The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale Contents
Part 11: l.543-584
543: And so bifel that ones in a lente --
544: So often tymes I to my gossyb wente,
545: For evere yet I loved to be gay,
546: And for to walke in march, averill, and may,
547: Fro hous to hous, to heere sondry talys --
548: That jankyn clerk, and my gossyb dame alys,
549: And I myself, into the feeldes wente.
550: Myn housbonde was at londoun al that lente;
551: I hadde the bettre leyser for to pleye,
552: And for to se, and eek for to be seye
553: Of lusty folk. What wiste I wher my grace
554: Was shapen for to be, or in what place?
555: Therfore I made my visitaciouns
556: To vigilies and to processiouns,
557: To prechyng eek, and to thise pilgrimages,
558: To pleyes of myracles, and to mariages,
559: And wered upon my gaye scarlet gytes.
560: Thise wormes, ne thise motthes, ne thise mytes,
561: Upon my peril, frete hem never a deel;
562: And wostow why? for they were used weel.
563: Now wol I tellen forth what happed me.
564: I seye that in the feeldes walked we,
565: Til trewely we hadde swich daliance,
566: This clerk and I, that of my purveiance
567: I spak to hym and seyde hym how that he,
568: If I were wydwe, sholde wedde me.
569: For certeinly, I sey for no bobance,
570: Yet was I nevere withouten purveiance
571: Of mariage, n' of othere thynges eek.
572: I holde a mouses herte nat worth a leek
573: That hath but oon hole for to sterte to,
574: And if that faille, thanne is al ydo.
575: I bar hym on honde he hadde enchanted me,
576: My dame taughte me that soutiltee.
577: And eek I seyde I mette of hym al nyght,
578: He wolde han slayn me as I lay upright,
579: And al my bed was ful of verray blood;
580: But yet I hope that he shal do me good,
581: For blood bitokeneth gold, as me was taught.
582: And al was fals; I dremed of it right naught,
583: But as I folwed ay my dames loore,
584: As wel of this as of othere thynges moore.
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