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|I will tell you the life of a burgher
Who boasted of something very foolish:
That no woman could trick him.
|4||His wife heard him speak of it,
And spoke of it privately,
And swore an oath
That she would make him a liar,
|8||And never would he see it coming.
One day, in their house were
The genteel lady and the good man.
On a bench, they sat down side by side.
|12||They were barely there,
When thus comes a scoundrel to the door,
Very clever and noble, and seeming more
Woman than man by half,
|16||Wearing a woman’s garment, made of fine linen,
With a very yellow wimple;
And (s)he came with a great presumptuous attitude
Bringing leeches to leech.
|20||And (s)he goes to meet the burgher
In the middle of the courtyard of his house:
“God be with you, sir good man,
Both you and your household!”
|24||— “God keep you,” he says, “beautiful dear!
Come sit here next to me.”
— “Sire,” (s)he says, “thank you,
I am not at all tired.
|28||Lady, you have asked me here
And made me come:
Now tell me your pleasure!”
She [the wife] was not surprised:
|32||“You are telling the truth, my dear friend.
Go up to this loft:
You must do your job.
May it not weigh on you,” she says to the burgher,
|36||“Because we will return shortly.
I have unbelievable gout in my kidneys
And because I am so gouty
It is necessary to be bled a little.”
|40||Thus she went up after the scoundrel,
And they shut the door immediately.
The scoundrel took her immediately,
In a bed he spread her,
|44||Until he had fucked her three times.
And when they had played enough,
screwed, kissed, and embraced,
They came down from the room.
|48||Down the steps finally
They came quickly into the house.
He [the burgher] was not a fool or an idiot,
And thus he greeted her.
|52||“Sire, adieu!” he [the scoundrel] said to the burgher.
“God save you,” he said, “beautiful friend,!
Lady, may God bless you,
Pay this woman very well.
|56||Do not withhold anything
Of that which kindness gives you.”
“What do you care about my payment,”
Says the townswoman to her lord,
|60||“I heard you speak of folly
Because it is convenient to us both.”
This one goes away, no longer stays there,
taking the leeches in his pouch;
|64||The townswoman sits again,
Next to her husband, out of breath.
“Lady, you are very beaten up,
As if you stayed too long away.”
|68||—“Sire, please, for the love of God,
I have never been so worked over!
And yet and I could not be bled.
And (s)he struck me more than 100 times,
|72||So that I was pulverized,
Never so many blows nor so struck
That blood never came out.
By three plowings (s)he took me,
|76||And each time (s)he placed
On my kidneys two of his instruments.
And (s)he gave me such long strikes
That all of me was martyred,
|80||And yet I could not bleed.
Huge blows (s)he gave me, and often,
I would be dead to my knowledge,
If such a good ointment did not exist.
|84||Whoever has such a good ointment
Never would be grieved.
Et when (s)he had hammered me,
Then (s)he treated my wounds with ointment,
|88||That were large and ugly
Such that I was completely healed.
I do not hate such an ointment!
And it does not deserve to be hated!
|92||And so I don’t want to lie to you,
The ointment came from a pipe
That descended from a scabbard
of dark and hideous skin,
|96||But it was very savory.”
The burgher says, “My beautiful friend,
You were in a bad way!
What good ointment you had!”
|100||He did not realize (100)
The joke that she had told.
And she had no shame
Telling the world about her lechery!
|104||So much she wanted to try;
Never undoubtedly would it be paid
If she did not tell it right away.
For him that I hold to be a fool
|108||Who swears on his head and neck
That no woman can deceive him
And that he knows well how to protect himself.
But there is not in this country
|112||He who has enough sense
Who can defend himself
That woman can not trick him,
So that she who has pain in her kidneys
|116||Will trick her lord first!|