The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue
Whan myn housbond is fro the world y-gon,
Som Cristen man shal wedde me anon;
For thanne th'Apostle seith that I am free
To wedde, a Goddes half, where it lyketh me.
He seith that to be wedded is no sinne:
Bet is to be wedded than to brinne.
[Christ] spak to hem that wolde live parfitly,
And lordinges, by youre leve, that am nat I.
I wol bistowe the flour of myn age
In the actes and in fruit of mariage.
And whan that I have told thee forth my tale
Of tribulacioun in mariage,
Of which I am expert in al my age –
This to seyn, myself have been the whippe –
Than maystow chese whether thou wolt sippe
Of thilke tonne that I shal abroche.
Be war of it, er thou to ny approche.