The Nun's Priest's Prologue, Tale, and Epilogue -- An Interlinear Translation
THE GEOFFREY CHAUCER PAGE
An Interlinear Translation
The Middle English text is from Larry D. Benson., Gen. ed., The
Houghton Mifflin Company; used with permission of the publisher.
The Prologue of the Nun's Priest's Tale.
The Prologue of the Nonnes Preestes Tale.
2767 "Hoo!" quod the Knyght, "good sire, namoore of this!
"Whoa!" said the Knight, "good sire, no more of this!
2768 That ye han seyd is right ynough, ywis,
What you have said is quite enough, indeed,
2769 And muchel moore; for litel hevynesse
And much more; for a little sadness
2770 Is right ynough to muche folk, I gesse.
Is quite enough for many people, I guess.
2771 I seye for me, it is a greet disese,
I say for myself, it is a great distress,
2772 Whereas men han been in greet welthe and ese,
When men have been in great wealth and ease,
2773 To heeren of hire sodeyn fal, allas!
To hear of their sudden fall, alas!
2774 And the contrarie is joye and greet solas,
And the contrary is joy and great comfort,
2775 As whan a man hath been in povre estaat,
As when a man has been in a poor condition,
2776 And clymbeth up and wexeth fortunat,
And climbs up and becomes fortunate,
2777 And there abideth in prosperitee.
And there remains in prosperity.
2778 Swich thyng is gladsom, as it thynketh me,
Such a thing is pleasing, as it seems to me,
2779 And of swich thyng were goodly for to telle."
And of such a thing it would be good to tell."
2780 "Ye," quod oure Hooste, "by Seint Poules belle!
"Yea," said our Host, "by Saint Paul's bell!
2781 Ye seye right sooth; this Monk he clappeth lowde.
You say the very truth; this Monk he chatters noisily.
2782 He spak how Fortune covered with a clowde
He spoke of how Fortune covered with a cloud
2783 I noot nevere what; and als of a tragedie
I know not what; and also of a tragedy
2784 Right now ye herde, and pardee, no remedie
Just now you heard, and by God, no remedy
2785 It is for to biwaille ne compleyne
Is it to bewail or lament
2786 That that is doon, and als it is a peyne,
That which is done, and also it is a pain,
2787 As ye han seyd, to heere of hevynesse.
As you have said, to hear of sadness.
2788 "Sire Monk, namoore of this, so God yow blesse!
"Sir Monk, no more of this, as God may you bless!
2789 Youre tale anoyeth al this compaignye.
Your tale annoys all this company.
2790 Swich talkyng is nat worth a boterflye,
Such talking is not worth a butterfly,
2791 For therinne is ther no desport ne game.
For in it there is no pleasure nor amusement.
2792 Wherfore, sire Monk, daun Piers by youre name,
Therefore, Sir Monk, dan Piers by your name,
2793 I pray yow hertely telle us somwhat elles;
I pray yow earnestly tell us something else;
2794 For sikerly, nere clynkyng of youre belles
For truly, were it not for the clinking of your bells
2795 That on youre bridel hange on every syde,
That on your bridle hang on every side,
2796 By hevene kyng that for us alle dyde,
By heaven's King who for us all died,
2797 I sholde er this han fallen doun for sleep,
I should before this have fallen down because of sleepiness,
2798 Althogh the slough had never been so deep;
Although the mud had never been so deep;
2799 Thanne hadde your tale al be toold in veyn.
Then had your tale been told all in vain.
2800 For certeinly, as that thise clerkes seyn,
For certainly, as these clerks say,
2801 Whereas a man may have noon audience,
Where a man may have no hearers,
2802 Noght helpeth it to tellen his sentence.
It is no use to tell his opinion.
2803 "And wel I woot the substance is in me,
"And well I know the capacity of appreciation is in me,
2804 If any thyng shal wel reported be.
If any thing shall be well told.
2805 Sir, sey somwhat of huntyng, I yow preye."
Sir, say something about hunting, I you pray."
2806 "Nay," quod this Monk, "I have no lust to pleye.
"Nay," said this Monk, "I have no desire to play.
2807 Now lat another telle, as I have toold."
Now let another tell, as I have told."
2808 Thanne spak oure Hoost with rude speche and boold,
Then spoke oure Host with rude speech and bold,
2809 And seyde unto the Nonnes Preest anon,
And said unto the Nun's Priest straightway,
2810 "Com neer, thou preest, com hyder, thou sir John!
"Come near, thou priest, come hither, thou sir John!
2811 Telle us swich thyng as may oure hertes glade.
Tell us such thing as may our hearts gladden.
2812 Be blithe, though thou ryde upon a jade.
Be happy, though thou ride upon a nag.
2813 What thogh thyn hors be bothe foul and lene?
What if thy horse be both poor and lean?
2814 If he wol serve thee, rekke nat a bene.
If he will serve thee, care not a bean.
2815 Looke that thyn herte be murie everemo."
See that thy heart be merry evermore."
2816 "Yis, sir," quod he, "yis, Hoost, so moot I go,
"Yes indeed, sir," said he, "yes indeed, Host, as I may I prosper,
2817 But I be myrie, ywis I wol be blamed."
Unless I be merry, indeed I will be blamed."
2818 And right anon his tale he hath attamed,
And right away his tale he has begun,
2819 And thus he seyde unto us everichon,
And thus he said unto us every one,
2820 This sweete preest, this goodly man sir John.
This sweet priest, this goodly man sir John.
The Nun's Priest's Tale.
Heere bigynneth the Nonnes Preestes Tale of the Cok and Hen,
Chauntecleer and Pertelote
2821 A povre wydwe, somdeel stape in age,
A poor widow, somewhat advanced in age,
2822 Was whilom dwellyng in a narwe cotage,
Was once dwelling in a small cottage,
2823 Biside a grove, stondynge in a dale.
Beside a grove, standing in a dale.
2824 This wydwe, of which I telle yow my tale,
This widow, of whom I tell you my tale,
2825 Syn thilke day that she was last a wyf
Since that same day that she was last a wife
2826 In pacience ladde a ful symple lyf,
In patience led a very simple life,
2827 For litel was hir catel and hir rente.
For little was her possessions and her income.
2828 By housbondrie of swich as God hire sente
By husbandry of such as God sent her
2829 She foond hirself and eek hir doghtren two.
She provided for herself and also her two daughters.
2830 Thre large sowes hadde she, and namo,
She had three large sows, and no more,
2831 Three keen, and eek a sheep that highte Malle.
Three cows, and also a sheep that is called Malle.
2832 Ful sooty was hire bour and eek hir halle,
Full sooty was her bedchamber and also her hall,
2833 In which she eet ful many a sklendre meel.
In which she ate very many a scanty meal.
2834 Of poynaunt sauce hir neded never a deel.
She needed not a bit of spicy sauce.
2835 No deyntee morsel passed thurgh hir throte;
No dainty morsel passed through her throat;
2836 Hir diete was accordant to hir cote.
Her diet was such as her farm produced.
2837 Repleccioun ne made hire nevere sik;
Overeating never made her sick;
2838 Attempree diete was al hir phisik,
Moderate diet was all her medical treatment,
2839 And exercise, and hertes suffisaunce.
And exercise, and a contented heart.
2840 The goute lette hire nothyng for to daunce,
The gout not at all prevented her from dancing,
2841 N' apoplexie shente nat hir heed.
And apoplexy harmed not her head.
2842 No wyn ne drank she, neither whit ne reed;
No wine she drank, neither white nor red;
2843 Hir bord was served moost with whit and blak --
Her board was provided mostly with white and black --
2844 Milk and broun breed, in which she foond no lak,
Milk and dark bread, in which she found no lack,
2845 Seynd bacoun, and somtyme an ey or tweye,
Broiled bacon, and sometimes an egg or two,
2846 For she was, as it were, a maner deye.
For she was, as it were, a sort of dairywoman.
