• Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

  • 1 Siþen þe sege & þe assaut watȝ sesed at Troye,
  • 2 Þe borȝ brittened & brent to brondeȝ & askeȝ,
  • 3 Þe tulk þat þe trammes of tresoun þer wroȝt,
  • 4 Watȝ tried for his tricherie, þe trewest on erthe;
  • 5 Hit watȝ Ennias þe athel, & his highe kynde,
  • 6 Þat siþen depreced prouinces, & patrounes bicome
  • 7 Welneȝe of al þe wele in þe west iles,
  • 8 Fro riche Romulus to Rome ricchis hym swyþe,
  • 9 With gret bobbaunce þat burȝe he biges vpon fyrst,
  • 10 & neuenes hit his aune nome, as hit now hat;
  • 11 Ticius to Tuskan [turnes,] & teldes bigynnes;
  • 12 Langaberde in Lumbardie lyftes vp homes;
  • 13 & fer ouer þe French flod Felix Brutus
  • 14 On mony bonkkes ful brode Bretayn he setteȝ,
  • 15 wyth wynne;
  • 16 Where werre, & wrake, & wonder,
  • 17 Bi syþeȝ hatȝ wont þer-inne,
  • 18 & oft boþe blysse & blunder
  • 19 Ful skete hatȝ skyfted synne.
  • 20 Ande quen þis Bretayn watȝ bigged bi þis burn rych,
  • 21 Bolde bredden þer-inne, baret þat lofden,
  • 22 In mony turned tyme tene þat wroȝten;
  • 23 Mo ferlyes on þis folde han fallen here oft
  • 24 Þen in any oþer þat I wot, syn þat ilk tyme.
  • 25 Bot of alle þat here bult of Bretaygne kynges
  • 26 Ay watȝ Arthur þe hendest; as I haf herde telle;
  • 27 For-þi an aunter in erde I attle to schawe,
  • 28 Þat a selly in siȝt summe men hit holden,
  • 29 & an outtrage awenture of Arthureȝ wondereȝ;
  • 30 If ȝe wyl lysten þis laye bot on littel quile,
  • 31 I schal telle hit, as-tit, as I in toun herde,
  • 32 with tonge;
  • 33 As hit is stad & stoken,
  • 34 In stori stif & stronge,
  • 35 With lel letteres loken,
  • 36 In londe so hatȝ ben longe.
  • 37 Þis kyng lay at Camylot vpon kryst-masse,
  • 38 With mony luflych lorde, ledeȝ of þe best,
  • 39 Rekenly of þe rounde table alle þo rich breþer,
  • 40 With rych reuel oryȝt, & rechles merþes;
  • 41 Þer tournayed tulkes bi-tymeȝ ful mony,
  • 42 Iusted ful Iolilé þise gentyle kniȝtes,
  • 43 Syþen kayred to þe court, caroles to make.
  • 44 For þer þe fest watȝ ilyche ful fiften dayes,
  • 45 With alle þe mete & þe mirþe þat men couþe a-vyse;
  • 46 Such glaumande gle glorious to here,
  • 47 Dere dyn vp-on day, daunsyng on nyȝtes,
  • 48 Al watȝ hap vpon heȝe in halleȝ & chambreȝ,
  • 49 With lordeȝ & ladies, as leuest him þoȝt;
  • 50 With all þe wele of þe worlde þay woned þer samen,
  • 51 Þe most kyd knyȝteȝ vnder kryste seluen,
  • 52 & þe louelokkest ladies þat euer lif haden,
  • 53 & he þe comlokest kyng þat þe court haldes;
  • 54 For al watȝ þis fayre folk in her first age,
  • 55 on sille;
  • 56 Þe hapnest vnder heuen,
  • 57 Kyng hyȝest mon of wylle,
  • 58 Hit were[1] now gret nye to neuen
  • 59 So hardy a here on hille.
  • 60 Wyle nw ȝer watȝ so ȝep þat hit watȝ nwe cummen,
  • 61 Þat day doubble on þe dece watȝ þe douth serued,
  • 62 Fro þe kyng watȝ cummen with knyȝtes in to þe halle,
  • 63 Þe chauntre of þe chapel cheued to an ende;
  • 64 Loude crye watȝ þer kest of clerkeȝ & oþer,
  • 65 Nowel nayted o-newe, neuened ful ofte;
  • 66 & syþen riche forth runnen to reche honde-selle,
  • 67 eȝed ȝeres ȝiftes on hiȝ, ȝelde hem bi hond,
  • 68 Debated busyly aboute þo giftes;
  • 69 Ladies laȝed ful loude, þoȝ þay lost haden,
  • 70 & he þat wan watȝ not wrothe, þat may ȝe wel trawe.
  • 71 Alle þis mirþe þay maden to þe mete tyme;
  • 72 When þay had waschen, worþyly þay wenten to sete,
  • 73 Þe best burne ay abof, as hit best semed;
  • 74 Whene Guenore ful gay, grayþed in þe myddes.
  • 75 Dressed on þe dere des, dubbed al aboute,
  • 76 Smal sendal bisides, a selure hir ouer
  • 77 Of tryed Tolouse, of Tars tapites in-noghe,
  • 78 Þat were enbrawded & beten wyth þe best gemmes,
  • 79 Þat myȝt be preued of prys wyth penyes to bye,
  • 80 in daye;
  • 81 Þe comlokest to discrye,
  • 82 Þer glent with yȝen gray,
  • 83 A semloker þat euer he syȝe,
  • 84 Soth moȝt no mon say.
  • 85 Bot Arthure wolde not ete til al were serued,
  • 86 He watȝ so Ioly of his Ioyfnes, & sum-quat child gered,
  • 87 His lif liked hym lyȝt, he louied þe lasse
  • 88 Auþer to lenge lye, or to longe sitte,
  • 89 So bi-sied him his ȝonge blod & his brayn wylde;
  • 90 & also anoþer maner meued him eke,
  • 91 Þat he þurȝ nobelay had nomen, ho wolde neuer ete
  • 92 Vpon such a dere day, er hym deuised were
  • 93 Of sum auenturus þyng an vncouþe tale,
  • 94 Of sum mayn meruayle, þat he myȝt trawe,
  • 95 Of alderes, of armes, of oþer auenturus,
  • 96 Oþer sum segg hym bi-soȝt of sum siker knyȝt,
  • 97 To Ioyne wyth hym in iustyng in Iopardé to lay,
  • 98 Lede lif for lyf, leue vchon oþer,
  • 99 As fortune wolde fulsun hom þe fayrer to haue.
  • 100 Þis watȝ [þe] kynges countenaunce where he in court were,
  • 101 at vch farand fest among his fre meny,
  • 102 in halle;
  • 103 Þer-fore of face so fere.
  • 104 He stiȝtleȝ stif in stalle,
  • 105 Ful ȝep in þat nw ȝere,
  • 106 Much mirthe he mas with alle.
  • 107 Thus þer stondes in stale þe stif kyng his-seluen,
  • 108 Talkkande bifore þe hyȝe table of trifles ful hende
  • 109 There gode Gawan watȝ grayþed, Gwenore bisyde
  • 110 & Agrauayn a la dure mayn on þat oþer syde sittes
  • 111 Boþe þe kynges sister sunes, & ful siker kniȝtes;
  • 112 Bischop Bawdewyn abof bi-gineȝ þe table,
  • 113 & Ywan, Vryn son, ette wit hym-seluen;
  • 114 Þise were diȝt on þe des, & derworþly serued,
  • 115 & siþen mony siker segge at þe sidbordeȝ.
  • 116 Þen þe first cors come with crakkyng of trumpes,
  • 117 Wyth mony baner ful bryȝt, þat þer-bi henged,
  • 118 Nwe nakryn noyse with þe noble pipes,
  • 119 Wylde werbles & wyȝt wakned lote,
  • 120 Þat mony hert ful hiȝe hef at her towches;
  • 121 Dayntes dryuen þer-wyth of ful dere metes,
  • 122 Foysoun of þe fresche, & on so fele disches,
  • 123 Þat pine to fynde þe place þe peple bi-forne
  • 124 For to sette þe syluener, þat sere sewes halden,
  • 125 on clothe;
  • 126 Iche lede as he loued hym-selue
  • 127 Þer laght with-outen loþe,
  • 128 Ay two had disches twelue,
  • 129 Good ber, & bryȝt wyn boþe.
  • 130 Now wyl I of hor seruise say yow no more,
  • 131 For veh wyȝe may wel wit no wont þat þer were;
  • 132 An oþer noyse ful newe neȝed biliue,
  • 133 Þat þe lude myȝt haf leue lif-lode to cach.
  • 134 For vneþe watȝ þe noyce not a whyle sesed,
  • 135 & þe fyrst cource in þe court kyndely serued,
  • 136 Þer hales in at þe halle dor an aghlich mayster,
  • 137 On þe most on þe molde on mesure hyghe;
  • 138 Fro þe swyre to þe swange so sware & so þik,
  • 139 & his lyndes & his lymes so longe & so grete,
  • 140 Half etayn in erde I hope þat he were.
  • 141 Bot mon most I algate mynn hym to bene,
  • 142 & þat þe myriest in his muckel þat myȝt ride;
  • 143 For of bak & of brest al were his bodi sturne,
  • 144 Bot his wombe & his wast were worthily smale,
  • 145 & alle his fetures folȝande, in forme þat he hade,
  • 146 ful clene;
  • 147 For wonder of his hwe men hade,
  • 148 Set in his semblaunt sene;
  • 149 He ferde as freke were fade,
  • 150 & ouer-al enker grene.
  • 151 Ande al grayþed in grene þis gome & his wedes,
  • 152 A strayt cote ful streȝt, þat stek on his sides,
  • 153 A mere mantile abof, mensked with-inne,
  • 154 With pelure pured apert þe pane ful clene,
  • 155 With blyþe blaunner ful bryȝt, & his hod boþe,
  • 156 Þat watȝ laȝt fro his lokkeȝ, & layde on his schulderes
  • 157 Heme wel haled, hose of þat same grene,
  • 158 Þat spenet on his sparlyr, & clene spures vnder,
  • 159 Of bryȝt golde, vpon silk bordes, barred ful ryche
  • 160 & scholes vnder schankes, þere þe schalk rides;
  • 161 & alle his vesture uerayly watȝ clene verdure,
  • 162 Boþe þe barres of his belt & oþer blyþe stones,
  • 163 Þat were richely rayled in his aray clene,
  • 164 Aboutte hym-self & his sadel, vpon silk werkeȝ,
  • 165 Þat were to tor for to telle of tryfles þe halue,
  • 166 Þat were enbrauded abof, wyth bryddes & flyȝes,
  • 167 With gay gaudi of grene, þe golde ay in myddes;
  • 168 Þe pendauntes of his payttrure, þe proude cropure
  • 169 His molaynes, & alle þe metail anamayld was þenne
  • 170 Þe steropes þat he stod on, stayned of þe same,
  • 171 & his arsounȝ al after, & his aþel sturtes,
  • 172 Þat euer glemered & glent al of grene stones.
  • 173 Þe fole þat he ferkkes on, fyn of þat ilke,
  • 174 sertayn;
  • 175 A grene hors gret & þikke,
  • 176 A stede ful stif to strayne,
  • 177 In brawden brydel quik,
  • 178 To þe gome he watȝ ful gayn.
  • 179 Wel gay watȝ þis gome gered in grene,
  • 180 & þe here of his hed of his hors swete;
  • 181 Fayre fannand fax vmbe-foldes his schulderes;
  • 182 A much berd as a busk ouer his brest henges,
  • 183 Þat wyth his hiȝlich here, þat of his hed reches,
  • 184 Watȝ euesed al vmbe-torne, a-bof his elbowes,
  • 185 Þat half his armes þer vnder were halched in þe wyse
  • 186 Of a kyngeȝ capados, þat closes his swyre.
  • 187 Þe mane of þat mayn hors much to hit lyke,
  • 188 Wel cresped & cemmed wyth knottes ful mony,
  • 189 Folden in wyth fildore aboute þe fayre grene,
  • 190 Ay a herle of þe here, an oþer of golde;
  • 191 Þe tayl & his toppyng twynnen of a sute,
  • 192 & bounden boþe wyth a bande of a bryȝt grene,
  • 193 Dubbed wyth ful dere stoneȝ, as þe dok lasted,
  • 194 Syþen þrawen wyth a þwong a þwarle knot alofte,
  • 195 Þer mony belleȝ ful bryȝt of brende golde rungen.
  • 196 Such a fole vpon folde, ne freke þat hym rydes,
  • 197 Watȝ neuer sene in þat sale wyth syȝt er þat tyme,
  • 198 with yȝe;
  • 199 He loked as layt so lyȝt,
  • 200 So sayd al þat hym syȝe,
  • 201 Hit semed as no mon myȝt,
  • 202 Vnder his dyntteȝ dryȝe.
  • 203 Wheþer hade he no helme ne hawb[e]rgh nauþer,
  • 204 Ne no pysan, ne no plate þat pented to armes,
  • 205 Ne no schafte, ne no schelde, to schwne ne to smyte,
  • 206 Bot in his on honde he hade a holyn bobbe,
  • 207 Þat is grattest in grene, when greueȝ ar bare,
  • 208 & an ax in his oþer, a hoge & vn-mete,
  • 209 A spetos sparþe to expoun in spelle quo-so myȝt;
  • 210 Þe hede of an elnȝerde þe large lenkþe hade,
  • 211 Þe grayn al of grene stele & of golde hewen,
  • 212 Þe bit burnyst bryȝt, with a brod egge,
  • 213 As wel schapen to schere as scharp rasores;
  • 214 Þe stele of a stif staf þe sturne hit bi-grypte,
  • 215 Þat watȝ wounden wyth yrn to þe wandeȝ ende,
  • 216 & al bigrauen with grene, in gracios werkes;
  • 217 A lace lapped aboute, þat louked at þe hede,
  • 218 & so after þe halme halched ful ofte,
  • 219 Wyth tryed tasseleȝ þerto tacched in-noghe,
  • 220 On botounȝ of þe bryȝt grene brayden ful ryche.
