The Reeve's Prologue and Tale from the Hengwrt Manuscript of the Canterbury Tales

Original Text: 
Nat. Lib. Wales Peniarth 392. From Geoffrey Chaucer. The Canterbury Tales: A Facsimile and Transcription of the Hengwrt Manuscript, with Variants from the Ellesmere Manuscript, ed. Paul G. Ruggiers, introduction by Donald C. Baker, A. I. Doyle, and M. B. Parkes. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1979. PR 1866 .R8 1979 Robarts Library
¶The |pro|loge / of the Reues tale
2 Of Ab{s}olon / and hende Nicholas
3 Di|uer|{s}e folk / diuer{s}ely they seyde
4 But for the moore part/ they lowe and pleyde
5 Ne at his tale / I seigh no man hym greue
6 But it were oonly/ O{s}ewold the Reue
7 By cau{s}e he was / of Carpenters craft/
8 Alitel Ire / is in his herte ylaft/
9 He gan to grucche / and blamed it alite
10 So the ik quod he / ful wel koude I thee quyte
11 With bleryng/ of a proud Millerys Iye
12 If |þt| me li{s}te / speke of rybaudye
13 But ik am oold / me li{s}t no pleye for age
14 Gras tyme is doon / my fodder is now forage
15 This white top / writeth myne olde yerys
16 Myn herte / is al{s}o mowled / as myne herys
17 But if ik fare / as dooth an Openers
18 That ilke fruyt/ is euer lenger the wers
19 Til it be roten / in Mollok / or in stree
20 We olde men / I drede {s}o fare we
21 Til we be roten / kan we noght be rype
22 We hoppe alwey / whil |þt| the world wol pipe
23 ffor in oure wil / ther stiketh euere a nayl
24 To haue an hoor heer / and a grene tayl
25 As hath a leek / for thogh oure myght be goon
26 Oure wil de{s}ireth folie / euere in oon
27 ffor whan we may noght/ doon / than wol we speke
28 Yet in oure a{ss}hen olde / is fyr yreke
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29 ffoure gleedes haue we / whiche I shal deuy{s}e
30 Auauntyng/ lyyng/ Anger Coueiti{s}e
31 Thi{s}e foure sparkles / longen vn to eelde
32 Oure lymes / mowe wel been vnweelde
33 But wil ne shal noght faillen / that is sooth
34 And yet I haue alwey / a coltes tooth
35 As many a yeer / as it is pa{ss}ed henne
36 Syn |þt| my tappe of lyf / bigan to renne
37 ffor sikerlik/ whan ik was bore anon
38 Deeth drogh the tappe of lyf / and leet it goon
39 And euere sith / hath {s}o the tappe yronne
40 Til |þt| almoo{s}t / al empty is the tonne
41 The {s}treem of lyf / now droppeth on the chymbe
42 The sely tonge / may wel rynge and chymbe
43 Of wrecchedne{ss}e / |þt| pa{ss}ed is ful yoore
44 With olde folk / saue dotage is namoore
45 ¶Whan |þt| oure hoo{s}t/ hadde herd this sermonyng/
46 He gan to speke / as lordly as a kyng/
47 He seyde / what amounteth al this wit
48 What shal we speke alday / of holy writ
49 The deuel made / a Reue for to |pre|che
50 Or of a Soute|re| / a Shipman / or a leche
51 Sey forth thy tale / and tarie noght the tyme
52 Lo Depeford / and it is half wey pryme
53 Lo Grenewych / ther many a sherewe is Inne
54 It were al tyme / thy tale to bigynne
55 ¶Now sires / quod this O{s}ewold the Reue
56 I pray yow alle / |þt| ye noght yow greue
57 Thogh I an{s}were / and som del sette his howue
58 ffor leueful is / with force / force of showue
59 This dronken Mille|re| / hath ytoold vs heer
60 How |þt| / bigiled was a Carpenter
61 |per|auenture in scorn / for I am oon
62 And by youre leue / I shal hym quyte anon
63 Right / in his cherles termes / wol I speke
64 I pray to god / his nekke mote to breke
