Poems » amy levy » sir gawain and the green knight


[fol. 91r]
[fitt1: stanza 1 (long)]

siþen þe sege and þe assaut watz sesed at troye
þe bor3 brittened and brent to brondez and askez
þe tulk þat þe trammes of tresoun þer wro3t
watz tried for his tricherie þe trewest on erþe
hit watz ennias þe athel and his highe kynde
þat siþen depreced prouinces and patrounes bicome
welne3e of al þe wele in þe west iles
fro riche romulus to rome ricchis hym swyþe
with gret bobbaunce þat bur3e he biges vpon fyrst
and neuenes hit his aune nome as hit now hat
ticius to tuskan and teldes bigynnes
langaberde in lumbardie lyftes vp homes
and fer ouer þe french flod felix brutus
on mony bonkkes ful brode bretayn he settez
wyth wynne
where werre and wrake and wonder
bi syþez hatz wont þerinne
and oft boþe blysse and blunder
ful skete hatz skyfted synne

          did win,
   Where war and wrack and wonder
Often were seen therein,
   And oft both bliss and blunder
Have come about through sin.]

[stanza 2 (long)]

ande quen þis bretayn watz bigged bi þis burn rych
bolde bredden þerinne baret þat lofden
in mony turned tyme tene þat wro3ten
mo ferlyes on þis folde han fallen here oft
þen in any oþer þat I wot syn þat ilk tyme
bot of alle þat here bult of bretaygne kynges
ay watz arthur þe hendest as I haf herde telle [fol. 91]
forþi an aunter in erde I attle to schawe
þat a selly in si3t summe men hit holden
and an outtrage awenture of arthurez wonderez
if 3e wyl lysten þis laye bot on littel quile
I schal telle hit as tit as I in toun herde
with tonge
as hit is stad and stoken
in stori stif and stronge
with lel letteres loken
in londe so hatz ben longe

          with tongue
   As I have heard it told,
In a story brave and strong,
   In a loyal book of old,
In the land it has been long.]

[stanza 3 (long)]

þis kyng lay at camylot vpon kryst masse
with mony luflych lorde ledez of þe best
rekenly of þe rounde table alle þo rich breþer
with rych reuel ory3t and rechles merþes
þer tournayed tulkes by tymez ful mony
justed ful jolile þise gentyle kni3tes
syþen kayred to þe court caroles to make
for þer þe fest watz ilyche ful fiften dayes
with alle þe mete and þe mirþe þat men couþe avyse
such glaumande gle glorious to here
dere dyn vpon day daunsyng on ny3tes
al watz hap vpon he3e in hallez and chambrez
with lordez and ladies as leuest him þo3t
with all þe wele of þe worlde þay woned þer samen
þe most kyd kny3tez vnder krystes seluen
and þe louelokkest ladies þat euer lif haden
and he þe comlokest kyng þat þe court haldes
for al watz þis fayre folk in her first age
on sille
þe hapnest vnder heuen
kyng hy3est mon of wylle
hit werere now gret nye to neuen
so hardy a here on hille

          in mirth
   The gayest in the land,
The king was of great worth,
   I could not name a band
So hardy upon earth.]

[stanza 4 (long)]

wyle nw 3er watz so 3ep þat hit watz nwe cummen
þat day doubble on þe dece watz þe douth serued
fro þe kyng watz cummen with kny3tes into þe halle
þe chauntre of þe chapel cheued to an ende
loude crye watz þer kest of clerkez and oþer [fol. 92r]
nowel nayted onewe neuened ful ofte
and syþen riche forth runnen to reche hondeselle
3e3ed 3eres3iftes on hi3 3elde hem bi hond
debated busyly aboute þo giftes
ladies la3ed ful loude þo3 þay lost haden
and he þat wan watz not wrothe þat may 3e wel trawe
alle þis mirþe þay maden to þe mete tyme
when þay had waschen worþyly þay wenten to sete
þe best burne ay abof as hit best semed
whene guenore ful gay grayþed in þe myddes
dressed on þe dere des dubbed al aboute
smal sendal bisides a selure hir ouer
of tryed tolouse and tars tapites innoghe
þat were enbrawded and beten wyth þe best gemmes
þat my3t be preued of prys wyth penyes to bye
in daye
þe comlokest to discry
þer glent with y3en gray
a semloker þat euer he sy3e
soth mo3t no mon say

          a day
   The comeliest lady, I ween,
She glanced from eyes that were grey,
   Her like that he had seen
Truly could no man say.]

[stanza 5 (long)]

bot arthure wolde not ete til al were serued
he watz so joly of his joyfnes and sumquat childgered
his lif liked hym ly3t he louied þe lasse
auþer to lenge lye or to longe sitte
so bisied him his 3onge blod and his brayn wylde
and also an oþer maner meued him eke
þat he þur3 nobelay had nomen he wolde neuer ete
vpon such a dere day er hym deuised were
of sum auenturus þyng an vncouþe tale
of sum mayn meruayle þat he my3t trawe
of of alderes of armes of oþer auenturus
oþer sum segg hym biso3t of sum siker kny3t
to joyne wyth hym in iustyng in joparde to lay
lede lif for lyf leue vchon oþer
as fortune wolde fulsun hom þe fayrer to haue
þis watz kynges countenaunce where he in court were
at vch farand fest among his fre meny
[fol. 92]
in halle
þerfore of face so fere
he sti3tlez stif in stalle
ful 3ep in þat nw 3ere
much mirthe he mas with alle

          in hall,
   Therefore so bold of face
He sat there, strong in stall,
   In that new year of grace
Much mirth he made with all.]

[stanza 6 (long)]

þus þer stondes in stale þe stif kyng hisseluen
talkkande bifore þe hy3e table of trifles ful hende
þere gode gawan watz grayþed gwenore bisyde
and agrauayn a la dure mayn on þat oþer syde sittes
boþe þe kynges sistersunes and ful siker kni3tes
bischop bawdewyn abof biginez þe table
and ywan vryn son ette wit hymseluen
þise were di3t on þe des and derworþly serued
and siþen mony siker segge at þe sidbordez
þen þe first cors come with crakkyng of trumpes
wyth mony baner ful bry3t þat þerbi henged
nwe nakryn noyse with þe noble pipes
wylde werbles and wy3t wakned lote
þat mony hert ful hi3e hef at her towches
dayntes dryuen þerwyth of ful dere metes
foysoun of þe fresche and on so fele disches
þat pine to fynde þe place þe peple biforne
for to sette þe syluen' þat sere sewes halden
on clothe
iche lede as he loued hymselue
þer laght withouten loþe
ay two had disches twelue
good ber and bry3t wyn boþe

          on cloth,
   Each man as he loved himself
There laughed he without loath,
   Each two had dishes twelve,
Good beer and bright wine both.]

