John Ronald Ruel Tolkien. Sir Gawayne and the Grene Knyght
Tolkien and Gordon, editors.
2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967.
Sir Gawayne and the Grene Knyght
The bor3 brittened and brent to brondeygh and aske3,
The tulk that the trammes of tresoun ther wro3t
Wat3 tried for his tricherie, the trewest on erthe:
Hit wat3 Ennias the athel, and his highe kynde,
That sithen depreced prouinces, and patrounes bicome
Welne3e of al the wele in the west iles.
Fro riche Romulus to Rome ricchis hym swythe,
With gret bobbaunce that bur3e he biges vpon fyrst,
And neuenes hit his aune nome, as hit now hat;
Tirius to Tuskan and teldes bigynnes,
Langaberde in Lumbardie lyftes vp homes,
And fer ouer the French flod Felix Brutus
On mony bonkkes ful brode Bretayn he sette3
Where werre and wrake and wonder
Bi sythe3 hatz wont therinne,
And oft bothe blysse and blunder
Ful skete hat3 skyfted synne.
Ande quen this Bretayn wat3 bigged bi this burn rych,
Bolde bredden therinne, baret that lofden,
In mony turned tyme tene that wro3ten.
Mo ferlyes on this folde han fallen here oft
Then in any other that I wot, syn that ilk tyme.
Bot of alle that here bult, of Bretaygne kynges,
Ay wat3 Arthur the hendest, as I haf herde telle.
Forthi an aunter in erde I attle to schawe,
That a selly in si3t summe men hit holden,
And an outtrage awenture of Arthure3 wonderez.
If 3e wyl lysten this laye bot on littel quile,
I schal telle hit as-tit, as I in toun herde,
As hit is stad and stoken
In stori stif and stronge,
With lel letteres loken,
In londe so hat3 ben longe.
This kyng lay at Camylot vpon Krystmasse
With mony luflych lorde, lede3 of the best,
Rekenly of the Rounde Table alle tho rich brether,
With rych reuel ory3t and rechles merthes.
Ther tournayed tulkes by tyme3 ful mony,
Justed ful jolile thise gentyle kni3tes,
Sythen kayred to the court caroles to make.
For ther the fest wat3 ilyche ful fiften dayes,
With alle the mete and the mirthe that men couthe avyse;
Such glaum ande gle glorious to here,
Dere dyn vpon day, daunsyng on ny3tes,
Al wat3 hap vpon he3e in hallez and chambrez
With lorde3 and ladies, as leuest him tho3t.
With all the wele of the worlde thay woned ther samen,
The most kyd kny3te3 vnder Krystes seluen,
And the louelokkest ladies that euer lif haden,
And he the comlokest kyng that the court haldes;
For al wat3 this fayre folk in her first age,
The hapnest vnder heuen,
Kyng hy3est mon of wylle;
Hit were now gret nye to neuen
So hardy a here on hille.
Wyle Nw Ygher wat3 so 3ep that hit watz nwe cummen,
That day doubble on the dece wat3 the douth serued.
Fro the kyng wat3 cummen with kny3tes into the halle,
The chauntre of the chapel cheued to an ende,
Loude crye wat3 ther kest of clerkez and other,
Nowel nayted onewe, neuened ful ofte;
And sythen riche forth runnen to reche hondeselle,
Yghe3ed ygheres-yghiftes on hiygh, yghelde hem bi hond,
Debated busyly aboute tho giftes;
Ladies la3ed ful loude, thoygh thay lost haden,
And he that wan wat3 not wrothe, that may 3e wel trawe.
Alle this mirthe thay maden to the mete tyme;
When thay had waschen worthyly thay wenten to sete,
The best burne ay abof, as hit best semed,
Whene Guenore, ful gay, graythed in the myddes,
Dressed on the dere des, dubbed al aboute,
Smal sendal bisides, a selure hir ouer
Of tryed tolouse, and tars tapites innoghe,
That were enbrawded and beten wyth the best gemmes
That my3t be preued of prys wyth penyes to bye,
The comlokest to discrye
Ther glent with y3en gray,
A semloker that euer he sy3e
Soth mo3t no mon say.
Bot Arthure wolde not ete til al were serued,
He wat3 so joly of his joyfnes, and sumquat childgered:
His lif liked hym ly3t, he louied the lasse
Auther to longe lye or to longe sitte,
So bisied him his 3onge blod and his brayn wylde.
And also an other maner meued him eke
That he thur3 nobelay had nomen, he wolde neuer ete
Vpon such a dere day er hym deuised were
Of sum auenturus thyng an vncouthe tale,
Of sum mayn meruayle, that he my3t trawe,
Of alderes, of armes, of other auenturus,
Other sum segg hym biso3t of sum siker knyyght
To joyne wyth hym in iustyng, in joparde to lay,
Lede, lif for lyf, leue vchon other,
As fortune wolde fulsun hom, the fayrer to haue.
This wat3 the kynges countenaunce where he in court were,
At vch farand fest among his fre meny
Therfore of face so fere
He sti3tle3 stif in stalle,
Ful 3ep in that Nw Yghere
Much mirthe he mas withalle.
Thus ther stondes in stale the stif kyng hisseluen,
Talkkande bifore the hy3e table of trifles ful hende.
There gode Gawan wat3 graythed Gwenore bisyde,
And Agrauayn a la dure mayn on that other syde sittes,
Bothe the kynges sistersunes and ful siker kni3tes;
Bischop Bawdewyn abof bigine3 the table,
And Ywan, Vryn son, ette with hymseluen.
Thise were di3t on the des and derworthly serued,
And sithen mony siker segge at the sidborde3.
Then the first cors come with crakkyng of trumpes,
Wyth mony baner ful bry3t that therbi henged;
Nwe nakryn noyse with the noble pipes,
Wylde werbles and wy3t wakned lote,
That mony hert ful hi3e hef at her towches.
Dayntes dryuen therwyth of ful dere metes,
Foysoun of the fresche, and on so fele disches
That pine to fynde the place the peple biforne
For to sette the sylueren that sere sewes halden
Iche lede as he loued hymselue
Ther laght withouten lothe;
Ay two had disches twelue,
Good ber and bry3t wyn bothe.
Now wyl I of hor seruise say yow no more,
For vch wy3e may wel wit no wont that ther were.
An other noyse ful newe ne3ed biliue,
That the lude my3t haf leue liflode to cach;
For vnethe wat3 the noyce not a whyle sesed,
And the fyrst cource in the court kyndely serued,
Ther hales in at the halle dor an aghlich mayster,
On the most on the molde on mesure h3e;
Fro the swyre to the swange so sware and so thik,
And his lyndes and his lymes so longe and so grete,
Half etayn in erde I hope that he were,
Bot mon most I algate mynn hym to bene,
And that the myriest in his muckel that my3t ride;
For of bak and of brest al were his bodi sturne,
Both his wombe and his wast were worthily smale,
And alle his fetures fol3ande, in forme that he hade,
For wonder of his hwe men hade,
Set in his semblaunt sene;
He ferde as freke were fade,
And oueral enker-grene.
Ande al graythed in grene this gome and his wedes:
A strayte cote ful stre3t, that stek on his sides,
A mere mantile abof, mensked withinne
With pelure pured apert, the pane ful clene
With blythe blaunner ful bry3t, and his hod bothe,
That wat3 la3t fro his lokkez and layde on his schulderes;
Heme wel-haled hose of that same,
That spenet on his sparlyr, and clene spures vnder
Of bry3t golde, vpon silk bordes barred ful ryche,
And scholes vnder schankes there the schalk rides;
And alle his vesture uerayly wat3 clene verdure,
Bothe the barres of his belt and other blythe stones,
That were richely rayled in his aray clene
Aboutte hymself and his sadel, vpon silk werke3.
That were to tor for to telle of tryfles the halue
That were enbrauded abof, wyth bryddes and fly3es,
With gay gaudi of grene, the golde ay inmyddes.
The pendauntes of his payttrure, the proude cropure,
His molaynes, and alle the metail anamayld was thenne,
The steropes that he stod on stayned of the same,
And his arsoun3 al after and his athel skyrtes,
That euer glemered and glent al of grene stones;
The fole that he ferkkes on fyn of that ilke,
A grene hors gret and thikke,
A stede ful stif to strayne,
In brawden brydel quik--
To the gome he wat3 ful gayn.
Wel gay wat3 this gome gered in grene,
And the here of his hed of his hors swete.
Fayre fannand fax vmbefoldes his schulderes;
A much berd as a busk ouer his brest henges,
That wyth his hi3lich here that of his hed reches
Wat3 euesed al vmbetorne abof his elbowes,
That half his armes ther-vnder were halched in the wyse
Of a kynge3 capados that closes his swyre;
The mane of that mayn hors much to hit lyke,
Wel cresped and cemmed, wyth knottes ful mony
Folden in wyth fildore aboute the fayre grene,
Ay a herle of the here, an other of golde;
The tayl and his toppyng twynnen of a sute,
And bounden bothe wyth a bande of a bry3t grene,
Dubbed wyth ful dere stone3, as the dok lasted,
Sythen thrawen wyth a thwong a thwarle knot alofte,
Ther mony belle3 ful bry3t of brende golde rungen.
Such a fole vpon folde, ne freke that hym rydes,
Wat3 neuer sene in that sale wyth sy3t er that tyme,
He loked as layt so ly3t,
So sayd al that hym sy3e;
Hit semed as no mon my3t
Vnder his dyntte3 dry3e.
Whether hade he no helme ne hawbergh nauther,
Ne no pysan ne no plate that pented to armes,
Ne no schafte ne no schelde to schwue ne to smyte,
Bot in his on honde he hade a holyn bobbe,
That is grattest in grene when greue3 ar bare,
And an ax in his other, a hoge and vnmete,
A spetos sparthe to expoun in spelle, quoso my3t.
The lenkthe of an eln3erde the large hede hade,
The grayn al of grene stele and of golde hewen,
The bit burnyst bry3t, with a brod egge
As wel schapen to schere as scharp rasores,
The stele of a stif staf the sturne hit bi grypte,
That wat3 wounden wyth yrn to the wandez ende,
And al bigrauen with grene in gracios werkes;
A lace lapped aboute, that louked at the hede,
And so after the halme halched ful ofte,
Wyth tryed tassele3 therto tacched innoghe
On botoun3 of the bry3t grene brayden ful ryche.
This hathel helde3 hym in and the halle entres,
Driuande to the he3e dece, dut he no wothe,
Haylsed he neuer one, bot he3e he ouer loked.
The fyrst word that he warp, "Wher is," he sayd,
"The gouernour of this gyng? Gladly I wolde
Se that segg in sy3t, and with hymself speke
To kny3te3 he kest his yyghe,
And reled hym vp and doun;
He stemmed, and con studie
Quo walt ther most renoun.
Ther wat3 lokyng on lenthe the lude to beholde,
For vch mon had meruayle quat hit mene my3t
That a hathel and a horse my3t such a hwe lach,
As growe grene as the gres and grener hit semed,
Then grene aumayl on golde glowande bry3ter.
Al studied that ther stod, and stalked hym nerre
Wyth al the wonder of the worlde what he worch schulde.
For fele sellye3 had thay sen, bot such neuer are;
Forthi for fantoum and fayry3e the folk there hit demed.
Therfore to answare wat3 ar3e mony athel freke,
And al stouned at his steuen and stonstil seten
In a swoghe sylence thur3 the sale riche;
As al were slypped vpon slepe so slaked hor lote3
I deme hit not al for doute,
Bot sum for cortaysye--
Bot let hym that al schulde loute
Cast vnto that wy3e.
Thenn Arthour bifore the hi3 dece that auenture byholde3,
And rekenly hym reuerenced, for rad was he neuer,
And sayde, "Wy3e, welcum iwys to this place,
The hede of this ostel Arthour I hat;
Li3t luflych adoun and lenge, I the praye,
And quat-so thy wylle is we schal wyt after."
"Nay, as help me," quoth the hathel, "he that on hy3e syttes,
To wone any quyle in this won, hit wat3 not myn ernde;
Bot for the los of the, lede, is lyft vp so hy3e,
And thy bur3 and thy burnes best ar holden,
Stifest vnder stel-gere on stedes to ryde,
The wy3test and the worthyest of the worldes kynde,
Preue for to play wyth in other pure layke3,
And here is kydde cortaysye, as I haf herd carp,
And that hat3 wayned me hider, iwyis, at this tyme.
Yghe may be seker bi this braunch that I bere here
That 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 bothe,
A schelde and a scharp spere, schinande bry3t,
Ande other weppenes to welde, I wene wel, als;
Bot for I wolde no were, my wede3 ar softer.
Bot if thou be so bold as alle burne3 tellen,
Thou wyl grant me godly the gomen that I ask
Arthour con onsware,
And sayd, "Sir cortays kny3t,
If thou craue batayl bare,
Here fayle3 thou not to fy3t."
"Nay, frayst I no fy3t, in fayth I the telle,
Hit arn aboute on this bench bot berdle3 chylder.
If I were hasped in armes on a he3e stede,
Here is no mon me to mach, for my3te3 so wayke.
Forthy I craue in this court a Crystemas gomen,
For hit is Yghol and Nwe Ygher, and here ar 3ep mony:
If any so hardy in this hous holde3 hymseluen,
Be so bolde in his blod, brayn in hys hede,
That dar stifly strike a strok for an other,
I schal gif hym of my gyft thys giserne ryche,
This ax, that is heue innogh, to hondele as hym lykes,
And I schal bide the fyrst bur as bare as I sitte.
If any freke be so felle to fonde that I telle,
Lepe ly3tly me to, and lach this weppen,
I quit-clayme hit for euer, kepe hit as his auen,
And I schal stonde hym a strok, stif on this flet,
Elle3 thou wyl di3t me the dom to dele hym an other
And 3et gif hym respite,
A twelmonyth and a day;
Now hy3e, and let se tite
Dar any herinne o3t say."
If he hem stowned vpon fyrst, stiller were thanne
Alle the heredmen in halle, the hy3 and the loyghe.
The renk on his rounce hym ruched in his sadel,
And runischly his rede y3en he reled aboute,
Bende his bresed bro3e3, blycande grene,
Wayued his berde for to wayte quo-so wolde ryse.
When non wolde kepe hym with carp he co3ed ful hyyghe,
Ande rimed hym ful richly, and ry3t hym to speke:
"What, is this Arthures hous," quoth the hathel thenne,
"That al the rous rennes of thur3 ryalmes so mony?
Where is now your sourquydrye and your conquestes,
Your gryndellayk and your greme, and your grete wordes?
Now is the reuel and the renoun of the Rounde Table
Ouerwalt wyth a worde of on wy3es speche,
For al dares for drede withoute dynt schewed!"
Wyth this he la3es so loude that the lorde greued;
The blod schot for scham into his schyre face
He wex as wroth as wynde,
So did alle that ther were.
The kyng as kene bi kynde
Then stod that stif mon nere,
Ande sayde, "Hathel, by heuen, thyn askyng is nys,
And as thou foly hat3 frayst, fynde the behoues.
I know no gome that is gast of thy grete wordes;
Gif me now thy geserne, vpon Gode3 halue,
And I schal baythen thy bone that thou boden habbes."
Ly3tly lepe3 he hym to, and layght at his honde.
Then feersly that other freke vpon fote ly3tis.
Now hat3 Arthure his axe, and the halme grypez,
And sturnely sture3 hit aboute, that stryke wyth hit tho3t.