65 He kan wel / in myn eye / seen a {s}talke
66 But in his owene / he kan noght {s}een a balke
Narra|ter|
1 AT Trompyngto|un| / nat fer fro Cantebrygge
2 Ther gooth a brook / and ouer that a brygge
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3 Vp on the which brook/ ther stant a Melle
4 And this is verray sooth / |þt| I yow telle
5 A Mille|re| was ther dwellyng many a day
6 As any Pecok/ he was proud and gay
7 Pipen he koude / and fi{ss}he / and nettes beete
8 And torne coppes / and wel wra{s}tle and sheete
9 And by his belt/ he baar a long Panade
10 And of a swerd / ful trenchaunt was the blade
11 A ioly poppe|re| / baar he in his pouche
12 Ther was no man / for |per|il dor{s}te hym touche
13 A sheffeld thwitel / baar he in his ho{s}e
14 Round was his face / and camu{s}e was his no{s}e
15 As piled as an Ape / was his skulle
16 He was a Market bete|re| / atte fulle
17 Ther dor{s}te no wight/ hand vp on hym legge
18 That he ne swoor / he sholde anon abegge
19 A theef he was for sothe / of corn and mele
20 And |þt| a sleigh / and v{s}ant for to stele
21 His name was hoten / deynous Symkyn
22 A wif he hadde / comen of noble kyn
23 The per{s}on of the toun / hir fader was
24 With hi|re| he yaf / ful many a panne a bras
25 ffor |þt| Symkyn / sholde in his blood allye
26 She was yfo{s}tred / in a Nonnerye
27 ffor Symkyn / wolde no wyf as he sayde
28 But she were wel ynori{ss}ed and a mayde
29 To sauen / his e{s}taat of yemanrye
30 And she was proud / and peert as is a pye
31 A ful fair sighte / was it vp on hem two
32 On halidayes / biforn hi|re| wolde he go
33 With his tipet/ wounden aboute his heed
34 And she cam after / in a gyte of reed
35 And Symkyn / hadde ho{s}en of the same
36 Ther dor{s}te no wight/ clepen hire but dame
37 Was noon {s}o hardy / |þt| wente by the weye
38 That with hire/ dor{s}te rage / or ones pleye
39 But if he / wolde be slayn of Symkyn
40 With panade / or with knyf/ or boydekyn
41 ffor Ialous folk / been |per|ilou{s}e eueremo
42 Algate / they wolde hir wyues wenden {s}o
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43 And eek / for she was som del smoterlich
44 She was as digne / as water in a dich
45 And ful of hoker / and of bi{s}mare
46 Hir thoghte / |þt| a lady sholde hir spare
47 What for hir kynrede / and hir nortelrye
48 That she hadde lerned / in the Nonnerye
49 A doghter hadde they / bitwix hem two
50 Of twenty yeer / with outen any mo
51 Sauyng a child / |þt| was of hal yeer age
52 In Cradel it lay / and was a |prop|re page
53 This wenche / thikke and wel ygrowen was
54 With camu{s}e no{s}e / and eyen greye as glas
55 With buttokes brode / and bre{s}tes rounde and hye
56 But right fair was hir heer/ I wol nat lye
57 ¶The |per|{s}on of the toun / for she was {s}o feir
58 In purpos was / to maken hi|re| his heir
59 Bothe of his catel / and his Me{s}uage
60 And {s}traunge he made it/ of hir mariage
61 His purpos was / for to bi{s}towe hir hye
62 In to som worthy blood of Auncetrye
63 ffor holicherches good / moot been de{s}pended
64 On holicherches blood / |þt| is de{s}cended
65 Ther fore / he wolde his holy blood honoure
66 Thogh |þt| he / holy chirche sholde deuoure
67 ¶Greet sokne / hath this Mille|re| out of doute
68 With whete and malt/ of al the land aboute
69 And nameliche / ther was a greet Collegge
70 Men clepeth / the Soler halle at Cantebregge
71 Ther was hir whete / and eek hir malt ygrounde
