Performed by Chelsea Dee "Chelsea sprinkles her Modern English interpretation of Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales" General Prologue (Wife of Bath lines 447-478) with a few phrases from the Middle English prologue.
Transcription: There was a WIFE of BATH, or a near city, Who was "somedel deef," it is a pity. At making clothes she had a skillful hand She bettered those of Ypres and of Ghent. In all the parish there was no wife to go And proceed her in offering, it is so; And if one did, indeed, so angry was she "That she was out of alle charitee." Her head-dresses were of finest weave and ground; I dare swear that they weighed about ten pound Which, on a Sunday, she wore on her head. Her "hosen" were of the finest scarlet red, Tightly fastened, and her shoes were soft and new. Bold was her face, and fair, and red of hue. She "was a worthy womman al hir lyve," "Housbondes at chirche dore" she had five, Not counting other company in youth; But thereof there's no need to speak, in truth. Three times she'd travelled to Jerusalem; And many a foreign stream she'd had to stem; At Rome she'd been, and she'd been in Boulogne, In Spain at Santiago, and at Cologne. She could tell much of wandering by the way: "Gat-toothed" was she, it is the truth I say. Upon a pacing horse easily she sat, Wearing a large wimple, and over all a hat As broad as is a buckler or a targe; An overskirt was tucked around her buttocks large, And her feet spurred sharply under that. In company well could she laugh and chat. The remedies of love she knew, perchance, For of that art she'd learned "the olde daunce."