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Ther shiveren shaftes upon sheldes thicke;
He feleth thurgh the herte-spone the pricke.
Up springen speres twenty foot on highte;
Out gon the swerdes as the silver brighte.
The helmes they to-hewen, and to-shrede;
Out brest the blod, with sterne stremes rede.
With mighty maces the bones they to-breste.
He thurgh the thickest of the throng gan threste.
Ther stomblen stedes strong, and doun goth all.
He rolleth under foot as doth a ball.
He foineth on his foo with a tronchoun,
And he him hurtleth with his hors adoun.
He thurgh the body is hurt, and sith ytake
Maugre his hed, and brought unto the stake,
As forword was, right ther he must abide.
Another lad is on that other side.
And somtime doth hem Theseus to rest,
Hem to refresh, and drinken if hem lest.

Ful oft a day han thilke Thebanes two
Togeder met, and wrought eche other wo:
Unhorsed hath eche other of hem twey.
Ther n'as no tigre in the vale of Galaphey,
Whan that hire whelpe is stole, whan it is lite,
So cruel on the hunt, as is Arcite
For jalous herte upon this Palamon:
Ne in Belmarie ther n'is so fell leon,
That hunted is, or for his hunger wood,
Ne of his prey desireth so the blood,
As Palamon to sleen his foo Arcite.
The jalous strokes on hir helmes bite;
Out renneth blood on both hir sides rede.
Somtime an ende ther is of every dede.
For er the Sonne unto the reste went,
The stronge king Emetrius gan hent
This Palamon, as he fought with Arcite,
And made his swerd depe in his flesh to bite.
And by the force of twenty is he take
Unyolden, and ydrawen to the stake.
And in the rescous of this Palamon
The strong king Licurge is borne adoun:
And king Emetrius for all his strengthe
Is borne out of his sadel a swerdes lengthe,
So hitte him Palamon or he were take:
But all for nought, he was brought to the stake:
His hardy herte might him helpen naught,
He moste abiden, whan that he was caught,
By force, and eke by composition.

Who sorweth now but woful Palamon?
That moste no more gon again to fight.
And whan that Theseus had seen that sight,
Unto the folk that foughten thus eche on,
He cried, "Ho! no more, for it is don.
I wol be trewe juge, and not partie.
Arcite of Thebes shal have Emelie,
That by his fortune hath hire fayre ywonne."
Anon ther is a noise of peple begonne
For joye of this, so loud and high withall,
It semed that the listes shulden fall.

What can now fayre Venus don above?

The trompoures with the loude minstralcie,
The heraudes, that so loude yell and crie,
Ben in hir joye for wele of Dan Arcite.
But herkeneth me, and stenteth noise a lite,
Whiche a miracle ther befell anon.

This fierce Arcite hath of his helme ydon,
And on a courser for to shew his face
He priketh endelong the large place,
Loking upward upon this Emelie ;
And she again him cast a friendlich eye,
(For women, as to speken in commune,
They folwen all the favour of fortune)
And was all his in chere, as his in herte.
Out of the ground a fury infernal sterte,
From Pluto sent, at requeste of Saturne,
For which his hors for fere gan to turne,
And lepte aside, and foundred as he lepe:
And er that Arcite may take any kepe,
He pight him on the pomel of his hed,
That in the place he lay as he were ded,
His brest to-brosten with his sadel bow.
As blake he lay as any cole or crow.
So was the blood yronnen in his face.
Anon he was yborne out of the place
With herte sore, to Theseus paleis.
Tho was he corven out of his harneis,
And in a bed ybrought ful fayre and blive,
For he was yet in memorie, and live,
And alway crying after Emelie.

Duk Theseus, with all his compagnie,
Is comen home to Athenes his citee,
With alle blisse and gret solempnite.
Al be it that this aventure was falle,
He n'olde not discomforten hem alle.
Men sayden eke, that Arcite shal not die,
He shal ben heled of his maladie.
And of another thing they were as fayn,
That of hem alle was ther non yslain,
Al were they sore yhurt, and namely on,
That with a spere was thirled his brest bone.
To other woundes, and to broken armes,
Som hadden salves, and some hadden charmes :
And fermacies of herbes, and eke save
They dronken, for they wold hir lives have.
For which this noble duk, as he wel can,
Comforteth and honoureth every man,
And made revel all the longe night,
Unto the strange lordes, as was right.
Ne ther n'as holden no discomforting,
But as at justes or a tourneying;
For sothly ther n'as no discomfiture,
For falling n'is not but an aventure.
Ne to be lad by force unto a stake
Unyolden, and with twenty knightes take,
O person all alone, withouten mo,
And haried forth by armes, foot, and too,
And eke his stede driven forth with staves,
With footmen, bothe yemen and eke knaves,
It was aretted him no vilanie:

What saith she now? what doth this quene of love? Ther may no man clepen it cowardie.