72 And on a day / it happed in {{^}}{{a}} stounde
73 Syk was this maunciple / on a maladie
74 Men wenden wi{s}ly / |þt| he sholde dye
75 ffor which this Millere / {s}tal bothe mele and corn
76 An hondred tyme / moore than biforn
77 ffor ther biforn / he {s}tal but curtei{s}ly
78 But now / he was a theef outrageou{s}ly
79 ffor which the wardeyn / chidde and made fare
80 But ther of / sette the Millere noght a tare
81 He craked boo{s}t/ and swoor it was noght so
82 Thanne were ther / yonge poure scolers two
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83 That/ dwelten in the halle / of which I seye
84 Te{s}tyf they were / and lu{s}ty for to pleye
85 And oonly / for hir myrthe and reuerye
86 Vp on the wardeyn / bi{s}ily they crye
87 To yeue hem leue / but a litel stounde
88 To go to Mille / and seen hir corn ygrounde
89 And hardily / they dor{s}te leye hir nekke
90 The Millere / sholde noght {s}telen hem half a pekke
91 Of corn by sleighte / ne by force hem reue
92 And atte la{s}te / the wardeyn yaf hem leue
93 |Iohan| highte that oon / and Aleyn highte that oother
94 Of oon town were they born / |þt| highte Strother
95 ffer in the North / I kan noght telle where
96 This Aleyn / maketh redy al his gere
97 And on an hors / the sak he ca{s}te anon
98 fforth gooth Aleyn the clerk/. and al{s}o |Iohan|
99 With good swerd / and with bokeler by his syde
100 |Iohan| knew the wey / hym neded no gyde
101 And at the Mille / the sak adoun he layth
102 ¶Aleyn spak fir{s}t/ alhayl Symkyn in fayth
103 How fares / thy faire doghter / and thy wyf
104 ¶Aleyn wel come / quod Symkyn by my lyf
105 And |Iohan| al{s}o / how now / what do ye here
106 ¶By god quod |Iohan| / Symond nede has na peere
107 Hym bilhoues serue hym self / |þt| has na swayn
108 Or ellis / he is a fool / as clerkes sayn
109 Oure maunciple / I hope he wol be deed
110 Swa werkes ay / the wanges in his heed
111 And ther fore is I come / and eek Alayn
112 To grynde oure corn / and carie it heem agayn
113 I pray yow / speed vs heythen / what ye may
114 ¶It shal be doon / quod Symkyn by my fay
115 What wol ye doon / whil |þt| it is in hande
116 ¶By god / right by the ho|per| / wol I stande
117 Quod |Iohan| / and se how the corn gas In
118 Yet {s}aw I neuere / by my fader kyn
119 How |þt| the ho|per| / wagges til and fra
120 ¶Aleyn an{s}werde / |Iohan| wiltow swa
121 Thanne wol I be byneth / by my crown
122 And se / how |þt| the mele falles down
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123 In to the trogh / that sal be my de{s}port/
124 ffor |Iohan| in faith / I may been of youre sort/
125 I is as ille a Millere / as ar ye
126 ¶This Millere / smyled of hir nycetee
127 And thoghte / al this nys doon / but for a wyle
128 They wene / |þt| no man may hem bigile
129 But by my thrift / yet shal I blere hir Iye
130 ffor al the sleighte / in hir Phi{s}lophye
131 The moore queynte crekys / |þt| they make
132 The moore wol I {s}tele / whan I take
133 In {s}tede of flour / yet wol I yeue hem bren
134 The grette{s}t clerkes / been noght the wi{s}e{s}t men
135 As whilom to the wolf/ thus spak the mare
136 Of al hir art/ counte I noght a tare
137 Out of the dore / he gooth ful pryuely
138 Whan |þt| he saugh his tyme / softely
139 He looketh vp and doun / til he hath founde
140 The clerkes hors / ther {^}{{as}} it stood ybounde
141 Bihynde the Mille / vnder a leef{s}el