The stif mon hym bifore stod vpon hy3t,
Herre then ani in the hous by the hede and more.
Wyth sturne schere ther he stod he stroked his berde,
And wyth a countenaunce dry3e he droygh doun his cote,
No more mate ne dismayd for hys mayn dinte3
Then any burne vpon bench hade bro3t hym to drynk
Gawan, that sate bi the quene,
To the kyng he can enclyne:
"I beseche now with sa3e3 sene
This melly mot be myne.
"Wolde 3e, worthilych lorde," quoth Wawan to the kyng,
"Bid me bo3e fro this benche, and stonde by yow there,
That I wythoute vylanye my3t voyde this table,
And that my legge lady lyked not ille,
I wolde com to your counseyl bifore your cort ryche.
For me think hit not semly, as hit is soth knawen,
Ther such an askyng is heuened so hy3e in your sale,
Tha3 yghe yghourself be talenttyf, to take hit to yourseluen,
Whil mony so bolde yow aboute vpon bench sytten,
That vnder heuen I hope non ha3erer of wylle,
Ne better bodyes on bent ther baret is rered.
I am the wakkest, I wot, and of wyt feblest,
And lest lur of my lyf, quo laytes the sothe--
Bot for as much as 3e ar myn em I am only to prayse,
No bounte bot your blod I in my bodщ knowe;
And sythen this note is so nys that no3t hit yow falles,
And I haue frayned hit at yow fyrst, folde3 hit to me;
And if I carp not comlyly, let alle this cort rych
Ryche togeder con roun,
And sythen thay redden alle same
To ryd the kyng wyth croun,
And gif Gawan the game.
Then comaunded the kyng the kny3t for to ryse;
And he ful radly vpros, and ruchched hym fayre,
Kneled doun bifore the kyng, and cache3 that weppen;
And he luflyly hit hym laft, and lyfte vp his honde,
And gef hym Godde3 blessyng, and gladly hym biddes
That his hert and his honde schulde hardi be bothe.
"Kepe the cosyn," quoth the kyng, "that thou on kyrf sette,
And if thou rede3 hym ryyght, redly I trowe
That thou schal byden the bur that he schal bede after."
Gawan got3 to the gome with giserne in honde,
And he baldly hym byde3, he bayst neuer the helder.
Then carppe3 to Sir Gawan the kny3t in the grene,
"Refourme we oure forwardes, er we fyrre passe.
Fyrst I ethe the, hathel, how that thou hattes
That thou me telle truly, as I tryst may."
"In god fayth," quoth the goode kny3t, "Gawan I hatte,
That bede the this buffet, quat-so bifalle3 after,
And at this tyme twelmonyth take at the an other
Wyth what weppen so thou wylt, and wyth no wy3 elle3
That other onsware3 agayn,
"Sir Gawan, so mot I thryue
As I am ferly fayn
This dint that thou schal dryue.
"Bigog," quoth the grene kny3t, "Sir Gawan, me lykes
That I schal fange at thy fust that I haf frayst here.
And thou hat3 redily rehersed, bi resoun ful trwe,
Clanly al the couenaunt that I the kynge asked,
Saf that thou schal siker me, segge, bi thi trawthe,
That thou schal seche me thiself, where-so thou hopes
I may be funde vpon folde, and foch the such wages
As thou deles me to-day bifore this douthe ryche."
"Where schulde I wale the," quoth Gauan, "where is thy place?
I wot neuer where thou wonyes, bi hym that me wro3t,
Ne I know not the, kny3t, by cort ne thi name.
Bot teche me truly therto, and telle me how thou hattes,
And I schal ware alle my wyt to wynne me theder,
And that I swere the for sothe, and by my seker traweth."
"That is innogh in Nwe Ygher, hit nedes no more,"
Quoth the gome in the grene to Gawan the hende;
"Yghif I the telle trwly, quen I the tape haue
And thou me smothely hat3 smyten, smartly I the teche
Of my hous and my home and myn owen nome,
Then may thou frayst my fare and forwarde3 holde;
And if I spende no speche, thenne spede3 thou the better,
For thou may leng in thy londe and layt no fyrre--
Ta now thy grymme tole to the,
And let se how thou cnoke3."
"Gladly, sir, for sothe,"
Quoth Gawan; his ax he strokes.
The grene kny3t vpon grounde graythely hym dresses,
A littel lut with the hede, the lere he discouere3,
His longe louelych lokke3 he layd ouer his croun,
Let the naked nec to the note schewe.
Gauan gripped to his ax, and gederes hit on hy3t,
The kay fot on the folde he before sette,
Let him doun ly3tly lyyght on the naked,
That the scharp of the schalk schyndered the bones,
And schrank thur3 the schyire grece, and schade hit in twynne,
That the bit of the broun stel bot on the grounde.
The fayre hede fro the halce hit to the erthe,
That fele hit foyned wyth her fete, there hit forth roled;
The blod brayd fro the body, that blykked on the grene;
And nawther faltered ne fel the freke neuer the helder,
Bot stythly he start forth vpon styf schonkes,
And runyschly he ra3t out, there as renkke3 stoden,
La3t to his lufly hed, and lyft hit vp sone;
And sythen bo3e3 to his blonk, the brydel he cachchez,
Steppe3 into stelbawe and strydez alofte,
And his hede by the here in his honde halde3;
And as sadly the segge hym in his sadel sette
As non vnhap had hym ayled, tha3 hedle3 he were
He brayde his bulk aboute,
That vgly bodi that bledde;
Moni on of hym had doute,
Bi that his resoun3 were redde.
For the hede in his honde he halde3 vp euen,
Toward the derrest on the dece he dresse3 the face,
And hit lyfte vp the y3e-lydde3 and loked ful brode,
And meled thus much with his muthe, as 3e may now here:
"Loke, Gawan, thou be graythe to go as thou hette3,
And layte as lelly til thou me, lude, fynde,
As thou hat3 hette in this halle, herande thise kny3tes;
To the grene chapel thou chose, I charge the, to fotte
Such a dunt as thou hat3 dalt--disserued thou habbez
To be 3ederly ygholden on Nw Ygheres morn.
The kny3t of the grene chapel men knowen me mony;
Forthi me for to fynde if thou frayste3, faylez thou neuer.
Therfore com, other recreaunt be calde the behoues."
With a runisch rout the rayne3 he tornez,
Halled out at the hal dor, his hed in his hande,
That the fyr of the flynt fla3e fro fole houes.
To quat kyth he becom knwe non there,
Neuer more then thay wyste from quethen he wat3 wonnen.
The kyng and Gawen thare
At that grene thay la3e and grenne,
Yghet breued wat3 hit ful bare
A meruayl among tho menne.
Tha3 Arther the hende kyng at hert hade wonder,
He let no semblaunt be sene, bot sayde ful hy3e
To the comlych quene wyth cortays speche,
"Dere dame, to-day demay yow neuer;
Wel bycommes such craft vpon Cristmasse,
Laykyng of enterlude3, to la3e and to syng,
Among thise kynde caroles of kny3te3 and ladyez.
Neuer the 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 thyn ax, that hat3 innogh hewen";
And hit wat3 don abof the dece on doser to henge,
Ther alle men for meruayl my3t on hit loke,
And bi trwe tytel therof to telle the wonder.
Thenne thay bo3ed to a borde thise burnes togeder,
The kyng and the gode kny3t, and kene men hem serued
Of alle dayntye3 double, as derrest my3t falle;
Wyth alle maner of mete and mynstralcie bothe,
Wyth wele walt thday, til worthed an ende
Now thenk wel, Sir Gawan,
For wothe that thou ne wonde
This auenture for to frayn
That thou hat3 tan on honde.
THIS hanselle hat3 Arthur of auenturus on fyrst
In 3onge ygher, for he ygherned yghelpyng to here.
Tha3 hym worde3 were wane when thay to sete wenten,
Now ar thay stoken of sturne werk, stafful her hond.
Gawan wat3 glad to begynne those gomnez in halle,
Bot tha3 the ende be heuy haf yghe no wonder;
For tha3 men ben mery in mynde quen thay han mayn drynk,
A 3ere yghernes ful ygherne, and yghelde3 neuer lyke,
The forme to the fynisment folde3 ful selden.
Forthi this Yghol ouer3ede, and the yghere after,
And vche sesoun serlepes sued after other:
After Crystenmasse com the crabbed lentoun,
That frayste3 flesch wyth the fysche and fode more symple;
Bot thenne the weder of the worlde wyth wynter hit threpe3,
Colde clenge3 adoun, cloudez vplyften,
Schyre schede3 the rayn in schowrez ful warme,
Falle3 vpon fayre flat, flowrez there schewen,
Bothe grounde3 and the greuez grene ar her wedez,
Brydde3 busken to bylde, and bremlych syngen
For solace of the softe somer that sues therafter
And blossume3 bolne to blowe
Bi rawe3 rych and ronk,
Then note3 noble inno3e
Ar herde in wod so wlonk.
After the sesoun of somer wyth the soft wynde3
Quen Zeferus syfle3 hymself on sedez and erbez,
Wela wynne is the wort that waxes theroute,
When the donkande dewe drope3 of the leuez,
To bide a blysful blusch of the bry3t sunne.
Bot then hy3es heruest, and hardenes hym sone,
Warne3 hym for the wynter to wax ful rype;
He dryues wyth dro3t the dust for to ryse,
Fro the face of the folde to fly3e ful hyyghe;
Wrothe wynde of the welkyn wrastele3 with the sunne,
The leue3 lancen fro the lynde and ly3ten on the grounde,
And al grayes the gres that grene wat3 ere;
Thenne al rype3 and rotez that ros vpon fyrst,
And thus 3irne3 the yghere in yghisterdayez mony,
And wynter wynde3 a3ayn, as the worlde askez,
Til Me3elmas mone
Wat3 cumen wyth wynter wage;
Then thenkke3 Gawan ful sone
Of his anious uyage.
Yghet quyl Al-hal-day with Arther he lenges;
And he made a fare on that fest for the freke3 sake,
With much reuel and ryche of the Rounde Table.
Kny3te3 ful cortays and comlych ladies
Al for luf of that lede in longynge thay were,
Bot neuer the lece ne the later thay neuened bot merthe:
Mony ioyle3 for that ientyle iapez ther maden.
For aftter mete with mournyng he mele3 to his eme,
And speke3 of his passage, and pertly he sayde,
"Now, lege lorde of my lyf, leue I yow ask;
Yghe knowe the cost of this cace, kepe I no more
To telle yow tene3 therof neuer bot trifel;
Bot I am boun to the bur barely to-morne
To sech the gome of the grene, as God wyl me wysse."
Thenne the best of the bur3 boyghed togeder,
Aywan, and Errik, and other ful mony,
Sir Doddinaual de Sauage, the duk of Clarence,
Launcelot, and Lyonel, and Lucan the gode,
Sir Boos, and Sir Byduer, big men bothe,
And mony other menskful, with Mador de la Port.
Alle this compayny of court com the kyng nerre
For to counseyl the kny3t, with care at her hert.
There wat3 much derue doel driuen in the sale
That so worthe as Wawan schulde wende on that ernde,
To dry3e a delful dynt, and dele no more
The kny3t mad ay god chere,
And sayde, "Quat schuld I wonde?
Of destines derf and dere
What may mon do bot fonde?"
He dowelle3 ther al that day, and dressez on the morn,
Aske3 erly hys armez, and alle were thay bro3t.
Fyrst a tule tapit ty3t ouer the flet,
And miche wat3 the gyld gere that glent theralofte;
The stif mon steppe3 theron, and the stel hondelez,
Dubbed in a dublet of a dere tars,
And sythen a crafty capados, closed aloft,
That wyth a bry3t blaunner was bounden withinne.
Thenne set thay the sabatoun3 vpon the segge fotez,
His lege3 lapped in stel with luflych greuez,
With polayne3 piched therto, policed ful clene,
Aboute his kne3 knaged wyth knotez of golde;
Queme quyssewes then, that coyntlych closed
His thik thrawen thy3e3, with thwonges to tachched;
And sythen the brawden bryne of bry3t stel rynge3
Vmbeweued that wy3 vpon wlonk stuffe,
And wel bornyst brace vpon his bothe armes,
With gode cowters and gay, and gloue3 of plate,
And alle the godlych gere that hym gayn schulde
Wyth ryche cote-armure,
His gold spore3 spend with pryde,
Gurde wyth a bront ful sure
With silk sayn vmbe his syde.
When he wat3 hasped in armes, his harnays watz ryche:
The lest lachet ouer loupe lemed of golde.
So harnayst as he wat3 he herknez his masse,
Offred and honoured at the he3e auter.
Sythen he come3 to the kyng and to his cort-ferez,
Lache3 lufly his leue at lordez and ladyez;
And thay hym kyst and conueyed, bikende hym to Kryst.
Bi that wat3 Gryngolet grayth, and gurde with a sadel
That glemed ful gayly with mony golde frenges,
Ayquere naylet ful nwe, for that note ryched;
The brydel barred aboute, with bry3t golde bounden;
The apparayl of the payttrure and of the proude skyrte3,
The cropore and the couertor, acorded wyth the arsoune3;
And al wat3 rayled on red ryche golde naylez,
That al glytered and glent as glem of the sunne.
Thenne hentes he the helme, and hastily hit kysses,
That wat3 stapled stifly, and stoffed wythinne.
Hit wat3 hy3e on his hede, hasped bihynde,
Wyth a ly3tly vrysoun ouer the auentayle,
Enbrawden and bounden wyth the best gemme3
On brode sylkyn borde, and brydde3 on semez,
As papiaye3 paynted peruyng bitwene,
Tortors and trulofe3 entayled so thyk
As mony burde theraboute had ben seuen wynter
The cercle wat3 more o prys
That vmbeclypped hys croun,
Of diamaunte3 a deuys
That bothe were bry3t and broun.
THEN thay schewed hym the schelde, that was of schyr goule3
Wyth the pentangel depaynt of pure golde hwe3.
He brayde3 hit by the bauderyk, aboute the hals kestes,
That bisemed the segge semlyly fayre.
And quy the pentangel apende3 to that prynce noble
I am in tent yow to telle, thof tary hyt me schulde:
Hit is a syngne that Salamon set sumquyle
In bytoknyng of trawthe, bi tytle that hit habbe3,
For hit is a figure that halde3 fyue poyntez,
And vche lyne vmbelappe3 and loukez in other,
And ayquere hit is endele3; and Englych hit callen
Oueral, as I here, the endeles knot.
Forthy hit acorde3 to this kny3t and to his cler armez,
For ay faythful in fyue and sere fyue sythe3
Gawan wat3 for gode knawen, and as golde pured,
Voyded of vche vylany, wyth vertue3 ennourned
Forthy the pentangel nwe
He ber in schelde and cote,
As tulk of tale most trwe
And gentylest kny3t of lote.
Fyrst he wat3 funden fautlez in his fyue wyttez,
And efte fayled neuer the freke in his fyue fyngres,
And alle his afyaunce vpon folde wat3 in the fyue woundez
That Cryst ka3t on the croys, as the crede telle3;
And quere-so-euer thys mon in melly wat3 stad,
His thro tho3t wat3 in that, thurygh alle other thyngez,
That alle his forsnes he feng at the fyue joye3
That the hende heuen-quene had of hir chylde;
At this cause the kny3t comlyche hade
In the inore half of his schelde hir ymage depaynted,
That quen he blusched therto his belde neuer payred.
