|Once there was a fisherman
Who went to sea one day:
In a boat, he threw his net.
|4||He looked, and he saw before him
A man very close to drowning.
This man was very noble and agile.
He [the first man] jumped to his feet and took a hook,
|8||He stands and hits the other one in the face,
Stuck it in the middle of the eye;
He pulled him to the boat,
And went back without waiting.
|12||He left his nets stretched out
and he had him brought to his house.
He served him and honored him
Until he had recovered completely.
|16||For a long time, the other recalled
that he had lost an eye,
And that things had gone poorly:
“This peasant poked my eye out,
|20||And I didn’t do anything about it.
I will sue him
To do him wrong and annoy him.”
And thus he makes a claim to the mayor
|24||And he [the mayor] sets a date.
Both waited for the day
Until they went to court.
The one who lost his eye
|28||Went before, as is right.
“Lords,” he says, “I am plaintiff
Of this man who three days ago
Struck me excessively with a hook.
|32||The eye was removed, and I am sorry.
Do right by me no more I ask.
I don’t know what more I can tell you.”
The other responds without waiting
|36||“Sire, this I cannot deny,
I poked his eye out.
But I wish to show you how it was after,
how it was, if I was wrong.
|40||This man was in danger
In the sea and would have died.
I helped him, I don’t seek to deny,
With a hook that was mine.
|44||But I did it for his good,
In order to save his life.
I don’t know what more to say.
Do right by me for the love of God.
|48||They stopped all dismayed
Together to judge the law,
When a fool was in the court
told them, “Why do you hesitate?
|52||This man who talked first,
Let him be put back in the sea
there where the other truck him in the face;
So if he can escape,
|56||The other one must pay for the eye.
A just judgment, it seems to me!”
When they cried together,
“You have said well! It won’t be undone!
|60||So the judgment was pronounced.
When he heard that he would be
Put back in the sea
Where he suffered cold and waves
|64||He would not go back for all the world.
The good man abandoned his suit
And was blamed by many.
For you who have heard all
|68||That loses his time who serves scoundrels.
Redeeming a thief from the gallows
When he has done his crime.
Never will he be grateful to you.
|73||Bad things to him who does good,
All forgotten, nothing is there
Except to be gladly ready
|76||To do evil and annoyance
If he comes near him.