142 And to the hors / he gooth hym faire and wel
143 He {s}trepeth of the bridel / right anon
144 And whan the hors was laus / he gynneth gon
145 Toward the fen / ther wilde mares renne
146 And forth with wehe / thurgh thikke and thenne
147 This Millere gooth ayein / no word he seyde
148 But dooth his note / and with the clerkes pleyde
149 Til |þt| hir corn / was faire and wel ygrounde
150 And whan the mele / was sakked and ybounde
151 ¶This |Iohan| gooth out/ and fynt his hors away
152 And gan to crye / harrow and weilaway
153 Oure hors is lo{s}t/. Alayn for goddes banes
154 Step on thy feet/ com of man al atanes
155 Allas oure wardeyn / has his palfrey lorn
156 ¶This Alayn al forgat/ bothe mele and corn
157 Al was out of his mynde / his hou{s}bondrye
158 What whilk wey is he gane / he gan to crye
159 ¶The wyf cam lepyng/ Inward with a ren
160 She seyde allas / youre hors gooth to the fen
161 With wilde mares / as fa{s}te as he may go
162 Vnthank come on his hand / |þt| boond hym {s}o
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163 And he |þt| bettre / sholde haue knyt the reyne
164 ¶Allas / quod |Iohan| / Aleyn for Cri{s}tes peyne
165 Lay doun thy swerd / and I wol myn al{s}wa
166 I is ful wight / god waat/ as is a ra
167 By god hert/ he sal nat scape vs bathe
168 Why ne had thow / pit the capil in the lathe
169 Ilhail / by god Alayn / thow is a fonne
170 ¶This sely clerkes / haan ful fa{s}te yronne
171 Toward the fen / bothe Alayn and eek |Iohan|
172 And whan the Millere seigh / |þt| they were gon
173 He half a bu{ss}hel / of hir flour hath take
174 And bad his wyf / go knede it in a cake
175 He seyde / I trowe / the clerkes were aferd
176 Yet kan a Millere / maken a clerkes berd
177 ffor al his art/ ye lat hem goon hir weye
178 Lo whe|re| he gooth / ye lat the children pleye
179 They gete hym noght {s}o lightly / by my croun
180 ¶Thi{s}e sely clerkes / rennen vp and doun
181 With keep / keep / {s}tand / {s}tand / Io{ss}a warderere
182 Ga whi{s}tle thow / and I sal kepe hym heere
183 But shortly / til |þt| it was verray nyght/
184 They koude noght/ thogh they dide al hir myght/
185 Hir capyl cacche / he ran alwey {s}o fa{s}te
186 Til in a dych / they caughte hym at the la{s}te
187 ¶Wery and weet/ as bee{s}t is in the reyn
188 Comth sely |Iohan| / and with hym comth Aleyn
189 Allas quod |Iohan| / the day |þt| I was born
190 Now ar we dryuen / til hethyng |&| til scorn
191 Oure corn is stole / men wil vs foolis calle
192 Bothe the wardeyn / and oure felawes alle
193 And namely the Millere / weilawey
194 ¶Thus pleyneth |Iohan| / as he gooth by the wey
195 Toward the Mille / and Bayard in his hond
196 The Millere / sittyng by the fyr he fond
197 ffor it was nyght/ and ferther myghte they noght/
198 But for the loue of god / they hym bi{s}oght/
199 Of herberwe and of e{s}e / as for hir peny
200 ¶The Millere seide agayn / if ther be eny
201 Swich as it is / yet shal ye haue youre part/
202 Myn hous is streyt/ but ye han lerned art/
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203 Ye kan by argumentz / make a place
204 A myle brood / of twenty foot of space
205 lat se now / if this place may suffi{s}e
206 Or make it rowm with speche / as is you|re| gy{s}e
207 ¶Now Symond seyde this |Iohan| / by Seint Cutberd
208 Ay is thou myrie / and that is faire an{s}werd
209 I haue herd seye / men sal tak/ of twa thynges