The fyft fyue that I finde that the frek vsed
Wat3 fraunchyse and fela3schyp forbe al thyng,
His clannes and his cortaysye croked were neuer,
And pite, that passe3 alle poyntez, thyse pure fyue
Were harder happed on that hathel then on any other.
Now alle these fyue sythe3, for sothe, were fetled on this kny3t,
And vchone halched in other, that non ende hade,
And fyched vpon fyue poynte3, that fayld neuer,
Ne samned neuer in no syde, ne sundred nouther,
Withouten ende at any noke I oquere fynde,
Whereeuer the gomen bygan, or glod to an ende.
Therfore on his schene schelde schapen wat3 the knot
Ryally wyth red golde vpon rede gowle3,
That is the pure pentaungel wyth the peple called
Now graythed is Gawan gay,
And la3t his launce ryyght thore,
And gef hem alle goud day,
He wende for euermore.
He sperred the sted with the spure3 and sprong on his way,
So stif that the ston-fyr stroke out therafter.
Al that se3 that semly syked in hert,
And sayde sothly al same segges til other,
Carande for that comly: "Bi Kryst, hit is scathe
That thou, leude, schal be lost, that art of lyf noble!
To fynde hys fere vpon folde, in fayth, is not ethe.
Warloker to haf wro3t had more wyt bene,
And haf dy3t yghonder dere a duk to haue worthed;
A lowande leder of lede3 in londe hym wel semez,
And so had better haf ben then britned to no3t,
Hadet wyth an aluisch mon, for angarde3 pryde.
Who knew euer any kyng such counsel to take
As kny3te3 in cauelaciounz on Crystmasse gomnez!"
Wel much wat3 the warme water that waltered of y3en,
When that semly syre so3t fro tho wone3
He made non abode,
Bot wy3tly went hys way;
Mony wylsum way he rode,
The bok as I herde say.
Now ride3 this renk thur3 the ryalme of Logres,
Sir Gauan, on Gode3 halue, tha3 hym no gomen thoyght.
Oft leudle3 alone he lengez on ny3tez
Ther he fonde no3t hym byfore the fare that he lyked.
Hade he no fere bot his fole bi frythe3 and dounez,
Ne no gome bot God bi gate wyth to karp,
Til that he ne3ed ful neghe into the Northe Wale3.
Alle the iles of Anglesay on lyft half he halde3,
And fare3 ouer the fordez by the forlondez,
Ouer at the Holy Hede, til he hade eft bonk
In the wyldrenesse of Wyrale; wonde ther bot lyte
That auther God other gome wyth goud hert louied.
And ay he frayned, as he ferde, at freke3 that he met,
If thay hade herde any karp of a kny3t grene,
In any grounde theraboute, of the grene chapel;
And al nykked hym wyth nay, that neuer in her lyue
Thay se3e neuer no segge that wat3 of suche hwez
The kny3t tok gates straunge
In mony a bonk vnbene,
His cher ful oft con chaunge
That chapel er he my3t sene.
Mony klyf he ouerclambe in contraye3 straunge,
Fer floten fro his frende3 fremedly he rydez.
At vche warthe other water ther the wy3e passed
He fonde a foo hym byfore, bot ferly hit were,
And that so foule and so felle that fe3t hym byhode.
So mony meruayl bi mount ther the mon fynde3,
Hit were to tore for to telle of the tenthe dole.
Sumwhyle wyth worme3 he werrez, and with wolues als,
Sumwhyle wyth wodwos, that woned in the knarre3,
Bothe wyth bulle3 and berez, and borez otherquyle,
And etayne3, that hym anelede of the he3e felle;
Nade he ben du3ty and dryyghe, and Dryyghtyn had serued,
Douteles he hade ben ded and dreped ful ofte.
For werre wrathed hym not so much that wynter nas wors,
When the colde cler water fro the cloude3 schadde,
And fres er hit falle my3t to the fale erthe;
Ner slayn wyth the slete he sleped in his yrnes
Mo ny3te3 then innoghe in naked rokkez,
Ther as claterande fro the crest the colde borne renne3,
And henged he3e ouer his hede in hard iisse-ikkles.
Thus in peryl and payne and plytes ful harde
Bi contray cayre3 this kny3t, tyl Krystmasse euen,
The kny3t wel that tyde
To Mary made his mone,
That ho hym red to ryde
And wysse hym to sum wone.
Bi a mounte on the morne meryly he rydes
Into a forest ful dep, that ferly wat3 wylde,
Hi3e hille3 on vche a halue, and holtwodez vnder
Of hore oke3 ful hoge a hundreth togeder;
The hasel and the ha3thorne were harled al samen,
With ro3e raged mosse rayled aywhere,
With mony brydde3 vnblythe vpon bare twyges,
That pitosly ther piped for pyne of the colde.
The gome vpon Gryngolet glyde3 hem vnder,
Thur3 mony misy and myre, mon al hym one,
Carande for his costes, lest he ne keuer schulde
To se the seruyse of that syre, that on that self ny3t
Of a burde wat3 borne oure baret to quelle;
And therfore sykyng he sayde, "I beseche the, lorde,
And Mary, that is myldest moder so dere,
Of sum herber ther he3ly I myyght here masse,
Ande thy matyne3 to-morne, mekely I ask,
And therto prestly I pray my pater and aue
He rode in his prayere,
And cryed for his mysdede,
He sayned hym in sythes sere,
And sayde "Cros Kryst me spede!"
NADE he sayned hymself, segge, bot thrye,
Er he wat3 war in the wod of a won in a mote,
Abof a launde, on a lawe, loken vnder bo3e3
Of mony borelych bole aboute bi the diches:
A castel the comlokest that euer kny3t ayghte,
Pyched on a prayere, a park al aboute,
With a pyked palays pyned ful thik,
That vmbete3e mony tre mo then two myle.
That holde on that on syde the hathel auysed,
As hit schemered and schon thur3 the schyre oke3;
Thenne hat3 he hendly of his helme, and he3ly he thonkez
Jesus and sayn Gilyan, that gentyle ar bothe,
That cortaysly had hym kydde, and his cry herkened.
"Now bone hostel," cothe the burne, "I beseche yow 3ette!"
Thenne gerde3 he to Gryngolet with the gilt helez,
And he ful chauncely hat3 chosen to the chef gate,
That bro3t bremly the burne to the bryge ende
The bryge wat3 breme vpbrayde,
The 3ate3 wer stoken faste,
The walle3 were wel arayed,
Hit dut no wynde3 blaste.
The burne bode on blonk, that on bonk houed
Of the depe double dich that drof to the place;
The walle wod in the water wonderly depe,
Ande eft a ful huge he3t hit haled vpon lofte
Of harde hewen ston vp to the table3,
Enbaned vnder the abataylment in the best lawe;
And sythen garyte3 ful gaye gered bitwene,
Wyth mony luflych loupe that louked ful clene:
A better barbican that burne blusched vpon neuer.
And innermore he behelde that halle ful hy3e,
Towres telded bytwene, trochet ful thik,
Fayre fylyole3 that fy3ed, and ferlyly long,
With coruon coprounes craftyly sle3e.
Chalkwhyt chymnees ther ches he inno3e
Vpon bastel roue3, that blenked ful quyte;
So mony pynakle payntet wat3 poudred ayquere,
Among the castel carnele3 clambred so thik,
That pared out of papure purely hit semed.
The fre freke on the fole hit fayr innoghe tho3t,
If he my3t keuer to com the cloyster wythinne,
To herber in that hostel whyl halyday lested,
He calde, and sone ther com
A porter pure plesaunt,
On the wal his ernd he nome,
And haylsed the kny3t erraunt.
"Gode sir," quoth Gawan, "wolde3 thou go myn ernde
To the he3 lorde of this hous, herber to craue?"
"Yghe, Peter," quoth the porter, "and purely I trowee
That 3e be, wyyghe, welcum to won quyle yow lyke3."
Then 3ede the wyyghe ygherne and com ayghayn swythe,
And folke frely hym wyth, to fonge the kny3t.
Thay let doun the grete dra3t and derely out ygheden,
And kneled doun on her knes vpon the colde erthe
To welcum this ilk wy3 as worthy hom thoyght;
Thay 3olden hym the brode yghate, ygharked vp wyde,
And he hem raysed rekenly, and rod ouer the brygge.
Sere segge3 hym sesed by sadel, quel he ly3t,
And sythen stabeled his stede stif men inno3e.
Kny3te3 and swyerez comen doun thenne
For to bryng this buurne wyth blys into halle;
Quen he hef vp his helme, ther hi3ed innoghe
For to hent hit at his honde, the hende to seruen;
His bronde and his blasoun bothe thay token.
Then haylsed he ful hendly tho hathele3 vchone,
And mony proud mon ther presed that prynce to honour.
Alle hasped in his he3 wede to halle thay hym wonnen,
Ther fayre fyre vpon flet fersly brenned.
Thenne the lorde of the lede loute3 fro his chambre
For to mete wyth menske the mon on the flor;
He sayde, "Yghe ar welcum to welde as yow lyke3
That here is; al is yowre awen, to haue at yowre wylle
"Graunt mercy," quoth Gawayn,
"Ther Kryst hit yow for3elde."
As freke3 that semed fayn
Ayther other in arme3 con felde.
Gawayn gly3t on the gome that godly hym gret,
And thu3t hit a bolde burne that the burygh ayghte,
A hoge hathel for the none3, and of h3e eldee;
Brode, bry3t, wat3 his berde, and al beuer-hwed,
Sturne, stif on the stryththe on stalworth schonke3,
Felle face as the fyre, and fre of hys speche;
And wel hym semed, for sothe, as the segge thu3t,
To lede a lortschyp in lee of leude3 ful gode.
The lorde hym charred to a chambre, and chefly cumaunde3
To delyuer hym a leude, hym lo3ly to serue;
And there were boun at his bode burne3 inno3e,
That bro3t hym to a bryyght boure, ther beddyng wat3 noble,
Of cortynes of clene sylk wyth cler golde hemme3,
And couertore3 ful curious with comlych panez
Of bry3t blaunner aboue, enbrawded bisyde3,
Rudele3 rennande on ropez, red golde ryngez,
Tapite3 ty3t to the woyghe of tuly and tars,
And vnder fete, on the flet, of fol3ande sute.
Ther he wat3 dispoyled, wyth spechez of myerthe,
The burn of his bruny and of his bry3t wede3.
Ryche robes ful rad renkke3 hym bro3ten,
For to charge, and to chaunge, and chose of the best.
Sone as he on hent, and happed therinne,
That sete on hym semly wyth saylande skyrte3,
The ver by his uisage verayly hit semed
Welne3 to vche hathel, alle on hwes
Lowande and lufly alle his lymme3 vnder,
That a comloker kny3t neuer Kryst made
Whethen in worlde he were,
Hit semed as he mo3t
Be prynce withouten pere
In felde ther felle men fo3t.
A cheyer byfore the chemne, ther charcole brenned,
Wat3 graythed for Sir Gawan graythely with clothez,
Whyssynes vpon queldepoyntes that koynt wer bothe;
And thenne a mere mantyle wat3 on that mon cast
Of a broun bleeaunt, enbrauded ful ryche
And fayre furred wythinne with felle3 of the best,
Alle of ermyn in erde, his hode of the same;
And he sete in that settel semlych ryche,
And achaufed hym chefly, and thenne his cher mended.
Sone wat3 telded vp a tabil on trestez ful fayre,
Clad wyth a clene clothe that cler quyt schewed,
Sanap, and salure, and syluerin spone3.
The wy3e wesche at his wylle, and went to his mete.
Segge3 hym serued semly inno3e
Wyth sere sewes and sete, sesounde of the best.
Double-felde, as hit falle3, and fele kyn fischez,
Summe baken in bred, summe brad on the glede3,
Summe sothen, summe in sewe sauered with spyces,
And ay sawes so sle3e that the segge lyked.
The freke calde hit a fest ful frely and ofte
Ful hendely, quen alle the hatheles rehayted hym at one3,
This penaunce now 3e take,
And eft hit schal amende."
That mon much merthe con make,
For wyn in his hed that wende.
Thenne wat3 spyed and spured vpon spare wyse
Bi preue poynte3 of that prynce, put to hymseluen,
That he beknew cortaysly of the court that he were
That athel Arthure the hende halde3 hym one,
That is the ryche ryal kyng of the Rounde Table,
And hit wat3 Wawen hymself that in that won syttez,
Comen to that Krystmasse, as case hym then lymped.
When the lorde hade lerned that he the leude hade,
Loude la3ed he therat, so lef hit hym thoyght,
And alle the men in that mote maden much joye
To apere in his presense prestly that tyme,
That alle prys and prowes and pured thewes
Apendes to hys persoun, and praysed is euer;
Byfore alle men vpon molde his mensk is the most.
Vch segge ful softly sayde to his fere:
"Now schal we semlych se sle3te3 of thewez
And the teccheles termes of talkyng noble,
Wich spede is in speche vnspurd may we lerne,
Syn we haf fonged that fyne fader of nurture.
God hat3 geuen vus his grace godly for sothe,
That such a gest as Gawan graunte3 vus to haue,
When burne3 blythe of his burthe schal sitte
In menyng of manere3 mere
This burne now schal vus bryng,
I hope that may hym here
Schal lerne of luf-talkyng."
Bi that the diner wat3 done and the dere vp
Hit wat3 ne3 at the niyyght neyghed the tyme.
Chaplayne3 to the chapeles chosen the gate,
Rungen ful rychely, ry3t as thay schulden,
To the hersum euensong of the hy3e tyde.
The lorde loutes therto, and the lady als,
Into a cumly closet coyntly ho entre3.
Gawan glyde3 ful gay and gos theder sone;
The lorde laches hym by the lappe and lede3 hym to sytte,
And couthly hym knowe3 and callez hym his nome,
And sayde he wat3 the welcomest wy3e of the worlde;
And he hym thonkked throly, and ayther halched other,
And seten soberly samen the seruise quyle.
Thenne lyst the lady to loke on the kny3t,
Thenne com ho of hir closet with mony cler burde3.
Ho wat3 the fayrest in felle, of flesche and of lyre,
And of compas and colour and costes, of alle other,
And wener then Wenore, as the wy3e thoyght.
Ho ches thur3 the chaunsel to cheryche that hende.
An other lady hir lad bi the lyft honde,
That wat3 alder then ho, an auncian hit semed,
And he3ly honowred with hathele3 aboute.
Bot vnlyke on to loke tho ladyes were,
For if the 3onge wat3 yghep, ygholyghe watz that other;
Riche red on that on rayled ayquere,
Rugh ronkled cheke3 that other on rolled;
Kerchofes of that on, wyth mony cler perle3,
Hir brest and hir bry3t throte bare displayed,
Schon schyrer then snawe that schede3 on hillez;
That other wyth a gorger wat3 gered ouer the swyre,
Chymbled ouer hir blake chyn with chalkquyte vayles,
Hir frount folden in sylk, enfoubled ayquere,
Toreted and treleted with tryfle3 aboute,
That no3t wat3 bare of that burde bot the blake broyghes,
The tweyne y3en and the nase, the naked lyppe3,
And those were soure to se and sellyly blered;
A mensk lady on molde mon may hir calle,
Hir body wat3 schort and thik,
Hir buttoke3 bal3 and brode,
More lykkerwys on to lyk
Wat3 that scho hade on lode.
When Gawayn gly3t on that gay, that graciously loked,
Wyth leue la3t of the lorde he lent hem ayghaynes;
The alder he haylses, heldande ful lowe,
The loueloker he lappe3 a lyttel in armez,
He kysses hir comlyly, and kny3tly he mele3.
