[ocr errors]

But specially I pray thee, hoste dere,
Gar us have mete and drinke, and make us chere,
And we sal paien trewely at the full:
With empty hand, men may na haukes tull.
Lo here our silver redy for to spend.

This miller to the toun his doughter send
For ale and bred, and rosted hem a goos,
And bond hir hors, he shuld no more go loos:
And in his owen chambre hem made a bedde,
With shetes and with chalons faire yspredde,
Nat from his owen bed ten foot or twelve:
His doughter had a bed all by hireselve,
Right in the same chambre by and by:
It mighte be no bet, and cause why,
Ther was no roumer herberwe in the place.
They soupen, and they speken of solace,
And drinken ever strong ale at the best.
Abouten midnight wente they to rest.

Wel hath this miller vernished his hed, Ful pale he was, for-dronken, and nought red. He yoxeth, and he speketh thurgh the nose, As he were on the quakke, or on the pose. To bed he goth, and with him goth his wif; As any jay she light was and jolif, So was hire joly whistle wel ywette. The cradel at hire beddes feet was sette, To rocken, and to yeve the child to souke. And whan that dronken was all in the crouke To bedde went the doughter right anon, To bedde goth Alein, and also John. Ther n'as no more; nedeth hem no dwale, This miller hath so wisly bibbed ale, That as an hors he snorteth in his slepe, Ne of his tail behind he toke no kepe.

[ocr errors]

His wif bare him a burdon a ful strong;
Men might hir routing heren a furlong.
The wenche routeth eke par compagnie.

Alein the clerk that herd this melodie,
He poketh John, and sayde: Slepest thou?
Herdest thou ever slike a song er now?
Lo whilke a complin is ymell hem alle.
A wilde fire upon hir bodies falle,
Wha herkned ever slike a ferly thing?
Ye, they shall have the flour of yvel ending.
This lange night ther tides me no reste.
But yet na force, all shal be for the beste.
For, John, (sayd he) as ever mote I thrive,
If that I may, von wenche wol I swive.
Som @sement has lawe yshapen us.
For, John, th

ther is a lawe that saieth thus,

That if a man in o point be agreved,
That in another he shal be releved.
Our corn is stolne, sothly it is na nay,
And we han had an yvel fit to-day.
And sin I shal have nan amendement
Again my losse, I wol have an esement:
By Goddes saule, it shal nan other be.

This John answered; Alein, avise thee:
The miller is a perilous man, he sayde.
And if that he out of his slepe abraide,
He mighte don us bathe a vilanie.
Alein answered; I count him nat a flie.
And up he rist, and by the wenche he crept.
This wenche lay upright, and faste slept,
Til he so nigh was, er she might espie,
That it had ben to late for to crie:
And shortly for to say, they were at on.
Now play, Alein, for I wol speke of John.









This John lith still a furlong way or two,
And to himself he maketh routh and wo.
Alas! (quod he) this is a wicked jape;


that I is but an ape.
Yet has my felaw somwhat for his harme;
He has the millers doughter in his arme:
He auntred him, and hath bis nedes spedde,
And I lie as a draf-sak in my bedde;
And whan this jape is tald another day,
I shal be halden a daffe or a cokenay:
I wol arise, and auntre it by my fay:
Unhardy is unsely, thus men say.


he rose, and softely he went Unto the cradel, and in his hand it hent, And bare it soft unto his beddes fete. Sone after this the wif hire routing lete, And gan awake, and went hire out to pisse, And came again, and gan the cradel misse, And groped here and ther, but she fond non. Alas! (quod she) I had almost misgon. I had almost gon to the clerkes bedde. Ey benedicite, than had I foule yspedde. And forth she goth, til she the cradel fond. She gropeth alway forther with hire hond, And fond the bed, and thoughte nat but good, Because that the cradel by it stood, And n’iste wher she was, for it was derk, But faire and wel she crept in by the clerk, And lith ful still, and wold han caught a slepe. Within a while this John the clerk up lepe, And on this goode wif he laieth on sore; So mery a fit ne had she nat ful

yore. He priketh hard and depe, as he were mad.

This joly lif han these two clerkes lad,

Til that the thridde cok began to sing.
Alein wex werie in the morwening,
For he had swonken all the longe night,
And sayd; Farewel, Malkin, my swete wight.
The day is come, I may no longer bide,
But evermo, wher so I go or ride,
I is thin awen clerk, so have I hele.
Now, dere lemman, quod she, go farewele:
But or thou go, o thing I wol thee tell.
Whan that thou wendest homeward by the mell.
Right at the entree of the dore behind
Thou shalt a cake of half a bushel find,
That was ymaked of thin owen mele,
Which that I halpe my fader for to stele.
And goode lemman, God thee save and kepe.
And with that word she gan almost to wepe.

Alein uprist and thought, er that it daw
I wol go crepen in by my felaw:
And fond the cradel at his hand anon.
By God, thought he, all wrang I have misgon:
My hed is tottie of my swink to night,
That maketh me that I go nat aright.
I wot wel by the cradel I have misgo;
Here lith the miller and his wif also.
And forth he goth a twenty divel way
Unto the bed, ther as the miller lay.
He wend have cropen by his felaw John,
And by the miller in he crept anon,
And caught him by the nekke, and gan him shake,
And sayd; Thou John, thou swineshed awake,
For Cristes saule, and here a noble game:
For by that lord that called is Seint Jame,
As I have thries as in this short night
Swived the millers doughter bolt-upright,

[ocr errors]

While thou hast as a coward ben agast.

Ye, false harlot, quod the miller, hast? A, false traitour, false clerk, (quod he) Thou shalt be ded by Goddes dignitee, Who dorste be so bold to disparage My doughter, that is come of swiche linage. And by the throte-bolle he caught Alein, And he him hent despitously again, And on the nose he smote him with his fist; Doun ran the blody streme upon his brest: And in the flore with nose and mouth to-broke They walwe, as don two pigges in a poke. And up they gon, and doun again anon, Til that the miller sporned at a ston, And doun he fell backward upon his wif, That wiste nothing of this pice strif: For she was fall aslepe a litel wight With John the clerk, that waked had all night: And with the fall out of hire slepe she braide. Helpe, holy crois of Bromeholme, (she sayde) In manus tuas, Lord, to thee I call. Awake, Simond, the fend is on me fall; Myn herte is broken; helpe; I n’am but ded; Ther lith on up my wombe and up myn

hed. Helpe, Simkin, for the false clerkes fight. This John stert up as fast as ever he might, And graspeth by the walles to and fro To find a staf, and she stert up also, And knew the estres bet than did this John, And by the wall she toke a staf anon: And saw a litel shemering of a light, For at an hole in shone the mone bright, And by that light she saw hem bothe two, But sikerly she n'iste who was who,



« ElőzőTovább »