210 Swilk as he fyndes / or tak swilk as he brynges
211 But specialy / I pray thee hoo{s}t deere
212 Get vs {s}om mete and drynke / and make vs cheere
213 And we wol payen / trewely atte fulle
214 With empty hand / men may none haukes tulle
215 Lo heere oure siluer / redy for to spende
216 ¶This Millere in to town / his doghter {s}ende
217 ffor ale and breed / and ro{s}ted hem a goos
218 And boond hir hors / it sholde namoore go loos
219 And in his owene chambre / hem made a bed
220 With shetes and |with| chalons / faire y{s}pred
221 Noght from his owene bed / but ten foot or twelue
222 His doghter hadde a bed / al by hir selue
223 Right in the same chambre by and by
224 It myghte be no bet/ and cau{s}e why
225 Ther was no rowmer herberwe / in the place
226 They soupen / and they speken / hem to solace
227 And drynken euere {s}troong ale / at the be{s}te
228 Aboute mydnyght / wente they to re{s}te
229 Wel hath this Millere / verny{ss}hed his heed
230 fful pale he was for dronke / and noght reed
231 He yexeth / and he speketh thurgh the no{s}e
232 As he were / on the quakke / or on the po{s}e
233 To bedde he goth / and |with| hym goth his wyf
234 As any Iay / she light was and iolyf
235 So was / hir ioly whi{s}tle / wel ywet
236 The Cradel / at hir beddes feet is set/
237 To rokken / and to yeue the child to sowke
238 And whan |þt| dronken / al was in the Crowke
239 To bedde wente / the doghter right anon
240 To bedde gooth Aleyn / and al{s}o |Iohan|
241 Ther nas namoore / hem neded no dwale
242 This Millere / hath so wi{s}ly bibbed ale
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243 That as an hors / he fnorteth in his sleep
244 Ne of his tayl bihynde / he took no keep
245 His wyf bar hym / a burdon / a ful strong/
246 Men myghten hir routyng/ heren a furlong/
247 The wenche / routeth eek |per| compaignye
248 ¶Aleyn the clerc/ that herde this melodye
249 He poked |Iohan| / and seyde slepe{s}tow
250 Herd thow euere / slyk a sang er now
251 Lo swilk a couplyng/ is ymel hem alle
252 A wilde fyr / on thair bodyes falle
253 Wha herkned euere / swilk/ a ferly thyng/
254 Ye they sal haue / the flour of il endyng/
255 This lang/ nyght/ ther tydes me na re{s}te
256 But yet na force / al sal be for the be{s}te
257 ffor |Iohan| seyde he / als e|uer|e moot I thryue
258 If |þt| I may / yon wenche wol I swyue
259 Som e{s}ement/ has lawe shapen vs
260 ffor |Iohan| / ther is a lawe / |þt| says thus
261 That gif a man / in a point be agreued
262 That in another / he sal be releued
263 Oure corn is {s}toln / {s}oothly it is na nay
264 And we han had / an ille fit to day
265 And syn I sal / haue naan amendement/
266 Agayn my los / I wil haue e{s}ement/
267 By goddes saule / it sal naan other be
268 ¶This |Iohan| an{s}werde / Aleyn auy{s}e thee
269 The Millere / is a |per|ilous man he sayde
270 And if |þt| he / out of his sleep abrayde
271 He myghte doon vs bathe / a vileynye
272 ¶Aleyn an{s}werde / I counte hym noght a flye
273 And vp he ri{s}t / and by the wenche he crepte
274 This wenche lay vp righte / and fa{s}te slepte
275 Til he {s}o neigh was / er she myghte e{s}pie
276 That it hadde been / to late for to crie
277 And shortly for to {s}eyn / they were at oon
278 Now pley Aleyn / for I wol speke of |Iohan|
279 ¶This |Iohan| lith {s}tille / a furlang wey / or two
280 And to hym self/ he maketh routhe and wo
281 Allas quod he / this is a wikked Iape
