The Merchant’s Epilogue

From The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

MerT 2419 “Ey! Goddes mercy!” seyde oure Hooste tho,
MerT 2420 “Now swich a wyf I pray God kepe me fro!
MerT 2421 Lo, whiche sleightes and subtilitees
MerT 2422 In wommen been! For ay as bisy as bees
MerT 2423 Been they, us sely men for to deceyve,
MerT 2424 And from the soothe evere wol they weyve;
MerT 2425 By this Marchauntes tale it preveth weel.
MerT 2426 But doutelees, as trewe as any steel
MerT 2427 I have a wyf, though that she povre be,
MerT 2428 But of hir tonge, a labbyng shrewe is she,
MerT 2429 And yet she hath an heep of vices mo;
MerT 2430 Therof no fors! Lat alle swiche thynges go.
MerT 2431 But wyte ye what? In conseil be it seyd,
MerT 2432 Me reweth soore I am unto hire teyd.
MerT 2433 For and I sholde rekenen every vice
MerT 2434 Which that she hath, ywis I were to nyce.
MerT 2435 And cause why? It sholde reported be
MerT 2436 And toold to hire of somme of this meynee —
MerT 2437 Of whom, it nedeth nat for to declare,
MerT 2438 Syn wommen konnen outen swich chaffare;
MerT 2439 And eek my wit suffiseth nat therto
MerT 2440 To tellen al; wherfore my tale is do.”