In Imitation of Chaucer
Women ben full of Ragerie,
Yet swinken not sans secresie.
Thilke Moral shall ye understond,
From Schoole-boy's Tale of fayre Irelond:
Which to the Fennes hath him betake,
To filch the gray Ducke fro the Lake.
Right then, there passen by the Way
His Aunt, and eke her Daughters tway.
Ducke in his Trowses hath he hent,
Not to be spied of Ladies gent.
'But ho! our Nephew,' (crieth one)
'Ho!' quoth another, 'Cozen John;'
And stoppen, and lough, and callen out, -
This sely Clerk full low doth lout:
They asken that, and talken this,
'Lo here is Coz, and here is Miss.'
But, as he glozeth with Speeches soote,
The Ducke sore tickleth his Erse-roote:
Fore-piece and buttons all-to-brest,
Forth thrust a white neck, and red crest.
'Te-he,' cry'd Ladies; Clerke nought spake:
Miss star'd; and gray Ducke crieth Quake.
'O Moder, Moder,' (quoth the daughter)
'Be thilke same thing Maids longer a'ter?
'Bette is to pyne on coals and chalke,
'Then trust on Mon, whose yerde can talke.'
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(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
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