The Scrivener’s Tale

The Scrivener’s Tale

John Milton’s Paradise Lost: Book 3 as if told by Chaucer

By Sumiko Saulson

A recounting of Satan’s deception of Uriel and subsequent entry into in Eden as if retold by Chaucer in Middle English. Written using “A Concise Dictionary of Middle English

Middle English Modern English
An accounte off on ongel wæs writ
Uriel, Gate-ward of Holi Garite
Deceiven derf Uriel wha had naut fautA freke ongel wha had fere nautHis moralitee silded his sightefrome thdeofell lihen in thnyght

Hiden frome Uriel’s un-ware eies
þe ille in a cherubim degyse
God’s adversarie lofen sterres swo bricht
Thdeofell dide dereliche delite
In deceit, defoulen, and defien
Heuene-riche so hah

An accounte wryten of brazon
Feend sklither fauel Satan
Lighted im sechen Eden’s gardin
Thdeofell heuene’s staire did derken
Cerchen Seon thOrb off Sonne
Swyche fayntise seon man undon
Upon swyche steppes to standen
To gauren vppon God’s holi lond
Swo glorios swyche sightes to see
Wolde maken cherubim singen gle
Wicke flatour praisen th’sæ and skyes
Finden Eden wit flaterie and lies

Tricherie of thbryn-ston gobelin
Wernard sætte out sechen Eden’s Gardin
Jalous of mankin wæs he
Stalken liche der Adam and Eve
Sechen to vexen and skathe ma pain
Be sake off fallynge off mankin

An account of an angel was writ
Uriel, Gatekeeper of the Holy Garret
Deceit of brave Uriel who had not fault
A warrior angel who had fear not
His morality shielded his sight
From the devil lying in the night

Hidden from Uriel’s unwary eyes
The evil one in a cherub disguise
God’s Adversary to praise stars so bright
The devil did dearly delight
In deceit, to defoul, and defy
Heaven’s Kingdom most high

An account written of brazen
Fiend slippery flattering Satan
Alighted him seeking Eden’s garden
The devil Heaven’s stair did darken
To search to see the Orb of Sun
Such pretence to see man undone
Upon such steps to stand
To gaze upon God’s holy land
So glorious such sights to see
Would make a cherub sing in glee
Wicked flatterer praising the sea and skies
Finding Eden with flattery and lies
Treachery of the brimstone goblin
Deciever set out seeking Eden’s Garden
Jealous of mankind was he
Stalking like deer Adam and Eve
Seeking to vex and to scathe make painBe cause of falling of mankind

Evesdropen dide he ouer heren
A sours off mankin’s uncuð fer
A Tre off Knowleche, forboden frut
Once ate onan sinne and dæð ta root
Tha dæde coste dære, paradis loste
Tha dæde deeþ itself woulde cause
Th Gabbere isechen to ma man fall
Be he enemi off mankin all
He bi-healde mankin wit jalousye
Hopen to see man demenen rankely
And to swo invoken Goddes’ wraththe
Wa and waith an after-clap
Eavesdropping did he overhear
A source of mankind’s unknown fear
A Tree of Knowledge forbidden fruit
Once ate at once sin and death take root
That deed’s cost dear, paradise lost
That deed death itself would cause
The liar sought to make man fall
Be he enemy of mankind all
He beheld mankind with jealousy
Hoping to see man behave rebelliously
And to so invoke God’s wrath
Woe and peril in the aftermath

I primarily used “A Concise Dictionary of Middle English”, but when I couldn’t
find the world I was looking for, I also made use of the etymologies section in
the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Mayhew and Skeat’s “Concise
Dictionary of Middle English” contains three different ME regional dialects and
spans approximately 400 years. I did my best to imitate Chaucer’s variety of
ME, using “The Pardoner’s Tale” as a guide. My project “The Scrivener’s Tale”
refers primarily to events in Book Three of Milton’s “Paradise Lost” but it
does briefly mention some events early in Book Four. Notably absent is Milton’s
invoking the muse: I left that out on purpose because I couldn’t see Chaucer
doing that.

Mayhew, Anthony Lawson., and Walter William. Skeat. A
Concise Dictionary of Middle English: From A.D. 1150 to 1580. Oxford: At
the Clarendon, 1888.Http://
The Gutenberg Library. Web.




~ by Sumiko Saulson on December 13, 2012.

One Response to “The Scrivener’s Tale”

  1. Pardon the formatting fails… it lines up better in the original Word document.

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