But wepeth so, for wanting of hire will,
Til that hire teres in the listes fill:
She sayde: "I am ashamed douteless."

Saturnus sayde: "Daughter, hold thy pees.
Mars hath his will, his knight hath all his bone,
And by min hed thou shalt ben esed sone."

For which anon duk Theseus let crie,
To stenten alle rancour and envie,
The gree as wel of o side as of other,
And eyther side ylike, as others brother:
And yave hem giftes after hir degree,
And helde a feste fully dayes three:

And conveyed the kinges worthily
Out of his toun a journee largely.
And home went every man the righte way,
Ther n'as no more, but farewel, have good day.
Of this battaille I wol no more endite,
But speke of Palamon and of Arcite.

Swelleth the brest of Arcite, and the sore
Encreseth at his herte more and more.
The clotered blood, for any leche-craft,
Corrumpeth, and is in his bouke ylaft,
That neyther veine-blood, ne ventousing,
Ne drinke of herbes may ben his helping.
The vertue expulsif, or animal,
Fro thilke vertue cleped natural,
Ne may the venime voiden, ne expell.
The pipes of his longes gan to swell,
And every lacerte in his brest adoun
Is shent with venime and corruptioun.
Him gaineth neyther, for to get his lif,
Vomit upward, ne dounward laxatif;
All is to-brosten thilke region;
Nature hath now no domination:
And certainly ther nature wol not werche,
Farewel physike: go bere the man to cherche,
This is all and som, that Arcite moste die.
For which he sendeth after Emelie,
And Palamon, that was his cosin dere.
Than sayd he thus, as ye shuln after here.
"Nought may the woful spirit in myn herte
Declare o point of all my sorwes smerte
To you, my lady, that I love most;
But I bequethe the service of my gost
To you aboven every creature,

Sin that my lif ne may no lenger dure.

"Alas the wo! alas the peines stronge,
That I for you have suffered, and so longe!
Alas the deth! alas min Emelie !
Alas departing of our compagnie !
Alas min hertes quene! alas my wif!
Min hertes ladie, ender of my lif!

What is this world? what axen men to have?
Now with his love, now in his colde grave
Alone withouten any compagnie.
Farewel my swete, farewel min Emelic,
And softe take me in your armes twey,
For love of God, and herkeneth what I sey.
"I have here with my cosin Palamon
Had strif and rancour many a day agon
For love of you, and for my jalousie.
And Jupiter so wis my soule gie,
To speken of a servant proprely,
With alle circumstances trewely,

That is to sayn, trouth, honour, and knighthede,
Wisdom, humblesse, estat, and high kinrede,
Fredom, and all that longeth to that art,
So Jupiter have of my soule part,

As in this world right now ne know I non,
So worthy to be loved as Palamon,
That serveth you, and wol don all his lif.
And if that ever ye shall ben a wif,
Foryete not Palamon the gentil man."

And with that word his speche faille began.
For from his feet up to his brest was come
The cold of deth, that had him overnome.
And yet morcover in his armes two
The vital strength is lost, and all ago.

Only the intellect, withouten more,
That dwelled in his herte sike and sore,
Gan feillen, whan the herte felte deth;
Dusked his eyen two, and failled his breth.
But on his ladie yet cast he his eye;
His laste word was; "Mercy, Emelie !"
His spirit changed house, and wente ther,
As I came never I cannot tellen wher,
Therfore I stent, I am no divinistre ;
Of soules find I not in this registre.
Ne me lust not th' opinions to telle

Of hem, though that they writen wher they dwelle.


"EXPERIENCE, though non auctoritee Were in this world, is right ynough for me To speke of wo that is in mariage: For, lordings, sin I twelf yere was of age, (Thanked be God that is eterne on live) Husbondes at chirche dore have I had five, (If I so often might han wedded be) And all were worthy men in hir degree. "But me was told, not longe time agon is, That sithen Crist ne went never but onis To wedding, in the Cane of Galilee, That by that ilke ensample taught he me, That I ne shulde wedded be but ones.