[stanza 7 (long)]

now wyl I of hor seruise say yow no more
for vch wy3e may wel wit no wont þat þer were
an oþer noyse ful newe ne3ed biliue
þat þe lude my3t haf leue liflode to cach
for vneþe watz þe noyce not a whyle sesed
and þe fyrst cource in þe court kyndely serued
þer hales in at þe halle dor an aghlich mayster
on þe most on þe molde on mesure hyghe
fro þe swyre to þe swange so sware and so þik
and his lyndes and his lymes so longe and so grete
[fol. 93r]
half etayn in erde I hope þat he were
bot mon most I algate mynn hym to bene
and þat þe myriest in his muckel þat my3t ride
for of bak and of brest al were his bodi sturne
bot his wombe and his wast were worthily smale
and alle his fetures fol3ande in forme þat he hade
ful clene
for wonder of his hwe men hade
set in his semblaunt sene
he ferde as freke were fade
and oueral enker grene

          full clean.
   Great wonder of the knight
Folk had in hall, I ween,
   Full fierce he was to sight,
And over all bright green.]

[stanza 8 (long)]

ande al grayþed in grene þis gome and his wedes
a strayt cote ful stre3t þat stek on his sides
a mere mantile abof mensked with inne
with pelure pured apert þe pane ful clene
with blyþe blaunner ful bry3t and his hod boþe
þat watz la3t fro his lokkez and layde on his schulderes
heme wel haled hose of þat same grene
þat spenet on his sparlyr and clene spures vnder
of bry3t golde vpon silk bordes barred ful ryche
and scholes vnder schankes þere þe schalk rides
and alle his vesture uerayly watz clene verdure
boþe þe barres of his belt and oþer blyþe stones
þat were richely rayled in his aray clene
aboutte hymself and his sadel vpon silk werkez
þat were to tor for to telle of tryfles þe halue
þat were enbrauded abof wyth bryddes and fly3es
with gay gaudi of grene þe golde ay inmyddes
þe pendauntes of his payttrure pe proude cropure
his molaynes and alle þe metail anamayld was þenne
þe steropes þat he stod on stayned of þe same
and his arsounz al after and his aþel scurtes
þat euer glemered and glent al of grene stones
þe fole þat he ferkkes on fyn of þat ilke
a grene hors gret and þikke
a stede ful stif to strayne
in brawden brydel quik
[fol. 93]
to þe gome he watz ful gayn

   A green horse great and thick,
A steed full strong to strain,
   In broidered bridle thick,
To the man he was full gain.]

[stanza 9 (long)]

wel gay watz þis gome gered in grene
and þe here of his hed of his hors swete
fayre fannand fax vmbefoldes his schulderes
a much berd as as a busk ouer his brest henges
þat wyth his hi3lich here þat of his hed reches
watz euesed al vmbetorne abof his elbowes
þat half his armes þervnder were halched in þe wyse
of a kyngez capados þat closes his swyre
þe mane of þat mayn hors much to hit lyke
wel cresped and cemmed wyth knottes ful mony
folden in wyth fildore aboute þe fayre grene
ay a herle of þe here anoþer of golde
þe tayl and his toppyng twynnen of a sute
and bounden boþe wyth a bande of a bry3t grene
dubbed wyth ful dere stonez as þe dok lasted
syþen þrawen wyth a þwong a þwarle knot alofte
þer mony bellez ful bry3t of brende golde rungen
such a fole vpon folde ne freke þat hym rydes
watz neuer sene in þat sale wyth sy3t er þat tyme
with y3e
he loked as layt so ly3t
so sayd al þat hym sy3e
hit semed as no mon my3t
vnder his dynttez dry3e

          with eye.
   'He looks like flashing light,'
Say they that him descry,
   'It seemed that no man might
His dintings e'er defy.']

[stanza 10 (long)]

wheþer hade he no helme ne hawbrgh nauþer
ne no pysan ne no plate þat pented to armes
ne no schafte ne no schelde to schwue ne to smyte
bot in his on honde he hade a holyn bobbe
þat is grattest in grene when greuez ar bare
and an ax in his oþer a hoge and vnmete
a spetos sparþe to expoun in spelle quoso my3t
þe hede of an eln3erde þe large lenkþe hade
þe grayn al of grene stele and of golde hewen
þe bit burnyst bry3t with a brod egge
as wel schapen to schere as scharp rasores
þe stele of a stif staf þe sturne hit bi grypte [fol. 94r]
þat watz wounden wyth yrn to þe wandez ende
and al bigrauen with grene in gracios werkes
a lace lapped aboute þat louked at þe hede
and so after þe halme halched ful ofte
wyth tryed tasselez þerto tacched innoghe
on botounz of þe bry3t grene brayden ful ryche
þis haþel heldez hym in and þe halle entres
driuande to þe he3e dece dut he no woþe
haylsed he neuer one bot he3e he ouer loked
þe fyrst word þat he warp wher is he sayd
þe gouernour of þis gyng gladly I wolde
se þat segg in sy3t and with hymself speke
to kny3tez he kest his y3e
and reled hym vp and doun
he stemmed and con studie
quo walt þer most renoun

          in town.'
   The knight cast round his eye,
And reeled up and down,
   He stopped and 'gan to spy
Who was of best renown.]