Thay kallen hym of aquoyntaunce, and he hit quyk aske3
To be her seruaunt sothly, if hemself lyked.
Thay tan hym bytwene hem, wyth talkyng hym leden
To chambre, to chemne, and chefly thay asken
Spyce3, that vnsparely men speded hom to bryng,
And the wynnelych wyne therwith vche tyme.
The lorde luflych aloft lepe3 ful ofte,
Mynned merthe to be made vpon mony sythe3,
Hent he3ly of his hode, and on a spere henged,
And wayned hom to wynne the worchip therof,
That most myrthe my3t meue that Crystenmas whyle--
"And I schal fonde, bi my fayth, to fylter wyth the best
Er me wont the wede, with help of my frende3."
Thus wyth la3ande lote3 the lorde hit tayt makez,
For to glade Sir Gawayn with gomne3 in halle
Til that hit wat3 tyme
The lord comaundet ly3t;
Sir Gawen his leue con nyme
And to his bed hym di3t.
On the morne, as vch mon myne3 that tyme
That Dry3tyn for oure destyne to deyghe wat3 borne,
Wele waxe3 in vche a won in worlde for his sake;
So did hit there on that day thur3 dayntes mony:
Bothe at mes and at mele messes ful quaynt
Derf men vpon dece drest of the best.
The olde auncian wyf he3est ho sytte3,
The lorde lufly her by lent, as I trowe;
Gawan and the gay burde togeder thay seten,
Euen inmydde3, as the messe metely come,
And sythen thur3 al the sale as hem best semed.
Bi vche grome at his degre graythely wat3 serued
Ther wat3 mete, ther watz myrthe, ther watz much ioye,
That for to telle therof hit me tene were,
And to poynte hit 3et I pyned me parauenture.
Bot 3et I wot that Wawen and the wale burde
Such comfort of her compaynye ca3ten togeder
Thur3 her dere dalyaunce of her derne worde3,
Wyth clene cortays carp closed fro fylthe,
That hor play wat3 passande vche prynce gomen,
Trumpe3 and nakerys,
Much pypyng ther repayres;
Vche mon tented hys,
And thay two tented thayres.
Much dut wat3 ther dryuen that day and that other,
And the thryd as thro thronge in therafter;
The ioye of sayn Jone3 day watz gentyle to here,
And wat3 the last of the layk, leudez ther tho3ten.
Ther wer gestes to go vpon the gray morne,
Forthy wonderly thay woke, and the wyn dronken,
Daunsed ful dre3ly wyth dere carole3.
At the last, when hit wat3 late, thay lachen her leue,
Vchon to wende on his way that wat3 wy3e stronge.
Gawan gef hym god day, the godmon hym lachche3,
Ledes hym to his awen chambre, the chymne bysyde,
And there he dra3e3 hym on dryyghe, and derely hym thonkkez
Of the wynne worschip that he hym wayued hade,
As to honour his hous on that hy3e tyde,
And enbelyse his bur3 with his bele chere:
"Iwysse sir, quyl I leue, me worthe3 the better
That Gawayn hat3 ben my gest at Goddez awen fest."
"Grant merci, sir," quoth Gawayn, "in god fayth hit is yowre3,
Al the honour is your awen--the he3e kyng yow yghelde!
And I am wy3e at your wylle to worch youre hest,
As I am halden therto, in hy3e and in loyghe,
The lorde fast can hym payne
To holde lenger the kny3t;
To hym answare3 Gawayn
Bi non way that he my3t.
Then frayned the freke ful fayre at himseluen
Quat derue dede had hym dryuen at that dere tyme
So kenly fro the kynge3 kourt to kayre al his one,
Er the halidaye3 holly were halet out of toun.
"For sothe, sir," quoth the segge, "3e sayn bot the trawthe,
A he3e ernde and a hasty me hade fro tho wone3,
For I am sumned myselfe to sech to a place,
I ne wot in worlde whederwarde to wende hit to fynde.
I nolde bot if I hit negh my3t on Nw Ygheres morne
For alle the londe inwyth Logres, so me oure lorde help!
Forthy, sir, this enquest I require yow here,
That 3e me telle with trawthe if euer yghe tale herde
Of the grene chapel, quere hit on grounde stonde3,
And of the kny3t that hit kepes, of colour of grene.
Ther wat3 stabled bi statut a steuen vus bytwene
To mete that mon at that mere, 3if I myyght last;
And of that ilk Nw Yghere bot neked now wonte3,
And I wolde loke on that lede, if God me let wolde,
Gladloker, bi Godde3 sun, then any god welde!
Forthi, iwysse, bi 3owre wylle, wende me bihoues,
Naf I now to busy bot bare thre daye3,
And me als fayn to falle feye as fayly of myyn ernde."
Thenne la3ande quoth the lorde, "Now leng the byhoues,
For I schal teche yow to that terme bi the tyme3 ende,
The grene chapayle vpon grounde greue yow no more;
Bot 3e schal be in yowre bed, burne, at thyn ese,
Quyle forth daye3, and ferk on the fyrst of the 3ere,
And cum to that merk at mydmorn, to make quat yow like3
Dowelle3 whyle New Ygheres daye,
And rys, and rayke3 thenne,
Mon schal yow sette in waye,
Hit is not two myle henne."
Thenne wat3 Gawan ful glad, and gomenly he la3ed:
"Now I thonk yow thryuandely thur3 alle other thynge,
Now acheued is my chaunce, I schal at your wylle
Dowelle, and elle3 do quat 3e demen."
Thenne sesed hym the syre and set hym bysyde,
Let the ladie3 be fette to lyke hem the better.
Ther wat3 seme solace by hemself stille;
The lorde let for luf lote3 so myry,
As wy3 that wolde of his wyte, ne wyst quat he myyght.
Thenne he carped to the kny3t, criande loude,
"Yghe han demed to do the dede that I bidde;
Wyl 3e halde this hes here at thys one3?"
"Yghe, sir, for sothe," sayd the segge trwe,
"Whyl I byde in yowre bor3e, be bayn to yghowre hest."
"For 3e haf trauayled," quoth the tulk, "towen fro ferre,
And sythen waked me wyth, 3e arn not wel waryst
Nauther of sostnaunce ne of slepe, sothly I knowe;
Yghe schal lenge in your lofte, and ly3e in your ese
To-morn quyle the messequyle, and to mete wende
When 3e wyl, wyth my wyf, that wyth yow schal sitte
And comfort yow with compayny, til I to cort torne;
And I schal erly ryse,
On huntyng wyl I wende."
Gauayn grante3 alle thyse,
Hym heldande, as the hende.
"Yghet firre," quoth the freke, "a forwarde we make:
Quat-so-euer I wynne in the wod hit worthe3 to yourez,
And quat chek so 3e acheue chaunge me therforne.
Swete, swap we so, sware with trawthe,
Quether, leude, so lymp, lere other better."
"Bi God," quoth Gawayn the gode, "I grant thertylle,
And that yow lyst for to layke, lef hit me thynkes."
"Who brynge3 vus this beuerage, this bargayn is maked":
So sayde the lorde of that lede; thay la3ed vchone,
Thay dronken and daylyeden and dalten vnty3tel,
Thise lorde3 and ladyez, quyle that hem lyked;
And sythen with Frenkysch fare and fele fayre lote3
Thay stoden and stemed and stylly speken,
Kysten ful comlyly and ka3ten her leue.
With mony leude ful ly3t and lemande torches
Vche burne to his bed wat3 bro3t at the laste,
To bed 3et er thay yghede,
Recorded couenaunte3 ofte;
The olde lorde of that leude
Cowthe wel halde layk alofte.
Ful erly bifore the day the folk vprysen,
Gestes that go wolde hor grome3 thay calden,
And thay busken vp bilyue blonkke3 to sadel,
Tyffen her takles, trussen her males,
Richen hem the rychest, to ryde alle arayde,
Lepen vp ly3tly, lachen her brydeles,
Vche wy3e on his way ther hym wel lyked.
The leue lorde of the londe wat3 not the last
Arayed for the rydyng, with renkke3 ful mony;
Ete a sop hastyly, when he hade herde masse,
With bugle to bent-felde he buske3 bylyue.
By that any dayly3t lemed vpon erthe
He with his hatheles on hy3e horsses weren.
Thenne thise cacheres that couthe cowpled hor hounde3,
Vnclosed the kenel dore and calde hem theroute,
Blwe bygly in bugle3 thre bare mote;
Braches bayed therfore and breme noyse maked;
And thay chastysed and charred on chasyng that went,
A hundreth of hunteres, as I haf herde telle,
of the best.
To trystors vewters 3od,
Couples huntes of kest;
Ther ros for blaste3 gode
Gret rurd in that forest.
At the fyrst quethe of the quest quaked the wylde;
Der drof in the dale, doted for drede,
Hi3ed to the hyyghe, bot heterly thay were
Restayed with the stablye, that stoutly ascryed.
Thay let the hertte3 haf the gate, with the hy3e hedes,
The breme bukke3 also with hor brode paumez;
For the fre lorde hade defende in fermysoun tyme
That ther schulde no mon meue to the male dere.
The hinde3 were halden in with hay! and war!
The does dryuen with gret dyn to the depe slade3;
Ther my3t mon se, as thay slypte, slentyng of arwes--
At vche wende vnder wande wapped a flone--
That bigly bote on the broun with ful brode hede3.
What! thay brayen, and bleden, bi bonkke3 thay de3en,
And ay rachches in a res radly hem fol3es,
Huntere3 wyth hy3e horne hasted hem after
Wyth such a crakkande kry as klyffes haden brusten.
What wylde so atwaped wy3es that schotten
Wat3 al toraced and rent at the resayt,
Bi thay were tened at the hy3e and taysed to the wattre3;
The lede3 were so lerned at the lo3e trysteres,
And the grehounde3 so grete, that geten hem bylyue
And hem tofylched, as fast as freke3 my3t loke,
The lorde for blys abloy
Ful oft con launce and ly3t,
And drof that day wyth joy
Thus to the derk ny3t.
Thus layke3 this lorde by lynde-wodez euez,
And Gawayn the god mon in gay bed lyge3,
Lurkke3 quyl the dayly3t lemed on the wowes,
Vnder couertour ful clere, cortyned aboute;
And as in slomeryng he slode, sle3ly he herde
A littel dyn at his dor, and dernly vpon;
And he heue3 vp his hed out of the clothes,
A corner of the cortyn he ca3t vp a lyttel,
And wayte3 warly thiderwarde quat hit be my3t.
Hit wat3 the ladi, loflyest to beholde,
That dro3 the dor after hir ful dernly and stylle,
And bo3ed towarde the bed; and the burne schamed,
And layde hym doun lystyly, and let as he slepte;
And ho stepped stilly and stel to his bedde,
Kest vp the cortyn and creped withinne,
And set hir ful softly on the bed-syde,
And lenged there selly longe to loke quen he wakened.
The lede lay lurked a ful longe quyle,
Compast in his concience to quat that cace my3t
Meue other amount--to meruayle hym tho3t,
Bot 3et he sayde in hymself, "More semly hit were
To aspye wyth my spelle in space quat ho wolde."
Then he wakenede, and wroth, and to hir warde torned,
And vnlouked his y3e-lydde3, and let as hym wondered,
And sayned hym, as bi his sa3e the sauer to worthe,
Wyth chynne and cheke ful swete,
Bothe quit and red in blande,
Ful lufly con ho lete
Wyth lyppe3 smal la3ande.
"God moroun, Sir Gawayn," sayde that gay lady,
"Yghe ar a sleper vnsly3e, that mon may slyde hider;
Now ar 3e tan as-tyt! Bot true vus may schape,
I schal bynde yow in your bedde, that be 3e trayst":
Al la3ande the lady lanced tho bourde3.
"Goud moroun, gay," quoth Gawayn the blythe,
"Me schal worthe at your wille, and that me wel lyke3,
For I 3elde me yghederly, and ygheyghe after grace,
And that is the best, be my dome, for me byhoue3 nede":
And thus he bourded a3ayn with mony a blythe layghter.
"Bot wolde 3e, lady louely, then leue me grante,
And deprece your prysoun, and pray hym to ryse,
I wolde bo3e of this bed, and busk me better;
I schulde keuer the more comfort to karp yow wyth."
"Nay for sothe, beau sir," sayd that swete,
"Yghe schal not rise of your bedde, I rych yow better,
I schal happe yow here that other half als,
And sythen karp wyth my kny3t that I kayght haue;
For I wene wel, iwysse, Sir Wowen 3e are,
That alle the worlde worchipe3 quere-so 3e ride;
Your honour, your hendelayk is hendely praysed
With lorde3, wyth ladyes, with alle that lyf bere.
And now 3e ar here, iwysse, and we bot oure one;
My lorde and his lede3 ar on lenthe faren,
Other burne3 in her bedde, and my burdez als,
The dor drawen and dit with a derf haspe;
And sythen I haue in this hous hym that al lyke3,
I schal ware my whyle wel, quyl hit laste3,
Yghe ar welcum to my cors,
Yowre awen won to wale,
Me behoue3 of fyne force
Your seruaunt be, and schale."
"In god fayth," quoth Gawayn, "gayn hit me thynkke3,
Tha3 I be not now he that yghe of speken;
To reche to such reuerence as 3e reherce here
I am wy3e vnworthy, I wot wel myseluen.
Bi God, I were glad, and yow god tho3t,
At sa3e other at seruyce that I sette myyght
To the plesaunce of your prys--hit were a pure ioye."
"In god fayth, Sir Gawayn," quoth the gay lady,
"The prys and the prowes that plese3 al other,
If I hit lakked other set at ly3t, hit were littel daynte;
Bot hit ar ladyes inno3e that leuer wer nowthe
Haf the, hende, in hor holde, as I the habbe here,
To daly with derely your daynte worde3,
Keuer hem comfort and colen her care3,
Then much of the garysoun other golde that thay hauen.
Bot I louue that ilk lorde that the lyfte halde3,
I haf hit holly in my honde that al desyres,
Scho made hym so gret chere,
That wat3 so fayr of face,
The kny3t with speches skere
Answared to vche a cace.
"Madame," quoth the myry mon, "Mary yow 3elde,
For I haf founden, in god fayth, yowre fraunchis nobele,
And other ful much of other folk fongen bi hor dede3,
Bot the daynte that thay delen, for my disert nys euen,
Hit is the worchyp of yourself, that no3t bot wel conne3."
"Bi Mary," quoth the menskful, "me thynk hit an other;
For were I worth al the wone of wymmen alyue,
And al the wele of the worlde were in my honde,
And I schulde chepen and chose to cheue me a lorde,
For the costes that I haf knowen vpon the, kny3t, here,
Of bewte and debonertщ and blythe semblaunt,
And that I haf er herkkened and halde hit here trwee,
Ther schulde no freke vpon folde bifore yow be chosen."
"Iwysse, worthy," quoth the wy3e, "yghe haf waled wel better,
Bot I am proude of the prys that 3e put on me,
And, soberly your seruaunt, my souerayn I holde yow,
And yowre kny3t I becom, and Kryst yow foryghelde."
Thus thay meled of muchquat til mydmorn paste,
And ay the lady let lyk as hym loued mych;
The freke ferde with defence, and feted ful fayre--
"Tha3 I were burde bryyghtest," the burde in mynde hade.