Lo, herke eke, which a sharpe word for the nones, Beside a welle Jesu, God and man,

Spake in reprefe of the Samaritan:

Thou hast yhadde five husbonds,' sayde he;
And thilke man, that now hath wedded thee,
Is not thyn husbond:' thus said he certain;
What that he ment therby, I can not sain,
But that I aske, why that the fifthe man
Was non husbond to the Samaritan?
How many might she have in mariage?
Yet herd I never tellen in min age
Upon this noumbre diffinitioun;
Men may devine, and glosen up and doun.
"But wel I wot, expresse withouten lie
God bad us for to wex and multiplie ;
That gentil text can I wel understond.
Eke wel I wot, he sayd, that min husbond
Shuld leve fader and moder, and take to me;
But of no noumbre mention made he,
Of bigamie or of octogamie;
Why shulde men than speke of it vilanie?
"Lo here the wise king dan Solomon,

I trow he hadde wives mo than on,
(As wolde God it leful were to me

To be refreshed half so oft as he)

Which a gift of God had he for alle his wives?

No man hath swiche, that in this world on live is.
God wot, this noble king, as to my witte,
The firste night had many a mery fitte
With eche of hem, so wel was him on live.
Blessed be God that I have wedded five,
Welcome the sixthe whan that ever he shall.
For sith I wol not kepe me chaste in all,
Whan min husbond is fro the world ygon,
Som Cristen man shal wedden me anon.
For than the apostle saith, that I am fre
To wedde, a' Goddes half, wher it liketh me.

He saith that to be wedded is no sinne;
Better is to be wedded than to brinne.

"What rekketh me though folk say vilanie
Of shrewed Lamech, and his bigamie?
I wot wel Abraham was an holy man,
And Jacob eke, as fer as ever I can,
And eche of hem had wives mo than two,
And many another holy man also.
Wher can ye seen in any maner age
That highe God defended mariage
By expresse word? I pray you telleth me,
Or wher commanded he virginitee?

"I wot as wel as ye, it is no drede,
The apostle, whan he spake of maidenhede,
He said, that precept therof had he non:
Men may conseille a woman to ben on,
But conscilling is no commandement ;
He put it in our owen jugement.

"Now sires; than wol I tell you forth my tale. As ever mote I drinken win or ale

I shal say soth, the husbondes that I had

As three of them were good, and two were bad.
The three were goode men and riche and olde.
Unethes mighten they the statute holde,
In which that they were bounden unto me.
Ye wot wel what I mene of this parde.

As God me helpe, I laugh whan that I thinke,
How pitously a-night I made hem swinke,
But by my fay, I tolde of it no store:
They had me yeven hir lond and hir tresore,
Me neded not do lenger diligence
To win hir love, or don hem reverence.
They loved me so wel by God above,
That I ne tolde no deintee of hir love.
A wise woman wol besy hire ever in on
To geten hir love, ther as she hath non.
But sith I had hem holly in min hond,
And that they hadde yeven me all hir lond,
What shuld I taken kepe hem for to plese,
But it were for my profit, or min ese?
I set hem so a-werke by my fay,
That many a night they songen‘Wala wa.'
The bacon was not fit for hem, I trow,
That som men have in Essex at Donmow.
I governed hem so wel after my lawe,
That eche of hem ful blisful was and fawe
To bringen me gay thinges fro the feyre.
They were ful glade whan I spake hem fayre.
For God it wot, I chidde hem spitously.
Now herkeneth how I bare me proprely.

"Ye wise wives, that can understond,
Thus shul ye speke, and bere hem wrong on hond,
For half so boldely can ther no man
Sweren and lien as a woman can.
(I say not this by wives that ben wise,
But if it be whan they hem misavise.)
A wise wif if that she can hire good,
Shal beren hem on hond the cow is wood,
And taken witnesse of hire owen mayd
Of hir assent: but herkeneth how I sayd.
"Sire olde Kaynard, is this thin aray?
Why is my neigheboures wif so gay?
She is honoured over al wher she goth,
I sit at home, I have no thrifty cloth.

What dost thou at my neigheboures hous?
Is she so faire? art thou so amorous ?
What rownest thou with our maide ? benedicite,
Sire olde lechour, let thy japes be.