282 Now may I seyn / |þt| I is but an ape
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283 Yet has my felawe / som what for his harm
284 He has the Milleris doghter / in his arm
285 He auntred hym / and has his nedes sped
286 And I lye / as a draf sak / in my bed
287 And whan this iape / is told another day
288 I sal ben halden / a daf a Cokenay
289 I wil ari{s}e and auntre it/ by my fayth
290 Vnhardy is vn{s}ely / thus men sayth
291 ¶And vp he roos / and softely he wente
292 Vn to the Cradel / and in his hand it hente
293 And baar it softe / vn to his beddes feet/
294 Soone after this / the wyf hir routynt leet/
295 And gan awake / and wente hir out to pi{ss}e
296 And cam agayn / and gan hir Cradel my{ss}e
297 And groped heer and ther / but she foond noon
298 Allas quod she / I hadde almoo{s}t my{s}goon
299 I hadde almoo{s}t/ goon to the clerkes bed
300 Ey benedicite / thanne had I foule y{s}ped
301 And forth she gooth / til she the Cradel fond
302 She gropeth alwey / forther |with| hir hond
303 And foond the bed / and thoghte noght but good
304 By cau{s}e / |þt| the Cradel by it {s}tood
305 And ny{s}te wher she was / for it was derk/
306 But faire and wel / she creep in to the clerk/
307 And lyth ful {s}tille / and wolde haue caught a sleep
308 With Inne a while / this |Iohan| the clerk vp leep
309 And on this goode wyf / he leyth on {s}oore
310 So murie a fyt/ ne hadde she nat ful yoore
311 He priketh harde and depe / as he were mad
312 This ioly lyf / han thi{s}e two clerkes lad
313 Til |þt| / the thridde cok/ bigan to synge
314 ¶Aleyn wax wery / in the dawenynge
315 ffor he hadde swonken / al the longe nyght/
316 And seyde / fare wel Malyn swete wight/
317 The day is come / I may no lenger byde
318 But euere mo / wher {s}o I go or ryde
319 I is thyn awen clerk/ so haue I sel
320 ¶Now deere lemman quod she / go fare wel
321 But er thow go / o thyng/ I wol thee telle
322 Whan that thow wende{s}t / homward by the Melle
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323 Right at the entree / of the dore bihynde
324 Thow shalt a Cake / of half a bu{ss}hel fynde
325 That was ymaked / of thyn owene mele
326 Which |þt| I heelp / my {s}ire for to {s}tele
327 And good lemman / god thee saue and kepe
328 And with that word / almoo{s}t he gan to wepe
329 ¶Aleyn vp ri{s}t/ and thoghte er |þt| it dawe
330 I wol go crepen In / by my felawe
331 And fond the Cradel / with his hond anon
332 By god thoghte he / al wrang I haue my{s}gon
333 Myn heed is toty / of my swynk to nyght/
334 That maketh me / |þt| I go noght aright/
335 I woot wel by the Cradel / I haue my{s}go
336 Here lyth the Millere / and his wyf al{s}o
337 And forth he gooth / on twenty deueleway
338 Vn to the bed / ther as the Millere lay
339 He wende haue cropen / by his felawe |Iohan|
340 And by the Millere / In he creep anoon
341 And caughte hym by the nekke / and softe he spak/
342 He seyde thou |Iohan| / thow Swyne{s}hed awak/
343 ffor cri{s}tes saule / and here a noble game
344 ffor by that lord / |þt| called is Seint Iame
345 As I haue thries / in this shorte nyght
346 Swyued the Milleris doghter / both vp right
347 Whil thow ha{s}t / as a coward been aga{s}t/
348 ¶Ye fal{s}e harlot/ quod the Millere ha{s}t/
349 A fal{s}e traytour / fal{s}e clerk/ quod he
350 Thou shalt be deed / by goddes dignytee
351 Who dor{s}te be {s}o bold / to di{s}parage