The lasse luf in his lode for lur that he so3t
The dunte that schulde hym deue,
And nede3 hit most be done.
The lady thenn spek of leue,
He granted hir ful sone.
Thenne ho gef hym god day, and wyth a glent la3ed,
And as ho stod, ho stonyed hym wyth ful stor worde3:
"Now he that spede3 vche spech this disport 3elde yow!
Bot that 3e be Gawan, hit got3 in mynde."
"Querfore?" quoth the freke, and freschly he aske3,
Ferde lest he hade fayled in fourme of his castes;
Bot the burde hym blessed, and "Bi this skyl" sayde:
"So god as Gawayn gaynly is halden,
And cortaysye is closed so clene in hymseluen,
Couth not ly3tly haf lenged so long wyth a lady,
Bot he had craued a cosse, bi his courtaysye,
Bi sum towch of summe tryfle at sum tale3 ende."
Then quoth Wowen: "Iwysse, worthe as yow lyke3;
I schal kysse at your comaundement, as a kny3t falle3,
And fire, lest he displese yow, so plede hit no more."
Ho comes nerre with that, and cache3 hym in armez,
Loute3 luflych adoun and the leude kyssez.
Thay comly bykennen to Kryst ayther other;
Ho dos hir forth at the dore withouten dyn more;
And he ryches hym to ryse and rapes hym sone,
Clepes to his chamberlayn, choses his wede,
Bo3e3 forth, quen he watz boun, blythely to masse;
And thenne he meued to his mete that menskly hym keped,
And made myry al day, til the mone rysed,
Wat3 neuer freke fayrer fonge
Bitwene two so dyngne dame,
The alder and the 3onge;
Much solace set thay same.
And ay the lorde of the londe is lent on his gamne3,
To hunt in holte3 and hethe at hyndez barayne;
Such a sowme he ther slowe bi that the sunne heldet,
Of dos and of other dere, to deme were wonder.
Thenne fersly thay flokked in folk at the laste,
And quykly of the quelled dere a querre thay maked.
The best bo3ed therto with burne3 innoghe,
Gedered the grattest of gres that ther were,
And didden hem derely vndo as the dede aske3;
Serched hem at the asay summe that ther were,
Two fyngeres thay fonde of the fowlest of alle.
Sythen thay slyt the slot, sesed the erber,
Schaued wyth a scharp knyf, and the schyre knitten;
Sythen rytte thay the foure lymmes, and rent of the hyde,
Then brek thay the bale, the bowele3 out token
Lystily for laucyng the lere of the knot;
Thay gryped to the gargulun, and graythely departed
The wesaunt fro the wynt-hole, and walt out the gutte3;
Then scher thay out the schuldere3 with her scharp knyuez,
Haled hem by a lyttel hole to haue hole sydes.
Sithen britned thay the brest and brayden hit in twynne,
And eft at the gargulun bigyne3 on thenne,
Ryue3 hit vp radly ry3t to the byyght,
Voyde3 out the avanters, and verayly therafter
Alle the ryme3 by the rybbez radly thay lance;
So ryde thay of by resoun bi the rygge bone3,
Euenden to the haunche, that henged alle samen,
And heuen hit vp al hole, and hwen hit of there,
And that thay neme for the noumbles bi nome, as I trowe,
Bi the by3t al of the thyyghes
The lappe3 thay lance bihynde;
To hewe hit in two thay hy3es,
Bi the bakbon to vnbynde.
Bothe the hede and the hals thay hwen of thenne,
And sythen sunder thay the syde3 swyft fro the chyne,
And the corbeles fee thay kest in a greue;
Thenn thurled thay ayther thik side thur3 bi the rybbe,
And henged thenne ayther bi ho3e3 of the fourchez,
Vche freke for his fee, as falle3 for to haue.
Vpon a felle of the fayre best fede thay thayr houndes
Wyth the lyuer and the ly3te3, the lether of the paunchez,
And bred bathed in blod blende theramonge3.
Baldely thay blw prys, bayed thayr rachche3,
Sythen fonge thay her flesche, folden to home,
Strakande ful stoutly mony stif mote3.
Bi that the dayly3t wat3 done the douthe watz al wonen
Into the comly castel, ther the kny3t bide3
Wyth blys and bry3t fyr bette.
The lorde is comen thertylle;
When Gawayn wyth hym mette
Ther wat3 bot wele at wylle.
Thenne comaunded the lorde in that sale to samen alle the meny,
Bothe the ladyes on loghe to ly3t with her burdes
Bifore alle the folk on the flette, freke3 he beddez
Verayly his venysoun to fech hym byforne,
And al godly in gomen Gawayn he called,
Teche3 hym to the tayles of ful tayt bestes,
Schewe3 hym the schyree grece schorne vpon rybbes.
"How paye3 yow this play? Haf I prys wonnen?
Haue I thryuandely thonk thur3 my craft serued?"
"Yghe iwysse," quoth that other wy3e, "here is wayth fayrest
That I se3 this seuen yghere in sesoun of wynter."
"And al I gif yow, Gawayn," quoth the gome thenne,
"For by acorde of couenaunt 3e craue hit as your awen."
"This is soth," quoth the segge, "I say yow that ilke:
That I haf worthyly wonnen this wone3 wythinne,
Iwysse with as god wylle hit worthe3 to 3ourez."
He hasppe3 his fayre hals his armez wythinne,
And kysses hym as comlyly as he couthe awyse:
"Tas yow there my cheuicaunce, I cheued no more;
I wowche hit saf fynly, tha3 feler hit were."
"Hit is god," quoth the godmon, "grant mercy therfore.
Hit may be such hit is the better, and 3e me breue wolde
Where 3e wan this ilk wele bi wytte of yorseluen."
"That wat3 not forward," quoth he, "frayst me no more.
For 3e haf tan that yow tyde3, trawe non other
Thay la3ed, and made hem blythe
Wyth lote3 that were to lowe;
To soper thay 3ede as-swythe,
Wyth dayntes nwe innowe.
And sythen by the chymne in chamber thay seten,
Wy3e3 the walle wyn weyghed to hem oft,
And efte in her bourdyng thay baythen in the morn
To fylle the same forwarde3 that thay byfore maden:
Wat chaunce so bytyde3 hor cheuysaunce to chaunge,
What nwe3 so thay nome, at na3t quen thay metten.
Thay acorded of the couenaunte3 byfore the court alle;
The beuerage wat3 bro3t forth in bourde at that tyme,
Thenne thay louelych le3ten leue at the last,
Vche burne to his bedde busked bylyue.
Bi that the coke hade crowen and cakled bot thryse,
The lorde wat3 lopen of his bedde, the leudez vchone;
So that the mete and the masse wat3 metely delyuered,
The douthe dressed to the wod, er any day sprenged,
He3 with hunte and horne3
Thur3 playne3 thay passe in space,
Vncoupled among tho thorne3
Rache3 that ran on race.
SONE thay calle of a quest in a ker syde,
The hunt rehayted the hounde3 that hit fyrst mynged,
Wylde worde3 hym warp wyth a wrast noyce;
The hownde3 that hit herde hastid thider swythe,
And fellen as fast to the fuyt, fourty at ones;
Thenne such a glauer ande glam of gedered rachche3
Ros, that the rochere3 rungen aboute;
Huntere3 hem hardened with horne and wyth muthe.
Then al in a semble sweyed togeder,
Bitwene a flosche in that fryth and a foo cragge;
In a knot bi a clyffe, at the kerre syde,
Ther as the rogh rocher vnrydely wat3 fallen,
Thay ferden to the fyndyng, and freke3 hem after;
Thay vmbekesten the knarre and the knot bothe,
Wy3e3, whyl thay wysten wel wythinne hem hit were,
The best that ther breued wat3 wyth the blodhoundez.
Thenne thay beten on the buske3, and bede hym vpryse,
And he vnsoundyly out so3t segge3 ouerthwert;
On the sellokest swyn swenged out there,
Long sythen fro the sounder that si3ed for olde,
For he wat3 breme, bor alther-grattest,
Ful grymme quen he gronyed; thenne greued mony,
For thre at the fyrst thrast he thry3t to the erthe,
And sparred forth good sped boute spyt more.
Thise other halowed h3e! ful hyyghe, and hay! hay! cryed,
Haden horne3 to mouthe, heterly rechated;
Mony wat3 the myry mouthe of men and of houndez
That buskke3 after this bor with bost and wyth noyse
Ful oft he byde3 the baye,
And mayme3 the mute inn melle;
He hurte3 of the houndez, and thay
Ful 3omerly yghaule and yghelle.
Schalke3 to schote at hym schowen to thenne,
Haled to hym of her arewe3, hitten hym oft;
Bot the poynte3 payred at the pyth that py3t in his scheldez,
And the barbe3 of his browe bite non wolde--
Tha3 the schauen schaft schyndered in pece3,
The hede hypped a3ayn were-so-euer hit hitte.
Bot quen the dynte3 hym dered of her dry3e strokez,
Then, braynwod for bate, on burne3 he rasez,
Hurte3 hem ful heterly ther he forth hy3ez,
And mony ar3ed therat, and on lyte droyghen.
Bot the lorde on a ly3t horce launces hym after,
As burne bolde vpon bent his bugle he blowe3,
He rechated, and rode thur3 rone3 ful thyk,
Suande this wylde swyn til the sunne schafted.
This day wyth this ilk dede thay dryuen on this wyse,
Whyle oure luflych lede lys in his bedde,
Gawayn graythely at home, in gere3 ful ryche
The lady no3t foryghate,
Com to hym to salue;
Ful erly ho wat3 hym ate
His mode for to remwe.
Ho commes to the cortyn, and at the kny3t totes.
Sir Wawen her welcumed worthy on fyrst,
And ho hym 3elde3 ayghayn ful ygherne of hir wordez,
Sette3 hir softly by his syde, and swythely ho la3ez,
And wyth a luflych loke ho layde hym thyse worde3:
"Sir, 3if yghe be Wawen, wonder me thynkke3,
Wy3e that is so wel wrast alway to god,
And conne3 not of compaynye the costez vndertake,
And if mon kennes yow hom to knowe, 3e kest hom of your mynde;
Thou hat3 for3eten yghederly that yghisterday I tayghtte
Bi alder-truest token of talk that I cowthe."
"What is that?" quoth the w3e, "Iwysse I wot neuer;
If hit be sothe that 3e breue, the blame is myn awen."
"Yghet I kende yow of kyssyng," quoth the clere thenne,
"Quere-so countenaunce is couthe quikly to clayme;
That bicumes vche a kny3t that cortaysy vses."
"Do way," quoth that derf mon, "my dere, that speche,
For that durst I not do, lest I deuayed were;
If I were werned, I were wrang, iwysse, 3if I profered."
"Ma fay," quoth the mere wyf, "3e may not be werned,
Yghe ar stif innoghe to constrayne wyth strenkthe, 3if yow lyke3,
Yghif any were so vilanous that yow devaye wolde."
"Yghe, be God," quoth Gawayn, "good is your speche,
Bot threte is vnthryuande in thede ther I lende,
And vche gift that is geuen not with goud wylle.
I am at your comaundement, to kysse quen yow lyke3,
Yghe may lach quen yow lyst, and leue quen yow thynkke3,
The lady loute3 adoun,
And comlyly kysses his face,
Much speche thay ther expoun
Of druryes greme and grace.
"I woled wyt at yow, wy3e," that worthy ther sayde,
"And yow wrathed not therwyth, what were the skylle
That so 3ong and so yghepe as yghe at this tyme,
So cortayse, so kny3tly, as yghe ar knowen oute--
And of alle cheualry to chose, the chef thyng alosed
Is the lel layk of luf, the lettrure of armes;
For to telle of this teuelyng of this trwe kny3te3,
Hit is the tytelet token and tyxt of her werkke3,
How ledes for her lele luf hor lyue3 han auntered,
Endured for her drury dulful stounde3,
And after wenged with her walour and voyded her care,
And bro3t blysse into boure with bountees hor awen--
And 3e ar knyyght comlokest kyd of your elde,
Your worde and your worchip walke3 ayquere,
And I haf seten by yourself here sere twyes,
Yghet herde I neuer of your hed helde no worde3
That euer longed to luf, lasse ne more;
And 3e, that ar so cortays and coynt of your hetes,
Oghe to a 3onke thynk yghern to schewe
And teche sum tokene3 of trweluf craftes.
Why! ar 3e lewed, that alle the los welde3?
Other elles 3e demen me to dille your dalyaunce to herken?
I com hider sengel, and sitte
To lerne at yow sum game;
Dos, teche3 me of your wytte,
Whil my lorde is fro hame."
"In goud faythe," quoth Gawayn, "God yow for3elde!
Gret is the gode gle, and gomen to me huge,
That so worthy as 3e wolde wynne hidere,
And pyne yow with so pouer a mon, as play wyth your kny3t
With anyskynne3 countenaunce, hit keuerez me ese;
Bot to take the toruayle to myself to trwluf expoun,
And towche the teme3 of tyxt and talez of armez
To yow that, I wot wel, welde3 more sly3t
Of that art, bi the half, or a hundreth of seche
As I am, other euer schal, in erde ther I leue,
Hit were a fole felefolde, my fre, by my trawthe.
I wolde yowre wylnyng worche at my my3t,
As I am hy3ly bihalden, and euermore wylle
Be seruaunt to yourseluen, so saue me Dry3tyn!"
Thus hym frayned that fre, and fondet hym ofte,
For to haf wonnen hym to wo3e, what-so scho thoyght elle3;
Bot he defended hym so fayr that no faut semed,
Ne non euel on nawther halue, nawther thay wysten
Thay la3ed and layked longe;
At the last scho con hym kysse,
Hir leue fayre con scho fonge
And went hir waye, iwysse.
The ruthes hym the renk and ryses to the masse,
And sithen hor diner wat3 dy3t and derely serued.
The lede with the ladye3 layked alle day,
Bot the lorde ouer the londe3 launced ful ofte,
Swe3 his vncely swyn, that swyngez bi the bonkkez
And bote the best of his brache3 the bakkez in sunder
Ther he bode in his bay, tel bawemen hit breken,
And madee hym mawgref his hed for to mwe vtter,
So felle flone3 ther flete when the folk gedered.
Bot 3et the styffest to start bi stounde3 he made,
Til at the last he wat3 so mat he my3t no more renne,
Bot in the hast that he my3t he to a hole wynne3
Of a rasse bi a rokk ther renne3 the boerne.
He gete the bonk at his bak, bigyne3 to scrape,
The frothe femed at his mouth vnfayre bi the wyke3,
Whette3 his whyte tuschez; with hym then irked
Alle the burne3 so bolde that hym by stoden
To nye hym on-ferum, bot ne3e hym non durst
He hade hurt so mony byforne
That al thu3t thenne ful lothe
Be more wyth his tusches torne,
That breme wat3 and braynwod bothe,
Til the kny3t com hymself, kachande his blonk,
Sy3 hym byde at the bay, his burne3 bysyde;
He ly3tes luflych adoun, leue3 his corsour,
Brayde3 out a bry3t bront and bigly forth strydez,
Founde3 fast thur3 the forth ther the felle bydez.
The wylde wat3 war of the wy3e with weppen in honde,
Hef hy3ly the here, so hetterly he fnast
That fele ferde for the freke, lest felle hym the worre.