"And if I have a gossib, or a frend, (Withouten gilt) thou chidest as a fend, If that I walke or play unto his hous. "Thou comest home as dronken as a mous, And prechest on thy benche, with evil prefe: Thou sayst to me, it is a gret meschiefe To wed a poure woman, for costage: And if that she be riche of high parage, Than sayst thou, that it is a tourmentrie To soffre hire pride and hire melancolie. And if that she be faire, thou veray knave, Thou sayst that every holour wol hire have. She may no while in chastitee abide, That is assailled upon every side. Thou sayst som folk desire us for richesse, Some for our shape, and some for our fairnesse, And som, for she can other sing or dance, And som for gentillesse and daliance, Some for hire hondes and hire armes smale: Thus goth all to the devil by thy tale. Thou sayst, men may not kepe a castel wal, It may so long assailled be over al. And if that she be foul, thou sayst, that she Coveteth every man that she may see; For as a spaniel, she wol on him lepe, Til she may finden some man hire to chepe. Ne non so grey goos goth ther in the lake, (As sayst thou) that wol ben withoute a make. And sayst, it is an hard thing for to welde A thing, that no man wol his thankes helde. "Thus sayst thou, lorel, whan thou gost to bed, And that no wise man nedeth for to wed, Ne no man that entendeth unto Heven. With wilde thonder dint and firy leven Mote thy welked nekke be to-broke.

"Thou sayst, that dropping houses, and eke smoke, And chiding wives maken men to flee Out of hir owen house; a, benedicite, What aileth swiche an old man for to chide? "Thou sayst, we wives wol our vices hide, Til we be fast, and than we wol hem shewe. Wel may that be a proverbe of a shrewe. "Thou sayst, that oxen, asses, hors, and houndes, They ben assaied at diverse stoundes, Basins, lavoures, or that men hem bie, Spones, stooles, and all swiche husbondrie, And so ben pottes, clothes, and aray, But folk of wives maken non assay, Til they ben wedded, olde dotard shrewe! And than, sayst thou, we wol our vices shewe. "Thou sayst also, that it displeseth me, But if that thou wolt preisen my beautee, And but thou pore alway upon my face, And clepe me faire dame in every place; And but thou make a feste on thilke day That I was borne, and make me fresh and gay; And but thou do to my norice honour, And to my chamberere within my bour, And to my faders folk, and myn allies; Thus sayst thou, olde barel ful of lies.

"And yet also of our prentis Jankin, For his crispe here, shining as gold so fin,

And for he squiereth me both up and doun,
Yet hast thou caught a false suspection:
I wol him nat, though thou were ded to-morwe.
"But tell me this, why hidest thou with sorwe
The keies of thy chest away fro me?

It is my good as wel as thin parde,
What, wenest thou make an idiot of our dame?
Now by that lord that cleped is Seint Jame,
Thou shalt not bothe, though that thou were wood,
Be maister of my body and of my good,
That on thou shalt forgo maugre thin eyen.
What helpeth it of me to enquere and spien?
I trow thou woldest locke me in thy cheste.
Thou shuldest say, fayr wif, go wher thee leste;
Take your disport; I wol nat leve no tales;
I know you for a trewe wif, dame Ales.

"We love no man, that taketh kepe or charge Wher that we gon, we wol be at our large. Of alle men yblessed mote he be The wise astrologien dan Ptholomee, That sayth this proverbe in his Almageste: "Of alle men his wisdom is higheste,

That rekketh not who hath the world in hond.'
"By this proverbe thou shalt wel understond,
Have thou ynough, what thar thee rekke or care
How merily that other folkes fare?
For certes, olde dotard, by your leve,
Ye shullen have queint right ynough at eve.
He is to gret a nigard that wol werne
A man to light a candel at his lanterne ;
He shall have never the lesse lighte parde.
Have thou ynough, thee thar not plainen thee.
"Thou sayst also, if that we make us gay
With clothing and with precious array,
That it is peril of our chastitee.
And yet, with sorwe, thou enforcest thee,
And sayst thise wordes in the apostles name:
In habit made with chastitee and shame
Ye women shul appareile you,' (quod he)
And nat in tressed here, and gay perrie,
As perles, ne with gold, ne clothes riche."