  • 221 Þis haþel heldeȝ hym in, & þe halle entres,
  • 222 Driuande to þe heȝe dece, dut he no woþe,
  • 223 Haylsed he neuer one, bot heȝe he ouer loked.
  • 224 Þe fyrst word þat he warp, "wher is," he sayd,
  • 225 "Þe gouernour of þis gyng? gladly I wolde
  • 226 Se þat segg in syȝt, & with hym self speke
  • 227 raysoun."
  • 228 To knyȝteȝ he kest his yȝe,
  • 229 & reled hym vp & doun,
  • 230 He stemmed & con studie,
  • 231 Quo walt þer most renoun.
  • 232 Ther watȝ lokyng on lenþe, þe lude to be-holde,
  • 233 For vch mon had meruayle quat hit mene myȝt,
  • 234 Þat a haþel & a horse myȝt such a hwe lach,
  • 235 As growe grene as þe gres & grener hit semed,
  • 236 Þen grene aumayl on golde lowande bryȝter;
  • 237 Al studied þat þer stod, & stalked hym nerre,
  • 238 Wyth al þe wonder of þe worlde, what he worch schulde.
  • 239 For fele sellyeȝ had þay sen, bot such neuer are,
  • 240 For-þi for fantoum & fayryȝe þe folk þere hit demed;
  • 241 Þer-fore to answare watȝ arȝe mony aþel freke,
  • 242 & al stouned at his steuen, & stonstil seten,
  • 243 In a swoghe sylence þurȝ þe sale riche
  • 244 As al were slypped vpon slepe so slaked hor loteȝ
  • 245 in hyȝe;
  • 246 I deme hit not al for doute,
  • 247 Bot sum for cortaysye,
  • 248 Bot let hym þat al schulde loute,
  • 249 Cast vnto þat wyȝe.
  • 250 Þenn Arþour bifore þe hiȝ dece þat auenture byholdeȝ,
  • 251 & rekenly hym reuerenced, for rad was he neuer,
  • 252 & sayde, "wyȝe, welcum iwys to þis place,
  • 253 Þe hede of þis ostel Arthour I hat,
  • 254 Liȝt luflych adoun, & lenge, I þe praye,
  • 255 & quat so þy wylle is, we schal wyt after."
  • 256 "Nay, as help me," quod þe haþel, "he þat on hyȝe syttes,
  • 257 To wone any quyle in þis won, hit watȝ not myn ernde;
  • 258 Bot for þe los of þe lede is lyft vp so hyȝe,
  • 259 & þy burȝ & þy burnes best ar holden,
  • 260 Stifest vnder stel-gere on stedes to ryde,
  • 261 Þe wyȝtest & þe worþyest of þe worldes kynde,
  • 262 Preue for to play wyth in oþer pure laykeȝ;
  • 263 & here is kydde cortaysye, as I haf herd carp,
  • 264 & þat hatȝ wayned me hider, I-wyis, at þis tyme.
  • 265 e may be seker bi þis braunch þat I bere here,
  • 266 Þat I passe as in pes, & no plyȝt seche;
  • 267 For had I founded in fere, in feȝtyng wyse,
  • 268 I haue a hauberghe at home & a helme boþe,
  • 269 A schelde, & a scharp spere, schinande bryȝt,
  • 270 Ande oþer weppenes to welde, I wene wel als,
  • 271 Bot for I wolde no were, my wedeȝ ar softer.
  • 272 Bot if þou be so bold as alle burneȝ tellen,
  • 273 Þou wyl grant me godly þe gomen þat I ask,
  • 274 bi ryȝt."
  • 275 Arthour con onsware,
  • 276 & sayd, "sir cortays knyȝt,
  • 277 If þou craue batayl bare,
  • 278 Here fayleȝ þou not to fyȝt."
  • 279 "Nay, frayst I no fyȝt, in fayth I þe telle,
  • 280 Hit arn aboute on þis bench bot berdleȝ chylder;
  • 281 If I were hasped in armes on a heȝe stede,
  • 282 Here is no mon me to mach, for myȝteȝ so wayke.
  • 283 For-þy I craue in þis court a crystmas gomen,
  • 284 For hit is ȝol & nwe ȝer, & here ar ȝep mony;
  • 285 If any so hardy in þis hous holdeȝ hym-seluen,
  • 286 Be so bolde in his blod, brayn in hys hede,
  • 287 Þat dar stifly strike a strok for an oþer,
  • 288 I schal gif hym of my gyft þys giserne ryche,
  • 289 Þis ax, þat is heué in-nogh, to hondele as hym lykes,
  • 290 & I schal bide þe fyrst bur, as bare as I sitte.
  • 291 If any freke be so felle to fonde þat I telle,
  • 292 Lepe lyȝtly me to, & lach þis weppen,
  • 293 I quit clayme hit for euer, kepe hit as his auen,
  • 294 & I schal stonde hym a strok, stif on þis flet,
  • 295 Elleȝ þou wyl diȝt me þe dom to dele hym an oþer,
  • 296 barlay;
  • 297 & ȝet gif hym respite,
  • 298 A twelmonyth & a day;--
  • 299 Now hyȝe, & let se tite
  • 300 Dar any her-inne oȝt say."
  • 301 If he hem stowned vpon fyrst, stiller were þanne
  • 302 Alle þe hered-men in halle, þe hyȝ & þe loȝe;
  • 303 Þe renk on his rounce hym ruched in his sadel,
  • 304 & runisch-ly his rede yȝen he reled aboute,
  • 305 Bende his bresed broȝeȝ, bly-cande grene,
  • 306 Wayued his berde for to wayte quo-so wolde ryse.
  • 307 When non wolde kepe hym with carp he coȝed ful hyȝe,
  • 308 Ande rimed hym ful richley, & ryȝt hym to speke:
  • 309 "What, is þis Arþures hous," quod þe haþel þenne,
  • 310 "Þat al þe rous rennes of, þurȝ ryalmes so mony?
  • 311 Where is now your sourquydrye & your conquestes,
  • 312 Your gry[n]del-layk, & your greme, & your grete wordes?
  • 313 Now is þe reuel & þe renoun of þe rounde table
  • 314 Ouer-walt wyth a worde of on wyȝes speche;
  • 315 For al dares for drede, with-oute dynt schewed!"
  • 316 Wyth þis he laȝes so loude, þat þe lorde greued;
  • 317 Þe blod schot for scham in-to his schyre face
  • 318 & lere;
  • 319 He wex as wroth as wynde,
  • 320 So did alle þat þer were
  • 321 Þe kyng as kene bi kynde,
  • 322 Þen stod þat stif mon nere.
  • 323 Ande sayde, "haþel, by heuen þyn askyng is nys,
  • 324 & as þou foly hatȝ frayst, fynde þe be-houes;
  • 325 I know no gome þat is gast of þy grete wordes.
  • 326 Gif me now þy geserne, vpon godeȝ halue,
  • 327 & I schal bayþen þy bone, þat þou boden habbes."
  • 328 Lyȝtly lepeȝ he hym to, & laȝt at his honde;
  • 329 Þen feersly þat oþer freke vpon fote lyȝtis.
  • 330 Now hatȝ Arthure his axe, & þe halme grypeȝ,
  • 331 & sturnely stureȝ hit aboute, þat stryke wyth hit þoȝt.
  • 332 Þe stif mon hym bifore stod vpon hyȝt,
  • 333 Herre þen ani in þe hous by þe hede & more;
  • 334 Wyth sturne schere þer he stod, he stroked his berde,
  • 335 & wyth a countenaunce dryȝe he droȝ doun his cote,
  • 336 No more mate ne dismayd for hys mayn dinteȝ,
  • 337 Þen any burne vpon bench hade broȝt hym to drynk
  • 338 of wyne,
  • 339 Gawan, þat sate bi þe quene,
  • 340 To þe kyng he can enclyne,
  • 341 "I be-seche now with saȝeȝ sene,
  • 342 Þis melly mot be myne."
  • 343 "Wolde ȝe, worþilych lorde," quod Gawan to þe kyng,
  • 344 "Bid me boȝe fro þis benche, & stonde by yow þere,
  • 345 Þat I wyth-oute vylanye myȝt voyde þis table,
  • 346 & þat my legge lady lyked not ille,
  • 347 I wolde com to your counseyl, bifore your cort ryche.
  • 348 For me þink hit not semly, as hit is soþ knawen,
  • 349 Þer such an askyng is heuened so hyȝe in your sale,
  • 350 Þaȝȝe ȝour-self be talenttyf to take hit to your-seluen,
  • 351 Whil mony so bolde yow aboute vpon bench sytten,
  • 352 Þat vnder heuen, I hope, non haȝer er of wylle,
  • 353 Ne better bodyes on bent, þer baret is rered;
  • 354 I am þe wakkest, I wot, and of wyt feblest,
  • 355 & lest lur of my lyf, quo laytes þe soþe,
  • 356 Bot for as much as ȝe ar myn em, I am only to prayse,
  • 357 No bounté bot your blod I in my bodé knowe;
  • 358 & syþen þis note is so nys, þat noȝt hit yow falles,
  • 359 & I haue frayned hit at yow fyrst, foldeȝ hit to me,
  • 360 & if I carp not comlyly, let alle þis cort rych,
  • 361 bout blame."
  • 362 Ryche to-geder con roun,
  • 363 & syþen þay redden alle same,
  • 364 To ryd þe kyng wyth croun,
  • 365 & gif Gawan þe game.
  • 366 Þen comaunded þe kyng þe knyȝt for to ryse;
  • 367 & he ful radly vp ros, & ruchched hym fayre,
  • 368 Kneled doun bifore þe kyng, & cacheȝ þat weppen;
  • 369 & he luflyly hit hym laft, & lyfte vp his honde,
  • 370 & gef hym goddeȝ blessyng, & gladly hym biddes
  • 371 Þat his hert & his honde schulde hardi be boþe.
  • 372 "Kepe þe cosyn," quod þe kyng, "þat þou on kyrf sette,
  • 373 & if þou redeȝ hym ryȝt, redly I trowe,
  • 374 Þat þou schal byden þe bur þat he schal bede after.
  • 375 Gawan gotȝ to þe gome, with giserne in honde,
  • 376 & he baldly hym bydeȝ, he bayst neuer þe helder
  • 377 Þen carppeȝ to sir Gawan þe knyȝt in þe grene,
  • 378 "Refourme we oure for-wardes, er we fyrre passe.
  • 379 Fyrst I eþe þe, haþel, how þat þou hattes,
  • 380 Þat þou me telle truly, as I tryst may?"
  • 381 "In god fayth," quod þe goode knyȝt, "Gawan I hatte,
  • 382 Þat bede þe þis buffet, quat-so bi-falleȝ after,
  • 383 & at þis tyme twelmonyth take at þe anoþer,
  • 384 Wyth what weppen so þou wylt, & wyth no wyȝ elleȝ,
  • 385 on lyue."
  • 386 Þat oþer on-swareȝ agayn,
  • 387 "Sir Gawan, so mot I þryue,
  • 388 As I am ferly fayn.
  • 389 Þis dint þat þou schal dryue."
  • 390 "Bigog," quod þe grene knyȝt, "sir Gawan, melykes,
  • 391 Þat I schal fange at þy fust þat I haf frayst here;
  • 392 & þou hatȝ redily rehersed, bi resoun ful trwe,
  • 393 Clanly al þe couenaunt þat I þe kynge asked,
  • 394 Saf þat þou schal siker me, segge, bi þi trawþe,
  • 395 Þat þou schal seche me þi-self, where-so þou hopes
  • 396 I may be funde vpon folde, & foch þe such wages
  • 397 As þou deles me to day, bifore þis douþe ryche."
  • 398 "Where schulde I wale þe," quod Gauan, "where is þy place?
  • 399 I wot neuer where þou wonyes, bi hym þat me wroȝt,
  • 400 Ne I know not þe, knyȝt, þy cort, ne þi name.
  • 401 Bot teche me truly þer-to, & telle me howe þou hattes,
  • 402 & I schal ware alle my wyt to wynne me þeder,
  • 403 & þat I swere þe for soþe, & by my seker traweþ."
  • 404 "Þat is in-nogh in nwe ȝer, hit nedes no more,"
  • 405 Quod þe gome in þe grene to Gawan þe hende,
  • 406 "ȝif I þe telle trwly, quen I þe tape haue,
  • 407 & þou me smoþely hatȝ smyten, smartly I þe teche
  • 408 Of my hous, & my home, & myn owen nome,
  • 409 Þen may þou frayst my fare, & forwardeȝ holde,
  • 410 & if I spende no speche, þenne spedeȝ þou þe better,
  • 411 For þou may leng in þy londe, & layt no fyrre,
  • 412 bot slokes;
  • 413 Ta now þy grymme tole to þe,
  • 414 & let se how þou cnokeȝ."
  • 415 "Gladly sir, for soþe,"
  • 416 Quod Gawan; his ax he strokes.
