The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale Contents
Part 16: 772 - 828
772: He spak moore harm than herte may bithynke;
773: And therwithal he knew of mo proverbes
774: Than in this world ther growen gras or herbes.
775: -- Bet is, -- quod he, -- thyn habitacioun
776: Be with a leon or foul dragoun,
777: Than with a womman usynge for to chyde --
778: -- Bet is, -- quod he, -- hye in the roof abyde,
779: Than with an angry wyf doun in the hous;
780: They been so wikked and contrarious,
781: They haten that hir housbondes loven ay. --
782: He seyde, -- a womman cast hir shame away,
783: Whan she cast of hir smok; -- and forthermo,
784: -- A fair womman, but she be chaast also,
785: Is lyk a gold ryng in a sowes nose. --
786: Who wolde wene, or who wolde suppose,
787: The wo that in myn herte was, and pyne?
788: And whan I saugh he wolde nevere fyne
789: To reden on this cursed book al nyght,
790: Al sodeynly thre leves have I plyght
791: Out of his book, right as he radde, and eke
792: I with my fest so took hym on the cheke
793: That in oure fyr he fil bakward adoun.
794: And he up stirte as dooth a wood leoun,
795: And with his fest he smoot me on the heed,
796: That in the floor I lay as I were deed.
797: And whan he saugh how stille that I lay,
798: He was agast, and wolde han fled his way,
799: Til atte laste out of my swogh I breyde.
800: -- O! hastow slayn me, false theef? -- I seyde,
801: -- And for my land thus hastow mordred me?
802: Er I be deed, yet wol I kisse thee. --
803: And neer he cam and kneled faire adoun,
804: And seyde, -- deere suster alisoun,
805: As help me god! I shal thee nevere smyte.
806: That I have doon, it is thyself to wyte.
807: Foryeve it me, and that I thee biseke! --
808: And yet eftsoones I hitte hym on the cheke,
809: And seyde, -- theef, thus muchel am I wreke;
810: Now wol I dye, I may no lenger speke. --
811: But atte laste, with muchel care and wo,
812: We fille acorded by us selven two.
813: He yaf me al the bridel in myn hond,
814: To han the governance of hous and lond,
815: And of his tonge, and of his hond also;
816: And made hym brenne his book anon right tho.
817: And whan that I hadde geten unto me,
818: By maistrie, al the soveraynette,
819: And that he seyde, -- myn owene trewe wyf,
820: Do as thee lust the terme of al thy lyf;
821: Keep thyn honour, and keep eek myn estaat
822: After that day we hadden never debaat.
823: God helpe me so, I was to hym as kynde
824: As any wyf from denmark unto ynde,
825: And also trewe, and so was he to me.
826: I prey to god, that sit in magestee,
827: So blesse his soule for his mercy deere.
828: Now wol I seye my tale, if ye wol heere.
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