Previous Previous:
From The Miller's Tale, lines 615-635:
The kissing of bare arse
Previous
Librarius Homepage
© Librarius
All rights reserved.



From The Canterbury Tales:
The Miller's Tale
lines 636-681: Absalom searches for revenge


      This sely Absolon herde every deel,
And on his lippe he gan for anger byte,
And to hymself he seyde, "I shall thee quyte."
      Who rubbeth now, who froteth now his lippes
640With dust, with sond, with straw, with clooth, with chippes,
But Absolon, that seith ful ofte, "Allas!"
My soule bitake I unto Sathanas,
But me were levere than al this toun," quod he,
"Of this despit awroken for to be.
645Allas," quod he, "allas, I ne hadde ybleynt!"
His hoote love was coold and al yqueynt;
For fro that tyme that he hadde kist her ers,
Of paramours he sette nat a kers;
For he was heeled of his maladie.
650Ful ofte paramours he gan deffie,
And weep as dooth a child that is ybete.
A softe paas he wente over the strete
Until a smyth men cleped daun Gerveys,
That in his forge smythed plough harneys;
655He sharpeth shaar and kultour bisily.
This Absolon knokketh al esily,
And seyde, "Undo, Gerveys, and that anon."
      "What, who artow?" "It am I, Absolon."
"What, Absolon! For Cristes sweete tree,
660Why rise ye so rathe? Ey, benedicitee!
What eyleth yow? Som gay gerl, God it woot,
Hath broght yow thus upon the viritoot.
By seinte Note, ye woot wel what I mene."
      This Absolon ne roghte nat a bene
665Of all his pley; no word agayn he yaf;
He hadde moore tow on his distaf
Than Gerveys knew, and seyde, "Freend so deere,
That hoote kultour in the chymenee heere,
As lene it me, I have therwith to doone,
670And I wol brynge it thee agayn ful soone."
      Gerveys answerde, "Certes, were it gold,
Or in a poke nobles alle untold,
Thou sholdest have, as I am trewe smyth.
Ey, Cristes foo! What wol ye do therwith?"
675      "Therof," quod Absolon, "be as be may.
I shal wel telle it thee to-morwe day" -
And caughte the kultour by the colde stele,
Ful softe out at the dore he gan to stele,
And wente unto the carpenteris wal.
680He cogheth first, and knokketh therwithal
Upon the wyndowe, right as he dide er.
      This hapless Absalom, he heard that yell,
And on his lip, for anger, he did bite;
And to himself he said, "I will requite!"
      Who vigorously rubbed and scrubbed his lips
640With dust, with sand, with straw, with cloth, with chips,
But Absalom, and often cried "Alas!
My soul I give now unto Sathanas,
For rather far than own this town," said he,
"For this despite, it's well revenged I'd be.
645Alas," said he, "from her I never blenched!"
His hot love was grown cold, aye and all quenched;
For, from the moment that he'd kissed her arse,
For paramours he didn't care a curse,
For he was healed of all his malady;
650Indeed all paramours he did defy,
And wept as does a child that has been beat.
With silent step he went across the street
Unto a smith whom men called Dan Jarvis,
Who in his smithy forged plow parts, that is
655He sharpened shares and coulters busily.
This Absalom he knocked all easily,
And said: "Unbar here, Jarvis, for I come."
      "What! Who are you?" "It's I, it's Absalom."
"What! Absalom! For Jesus Christ's sweet tree,
660Why are you up so early? Ben'cite!
What ails you now, man? Some gay girl, God knows,
Has brought you on the jump to my bellows;
By Saint Neot, you know well what I mean."
      This Absalom cared not a single bean
665For all this play, nor one word back he gave;
He'd more tow on his distaff, had this knave,
Than Jarvis knew, and said he: "Friend so dear,
This red-hot coulter in the fireplace here,
Lend it to me, I have a need for it,
670And I'll return it after just a bit."
      Jarvis replied: "Certainly, were it gold
Or a purse filled with yellow coins untold,
Yet should you have it, as I am true smith;
But eh, Christ's foe! What will you do therewith?"
675      "Let that," said Absalom, "be as it may;
I'll tell you all tomorrow, when it's day"-
And caught the coulter then by the cold steel
And softly from the smithy door did steal
And went again up to the wood-wright's wall.
680He coughed at first, and then he knocked withal
Upon the window, as before, with care.



Next Next:
From The Miller's Tale, lines 682-697:
Absalom returns to Alison's house
Next