The Canterbury Tales: The Reeve's Tale
'For John,' seyde he, 'als evere moot I thryve,
If that I may, yon wenche wil I swyve.
Som esement has lawe yshapen us.
For, John, ther is a lawe that says thus,
That gif a man in a point be agreved,
That in another he sal be releved.
Oure corn is stolen, sothly, it is na nay
And we han had an il fit al this day;
And syn I sal have neen amendement
Agayn my los, I will have esement.'
(224 – 232)
And up he rist, and by the wenche he crepte.
This wenche lay uprighte, and faste slepte,
Til he so ny was, er she myghte espie,
That it had been to late for to crie,
And shortly for to seyn, they were aton.
Now pley, Aleyn, for I wol speke of John.
(340 – 344)
'Allas!' quod he, 'this is a wikked jape;
Now may I seyn that I is but an ape.
Yet has my felawe somwhat for his harm;
He has the milleres doghter in his arm.
He auntred hym, and has his nedes sped,
And I lye as a draf-sak in my bed;
And when this jape is tald another day,
I sal been halde a daf, a cokenay!
I wil arise and auntre it, by my fayth!'
(347 – 355)