The swyn sette3 hym out on the segge euen,
That the burne and the bor were bothe vpon hepe3
In the wy3test of the water; the worre hade that other,
For the mon merkke3 hym wel, as thay mette fyrst,
Set sadly the scharp in the slot euen,
Hit hym vp to the hult, that the hert schyndered,
And he 3arrande hym yghelde, and yghedoun the water
A hundreth hounde3 hym hent,
That bremely con hym bite,
Burne3 him bro3t to bent,
And dogge3 to dethe endite.
There wat3 blawyng of prys in mony breme horne,
He3e halowing on hiyghe with hathele3 that myyght;
Brachetes bayed that best, as bidden the maystere3
Of that chargeaunt chace that were chef huntes.
Thenne a wy3e that wat3 wys vpon wodcraftez
To vnlace this bor lufly bigynne3.
Fyrst he hewes of his hed and on hi3e sette3,
And sythen rende3 him al roghe bi the rygge after,
Brayde3 out the boweles, brennez hom on glede,
With bred blent therwith his braches rewarde3.
Sythen he britne3 out the brawen in bry3t brode cheldez,
And hat3 out the hastlettez, as hi3tly bisemez;
And 3et hem halche3 al hole the haluez togeder,
And sythen on a stif stange stoutly hem henges.
Now with this ilk swyn thay swengen to home;
The bores hed wat3 borne bifore the burnes seluen
That him forferde in the forthe thur3 forse of his
honde so stronge.
Til he se3 Sir Gawayne
In halle hym po3t ful longe;
He calde, and he com gayn
His fee3 ther for to fonge.
The lorde ful lowde with lote and la3ter myry,
When he se3e Sir Gawayn, with solace he speke3;
The goude ladye3 were geten, and gedered the meyny,
He schewe3 hem the scheldez, and schapes hem the tale
Of the largesse and the lenthe, the litherne3 alse
Of the were of the wylde swyn in wod ther he fled.
That other kny3t ful comly comended his dede3,
And praysed hit as gret prys that he proued hade,
For suche a brawne of a best, the bolde burne sayde,
Ne such sydes of a swyn segh he neuer are.
Thenne hondeled thay the hoge hed, the hende mon hit praysed,
And let lodly therat the lorde for to here.
"Now, Gawayn," quoth the godmon, "this gomen is your awen
Bi fyn forwarde and faste, faythely 3e knowe."
"Hit is sothe," quoth the segge, "and as siker trwe
Alle my get I schal yow gif agayn, bi my trawthe."
He hent the hathel aboute the halse, and hendely hym kysses,
And eftersones of the same he serued hym there.
"Now ar we euen," quoth the hathel, "in this euentide
Of alle the couenauntes that we knyt, sythen I com hider,
The lorde sayde, "Bi saynt Gile,
Yghe ar the best that I knowe!
Yghe ben ryche in a whyle,
Such chaffer and 3e drowe."
Thenne thay teldet table3 trestes alofte,
Kesten clothen vpon; clere ly3t thenne
Wakned bi wo3e3, waxen torches;
Segge3 sette and serued in sale al aboute;
Much glam and gle glent vp therinne
Aboute the fyre vpon flet, and on fele wyse
At the soper and after, mony athel songe3,
As coundutes of Krystmasse and carole3 newe
With al the manerly merthe that mon may of telle,
And euer oure luflych kny3t the lady bisyde.
Such semblaunt to that segge semly ho made
Wyth stille stollen countenaunce, that stalworth to plese,
That al forwondered wat3 the wy3e, and wroth with hymseluen,
Bot he nolde not for his nurture nurne hir a3ayne3,
Bot dalt with hir al in daynte, how-se-euer the dede turned
Quen thay hade played in halle
As longe as hor wylle hom last,
To chambre he con hym calle,
And to the chemne thay past.
Andre ther thay dronken, and dalten, and demed eft nwe
To norne on the same note on Nwe Yghere3 euen;
Bot the kny3t craued leue to kayre on the morn,
For hit wat3 ne3 at the terme that he to schulde.
The lorde hym letted of that, to lenge hym resteyed,
And sayde, "As I am trwe segge, I siker my trawthe
Thou schal cheue to the grene chapel thy charres to make,
Leude, on Nw Yghere3 ly3t, longe bifore pryme.
Forthy thow lye in thy loft and lach thyn ese,
And I schal hunt in this holt, and halde the towche3,
Chaunge wyth the cheuisaunce, bi that I charre hider;
For I haf fraysted the twys, and faythful I fynde the.
Now 'thrid tyme throwe best' thenk on the morne,
Make we mery quyl we may and mynne vpon joye,
For the lur may mon lach when-so mon lyke3."
This wat3 graythely graunted, and Gawayn is lenged,
Blithe bro3t wat3 hym drynk, and thay to bedde ygheden
Sir Gawayn lis and slepes
Ful stille and softe al ni3t;
The lorde that his crafte3 kepes,
Ful erly he wat3 di3t.
After messe a morsel he and his men token;
Miry wat3 the mornyng, his mounture he askes.
Alle the hatheles that on horse schulde helden hym after
Were boun busked on hor blonkke3 bifore the halle 3atez.
Ferly fayre wat3 the folde, for the forst clenged;
In rede rudede vpon rak rises the sunne,
And ful clere coste3 the clowdes of the welkyn.
Hunteres vnhardeled bi a holt syde,
Rocheres roungen bi rys for rurde of her hornes;
Summe fel in the fute ther the fox bade,
Trayle3 ofte a traueres bi traunt of her wyles;
A kenet kyres therof, the hunt on hym calles;
His fela3es fallen hym to, that fnasted ful thike,
Runnen forth in a rabel in his ry3t fare,
And he fyske3 hem byfore; thay founden hym sone,
And quen thay seghe hym with sy3t thay sued hym fast,
Wre3ande hym ful weterly with a wroth noyse;
And he trantes and tornayee3 thur3 mony tene greue,
Hauiloune3, and herkenez bi heggez ful ofte.
At the last bi a littel dich he lepe3 ouer a spenne,
Stele3 out ful stilly bi a strothe rande,
Went haf wylt of the wode with wyle3 fro the houndes;
Thenne wat3 he went, er he wyst, to a wale tryster,
Ther thre thro at a thrich thrat hym at ones,
He blenched a3ayn bilyue
And stifly start on-stray,
With alle the wo on lyue
To the wod he went away.
Thenne wat3 hit list vpon lif to lythen the houndez,
When alle the mute hade hym met, menged togeder:
Suche a sor3e at that syyght thay sette on his hede
As alle the clamberande clyffes hade clatered on hepes;
Here he wat3 halawed, when hathelez hym metten,
Loude he wat3 3ayned with ygharande speche;
Ther he wat3 threted and ofte thef called,
And ay the titleres at his tayl, that tary he ne my3t;
Ofte he wat3 runnen at, when he out rayked,
And ofte reled in a3ayn, so Reniarde wat3 wyle.
And 3e he lad hem bi lagmon, the lorde and his meyny,
On this maner bi the mountes quyle myd-ouer-vnder,
Whyle the hende kny3t at home holsumly slepes
Withinne the comly cortynes, on the colde morne.
Bot the lady for luf let not to slepe,
Ne the purpose to payre that py3t in hir hert,
Bot ros hir vp radly, rayked hir theder
In a mery mantyle, mete to the erthe,
That wat3 furred ful fyne with fellez wel pured,
No hwef goud on hir hede bot the ha3er stones
Trased aboute hir tressour be twenty in clusteres;
Hir thryuen face and hir throte throwen al naked,
Hir brest bare bifore, and bihinde eke.
Ho come3 withinne the chambre dore, and closes hit hir after,
Wayue3 vp a wyndow, and on the wy3e callez,
And radly thus rehayted hym with hir riche wordes,
"A! mon, how may thou slepe,
This morning is so clere?"
He wat3 in drowping depe,
Bot thenne he con hir here.
In dre3 droupyng of dreme draueled that noble,
As mon that wat3 in mornyng of mony thro tho3tes,
How that destine schulde that day dele hym his wyrde
At the grene chapel, when he the gome metes,
And bihoues his buffet abide withoute debate more;
Bot quen that comly com he keuered his wyttes,
Swenges out of the sweuenes, and sware3 with hast.
The lady luflych com la3ande swete,
Felle ouer his fayre face, and fetly hym kyssed;
He welcume3 hir worthily with a wale chere.
He se3 hir so glorious and gayly atyred,
So fautles of hir fetures and of so fyne hewes,
Wi3t wallande joye warmed his hert.
With smothe smylyng and smolt thay smeten into merthe,
That al wat3 blis and bonchef that breke hem bitwene,
Thay lanced wordes gode,
Much wele then wat3 therinne;
Gret perile bitwene hem stod,
Nif Mare of hir kny3t mynne.
For that prynces of pris depresed hym so thikke,
Nurned hym so ne3e the thred, that nede hym bihoued
Other lach ther hir luf, other lodly refuse.
He cared for his cortaysye, lest crathayn he were,
And more for his meschef 3if he schulde make synne,
And be traytor to that tolke that that telde a3t.
"God schylde," quoth the schalk, "that schal not befalle!"
With luf-la3yng a lyt he layd hym bysyde
Alle the speche3 of specialte that sprange of her mouthe.
Quoth that burde to the burne, "Blame 3e disserue,
Yghif 3e luf not that lyf that yghe lye nexte,
Bifore alle the wy3e3 in the worlde wounded in hert,
Bot if 3e haf a lemman, a leuer, that yow lyke3 better,
And folden fayth to that fre, festned so harde
That yow lausen ne lyst--and that I leue nouthe;
And that 3e telle me that now trwly I pray yow,
For alle the lufe3 vpon lyue layne not the sothe
The kny3t sayde, "Be sayn Jon,"
And smethely con he smyle,
"In fayth I welde ri3t non,
Ne non wil welde the quile."
"That is a worde," quoth that wy3t, "that worst is of alle,
Bot I am swared for sothe, that sore me thinkke3.
Kysse me now comly, and I schal cach hethen,
I may bot mourne vpon molde, as may that much louyes."
Sykande ho swe3e doun and semly hym kyssed,
And sithen ho seueres hym fro, and says as ho stondes,
"Now, dere, at this departyng do me this ese,
Gif me sumquat of thy gifte, thi gloue if hit were,
That I may mynne on the, mon, my mournyng to lassen."
"Now iwysse," quoth that wy3e, "I wolde I hade here
The leuest thing for thy luf that I in londe welde,
For 3e haf deserued, for sothe, sellyly ofte
More rewarde bi resoun then I reche my3t;
Bot to dele yow for drurye that dawed bot neked,
Hit is not your honour to haf at this tyme
A gloue for a garysoun of Gawayne3 giftez,
And I am here an erande in erde3 vncouthe,
And haue no men wyth no male3 with menskful thingez;
That mislyke3 me, lade, for luf at this tyme,
Iche tolke mon do as he is tan, tas to non ille
"Nay, hende of hy3e honours,"
Quoth that lufsum vnder lyne,
"Tha3 I hade noyght of youre3,
Yghet schulde 3e haue of myne."
Ho ra3t hym a riche rynk of red golde werke3,
Wyth a starande ston stondande alofte
That bere blusschande beme3 as the bry3t sunne;
Wyt 3e wel, hit wat3 worth wele ful hoge.
Bot the renk hit renayed, and redyly he sayde,
"I wil no gifte3, for Gode, my gay, at this tyme;
I haf none yow to norne, ne no3t wyl I take."
Ho bede hit hym ful bysily, and he hir bode wernes,
And swere swyfte by his sothe that he hit sese nolde,
And ho sore that he forsoke, and sayde therafter,
"If 3e renay my rynk, to ryche for hit seme3,
Yghe wolde not so hy3ly halden be to me,
I schal gif yow my girdel, that gaynes yow lasse."
Ho la3t a lace lyyghtly that leke vmbe hir syde3,
Knit vpon hir kyrtel vnder the clere mantyle,
Gered hit wat3 with grene sylke and with golde schaped,
No3t bot arounde brayden, beten with fyngre3;
And that ho bede to the burne, and blythely biso3t,
Tha3 hit vnworthi were, that he hit take wolde.
And he nay that he nolde neghe in no wyse
Nauther golde ne garysoun, er God hym grace sende
To acheue to the chaunce that he hade chosen there.
"And therfore, I pray yow, displese yow no3t,
And lette3 be your bisinesse, for I baythe hit yow neuer
I am derely to yow biholde
Bicause of your sembelaunt,
And euer in hot and colde
To be your trwe seruaunt."
"Now forsake 3e this silke," sayde the burde thenne,
"For hit is symple in hitself? And so hit wel seme3.
Lo! so hit is littel, and lasse hit is worthy;
Bot who-so knew the costes that knit ar therinne,
He wolde hit prayse at more prys, parauenture;
For quat gome so is gorde with this grene lace,
While he hit hade hemely halched aboute,
Ther is no hathel vnder heuen tohewe hym that my3t,
For he my3t not be slayn for slyyght vpon erthe."
Then kest the kny3t, and hit come to his hert
Hit were a juel for the joparde that hym iugged were:
When he acheued to the chapel his chek for to fech,
My3t he haf slypped to be vnslayn, the sleyght were noble.
Thenne he thulged with hir threpe and tholed hir to speke,
And ho bere on hym the belt and bede hit hym swythe--
And he granted and hym gafe with a goud wylle--
And biso3t hym, for hir sake, disceuer hit neuer,
Bot to lelly layne fro hir lorde; the leude hym acorde3
That neuer wy3e schulde hit wyt, iwysse, bot thay twayne
He thonkked hir oft ful swythe,
Ful thro with hert and tho3t.
Bi that on thrynne sythe
Ho hat3 kyst the kny3t so toyght.
Thenne lachche3 ho hir leue, and leuez hym there,
For more myrthe of that mon mo3t ho not gete.
When ho wat3 gon, Sir Gawayn gerez hym sone,
Rises and riches hym in araye noble,
Lays vp the luf-lace the lady hym ra3t,
Hid hit ful holdely, ther he hit eft fonde.
Sythen cheuely to the chapel choses he the waye,
Preuely aproched to a prest, and prayed hym there
That he wolde lyste his lyf and lern hym better
How his sawle schulde be saued when he schuld seye hethen.
There he schrof hym schyrly and schewed his mysdede3,
Of the more and the mynne, and merci beseche3,
And of absolucioun he on the segge calles;
And he asoyled hym surely and sette hym so clene
As dome3day schulde haf ben di3t on the morn.
And sythen he mace hym as mery among the fre ladyes,
With comlych caroles and alle kynnes ioye,
As neuer he did bot that daye, to the derk ny3t,
Vche mon hade daynte thare
Of hym, and sayde, "Iwysse,
Thus myry he wat3 neuer are,
Syn he com hider, er this."
Now hym lenge in that lee, ther luf hym bityde!
Yghet is the lorde on the launde ledande his gomnes.
He hat3 forfaren this fox that he fol3ed longe;
As he sprent ouer a spenne to spye the schrewe,
Ther as he herd the howndes that hasted hym swythe,
Renaud com richchande thur3 a royghe greue,
And alle the rabel in a res ry3t at his hele3.
The wy3e wat3 war of the wylde, and warly abides,
And brayde3 out the bry3t bronde, and at the best castez.
And he schunt for the scharp, and schulde haf arered;
A rach rapes hym to, ry3t er he myyght,
And ry3t bifore the hors fete thay fel on hym alle,
And woried me this wyly wyth a wroth noyse.
The lorde ly3te3 bilyue, and lachez hym sone,
Rased hym ful radly out of the rach mouthes,
Halde3 he3e ouer his hede, halowez faste,
And ther bayen hym mony brath hounde3.