  • 417 The grene knyȝt vpon grounde grayþely hym dresses,
  • 418 A littel lut with þe hede, þe lere he discouereȝ,
  • 419 His longe louelych lokkeȝ he layd ouer his croun.
  • 420 Let þe naked nec to þe note schewe.
  • 421 Gauan gripped to his ax, & gederes hit on hyȝt,
  • 422 Þe kay fot on þe folde he be-fore sette,
  • 423 Let hit doun lyȝtly lyȝt on þe naked,
  • 424 Þat þe scharp of þe schalk schyndered þe bones,
  • 425 & schrank þurȝ þe schyire grece, & scade hit in twynne,
  • 426 Þat þe bit of þe broun stel bot on þe grounde.
  • 427 Þe fayre hede fro þe halce hit [felle] to þe erþe,
  • 428 Þat fele hit foyned wyth her fete, þere hit forth roled;
  • 429 Þe blod brayd fro þe body, þat blykked on þe grene;
  • 430 & nawþer faltered ne fel þe freke neuer þe helder,
  • 431 Bot styþly he start forth vpon styf schonkes,
  • 432 & ru[n]yschly he raȝt out, þere as renkkeȝ stoden,
  • 433 Laȝt to his lufly hed, & lyft hit vp sone;
  • 434 & syþen boȝeȝ to his blonk, þe brydel he cachcheȝ,
  • 435 Steppeȝ in to stel bawe & strydeȝ alofte,
  • 436 & his hede by þe here in his honde haldeȝ;
  • 437 & as sadly þe segge hym in his sadel sette,
  • 438 As non vnhap had hym ayled, þaȝ hedleȝ he we[re],
  • 439 in stedde;
  • 440 He brayde his bluk aboute,
  • 441 Þat vgly bodi þat bledde,
  • 442 Moni on of hym had doute,
  • 443 Bi þat his resounȝ were redde.
  • 444 For þe hede in his honde he haldeȝ vp euen,
  • 445 To-ward þe derrest on þe dece he dresseȝ þe face,
  • 446 & hit lyfte vp þe yȝe-lyddeȝ, & loked ful brode,
  • 447 & meled þus much with his muthe, as ȝe may now here.
  • 448 "Loke, Gawan, þou be grayþe to go as þou hetteȝ,
  • 449 & layte as lelly til þou me, lude, fynde,
  • 450 As þou hatȝ hette in þis halle, herande þise knyȝtes;
  • 451 To þe grene chapel þou chose, I charge þe to fotte,
  • 452 Such a dunt as þou hatȝ dalt disserued þou habbeȝ,
  • 453 To be ȝederly ȝolden on nw ȝeres morn;
  • 454 Þe knyȝt of þe grene chapel men knowen me mony;
  • 455 For-þi me forto fynde if þou fraysteȝ, fayleȝ þou neuer,
  • 456 Þer-fore com, oþer recreaunt be calde þe be-houeus."
  • 457 With a runisch rout þe rayneȝ he torneȝ,
  • 458 Halled out at þe hal-dor, his hed in his hande,
  • 459 Þat þe fyr of þe flynt flaȝe fro fole houes.
  • 460 To quat kyth he be-com, knwe non þere,
  • 461 Neuermore þen þay wyste fram queþen. he watȝ wonnen;
  • 462 what þenne?
  • 463 Þe kyng & Gawen þare,
  • 464 At þat grene þay laȝe & grenne,
  • 465 et breued watȝ hit ful bare,
  • 466 A meruayl among þo menne.
  • 467 Þaȝ Arþer þe hende kyng at hert hade wonder,
  • 468 He let no semblaunt be sene, bot sayde ful hyȝe
  • 469 To þe comlych quene, wyth cortays speche,
  • 470 "Dere dame, to day demay yow neuer;
  • 471 Wel by-commes such craft vpon cristmasse,
  • 472 Laykyng of enterludeȝ, to laȝe & to syng.
  • 473 Among þise, kynde caroles of knyȝteȝ & ladyeȝ;
  • 474 Neuer-þe-lece to my mete I may me wel dres,
  • 475 For I haf sen a selly, I may not for-sake."
  • 476 He glent vpon sir Gawen, & gaynly he sayde,
  • 477 "Now sir, heng vp þyn ax, þat hatȝ in-nogh hewen."
  • 478 & hit watȝ don abof þe dece, on doser to henge,
  • 479 Þer alle men for meruayl myȝt on hit loke,
  • 480 & bi trwe tytel þer-of to telle þe wonder.
  • 481 Þenne þay boȝed to a borde þise burnes to-geder,
  • 482 Þe kyng & þe gode knyȝt, & kene men hem serued
  • 483 Of alle dayntyeȝ double, as derrest myȝt falle,
  • 484 Wyth alle maner of mete & mynstralcie boþe;
  • 485 Wyth wele walt þay þat day, til worþed an ende,
  • 486 in londe.
  • 487 Now þenk wel, sir Gawan,
  • 488 For woþe þat þou ne wonde,
  • 489 Þis auenture forto frayn,
  • 490 Þat þou hatȝ tan on honde.
  • 491 This hanselle hatȝ Arthur of auenturus on fyrst,
  • 492 In ȝonge ȝer, for he ȝerned ȝelpyng to here,
  • 493 Thaȝ hym wordeȝ were wane, when þay to sete wenten;
  • 494 Now ar þay stoken of sturne werk staf-ful her hond.
  • 495 Gawan watȝ glad to be-gynne þose gomneȝ in halle,
  • 496 Bot þaȝ þe ende be heuy, haf ȝe no wonder;
  • 497 For þaȝ men ben mery in mynde, quen þay han mayn drynk,
  • 498 A ȝere ȝernes ful ȝerne, & ȝeldeȝ neuer lyke,
  • 499 Þe forme to þe fynisment foldeȝ ful selden.
  • 500 For-þi þis ȝol ouer-ȝede, & þe ȝere after,
  • 501 & vche sesoun serlepes sued after oþer;
  • 502 After crysten-masse com þe crabbed lentoun,
  • 503 Þat fraysteȝ flesch wyth þe fysche & fode more symple
  • 504 Bot þenne þe weder of þe worlde wyth wynter hit þrepeȝ,
  • 505 Colde clengeȝ adoun, cloudeȝ vp-lyften,
  • 506 Schyre schedeȝ þe rayn in schowreȝ ful warme,
  • 507 Falleȝ vpon fayre flat, flowreȝ þere schewen,
  • 508 Boþe groundeȝ & þe greueȝ grene ar her wedeȝ,
  • 509 Bryddeȝ busken to bylde, & bremlych syngen,
  • 510 For solace of þe softe somer þat sues þer after,
  • 511 bi bonk;
  • 512 & blossumeȝ bolne to blowe,
  • 513 Bi raweȝ rych & ronk,
  • 514 Þen noteȝ noble in-noȝe,
  • 515 Ar herde in wod so wlonk.
  • 516 After þe sesoun of somer wyth þe soft wyndeȝ,
  • 517 Quen ȝeferus syfleȝ hym-self on sedeȝ & erbeȝ,
  • 518 Wela-wynne is þe wort þat woxes þer-oute.
  • 519 When þe donkande dewe dropeȝ of þe leueȝ,
  • 520 To bide a blysful blusch of þe bryȝt sunne.
  • 521 Bot þen hyȝes heruest, & hardenes hym sone.
  • 522 Warneȝ hym for þe wynter to wax ful rype;
  • 523 He dryues wyth droȝt þe dust for to ryse.
  • 524 Fro þe face of þe folde to flyȝe ful hyȝe;
  • 525 Wroþe wynde of þe welkyn wrasteleȝ with þe sunne,
  • 526 Þe leueȝ lancen fro þe lynde, & lyȝten on þe grounde,
  • 527 & al grayes þe gres, þat grene watȝ ere;
  • 528 Þenne al rypeȝ & roteȝ þat ros vpon fyrst,
  • 529 & þus ȝirneȝ þe ȝere in ȝisterdayeȝ mony,
  • 530 & wynter wyndeȝ aȝayn, as þe worlde askeȝ
  • 531 no sage.
  • 532 Til meȝel-mas mone,
  • 533 Watȝ cumen wyth wynter wage;
  • 534 Þen þenkkeȝ Gawan ful sone,
  • 535 Of his anious uyage.
  • 536 ȝet quyl al-hal-day with Arþer he lenges,
  • 537 & he made a fare on þat fest, for þe frekeȝ sake,
  • 538 With much reuel & ryche of þe rounde table;
  • 539 Knyȝteȝ ful cortays & comlych ladies,
  • 540 Al for luf of þat lede in longynge þay were,
  • 541 Bot neuer-þe-lece ne þe later þay neuened bot merþe,
  • 542 Mony ioyleȝ for þat ientyle iapeȝ þer maden.
  • 543 For aftter mete, with mournyng he meleȝ to his eme,
  • 544 & spekeȝ of his passage, & pertly he sayde,
  • 545 "Now, lege lorde of my lyf, leue I yow ask;
  • 546 e knowe þe cost of þis cace, kepe I no more
  • 547 To telle yow teneȝ þer-of neuer bot trifel;
  • 548 Bot I am boun to þe bur barely to morne,
  • 549 To sech þe gome of þe grene, as god wyl me wysse."
  • 550 Þenne þe best of þe burȝ boȝed to-geder,
  • 551 Aywan, & Errik, & oþer ful mony,
  • 552 Sir Doddinaual de Sauage, þe duk of Clarence,
  • 553 Launcelot, & Lyonel, & Lucan þe gode,
  • 554 Sir Boos, & sir Byduer, big men boþe,
  • 555 & mony oþer menskful, with Mador de la Port.
  • 556 Alle þis compayny of court com þe kyng nerre,
  • 557 For to counseyl þe knyȝt, with care at her hert;
  • 558 Þere watȝ much derue doel driuen in þe sale,
  • 559 Þat so worthe as Wawan schulde wende on þat ernde,
  • 560 To dryȝe a delful dynt, & dele no more
  • 561 wyth bronde.
  • 562 Þe knyȝt mad ay god chere,
  • 563 & sayde, "quat schuld I wonde,
  • 564 Of destines derf & dere,
  • 565 What may mon do bot fonde?"
  • 566 He dowelleȝ þer al þat day, and dresseȝ on þe morn,
  • 567 Askeȝ erly hys armeȝ, & alle were þay broȝt
  • 568 Fyrst a tule tapit, tyȝt ouer þe flet,
  • 569 & miche watȝ þe gyld gere þat glent þer alofte;
  • 570 Þe stif mon steppeȝ þeron, & þe stel hondoleȝ,
  • 571 Dubbed in a dublet of a dere tars,
  • 572 & syþen a crafty capados, closed aloft,
  • 573 Þat wyth a bryȝt blaunner was bounden with-inne;
  • 574 Þenne set þay þe sabatounȝ vpon þe segge foteȝ,
  • 575 His legeȝ lapped in stel with luflych greueȝ,
  • 576 With polayneȝ piched þer-to, policed ful clene,
  • 577 Aboute his kneȝ knaged wyth knoteȝ of golde;
  • 578 Queme quyssewes þen, þat coyntlych closed
  • 579 His thik þrawen þyȝeȝ with þwonges to-tachched;
  • 580 & syþen þe brawden bryne of bryȝt stel ryngeȝ,
  • 581 Vmbe-weued þat wyȝ, vpon wlonk stuffe;
  • 582 & wel bornyst brace vpon his boþe armes,
  • 583 With gode cowters & gay, & gloueȝ of plate,
  • 584 & alle þe godlych gere þat hym gayn schulde
  • 585 Þat tyde;
  • 586 Wyth ryche cote armure,
  • 587 His gold sporeȝ spend with pryde,
  • 588 Gurde wyth a bront ful sure,
  • 589 With silk sayn vmbe his syde.
  • 590 When he watȝ hasped in armes, his harnays watȝ ryche,
  • 591 Þe lest lachet ou[þ]er loupe lemed of golde;
  • 592 So harnayst as he watȝ he herkneȝ his masse,
  • 593 Offred & honoured at þe heȝe auter;
  • 594 Syþen he comeȝ to þe kyng & to his cort fereȝ,
  • 595 Lacheȝ lufly his leue at lordeȝ & ladyeȝ;
  • 596 & þay hym kyst & conueyed, bikende hym to kryst.
  • 597 Bi þat watȝ Gryngolet grayth, & gurde with a sadel,
  • 598 Þat glemed ful gayly with mony golde frenges,
  • 599 Ay quere naylet ful nwe for þat note ryched;
  • 600 Þe brydel barred aboute, with bryȝt golde bounden;
  • 601 Þe apparayl of þe payttrure, & of þe proude skyrteȝ,
  • 602 Þe cropore, & þe couertor, acorded wyth þe arsouneȝ;
  • 603 & al watȝ rayled on red ryche golde nayleȝ,
  • 604 Þat al glytered & glent as glem of þe sunne.
  • 605 Þenne hentes he þe holme, & hastily hit kysses,
  • 606 Þat watȝ stapled stifly, & stoffed wyth-inne:
  • 607 Hit watȝ hyȝe on his hede, hasped bihynde,
  • 608 Wyth a lyȝtli vrysoun ouer þe auentayle,
  • 609 Enbrawden & bounden wyth þe best gemmeȝ,
  • 610 On brode sylkyn borde, & bryddeȝ on semeȝ,
  • 611 As papiayeȝ paynted pernyng bitwene,
  • 612 Tortors & trulofeȝ entayled so þyk,
  • 613 As mony burde þer aboute had ben seuen wynter
  • 614 in toune;
  • 615 Þe cercle watȝ more o prys,
  • 616 Þat vmbe-clypped hys croun,
  • 617 Of diamaunteȝ a deuys,
  • 618 Þat boþe were bryȝt & broun.
