Fair was this yonge wyf, and therwithal
As any wesele hir body gent and small.
A ceynt she werede barred al of silk,
A barmclooth eek as whyt as morne milk
Upon hir lendes, ful of many a gore.
Whyt was hir smok and broyden al bifore
And eek bihinde, on hir coler aboute,
Of col-blak silk, withinne and eek withoute.
The tapes of hir whyte voluper
Were of the same suyte of hir coler;
Hir filet brood of silk, and set ful hye;
And sikerly she hadde a likerous yë
Ful smale y-pulled were hir browes two,
And tho were bent and blake as any sloo.
She was ful more blisful on to see
Than is the newe pere-jonnette tree;
And softer than the wolle is of a wether.
And by hir girdel heeng a purs of lether,
Tasseld with silk, and perled with latoun.
In al this worlde, so seken up and doun,
There nis no man so wys that coude thenche
So gay a popelote or swich a wenche.
Ful brighter was the shyning of hir hewe
Than in the tour the noble y-forged newe.
But of hir song, it was as loude and yerne
As any swalwe sittinge on a berne.
Therto she coulde skippe and make game
As any kide or calf folwinge his dame.
Hir mouth was swete as bragot or the meeth,
Or hord of apples leyd in hey or heeth.
Winsinge she was as is a joly colt,
Long as a mast, and upright as a bolt.
A brooch she baar upon hir lowe coler
As brood as is the bos of a bocler.
Hir shoes were laced on hir legges hye.
She was a prymerole, a pigges-nye,
For any lord to leggen in his bedde,
Or yet for any good yeman to wedde.
This young wife was lovely;
her body was as graceful and slim as a weasel's.
She wore a sash threaded with silk,
and around her loins a flared apron
white as morning-fresh milk;
her smock was white, and embroidered with
black silk around the collar,
inside and out, front and back.
The ribbons of her cap
matched her collar,
and her broad silk headband sat well back from her face.
And - certainly - she had a wonton eye.
Her eyebrows were closely plucked,
and they arched gracefully and were black as a sloe.
She was more of a treat to look at
than a peartree, just come into bloom,
and she was softer to touch than the wool of a sheep.
At her waist hung a leather purse,
tasseled with silk and beaded in bright metal.
In all this world, if you searched up and down,
you can find no man clever enough to imagine
so gay a poppet or such a wench. The brilliance
of her colouring was better than the gleam of a
gold noble newly minted in the Tower of London.
As for her singing, it was as clear and lively
as the notes of a barn swallow.
Besides all this, she could gambol and play
like any kid or calf following his mother.
Her mouth was as sweet as drinks made from honey,
or as a hoard of apples laid away in hay or heather.
She was as skittish as a colt,
tall as a mast, and straight as an arrow.
On her collar she wore a brooch
as broad as the boss of a buckler.
Her shoes were laced far up her legs.
She was a morning glory, she was a daisy,
fit for any lord to lay in his bed,
or yet for any good yoman to marry.