[stanza 11 (long)]

ther watz lokyng on lenþe þe lude to beholde
for vch mon had meruayle quat hit mene my3t
þat a haþel and a horse my3t such a hwe lach
as growe grene as þe gres and grener hit semed
þen grene aumayl on golde lowande bry3ter
al studied þat þer stod and stalked hym nerre
wyth al þe wonder of þe worlde what he worch schulde
for fele sellyez had þay sen bot such neuer are
forþi for fantoum and fayry3e þe folk þere hit demed
þerfore to answare watz ar3e mony aþel freke
and al stouned at his steuen and stonstil seten
in a swoghe sylence þur3 þe sale riche
as al were slypped vpon slepe so slaked hor lotez
in hy3e
I deme hit not al for doute
bot sum for cortaysye
bot let hym þat al schulde loute
cast vnto þat wy3e

   Not all, I trow, for fear
But some for courtesy:
   Let him whom all hold dear
Unto him make reply.]

[stanza 12 (long)]

þenn arþour bifore þe hi3 dece þat auenture byholdez
and rekenly hym reuerenced for rad was he neuer
and sayde wy3e welcum iwys to þis place
[fol. 94]
þe hede of þis ostel arthour I hat
li3t luflych adoun and lenge I þe praye
and quat so þy wylle is we schal wyt after
nay as help me quoþ þe haþel he þat on hy3e syttes
to wone any quyle in þis won hit watz not myn ernde
bot for þe los of þe lede is lyft vp so hy3e
and þy bur3 and þy burnes best ar holden
stifest vnder stel gere on stedes to ryde
þe wy3test and þe worþyest of þe worldes kynde
preue for to play wyth in oþer pure laykez
and here is kydde cortaysye as I haf herd carp
and þat hatz wayned me hider iwyis at þis tyme
3e may be seker bi þis braunch þat I bere here
þat I passe as in pes and no ply3t seche
for had I founded in fere in fe3tyng wyse
I haue a hauberghe at home and a helme boþe
a schelde and a scharp spere schinande bry3t
ande oþer weppenes to welde I wene wel als
bot for I wolde no were my wedez ar softer
bot if þou be so bold as alle burnez tellen
þou wyl grant me godly þe gomen þat I ask
bi ry3t
arthour con onsware
and sayd sir cortays kny3t
if þou craue batayl bare
here faylez þou not to fy3t

          by right.'
   Then Arthur he did swear,
And said, 'Sir courteous knight,
   If thou cravest battle bare
Thou shalt not fail to fight.']

[stanza 13 (long)]

nay frayst I no fy3t in fayth I þe telle
hit arn aboute on þis bench bot berdlez chylder
if I were hasped in armes on a he3e stede
here is no mon me to mach for my3tez fo wayke
forþy I craue in þis court a crystemas gomen
for hit is 3ol and nwe 3er and here ar 3ep mony
if any so hardy in þis hous holdez hymseluen
be so bolde in his blod brayn in hys hede
þat dar stifly strike a strok for an oþer
I schal gif hym of my gyft þys giserne ryche
þis ax þat is heue innogh to hondele as hym lykes
[fol. 95r]
and I schal bide þe fyrst bur as bare as I sitte
if any freke be so felle to fonde þat I telle
lepe ly3tly me to and lach þis weppen
I quit clayme hit for euer kepe hit as his auen
and I schal stonde hym a strok stif on þis flet
ellez þou wyl di3t me þe dom to dele hym an oþer
and 3et gif hym respite
a twelmonyth and a day
now hy3e and let se tite
dar any herinne o3t say

   I'll give to him the blow,
In a twelvemonth and a day.
   Now think and let me know
Dare any herein aught say.']

[stanza 14 (long)]

if he hem stowned vpon fyrst stiller were þanne
alle þe heredmen in halle þe hy3 and þe lo3e
þe renk on his rounce hym ruched in his sadel
and runischly his rede y3en he reled aboute
bende his bresed bro3ez blycande grene
wayued his berde for to wayte quo so wolde ryse
when non wolde kepe hym with carp he co3ed ful hy3e
ande rimed hym ful richly and ry3t hym to speke
what is þis arthures hous quoþ þe haþel þenne
þat al þe rous rennes of þur3 ryalmes so mony
where is now your sourquydrye and your conquestes
your gry dellayk and your greme and your grete wordes
now is þe reuel and þe renoun of þe rounde table
ouerwalt wyth a worde of on wy3es speche
for al dares for drede withoute dynt schewed
wyth þis he la3es so loude þat þe lorde greued
þe blod schot for scham into his schyre face
and lere
he wex as wroth as wynde
so did alle þat þer were
þe kyng as kene bi kynde
þen stod þat stif mon nere

          so dear.
   He waxed as wroth as wind,
So did all that were there,
   The king was bravely kind,
And stood that strong man near.]

[stanza 15 (long)]

ande sayde haþel by heuen þyn askyng is nys
and as þou foly hatz frayst fynde þe behoues
I know no gome þat is gast of þy grete wordes
gif me now þy geserne vpon godez halue
and I schal bayþen þy bone þat þou boden habbes [fol. 95]
ly3tly lepez he hym to and la3t at his honde
þen feersly þat oþer freke vpon fote ly3tis
now hatz arthure his axe and þe halme grypez
and sturnely sturez hit aboute þat stryke wyth hit þo3t
þe stif mon hym bifore stod vpon hy3t
herre þen ani in þe hous by þe hede and more
wyth sturne schere þer he stod he stroked his berde
and wyth a countenaunce dry3e he dro3 doun his cote
no more mate ne dismayd for hyns mayn dintez
þen any burne vpon bench hade bro3t hym to drynk
of wyne
gawan þat sate bi þe quene
to þe kyng he can enclyne
I beseche now with sa3ez sene
þis melly mot be myne

          of wine.
   Gawain sat by the queen,
To the king he did incline,
   'I tell thee truth I ween,
This mêlée must be mine.']