Huntes hy3ed hem theder with horne3 ful mony,
Ay rechatande ary3t til thay the renk seyghen.
Bi that wat3 comen his compeyny noble,
Alle that euer ber bugle blowed at ones,
And alle thise other halowed that hade no hornes;
Hit wat3 the myriest mute that euer men herde,
The rich rurd that ther wat3 raysed for Renaude saule
Hor hounde3 thay ther rewarde,
Her hede3 thay fawne and frote,
And sythen thay tan Reynarde,
And tyruen of his cote.
And thenne thay helden to home, for hit wat3 nie3 nyyght,
Strakande ful stoutly in hor store horne3.
The lorde is ly3t at the laste at hys lef home,
Fynde3 fire vpon flet, the freke ther-byside,
Sir Gawayn the gode, that glad wat3 withalle,
Among the ladies for luf he ladde much ioye;
He were a bleaunt of blwe that bradde to the erthe,
His surkot semed hym wel that softe wat3 forred,
And his hode of that ilke henged on his schulder,
Blande al of blaunner were bothe al aboute.
He mete3 me this godmon inmyddez the flore,
And al with gomen he hym gret, and goudly he sayde,
"I schal fylle vpon fyrst oure forwarde3 nouthe,
That we spedly han spoken, ther spared wat3 no drynk."
Then acoles he the kny3t and kysses hym thryes,
As sauerly and sadly as he hem sette couthe.
"Bi Kryst," quoth that other kny3t, "Yghe cach much sele
In cheuisaunce of this chaffer, 3if yghe hade goud chepe3."
"Yghe, of the chepe no charg," quoth chefly that other,
"As is pertly payed the chepe3 that I a3te."
"Mary," quoth that other mon, "myn is bihynde,
For I haf hunted al this day, and no3t haf I geten
Bot this foule fox felle--the fende haf the gode3!--
And that is ful pore for to pay for suche prys thinges
As 3e haf thryyght me here thro, suche thre cosses
"Ino3," quoth Sir Gawayn,
"I thonk yow, bi the rode,"
And how the fox wat3 slayn
He tolde hym as thay stode.
With merthe and mynstralsye, with mete3 at hor wylle,
Thay maden as mery as any men mo3ten--
With la3yne of ladies, with lote3 of bordes
Gawayn and the godemon so glad were thay bothe--
Bot if the douthe had doted, other dronken ben other.
Bothe the mon and the meyny maden mony iape3,
Til the sesoun wat3 se3en that thay seuer moste;
Burne3 to hor bedde behoued at the laste.
Thenne lo3ly his leue at the lorde fyrst
Fochche3 this fre mon, and fayre he hym thonkkez:
"Of such a selly soiorne as I haf hade here,
Your honour at this hy3e fest, the hyyghe kyng yow yghelde!
I 3ef yow me for on of youre3, if yowreself lykez,
For I mot nedes, as 3e wot, meue to-morne,
And 3e me take sum tolke to teche, as yghe hyyght,
The gate to the grene chapel, as God wyl me suffer
To dele on Nw Yghere3 day the dome of my wyrdes."
"In god faythe," quoth the godmon, "wyth a goud wylle
Al that euer I yow hy3t halde schal I rede."
Ther asyngnes he a seruaunt to sett hym in the waye,
And coundue hym by the downe3, that he no drechch had,
For to ferk thur3 the fryth and fare at the gaynest
The lorde Gawayn con thonk,
Such worchip he wolde hym weue.
Then at tho ladye3 wlonk
The kny3t hat3 tan his leue.
With care and wyth kyssyng he carppe3 hem tille,
And fele thryuande thonkke3 he thrat hom to haue,
And thay 3elden hym ayghayn ygheply that ilk;
Thay bikende hym to Kryst with ful colde sykynge3.
Sythen fro the meyny he menskly departes;
Vche mon that he mette, he made hem a thonke
For his seruyse and his solace and his sere pyne,
That thay wyth busynes had ben aboute hym to serue;
And vche segge as sore to seuer with hym there
As thay hade wonde worthyly with that wlonk euer.
Then with ledes and ly3t he wat3 ladde to his chambre
And blythely bro3t to his bedde to be at his rest.
Yghif he ne slepe soundyly say ne dar I,
For he hade muche on the morn to mynne, 3if he wolde,
Let hym ly3e there stille,
He hat3 nere that he so3t;
And 3e wyl a whyle be stylle
I schal telle yow how thay wro3t.
Now ne3e3 the Nw Yghere, and the nyyght passez,
The day dryue3 to the derk, as Dry3tyn biddez;
Bot wylde wedere3 of the worlde wakned theroute,
Clowdes kesten kenly the colde to the erthe,
Wyth ny3e innoghe of the northe, the naked to tene;
The snawe snitered ful snart, that snayped the wylde;
The werbelande wynde wapped fro the hy3e,
And drof vche dale ful of dryftes ful grete.
The leude lystened ful wel that le3 in his bedde,
Tha3 he lowke3 his liddez, ful lyttel he slepes;
Bi vch kok that crue he knwe wel the steuen.
Deliuerly he dressed vp, er the day sprenged,
For there wat3 ly3t of a laumpe that lemed in his chambre;
He called to his chamberlayn, that cofly hym swared,
And bede hym bryng hym his bruny and his blonk sadel;
That other ferke3 hym vp and fechez hym his wedez,
And graythe3 me Sir Gawayn vpon a grett wyse.
Fyrst he clad hym in his clothe3 the colde for to were,
And sythen his other harnays, that holdely wat3 keped,
Bothe his paunce and his plate3, piked ful clene,
The rynge3 rokked of the roust of his riche bruny;
And al wat3 fresch as vpon fyrst, and he watz fayn thenne
He hade vpon vche pece,
Wypped ful wel and wlonk;
The gayest into Grece,
The burne bede bryng his blonk.
Whyle the wlonkest wedes he warp on hymseluen--
His cote wyth the conysaunce of the clere werke3
Ennurned vpon veluet, vertuus stone3
Aboute beten and bounden, enbrauded seme3,
And fayre furred withinne wyth fayre pelures--
Yghet laft he not the lace, the ladie3 gifte,
That forgat not Gawayn for gode of hymseluen.
Bi he hade belted the bronde vpon his bal3e haunche3,
Thenn dressed he his drurye double hym aboute,
Swythe swethled vmbe his swange swetely that kny3t
The gordel of the grene silke, that gay wel bisemed,
Vpon that ryol red clothe that ryche wat3 to schewe.
Bot wered not this ilk wy3e for wele this gordel,
For pryde of the pendaunte3, tha3 polyst thay were,
And tha3 the glyterande golde glent vpon ende3,
Bot for to sauen hymself, when suffer hym byhoued,
To byde bale withoute dabate of bronde hym to were
Bi that the bolde mon boun
Wynne3 theroute bilyue,
Alle the meyny of renoun
He thonkke3 ofte ful ryue.
Thenne wat3 Gryngolet graythe, that gret watz and huge,
And hade ben soiourned sauerly and in a siker wyse,
Hym lyst prik for poynt, that proude hors thenne.
The wy3e wynne3 hym to and wytez on his lyre,
And sayde soberly hymself and by his soth swere3:
"Here is a meyny in this mote that on menske thenkke3,
The mon hem maynteines, ioy mot thay haue;
The leue lady on lyue luf hir bityde;
Yghif thay for charyte cherysen a gest,
And halden honour in her honde, the hathel hem 3elde
That halde3 the heuen vpon hy3e, and also yow alle!
And 3if I myyght lyf vpon londe lede any quyle,
I schuld rech yow sum rewarde redyly, if I my3t."
Thenn steppe3 he into stirop and strydez alofte;
His schalk schewed hym his schelde, on schulder he hit la3t,
Gorde3 to Gryngolet with his gilt helez,
And he starte3 on the ston, stod he no lenger
His hathel on hors wat3 thenne,
That bere his spere and launce.
"This kastel to Kryst I kenne":
He gef hit ay god chaunce.
The brygge wat3 brayde doun, and the brode 3atez
Vnbarred and born open vpon bothe halue.
The burne blessed hym bilyue, and the brede3 passed--
Prayses the porter bifore the prynce kneled,
Gef hym God and goud day, that Gawayn he saue--
And went on his way with his wy3e one,
That schulde teche hym to tourne to that tene place
Ther the ruful race he schulde resayue.
Thay bo3en bi bonkke3 ther boyghez ar bare,
Thay clomben bi clyffe3 ther clengez the colde.
The heuen wat3 vphalt, bot vgly ther-vnder;
Mist muged on the mor, malt on the mounte3,
Vch hille hade a hatte, a myst-hakel huge.
Broke3 byled and breke bi bonkkez aboute,
Schyre schaterande on schore3, ther thay doun schowued.
Wela wylle wat3 the way ther thay bi wod schulden,
Til hit wat3 sone sesoun that the sunne ryses
Thay were on a hille ful hy3e,
The quyte snaw lay bisyde;
The burne that rod hym by
Bede his mayster abide.
"For I haf wonnen yow hider, wy3e, at this tyme,
And now nar 3e not fer fro that note place
That 3e han spied and spuryed so specially after;
Bot I schal say yow for sothe, sythen I yow knowe,
And 3e ar a lede vpon lyue that I wel louy,
Wolde 3e worch bi my wytte, yghe worthed the better.
The place that 3e prece to ful perelous is halden;
Ther wone3 a wy3e in that waste, the worst vpon erthe,
For he is stiffe and sturne, and to strike louies,
And more he is then any mon vpon myddelerde,
And his body bigger then the best fowre
That ar in Arthure3 hous, Hestor, other other.
He cheue3 that chaunce at the chapel grene,
Ther passes non bi that place so proude in his armes
That he ne dynge3 hym to dethe with dynt of his honde;
For he is a mon methles, and mercy non vses,
For be hit chorle other chaplayn that bi the chapel rydes,
Monk other masseprest, other any mon elles,
Hym thynk as queme hym to quelle as quyk go hymseluen.
Forthy I say the, as sothe as 3e in sadel sitte,
Com 3e there, yghe be kylled, may the knyyght rede,
Trawe 3e me that trwely, thaygh yghe had twenty lyues
He hat3 wonyd here ful 3ore,
On bent much baret bende,
A3ayn his dynte3 sore
Yghe may not yow defende.
"Forthy, goude Sir Gawayn, let the gome one,
And got3 away sum other gate, vpon Goddez halue!
Cayre3 bi sum other kyth, ther Kryst mot yow spede,
And I schal hy3 me hom ayghayn, and hete yow fyrre
That I schal swere bi God and alle his gode hal3e3,
As help me God and the halydam, and othe3 innoghe,
That I schal lelly yow layne, and lance neuer tale
That euer 3e fondet to fle for freke that I wyst."
"Grant merci," quoth Gawayn, and gruchyng he sayde:
"Wel worth the, wy3e, that wolde3 my gode,
And that lelly me layne I leue wel thou wolde3.
Bot helde thou hit neuer so holde, and I here passed,
Founded for ferde for to fle, in fourme that thou telle3,
I were a kny3t kowarde, I myyght not be excused.
Bot I wyl to the chapel, for chaunce that may falle,
And talk wyth that ilk tulk the tale that me lyste,
Worthe hit wele other wo, as the wyrde lyke3
Tha3e he be a sturn knape
To sti3tel, and stad with staue,
Ful wel con Dry3tyn schape
His seruaunte3 for to saue."
"Mary!" quoth that other mon, "now thou so much spelle3,
That thou wylt thyn awen nye nyme to thyseluen,
And the lyst lese thy lyf, the lette I ne kepe.
Haf here thi helme on thy hede, thi spere in thi honde,
And ryde me doun this ilk rake bi 3on rokke syde,
Til thou be bro3t to the bothem of the brem valay;
Thenne loke a littel on the launde, on thi lyfte honde,
And thou schal se in that slade the self chapel,
And the borelych burne on bent that hit kepe3.
Now fare3 wel, on Godez half, Gawayn the noble!
For alle the golde vpon grounde I nolde go wyth the,
Ne bere the fela3schip thurygh this fryth on fote fyrre."
Bi that the wy3e in the wod wende3 his brydel,
Hit the hors with the hele3 as harde as he my3t,
Lepe3 hym ouer the launde, and leuez the kny3t there
"Bi Godde3 self," quoth Gawayn,
"I wyl nauther grete ne grone;
To Godde3 wylle I am ful bayn,
And to hym I haf me tone."
Thenne gyrde3 he to Gryngolet, and gederez the rake,
Schowue3 in bi a schore at a scha3e syde,
Ride3 thur3 the royghe bonk ryyght to the dale;
And thenne he wayted hym aboute, and wylde hit hym tho3t,
And se3e no syngne of resette bisyde3 nowhere,
Bot hy3e bonkke3 and brent vpon bothe halue,
And ru3e knokled knarre3 with knorned stonez;
The skwe3 of the scowtes skayned hym tho3t.
Thenne he houed, and wythhylde his hors at that tyde,
And ofte chaunged his cher the chapel to seche:
He se3 non suche in no syde, and selly hym thoyght,
Saue, a lyttel on a launde, a lawe as hit were;
A bal3 berygh bi a bonke the brymme bysyde,
Bi a for3 of a flode that ferked thare;
The borne blubred therinne as hit boyled hade.
The kny3t kache3 his caple, and com to the lawe,
Li3te3 doun luflyly, and at a lynde tachez
The rayne and his riche with a ro3e braunche.
Thenne he bo3e3 to the beryghe, aboute hit he walkez,
Debatande with hymself quat hit be my3t.
Hit hade a hole on the ende and on ayther syde,
And ouergrowen with gresse in glodes aywhere,
And al wat3 hol3 inwith, nobot an olde caue,
Or a creuisse of an olde cragge, he couthe hit no3t deme
"We! Lorde," quoth the gentyle kny3t,
"Whether this be the grene chapelle?
Here my3t aboute mydnyyght
The dele his matynnes telle!
"Now iwysse," quoth Wowayn, "wysty is here;
This oritore is vgly, with erbe3 ouergrowen;
Wel biseme3 the wy3e wruxled in grene
Dele here his deuocioun on the deuele3 wyse.
Now I fele hit is the fende, in my fyue wytte3,
That hat3 stoken me this steuen to strye me here.
This is a chapel of meschaunce, that chekke hit bytyde!
Hit is the corsedest kyrk that euer I com inne!"
With he3e helme on his hede, his launce in his honde,
He rome3 vp to the roffe of the ro3 wonez.
Thene herde he of that hy3e hil, in a harde roche
Bi3onde the broke, in a bonk, a wonder breme noyse,
Quat! hit clatered in the clyff, as hit cleue schulde,
As one vpon a gryndelston hade grounden a sythe.
What! hit wharred and whette, as water at a mulne;
What! hit rusched and ronge, rawthe to here.
Thenne "Bi Godde," quoth Gawayn, "that gere, as I trowe,
Is ryched at the reuerence me, renk, to mete
Let God worche! 'We loo'--
Hit helppe3 me not a mote.
My lif tha3 I forgoo,
Drede dot3 me no lote."
Thenne the kny3t con calle ful hyyghe:
"Who sti3tle3 in this sted me steuen to holde?
For now is gode Gawayn goande ry3t here.
If any wy3e oyght wyl, wynne hider fast,
Other now other neuer, his nede3 to spede."
"Abyde," quoth on on the bonke abouen ouer his hede,
"And thou schal haf al in hast that I the hy3t ones."