  • 619 Then þay schewed hym þe schelde, þat was of schyr gouleȝ,
  • 620 Wyth þe pentangel de-paynt of pure golde hweȝ;
  • 621 He braydeȝ hit by þe baude-ryk, aboute þe hals kestes,
  • 622 Þat bisemed þe segge semlyly fayre.
  • 623 & quy þe pentangel apendeȝ to þat prynce noble,
  • 624 I am in tent yow to telle, þof tary hyt me schulde;
  • 625 Hit is a syngne þat Salamon set sum-quyle,
  • 626 In bytoknyng of trawþe, bi tytle þat hit habbeȝ,
  • 627 For hit is a figure þat haldeȝ fyue poynteȝ,
  • 628 & vche lyne vmbe-lappeȝ & loukeȝ in oþer,
  • 629 & ay quere hit is endeleȝ, & Englych hit callen
  • 630 Ouer-al, as I here, þe endeles knot.
  • 631 For-þy hit acordeȝ to þis knyȝt, & to his cler armeȝ,
  • 632 For ay faythful in fyue & sere fyue syþeȝ,
  • 633 Gawan watȝ for gode knawen, & as golde pured,
  • 634 Voyded of vche vylany, wyth vertueȝ ennourned
  • 635 in mote;
  • 636 For-þy þe pen-tangel nwe
  • 637 He ber in schelde & cote,
  • 638 As tulk of tale most trwe,
  • 639 & gentylest knyȝt of lote.
  • 640 Fyrst he watȝ funden fautleȝ in his fyue wytteȝ,
  • 641 & efte fayled neuer þe freke in his fyue fyngres,
  • 642 & alle his afyaunce vpon folde watȝ in þe fyue woundeȝ
  • 643 Þat Cryst kaȝt on þe croys, as þe crede telleȝ;
  • 644 & quere-so-euer þys mon in melly watȝ stad,
  • 645 His þro þoȝt watȝ in þat, þurȝ alle oþer þyngeȝ,
  • 646 Þat alle his forsnes he fong at þe fyue ioyeȝ,
  • 647 Þat þe hende heuen quene had of hir chylde;
  • 648 at þis cause þe knyȝt comlyche hade
  • 649 In þe more half of his schelde hir ymage depaynted,
  • 650 Þat quen he blusched þerto, his belde neuer payred.
  • 651 Þe fyrst fyue þat I finde þat þe frek vsed,
  • 652 Watȝ fraunchyse, & felaȝschyp for-be al þyng;
  • 653 His clannes & his cortaysye croked were neuer,
  • 654 & pite, þat passeȝ alle poynteȝ, þyse pure fyue
  • 655 Were harder happed on þat haþel þen on any oþer.
  • 656 Now alle þese fyue syþeȝ, forsoþe, were fetled on þis knyȝt,
  • 657 & vchone halched in oþer, þat non ende hade,
  • 658 & fyched vpon fyue poynteȝ, þat fayld neuer,
  • 659 Ne samned neuer in no syde, ne sundred nouþ[er],
  • 660 With-outen ende at any noke [a]i quere fynde,
  • 661 Where-euer þe gomen bygan, or glod to an ende.
  • 662 Þer-fore on his schene schelde schapen watȝ þe knot,
  • 663 Þus alle wyth red golde vpon rede gowleȝ,
  • 664 Þat is þe pure pentaungel wyth þe peple called,
  • 665 with lore.
  • 666 Now grayþed is Gawan gay,
  • 667 & laȝt his launce ryȝt þore,
  • 668 & gef hem alle goud day,
  • 669 He wende for euer more.
  • 670 He sperred þe sted with þe spureȝ, & sprong on his way,
  • 671 So stif þat þe ston fyr stroke out þer-after;
  • 672 Al þat seȝ þat semly syked in hert,
  • 673 & sayde soþly al same segges til oþer,
  • 674 Carande for þat comly, "bi Kryst, hit is scaþe,
  • 675 Þat þou, leude, schal be lost, þat art of lyf noble!
  • 676 To fynde hys fere vpon folde, in fayth is not eþe;
  • 677 Warloker to haf wroȝt had more wyt bene,
  • 678 & haf dyȝt ȝonder dere a duk to haue worþed;
  • 679 A lowande leder of ledeȝ in londe hym wel semeȝ,
  • 680 & so had better haf ben þen britned to noȝt,
  • 681 Hadet wyth an aluisch mon, for angardeȝ pryde.
  • 682 Who knew euer any kyng such counsel to take,
  • 683 As knyȝteȝ in cauelounȝ on cryst-masse gomneȝ!"
  • 684 Wel much watȝ þe warme water þat waltered of yȝen,
  • 685 When þat semly syre soȝt fro þo woneȝ
  • 686 þat daye;
  • 687 He made non abode,
  • 688 Bot wyȝtly went hys way,
  • 689 Mony wylsum way he rode,
  • 690 Þe bok as I herde say.
  • 691 Now rideȝ þis renk þurȝ þe ryalme of Logres,
  • 692 Sir Gauan on Godeȝ halue, þaȝ hym no gomen þoȝt;
  • 693 Oft, leudleȝ alone, he lengeȝ on nyȝteȝ,
  • 694 Þer he fonde noȝt hym byfore þe fare þat he lyked;
  • 695 Hade he no fere bot his fole, bi frytheȝ & douneȝ,
  • 696 Ne no gome bot God, bi gate wyth to karp,
  • 697 Til þat he neȝed ful noghe in to þe Norþe Waleȝ;
  • 698 Alle þe iles of Anglesay on lyft half he haldeȝ,
  • 699 & fareȝ ouer þe fordeȝ by þe for-londeȝ,
  • 700 Ouer at þe Holy-Hede, til he hade eft bonk
  • 701 In þe wyldrenesse of Wyrale; wonde þer bot lyte
  • 702 Þat auþer God oþer gome wyth goud hert louied.
  • 703 & ay he frayned, as he ferde, at frekeȝ þat he met,
  • 704 If þay hade herde any karp of a knyȝt grene,
  • 705 In any grounde þer-aboute, of þe grene chapel;
  • 706 & al nykked hym wyth nay, þat neuer in her lyue
  • 707 Þay seȝe neuer no segge þat watȝ of suche hweȝ
  • 708 of grene.
  • 709 Þe knyȝt tok gates straunge,
  • 710 In mony a bonk vnbene,
  • 711 His cher ful oft con chaunge,
  • 712 Þat chapel er he myȝt sene.
  • 713 Mony klyf he ouer-clambe in contrayeȝ straunge,
  • 714 Fer floten fro his frendeȝ fremedly he rydeȝ;
  • 715 at vche warþe oþer water þer þe wyȝe passed,
  • 716 He fonde a foo hym byfore, bot ferly hit were,
  • 717 & þat so foule & so felle, þat feȝt hym by-hode;
  • 718 So mony meruayl hi mount þer þe mon fyndeȝ,
  • 719 Hit were to tore for to telle of þe tenþe dole.
  • 720 Sumwhyle wyth wormeȝ he werreȝ, & with wolues als,
  • 721 Sumwhyle wyth wodwos, þat woned in þe knarreȝ,
  • 722 Boþe wyth bulleȝ & bereȝ, & boreȝ oþer-quyle,
  • 723 & etayneȝ, þat hym a-nelede, of þe heȝe felle;
  • 724 Nade he ben duȝty & dryȝe, & dryȝtyn had serued,
  • 725 Douteles he hade ben ded, & dreped ful ofte.
  • 726 For werre wrathed hym not so much, þat wynter was wors,
  • 727 When þe colde cler water fro þe cloudeȝ schadden,
  • 728 & fres er hit falle myȝt to þe fale erþe;
  • 729 Ner slayn wyth þe slete he sleped in his yrnes,
  • 730 Mo nyȝteȝ þen in-noghe in naked rokkeȝ,
  • 731 Þer as claterande fro þe crest þe colde borne renneȝ,
  • 732 & henged heȝe ouer his hede in hard ÿsse-ikkles.
  • 733 Þus in peryl, & payne, & plytes ful harde,
  • 734 Bi contray caryeȝ þis knyȝt, tyl kryst-masse euen,
  • 735 al one;
  • 736 Þe knyȝt wel þat tyde,
  • 737 To Mary made his mone.
  • 738 Þat ho hym red to ryde,
  • 739 & wysse hym to sum wone.
  • 740 Bi a mounte on þe morne meryly he rydes,
  • 741 Into a forest ful dep, þat ferly watȝ wylde,
  • 742 Hiȝe hilleȝ on vche a halue, & holt wodeȝ vnder,
  • 743 Of hore okeȝ fill hoge a hundreth to-geder;
  • 744 Þe hasel & þe haȝ-þorne were harled al samen,
  • 745 With roȝe raged mosse rayled ay-where,
  • 746 With mony bryddeȝ vnblyþe vpon bare twyges,
  • 747 Þat pitosly þer piped for pyne of þe colde.
  • 748 Þe gome vpon Gryngolet glydeȝ hem vnder,
  • 749 Þurȝ mony misy & myre, mon al hym one,
  • 750 Carande for his costes, lest he ne keuer schulde,
  • 751 To se þe seruy of þat syre, þat on þat self nyȝt
  • 752 Of a burde watȝ borne, oure baret to quelle;
  • 753 & þerfore sykyng he sayde, "I be-seche þe, lorde,
  • 754 & Mary, þat is myldest moder so dere.
  • 755 Of sum herber, þer heȝly I myȝt here masse.
  • 756 Ande þy matyneȝ to-morne, mekely I ask,
  • 757 & þer-to prestly I pray my pater & aue,
  • 758 & crede."
  • 759 He rode in his prayere,
  • 760 & cryed for his mysdede,
  • 761 He sayned hym in syþes sere,
  • 762 & sayde "cros Kryst me spede!"
  • 763 Nade he sayned hym-self, segge, bot þrye,
  • 764 Er he watȝ war in þe wod of a won in a mote.
  • 765 Abof a launde, on a lawe, loken vnder boȝeȝ,
  • 766 Of mony borelych bole, aboute bi þe diches;
  • 767 A castel þe comlokest þat euer knyȝt aȝte,
  • 768 Pyched on a prayere, a park al aboute,
  • 769 With a pyked palays, pyned ful þik,
  • 770 Þat vmbe-teȝe mony tre mo þen two myle.
  • 771 Þat holde on þat on syde þe haþel auysed,
  • 772 As hit schemered & schon þurȝ þe schyre okeȝ;
  • 773 Þenne hatȝ he hendly of his helme, & heȝly he þonkeȝ
  • 774 Iesus & say[nt] Gilyan, þat gentyle ar boþe,
  • 775 Þat cortaysly hade hym kydde, & his cry herkened.
  • 776 "Now bone hostel," coþe þe burne, "I be-seche yow ȝette!"
  • 777 Þenne gedereȝ he to Gryngolet with þe gilt heleȝ,
  • 778 & he ful chauncely hatȝ chosen to þe chef gate,
  • 779 Þat broȝt bremly þe burne to þe bryge ende,
  • 780 in haste;
  • 781 Þe bryge watȝ breme vp-brayde,
  • 782 Þe ȝateȝ wer stoken faste,
  • 783 Þe walleȝ were wel arayed,
  • 784 Hit dut no wyndeȝ blaste.
  • 785 Þe burne bode on bonk, þat on blonk houed,
  • 786 Of þe depe double dich þat drof to þe place,
  • 787 Þe walle wod in þe water wonderly depe,
  • 788 Ande eft a ful huge heȝt hit haled vpon lofte,
  • 789 Of harde hewen ston vp to þe tableȝ,
  • 790 Enbaned vnder þe abataylment, in þe best lawe;
  • 791 & syþen garyteȝ ful gaye gered bi-twene,
  • 792 Wyth mony luflych loupe, þat louked ful clene;
  • 793 A better barbican þat burne blusched vpon neuer;
  • 794 & innermore he be-helde þat halle ful hyȝe,
  • 795 Towre telded bytwene trochet ful þik,
  • 796 Fayre fylyoleȝ þat fyȝed, & ferlyly long,
  • 797 With coruon coprounes, craftyly sleȝe;
  • 798 Chalk whyt chymnees þer ches he in-noȝe,
  • 799 Vpon bastel roueȝ, þat blenked ful quyte;
  • 800 So mony pynakle payntet watȝ poudred ay quere,
  • 801 Among þe castel carneleȝ, clambred so þik,
  • 802 Þat pared out of papure purely hit semed.
  • 803 Þe fre freke on þe fole hit fayr in-n[o]ghe þoȝt,
  • 804 If he myȝt keuer to com þe cloyster wyth-inne,
  • 805 To herber in þat hostel, whyl halyday lested
  • 806 auinant;
  • 807 He calde, & sone þer com
  • 808 A porter pure plesaunt,
  • 809 On þe wal his ernd he nome,
  • 810 & haylsed þe knyȝt erraunt.
  • 811 "Gode sir," quod Gawan, "woldeȝ þou go myn ernde,
  • 812 To þe heȝ lorde of þis hous, herber to craue?"
  • 813 "ȝe, Peter," quod þe porter, "& purely I trowe,
  • 814 Þat ȝe be, wyȝe, welcum to won quyle yow lykeȝ."