[stanza 16 (long)]

wolde 3e worþilych lorde quoþ gawan to þe kyng
bid me bo3e fro þis benche and stonde by yow þere
þat I wythoute vylanye my3t voyde þis table
and þat my legge lady lyked not ille
I wolde com to your counseyl bifore your cort ryche
for me þink hit not semly as hit is soþ knawen
þer such an askyng is heuened so hy3e in your sale
þa3 3e 3ourself be talenttyf to take hit to yourseluen
whil mony so bolde yow aboute vpon bench sytten
þat vnder heuen I hope non ha3erer of wylle
ne better bodyes on bent þer baret is rered
I am þe wakkest I wot and of wyt feblest
and lest lur of my lyf quo laytes þe soþe
bot for as much as 3e ar myn em I am only to prayse
no bounte bot your blod I in my bode knowe
and syþen þis note is so nys þat no3t hit yow falles
and I haue frayned hit at yow fyrst foldez hit to me
and if I carp not comlyly let alle þis cort rych
bout blame
ryche togeder con roun
and syþen þay redden alle same
to ryd þe kyng wyth croun
and gif gawan þe game

          me blame.'
   The knights whispered that day,
And all agreed the same
   The king must yield the fray,
And give Gawain the game.]

[fol. 96r]
[stanza 17 (long)]

þen commaunded þe kyng þe kny3t for to ryse
and he ful radly vpros and ruchched hym fayre
kneled doun bifore þe kyng and cachez þat weppen
and he luflyly hit hym laft and lyfte vp his honde
and gef hym goddez blessyng and gladly hym biddes
þat his hert and his honde schulde hardi be boþe
kepe þe cosyn quoþ þe kyng þat þou on kyrf sette
and if þou redez hym ry3t redly I trowe
þat þou schal byden þe bur þat he schal bede after
gawan gotz to þe gome with giserne in honde
and he baldly hym bydez he bayst neuer þe helder
þen carppez to sir gawan þe kny3t in þe grene
refourme we oure forwardes er we fyrre passe
fyrst I eþe þe haþel how þat þou hattes
þat þou me telle truly as I tryst may
in god fayth quoþ þe goode kny3t gawan I hatte
þat bede þe þis buffet quat so bifallez after
and at þis tyme twelmonyth take at þe an oþer
wyth what weppen fo þou wylt and wyth no wy3 ellez
on lyue
þat oþer onswarez agayn
sir gawan so mot I þryue
as I am ferly fayn
þis dint þat þou schal dryue

   That other answered again,
'Gawain, so may I thrive,
   For I am fiercely fain
Of the blow that thou wilt drive.']

[stanza 18 (long)]

bigog quoþ þe grene kny3t sir gawan me lykes
þat I schal fange at þy fust þat I haf frayst here
and þou hatz redily rehersed bi resoun ful trwe
clanly al þe couenaunt þat I þe kynge asked
saf þat þou schal siker me segge bi þi trawþe
þat þou schal seche me þiself where so þou hopes
I may be funde vpon folde and foch þe such wages
as þou deles me to day bifore þis douþe ryche
where schulde I wale þe quoþ gauan where is þy plate
I wot neuer where þou wonyes bi hym þat me wro3t
ne I know not þe kny3t by cort ne þi name
bot teche me truly þerto and telle me how þou hattes
and I schal ware alle my wyt to wynne me þeder
[fol. 96]
and þat I swere þe for soþe and by my seker traweþ
þat is innogh in nwe 3er hit nedes no more
quoþ þe gome in þe grene to gawan þe hende
3if I þe telle trwly quen I þe tape haue
and þou me smoþely hatz smyten smartly I þe teche
of my hous and my home and myn owen nome
þen may þou frayst my fare and forwardez holde
and if I spende no speche þenne spedez þou þe better
for þou may leng in þy londe and layt no fyrre
bot slokes
ta now þy grymme tole to þe
and let se how þou cnokez
gladly sir for soþe
quoþ gawan his ax he strokes

          a sight.
   Take now the weapon grim,
Let us see how thou canst smite.
   `Gladly,' said he to him;
Then stroked the axe that knight.]

[stanza 19 (long)]

þe grene kny3t vpon grounde grayþely hym dresses
a littel lut with þe hede þe lere he discouerez
his longe louelych lokkez he layd ouer his croun
let þe naked nec to þe note schewe
gauan gripped to his ax and gederes hit on hy3t
þe kay fot on þe folde he before sette
let him doun ly3tly ly3t on þe naked
þat þe scharp of þe schalk schyndered þe bones
and schrank þur3 þe schyire grece and scade hit in twynne
þat þe bit of þe broun stel bot on þe grounde
þe fayre hede fro þe halce hit to þe erþe
þat fele hit foyned wyth her fete þere hit forth roled
þe blod brayd fro þe body þat blykked on þe grene
and nawþer faltered ne fel þe freke neuer þe helder
bot styþly he start forth vpon styf schonkes
and ruyschly he ra3t out þere as renkkez stoden
la3t to his lufly hed and lyft hit vp sone
and syþen bo3ez to his blonk þe brydel he cachchez
steppez into stelbawe and strydez alofte
and his hede by þe here in his honde haldez
and as sadly þe segge hym in his sadel sette
as non vnhap had hym ayled þa3 hedlez ho we
in stedde
he brayde his bluk aboute
[fol. 97r]
þat vgly bodi þat bledde
moni on of hym had doute
bi þat his resounz were redde

          in that stead.
   He swayed his trunk about,
The ugly body that bled;
   Many of him had doubt
By the time his reasons were said.]

[stanza 20 (long)]

for þe hede in his honde he haldez vp euen
toward þe derrest on þe dece he dressez þe face
and hit lyfte vp þe y3e lyddez and loked ful brode
and meled þus much with his muthe as 3e may now here
loke gawan þou be grayþe to go as þou hettez
and layte as lelly til þou me lude fynde
as þou hatz hette in þis halle herande þise kny3tes
to þe grene chapel þou chose I charge þe to fotte
such a dunt as þou hatz dalt disserued þou habbez
to be 3ederly 3olden on nw 3eres morn
þe kny3t of þe grene chapel men knowen me mony
forþi me for to fynde if þou fraystez faylez þou neuer
þerfore com oþer recreaunt be calde þe behoueus
with a runisch rout þe raynez he tornez
halled out at þe hal dor his hed in his hande
þat þe fyr of þe flynt fla3e fro fole houes
to quat kyth he becom knwe non þere
neuer more þen þay wyste from queþen he watz wonnen
what þenne
þe kyng and gawen þare
at þat grene þay la3e and grenne
3et breued watz hit ful bare
a meruayl among þo menne

   Of the Green Knight they made light,
Yet it was thought that day,
   A marvel, a wondrous sight,
Though, laughing, they were gay.]

