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From The Miller's Tale, lines 698-707:
Absalom's revenge
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Miller's Tale
lines 708-746: The awakening of the carpenter


      This carpenter out of his slomber sterte,
And herde oon crien 'water' as he were wood,
710And thoughte, "Allas, now comth Nowelis flood!"
He sit hym up withouten wordes mo,
And with his ax he smoot the corde atwo,
And doun gooth al; he foond neither to selle,
Ne breed ne ale, til he cam to the celle
715Upon the floor, and ther aswowne he lay.
      Up stirte hire Alison and Nicholay,
And criden "Out" and "Harrow" in the strete.
The neighebores, bothe smale and grete,
In ronnen for to gauren on this man,
720That yet aswowne lay, bothe pale and wan,
For with the fal he brosten hadde his arm.
But stonde he moste unto his owene harm;
For whan he spak, he was anon bore doun
With hende Nicholas and Alisoun.
725They tolden every man that he was wood,
He was agast so of Nowelis flood
Thurgh fantasie, that of his vanytee
He hadde yboght hym knedyng-tubbes thre,
And hadde hem hanged in the roof above;
730And that he preyed hem, for Goddes love,
To sitten in the roof, par compaignye.
      The folk gan laughen at his fantasye;
Into the roof they kiken and they cape;
And turned al his harm unto a jape.
735For what so that this carpenter answerde,
It was for noght, no man his reson herde.
With othes grete he was so sworn adoun
That he was holde wood in al the toun;
For every clerk anonright heeld with oother.
740They seyde, "The man is wood, my leeve brother";
And every wight gan laughen at this stryf.
Thus swyved was this carpenteris wyf,
For al his kepyng and his jalousye;
And Absolon hath kist hir nether ye;
745And Nicholas is scalded in the towte.
This tale is doon, and God save al the rowte!
      This carpenter out of his sleep did start,
Hearing that "Water!" cried as madman would,
710And thought, "Alas, now comes down Noel's flood!"
He struggled up without another word
And with his axe he cut in two the cord,
And down went all; he did not stop to trade
In bread or ale till he'd the journey made,
715And there upon the floor he swooning lay.
      Up started Alison and Nicholay
And shouted "Help!" and "Hello!" down the street.
The neighbours, great and small, with hastening feet
Swarmed in the house to stare upon this man,
720Who lay yet swooning, and all pale and wan;
For in the falling he had smashed his arm.
He had to suffer, too, another harm,
For when he spoke he was at once borne down
By clever Nicholas and Alison.
725For they told everyone that he was odd;
He was so much afraid of "Noel's" flood,
Through fantasy, that out of vanity
He'd gone and bought these kneading-tubs, all three,
And that he'd hung them near the roof above;
730And that he had prayed them, for God's dear love,
To sit with him and bear him company.
      The people laughed at all this fantasy;
Up to the roof they looked, and there did gape,
And so turned all his injury to a jape.
735For when this carpenter got in a word,
'Twas all in vain, no man his reasons heard;
With oaths imprenive he was so sworn down,
That he was held for mad by all the town;
For every clerk did side with every other.
740They said: "The man is crazy, my dear brother."
And everyone did laugh at all this strife.
Thus screwed was the carpenter's goodwife,
For all his watching and his jealousy;
And Absalom has kissed her lower eye;
745And Nicholas has burned his butt painfully.
This tale is done, and God save all the company!



Heere endeth the Millere his Tale.




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