O dearest heart, what's ailing you? Why do you groan and start? Fie, what a sleeper!
2. Alas, what cowardice! by God above, you've forfeited my heart and lost my love.
1. I dreamt that roaming up and down awhile within our yard I saw a kind of beast
Once there was a poor old widow that lived a patient, simplistic, and famished lifestyle. Through hard work, she was still able to support her two daughters. She lived in a small cottage by a little meadow, and had a small yard with a couple of farm animals that were able to support her - especially Chanticleer the fine rooster, with "gold his feathers, flaming bright".
When Chanticleer the rooster was sleeping, he was making many noises of fear indicating nightmares. His lover, Lady Pertelote, asks him what's wrong for all the hens are wathching him having nightmares.
Chanticleer wakes up and tells Lady Pertelote and the other hens that he dreamt of a fox attacking him. Lady Pertelote tells him she has lost his love due to his cowardliness. Chaunticleer calls the dreams as meaningless in order to win back Lady Pertelote. The 3rd night of nightmares just wrecks his thoughts that dreams are useless, and maybe they mean something.
2. Never again, for all your flattering lies, you'll coax a some to make me blink my eyes
1. Sir, I meant no harm, don't be offended, come down and I'll explain what I intended
Similar to one of Chaunticleer's dreams, a deceitful fox pops up out of nowhere. He compliments and flatters Chaunticleer's singing voice. This just leads to gullible Chaunticleer's attack from the fox.
You have as merry a voice as God given to any angel in the courts of Heaven
To escape, Chaunticleer uses trickery upon the sly fox. He suggests the fox should scare the rest of the animals. The fox agrees to the idea, but does not realize this would require physically dropping Chaunticleer to accomplish this. This leads to Chaunticleer's nimble escape.
Sir fox, if I were you, as God's my witness, I would round upon these clods and shout, "Turn back, you saucy bumpkins all!"
Chaunticleer runs up into a high treetop. The fox begs Chaunticleer to come down again claiming that he did not mean to scare him. Chaunticleer says he has learned his lesson and will never fall for any flatteries again. He also learns that dreams do have potential meaning, as they could be glimpses into the future.