[stanza 21 (long)]

þa3 arþer þe hende kyng at hert hade wonder
he let no semblaunt be sene bot sayde ful hy3e
to þe comlych quene wyth cortays speche
dere dame to day demay yow neuer
wel bycommes such craft vpon cristmasse
laykyng of enterludez to la3e and to syng
among þise kynde caroles of kny3tez and ladyez
neuer þe lece to my mete I may me wel dres
for I haf sen a selly I may not forsake
he glent vpon sir gawen and gaynly he sayde
now sir heng vp þyn ax þat hatz innogh hewen
[fol. 97]
and hit watz don abof þe dece on doser to henge
þer alle men for meruayl my3t on hit loke
and bi trwe tytel þerof to telle þe wonder
þenne þay bo3ed to a borde þise burnes togeder
þe kyng and þe gode kny3t and kene men hem serued
of alle dayntyez double as derrest my3t falle
wyth alle maner of mete and mynstralcie boþe
wyth wele walt þay þat day til worþed an ende
in londe
now þenk wel sir gawan
for woþe þat þou ne wonde
þis auenture for to frayn
þat þou hatz tan on honde

          was near.
   'Now, Sir Gawain, be sure,
Turn not away for fear
   From this grim adventure
That thou hast promised here.']

[fitt2: stanza 22 (long)]

this hanselle hatz arthur of auenturus on fyrst
in 3onge 3er for he 3erned 3elpyng to here
tha3 hym wordez were wane when þay to sete wenten
now ar þay stoken of sturne werk staf ful her hond
gawan watz glad to begynne þose gomnez in halle
bot þa3 þe ende be heuy haf 3e no wonder
for þa3 men ben mery in mynde quen þay han mayn drynk
a 3ere 3ernes ful 3erne and 3eldez neuer lyke
þe forme to þe fynisment foldez ful selden
forþi þis 3ol ouer3ede and þe 3ere after
and vche sesoun serlepes sued after oþer
after crystenmasse com þe crabbed lentoun
þat fraystez flesch wyth þe fysche and fode more symple
bot þenne þe weder of þe worlde wyth wynter hit þrepez
colde clengez adoun cloudez vplyften
schyre schedez þe rayn in schowrez ful warme
fallez vpon fayre flat flowrez þere schewen
boþe groundez and þe greuez grene ar her wedez
bryddez busken to bylde and bremlych syngen
for solace of þe softe somer þat sues þerafter
bi bonk
and blossumez bolne to blowe
bi rawez rych and ronk
þen notez noble inno3e
[fol. 98r]
ar herde in wod so wlonk

          on bank,
   And blossoms swell to blow
In rows rich and rank,
   And bird-notes sweet enow
Are heard in woodlands dank.]

[stanza 23 (long)]

after þe sesoun of somer wyth þe soft wyndez
quen zeferus syflez hymself on sedez and erbez
wela wynne is þe wort þat waxes þeroute
when þe donkande dewe dropez of þe leuez
to bide a blysful blusch of þe bry3t sunne
bot þen hy3es heruest and hardenes hym sone
warnez hym for þe wynter to wax ful rype
he dryues wyth dro3t þe dust for to ryse
fro þe face of þe folde to fly3e ful hy3e
wroþe wynde of þe welkyn wrastelez with þe sunne
þe leuez lancen fro þe lynde and ly3ten on þe grounde
and al grayes þe gres þat grene watz ere
þenne al rypez and rotez þat ros vpon fyrst
and þus 3irnez þe 3ere in 3isterdayez mony
and wynter wyndez a3ayn as þe worlde askez
no sage
til me3elmas mone
watz cumen wyth wynter wage
þen þenkkez gawan ful sone
of his anious uyage

   Till moon of Michaelmas
Was won with winter's surety.
   Then thinks Gawain, alas!
Of his sorrowful journey.]

[stanza 24 (long)]

3et quyl alhalday with arþer he lenges
and he made a fare on þat fest for þe frekez sake
with much reuel and ryche of þe rounde table
kny3tez ful cortays and comlych ladies
al for luf of þat lede in longynge þay were
bot neuer þe lece ne þe later þay neuened bot merþe
mony ioylez for þat ientyle iapez þer maden
for aftter mete with mournyng he melez to his eme
and spekez of his passage and pertly he sayde
now lege lorde of my lyf leue I yow ask
3e knowe þe cost of þis cace kepe I no more
to telle yow tenez þerof neuer bot trifel
bot I am boun to þe bur barely to morne
to sech þe gome of þe grene as god wyl me wysse
þenne þe best of þe bur3 bo3ed togeder
aywan and errik and oþer ful mony
[fol. 98]
sir doddinanal de sauage þe duk of clarence
launcelot and lyonel and lucan þe gode
sir boos and sir byduer big men boþe
and mony oþer menskful with mador de la port
alle þis compayny of court com þe kyng nerre
for to counseyl þe kny3t with care at her hert
þere watz much derue doel driuen in þe sale
þat so worþe as wawan schulde wende on þat ernde
to dry3e a delful dynt and dele no more
wyth bronde
þe kny3t mad ay god chere
and sayde quat schuld I wonde
of destines derf and dere
what may mon do bot fonde

          'For why?'
   The knight made aye good cheer,
'Why should I not defy
   Destinies strong and dear;
What can man do but try?']

[stanza 25 (long)]

he dowellez þer al þat day and dressez on þe morn
askez erly hys armez and alle were þay bro3t
fyrst a tule tapit ty3t ouer þe flet
and miche watz þe gyld gere þat glent þeralofte
þe stif mon steppez þeron and þe stel hondelez
dubbed in a dublet of a dere tars
and syþen a crafty capados closed aloft
þat wyth a bry3t blaunner was bounden withinne
þenne set þay þe sabatounz vpon þe segge fotez
his legez lapped in stel with luflych greuez
with polaynez piched þerto policed ful clene
aboute his knez knaged wyth knotez of golde
queme quyssewes þen þat coyntlych closed
his thik þrawen þy3ez with þwonges to tachched
and syþen þe brawden bryne of bry3t stel ryngez
vmbeweued þat wy3 vpon wlonk stuffe
and wel bornyst brace vpon his boþe armes
with gode cowters and gay and glouez of plate
and alle þe godlych gere þat hym gayn schulde
þat tyde
wyth ryche cote armure
his gold sporez spend with pryde
gurde wyth a bront ful sure
with silk sayn vmbe his syde

          that tide,
   With rich coat of armour,
Gold spurs he fixed with pride,
   Girt with a sword full sure,
And silk girths round his side.]

