A further example of an apostrophe in The Nun's Priest's Tale comes after the unfortunate Chanticleer's been grabbed by the cunning fox and dragged away to be killed and eaten:
O destinee, that mayst nat been eschewed!
Loosely translated, this means "O destiny, you can't be avoided." The figure of destiny's being addressed in this extract, but of course isn't present. Hence this is an example of an apostrophe. The speaker's implying that Chanticleer's being taken by the wily fox was always destined to happen.
A couple of lines further on we have yet another apostrophe, this time addressed to Venus, the Roman goddess of love and pleasure. The speaker wants to know why Venus appears to have abandoned one of her own servants and allowed him to be killed by the fox:
O Venus, that art goddess of pleasánce, Since that thy servant was this Chanticleer, And in thy service did all his powér, More for delight, than world to multiply, Why wilt thou suffer him on thy day to die?
In other words, Chanticleer, by his fathering of numerous chicks, has been a loyal and faithful servant to the goddess of love. The speaker thinks it only right and proper, then, that she should at least try to save him.