The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale Contents
Part 9: l.453-502
453: My fourthe housbonde was a revelour;
454: This is to seyn, he hadde a paramour;
455: And I was yong and ful of ragerye,
456: Stibourn and strong, and joly as a pye.
457: How koude I daunce to an harpe smale,
458: And synge, ywis, as any nyghtyngale,
459: Whan I had dronke a draughte of sweete wyn!
460: Metellius, the foule cherl, the swyn,
461: That with a staf birafte his wyf hir lyf,
462: For she drank wyn, thogh I hadde been his wyf,
463: He sholde nat han daunted me from drynke!
464: And after wyn on venus moste I thynke,
465: For al so siker as cold engendreth hayl,
466: A likerous mouth moste han a likerous tayl.
467: In wommen vinolent is no defence, --
468: This knowen lecchours by experience.
469: But, lord crist! whan that it remembreth me
470: Upon my yowthe, and on my jolitee,
471: It tikleth me aboute myn herte roote.
472: Unto this day it dooth myn herte boote
473: That I have had my world as in my tyme.
474: But age, allas! that al wole envenyme,
475: Hath me biraft my beautee and my pith.
476: Lat go, farewel! the devel go therwith!
477: The flour is goon, ther is namoore to telle;
478: The bren, as I best kan, now moste I selle;
479: But yet to be right myrie wol I fonde.
480: Now wol I tellen of my fourthe housbonde.
481: I seye, I hadde in herte greet despit
482: That he of any oother had delit.
483: But he was quit, by God and by seint joce!
484: I made hym of the same wode a croce;
485: Nat of my body, in no foul manere,
486: But certeinly, I made folk swich cheere
487: That in his owene grece I made hym frye
488: For angre, and for verray jalousye.
489: By god! in erthe I was his purgatorie,
490: For which I hope his soule be in glorie.
491: For, God it woot, he sat ful ofte and song,
492: Whan that his shoo ful bitterly hym wrong.
493: Ther was no wight, save God and he, that wiste,
494: In many wise, how soore I hym twiste.
495: He deyde whan I cam fro jerusalem,
496: And lith ygrave under the roode beem,
497: Al is his tombe noght so curyus
498: As was the sepulcre of hym daryus,
499: Which that appeles wroghte subtilly;
500: It nys but wast to burye hym preciously.
501: Lat hym fare wel, God yeve his soul reste!
502: He is now in his grave and in his cheste.
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