[fol. 99r]
[stanza 26 (long)]

when he watz hasped in armes his harnays watz ryche
þe lest lachet ouer loupe lemed of golde
so harnayst as he watz he herknez his masse
offred and honoured at þe he3e auter
syþen he comez to þe kyng and to his cort ferez
lachez lufly his leue at lordez and ladyez
and þay hym kyst and conueyed bikende hym to kryst
bi þat watz gryngolet grayth and gurde with a sadel
þat glemed ful gayly with mony golde frenges
ayquere naylet ful nwe for þat note ryched
þe brydel barred aboute with bry3t golde bounden
þe apparayl of þe payttrure and of þe proude skyrtez
þe cropore and þe couertor acorded wyth þe arsounez
and al watz rayled on red ryche golde naylez
þat al glytered and glent as glem of þe sunne
þenne hentes he þe helme and hastily hit kysses
þat watz stapled stifly and stoffed wythinne
hit watz hy3e on his hede hasped bihynde
wyth a ly3tly vrysoun ouer þe auentayle
enbrawden and bounden wyth þe best gemmez
on brode sylkyn borde and bryddez on semez
as papiayez paynted peruyng bitwene
tortors and trulofez entayled so þyk
as mony burde þeraboute had ben seuen wynter
in toune
þe cercle watz more o prys
þat vmbeclypped hys croun
of diamauntez a deuys
þat boþe were bry3t and broun

          In the town.
   The circle was most of price
That surrounded the crown;
   Of diamonds a device,
And both were bright and brown.]

[stanza 27 (long)]

then þay schewed hym þe schelde þat was of schyr goulez
wyth þe pentangel depaynt of pure golde hwez
he braydez hit by þe bauderyk aboute þe hals kestes
þat bisemed þe segge semlyly fayre
and quy þe pentangel apendez to þat prynce noble
I am in tent yow to telle þof tary hyt me schulde
hit is a syngne þat salamon set sumquyle
in bytoknyng of trawþe bi tytle þat hit habbez
[fol. 99]
for hit is a figure þat haldez fyue poyntez
and vche lyne vmbelappez and loukez in oþer
and ayquere hit is emdelez and englych hit callen
oueral as I here þe endeles knot
forþy hit acordez to þis kny3t and to his cler armez
for ay faythful in fyue and sere fyue syþez
gawan watz for gode knawen and as golde pured
voyded of vche vylany wyth verertuez ennourned
in mote
forþy þe pentangel nwe
he ber in schelde and cote
as tulk of tale most trwe
and gentylest kny3t of lote

          in the mote,
   For the pentangle new
He bears in shield and coat,
   And is a knight most true
And gentle man, I wot.]

[stanza 28 (long)]

fyrst he watz funden fautlez in his fyue wyttez
and efte fayled neuer þe freke in his fyue fyngres
and alle his afyaunce vpon folde watz in þe fyue woundez
þat cryst ka3t on þe croys as þe crede tellez
and quere soeuer þys mon in melly watz stad
his þro þo3t watz in þat þur3 alle oþer þyngez
þat alle his forsnes he fong at þe fyue joyez
þat þe hende heuen quene had of hir chylde
at þis cause þe kny3t comlyche hade
in þe inore half of his schelde hir ymage depaynted
þat quen he blusched þerto his belde neuer payred
þe fyft fyue þat I finde þat þe frek vsed
watz fraunchyse and fela3schyp forbe al þyng
his clannes and his cortaysye croked were neuer
and pite þat passez alle poyntez þyse pure fyue
were harder happed on þat haþel þen on any oþer
now alle þese fyue syþez for soþe were fetled on þis kny3t
and vchone halched in oþer þat non ende hade
and fyched vpon fyue poyntez þat fayld neuer
ne samned neuer in no syde ne sundred nouþer
withouten ende at any noke I quere fynde
whereeuer þe gomen bygan or glod to an ende
þerfore on his schene schelde schapen watz þe knot
ryally wyth red golde vpon rede gowlez
[fol. 100r]
þat is þe pure pentaungel wyth þe peple called
with lore
now grayþed is gawan gay
and la3t his launce ry3t þore
and gef hem alle goud day
he wende for euermore

          of love.
   Now geared is Gawain gay,
He brandished the lance he bore,
   And bade them all good day,
And went forth evermore.]

[stanza 29 (long)]

he sperred þe sted with þe spurez and sprong on his way
so stif þat þe stonfyr stroke out þerafter
al þat sey þat semly syked in hert
and sayde soþly al same segges til oþer
carande for þat comly bi kryst hit is scaþe
þat þou leude schal be lost þat art of lyf noble
to fynde hys fere vpon folde in fayth is not eþe
warloker to haf wro3t had more wyt bene
and haf dy3t 3onder dere a duk to haue worþed
a lowande leder of ledez in londe hym wel semez
and so had better haf ben þen britned to no3t
hadet wyth an aluisch mon for angardez pryde
who knew euer any kyng such counsel to take
as kny3tez in cauelounz on crystmasse gomnez
wel much watz þe warme water þat waltered of y3en
when þat semly syre so3t fro þo wonez
þad daye
he made non abode
bot wy3tly went hys way
mony wylsum way he rode
þe bok as I herde say

          that day.
   So he made no abode,
But quickly went his way;
   Many a desert path he rode,
As I in book heard say.]

