HERE BIGINNETH THE NONNE PREESTES TALE OF THE COK AND HEN, CHAUNTECLEER AND PERTELOTE.
|THIS IS THE NUN’S PRIEST’S STORY ABOUT A ROOSTER NAMED CHANTICLEER AND A HEN NAMED PERTELOTE.|
A povre widwe, somdel stope in age,
Was whylom dwelling in a narwe cotage,
Bisyde a grove, stonding in a dale.
This widwe, of which I telle yow my tale,
Sin thilke day that she was last a wyf,
In pacience ladde a ful simple lyf,
For litel was hir catel and hir rente;
By housbondrye, of such as God hir sente,
She fond hir-self, and eek hir doghtren two.
10Three large sowes hadde she, and namo,
Three kyn, and eek a sheep that highte Malle.
Ful sooty was hir bour, and eek hir halle,
In which she eet ful many a sclendre meel.
Of poynaunt sauce hir neded never a deel.
No deyntee morsel passed thurgh hir throte;
Hir dyete was accordant to hir cote.
Repleccioun ne made hir never syk;
Attempree dyete was al hir phisyk,
And exercyse, and hertes suffisaunce.
20The goute lette hir no-thing for to daunce,
Napoplexye shente nat hir heed;
No wyn ne drank she, neither whyt ne reed;
Hir bord was served most with whyt and blak,
Milk and broun breed, in which she fond no lak,
Seynd bacoun, and somtyme an ey or tweye,
For she was as it were a maner deye.
|There once was a poor old widow who lived in a little cottage in a valley on the edge of a forest. She lived a simple life since her husband died, and she didn’t have much. Still, she managed to support her two daughters with what she did have, which included three pigs and a sheep named Moll. Her house was pretty dirty, and she and her daughters ate peasant food of mostly milk and bread, sometimes with a bit of bacon or an egg or two on the side, because she was a dairywoman. She didn’t have any use for gourmet tidbits or spicy sauces, or even red or white wine. She didn’t have gout, so she could dance all she wanted, and she never really lost her temper. No, a modest diet, exercise, and a positive attitude were all the medicine she needed to stay healthy and strong.|