352 My doghter / that is come of swich lynage
353 And by the throte bolle / he caughte Alayn
354 And he hente hym / de{s}pitou{s}ly agayn
355 And on the no{s}e / he smoot hym with his fe{s}t/
356 Doun ran the blody streem / vp on his bre{s}t/
357 And on the floor / with no{s}e and mouth tobroke
358 They walwen / as doon two pigges in a poke
359 And vp they goon / and doun agayn anoon
360 Til |þt| the Millere / sporned on a {s}toon
361 And doun he fil / bakward vp on his wyf
362 That wi{s}te no thyng/ of this nyce stryf
{{Folio 56r}}
363 ffor she was falle a{s}lepe / alitel wight/
364 With |Iohan| the clerk / that waked hadde al nyght/
365 And with the fal / out of hir sleep she brayde
366 Help holy cros of Bornholm / she sayde
367 In manus tuas / lord to thee I calle
368 Awake Symond / the feend is on me falle
369 Myn herte is broken / help I nam but ded
370 Ther lyth oon vp on my wombe / and vp myn hed
371 Help Symkyn / for the fal{s}e clerkes fighte
372 ¶This |Iohan| sterte vp / as fa{s}te as e|uer|e he myghte
373 And gra{s}peth by the walles / to and fro
374 To fynde a {s}taf / and she {s}terte vp al{s}o
375 And knew the e{s}tres / bet than dide this |Iohan|
376 And by the wal / a staf she foond anon
377 And saugh / a litel shymeryng of a light
378 ffor at an hole / in shoon the moone bright/
379 And by that light/ she saugh hem bothe two
380 But sikerly / she ny{s}te who was who
381 But as she saugh / a whit thyng in hir Iye
382 And whan she gan / this white thyng e{s}pye
383 She wende the clerk/ hadde wered a voluper
384 And with the {s}taf / she drow ay ner and ner
385 And wende han hit/ this Aleyn atte fulle
386 And smoot the Millere / on the piled skulle
387 That doun he gooth / and cryde harrow I dye
388 Thi{s}e clerkes bette hym wel / and lete hym lye
389 And greithen hem / and tooke hir hors anon
390 And eek hir mele / and on hir wey they gon
391 And at the Mille / yet they toke hir cake
392 Of half a bu{ss}hel flour/ ful wel ybake
393 ¶Thus is the proude Millere / wel ybete
394 And hath ylo{s}t/ the gryndyng of the whete
395 And payed for the souper / euerydel
396 Of Aleyn / and of |Iohan| / that bette hym wel
397 His wyf is swyued / and his doghter als
398 Lo which it is / a Millere to be fals
399 And therfore this |pro|uerbe / is seyd ful {s}ooth
400 Hym thar nat wene wel / |þt| yuele dooth
401 A gilour shal hym self / bigiled be
402 And god / that sitteth heighe in mage{s}tee
{{Folio 56v}}
403 Saue al this compaignie / grete and smale
404 Thus haue I quyt the Millere / in my tale
¶Here endeth the Reues tale

Notes

1] Old spelling is retained except for ligatured letters, which are normalized. Expansions of contractions and abbreviations are placed within vertical bars. The original lineation is retained, but not small capitals and the text of signatures, catchwords, and running titles. Irregularities in spacing are ignored. Reference citations are by folio numbers and editorial through-ms and through-tale line numbers. Unusual characters are identified as follows:
{s} : long-s
{ss} : ligatured long-s long-s
{C|} : capitulum
{`,} : comma under opening single quotation mark
{?.} : punctus elevatus
{^} : caret
Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1866
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
1996
Rhyme: 
Special Copyright: 

Assisted by Nancy Misener and Alex Bisset (1996).