2847 A yeerd she hadde, enclosed al aboute
She had a yard, enclosed all around
2848 With stikkes, and a drye dych withoute,
With sticks, and a dry ditch outside it,
2849 In which she hadde a cok, hight Chauntecleer.
In which she had a cock, called Chauntecleer.
2850 In al the land, of crowyng nas his peer.
In all the land, there was not his peer in crowing.
2851 His voys was murier than the murie orgon
His voice was merrier than the merry organ
2852 On messe-dayes that in the chirche gon.
That goes in the church on mass-days.
2853 Wel sikerer was his crowyng in his logge
Well more accurate was his crowing in his lodge
2854 Than is a clokke or an abbey orlogge.
Than is a clock or an abbey timepiece.
2855 By nature he knew ech ascencioun
By nature he knew (the hour of) each ascension
2856 Of the equynoxial in thilke toun;
Of the celestial equator in that same town;
2857 For whan degrees fiftene weren ascended,
For when degrees fifteen were ascended,
2858 Thanne crew he that it myghte nat been amended.
Then he crowed so that it could not be improved.
2859 His coomb was redder than the fyn coral,
His comb was redder than the fine coral,
2860 And batailled as it were a castel wal;
And notched with battlements as if it were a castle wall;
2861 His byle was blak, and as the jeet it shoon;
His bill was black, and it shone like the jet stone;
2862 Lyk asure were his legges and his toon;
Like azure were his legs and his toes;
2863 His nayles whitter than the lylye flour,
His nails whiter than the lily flour,
2864 And lyk the burned gold was his colour.
And like the burnished gold was his color.
2865 This gentil cok hadde in his governaunce
This gentle cock had in his governance
2866 Sevene hennes for to doon al his plesaunce,
Seven hens to do all his pleasure,
2867 Whiche were his sustres and his paramours,
Which were his sisters and his concubines,
2868 And wonder lyk to hym, as of colours;
And wonderfully like him, in their colors;
2869 Of whiche the faireste hewed on hir throte
Of which the fairest colored on her throat
2870 Was cleped faire damoysele Pertelote.
Was called fair demoiselle Pertelote.
2871 Curteys she was, discreet, and debonaire,
Courteous she was, discreet, and gracious,
2872 And compaignable, and bar hyrself so faire
And companionable, and bore herself so fair
2873 Syn thilke day that she was seven nyght oold
Since that same day that she was seven nights old
2874 That trewely she hath the herte in hoold
That truly she has in possession the heart
2875 Of Chauntecleer, loken in every lith;
Of Chauntecleer, locked in every limb (completely);
2876 He loved hire so that wel was hym therwith.
He loved her so that well was him because of that.
2877 But swich a joye was it to here hem synge,
But such a joy it was to hear them sing,
2878 Whan that the brighte sonne gan to sprynge,
When the bright sun began to spring,
2879 In sweete accord, "My lief is faren in londe!" --
In sweet accord, "My love has gone to the country!" --
2880 For thilke tyme, as I have understonde,
For in that same time, as I have understood,
2881 Beestes and briddes koude speke and synge.
Beasts and birds could speak and sing.
2882 And so bifel that in a dawenynge,
And so befell that in a dawning,
2883 As Chauntecleer among his wyves alle
As Chauntecleer among all his wives
2884 Sat on his perche, that was in the halle,
Sat on his perch, that was in the hall,
2885 And next hym sat this faire Pertelote,
And next to him sat this faire Pertelote,
2886 This Chauntecleer gan gronen in his throte,
This Chauntecleer began to groan in his throat,
2887 As man that in his dreem is drecched soore.
As one that in his dream is deeply troubled.
2888 And whan that Pertelote thus herde hym roore,
And when Pertelote thus heard him roar,
2889 She was agast and seyde, "Herte deere,
She was aghast and said, "Dear heart,
2890 What eyleth yow, to grone in this manere?
What ails you, to groan in this manner?
2891 Ye been a verray sleper; fy, for shame!"
You are a true (sound) sleeper; fie, for shame!"
2892 And he answerde, and seyde thus: "Madame,
And he answered, and said thus: "Madame,
2893 I pray yow that ye take it nat agrief.
I pray you that you take it not amiss.
2894 By God, me mette I was in swich meschief
By God, I dreamed I was in such mischief
2895 Right now that yet myn herte is soore afright.
Right now that yet my heart is grievously frightened.
2896 Now God," quod he, "my swevene recche aright,
Now God," said he, "interpret my dream correctly,
2897 And kepe my body out of foul prisoun!
And keep my body out of foul prison!
2898 Me mette how that I romed up and doun
I dreamed how I roamed up and down
2899 Withinne our yeerd, wheer as I saugh a beest
Within our yard, where I saw a beast
2900 Was lyk an hound, and wolde han maad areest
Was like a hound, and would have seized
2901 Upon my body, and wolde han had me deed.
Upon my body, and would have had me dead.
2902 His colour was bitwixe yelow and reed,
His color was between yellow and red,
2903 And tipped was his tayl and bothe his eeris
And tipped was his tail and both his ears
2904 With blak, unlyk the remenant of his heeris;
With black, unlike the rest of his hair;
2905 His snowte smal, with glowynge eyen tweye.
His snout small, with two glowing eyes.
2906 Yet of his look for feere almoost I deye;
Yet for fear of his look I almost die;
2907 This caused me my gronyng, doutelees."
This caused my groaning, doubtless."
2908 "Avoy!" quod she, "fy on yow, hertelees!
"Shame!" said she, "fie on you, coward!
2909 Allas," quod she, "for, by that God above,
Alas," said she, "for, by that God above,
2910 Now han ye lost myn herte and al my love!
Now have you lost my heart and all my love!
2911 I kan nat love a coward, by my feith!
I can not love a coward, by my faith!
2912 For certes, what so any womman seith,
For certainly, whatever any woman says,
2913 We alle desiren, if it myghte bee,
We all desire, if it might be,
2914 To han housbondes hardy, wise, and free,
To have husbands hardy, wise, and generous,
2915 And secree -- and no nygard, ne no fool,
And secret -- and no miser, nor no fool,
2916 Ne hym that is agast of every tool,
Nor him who is afraid of every weapon,
2917 Ne noon avauntour, by that God above!
Nor any boaster, by that God above!
2918 How dorste ye seyn, for shame, unto youre love
How dare you say, for shame, unto your love
2919 That any thyng myghte make yow aferd?
That any thing might make you afraid?
2920 Have ye no mannes herte, and han a berd?
Have you no man's heart, and have a beard?
2921 Allas! And konne ye been agast of swevenys?
Alas! And can you be frightened of dreams?
2922 Nothyng, God woot, but vanitee in sweven is.
Nothing, God knows, but foolishness is in dreams.
2923 Swevenes engendren of replecciouns,
Dreams are produced by overeating,
2924 And ofte of fume and of complecciouns,
And often by stomach vapors and by the mixture of bodily humors,
2925 Whan humours been to habundant in a wight.
When humors are too abundant in a person.
2926 Certes this dreem, which ye han met to-nyght,
Certainly this dream, which you have dreamed to-night,
2927 Cometh of the greete superfluytee
Comes of the great superfluity
2928 Of youre rede colera, pardee,
Of your red choleric humor, indeed,
2929 Which causeth folk to dreden in hir dremes
Which causes folk in their dreams to be afraid
2930 Of arwes, and of fyr with rede lemes,
Of arrows, and of fire with red flames,
2931 Of rede beestes, that they wol hem byte,
Of red beasts, (fearing) that they will bite them,
2932 Of contek, and of whelpes, grete and lyte;
Of strife, and of dogs, big and little;
2933 Right as the humour of malencolie
Right as the humor of melancholy
2934 Causeth ful many a man in sleep to crie
Causes very many a man in sleep to cry
2935 For feere of blake beres, or boles blake,
For fear of black bears, or black bulls,
2936 Or elles blake develes wole hem take.
Or else black devils will take them.
