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From The Friar's Tale, lines 360-380:
The true meaning and intention of the old woman's curse
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Friar's Tale
lines 381-400: The moral of the friar's tale


       Lordynges, I koude han toold yow, quod this Frere,
Hadde I had leyser for this Somonour heere,
After the text of Crist, Poul, and John,
And of oure othere doctours many oon,
385Swiche peynes that youre hertes myghte agryse,
Al be it so no tonge may it devyse,
Thogh that I myghte a thousand wynter telle
The peynes of thilke cursed hous of helle.
But for to kepe us fro that cursed place,
390Waketh, and preyeth Jhesu for his grace
So kepe us from the temptour Sathanas.
Herketh this word! Beth war, as in this cas:
"The leoun sit in his awayt alway
To sle the innocent, if that he may."
395Disposeth ay youre hertes to withstonde
The feend, that yow wolde make thral and bonde.
He may nat tempte yow over youre myght,
For Crist wol be youre champion and knyght.
And prayeth that thise somonours hem repente
400Of hir mysdedes, er that the feend hem hente!
       Masters, I could have told you, said this friar,
Were I not pestered by this summoner dire,
After the texts of Christ and Paul and John,
And of our other doctors, many a one,
385Such torments that your hearts would shake with dread,
Albeit by no tongue can half be said,
Although I might a thousand winters tell,
Of pains in that same cursed house of hell.
But all to keep us from that horrid place,
390Watch, and pray Jesus for his holy grace,
And so reject the tempter Sathanas.
Listen to this word, be warned by this one case;
The lion lies in wait by night and day
To slay the innocent, if he but may.
395Dispose your hearts in grace, that you withstand
The devil, who'd make you a slave among his band.
He cannot tempt more than beyond your might;
For Christ will be your champion and knight.
And pray that all these summoners repent
400Of their misdeeds, before the devil torment.




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