Still funny after all these years…

With all the recent buzz these days about erotica, you’d think that sex in literature was a recent development. It’s amazing how many people seem to have just ‘discovered’ the genre! It’s almost as though folks figured that the human race just didn’t read or write about sex for a few thousand years when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Not only is there a plethora of erotic writings coming from the Victorian era, but you can go back another several hundred years to find writing that would make even modern-day readers blush.

Have a read of part of “The Miller’s Tale” from Chaucer’s notorious Canterbury Tales. The bit where the lovely Alison’s unrequited lover, Absolom, comes to her window in the dark of night. To get rid of him, she agrees to give him a single kiss:

“Will you then go your way with that?” she said.

“Yes, surely, sweetheart,” said this Absolom.

“Then make yourself ready,” she said, “I am coming now.”

She unlatches the window, and does so in haste. “Take this,” she said, “come now, and move quickly, lest our neighbors see you.”

This Absolom wiped his mouth dry. Dark as pitch, or as coal, was the night, and at the window she put out her hole, and Absolom, who knew no better or worse but with his mouth he kissed her naked ass so sweetly, before he was aware of this.

He started aback, and thought something was amiss, for well he knew a woman has no beard. He felt something all rough and long-haired, and said, “Fy! alas! What have I done?”

“Tee hee!” she said, and shut the window, and Absolom went forth with troubled steps. 

Seven hundred years later, we’re still chuckling at Alison’s trickery. No wonder the Miller’s Tale was expurgated from my school edition of Canterbury Tales.


(Translated and Edited by Gerard NeCastro © Copyright, 2007, All Rights Reserved)


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