[stanza 30 (long)]

now ridez þis renk þur3 þe ryalme of logres
sir gauan on godez halue þa3 hym no gomen þo3t
oft leudlez alone he lengez on ny3tez
þer he fonde no3t hym byfore þe fare þat he lyked
hade he no fere bot his fole bi frythez and dounez
ne no gome bot god bi gate wyth to karp
til þat he ne3ed ful noghe into þe norþe walez
alle þe iles of anglesay on lyft half he haldez
and farez ouer þe fordez by þe forlondez
ouer at þe holy hede til he hade eft bonk
in þe wyldrenesse of wyrale wonde þer bot lyte
[fol. 100]
þat auþer god oþer gome wyth goud hert louied
and ay he frayned as he ferde at frekez þat he met
if þay hade herde any karp of a kny3t grene
in any grounde þeraboute of þe grene clapel
and al nykked hym wyth nay þat neuer in her lyue
þay se3e neuer no segge þat watz of suche hwez
of grene
þe kny3t tok gates straunge
in mony a bonk vnbene
his cher ful oft con chaunge
þat chapel er he my3t sene

          of green.
   The way of the knight was strange;
By many a hillside, I ween,
   His face gan oft to change,
Or ever the chapel was seen.]

[stanza 31 (long)]

mony klyf he ouerclambe in contrayez straunge
fer floten fro his frendez fremedly he rydez
at vche warþe oþer water þer þe wy3e passed
he fonde a foo hym byfore bot ferly hit were
and þat so foule and so felle þat fe3t hym byhode
fo mony meruayl bi mount þer þe mon fyndez
hit were to tore for to telle of þe tenþe dole
sumwhyle wyth wormez he werrez and with wolues als
sumwhyle wyth wodwos þat woned in þe knarrez
boþe wyth bullez and berez and borez oþerquyle
and etaynez þat hym anelede of þe he3e felle
nade he ben du3ty and dry3e and dry3tyn had serued
douteles he hade ben ded and dreped ful ofte
for werre wrathed hym not so much þat wynter was wors
when þe colde cler water fro þe cloudez schadden
and fres er hit falle my3t to þe fale erþe
ner slayn wyth þe slete he sleped in his yrnes
mo ny3tez þen innoghe in naked rokkez
þer as claterande fro þe crest þe colde borne rennez
and henged he3e ouer his hede in hard ysse ikkles
þus in peryl and payne and plytes ful harde
bi contray cayrez þis kny3t tyl krystmasse euen
al one
þe kny3t wel þat tyde
to mary made his mone
þat ho hym red to ryde
[fol. 101r]
and wysse hym to sum wone

   The knight that tide,
To Mary he cried,
   To show him where to ride
Till some shelter he spied.]

[stanza 32 (long)]

bi a mounte on þe morne meryly he rydes
into a forest ful dep þat ferly watz wylde
hi3e hillez on vche a halue and holtwodez vnder
of hore okez ful hoge a hundreth togeder
þe hasel and þe ha3þorne were harled al samen
with ro3e raged mosse rayled aywhere
with mony bryddez vnblyþe vpon bare twyges
þat pitosly þer piped for pyne of þe colde
þe gome vpon gryngolet glydez hem vnder
þur3 mony misy and myre mon al hym one
carande for his costes lest he ne keuer schulde
to se þe seruy of þat syre þat on þat self ny3t
of a burde watz borne oure baret to quelle
and þerfore sykyng he sayde I beseche þe lorde
and mary þat is myldest moder so dere
of sum herber þer he3ly I my3t here masse
ande þy matynez to morne mekely I ask
and þerto prestly I pray my pater and aue
and crede
he rode in his prayere
and cryed for his mysdede
he sayned hym in syþes sere
and sayde cros kryst me spede

          and creed.'
   He rode as he prayed,
And cried for misdeed,
   And sign of Cross made, And said,
'Christ's Cross me speed.']

[stanza 33 (long)]

nade he sayned hymself segge bot þrye
er he watz war in þe wod of a won in a mote
abof a launde on a lawe loken vnder bo3ez
of mony borelych bole aboute bi þe diches
a castel þe comlokest þat euer kny3t a3te
pyched on a prayere a park al aboute
with a pyked palays pynned ful þik
þat vmbete3e mony tre mo þen two myle
þat holde on þat on syde þe haþel auysed
as hit schemered and schon þur3 þe schyre okez
þenne hatz he hendly of his helme and he3ly he þonkez
jesus and say gilyan þat gentyle ar boþe
[fol. 101]
þat cortaysly hade hym kydde and his cry herkened
now bone hostel coþe þe burne I beseche yow 3ette
þenne gederez he to gryngolet with þe gilt helez
and he ful chauncely hatz chosen to þe chef gate
þat bro3t bremly þe burne to þe bryge ende
in haste
þe bryge watz breme vpbrayde
þe 3atez wer stoken faste
þe wallez were wel arayed
hit dut no wyndez blaste

          at last.
   The bridge was soon upraised,
The gates were shut so fast,
   The walls were well appraised,
They feared not the wind's blast.]

[stanza 34 (long)]

þe burne bode on bonk þat on blonk houed
of þe depe double dich þat drof to þe place
þe walle wod in þe water wonderly depe
ande eft a ful huge he3t hit haled vpon lofte
of harde hewen ston vp to þe tablez
enbaned vnder þe abataylment in þe best lawe
and syþen garytez ful gaye gered bitwene
wyth mony luflych loupe þat louked ful clene
a better barbican þat burne blusched vpon neuer
and innermore he behelde þat halle ful hy3e
towre telded bytwene trochet ful þik
fayre fylyolez þat fy3ed and ferlyly long
with coroun coprounes craftyly sle3e
chalk whyt chymnees þer ches he inno3e
vpon bastel rouez þat blenked ful quyte
so mony pynakle payntet watz poudred ayquere
among þe castel carnelez clambred so þik
þat pared out of papure purely hit semed
þe fre freke on þe fole hit fayr innghe þo3t
if he my3t keuer to com þe cloyster wythinne
to herber in þat hostel whyl halyday lested
he calde and sone þer com
a porter pure plesaunt
on þe wal his ernd he nome
and haylsed þe kny3t erraunt

          holy day.
   Then came when he did call,
A porter full gay,
   And took stand on the wall,
And hailed the knight alway.]