2937 Of othere humours koude I telle also
Of other humors could I tell also
2938 That werken many a man sleep ful wo;
That cause many a man much woe (in) sleep;
2939 But I wol passe as lightly as I kan.
But I will pass over as lightly as I can.
2940 "Lo Catoun, which that was so wys a man,
"Lo Cato, who was so wise a man,
2941 Seyde he nat thus, `Ne do no fors of dremes'?
Said he not thus, `Attach no importance to dreams'?
2942 "Now sire," quod she, "whan we flee fro the bemes,
"Now sir," said she, "when we fly from the beams,
2943 For Goddes love, as taak som laxatyf.
For God's love, take some laxative.
2944 Up peril of my soule and of my lyf,
Upon peril of my soul and of my life,
2945 I conseille yow the beste -- I wol nat lye --
I counsel you the best -- I will not lie --
2946 That bothe of colere and of malencolye
That both of choler and of melancholy
2947 Ye purge yow; and for ye shal nat tarie,
You purge yourself; and so that you shall not delay,
2948 Though in this toun is noon apothecarie,
Though in this town is no apothecary,
2949 I shal myself to herbes techen yow
I shall myself guide you to herbs
2950 That shul been for youre hele and for youre prow;
That shall be for your health and for your benefit;
2951 And in oure yeerd tho herbes shal I fynde
And in our yard I shall find those herbs
2952 The whiche han of hire propretee by kynde
The which by nature have the power
2953 To purge yow bynethe and eek above.
To purge you beneath and also above.
2954 Foryet nat this, for Goddes owene love!
Forget not this, for God's own love!
2955 Ye been ful coleryk of compleccioun;
You are dominated by the choleric humor;
2956 Ware the sonne in his ascencioun
Beware the sun when it is high in the sky
2957 Ne fynde yow nat repleet of humours hoote.
And do not find yourself with an excess of hot humors.
2958 And if it do, I dar wel leye a grote,
And if there be an excess, I dare well bet four pence,
2959 That ye shul have a fevere terciane,
That you shall have a fever recurring every three days,
2960 Or an agu that may be youre bane.
Or an ague that may be your death.
2961 A day or two ye shul have digestyves
A day or two you shall have digestives
2962 Of wormes, er ye take youre laxatyves
Of worms, before you take your laxatives
2963 Of lawriol, centaure, and fumetere,
Of spurge laurel, centaury, and fumitory,
2964 Or elles of ellebor, that groweth there,
Or else of hellebore, that grows there,
2965 Of katapuce, or of gaitrys beryis,
Of caper-spurge, or of rhamus,
2966 Of herbe yve, growyng in oure yeerd, ther mery is;
Of ground ivy, growing in our yard, where it is pleasant;
2967 Pekke hem up right as they growe and ete hem yn.
Peck them up right as they grow and eat them in.
2968 Be myrie, housbonde, for youre fader kyn!
Be merry, husband, for your father's kin!
2969 Dredeth no dreem; I kan sey yow namoore."
Dread no dream; I can say you no more."
2970 "Madame," quod he, "graunt mercy of youre loore.
"Madame," said he, "great thanks for your learning.
2971 But nathelees, as touchyng daun Catoun,
But nonetheless, as touching dan Cato,
2972 That hath of wysdom swich a greet renoun,
That has of wisdom such a great renown,
2973 Though that he bad no dremes for to drede,
Though he commanded (us) to dread no dreams,
2974 By God, men may in olde bookes rede
By God, men may in old books read
2975 Of many a man moore of auctorite
Of many a man of more authority
2976 Than evere Caton was, so moot I thee,
Than Cato ever was, as I may prosper,
2977 That al the revers seyn of this sentence,
Who say all the reverse of this sentence,
2978 And han wel founden by experience
And have well found by experience
2979 That dremes been significaciouns
That dreams are significations
2980 As wel of joye as of tribulaciouns
As well of joy as of tribulations
2981 That folk enduren in this lif present.
That folk endure in this present life.
2982 Ther nedeth make of this noon argument;
There need be no argument about this;
2983 The verray preeve sheweth it in dede.
The proof itself shows it in the deed.
2984 "Oon of the gretteste auctour that men rede
"One of the greatest author that men read
2985 Seith thus: that whilom two felawes wente
Says thus: that once two fellows went
2986 On pilgrimage, in a ful good entente,
On pilgrimage, with a very good intention,
2987 And happed so, they coomen in a toun
And it so happened, they came in a town
2988 Wher as ther was swich congregacioun
Where there was such a gathering
2989 Of peple, and eek so streit of herbergage,
Of people, and also such a scantiness of lodging,
2990 That they ne founde as muche as o cotage
That they found not so much as one cottage
2991 In which they bothe myghte ylogged bee.
In which they both might be lodged.
2992 Wherfore they mosten of necessitee,
Therefore they must of necessity,
2993 As for that nyght, departen compaignye;
For that night, part company;
2994 And ech of hem gooth to his hostelrye,
And each of them goes to his hostelry,
2995 And took his loggyng as it wolde falle.
And took his lodging as it would befall.
2996 That oon of hem was logged in a stalle,
The one of them was lodged in a stall,
2997 Fer in a yeerd, with oxen of the plough;
Far in a yard, with oxen of the plough;
2998 That oother man was logged wel ynough,
That other man was lodged well enough,
2999 As was his aventure or his fortune,
As was his adventure or his fortune,
3000 That us governeth alle as in commune.
Which us governs all in common.
3001 "And so bifel that, longe er it were day,
"And it so befell that, long before it was day,
3002 This man mette in his bed, ther as he lay,
This man dreamed in his bed, where he lay,
3003 How that his felawe gan upon hym calle,
How his fellow began to call upon him,
3004 And seyde, `Allas, for in an oxes stalle
And said, `Alas, for in an oxen's stall
3005 This nyght I shal be mordred ther I lye!
This night I shall be murdered where I lie!
3006 Now help me, deere brother, or I dye.
Now help me, dear brother, or I die.
3007 In alle haste com to me!' he sayde.
In all haste come to me!' he said.
3008 This man out of his sleep for feere abrayde;
This man out of his sleep for fear awakened suddenly;
3009 But whan that he was wakened of his sleep,
But when he was wakened of his sleep,
3010 He turned hym and took of this no keep.
He turned himself and took no heed of this.
3011 Hym thoughte his dreem nas but a vanitee.
He thought his dream was nothing but a fantasy.
3012 Thus twies in his slepyng dremed hee;
Thus twice in his sleeping he dreamed;
3013 And atte thridde tyme yet his felawe
And at third time yet his fellow
3014 Cam, as hym thoughte, and seide, `I am now slawe.
Came, as it seemed to him, and said, `I am now slain.
3015 Bihoold my bloody woundes depe and wyde!
Behold my bloody wounds deep and wide!
3016 Arys up erly in the morwe tyde,
Arise up early in the morning time,
3017 And at the west gate of the toun,' quod he,
And at the west gate of the town,' he said,
3018 `A carte ful of dong ther shaltow se,
`A cart full of dung there shalt thou see,
3019 In which my body is hid ful prively;
In which my body is hid very secretly;
3020 Do thilke carte arresten boldely.
Have that same cart immediately seized.
3021 My gold caused my mordre, sooth to sayn,'
My gold caused my murder, to say the truth,'
3022 And tolde hym every point how he was slayn,
And told him in full detail how he was slain,
3023 With a ful pitous face, pale of hewe.
With a very piteous face, pale of hue.
