The Wife of Bath by Chaucer: Text with Simple English and Hindi

About Chaucer:

Chaucer is known as the father of English poetry. He belongs to the 14th century. He is popular for his Canterbury Tales. Chaucer’s Prologue to the Canterbury Tales is a picture gallery of his time. Thirty characters have been taken to present in The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. They belong to diverse profession. With the help of these characters, Chaucer successfully presents the true picture of his age.

The Wife of Bath
(From The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales)

A Good Wif was ther of biside BATHE,
But she was somdel deef, and that was scathe.
Of clooth-makyng she hadde swich an haunt
She passed hem of Ypres and of Gaunt.
In al the parisshe wif ne was ther noon
That to the offrynge bifore hire sholde goon;
And if ther dide, certeyn so wrooth was she
That she was out of alle charitee.
Hir coverchiefs ful fyne weren of ground;
I dorste swere they weyeden ten pound
That on a Sonday weren upon hir heed.
Hir hosen weren of fyn scarlet reed,
Ful streite y-teyd, and shoes ful moyste and newe.
Boold was hir face, and fair, and reed of hewe.
She was a worthy womman al hir lyve;
Housbondes at chirche dore she hadde fyve,
Withouten oother compaignye in youthe;
But ther-of nedeth nat to speke as nowthe.
And thries hadde she been at Jérusalem;
She hadde passed many a straunge strem;
At Rome she hadde been, and at Boloigne,
In Galice at Seint Jame, and at Coloigne.
She koude muchel of wandrynge by the weye.
Gat-tothed was she, soothly for to seye.
Upon an amblere esily she sat,
Y-wympled wel, and on hir heed an hat
As brood as is a bokeler or a targe;
A foot-mantel aboute hir hipes large,
And on hire feet a paire of spores sharpe.
In felaweshipe wel koude she laughe and carpe;
Of remedies of love she knew per chauncé,
For she koude of that art the olde daunce.

Word Meaning:

1. biside Bathe – a suburb of Bath, a famous town of England 2. somdel deef – somewhat deaf 3. Scathe – too bad 4. an haunt – expertise 5. Ypres, Gaunt – famous centres of wool trade 6. noon – none 7. Wrooth – angry, annoyed 8. Coverchiefs – kerchiefs 9. Weren – were 10 swere – swear 11. Weyeden – weighed 12. Sonday – Sunday 12. Scarlet reed – shining red 13. streite y-teyd – tightly tied 14 - straunge strem – strange rivers 15. Koude – knew 16. Muchel – much 17. Y-wympled – covered with a wimple 18. foot-mantel – outer skirt 19. carpe - joke.

The Wife of Bath: In Simple English & Hindi

There was a good woman. She was from near Bath City. It is a matter of sorrow that she was somewhat deaf. She was an expert in cloth making. No lady dared to go before her to make offerings at the church. If any lady did so, she used to lose her temper. Her kerchiefs were attractive and nicely embroidered. They weighed nearly ten pounds. Her socks were of the finest colour. Her shoes were soft and new. Her face was bold and fair. It was red. She was a worthy woman all her life. Apart from her companions of her youth, she had five husbands. She had visited Jerusalem thrice. She had crossed several strange rivers. She had visited many religious places like Rome, Boulogne, Galicia and Cologne. By her travelling she had learnt much. She had gap in her teeth. She used to sit upon ambler (trained horse), easily. She was wearing a wimple and a hat as board as a buckler. She had a flowing mantle that concealed her large hips. It touched her heels. In the company she liked to laugh and chat. Perhaps she had the knowledge of the magic of love. She herself had played the game of love since long.

(एक अच्छी औरत थी। वह बाथ सिटी के पास की रहने वाली थी। यह दुख की बात है कि वह कुछ बहरी थी। वह कपड़ा बनाने में माहिर थी। किसी भी महिला ने चर्च में प्रसाद चढ़ाने के लिए उसके सामने जाने की हिम्मत नहीं की। अगर कोई महिला ऐसा करती तो वह अपना आपा खो बैठती। उसके रूमाल आकर्षक और अच्छी तरह से कढ़ाई वाले थे। उनका वजन करीब दस पाउंड था। उसके मोज़े बेहतरीन रंग के थे। उसके जूते मुलायम और नए थे। उसका चेहरा बोल्ड और गोरा था। यह लाल था। वह जीवन भर एक योग्य महिला थीं। अपनी युवावस्था के साथियों के अलावा, उसके पाँच पति थे। वह तीन बार यरुशलम गई थीं। उसने कई अजीब नदियों को पार किया था। उसने रोम, बोलोग्ने, गैलिसिया और कोलोन जैसे कई धार्मिक स्थलों का दौरा किया था। अपनी यात्रा से उसने बहुत कुछ सीखा था। उसके दांतों में गैप था। वह आसानी से एंबलर (प्रशिक्षित घोड़े) पर सवार हो जाती थी। उसने बकलर के रूप में एक विंपल और एक टोपी बोर्ड के रूप में पहन रखी थी। उसके पास एक बहने वाला मेंटल था जो उसके बड़े कूल्हों को छुपाता था। यह उसकी एड़ी को छूता था । मित्रों के साथ उसे हंसना और चैट करना पसंद था। शायद उसे प्रेम के जादू का ज्ञान था। वह खुद बहुत पहले से प्यार का खेल खेलती आ रही थी।)
Sandal S Anshu, Satna


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