[stanza 35 (long)]

gode sir quoþ gawan woldez þou go myn ernde
to þe he3 lorde of þis hous herber to craue
[fol. 102r]
3e peter quoþ þe porter and purely I trowoe
þat 3e be wy3e welcum to won quyle yow lykez
þen 3ede þe wy3e a3ayn swyþe
and folke frely hym wyth to fonge þe kny3t
þay let doun þe grete dra3t and derely out 3eden
and kneled doun on her knes vpon þe colde erþe
to welcum þis ilk wy3 as worþy hom þo3t
þay 3olden hym þe brode 3ate 3arked vp wyde
and he hem raysed rekenly and rod ouer þe brygge
sere seggez hym sesed by sadel quel he ly3t
and syþen stabeled his stede stif men inno3e
kny3tez and swyerez comen doun þenne
for to bryng þis buurne wyth blys into halle
quen he hef vp his helme þer hi3ed innoghe
for to hent hit at his honde þe hende to seruen
his bronde and his blasoun boþe þay token
þen haylsed he ful hendly þo haþelez vchone
and mony proud mon þer presed þat prynce to honour
alle hasped in his he3 wede to halle þay hym wonnen
þer fayre fyre vpon flet fersly brenned
þenne þe lorde of þe lede loutez fro his chambre
for to mete wyth menske þe mon on þe flor
he sayde 3e are welcum to welde as yow lykez
þat here is al is yowre awen to haue at yowre wylle
and welde
graunt mercy quoþ gawayn
þer kryst hit yow for3elde
as frekez þat semed fayn
ayþer oþer in armez con felde

          to possess.
   'Great thanks,' quoth Gawain.
'May Christ always thee bless.'
   As fellows that were fain,
Each the other gave press.]

[stanza 36 (long)]

gawayn gly3t on þe gome þat godly hym gret
and þu3t hit a bolde burne þat þe bur3 a3te
a hoge haþel for þe nonez and of hyghe eldee
brode bry3t watz his berde and al beuer hwed
sturne stif on þe stryþþe on stalworth schonkez
felle face as þe fyre and fre of hys speche
and wel hym semed for soþe as þe segge þu3t
to lede a lortschyp in lee of leudez ful gode
[fol. 102]
þe lorde hym charred to a chambre and clesly cumaundez
to delyuer hym a leude hym lo3ly to serue
and þere were boun at his bode burnez inno3e
þat bro3t hym to a bry3t boure þer beddyng watz noble
of cortynes of clene sylk wyth cler golde hemmez
and couertorez ful curious with comlych panez
of bry3t blaunmer aboue enbrawded bisydez
rudelez rennande on ropez red golde ryngez
tapitez ty3t to þe wo3e of tuly and tars
and vnder fete on þe flet of fol3ande sute
þer he watz dispoyled wyth spechez of myerþe
þe burn of his bruny and of his bry3t wedez
ryche robes ful rad renkkez hem bro3ten
for to charge and to chaunge and chose of þe best
sone as he on hent and happed þerinne
þat sete on hyn semly wyth saylande skyrtez
þe ver by his uisage verayly hit semed
welne3 to vche haþel alle on hwes
lowande and lufly alle his lymmez vnder
þat a comloker kny3t neuer kryst made
hem þo3t
wheþen in worlde he were
hit semed as he my3t
be prynce withouten pere
in felde þer felle men fy3t

          for sight.
   'Whence was he on earth?'
It seemed as though he might
   Be prince of peerless worth,
In field where fierce men fight!]

[stanza 37 (long)]

a cheyer byfore þe chemne þer charcole brenned
watz grayþed for sir gawan grayþely with cloþez
whyssynes vpon queldepoyntes þa koynt wer boþe
and þenne a mere mantyle watz on þat mon cast
of a broun bleeaunt enbrauded ful ryche
and fayre furred wythinne with fellez of þe best
alle of ermyn in erde his hode of þe same
and he sete in þat settel semlych ryche
and achaufed hym cefly and þenne his cher mended
sone watz telded vp a tapit on trestez ful fayre
clad wyth a clene cloþe þat cler quyt schewed
sanap and salure and syluerin sponez
[fol. 103r]
þe wy3e wesche at his wylle and went to his mete
seggez hym serued semly inno3e
wyth sere sewes and sete sesounde of þe best
double felde as hit fallez and fele kyn fischez
summe baken in bred summe brad on þe gledez
summe soþen summe in sewe sauered with spyces
and ay sawes so sle3ez þat þe segge lyked
þe freke calde hit a fest ful frely and ofte
ful hendely quen alle þe haþeles rehayted hym at onez
as hende
þis penaunce now 3e take
and eft hit schal amende
þat mon much merþe con make
for wyn in his hed þat wende

          as friends.
   'This penance now you take,
And you shall make amends.'
   That knight much mirth 'gan
For wine that to head wends.]

[stanza 38 (long)]

þenne watz spyed and spured vpon spare wyse
bi preue poyntez of þat prynce put to hymseluen
þat he beknew cortaysly of þe court þat he were
þat aþel arþure þe hende haldez hym one
þat is þe ryche ryal kyng of þe rounde table
and hit watz Wawen hymself þat in þat won syttez
comen to þat krystmasse as case hym þen lymped
when þe lorde hade lerned þat he þe leude hade
loude la3ed he þerat so lef hit hym þo3t
and alle þe men in þat mote maden much joye
to apere in his presense prestly þat tyme
þat alle prys and prowes and pured þewes
apendes to hys persoun and praysed is euer
byfore alle men vpon molde his mensk is þe most
vch segge ful softly sayde to his fere
now schal we semlych se sle3tez of þewez
and þe teccheles termes of talkyng noble
wich spede is in speche vnspurd may we lerne
syn we haf fonged þat fyne fader of nurture
god hatz geuen vus his grace godly for soþe
þat such a gest as gawan grauntez vus to haue
when burnez blyþe of his burþe schal sitte
and synge
in menyng of manerez mere
[fol. 103]
þis burne now schal vus bryng
I hope þat may hym here
schal lerne of luf talkyng

          shall sing.
   Good manners now, I trow,
This knight shall be bringing;
   Who heareth him enow
Shall learn of love talking.']

[stanza 39 (long)]

bi þat þe diner watz done and þe dere vp
hit watz ne3 at þe niy3t ne3ed þe tyme
claplaynez to þe chapeles chosen þe gate
rungen ful rychely ry3t as þay schulden
to þe hersum euensong of þe hy3e tyde
þe lorde loutes þerto and þe lady als
into a comly closet coyntly ho entrez
gawan glydez ful gay and gos &