3024 And truste wel, his dreem he foond ful trewe,
And trust well, his dream he found very true,
3025 For on the morwe, as soone as it was day,
For on the morrow, as soon as it was day,
3026 To his felawes in he took the way;
To his fellow's inn he took the way;
3027 And whan that he cam to this oxes stalle,
And when he came to this oxen's stall,
3028 After his felawe he bigan to calle.
After his fellow he began to call.
3029 "The hostiler answerede hym anon,
"The innkeeper answered him straightway,
3030 And seyde, `Sire, your felawe is agon.
And said, `Sir, your fellow is gone.
3031 As soone as day he wente out of the toun.'
As soon as it was day he went out of the town.'
3032 "This man gan fallen in suspecioun,
"This man began to fall in suspicion,
3033 Remembrynge on his dremes that he mette,
Remembering his dreams that he dreamed,
3034 And forth he gooth -- no lenger wolde he lette --
And forth he goes -- no longer would he delay --
3035 Unto the west gate of the toun, and fond
Unto the west gate of the town, and found
3036 A dong-carte, wente as it were to donge lond,
A dung-cart, which went as if it were to dung land,
3037 That was arrayed in that same wise
That was drawn up in that same manner
3038 As ye han herd the dede man devyse.
As you have heard the dead man tell.
3039 And with an hardy herte he gan to crye
And with a hardy heart he began to cry for
3040 Vengeance and justice of this felonye:
Vengeance and justice of this felony:
3041 `My felawe mordred is this same nyght,
`My fellow is murdered this same night,
3042 And in this carte he lith gapyng upright.
And in this cart he lies gaping upright.
3043 I crye out on the ministres,' quod he,
I cry out on the officials,' said he,
3044 `That sholden kepe and reulen this citee.
`Who should guard and rule this city.
3045 Harrow! Allas! Heere lith my felawe slayn!'
Help! Alas! Here lies my fellow slain!'
3046 What sholde I moore unto this tale sayn?
What should I more unto this tale say?
3047 The peple out sterte and caste the cart to grounde,
The people rushed out and cast the cart to ground,
3048 And in the myddel of the dong they founde
And in the middle of the dung they found
3049 The dede man, that mordred was al newe.
The dead man, who was just recently murdered.
3050 "O blisful God, that art so just and trewe,
"O blissful God, that art so just and true,
3051 Lo, how that thou biwreyest mordre alway!
Lo, how thou always reveal murder!
3052 Mordre wol out; that se we day by day.
Murder will out; we see that day by day.
3053 Mordre is so wlatsom and abhomynable
Murder is so disgusting and abominable
3054 To God, that is so just and resonable,
To God, who is so just and reasonable,
3055 That he ne wol nat suffre it heled be,
That He will not suffer it to be hidden,
3056 Though it abyde a yeer, or two, or thre.
Though it may wait a year, or two, or three.
3057 Mordre wol out, this my conclusioun.
Murder will out, this is my conclusion.
3058 And right anon, ministres of that toun
And immediately, officials of that town
3059 Han hent the carter and so soore hym pyned,
Have seized the carter and so painfully tortured him,
3060 And eek the hostiler so soore engyned,
And also the hosteller so grievously tortured,
3061 That they biknewe hire wikkednesse anon,
That they straightway acknowledged their wickedness,
3062 And were anhanged by the nekke-bon.
And were hanged by the neck-bone.
3063 "Heere may men seen that dremes been to drede.
"Here men may seen that dreams are to be feared.
3064 And certes in the same book I rede,
And certainly in the same book I read,
3065 Right in the nexte chapitre after this --
Right in the next chapter after this --
3066 I gabbe nat, so have I joye or blis --
I do not lie, as I may have joy or bliss --
3067 Two men that wolde han passed over see,
Two men that would have passed over see,
3068 For certeyn cause, into a fer contree,
For a certain reason, into a far country,
3069 If that the wynd ne hadde been contrarie,
If that the wind had not been contrary,
3070 That made hem in a citee for to tarie
That made them to tarry in a city
3071 That stood ful myrie upon an haven-syde;
That stood very merrily upon an haven-side;
3072 But on a day, agayn the even-tyde,
But on a day, toward the evening time,
3073 The wynd gan chaunge, and blew right as hem leste.
The wind began to change, and blew exactly as they desired.
3074 Jolif and glad they wente unto hir reste,
Jolly and glad they went unto their rest,
3075 And casten hem ful erly for to saille.
And they planned to sail very early.
3076 But herkneth! To that o man fil a greet mervaille:
But listen! To that one man befell a great marvel:
3077 That oon of hem, in slepyng as he lay,
The one of them, in sleeping as he lay,
3078 Hym mette a wonder dreem agayn the day.
He dreamed a wondrous dream before the day.
3079 Hym thoughte a man stood by his beddes syde,
He thought a man stood by his bed's side,
3080 And hym comanded that he sholde abyde,
And commanded him that he should stay,
3081 And seyde hym thus: `If thou tomorwe wende,
And said to him thus: `If thou travel tomorrow,
3082 Thow shalt be dreynt; my tale is at an ende.'
Thou shalt be drowned; my tale is at an end.'
3083 He wook, and tolde his felawe what he mette,
He woke, and told his fellow what he dreamed,
3084 And preyde hym his viage for to lette;
And prayed him to delay his voyage;
3085 As for that day, he preyde hym to byde.
For that day, he prayed him to wait.
3086 His felawe, that lay by his beddes syde,
His fellow, that lay by his bed's side,
3087 Gan for to laughe, and scorned him ful faste.
Began to laugh, and vigorously scorned him.
3088 `No dreem,' quod he, `may so myn herte agaste
`No dream,' said he, `may so frighten my heart
3089 That I wol lette for to do my thynges.
That I will desist from doing my tasks.
3090 I sette nat a straw by thy dremynges,
I set not a straw by (put no value on) thy dreams,
3091 For swevenes been but vanytees and japes.
For dreams are but fantasies and foolishness.
3092 Men dreme alday of owles and of apes,
Men dream all the time of owls and of apes,
3093 And of many a maze therwithal;
And of many a source of amazement indeed;
3094 Men dreme of thyng that nevere was ne shal.
Men dream of a thing that never was nor shall be.
3095 But sith I see that thou wolt heere abyde,
But since I see that thou will remain here,
3096 And thus forslewthen wilfully thy tyde,
And thus willfully waste thy tide,
3097 God woot, it reweth me; and have good day!'
God knows, it makes me sorry; and have good day!'
3098 And thus he took his leve, and wente his way.
And thus he took his leave, and went his way.
3099 But er that he hadde half his cours yseyled,
But before he had sailed half his course,
3100 Noot I nat why, ne what myschaunce it eyled,
I know not why, nor what mischance harmed it,
3101 But casuelly the shippes botme rente,
But by chance the ship's bottom broke open,
3102 And ship and man under the water wente
And ship and man went under the water
3103 In sighte of othere shippes it bisyde,
In sight of other ships beside it,
3104 That with hem seyled at the same tyde.
That with them sailed on the same tide.
3105 And therfore, faire Pertelote so deere,
And therefore, faire Pertelote so dear,
3106 By swiche ensamples olde maistow leere
By such old examples thou may learn
3107 That no man sholde been to recchelees
That no man should be too heedless
3108 Of dremes; for I seye thee, doutelees,
Of dreams; for I say to thee, doubtless,
3109 That many a dreem ful soore is for to drede.
That many a dream is very greatly to be feared.
3110 "Lo, in the lyf of Seint Kenelm I rede,
"Lo, I read in the life of Saint Kenelm,
3111 That was Kenulphus sone, the noble kyng
That was son of Kenulphus, the noble king
3112 Of Mercenrike, how Kenelm mette a thyng.
Of Mercia, how Kenelm dreamed a thing.
