Medieval English Poetry
Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tale from the Wife of Bath
14th century, Middle English. Numerous printed copies.
He rode towards the dancers eagerly, hoping to speak with them, but as he approached, they vanished, and in their place sat a filthy old crone.
'Kiss me,' she said. 'And unless I am as attractive as the most beautiful lady in all this world, you can do what you like with me. Lift up the curtain, and look!'
And when the knight saw how beautiful this ugly old crone had become, and how young, he took her up in his arms, his heart bathed in bliss, and kissed her a thousand times. And all that night she pandered to his every wish and desire. And thus they lived, for the rest of their lives, in perfect joy and happiness.
Story recounted from: Skeat, Walter W, edited from numerous manuscripts, 1912, reprinted 1973. Chaucer: Complete Works. Oxford University Press. Canterbury Tales. The Wife of Bath's Tale.
∩ Chaucer's Canterbury Tale from the Wife of Bath, translated into Modern English.
∩ Weird Talesódiscussion.
Geoffrey Chaucer – Wikipedia
The Canterbury Tales – Wikipedia
The Tale of the Wife of Bath – eChaucer, original and translation
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