After thy text, ne after thy rubriche,
I wol not work as mochel as a gnat.
"Thou sayst also, I walke out like a cat ;
For who so wolde senge the cattes skin,
Than wol the cat wel dwellen in hire in;
And if the cattes skin be sleke and gay,
She wol nat dwellen in hous half a day,
But forth she wol, or any day be dawed,
To shew hire skin, and gon a caterwaued.
This is to say, if I be gay, sire shrewe,
I wol renne out, my borel for to shewe.
Sire olde fool, what helpeth thee to spien?
Though thou pray Argus with his hundred eyen
To be my wardecorps, as he can best.
In faithe he shal not kepe me but me lest:
Yet coude I make his berd, so mote I the.
"Thou sayest eke, that ther ben thinges three,
Which thinges gretly troublen all this erthe,
And that no wight ne may endure the ferthe:
O lefe sire shrewe, Jesu short thy lif.

"Yet prechest thou, and sayst, an hateful wif Yrekened is for on of thise meschances. Be ther non other maner resemblances That ye may liken your parables to, But if a sely wif be on of tho?

"Thou likenest eke womans love to Helle, To barrein lond, ther water may not dwelle. "Thou likenest it also to wilde fire; The more it brenneth, the more it hath desire To consume every thing, that brent wol be.

"Thou sayest right as wormes shende a tre,
Right so a wif destroieth hire husbond;
This knowen they that ben to wives bond.'

"Lordings, right thus, as ye han understond,
Bare I stifly min old husbondes on hond,
That thus they saiden in hir dronkennesse ;
And all was false, but as I toke witnesse
On Jankin, and upon my nece also.
O Lord, the peine I did hem, and the wo,
Ful gilteles, by Goddes swete pine;
For as an hors, I coude bite and whine;
I coude plain, and I was in the gilt,
Or elles oftentime I had ben spilt.
Who so first cometh to the mill, first grint;
I plained first, so was our werre ystint.
They were ful glad to excusen hem ful blive
Of thing, the which they never agilt hir live.
Of wenches wold I beren hem on hond,
Whan that for sike unnethes might they stond,
Yet tikeled I his herte for that he
Wend that I had of him so gret chiertee:
I swore that all my walking out by night
Was for to espien wenches that he dight:
Under that colour had I many a mirth;
For all swiche wit is yeven us in our birth;
Deceite, weping, spinning, God hath yeven
To woman kind, while that they may liven.
And thus of o thing I may avaunten me,
At th' ende I had the beter in eche degree,
By sleight or force, or by som maner thing,
As by continual murmur or grutching,
Namely a-bed, ther hadden they meschance,
Ther wold I chide, and don hem no plesance :
I wold no lenger in the bed abide,
If that I felt his arme over my side,
Til he had made his raunson unto me,
Than wold I soffre him do his nicetee.
And therfore every man this tale I tell,
Winne who so may, for all is for to sell:
With empty hond men may no haukes lure,
For winning wold I all his lust endure,
And maken me a feined appetit,
And yet in bacon had I never delit:
That maked me that ever I wold hem chide.
For though the Pope had sitten hem beside,
I wold not spare hem at hir owen bord,
For by my trouthe I quitte hem word for word.
As helpe me veray God omnipotent,
Tho I right now shuld make my testament,
I ne owe hem not a word, that it n'is quit,

I brought it so abouten by my wit,
That they must yeve it up, as for the best,
Or elles had we never ben in rest.
For though he loked as a wood leon,
Yet shuld he faille of his conclusion.

"Than wold I say, 'Now, goode lefe, take kepe,
How mekely loketh Wilkin oure shepe!
Come ner my spouse, and let me ba thy cheke.
Ye shulden be al patient and meke,

And han a swete spiced conscience,

Sith ye so preche of Jobes patience.

Suffreth alway, sin ye so wel can preche,
And but ye do, certain we shal you teche
That it is faire to han a wif in pees.
On of us two moste bowen doutelees:
And, sith a man is more resonable

Than woman is, ye mosten ben suffrable.
What aileth you to grutchen thus and grone?
Is it for ye wold have my queint alone?
Why take it all: lo, have it every del.
Peter, I shrew you but ye love it wel.
For if I wolde sell my belle chose,
I coude walke as freshe as is a rose,
But I wol kepe it for your owen toth.
Ye be to blame, by God, I say you soth.'
"Swiche maner wordes hadden we on hond.
Now wol I speken of my fourthe husbond.