  • 815 Þen ȝede þat wyȝe aȝayn awyþe,
  • 816 & folke frely hym wyth, to fonge þe knyȝt;
  • 817 Þay let doun þe grete draȝt, & derely out ȝeden,
  • 818 & kneled doun on her knes vpon þe colde erþe,
  • 819 To welcum þis ilk wyȝ, as worþy hom þoȝt;
  • 820 Þay ȝolden hym þe brode ȝate, ȝarked vp wyde,
  • 821 & he hem raysed rekenly, & rod ouer þe brygge;
  • 822 Sere seggeȝ hym sesed by sadel, quel he lyȝt,
  • 823 & syþen stabeled his stede stif men in-noȝe.
  • 824 Knyȝteȝ & swyereȝ comen doun þenne,
  • 825 For to bryng þis burne wyth blys in-to halle;
  • 826 Quen he hef vp his helme, þer hiȝed in-noghe
  • 827 For to hent hit at his honde, þe hende to seruen,
  • 828 His bronde & his blasoun boþe þay token.
  • 829 Þen haylsed he ful hendly þo haþeleȝ vch one,
  • 830 & mony proud mon þer presed, þat prynce to honour;
  • 831 Alle hasped in his heȝ wede to halle þay hym wonnen,
  • 832 Þer fayre fyre vpon flet fersly brenned.
  • 833 Þenne þe lorde of þe lede louteȝ fro his chambre,
  • 834 For to mete wyth menske þe mon on þe flor;
  • 835 He sayde, "ȝe ar welcum to welde as yow lykeȝ,
  • 836 Þat here is, al is yowre awen, to haue at yowre wylle
  • 837 & welde."
  • 838 "Graunt mercy," quod Gawayn,
  • 839 "Þer Kryst hit yow for-ȝelde,"
  • 840 As frekeȝ þat semed fayn,
  • 841 Ayþer oþer in armeȝ con felde.
  • 842 Gawayn glyȝt on þe gome þat godly hym gret,
  • 843 & þuȝt hit a bolde burne þat þe burȝ aȝte,
  • 844 A hoge haþel for þe noneȝ, & of hyghe elde;
  • 845 Brode bryȝt watȝ his berde, & al beuer hwed,
  • 846 Sturne stif on þe stryþþe on stal-worth schonkeȝ,
  • 847 Felle face as þe fyre, & fre of hys speche;
  • 848 & wel hym semed for soþe, as þe segge þuȝt,
  • 849 To lede a lortschyp in lee of leudeȝ ful gode.
  • 850 Þe lorde hym charred to a chambre, & chefly cumaundeȝ
  • 851 To delyuer hym a leude, hym loȝly to serue;
  • 852 & þere were boun at his bode burneȝ in-noȝe,
  • 853 Þat broȝt hym to a bryȝt boure, þer beddyng watȝ noble,
  • 854 Of cortynes of clene sylk, wyth cler golde hemmeȝ,
  • 855 & couertoreȝ ful curious, with comlych paneȝ,
  • 856 Of bryȝt blaunnier a-boue enbrawded bisydeȝ,
  • 857 Rudeleȝ rennande on ropeȝ, red golde ryngeȝ,
  • 858 Tapyteȝ tyȝt to þe woȝe, of tuly & tars,
  • 859 & vnder fete, on þe flet, of folȝande sute.
  • 860 Þer he watȝ dispoyled, wyth specheȝ of myerþe,
  • 861 Þe burn of his bruny, & of his bryȝt wedeȝ;
  • 862 Ryche robes ful rad renkkeȝ hem broȝten,
  • 863 For to charge, & to chaunge, & chose of þe best.
  • 864 Sone as he on hent, & happed þer-inne,
  • 865 Þat sete on hym semly, wyth saylande skyrteȝ,
  • 866 Þe ver by his uisage verayly hit semed
  • 867 Wel neȝ to vche haþel alle on hwes,
  • 868 Lowande & lufly, alle his lymmeȝ vnder,
  • 869 Þat a comloker knyȝt neuer Kryst made,
  • 870 hem þoȝt;
  • 871 Wheþen in worlde he were,
  • 872 Hit semed as he myȝt
  • 873 Be prynce with-outen pere,
  • 874 In felde þer felle men fyȝt.
  • 875 A cheyer by-fore þe chemné, þer charcole brenned,
  • 876 Watȝ grayþed for sir Gawan, grayþely with cloþeȝ,
  • 877 Whyssynes vpon queldepoyntes, þa[t] koynt wer boþe;
  • 878 & þenne a mere mantyle watȝ on þat mon cast,
  • 879 Of a broun bleeaunt, enbrauded ful ryche,
  • 880 & fayre furred wyth-inne with felleȝ of þe best,
  • 881 Alle of ermyn in erde, his hode of þe same;
  • 882 & he sete in þat settel semlych ryche,
  • 883 & achaufed hym chefly, & þenne his cher mended.
  • 884 Sone watȝ telded vp a tapit, on tresteȝ ful fayre,
  • 885 Clad wyth a clene cloþe, þat cler quyt schewed,
  • 886 Sanap, & salure, & syluer-in sponeȝ;
  • 887 Þe wyȝe wesche at his wylle, & went to his mete
  • 888 Seggeȝ hym serued semly in-noȝe,
  • 889 Wyth sere sewes & sete, sesounde of þe best,
  • 890 Double felde, as hit falleȝ, & fele kyn fischeȝ;
  • 891 Summe baken in bred, summe brad on þe gledeȝ,
  • 892 Summe soþen, summe in sewe, sauered with spyces,
  • 893 & ay sawes so sleȝeȝ, þat þe segge lyked.
  • 894 Þe freke calde hit a fest ful frely & ofte,
  • 895 Ful hendely, quen alle þe haþeles re-hayted hym at oneȝ
  • 896 as hende;
  • 897 "Þis penaunce now ȝe take,
  • 898 & eft hit schal amende;"
  • 899 Þat mon much merþe con make.
  • 900 For wyn in his hed þat wende.
  • 901 Þenne watȝ spyed & spured vpon spare wyse.
  • 902 Bi preue poynteȝ of þat prynce, put to hym-seluen,
  • 903 Þat he be-knew cortaysly of þe court þat he were,
  • 904 Þat aþel Arthure þe hende haldeȝ hym one,
  • 905 Þat is þe ryche ryal kyng of þe rounde table;
  • 906 & hit watȝ Wawen hym-self þat in þat won sytteȝ,
  • 907 Comen to þat krystmasse, as case hym þen lymped.
  • 908 When þe lorde hade lerned þat he þe leude hade,
  • 909 Loude laȝed he þerat, so lef hit hym þoȝt,
  • 910 & alle þe men in þat mote maden much joye,
  • 911 To apere in his presense prestly þat tyme,
  • 912 Þat alle prys, & prowes, & pured þewes
  • 913 Apendes to hys persoun, & praysed is euer,
  • 914 By-fore alle men vpon molde, his mensk is þe most.
  • 915 Vch segge ful softly sayde to his fere,
  • 916 "Now schal we semlych se sleȝteȝ of þeweȝ,
  • 917 & þe teccheles termes of talkyng noble,
  • 918 Wich spede is in speche, vnspurd may we lerne,
  • 919 Syn we haf fonged þat fyne fader of nurture;
  • 920 God hatȝ geuen vus his grace godly for soþe,
  • 921 Þat such a gest as Gawan graunteȝ vus to haue,
  • 922 When burneȝ blyþe of his burþe schal sitte
  • 923 & synge.
  • 924 In menyng of manereȝ mere,
  • 925 Þis burne now schal vus bryng,
  • 926 I hope þat may hym here,
  • 927 Schal lerne of luf-talkyng."
  • 928 Bi þat þe diner watȝ done, & þe dere vp,
  • 929 Hit watȝ neȝ at þe niyȝt neȝed þe tyme;
  • 930 Chaplayneȝ to þe chapeles chosen þe gate,
  • 931 Rungen ful rychely, ryȝt as þay schulden,
  • 932 To þe hersum euensong of þe hyȝe tyde.
  • 933 Þe lorde loutes þerto, & þe lady als,
  • 934 In-to a comly closet coyntly ho entreȝ;
  • 935 Gawan glydeȝ ful gay, & gos þeder sone;
  • 936 Þe lorde laches hym by þe lappe, & ledeȝ hym to sytte,
  • 937 & couþly hym knoweȝ, & calleȝ hym his nome,
  • 938 & sayde he watȝ þe welcomest wyȝe of þe worlde;
  • 939 & he hym þonkked þroly, & ayþer halched oþer.
  • 940 & seten soberly samen þe seruise-quyle;
  • 941 Þenne lyst þe lady to loke on þe knyȝt.
  • 942 Þenne com ho of hir closet, with mony cler burdeȝ,
  • 943 Ho watȝ þe fayrest in felle, of flesche & of lyre,
  • 944 & of compas, & colour, & costes of alle oþer,
  • 945 & wener þen Wenore, as þe wyȝe þoȝt.
  • 946 He ches þurȝ þe chaunsel, to cheryche þat hende;
  • 947 An oþer lady hir lad bi þe lyft honde,
  • 948 Þat watȝ alder þen ho, an auncian hit semed,
  • 949 & heȝly honowred with haþeleȝ aboute.
  • 950 Bot vn-lyke on to loke þo ladyes were,
  • 951 For if þe ȝonge watȝ ȝep, ȝolȝe watȝ þat oþer;
  • 952 Riche red on þat on rayled ay quere,
  • 953 Rugh ronkled chekeȝ þat oþer on rolled;
  • 954 Kerchofes of þat on wyth mony cler perleȝ
  • 955 Hir brest & hir bryȝt þrote bare displayed,
  • 956 Schon schyrer þen snawe, þat scheder on hilleȝ;
  • 957 Þat oþer wyth a gorger watȝ gered ouer þe swyre,
  • 958 Chymbled ouer hir blake chyn with mylk-quyte vayles,
  • 959 Hir frount folden in sylk, enfoubled ay quere,
  • 960 Toret & treieted with tryfleȝ aboute,
  • 961 Þat noȝt watȝ bare of þat burde bot þe blake broȝes.
  • 962 Þe tweyne yȝen, & þe nase, þe naked lyppeȝ,
  • 963 & þose were soure to se, & sellyly blered;
  • 964 A mensk lady on molde mon may hir calle,
  • 965 for gode;
  • 966 Hir body watȝ schort & þik.
  • 967 Hir buttokeȝ bay & brode,
  • 968 More lykker-wys on to lyk,
  • 969 Watȝ þat scho hade on lode.
  • 970 When Gawayn glyȝt on þat gay, þat graciously loked,
  • 971 Wyth leue laȝt of þe lorde he went hem aȝaynes;
  • 972 Þe alder he haylses, heldande ful lowe,
  • 973 Þe loueloker he lappeȝ a lyttel in armeȝ,
  • 974 He kysses hir comlyly, & knyȝtly he meleȝ;
  • 975 Þay kallen hym of a quoyntaunce, & he hit quyk askeȝ
  • 976 To be her seruaunt sothly, if hem-self lyked.
  • 977 Þay tan hym bytwene hem, wyth talkyng hym leden
  • 978 To chambre, to chemné, & chefly þay asken
  • 979 Spyceȝ, þat vn-sparely men speded hom to bryng,
  • 980 & þe wynne-lych wyne þer-with vche tyme.
  • 981 Þe lorde luflych aloft lepeȝ ful ofte,
  • 982 Mynned merthe to be made vpon mony syþeȝ.
  • 983 Hent heȝly of his hode, & on a spere henged,
  • 984 & wayned hom to wynne þe worchip þer-of,
  • 985 Þat most myrþe myȝt mene þat crystenmas whyle;
  • 986 "& i schal fonde, bi my fayth, to fylter wyth þe best,
  • 987 Er me wont þe wedeȝ, with help of my frendeȝ."
  • 988 Þus wyth laȝande loteȝ þe lorde hit tayt makeȝ,
  • 989 For to glade sir Gawayn with gomneȝ in halle
  • 990 þat nyȝt;
  • 991 Til þat hit watȝ tyme,
  • 992 Þe kyng comaundet lyȝt,
  • 993 Sir Gawen his leue con nyme,
  • 994 & to his bed hym diȝt.
  • 995 On þe morne, as vch mon myneȝ þat tyme,
  • 996 [Þ]at dryȝtyn for oure destyné to deȝe watȝ borne,
  • 997 Wele waxeȝ in vche a won in worlde, for his sake;
  • 998 So did hit þere on þat day, þurȝ dayntes mony;
  • 999 Boþe at mes & at mele, messes ful quaynt
  • 1000 Derf men vpon dece drest of þe best.
  • 1001 Þe olde auncian wyf heȝest ho sytteȝ;
  • 1002 Þe lorde lufly her by lent, as I trowe;
  • 1003 Gawan & þe gay burde to-geder þay seten,
  • 1004 Euen in-myddeȝ, as þe messe metely come;
  • 1005 & syþen þurȝ al þe sale, as hem best semed,
  • 1006 Bi vche grome at his degre grayþely watȝ serued.
  • 1007 Þer watȝ mete, þer watȝ myrþe, þer watȝ much ioye,
  • 1008 Þat for to telle þerof hit me tene were,
  • 1009 & to poynte hit ȝet I pyned me parauenture;
  • 1010 Bot ȝet I wot þat Wawen & þe wale burde
  • 1011 Such comfort of her compaynye caȝten to-geder,
  • 1012 Þurȝ her dere dalyaunce of her derne wordeȝ,
  • 1013 Wyth clene cortays carp, closed fro fylþe;
  • 1014 & hor play watȝ passande vche prynce gomen,
  • 1015 in vayres;
  • 1016 Trumpeȝ & nakerys,
  • 1017 Much pypyng þer repayres,
  • 1018 Vche mon tented hys,
  • 1019 & þay two tented þayres.
