I’ll take my pain and my intention
As long as I am young
To tell a fable in rhyme
Without color and without rich rhyme
But if it has sufficient rhyme,
It doesn’t matter who speaks badly
Because [you] can’t please everyone
[with] sufficient rhyme without good words.
Now listen to them as they are.
Three ladies went to the mountain,
But I don’t know from what country.
Then I heard said, as it seems to me,
That two balls and a very large dick
They found, where there was no bone.
She who went before
Took it and concealed it immediately
Because she knew well what it was.
But the other, who came after,
‘said that she would have her share.
“Certainly, you said it too late,”
Said the other, “you won’t have a share.”
“How,” she said,” do you have the right?
Didn’t I say a while ago, give me my share?
And we are on this road,
Companions and friends!”
“I don’t care what you said.
You won’t have any share!”
The other did not hold it for gain.
She swore that she would have some,
As much as judgment would give her.
“Surely,” says the other, “I agree.
But may we agree
Who will be the judge.”
“By faith,” she says, “here before
Is a house of nuns,
Holy women and chaplains
Who are there to serve in the daytime.
The abbess for this honor
Would not want to be absent.”
“And I will grant it,” said the other, “thusly.”
As soon as they did it, they came,
It seems to me, to the entrance of the streets
There where the abbess lived.
So they went wrong and right
Until they entered the court.
Immediately they asked
News of the abbess.
And they told them she had mass
And if they wanted to speak to her
They should wait a little.
They said that they would wait.
They sat down
In the parlor on a step.
They were there but a short while
When they saw the abbess coming
And next to her the prioress,
And on the other side the cellarer.
She who was first
Got up and greeted her.
Says the other. After immediately
They sat right away.
The one who came behind
And said, “Lady, from our homes,
In prayers and oremus,
We went, my companion and I.
It is right that I complain
Because she found such a thing
Of which she has not given me my share.
And for this, I demand of her.”
“By faith,” says the abbess, “before
Having put it there and we will see,
And after I will judge”
“By faith,” said the other, “I agree.”
She who found the prick
Took it and took it away from her breast
And put it before the nun
Who looked at it with a greedy eye.
Concerning the abbess, I want to say,
That she looked at it very gladly.
Three long and heavy sighs she gave
And said afterwards, “Now I hear a fine plea!
What do you want to be done for you?
What judgment about that which is ours?
Surely, lady, this was never yours,
Nor hers who carries it.
Know that this is the latch of our door
That the other day vanished.
I command that it be well guarded
As all of our property.
Go!” She said, my lady Helen
who was behind the cellarer,
“Go and that it be put back
There from which it was removed and taken.
I want that it be put back!”
And my lady Helen took it
And know you: immediately
She tossed it in her sleave
Which was very delicate and white.
Such they left, and they went away;
The others returned: they lost.
Never did they take leave.
Thus had [she] well judged
My lady the abbess:
Much acts like false trickery
Who takes from them by covetousness!
Rather early was this placed her
In it, as she did to others.
Thus are the judges:
They are covetous, I know it to be true;
Thus poor men who have nothing
Will never have justice in their life.
I say that the first was foolish
Who last by covetousness.
For this, Lords, I chastise you.
By this example I show and prove
That none of you have an agreement,
If he had a companion or a lady friend,
Do not wait until he complains of it,
But give him his part.
I say: he repents too late
He who repents when he has already lost.
I say that he waited too long
And I want you to make you hear
That he loses by waiting too long.
But in the end I say clearly:
He who envies all loses all.
I’ll take my pain and my intention