"My fourthe husbonde was a revellour,
This is to sayn, he had a paramour,
And I was yonge and ful of ragerie,
Stibborne and strong, and joly as a pie.
Tho coude I dancen to an harpe smale,
And sing ywis as any nightingale,
Whan I had dronke a draught of swete wine.
Metellius, the foule cherle, the swine,
That with a staf beraft his wif hire lif

For she drank wine, though I had ben his wif,
Ne shuld he not have daunted me fro drinke:
And after wine of Venus most I thinke.
For al so siker as cold engendreth hayl,
A likerous mouth most han a likerous tayl.

In woman vinolent is no defence,

This knowen lechours by experience.

"But, Lord Crist, whan that it remembreth me
Upon my youth, and on my jolitee,
It tikleth me about myn herte-rote.
Unto this day it doth myn herte bote,
That I have had my world as in my time.
But age, alas! that all wol envenime,
Hath me beraft my beautee and my pith:
Let go, farewel, the devil go therwith.
The flour is gon, ther n'is no more to tell,
The bren, as I best may, now moste I sell.
But yet to be right mery wol I fond,
Now forth to tellen of my fourthe husbond,
"I say, I had in herte gret despit,
That he of any other had delit;

But he was quit by God and by Seint Joce:
I made him of the same wood a croce,
Not of my body in no foule manere,
But certainly I made folk swiche chere,
That in his owen grese I made him frie
For anger and for veray jalousie.

By God, in earth I was his purgatorie,
For which I hope his soule be in gloric.
For, God it wote, he sate ful oft and songe,
Whan that his sho ful bitterly him wronge.
Ther was no wight, save God and he, that wiste
In many a wise how sore that I him twiste.
He died whan I came fro Jerusalem,
And lith ygrave under the rode-beem:
All is his tombe not so curious
As was the sepulchre of him Darius,
Which that Appelles wrought so sotelly.
It is but wast to bury hem preciously.
Let him farewel, God give his soule rest,
He is now in his grave and in his chest.

"Now of my fifthe husbonde wol I telle:
God let his soule never come in Helle.
And yet was he to me the moste shrew,
That fele I on my ribbes all by rew,
And ever shal, unto min ending day.
But in our bed he was so fresh and gay,
And therwithall he coude so wel me glose,
Whan that he wolde han my belle chose,
That, though he had me bet on every bon,
He coude win agen my love anon.
I trow, I love him the bet, for he
Was of his love so dangerous to me.
We wimmen han, if that I shal not lie,
In this matere a queinte fantasie.
Waite, what thing we may nat lightly have,
Therafter wol we cry all day and crave.
Forbede us thing, and that desiren we;
Prese on us fast, and thanne wol we flee.
With danger uttren we all our chaffare;
Gret prees at market maketh dere ware,
And to gret chepe is holden at litel prise;
This knoweth every woman that is wise.

"My fifthe husbonde, God his soule blesse,
Which that I toke for love and no richesse,
He somtime was a clerk of Oxenforde,
And had left scole, and went at home at borde
With my gossib, dwelling in our toun:
God have hire soule, hire name was Alisoun.
She knew my herte and all my privetee,
Bet than our parish preest, so mote I the.
To hire bewried I my conseil all;
For had my husbond pissed on a wall,
Or don a thing that shuld have cost his lif,
To hire, and to another worthy wif,
And to my nece, which that I loved wel,
I wold have told his conseil every del.
And so I did ful often, God it wote,
That made his face ful often red and hote
For veray shame, and blamed himself, for he
Had told to me so gret o privetee.

"And so befell that ones in a Lent, (So often times I to my gossib went, For ever yet I loved to be gay, And for to walke in March, April, and May, From hous to hous, to heren sondry tales) That Jankin clerk, and my gossib dame Ales, And I myself, into the feldes went. Myn husbond was at London all that Lent; I had the better leiser for to pleie, And for to see, and eke for to be seie Of lusty folk; what wist I wher my grace Was shapen for to be, or in what place? Therfore made I my visitations

To vigilies, and to processions,

To prechings cke, and to thise pilgrimages,

To playes of miracles, and mariages,
And wered upon my gay skarlet gites.
Thise wormes, ne thise mothes, ne thise mites

Upon my paraille frett hem never a del,
And wost thou why? for they were used wel.
"Now wol I tellen forth what happed me:
I say, that in the feldes walked we,
Till trewely we had swiche daliance
This clerk and I, that of my purveance

I spake to him, and said him how that he,
If I were widewe, shulde wedden me.

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