3113 A lite er he was mordred, on a day,
A little before he was murdered, on a day,
3114 His mordre in his avysioun he say.
He saw his murder in his vision.
3115 His norice hym expowned every deel
His nurse completely explained to him
3116 His sweven, and bad hym for to kepe hym weel
His dream, and ordered him to guard himself well
3117 For traisoun; but he nas but seven yeer oold,
From treason; but he was only seven years old,
3118 And therfore litel tale hath he toold
And therefore he put little store
3119 Of any dreem, so hooly was his herte.
In any dream, so holy was his heart.
3120 By God! I hadde levere than my sherte
By God! I had rather than my shirt (give my shirt)
3121 That ye hadde rad his legende, as have I.
That you had read his legend, as have I.
3122 "Dame Pertelote, I sey yow trewely,
"Dame Pertelote, I say you truly,
3123 Macrobeus, that writ the avisioun
Macrobius, that wrote the vision
3124 In Affrike of the worthy Cipioun,
In Africa of the worthy Scipio,
3125 Affermeth dremes, and seith that they been
Affirms (the value of) dreams, and says that they are
3126 Warnynge of thynges that men after seen.
Warnings of things that men later see (come to pass)
3127 And forthermoore, I pray yow, looketh wel
And furthermore, I pray you, look well
3128 In the olde testament, of Daniel,
In the Old Testament, concerning Daniel,
3129 If he heeld dremes any vanitee.
If he held dreams (to be) any foolishness.
3130 Reed eek of Joseph, and ther shul ye see
Read also of Joseph, and there shall you see
3131 Wher dremes be somtyme -- I sey nat alle --
Whether dreams are sometimes -- I say not all --
3132 Warnynge of thynges that shul after falle.
Warnings of things that shall afterward befall.
3133 Looke of Egipte the kyng, daun Pharao,
Consider the king of Egypt, dan Pharaoh,
3134 His bakere and his butiller also,
His baker and his butler also,
3135 Wher they ne felte noon effect in dremes.
Whether or not they felt any effect in dreams.
3136 Whoso wol seken actes of sondry remes
Whoever will seek out the histories of various nations
3137 May rede of dremes many a wonder thyng.
May read many a wonderful thing about dreams.
3138 Lo Cresus, which that was of Lyde kyng,
Lo Croesus, who was king of Lydia,
3139 Mette he nat that he sat upon a tree,
Dreamed he not that he sat upon a tree,
3140 Which signified he sholde anhanged bee?
Which signified he should be hanged?
3141 Lo heere Andromacha, Ectores wyf,
Lo here Andromacha, Hector's wife,
3142 That day that Ector sholde lese his lyf,
That day that Hector should lose his life,
3143 She dremed on the same nyght biforn
She dreamed on the same night before
3144 How that the lyf of Ector sholde be lorn,
How the life of Hector should be lost,
3145 If thilke day he wente into bataille.
If that same day he went into battle.
3146 She warned hym, but it myghte nat availle;
She warned him, but it might not avail;
3147 He wente for to fighte natheles,
He went to fight nonetheless,
3148 But he was slayn anon of Achilles.
But he was slain straightway by Achilles.
3149 But thilke tale is al to longe to telle,
But that same tale is all too long to tell,
3150 And eek it is ny day; I may nat dwelle.
And also it is nigh day; I may not delay.
3151 Shortly I seye, as for conclusioun,
Shortly I say, as for conclusion,
3152 That I shal han of this avisioun
That I shall have of this vision
3153 Adversitee; and I seye forthermoor
Adversity; and I say furthermore
3154 That I ne telle of laxatyves no stoor,
That I put no store in laxatives,
3155 For they been venymes, I woot it weel;
For they are poisonous, I know it well;
3156 I hem diffye, I love hem never a deel!
I renounce them, I love them not at all!
3157 "Now let us speke of myrthe, and stynte al this.
"Now let us speak of mirth, and stop all this.
3158 Madame Pertelote, so have I blis,
Madame Pertelote, as I may have bliss,
3159 Of o thyng God hath sent me large grace;
Of one thing God has sent me a great favor;
3160 For whan I se the beautee of youre face,
For when I see the beauty of your face,
3161 Ye been so scarlet reed aboute youre yen,
You are so scarlet red about your eyes,
3162 It maketh al my drede for to dyen;
It makes all my dread die;
3163 For al so siker as In principio,
For as surely as `In the beginning,
3164 Mulier est hominis confusio --
`Woman is the ruin of man --'
3165 Madame, the sentence of this Latyn is,
Madame, the meaning of this Latin is,
3166 `Womman is mannes joye and al his blis.'
`Woman is man's joy and all his bliss.'
3167 For whan I feele a-nyght your softe syde --
For when I feel at night your soft side --
3168 Al be it that I may nat on yow ryde,
Although I can not on you ride,
3169 For that oure perche is maad so narwe, allas --
Because our perch is made so narrow, alas --
3170 I am so ful of joye and of solas,
I am so full of joy and of pleasure,
3171 That I diffye bothe sweven and dreem."
That I renounce both vision and dream."
3172 And with that word he fley doun fro the beem,
And with that word he flew down from the beam,
3173 For it was day, and eke his hennes alle,
For it was day, and also all his hens,
3174 And with a chuk he gan hem for to calle,
And with a cluck he began to call them,
3175 For he hadde founde a corn, lay in the yerd.
Because he had found a seed, which lay in the yard.
3176 Real he was, he was namoore aferd.
Royal he was, he was no longer afraid.
3177 He fethered Pertelote twenty tyme,
He embraced Pertelote twenty times,
3178 And trad hire eke as ofte, er it was pryme.
And copulated with her also as often, before it was 6 a.m..
3179 He looketh as it were a grym leoun,
He looks as if he were a grim lion,
3180 And on his toos he rometh up and doun;
And on his toes he roams up and down;
3181 Hym deigned nat to sette his foot to grounde.
He deigned not to set his foot to ground.
3182 He chukketh whan he hath a corn yfounde,
He clucks when he has found a seed,
3183 And to hym rennen thanne his wyves alle.
And then his wives all run to him.
3184 Thus roial, as a prince is in his halle,
Thus royal, as a prince is in his hall,
3185 Leve I this Chauntecleer in his pasture,
Leave I this Chauntecleer in his feeding place,
3186 And after wol I telle his aventure.
And after I will tell his adventure.
3187 Whan that the month in which the world bigan,
When the month in which the world began,
3188 That highte March, whan God first maked man,
Which is called March, when God first made man,
3189 Was compleet, and passed were also,
Was complete, and passed were also,
3190 Syn March [was gon], thritty dayes and two,
Since March had gone, thirty days and two,
3191 Bifel that Chauntecleer in al his pryde,
Befell that Chauntecleer in all his pride,
3192 His sevene wyves walkynge by his syde,
His seven wives walking by his side,
3193 Caste up his eyen to the brighte sonne,
Cast up his eyes to the bright sun,
3194 That in the signe of Taurus hadde yronne
That in the sign of Taurus had run
3195 Twenty degrees and oon, and somwhat moore,
Twenty degrees and one, and somewhat more,
3196 And knew by kynde, and by noon oother loore,
And knew by nature, and by none other knowledge,
3197 That it was pryme, and crew with blisful stevene.
That it was prime, and crowed with blissful voice.
3198 "The sonne," he seyde, "is clomben up on hevene
"The sun," he said, "has climbed up on heaven
3199 Fourty degrees and oon, and moore ywis.
Forty degrees and one, and more indeed.
