La Saineresse

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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!
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