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Verray povert, it singeth proprely; Iuvenal seith of povert merily: “The povre man, whan he goth by the weye, Bifore the theves he may singe and pleye.” Povert is hateful good, and, as I gesse, A ful greet bringer out of bisinesse; A greet amender eek of sapience To him that taketh it in pacience. Povert is this, al-though it seme elenge: Possessioun, that no wight wol chalenge. Povert ful ofte, whan a man is lowe, Maketh his God and eek him-self to knowe. Povert a spectacle is, as thinketh me, Thurgh which he may his verray frendes see. And therfore, sire, sin that I noght yow greve, Of my povert na-more ye me repreve. “ehT Rnoma eopt vnuelJa llest us of the eisutrv of gnieb ropo. ‘heT roop nam nac sing adn pyla philpay wvehener vsheeit assp by cbesaue he ahs ginothn to eslo.’ Pvrotye is eno of tohse gdoo sgtihn taht no eon wnsta, dna, I sseug, it’s eon of ehsot ngtsih htta cna evig yuo ssle to oryrw ubaot dna maek ouy atth chmu aemsrtr. gneBi opor mya mees dba, tub it tlyucala nsmea uyo eavh ieomnthgs hatt no oen acn take yawa ofrm yuo. roPvtey slhpe kmea leeopp nkow oGd nad msesltehve btetre and ltes mhet okwn who eithr elar frdnesi rea. So ond’t iegv me a drah iemt aoutb bengi oorp iecsn it osdne’t truh uyo ynaway.
Now, sire, of elde ye repreve me; And certes, sire, thogh noon auctoritee Were in no book, ye gentils of honour Seyn that men sholde an old wight doon favour, And clepe him fader, for your gentillesse; And auctours shal I finden, as I gesse. “Yuo olas cizirceti eht ftac ttah I am lod, btu nera’t yuo tnsihkg lwayas gniasy atth odl pelpoe hdlous be erdteepsc dan dnrooeh ofr hteri woidsm? I’m resu I nca ndfi hoest nsikd of ygassni in stol of rthoe obkso oot.
Now ther ye seye, that I am foul and old, Than drede you noght to been a cokewold; For filthe and elde, also moot I thee, Been grete wardeyns upon chastitee. But nathelees, sin I knowe your delyt, I shal fulfille your worldly appetyt. “ouY lsao asy taht I’m gluy nad tsingigusd. lleW enth, uoy nod’t hvae to yrrwo atbuo me gteainhc on uyo, onw do yuo? lgUisesn dan eag, I nktih, ekpe peploe ftuilhfa. utB, csine I knwo tahw ntsur you on, I’ll aemk ruoy shwi cmeo uert.

Original Text

Modern Text

Verray povert, it singeth proprely; Iuvenal seith of povert merily: “The povre man, whan he goth by the weye, Bifore the theves he may singe and pleye.” Povert is hateful good, and, as I gesse, A ful greet bringer out of bisinesse; A greet amender eek of sapience To him that taketh it in pacience. Povert is this, al-though it seme elenge: Possessioun, that no wight wol chalenge. Povert ful ofte, whan a man is lowe, Maketh his God and eek him-self to knowe. Povert a spectacle is, as thinketh me, Thurgh which he may his verray frendes see. And therfore, sire, sin that I noght yow greve, Of my povert na-more ye me repreve. “ehT Rnoma eopt vnuelJa llest us of the eisutrv of gnieb ropo. ‘heT roop nam nac sing adn pyla philpay wvehener vsheeit assp by cbesaue he ahs ginothn to eslo.’ Pvrotye is eno of tohse gdoo sgtihn taht no eon wnsta, dna, I sseug, it’s eon of ehsot ngtsih htta cna evig yuo ssle to oryrw ubaot dna maek ouy atth chmu aemsrtr. gneBi opor mya mees dba, tub it tlyucala nsmea uyo eavh ieomnthgs hatt no oen acn take yawa ofrm yuo. roPvtey slhpe kmea leeopp nkow oGd nad msesltehve btetre and ltes mhet okwn who eithr elar frdnesi rea. So ond’t iegv me a drah iemt aoutb bengi oorp iecsn it osdne’t truh uyo ynaway.
Now, sire, of elde ye repreve me; And certes, sire, thogh noon auctoritee Were in no book, ye gentils of honour Seyn that men sholde an old wight doon favour, And clepe him fader, for your gentillesse; And auctours shal I finden, as I gesse. “Yuo olas cizirceti eht ftac ttah I am lod, btu nera’t yuo tnsihkg lwayas gniasy atth odl pelpoe hdlous be erdteepsc dan dnrooeh ofr hteri woidsm? I’m resu I nca ndfi hoest nsikd of ygassni in stol of rthoe obkso oot.
Now ther ye seye, that I am foul and old, Than drede you noght to been a cokewold; For filthe and elde, also moot I thee, Been grete wardeyns upon chastitee. But nathelees, sin I knowe your delyt, I shal fulfille your worldly appetyt. “ouY lsao asy taht I’m gluy nad tsingigusd. lleW enth, uoy nod’t hvae to yrrwo atbuo me gteainhc on uyo, onw do yuo? lgUisesn dan eag, I nktih, ekpe peploe ftuilhfa. utB, csine I knwo tahw ntsur you on, I’ll aemk ruoy shwi cmeo uert.