The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale Contents
Part 12: l.585-626
585: But now, sire, lat me se, what I shal seyn?
586: A ha! by god, I have my tale ageyn.
587: Whan that my fourthe housbonde was on beere,
588: I weep algate, and made sory cheere,
589: As wyves mooten, for it is usage,
590: And with my coverchief covered my visage,
591: But for that I was purveyed of a make,
592: I wepte but smal, and that I undertake.
593: To chirche was myn housbonde born a-morwe
594: With neighebores, that for hym maden sorwe;
595: And jankyn, oure clerk, was oon of tho.
596: As help me god! whan that I saugh hym go
597: After the beere, me thoughte he hadde a paire
598: Of legges and of feet so clene and faire
599: That al myn herte I yaf unto his hoold.
600: He was, I trowe, a twenty wynter oold,
601: And I was fourty, if I shal seye sooth;
602: But yet I hadde alwey a coltes tooth.
603: Gat-tothed I was, and that bicam me weel;
604: I hadde the prente of seinte venus seel.
605: As help me god! I was a lusty oon,
606: And faire, and riche, and yong, and wel bigon;
607: And trewely, as myne housbondes tolde me,
608: I hadde the beste quoniam myghte be.
609: For certes, I am al venerien
610: In feelynge, and myn herte is marcien.
611: Venus me yaf my lust, my likerousnesse,
612: And mars yaf me my sturdy hardynesse;
613: Myn ascendent was taur, and mars therinne.
614: Allas! allas! that evere love was synne!
615: I folwed ay myn inclinacioun
616: By vertu of my constellacioun;
617: That made me I koude noght withdrawe
618: My chambre of venus from a good felawe.
619: Yet have I martes mark upon my face,
620: And also in another privee place.
621: For God so wys be my savacioun,
622: I ne loved nevere by no discrecioun,
623: But evere folwede myn appetit,
624: Al were he short, or long, or blak, or whit;
625: I took no kep, so that he liked me,
626: How poore he was, ne eek of what degree.
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