| Quote #1
And all above there lay a gay sautrie,
It's not likely that Nicholas is singing a holy song out of a true feeling of piety. Instead, he's probably just showing off, which would be more in accord with his character.
| Quote #2
This Nicholas gan mercy for to crye,
Alisoun's swearing to cheat on her husband by Saint Thomas of Kent emphasizes the audacity of the act. It also foreshadows the moment when religion again plays a role in sexual sin: Absolon's lustful longing for Alisoun when he meets her in the parish church.
| Quote #3
Thanne fil it thus, that to the paryssh chirche,
The irony of these lines, of course, is that the work Alisoun ends up doing at the parish church is not "Cristes owene werkes," but the captivation of Absolon's attention.