Yghet he rusched on that rurde rapely a throwe.
And wyth quettyng awharf, er he wolde ly3t;
And sythen he keuere3 bi a cragge, and comez of a hole,
Whyrlande out of a wro wyth a felle weppen,
A dene3 ax nwe dy3t, the dynt with to yghelde,
With a borelych bytte bende by the halme,
Fyled in a fylor, fowre fote large--
Hit wat3 no lasse bi that lace that lemed ful bry3t--
And the gome in the grene gered as fyrst,
Bothe the lyre and the legge3, lokkez and berde,
Saue that fayre on his fote he founde3 on the erthe,
Sette the stele to the stone, and stalked bysyde.
When he wan to the watter, ther he wade nolde,
He hypped ouer on hys ax, and orpedly stryde3,
Bremly brothe on a bent that brode wat3 aboute,
Sir Gawayn the kny3t con mete,
He ne lutte hym nothyng lowe;
That other sayde, "Now, sir swete,
Of steuen mon may the trowe."
"Gawayn," quoth that grene gome, "God the mot loke!
Iwysse thou art welcom, wy3e, to my place,
And thou hat3 tymed thi trauayl as truee mon schulde,
And thou knowe3 the couenauntez kest vus bytwene:
At this tyme twelmonyth thou toke that the falled,
And I schulde at this Nwe Yghere 3eply the quyte.
And we ar in this valay verayly oure one;
Here ar no renkes vs to rydde, rele as vus like3.
Haf thy helme of thy hede, and haf here thy pay.
Busk no more debate then I the bede thenne
When thou wypped of my hede at a wap one."
"Nay, bi God," quoth Gawayn, "that me gost lante,
I schal gruch the no grwe for grem that falle3.
Bot sty3tel the vpon on strok, and I schal stonde stylle
And warp the no wernyng to worch as the lyke3,
He lened with the nek, and lutte,
And schewed that schyre al bare,
And lette as he no3t dutte;
For drede he wolde not dare.
THEN the gome in the grene graythed hym swythe,
Gedere3 vp hys grymme tole Gawayn to smyte;
With alle the bur in his body he ber hit on lofte,
Munt as ma3tyly as marre hym he wolde;
Hade hit dryuen adoun as dre3 as he atled,
Ther hade ben ded of his dynt that do3ty wat3 euer.
Bot Gawayn on that giserne glyfte hym bysyde,
As hit com glydande adoun on glode hym to schende,
And schranke a lytel with the schulderes for the scharp yrne.
That other schalk wyth a schunt the schene wythhalde3,
And thenne repreued he the prynce with mony prowde worde3:
"Thou art not Gawayn," quoth the gome, "that is so goud halden,
That neuer ar3ed for no here by hylle ne be vale,
And now thou fles for ferde er thou fele harme3!
Such cowardise of that kny3t cowthe I neuer here.
Nawther fyked I ne fla3e, freke, quen thou myntest,
Ne kest no kauelacion in kynge3 hous Arthor.
My hede fla3 to my fote, and yghet flaygh I neuer;
And thou, er any harme hent, ar3e3 in hert;
Wherfore the better burne me burde be called
Quoth Gawayn, "I schunt one3,
And so wyl I no more;
Bot tha3 my hede falle on the stone3,
I con not hit restore.
"Bot busk, burne, bi thi fayth, and bryng me to the poynt.
Dele to me my destine, and do hit out of honde,
For I schal stonde the a strok, and start no more
Til thyn ax haue me hitte: haf here my trawthe."
"Haf at the thenne!" quoth that other, and heue3 hit alofte,
And wayte3 as wrothely as he wode were.
He mynte3 at hym ma3tyly, bot not the mon rynez,
Withhelde heterly his honde, er hit hurt my3t.
Gawayn graythely hit byde3, and glent with no membre,
Bot stode stylle as the ston, other a stubbe auther
That ratheled is in roche grounde with rote3 a hundreth.
Then muryly efte con he mele, the mon in the grene:
"So, now thou hat3 thi hert holle, hitte me bihous.
Halde the now the hy3e hode that Arthur the rayght,
And kepe thy kanel at this kest, 3if hit keuer may."
Gawayn ful gryndelly with greme thenne sayde:
"Wy! thresch on, thou thro mon, thou threte3 to longe;
I hope that thi hert ar3e wyth thyn awen seluen."
"For sothe," quoth that other freke, "so felly thou speke3,
I wyl no lenger on lyte lette thin ernde
Thenne tas he hym strythe to stryke,
And frounse3 bothe lyppe and browe;
No meruayle tha3 hym myslyke
That hoped of no rescowe.
He lyftes ly3tly his lome, and let hit doun fayre
With the barbe of the bitte bi the bare nek;
Tha3 he homered heterly, hurt hym no more
Bot snyrt hym on that on syde, that seuered the hyde.
The scharp schrank to the flesche thur3 the schyre grece,
That the schene blod ouer his schulderes schot to the erthe;
And quen the burne se3 the blode blenk on the snawe,
He sprit forth spenne-fote more then a spere lenthe,
Hent heterly his helme, and on his hed cast,
Schot with his schuldere3 his fayre schelde vnder,
Brayde3 out a bry3t sworde, and bremely he spekez--
Neuer syn that he wat3 burne borne of his moder
Wat3 he neuer in this worlde wy3e half so blythe--
"Blynne, burne, of thy bur, bede me no mo!
I haf a stroke in this sted withoute stryf hent,
And if thow reche3 me any mo, I redyly schal quyte,
And 3elde yghederly ayghayn--and therto yghe tryst--
Bot on stroke here me falle3--
The couenaunt schop ry3t so,
Fermed in Arthure3 hallez--
And therfore, hende, now hoo!"
The hathel heldet hym fro, and on his ax rested,
Sette the schaft vpon schore, and to the scharp lened,
And loked to the leude that on the launde 3ede,
How that do3ty, dredles, deruely ther stonde3
Armed, ful a3le3: in hert hit hym lykez.
Thenn he mele3 muryly wyth a much steuen,
And wyth a rynkande rurde he to the renk sayde:
"Bolde burne, on this bent be not so gryndel.
No mon here vnmanerly the mysboden habbe3,
Ne kyd bot as couenaunde at kynge3 kort schaped.
I hy3t the a strok and thou hit hat3, halde the wel payed;
I relece the of the remnaunt of ry3tes alle other.
Iif I deliuer had bene, a boffet paraunter
I couthe wrotheloker haf waret, to the haf wro3t anger.
Fyrst I mansed the muryly with a mynt one,
And roue the wyth no rof-sore, with ry3t I the profered
For the forwarde that we fest in the fyrst ny3t,
And thou trystyly the trawthe and trwly me halde3,
Al the gayne thow me gef, as god mon schulde.
That other munt for the morne, mon, I the profered,
Thou kyssedes my clere wyf--the cosse3 me ra3tez.
For bothe two here I the bede bot two bare myntes
Trwe mon trwe restore,
Thenne thar mon drede no wathe.
At the thrid thou fayled thore,
And therfor that tappe ta the.
"For hit is my wede that thou were3, that ilke wouen girdel,
Myn owen wyf hit the weued, I wot wel for sothe.
Now know I wel thy cosses, and thy costes als,
And the wowyng of my wyf: I wro3t hit myseluen.
I sende hir to asay the, and sothly me thynkke3
On the fautlest freke that euer on fote 3ede;
As perle bi the quite pese is of prys more,
So is Gawayn, in god fayth, bi other gay kny3te3.
Bot here yow lakked a lyttel, sir, and lewte yow wonted;
Bot that wat3 for no wylyde werke, ne wowyng nauther,
Bot for 3e lufed your lyf; the lasse I yow blame."
That other stif mon in study stod a gret whyle,
So agreued for greme he gryed withinne;
Alle the blode of his brest blende in his face,
That al he schrank for schome that the schalk talked.
The forme worde vpon folde that the freke meled:
"Corsed worth cowarddyse and couetyse bothe!
In yow is vylany and vyse that vertue disstrye3."
Thenne he ka3t to the knot, and the kest lawse3,
Brayde brothely the belt to the burne seluen:
"Lo! ther the falssyng, foule mot hit falle!
For care of thy knokke cowardyse me ta3t
To acorde me with couetyse, my kynde to forsake,
That is larges and lewte that longe3 to kny3tez.
Now am I fawty and falce, and ferde haf ben euer
Of trecherye and vntrawthe: bothe bityde sor3e
I biknowe yow, kny3t, here stylle,
Al fawty is my fare;
Lete3 me ouertake your wylle
And efte I schal be ware."
Thenn lo3e that other leude and luflyly sayde:
"I halde hit hardily hole, the harme that I hade.
Thou art confessed so clene, beknowen of thy mysses,
And hat3 the penaunce apert of the poynt of myn egge,
I halde the polysed of that ply3t, and pured as clene
As thou hade3 neuer forfeted sythen thou watz fyrst borne;
And I gif the, sir, the gurdel that is golde-hemmed,
For hit is grene as my goune. Sir Gawayn, 3e maye
Thenk vpon this ilke threpe, ther thou forth thrynge3
Among prynces of prys, and this a pure token
Of the chaunce of the grene chapel at cheualrous kny3te3.
And 3e schal in this Nwe Ygher ayghayn to my wone3,
And we schyn reuel the remnaunt of this ryche fest
Ther lathed hym fast the lorde
And sayde: "With my wyf, I wene,
We schal yow wel acorde,
That wat3 your enmy kene."
"Nay, for sothe," quoth the segge, and sesed hys helme,
And hat3 hit of hendely, and the hathel thonkkez,
"I haf soiorned sadly; sele yow bytyde,
And he 3elde hit yow yghare that ygharkke3 al menskes!
And comaunde3 me to that cortays, your comlych fere,
Bothe that on and that other, myn honoured ladye3,
That thus hor kny3t wyth hor kest han koyntly bigyled.
Bot hit is no ferly tha3 a fole madde,
And thur3 wyles of wymmen be wonen to soryghe,
For so wat3 Adam in erde with one bygyled,
And Salamon with fele sere, and Samson eftsone3--
Dalyda dalt hym hys wyrde--and Dauyth therafter
Wat3 blended with Barsabe, that much bale tholed.
Now these were wrathed wyth her wyles, hit were a wynne huge
To luf hom wel, and leue hem not, a leude that couthe.
For thes wer forne the freest, that fol3ed alle the sele
Exellently of alle thyse other, vnder heuenryche
And alle thay were biwyled
With wymmen that thay vsed.
Tha3 I be now bigyled,
Me think me burde be excused.
"Bot your gordel," quoth Gawayn, "God yow for3elde!
That wyl I welde wyth guod wylle, not for the wynne golde,
Ne the saynt, ne the sylk, ne the syde pendaundes,
For wele ne for worchyp, ne for the wlonk werkke3,
Bot in syngne of my surfet I schal se hit ofte,
When I ride in renoun, remorde to myseluen
The faut and the fayntyse of the flesche crabbed,
How tender hit is to entyse teches of fylthe;
And thus, quen pryde schal me pryk for prowes of armes,
The loke to this luf-lace schal lethe my hert.
Bot on I wolde yow pray, displeses yow neuer:
Syn 3e be lorde of the yghonder londe ther I haf lent inne
Wyth yow wyth worschyp--the wy3e hit yow yghelde
That vphalde3 the heuen and on hy3 sittez--
How norne 3e yowre ryyght nome, and thenne no more?"
"That schal I telle the trwly," quoth that other thenne,
"Bertilak de Hautdesert I hat in this londe.
Thur3 myyght of Morgne la Faye, that in my hous lenges,
And koyntyse of clergye, bi craftes wel lerned,
The maystres of Merlyn mony hat3 taken--
For ho hat3 dalt drwry ful dere sumtyme
With that conable klerk, that knowes alle your kny3te3
Morgne the goddes
Therfore hit is hir name:
Welde3 non so hy3e hawtesse
That ho ne con make ful tame--
"Ho wayned me vpon this wyse to your wynne halle
For to assay the surquidre, 3if hit soth were
That rennes of the grete renoun of the Rounde Table;
Ho wayned me this wonder your wytte3 to reue,
For to haf greued Gaynour and gart hir to dy3e
With glopnyng of that ilke gome that gostlych speked
With his hede in his honde bifore the hy3e table.
That is ho that is at home, the auncian lady;
Ho is euen thyn aunt, Arthure3 half-suster,
The duches do3ter of Tyntagelle, that dere Vter after
Hade Arthur vpon, that athel is nowthe.
Therfore I ethe the, hathel, to com to thyn aunt,
Make myry in my hous; my meny the louies,
And I wol the as wel, wy3e, bi my faythe,
As any gome vnder God for thy grete trauthe."
And he nikked hym naye, he nolde bi no wayes.
Thay acolen and kyssen and kennen ayther other
To the prynce of paradise, and parten ry3t there
Gawayn on blonk ful bene
To the knyge3 bur3 buskez bolde,
And the kny3t in the enker-grene
Whiderwarde-so-euer he wolde.
Wylde waye3 in the worlde Wowen now rydez
On Gryngolet, that the grace hade geten of his lyue;
Ofte he herbered in house and ofte al theroute,
And mony aventure in vale, and venquyst ofte,
That I ne ty3t at this tyme in tale to remene.
The hurt wat3 hole that he hade hent in his nek,
And the blykkande belt he bere theraboute
Abelef as a bauderyk bounden bi his syde,
Loken vnder his lyfte arme, the lace, with a knot,
In tokenyng he wat3 tane in tech of a faute.
And thus he commes to the court, kny3t al in sounde.
Ther wakned wele in that wone when wyst the grete
That gode Gawayn wat3 commen; gayn hit hym tho3t.
The kyng kysse3 the kny3t, and the whene alce,
And sythen mony syker kny3t that soyght hym to haylce,
Of his fare that hym frayned; and ferlyly he telles,
Biknowe3 alle the costes of care that he hade,
The chaunce of the chapel, the chere of the kny3t,
The luf of the ladi, the lace at the last.
The nirt in the nek he naked hem schewed
That he la3t for his vnleute at the leudes hondes
He tened quen he schulde telle,
He groned for gref and grame;
The blod in his face con melle,
When he hit schulde schewe, for schame.
"Lo! lorde," quoth the leude, and the lace hondeled,
"This is the bende of this blame I bere in my nek,
This is the lathe and the losse that I la3t haue
Of couardise and couetyse that I haf ca3t thare;
This is the token of vntrawthe that I am tan inne,
And I mot nede3 hit were wyle I may last;
For mon may hyden his harme, bot vnhap ne may hit,
For ther hit one3 is tachched twynne wil hit neuer."
The kyng comforte3 the kny3t, and alle the court als
La3en loude therat, and luflyly acorden
That lordes and ladis that longed to the Table,
Vche burne of the brotherhede, a bauderyk schulde haue,
A bende abelef hym aboute of a bry3t grene,
And that, for sake of that segge, in swete to were.
For that wat3 acorded the renoun of the Rounde Table,
And he honoured that hit hade euermore after,
As hit is breued in the best boke of romaunce.
Thus in Arthurus day this aunter bitidde,
The Brutus boke3 therof beres wyttenesse;
Syphen Brutus, the bolde burne, bo3ed hider fyrst,
After the segge and the asaute wat3 sesed at Troye,
Mony auntere3 here-biforne
Haf fallen suche er this.
Now that here the croun of thorne,
He bryng vus to his blysse! AMEN.
HONY SOYT QUI MAL PENCE.