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From The Nun's Priest's Tale, lines 556-571:
Chauntecleer falls for the trap
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From The Canterbury Tales:
The Nun's Priest's Tale
lines 572-608: How women respond to husband-endangering peril


       O destinee, that mayst nat been eschewed!
Allas, that Chauntecleer fleigh fro the bemes!
Allas, his wyf ne roghte nat of dremes!
575And on a Friday fil al this meschaunce.
       O Venus, that art goddesse of plesaunce!
Syn that thy servant was this Chauntecleer,
And in thy servyce dide al his poweer,
Moore for delit than world to multiplye,
580Why woltestow suffre hym on thy day to dye?
       O destiny, you cannot be eschewed!
Alas, that Chauntecleer flew from the beams!
Alas, his wife recked nothing of his dreams!
575And on a Friday fell all this mischance.
       O Venus, who art goddess of pleasance,
Since he did serve thee well, this Chauntecleer,
And to the utmost of his power here,
More for delight than cocks to multiply,
580Why would'st thou suffer him that day to die?
       O Gaufred, deere Maister soverayn!
That whan thy worthy kyng Richard was slayn
With shot, compleynedest his deeth so soore,
Why ne hadde I now thy sentence and thy loore,
585The Friday for to chide, as diden ye?-
For on a Friday soothly slayn was he.
Thanne wolde I shewe yow, how that I koude pleyne
For Chauntecleres drede and for his peyne.
       O Gaufred, my dear master sovereign,
Who, when King Richard Lionheart was slain
By arrow, sang his death with sorrow sore,
Why have I not your faculty and lore
585To chide Friday, as you did worthily?
For truly, on a Friday slain was he.
Then would I prove how well I could complain
For Chauntecleer's great fear and all his pain.
       Certes, swich cry ne lamentacioun
590Was nevere of ladyes maad, whan Ylion
Was wonne, and Pirrus with his streite swerd,
Whan he hadde hent kyng Priam by the berd,
And slayn hym, as seith us Eneydos,
As maden alle the hennes in the clos,
595Whan they had seyn of Chauntecleer the sighte.
But sovereynly dame Pertelote shrighte
Ful louder than dide Hasdrubales wyf,
Whan that hir housbonde hadde lost his lyf,
And that the Romayns hadde brend Cartage;
600She was so ful of torment and of rage
That wilfully into the fyr she sterte,
And brende hirselven with a stedefast herte.
       Certainly no such cry and lamentation
590Were made by ladies at Troy's debolation,
When Pyrrhus with his terrible bared sword
Had taken old King Priam by the beard
And slain him, as the Aeneid tells to us,
As made then all those hens in one chorus
595When they had caught a sight of Chauntecleer.
But fair Dame Pertelote assailed the ear
Far louder than did Hasdrubal's good wife
When that her husband bold had lost his life,
And Roman legionaries burned Carthage;
600For she so full of torment was, and rage,
She voluntarily to the fire did start
And burned herself there with a steadfast heart.
       O woful hennes, right so criden ye,
As, whan that Nero brende the Citee
605Of Rome, cryden senatoures wyves,
For that hir husbondes losten alle hir lyves, -
Withouten gilt this Nero hath hem slayn.
Now wole I turne to my tale agayn.
       And you, O woeful hens, just so you cried
As when base Nero burned the city wide
605Of Rome, and wept the senators' stern wives
Because their husbands all had lost their lives,
For though not guilty, Nero had them slain.
Now will I turn back to my tale again.




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From The Nun's Priest's Tale, lines 609-635:
All the inhabitants of the yard go after the fox
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