  • 1020 Much dut watȝ þer dryuen þat day & þat oþer,
  • 1021 & þe þryd as þro þronge in þerafter;
  • 1022 Þe ioye of sayn Ioneȝ day watȝ gentyle to here,
  • 1023 & watȝ þe last of þe layk, leudeȝ þer þoȝten.
  • 1024 Þer wer gestes to go vpon þe gray morne,
  • 1025 For-þy wonderly þay woke, & þe wyn dronken,
  • 1026 Daunsed ful dreȝly wyth dere caroleȝ;
  • 1027 at þe last, when hit watȝ late, þay lachen her leue,
  • 1028 Vchon to wende on his way, þat watȝ wyȝe stronge.
  • 1029 Gawan gef hym god-day, þe god mon hym lachcheȝ,
  • 1030 Ledes hym to his awen chambre, þ[e] chymné bysyde,
  • 1031 & þere he draȝeȝ hym on-dryȝe, & derely hym þonkkeȝ,
  • 1032 Of þe wynne worschip & he hym wayned hade,
  • 1033 As to honour his hous on þat hyȝe tyde,
  • 1034 & enbelyse his burȝ with his bele chere.
  • 1035 "I-wysse sir, quyl I leue, me worþeȝ þe better,
  • 1036 Þat Gawayn hatȝ ben my gest, at Goddeȝ awen fest."
  • 1037 "Grant merci sir," quod Gawayn, "in god fayth hit is yowreȝ,
  • 1038 Al þe honour is your awen, þe heȝe kyng yow ȝelde;
  • 1039 & I am wyȝe at your wylle, to worch youre hest,
  • 1040 As I am halden þer-to, in hyȝe & in loȝe,
  • 1041 bi riȝt."
  • 1042 Þe lorde fast can hym payne,
  • 1043 To holde lenger þe knyȝt,
  • 1044 To hym answreȝ Gawayn,
  • 1045 Bi non way þat he myȝt.
  • 1046 Then frayned þe freke ful fayre at him-seluen,
  • 1047 Quat derne dede had hym dryuen, at þat dere tyme,
  • 1048 So kenly fro þe kyngeȝ kourt to kayre al his one,
  • 1049 Er þe halidayeȝ holly were halet out of toun?
  • 1050 "For soþe sir," quod þe segge, "ȝe sayn bot þe trawþe
  • 1051 A heȝe ernde & a hasty me hade fro þo woneȝ,
  • 1052 For I am sumned my selfe to sech to a place,
  • 1053 I wot in worlde wheder warde to wende, hit to fynde;
  • 1054 I nolde, bot if I hit negh myȝt on nwȝeres morne,
  • 1055 For alle þe londe in-wyth Logres, so me oure lorde help!
  • 1056 For-þy, sir, þis enquest I require yow here,
  • 1057 Þat ȝe me telle with trawþe, if euer ȝe tale herde
  • 1058 Of þe grene chapel, quere hit on grounde stondeȝ,
  • 1059 & of þe knyȝt þat hit kepes, of colour of grene?
  • 1060 Þer watȝ stabled bi statut a steuen vus by-twene,
  • 1061 To mete þat mon at þat mere, ȝif I myȝt last;
  • 1062 & of þat ilk nwȝere hot neked now wonteȝ,
  • 1063 & I wolde loke on þat lede, if God me let wolde,
  • 1064 Gladloker, bi Goddeȝ sun, þen any god welde!
  • 1065 For-þi, I-wysse, bi ȝowre wylle, wende me bi-houes,
  • 1066 Naf I now to busy bot bare þre dayeȝ,
  • 1067 & me als fayn to falle feye as fayly of myyn ernde."
  • 1068 Þenne laȝande quod þe lorde, "now leng þe by-houes,
  • 1069 For I schal teche yow to þa[t] terme bi þe tymeȝ ende,
  • 1070 Þe grene chapayle vpon grounde, greue yow no more;
  • 1071 Bot ȝe schal be in yowre bed, burne, at þyn ese,
  • 1072 Quyle forth dayez, & ferk on pe fyrst of pe ȝere,
  • 1073 & cum to þat merk at mydmorn, to make quat yow likeȝ
  • 1074 in spenne;
  • 1075 Dowelleȝ whyle new ȝeres daye,
  • 1076 & rys, & raykeȝ þenne,
  • 1077 Mon schal yow sette in waye,
  • 1078 Hit is not two myle henne."
  • 1079 Þenne watȝ Gawan ful glad, & gomenly he laȝed,--
  • 1080 "Now I þonk yow þryuandely þurȝ alle oþer þynge,
  • 1081 Now acheued is my chaunce, I schal at your wylle
  • 1082 Dowelle, & elleȝ do quat ȝe demen."
  • 1083 Þenne sesed hym þe syre, & set hym bysyde,
  • 1084 Let þe ladieȝ be fette, to lyke hem þe better;
  • 1085 Þer watȝ seme solace by hem-self stille;
  • 1086 Þe lorde let for luf loteȝ so myry,
  • 1087 As wyȝ þat wolde of his wyte, ne wyst quat he myȝt.
  • 1088 Þenne he carped to þe knyȝt, criande loude,
  • 1089 "ȝe han demed to do þe dede þat I bidde;
  • 1090 Wyl ȝe halde þis hes here at þys oneȝ?"
  • 1091 "ȝe sir, for-soþe," sayd þe segge trwe,
  • 1092 "Whyl I byde in yowre borȝe, be bayn to ȝow[r]e hest."
  • 1093 "For ȝe haf trauayled," quod þe tulk, "towen fro ferre,
  • 1094 & syþen waked me wyth, ȝe arn not wel waryst,
  • 1095 Nauþer of sostnaunce ne of slepe, soþly I knowe;
  • 1096 ȝe schal lenge in your lofte, & lyȝe in your ese,
  • 1097 To morn quyle þe messe-quyle, & to mete wende,
  • 1098 When ȝe wyl, wyth my wyf, þat wyth yow schal sitte,
  • 1099 & comfort yow with compayny, til I to cort torne,
  • 1100 ȝe lende;
  • 1101 & I schal erly ryse,
  • 1102 On huntyng wyl I wende."
  • 1103 Gauayn granteȝ alle þyse,
  • 1104 Hym heldande, as þe hende.
  • 1105 "ȝet firre," quod þe freke, "a forwarde we make;
  • 1106 Quat-so-euer I wynne in þe wod, hit worþeȝ to youreȝ,
  • 1107 & quat chek so ȝe acheue, chaunge me þer-forne;
  • 1108 Swete, swap we so, sware with trawþe,
  • 1109 Queþer, leude, so lymp lere oþer better."
  • 1110 "Bi God," quod Gawayn þe gode, "I grant þer-tylle,
  • 1111 & þat yow lyst forto layke, lef hit me þynkes.
  • 1112 "Who bringeȝ vus þis beuerage, þis bargayn is maked:"
  • 1113 So sayde þe lorde of þat lede; þay laȝed vchone,
  • 1114 Þay dronken, & daylyeden, & dalten vntyȝtel,
  • 1115 Þise lordeȝ & ladyeȝ, quyle þat hem lyked;
  • 1116 & syþen with frenkysch fare & fele fayre loteȝ
  • 1117 Þay stoden, & stemed, & stylly speken,
  • 1118 Kysten ful comlyly, & kaȝten her leue.
  • 1119 With mony leude ful lyȝt, & lemande torches,
  • 1120 Vche burne to his bed watȝ broȝt at þe laste,
  • 1121 ful softe;
  • 1122 To bed ȝet er þay ȝede,
  • 1123 Recorded couenaunteȝ ofte;
  • 1124 Þe olde lorde of þat leude,
  • 1125 Cowþe wel halde layk a-lofte.
  • 1126 Ful erly bifore þe day þe folk vp-rysen,
  • 1127 Gestes þat go wolde, hor gromeȝ þay calden,
  • 1128 & þay busken vp bilyue, blonkkeȝ to sadel,
  • 1129 Tyffen he[r] takles, trussen her males,
  • 1130 Richen hem þe rychest, to ryde alle arayde,
  • 1131 Lepen vp lyȝtly, lachen her brydeles,
  • 1132 Vche wyȝe on his way, þer hym wel lyked.
  • 1133 Þe leue lorde of þe londe watȝ not þe last,
  • 1134 A-rayed for þe rydyng, with renkkeȝ ful mony;
  • 1135 Ete a sop hastyly, when he hade herde masse,
  • 1136 With bugle to bent felde he buskeȝ by-lyue;
  • 1137 By þat þat any day-lyȝt lemed vpon erþe,
  • 1138 He with his haþeles on hyȝe horsses weren.
  • 1139 Þenne þise cacheres þat couþe, cowpled hor houndeȝ,
  • 1140 Vnclosed þe kenel dore, & calde hem þer-oute,
  • 1141 Blwe bygly in bugleȝ þre bare mote;
  • 1142 Braches bayed þerfore, & breme noyse maked,
  • 1143 & þay chastysed, & charred, on chasyng þat went;
  • 1144 A hundreth of hunteres, as I haf herde telle,
  • 1145 of þe best;
  • 1146 To trystors vewters ȝod,
  • 1147 Couples huntes of kest,
  • 1148 Þer ros for blasteȝ gode,
  • 1149 Gret rurd in þat forest.
  • 1150 at þe fyrst quethe of þe quest quaked þe wylde;
  • 1151 Der drof in þe dale, doted for drede,
  • 1152 Hiȝed to þe hyȝe, bot heterly þay were
  • 1153 Restayed with þe stablye, þat stoutly ascryed;
  • 1154 Þay let þe hertteȝ haf þe gate, with þe hyȝe hedes,
  • 1155 Þe breme bukkeȝ also, with hor brode paumeȝ;
  • 1156 For þe fre lorde hade de-fende in fermysoun tyme,
  • 1157 Þat þer schulde no mon mene to þe male dere.
  • 1158 Þe hindeȝ were halden in, with hay & war,
  • 1159 Þe does dryuen with gret dyn to þe depe sladeȝ;
  • 1160 Þer myȝt mon se, as þay slypte, slentyng of arwes,
  • 1161 at vche [þat] wende vnder wande wapped a flone,
  • 1162 Þat bigly bote on þe broun, with ful brode hedeȝ,
  • 1163 What! þay brayen, & bleden, bi bonkkeȝ þay deȝen.
  • 1164 & ay rachches in a res radly hem folȝes,
  • 1165 Huntereȝ wyth hyȝe horne hasted hem after,
  • 1166 Wyth such a crakkande kry, as klyffes haden brusten;
  • 1167 What wylde so at-waped wyȝes þat schotten,
  • 1168 Watȝ al to-raced & rent, at þe resayt.
  • 1169 Bi þay were tened at þe hyȝe, & taysed to þe wattreȝ,
  • 1170 Þe ledeȝ were so lerned at þe loȝe trysteres,
  • 1171 & þe gre-houndeȝ so grete, þat geten hem bylyue,
  • 1172 & hem to fylched, as fast as frekeȝ myȝt loke,
  • 1173 þer ryȝt.
  • 1174 Þe lorde for blys abloy
  • 1175 Ful oft con launce & lyȝt,
  • 1176 & drof þat day wyth Ioy
  • 1177 Thus to þe derk nyȝt.
  • 1178 Þus laykeȝ þis lorde by lynde wodeȝ eueȝ,
  • 1179 & G. þe god mon, in gay bed lygeȝ,
  • 1180 Lurkkeȝ quyl þe day-lyȝt lemed on þe wowes,
  • 1181 Vnder couertour ful clere, cortyned aboute;
  • 1182 & as in slomeryng he slode, sleȝly he herde
  • 1183 A littel dyn at his dor, & derfly vpon;
  • 1184 & he heueȝ vp his hed out of þe cloþes,
  • 1185 A corner of þe cortyn he caȝt vp a lyttel,
  • 1186 & wayteȝ warly þider-warde, quat hit be myȝt.
  • 1187 Hit watȝ þe ladi, loflyest to be-holde,
  • 1188 Þat droȝ þe dor after hir ful dernly & stylle,
  • 1189 & boȝed to-warde þe bed; & þe burne schamed.
  • 1190 & layde hym doun lystyly, & let as he slepte.
  • 1191 & ho stepped stilly. & stel to his bedde,
  • 1192 Kest vp þe cortyn, & creped with-inne,
  • 1193 & set hir ful softly on þe bed-syde,
  • 1194 & lenged þere selly longe, to loke quen he wakened.
  • 1195 Þe lede lay lurked a ful longe quyle,
  • 1196 Compast in his concience to quat þat cace myȝt
  • 1197 Mene oþer amount, to meruayle hym þoȝt;
  • 1198 Bot ȝet he sayde in hym-self, "more semly hit were
  • 1199 To aspye wyth my spelle [in] space quat ho wolde."
  • 1200 þen he wakenede, & wroth, & to hir warde torned,
  • 1201 & vn-louked his yȝe-lyddeȝ, & let as hym wondered,
  • 1202 & sayned hym, as bi his saȝe þe sauer to worthe,
  • 1203 with hande;
  • 1204 Wyth chynne & cheke ful swete,
  • 1205 Boþe quit & red in-blande,
  • 1206 Ful lufly con ho lete,
  • 1207 Wyth lyppeȝ smal laȝande.
