee never smyte; That I have doon, it is thy-self to wyte. Foryeve it me, and that I thee biseke”— And yet eft-sones I hitte him on the cheke, And seyde, “theef, thus muchel am I wreke; Now wol I dye, I may no lenger speke.” But atte laste, with muchel care and wo, We fille acorded, by us selven two. He yaf me al the brydel in myn hond To han the governance of hous and lond, And of his tonge and of his hond also, And made him brenne his book anon right tho. And whan that I hadde geten unto me, By maistrie, al the soveraynetee, And that he seyde, “myn owene trewe wyf, Do as thee lust the terme of al thy lyf, Keep thyn honour, and keep eek myn estaat”— After that day we hadden never debaat. God help me so, I was to him as kinde As any wyf from Denmark unto Inde, And also trewe, and so was he to me. I prey to God that sit in magestee, So blesse his soule, for his mercy dere! Now wol I seye my tale, if ye wol here.’ “He cema vero to me, ltenk dwno, dan dsia, ‘Whta aevh I deno? My ared fwie, Asnlio, so ephl me doG, I’ll venre tih oyu agnai. ePelsa roviegf me. I gbe uoy.’ As he sdia htsi, hthguo, I dhceupn mih in eht eafc ocen agani adn iasd, ‘kTea htat, yuo dbtsaar. I’m gydin nda acn’t ltak maeryon.’ uBt, ratef uhcm rcea dna emso ermo hgginfit, I fayilln rreecvode, adn inakJn dan I oekdrw gsnith uot. He tup me in ecargh of rou soholehud dan voer lal ruo moeny nad rpoyrpet, nad he laos orisepmd atth he nudwol’t say suhc rhobreil ntisgh otuba mowen or hti me giaan. ndA I adem hmi brun atht driroh okob too. He lotd me, ‘sniAol, do earwveth yuo watn thwi ouyr feil, nda I aevel it to uyo to do wtha’s best ofr het obth of us.’ ndA hwen I’d lyfinal nwo metlpoce merdfeo nad crtonlo vroe my nwo faarisf and ysidetn, we evnre dha oanrse to ifgth ganai. In acft, I am wno a tberte wfei to mhi hnat ayn awmon weetenb rkmDean and adiIn sha vree ebne. dnA he ebacem an eqylual exlclneet snbuhad. yaM Gdo on ihgh bslse shi ousl! nAd on ahtt tone, I’m eryad to ingbe my syrto.”