3200 Madame Pertelote, my worldes blis,
Madame Pertelote, my world's bliss,
3201 Herkneth thise blisful briddes how they synge,
Listen to these blissful birds, how they sing,
3202 And se the fresshe floures how they sprynge;
And see the fresh flowers, how they spring;
3203 Ful is myn herte of revel and solas!"
My heart is full of revel and pleasure!"
3204 But sodeynly hym fil a sorweful cas,
But suddenly to him befell a sorrowful situation,
3205 For evere the latter ende of joye is wo.
For ever the latter end of joy is woe.
3206 God woot that worldly joye is soone ago;
God knows that worldly joy is soon gone;
3207 And if a rethor koude faire endite,
And if a rhetorician could fairly compose,
3208 He in a cronycle saufly myghte it write
He in a chronicle confidently could write it
3209 As for a sovereyn notabilitee.
As a supremely important fact.
3210 Now every wys man, lat him herkne me;
Now every wise man, let him listen to me;
3211 This storie is also trewe, I undertake,
This story is as true, I declare,
3212 As is the book of Launcelot de Lake,
As is the Book of Lancelot of the Lake,
3213 That wommen holde in ful greet reverence.
Which women hold in very great reverence.
3214 Now wol I torne agayn to my sentence.
Now will I turn again to my subject matter.
3215 A col-fox, ful of sly iniquitee,
A fox, full of sly iniquity,
3216 That in the grove hadde woned yeres three,
That in the grove had dwelled three years,
3217 By heigh ymaginacioun forncast,
By exalted imagination predestined,
3218 The same nyght thurghout the hegges brast
The same night through the hedges broke
3219 Into the yerd ther Chauntecleer the faire
Into the yard where the handsome Chauntecleer
3220 Was wont, and eek his wyves, to repaire;
Was accustomed, and also his wives, to repair;
3221 And in a bed of wortes stille he lay
And in a bed of cabbages he lay quietly
3222 Til it was passed undren of the day,
Until it had passed 9 a.m. of the day,
3223 Waitynge his tyme on Chauntecleer to falle,
Waiting his time on Chauntecleer to fall,
3224 As gladly doon thise homycides alle
As habitually do all these homicides
3225 That in await liggen to mordre men.
That in ambush lie to murder men.
3226 O false mordrour, lurkynge in thy den!
O false murderer, lurking in thy den!
3227 O newe Scariot, newe Genylon,
O new Judas Iscariot, new Genylon,
3228 False dissymulour, o Greek Synon,
False deceiver, O Greek Synon,
3229 That broghtest Troye al outrely to sorwe!
That brought all Troy completely to sorrow!
3230 O Chauntecleer, acursed be that morwe
O Chauntecleer, cursed be that morning
3231 That thou into that yerd flaugh fro the bemes!
That thou flew from the beams into that yard!
3232 Thou were ful wel ywarned by thy dremes
Thou were very well warned by thy dreams
3233 That thilke day was perilous to thee;
That that same day was perilous to thee;
3234 But what that God forwoot moot nedes bee,
But what God knows beforehand must by necessity be,
3235 After the opinioun of certein clerkis.
According to the opinion of certain scholars.
3236 Witnesse on hym that any parfit clerk is,
Take witness of him that is a thoroughly competent scholar,
3237 That in scole is greet altercacioun
That in the university is great disagreement
3238 In this mateere, and greet disputisoun,
In this matter, and great disputation,
3239 And hath been of an hundred thousand men.
And has been (disputed) by a hundred thousand men.
3240 But I ne kan nat bulte it to the bren
But I can not separate the valid and invalid arguments
3241 As kan the hooly doctour Augustyn,
As can the holy doctor Augustine,
3242 Or Boece, or the Bisshop Bradwardyn,
Or Boethius, or the Bishop Bradwardyn,
3243 Wheither that Goddes worthy forwityng
Whether God's worthy foreknowledge
3244 Streyneth me nedely for to doon a thyng --
Constrains me by need to do a thing --
3245 "Nedely" clepe I symple necessitee --
"Need" I call simple necessity --
3246 Or elles, if free choys be graunted me
Or else, if free choice be granted to me
3247 To do that same thyng, or do it noght,
To do that same thing, or do it not,
3248 Though God forwoot it er that I was wroght;
Though God knew it before I was born;
3249 Or if his wityng streyneth never a deel
Or if his knowledge constrains not at all
3250 But by necessitee condicioneel.
But by conditional necessity.
3251 I wol nat han to do of swich mateere;
I will not have to do with such matter;
3252 My tale is of a cok, as ye may heere,
My tale is of a cock, as you may hear,
3253 That tok his conseil of his wyf, with sorwe,
Who took his counsel from his wife, with sorrow,
3254 To walken in the yerd upon that morwe
To walk in the yard upon that morning
3255 That he hadde met that dreem that I yow tolde.
That he had dreamed that dream of which I told you.
3256 Wommennes conseils been ful ofte colde;
Women's counsels are very often fatal;
3257 Wommannes conseil broghte us first to wo
Woman's counsel brought us first to woe
3258 And made Adam fro Paradys to go,
And made Adam to go from Paradise,
3259 Ther as he was ful myrie and wel at ese.
Where he was very merry and well at ease.
3260 But for I noot to whom it myght displese,
But because I know not to whom it might displease,
3261 If I conseil of wommen wolde blame,
If I would blame counsel of women,
3262 Passe over, for I seyde it in my game.
Pass over, for I said it as a joke.
3263 Rede auctours, where they trete of swich mateere,
Read authors, where they treat of such matter,
3264 And what they seyn of wommen ye may heere.
And what they say of women you may hear.
3265 Thise been the cokkes wordes, and nat myne;
These are the cock's words, and not mine;
3266 I kan noon harm of no womman divyne.
I know no harm of any woman divine.
3267 Faire in the soond, to bathe hire myrily,
Fair in the sand, to bathe her merrily,
3268 Lith Pertelote, and alle hire sustres by,
Lies Pertelote, and all her sisters by her,
3269 Agayn the sonne, and Chauntecleer so free
In the sunshine, and Chauntecleer so noble
3270 Soong murier than the mermayde in the see
Sang more merrily than the mermaid in the sea
3271 (For Phisiologus seith sikerly
(For Phisiologus says surely
3272 How that they syngen wel and myrily).
How they sing well and merrily).
3273 And so bifel that, as he caste his ye
And so befell that, as he cast his eye
3274 Among the wortes on a boterflye,
On a butterfly among the cabbages,
3275 He was war of this fox, that lay ful lowe.
He was aware of this fox, that lay very low.
3276 Nothyng ne liste hym thanne for to crowe,
Not at all then did he want to crow,
3277 But cride anon, "Cok! cok!" and up he sterte
But cried straightway, "Cock! cock!" and up he leaped
3278 As man that was affrayed in his herte.
As one that was frightened in his heart.
3279 For natureelly a beest desireth flee
For naturally a beast desires to flee
3280 Fro his contrarie, if he may it see,
From his natural opponent, if he may see it,
3281 Though he never erst hadde seyn it with his ye.
Though he never before had seen it with his eye.
3282 This Chauntecleer, whan he gan hym espye,
This Chauntecleer, when he did espy him,
3283 He wolde han fled, but that the fox anon
He would have fled, but that the fox straightway
3284 Seyde, "Gentil sire, allas, wher wol ye gon?
Said, "Gentle sir, alas, where will you go?
3285 Be ye affrayed of me that am youre freend?
Are you afraid of me who is your friend?
3286 Now, certes, I were worse than a feend,
Now, certainly, I would be worse than a fiend,
3287 If I to yow wolde harm or vileynye!
If I to you would do harm or villainy!
3288 I am nat come youre conseil for t' espye,
I am not come to spy on your secrets,
3289 But trewely, the cause of my comynge
But truly, the cause of my coming
3290 Was oonly for to herkne how that ye synge.
Was only to hear how you sing.