  • 1208 "God moroun, sir Gawayn," sayde þat fayr lady,
  • 1209 "ȝe ar a sleper vn-slyȝe, þat mon may slyde hider;
  • 1210 Now ar ȝe tan astyt, bot true vus may schape,
  • 1211 I schal bynde yow in your bedde, þat be ȝe trayst:"
  • 1212 Al laȝande þe lady lanced þo bourdeȝ.
  • 1213 "Goud moroun g[aye]," quod Gawayn þe blyþe,
  • 1214 "Me schal worþe at your wille, & þat me wel lykeȝ,
  • 1215 For I ȝelde me ȝederly, & ȝeȝe after grace,
  • 1216 & þat is þe best, be my dome, for me by-houeȝ nede;"
  • 1217 & þus he bourded a-ȝayn with mony a blyþe laȝter.
  • 1218 "Bot wolde ȝe, lady louely, þen leue me grante,
  • 1219 & de-prece your prysoun, & pray hym to ryse,
  • 1220 I wolde boȝe of þis bed, & busk me better,
  • 1221 I schulde keuer þe more comfort to karp yow wyth."
  • 1222 "Nay, for soþe, beau sir," sayd þat swete,
  • 1223 "ȝe schal not rise of your bedde, I rych yow better,
  • 1224 I schal happe yow here þat oþer half als,
  • 1225 & syþen karp wyth my knyȝt þat I kaȝt haue;
  • 1226 For I wene wel, Iwysse, sir Wawen ȝe are,
  • 1227 Þat alle þe worlde worchipeȝ, quere-so ȝe ride;
  • 1228 Your honour, your hendelayk is hendely praysed
  • 1229 With lordeȝ, wyth ladyes, with alle þat lyf bere.
  • 1230 & now ȝe ar here, iwysse, & we bot oure one;
  • 1231 "My lorde & his ledeȝ ar on lenþe faren,
  • 1232 Oþer burneȝ in her bedde, & my burdeȝ als,
  • 1233 Þe dor drawen, & dit with a derf haspe;
  • 1234 & syþen I haue in þis hous hym þat al lykeȝ,
  • 1235 I schal ware my whyle wel, quyl hit lasteȝ,
  • 1236 with tale;
  • 1237 e ar welcum to my cors,
  • 1238 Yowre awen won to wale,
  • 1239 Me be-houeȝ of fyne force,
  • 1240 Your seruaunt be & schale."
  • 1241 "In god fayth," quod Gawayn, "gayn hit me þynkkeȝ,
  • 1242 Þaȝ I be not now he þat ȝe of speken;
  • 1243 To reche to such reuerence as ȝe reherce here
  • 1244 I am wyȝe vn-worþy, I wot wel my-seluen;
  • 1245 Bi God, I were glad, & yow god þoȝt,
  • 1246 at saȝe oþer at seruyce þat I sette myȝt
  • 1247 To þe plesaunce of your prys, hit were a pure ioye."
  • 1248 "In god fayth, sir Gawayn," quod þe gay lady,
  • 1249 "Þe prys & þe prowes þat pleseȝ al oþer,
  • 1250 If I hit lakked, oþer set at lyȝt, hit were littel daynté;
  • 1251 Bot hit ar ladyes in-noȝe, þat leuer wer nowþe
  • 1252 Haf þe hende in hor holde, as I þe habbe here,
  • 1253 To daly witt derely your daynté wordeȝ,
  • 1254 Keuer hem comfort, & colen her careȝ,
  • 1255 Þen much of þe garysoun oþer golde þat þay hauen;
  • 1256 Bot I louue þat ilk lorde þat þe lyfte haldeȝ,
  • 1257 I haf hit holly in my honde þat al desyres,
  • 1258 þurȝe grace."
  • 1259 Scho made hym so gret chere,
  • 1260 Þat watȝ so fayr of face,
  • 1261 Þe knyȝt with speches skere,
  • 1262 A[n]swared to vche a cace.
  • 1263 "Madame," quod þe myry mon, "Mary yow ȝelde,
  • 1264 For I haf founden, in god fayth, yowre fraunchis nobele,
  • 1265 & oþer ful much of oþer folk fongen hor dedeȝ;
  • 1266 Bot þe daynté þat þay delen for my disert nysen,
  • 1267 Hit is þe worchyp of your-self, þat noȝt hot wel conneȝ."
  • 1268 "Bi Mary," quod þe menskful, "me þynk hit anoþer;
  • 1269 For were I worth al þe wone of wymmen alyue,
  • 1270 & al þe wele of þe worlde were in my honde,
  • 1271 & I schulde chepen & chose, to cheue me a lorde,
  • 1272 For þe costes þat I haf knowen vpun þe knyȝt here,
  • 1273 Of bewté, & debonerté, & blyþe semblaunt,
  • 1274 & þat I haf er herkkened, & halde hit here trwee,
  • 1275 Þer schulde no freke vpon folde bifore yow be chosen."
  • 1276 "I-wysse, worþy," quod þe wyȝe, "ȝe haf waled wel better,
  • 1277 Bot I am proude of þe prys þat ȝe put on me,
  • 1278 & soberly your seruaunt my souerayn I holde yow,
  • 1279 & yowre knyȝt I be-com, & Kryst yow for-ȝelde."
  • 1280 Þus þay meled of much-quat, til myd-morn paste,
  • 1281 & ay þe lady let lyk, a hym loued mych;
  • 1282 Þe freke ferde with defence, & feted ful fayre.
  • 1283 Þaȝ I were burde bryȝtest, þe burde in mynde hade,
  • 1284 Þe lasse luf in his lode, for lur þat he soȝt,
  • 1285 boute hone;
  • 1286 Þe dunte þat schulde hym deue,
  • 1287 & nedeȝ hit most be done;
  • 1288 Þe lady þenn spek of leue.
  • 1289 He granted hir ful sone.
  • 1290 Þenne ho gef hym god-day, & wyth a glent laȝed.
  • 1291 & as ho stod, ho stonyed hym wyth ful stor wordeȝ:
  • 1292 "Now he þat spedeȝ vche spech, þis disport ȝelde yow!
  • 1293 Bot þat ȝe be Gawan, hit gotȝ in mynde."
  • 1294 "Quer-fore?" quod þe freke, & freschly he askeȝ,
  • 1295 Ferde lest he hade fayled in fourme of his castes;
  • 1296 Bot þe burde hym blessed, & bi þis skyl sayde,
  • 1297 "So god as Gawayn gaynly is halden,
  • 1298 & cortaysye is closed so clene in hym-seluen,
  • 1299 Couth not lyȝtly haf lenged so long wyth a lady,
  • 1300 Bot he had craued a cosse, bi his courtaysye,
  • 1301 Bi sum towch of summe tryfle, at sum taleȝ ende."
  • 1302 Þen quod Wowen, "I-wysse, worþe as yow lykeȝ,
  • 1303 I schal kysse at your comaundement, as a knyȝt falleȝ,
  • 1304 & fire lest he displese yow, so plede hit no more."
  • 1305 Ho comes nerre with þat, & cacheȝ hym in armeȝ,
  • 1306 Louteȝ luflych adoun, & þe leude kysseȝ;
  • 1307 Þay comly bykennen to Kryst ayþer oþer;
  • 1308 Ho dos hir forth at þe dore, with-outen dyn more.
  • 1309 & he ryches hym to ryse, & rapes hym sone,
  • 1310 Clepes to his chamberlayn, choses his wede,
  • 1311 Boȝeȝ forth, quen he watȝ boun, blyþely to masse,
  • 1312 & þenne he meued to his mete, þat menskly hym keped,
  • 1313 & made myry al day til þe mone rysed,
  • 1314 with game;
  • 1315 With neuer freke fayrer fonge,
  • 1316 Bitwene two so dyngne dame,
  • 1317 Þe alder & þe ȝonge,
  • 1318 Much solace set þay same.
  • 1319 And ay þe lorde of þe londe is lent on his gamneȝ,
  • 1320 To hunt in holteȝ & heþe, at hyndeȝ barayne,
  • 1321 Such a sowme he þer slowe bi þat þe sunne heldet,
  • 1322 Of dos & of oþer dere, to deme were wonder.
  • 1323 Þenne fersly þay flokked in folk at þe laste,
  • 1324 & quykly of þe quelled dere a querré þay maked;
  • 1325 Þe best boȝed þerto, with burneȝ in-noghe,
  • 1326 Gedered þe grattest of gres þat þer were,
  • 1327 & didden hem derely vndo, as þe dede askeȝ;
  • 1328 Serched hem at þe asay, summe þat þer were,
  • 1329 Two fyngeres þay fonde of þe fowlest of alle;
  • 1330 Syþen þay slyt þe slot, sesed þe erber,
  • 1331 Schaued wyth a scharp knyf, & þe schyre knitten;
  • 1332 Syþen rytte þay þe foure lymmes, & rent of þe hyde,
  • 1333 Þen brek þay þe bale, þe baleȝ out token,
  • 1334 Lystily forlancyng, & bere of þe knot;
  • 1335 Þay gryped to þe gargulun, & grayþely departed
  • 1336 Þe wesaunt fro þe wynt-hole, & walt out þe gutteȝ;
  • 1337 Þen scher þay out þe schuldereȝ with her scharp knyueȝ,
  • 1338 Haled hem by a lyttel hole, to haue hole sydes;
  • 1339 Siþen britned þay þe brest, & brayden hit in twynne,
  • 1340 & eft at þe gargulun bigyneȝ on þenne,
  • 1341 Ryueȝ hit vp radly, ryȝt to þe byȝt,
  • 1342 Voydeȝ out þe a-vanters, & verayly þerafter
  • 1343 Alle þe rymeȝ by þe rybbeȝ radly þay lance;
  • 1344 So ryde þay of by resoun bi þe rygge boneȝ,
  • 1345 Euenden to þe haunche, þat henged alle samen,
  • 1346 & heuen hit vp al hole, & hwen hit of þere,
  • 1347 & þat þay neme for þe noumbles, bi nome as I trowe,
  • 1348 bi kynde;
  • 1349 Bi þe byȝt al of þe þyȝes,
  • 1350 Þe lappeȝ þay lance bi-hynde,
  • 1351 To hewe hit in two þay hyȝes,
  • 1352 Bi þe bak-bon to vnbynde.
  • 1353 Boþe þe hede & þe hals þay hwen of þenne,
  • 1354 & syþen sunder þay þe sydeȝ swyft fro þe chyne,
  • 1355 & þe corbeles fee þay kest in a greue;
  • 1356 Þenn þurled þay ayþer þik side þurȝ, bi þe rybbe,
  • 1357 & henged þenne a[y]þer bi hoȝes of þe fourcheȝ,
  • 1358 Vche freke for his fee, as falleȝ forto haue.
  • 1359 Vpon a felle of þe fayre best, fede þay þayr houndes,
  • 1360 Wyth þe lyuer & þe lyȝteȝ, þe leþer of þe pauncheȝ,
  • 1361 & bred baþed in blod, blende þer amongeȝ;
  • 1362 Baldely þay blw prys, bayed þayr rachcheȝ,
  • 1363 Syþen fonge þay her flesche folden to home,
  • 1364 Strakande ful stoutly mony stif moteȝ.
  • 1365 Bi þat þe daylyȝt watȝ done, þe douthe watȝ al wonen
  • 1366 In-to þe comly castel, þer þe knyȝt bideȝ
  • 1367 ful stille;
  • 1368 Wyth blys & bryȝt fyr bette,
  • 1369 Þe lord is comen þer-tylle,
  • 1370 When Gawayn wyth hym mette,
  • 1371 Þer watȝ bot wele at wylle.
  • 1372 Thenne comaunded þe lorde in þat sale to samen alle þe meny,
  • 1373 Boþe þe ladyes on loghe to lyȝt with her burdes,
  • 1374 Bi-fore alle þe folk on þe flette, frekeȝ he beddeȝ
  • 1375 Verayly his venysoun to fech hym byforne;
  • 1376 & al godly in gomen Gaway[n] he called,
  • 1377 Techeȝ hym to þe tayles of ful tayt bestes,
  • 1378 Scheweȝ hym þe schyree grece schorne vpon rybbes.
  • 1379 "How payeȝ yow þis play? haf I prys wonnen?
  • 1380 Haue I þryuandely þonk þurȝ my craft serued?"
  • 1381 "ȝe I-wysse," quod þat oþer wyȝe, "here is wayth fayrest
  • 1382 Þat I seȝ þis seuen ȝere in sesoun of wynter."
  • 1383 "& al I gif yow, Gawayn," quod þe gome þenne,
  • 1384 "For by a-corde of couenaunt ȝe craue hit as your awen."
  • 1385 "Þis is soth," quod þe segge, "I say yow þatilke,
  • 1386 & I haf worthyly þis woneȝ wyth-inne,
  • 1387 I-wysse with as god wylle hit worþeȝ to ȝoureȝ."
  • 1388 He hasppeȝ his fayre hals his armeȝ wyth-inne,
  • 1389 & kysses hym as comlyly as he couþe awyse:
  • 1390 "Tas yow þere my cheuicaunce, I cheued no more,
  • 1391 I wowche hit saf fynly, þaȝ feler hit were."
  • 1392 "Hit is god," quod þe god mon, "grant mercy þerfore,
  • 1393 Hit may be such, hit is þe better, & ȝe me breue wolde
  • 1394 Where ȝe wan þis ilk wele, biwytte of hor seluen?"