3291 For trewely, ye have as myrie a stevene
For truly, you have as merry a voice
3292 As any aungel hath that is in hevene.
As has any angel that is in heaven.
3293 Therwith ye han in musyk moore feelynge
Therewith you have in music more feeling
3294 Than hadde Boece, or any that kan synge.
Than had Boethius, or any that knows how to sing.
3295 My lord youre fader -- God his soule blesse! --
My lord your father -- God bless his soul! --
3296 And eek youre mooder, of hire gentillesse,
And also your mother, of her graciousness,
3297 Han in myn hous ybeen to my greet ese;
Have been in my house to my great pleasure;
3298 And certes, sire, ful fayn wolde I yow plese.
And certainly, sir, I would very eagerly please you.
3299 But, for men speke of syngyng, I wol seye --
But, insofar as men speak of singing, I will say --
3300 So moote I brouke wel myne eyen tweye --
As I may well have use of my two eyes --
3301 Save yow, I herde nevere man so synge
Except for you, I heard never man so sing
3302 As dide youre fader in the morwenynge.
As did your father in the morning.
3303 Certes, it was of herte, al that he song.
Certainly, it came from the heart, all that he sang.
3304 And for to make his voys the moore strong,
And to make his voice the more strong,
3305 He wolde so peyne hym that with bothe his yen
He would so exert himself that with both his eyes
3306 He moste wynke, so loude he wolde cryen,
He had to wink, so loud he would cry,
3307 And stonden on his tiptoon therwithal,
And stand on his tiptoes simultaneously,
3308 And strecche forth his nekke long and smal.
And stretch forth his neck long and small.
3309 And eek he was of swich discrecioun
And also he was of such sound judgment
3310 That ther nas no man in no regioun
That there was no man in any region
3311 That hym in song or wisedom myghte passe.
That might pass him in song or wisdom.
3312 I have wel rad in `Daun Burnel the Asse,'
I have well read in `Dan Burnel the Ass,'
3313 Among his vers, how that ther was a cok,
Among his verses, how there was a cock,
3314 For that a preestes sone yaf hym a knok
Because a priest's son gave him a knock
3315 Upon his leg whil he was yong and nyce,
Upon his leg while he was young and foolish,
3316 He made hym for to lese his benefice.
He made him lose his benefice.
3317 But certeyn, ther nys no comparisoun
But certainly, there is no comparison
3318 Bitwixe the wisedom and discrecioun
Between the wisdom and discretion
3319 Of youre fader and of his subtiltee.
Of your father and of his subtlety.
3320 Now syngeth, sire, for seinte charitee;
Now sing, sir, for Saint Charity;
3321 Lat se; konne ye youre fader countrefete?"
Let's see; can you imitate your father?"
3322 This Chauntecleer his wynges gan to bete,
This Chauntecleer began to beat his wings,
3323 As man that koude his traysoun nat espie,
As one that could not espy his treason,
3324 So was he ravysshed with his flaterie.
He was so ravished with his flattery.
3325 Allas, ye lordes, many a fals flatour
Alas, you lords, many a false flatterer
3326 Is in youre courtes, and many a losengeour,
Is in your courts, and many a sycophant,
3327 That plesen yow wel moore, by my feith,
Who please you well more, by my faith,
3328 Than he that soothfastnesse unto yow seith.
Than he who says the truth unto you.
3329 Redeth Ecclesiaste of flaterye;
Read Ecclesiastes about flattery;
3330 Beth war, ye lordes, of hir trecherye.
Beware, you lords, of their treachery.
3331 This Chauntecleer stood hye upon his toos,
This Chauntecleer stood high upon his toes,
3332 Strecchynge his nekke, and heeld his eyen cloos,
Stretching his neck, and held his eyes closed,
3333 And gan to crowe loude for the nones.
And began to crow loud for the occasion.
3334 And daun Russell the fox stirte up atones,
And dan Russell the fox leaped up at once,
3335 And by the gargat hente Chauntecleer,
And grabbed Chauntecleer by the throat,
3336 And on his bak toward the wode hym beer,
And carried him on his back toward the woods,
3337 For yet ne was ther no man that hym sewed.
For yet there was no one that pursued him.
3338 O destinee, that mayst nat been eschewed!
O destiny, that may not be escaped!
3339 Allas, that Chauntecleer fleigh fro the bemes!
Alas, that Chauntecleer flew from the beams!
3340 Allas, his wyf ne roghte nat of dremes!
Alas, his wife took no heed of dreams!
3341 And on a Friday fil al this meschaunce.
And on a Friday befell all this misfortune.
3342 O Venus, that art goddesse of plesaunce,
O Venus, who art goddess of pleasure,
3343 Syn that thy servant was this Chauntecleer,
Since this Chauntecleer was thy servant,
3344 And in thy servyce dide al his poweer,
And in thy service did all his power,
3345 Moore for delit than world to multiplye,
More for delight than to people the world,
3346 Why woldestow suffre hym on thy day to dye?
Why wouldest thou allow him to die on thy day?
3347 O Gaufred, deere maister soverayn,
O Gaufred, dear supreme master,
3348 That whan thy worthy kyng Richard was slayn
Who when thy worthy king Richard was slain
3349 With shot, compleynedest his deeth so soore,
By shot of an arrow, complained his death so grievously,
3350 Why ne hadde I now thy sentence and thy loore,
Why had I not now thy wisdom and thy learning,
3351 The Friday for to chide, as diden ye?
To chide the Friday, as you did?
3352 For on a Friday, soothly, slayn was he.
For on a Friday, truly, he was slain.
3353 Thanne wolde I shewe yow how that I koude pleyne
Then would I show you how that I could complain
3354 For Chauntecleres drede and for his peyne.
For Chanticleer's dread and for his pain.
3355 Certes, swich cry ne lamentacion
Certainly, such cry nor lamentation
3356 Was nevere of ladyes maad whan Ylion
Was never made by ladies when Ilion (Troy)
3357 Was wonne, and Pirrus with his streite swerd,
Was won, and Pirrus with his drawn sword,
3358 Whan he hadde hent kyng Priam by the berd,
When he had seized king Priam by the beard,
3359 And slayn hym, as seith us Eneydos,
And slain him, as the Aeneid tells us,
3360 As maden alle the hennes in the clos,
As all the hens made in the yard,
3361 Whan they had seyn of Chauntecleer the sighte.
When they had seen the sight of Chauntecleer.
3362 But sovereynly dame Pertelote shrighte
But supremely dame Pertelote shrieked
3363 Ful louder than dide Hasdrubales wyf,
Much louder than did Hasdrubales' wife,
3364 Whan that hir housbonde hadde lost his lyf
When her husband had lost his life
3365 And that the Romayns hadde brend Cartage.
And the Romans had burned Carthage.
3366 She was so ful of torment and of rage
She was so full of torment and of rage
3367 That wilfully into the fyr she sterte
That willfully into the fire she leaped
3368 And brende hirselven with a stedefast herte.
And burned herself with a steadfast heart.
3369 O woful hennes, right so criden ye
O woeful hens, exactly so you cried
3370 As whan that Nero brende the citee
As when Nero burned the city
3371 Of Rome cryden senatoures wyves
Of Rome senators' wives cried
3372 For that hir husbondes losten alle hir lyves --
Because their husbands lost all their lives --
3373 Withouten gilt this Nero hath hem slayn.
Without guilt this Nero has them slain.
3374 Now wole I turne to my tale agayn.
Now will I turn to my tale again.
3375 This sely wydwe and eek hir doghtres two
This poor widow and also her two daughters
3376 Herden thise hennes crie and maken wo,
Heard these hens cry and make woe,
3377 And out at dores stirten they anon,
And out at doors they rush anon,
3378 And syen the fox toward the grove gon,
And see the fox go toward the grove,
3379 And bar upon his bak the cok away,
And carried the cock away upon his back,
3380 And cryden, "Out! Harrow and weylaway!
And cried, "Help! Help and alas!
3381 Ha, ha! The fox!" and after hym they ran,
Ha, ha! The fox!" and after him they ran,
3382 And eek with staves many another man.
And also with staves many another man.
3383 Ran Colle oure dogge, and Talbot and Gerland,
Ran Colle our dog, and Talbot and Gerland,
3384 And Malkyn, with a dystaf in hir hand;
And Malkyn, with a distaff in her hand;
3385 Ran cow and calf, and eek the verray hogges,
Ran cow and calf, and also the very hogs,
3386 So fered for the berkyng of the dogges
So frightened for the barking of the dogs
3387 And shoutyng of the men and wommen eeke
And shouting of the men and women also
3388 They ronne so hem thoughte hir herte breeke.
They ran so hard that they thought their hearts would break.
3389 They yolleden as feendes doon in helle;
They yelled as fiends do in hell;
3390 The dokes cryden as men wolde hem quelle;
The ducks cried as if men would them kill;
3391 The gees for feere flowen over the trees;
The geese for fear flew over the trees;
3392 Out of the hyve cam the swarm of bees.
Out of the hive came the swarm of bees.
3393 So hydous was the noyse -- a, benedicitee! --
So hideous was the noise -- a, bless me! --
3394 Certes, he Jakke Straw and his meynee
Certainly, he Jack Straw and his company
3395 Ne made nevere shoutes half so shrille
Never made shouts half so shrill
3396 Whan that they wolden any Flemyng kille,
When they would any Fleming kill,
3397 As thilke day was maad upon the fox.
As that same day was made upon the fox.
3398 Of bras they broghten bemes, and of box,
They brought trumpets of brass, and of box-wood,
3399 Of horn, of boon, in whiche they blewe and powped,
Of horn, of bone, in which they blew and puffed,
3400 And therwithal they skriked and they howped.
And with that they shrieked and they whooped.
3401 It semed as that hevene sholde falle.
It seemed as if heaven should fall.
3402 Now, goode men, I prey yow herkneth alle:
Now, good men, I pray you all to listen:
3403 Lo, how Fortune turneth sodeynly
Lo, how Fortune turns suddenly
3404 The hope and pryde eek of hir enemy!
The hope and pride also of her enemy!
3405 This cok, that lay upon the foxes bak,
This cock, that lay upon the fox's back,
3406 In al his drede unto the fox he spak,
In all his dread unto the fox he spoke,
3407 And seyde, "Sire, if that I were as ye,
And said, "Sir, if I were you,
3408 Yet sholde I seyn, as wys God helpe me,
Yet should I say, as God may help me,
3409 `Turneth agayn, ye proude cherles alle!
`Turn again, all you proud churls!
3410 A verray pestilence upon yow falle!
May a true pestilence fall upon you!
3411 Now I am come unto the wodes syde;
Now I am come unto the wood's side;
3412 Maugree youre heed, the cok shal heere abyde.
Despite all you could do, the cock shall here remain.
3413 I wol hym ete, in feith, and that anon!'"
I will eat him, in faith, and that right away!'"
3414 The fox answerde, "In feith, it shal be don."
The fox answered, "In faith, it shall be done."
3415 And as he spak that word, al sodeynly
And as he spoke that word, all suddenly
3416 This cok brak from his mouth delyverly,
This cock nimbly broke from his mouth,
3417 And heighe upon a tree he fleigh anon.
And high upon a tree he quickly flew.
3418 And whan the fox saugh that the cok was gon,
And when the fox saw that the cock was gone,
3419 "Allas!" quod he, "O Chauntecleer, allas!
"Alas!" said he, "O Chauntecleer, alas!
3420 I have to yow," quod he, "ydoon trespas,
I have to you," said he, "done offense,
3421 In as muche as I maked yow aferd
In as much as I made you afraid
3422 Whan I yow hente and broghte out of the yerd.
When I seized you and brought you out of the yard.
3423 But, sire, I dide it in no wikke entente.
But, sir, I did it with no wicked intention.
3424 Com doun, and I shal telle yow what I mente;
Come down, and I shall tell you what I meant;
3425 I shal seye sooth to yow, God help me so!"
I shall say the truth to you, as God may help me!"
3426 "Nay thanne," quod he, "I shrewe us bothe two.
"Nay then," said he, "I curse both of us two.
3427 And first I shrewe myself, bothe blood and bones,
And first I curse myself, both blood and bones,
3428 If thou bigyle me ofter than ones.
If thou trick me more often than once.
3429 Thou shalt namoore thurgh thy flaterye
Thou shalt no more through thy flattery
3430 Do me to synge and wynke with myn ye;
Make me sing and close my eyes;
3431 For he that wynketh, whan he sholde see,
For he that closes his eyes, when he should see,
3432 Al wilfully, God lat him nevere thee!"
All willfully, God let him never prosper!"
3433 "Nay," quod the fox, "but God yeve hym meschaunce,
"Nay," said the fox, "but God give him misfortune,
3434 That is so undiscreet of governaunce
Who is so indiscreet of governance
3435 That jangleth whan he sholde holde his pees."
That he chatters when he should hold his peace."
3436 Lo, swich it is for to be recchelees
Lo, such it is to be careless
3437 And necligent, and truste on flaterye.
And negligent, and trust on flattery.
3438 But ye that holden this tale a folye,
But you who hold this tale a folly,
3439 As of a fox, or of a cok and hen,
As of a fox, or of a cock and hen,
3440 Taketh the moralite, goode men.
Take the morality, good men.
3441 For Seint Paul seith that al that writen is,
For Saint Paul says that all that is written,
3442 To oure doctrine it is ywrite, ywis;
Is written for our instruction, indeed;
3443 Taketh the fruyt, and lat the chaf be stille.
Take the fruit, and let the chaff be still.
3444 Now, goode God, if that it be thy wille,
Now, good God, if it be thy will,
3445 As seith my lord, so make us alle goode men,
As says my lord, make us all good men,
3446 And brynge us to his heighe blisse! Amen.
And bring us to his high bliss! Amen.
Heere is ended the Noones Preestes Tale
Epilogue to the Nun's Priest's Tale.
3447 ["Sire Nonnes Preest," oure Hooste seide anoon,
["Sir Nun's Priest," our Host said straightway,
3448 "I-blessed be thy breche, and every stoon!
"Blessed be thy buttocks, and every testicle!
3449 This was a murie tale of Chauntecleer.
This was a merry tale of Chanticleer.
3450 But by my trouthe, if thou were seculer,
But by my troth, if thou were a layman,
3451 Thou woldest ben a trede-foul aright.
Thou would be an excellent copulator of fouls (rooster).
3452 For if thou have corage as thou hast myght,
For if thou have as much desire as thou hast might,
3453 Thee were nede of hennes, as I wene,
Thou would have need of hens, as I think,
3454 Ya, moo than seven tymes seventene.
Yea, more than seven times seventeen.
3455 See, whiche braunes hath this gentil preest,
See, what muscles has this gentle priest,
3456 So gret a nekke, and swich a large breest!
So big a neck, and such a large chest!
3457 He loketh as a sperhauk with his yen;
He looks like a sparrow-hauk with his eyes;
3458 Him nedeth nat his colour for to dyen
He needs not paint his complexion
3459 With brasile ne with greyn of Portyngale.
With red dye nor with grain of Portugal.
3460 Now, sire, faire falle yow for youre tale!"
Now, sir, may good fortune come to you for your tale!"
3461 And after that he, with ful merie chere,
And after that he, with a very merry manner,
3462 Seide unto another, as ye shuln heere.]
Said unto another, as you shall hear.]
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