  • 1395 "Þat watȝ not forward," quod he, "frayst me no more,
  • 1396 For ȝe haf tan þat yow tydeȝ, traweȝe non oþer
  • 1397 e mowe."
  • 1398 Þay laȝed, & made hem blyþe,
  • 1399 Wyth loteȝ þat were to lowe,
  • 1400 To soper þay ȝede asswyþe,
  • 1401 Wyth dayntes nwe in-nowe.
  • 1402 And syþen by þe chymné in chamber þay seten.
  • 1403 Wyȝeȝ þe walle wyn weȝed to hem oft,
  • 1404 & efte in her bourdyng þay bayþen in þe morn,
  • 1405 To fylle þe same forwardeȝ þat þay by-fore maden,
  • 1406 Þat chaunce so bytydeȝ hor cheuysaunce to chaunge,
  • 1407 What nweȝ so þay nome, at naȝt quen þay metten
  • 1408 Þay acorded of þe couenaunteȝ byfore þe court alle;
  • 1409 Þe beuerage watȝ broȝt forth in bourde at þat tyme;
  • 1410 Þenne þay louelych leȝten leue at þe last,
  • 1411 Vche burne to his bedde busked bylyue.
  • 1412 Bi þat þe coke hade croweȝ & cakled bot þryse,
  • 1413 Þe lorde watȝ lopen of his bedde, [&] þe leudeȝ vch one,
  • 1414 So þat þe mete & þe masse watȝ metely delyuered;
  • 1415 Þe douthe dressed to þe wod, er any day sprenged,
  • 1416 to chace;
  • 1417 Heȝ with hunte & horneȝ,
  • 1418 Þurȝ playneȝ þay passe in space,
  • 1419 Vn-coupled among þo þorneȝ,
  • 1420 Racheȝ þat ran on race.
  • 1421 Sone þay calle of a quest in aker syde,
  • 1422 Þe hunt re-hayted þe houndeȝ, þat hit fyrst mynged,
  • 1423 Wylde wordeȝ hym warp wyth a wrast noyce;
  • 1424 Þe howndeȝ þat hit herde, hastid þider swyþe,
  • 1425 & fellen as fast to þe fuyt, fourty at ones;
  • 1426 Þenne such a glauerande glam of gedered rachcheȝ
  • 1427 Ros, þat þe rochereȝ rungen aboute;
  • 1428 Huntereȝ hem hardened with horne & wyth muthe.
  • 1429 Þen al in a semblé sweyed to-geder,
  • 1430 Bitwene a flosche in þat fryth, & a foo cragge;
  • 1431 In a knot, bi a clyffe, at þe kerre syde,
  • 1432 Þer as þe rogh rocher vn-rydely watȝ fallen,
  • 1433 [Þay] ferden to þe fyndyng, & frekeȝ hem after;
  • 1434 Þay vmbe-kesten þe knarre & þe knot boþe.
  • 1435 Wyȝeȝ, whyl þay wysten wel wyt inne hem hit were,
  • 1436 Þe best þat þer breued watȝ wyth þe blod houndeȝ.
  • 1437 Þenne þay beten on þe buskeȝ, & bede hym vp ryse,
  • 1438 & he vnsoundyly out soȝt seggeȝ ouer-þwert,
  • 1439 On þe sellokest swyn swenged out þere,
  • 1440 Long sythen for þe sounder þat wiȝt for-olde,
  • 1441 For he watȝ b[este &] bor alþer grattest,
  • 1442 [And eue]re quen he gronyed, þenne greued mony,
  • 1443 For [þre a]t þe fyrst þrast he þryȝt to þe erþe,
  • 1444 & [sped hym] forth good sped, boute spyt more,
  • 1445 [Ande þay] halowed hyghe ful hyȝe & hay! hay! cryed
  • 1446 Haden horneȝ to mouþe heterly rechated;
  • 1447 Mony watȝ þe myry mouthe of men & of houndeȝ,
  • 1448 Þat buskkeȝ after þis bor, with bost & wyth noyse,
  • 1449 To quelle;
  • 1450 Ful oft he bydeȝ þe baye,
  • 1451 & maymeȝ þe mute Inn-melle,
  • 1452 He hurteȝ of þe houndeȝ, & þay
  • 1453 Ful ȝomerly ȝaule & ȝelle.
  • 1454 Schalkeȝ to schote at hym schowen to þenne,
  • 1455 Haled to hym of her areweȝ, hitten hym oft;
  • 1456 Bot þe poynteȝ payred at þe pyth þat pyȝt in his scheldeȝ,
  • 1457 & þe barbeȝ of his browe bite non wolde,
  • 1458 Þaȝ þe schauen schaft schyndered in peceȝ,
  • 1459 Þe hede hypped aȝayn, were-so-euer hit hitte;
  • 1460 Bot quon þe dynteȝ hym dered of her dryȝe strokeȝ,
  • 1461 Þen, brayn-wod for bate, on burneȝ he raseȝ,
  • 1462 Hurteȝ hem ful heterly þer he forth hyȝeȝ,
  • 1463 & mony arȝed þerat, & on-lyte droȝen.
  • 1464 Bot þe lorde on a lyȝt horce launces hym after,
  • 1465 As burne bolde vpon bent his bugle he bloweȝ,
  • 1466 He rechated, & r[ode] þurȝ roneȝ ful þyk,
  • 1467 Suande þis wy[ld]e swyn til þe sunne schafted.
  • 1468 Þis day wyth þis ilk dede þay dryuen on þis wyse,
  • 1469 Whyle oure luflych lede lys in his bedde,
  • 1470 Gawayn grayþely at home, in gereȝ ful ryche
  • 1471 of hewe;
  • 1472 Þe lady noȝt forȝate,
  • 1473 Com to hym to salue,
  • 1474 Ful erly ho watȝ hym ate,
  • 1475 His mode forto remwe.
  • 1476 Ho commes to þe cortyn, & at þe knyȝt totes,
  • 1477 Sir Wawen her welcumed worþy on fyrst,
  • 1478 & ho hym ȝeldeȝ aȝayn, ful ȝerne of hir wordeȝ,
  • 1479 Setteȝ hir sof[t]ly by his syde, & swyþely ho laȝeȝ,
  • 1480 & wyth a luflych loke ho layde hym þyse wordeȝ:
  • 1481 "Sir, ȝif ȝe be Wawen, wonder me þynkkeȝ,
  • 1482 Wyȝe þat is so wel wrast alway to god,
  • 1483 & conneȝ not of compaynye þe costeȝ vnder-take,
  • 1484 & if mon kennes yow hom to knowe, ȝe kest hom of your mynde;
  • 1485 Þou hatȝ for-ȝeten ȝederly þat ȝisterday I taȝtte
  • 1486 alder-truest token of talk þat I cowþe."
  • 1487 "What is þat?" quod þe wyghe, "I-wysse I wot neuer,
  • 1488 If hit be sothe þat ȝe breue, þe blame is myn awen."
  • 1489 "ȝet I kende yow of kyssyng," quod þe clere þenne,
  • 1490 "Quere-so countenaunce is couþe, quikly to clayme,
  • 1491 Þat bicumes vche a knyȝt, þat cortaysy vses."
  • 1492 "Do way," quod þat derf mon, "my dere, þat speche,
  • 1493 For þat durst I not do, lest I denayed were,
  • 1494 If I were werned, I were wrang I-wysse, ȝif I profered."
  • 1495 "Ma fay," quod þe mere wyf, "ȝe may not be werned,
  • 1496 ȝe ar stif in-noghe to constrayne wyth strenkþe, ȝif yow lykeȝ,
  • 1497 if any were so vilanous þat yow denaye wolde."
  • 1498 "ȝe, be God," quod Gawayn, "good is your speche,
  • 1499 Bot þrete is vn-þryuande in þede þer I lende,
  • 1500 & vche gift þat is geuen not with goud wylle;
  • 1501 I am at your comaundement, to kysse quen yow lykeȝ,
  • 1502 e may lach quen yow lyst, & leue quen yow þynkkeȝ,
  • 1503 in space."
  • 1504 Þe lady louteȝ a-doun,
  • 1505 & comlyly kysses his face,
  • 1506 Much speche þay þer expoun,
  • 1507 Of druryes greme & grace.
  • 1508 "I woled wyt at yow, wyȝe," þat worþy þer sayde,
  • 1509 "& yow wrathed not þer-wyth, what were þe skylle,
  • 1510 Þat so ȝong & so ȝepe, as ȝe [ar] at þis tyme,
  • 1511 So cortayse, so knyȝtyly, as ȝe ar knowen oute,
  • 1512 & of alle cheualry to chose, þe chef þyng a-losed,
  • 1513 Is þe lel layk of luf, þe lettrure of armes;
  • 1514 F[or] to telle of þis tenelyng of þis trwe knyȝteȝ,
  • 1515 Hit is þe tytelet, token, & tyxt of her werkkeȝ,
  • 1516 How le[des] for her lele luf hor lyueȝ han auntered,
  • 1517 Endured for her drury dulful stoundeȝ,
  • 1518 & after wenged with her walour & voyded her care,
  • 1519 & broȝt blysse in-to boure, with bountees hor awen.
  • 1520 & ȝe ar knyȝt com-lokest kyd of your elde,
  • 1521 Your worde & your worchip walkeȝ ay quere,
  • 1522 & I haf seten by your-self here sere twyes,
  • 1523 et herde I neuer of your hed helde no wordeȝ
  • 1524 Þat euer longed to luf, lasse ne more;
  • 1525 & ȝe, þat ar so cortays & coynt of your hetes,
  • 1526 Oghe to a ȝonke þynk ȝern to schewe,
  • 1527 & teche sum tokeneȝ of trweluf craftes.
  • 1528 Why ar ȝe lewed, þat alle þe los weldeȝ,
  • 1529 Oþer elles ȝe demen me to dille, your dalyaunce to herken?
  • 1530 for schame!
  • 1531 I com hider sengel, & sitte,
  • 1532 To lerne at yow sum game,
  • 1533 Dos, techeȝ me of your wytte,
  • 1534 Whil my lorde is fro hame."
  • 1535 "In goud fayþe," quod Gawayn, "God yow forȝelde,
  • 1536 Gret is þe gode gle, & gomen to me huge,
  • 1537 Þat so worþy as ȝe wolde wynne hidere,
  • 1538 & pyne yow with so pouer a mon, as play wyth your knyȝt,
  • 1539 With any skynneȝ countenaunce, hit keuereȝ me ese;
  • 1540 Bot to take þe toruayle to my-self, to trwluf expoun,
  • 1541 & towche þe temeȝ of tyxt, & taleȝ of armeȝ,
  • 1542 To yow þat, I wot wel, weldeȝ more slyȝt
  • 1543 Of þat art, bi þe half, or a hundreth of seche
  • 1544 As I am, oþer euer schal, in erde þer I leue,
  • 1545 Hit were a fole fele-folde, my fre, by my trawþe.
  • 1546 I wolde yowre wylnyng worche at my myȝt,
  • 1547 As I am hyȝly bihalden, & euer-more wylle
  • 1548 Be seruaunt to your-seluen, so saue me dryȝtyn!"
  • 1549 Þus hym frayned þat fre, & fondet hym ofte,
  • 1550 Forto haf wonnen hym to woȝe, what-so scho þoȝt elleȝ,
  • 1551 Bot he de fended hym so fayr, þat no faut semed,
  • 1552 Ne non euel on nawþer halue, nawþer þay wysten,
  • 1553 bot blysse;
  • 1554 Þay laȝed & layked longe,
  • 1555 at þe last scho con hym kysse,
  • 1556 Hir leue fayre con scho fonge,
  • 1557 & went hir waye iwysse.
  • 1558 Then ruþes hym þe renk, & ryses to þe masse,
  • 1559 & siþen hor diner watȝ dyȝt & derely serued.
  • 1560 Þe lede with þe ladyeȝ layked alle day,
  • 1561 Bot þe lorde ouer þe londeȝ launced ful ofte,
  • 1562 Sweȝ his vncely swyn, þat swyngeȝ bi þe bonkkeȝ,
  • 1563 & bote þe best of his bracheȝ þe bakkeȝ in sunder;
  • 1564 Þer he bode in his bay, tel bawe-men hit breken,
  • 1565 & made hym, maw-gref his bed, forto mwe vtter;
  • 1566 So felle floneȝ þer flete, when þe folk gedered;
  • 1567 Bot ȝet þe styffest to start bi stoundeȝ he made,
  • 1568 Til at þe last he watȝ so mat, he myȝt no more renne,
  • 1569 Bot in þe hast þat he myȝt, he to a hole wynneȝ,
  • 1570 Of a rasse, bi a rokk, þer renneȝ þe boerne,
  • 1571 He gete þe bonk at his bak, bigyneȝ to scrape,
  • 1572 Þe froþe femed at his mouth vnfayre bi þe wykeȝ,
  • 1573 Whetteȝ his whyte tuscheȝ; with hym þen irked
  • 1574 Alle þe burneȝ so bolde, þat hym by stoden,
  • 1575 To nye hym on-ferum, bot neȝe hym non durst
  • 1576 for woþe;
  • 1577 He hade hurt so mony byforne,
  • 1578 Þat al þuȝt þenne ful loþe,
  • 1579 Be more wyth his tuscheȝ torne,
  • 1580 Þat breme watȝ [&] brayn-wod bothe.
  • 1581 Til þe knyȝt com hym-self, kachande his blonk,
  • 1582 Syȝ hym byde at þe bay, his burneȝ bysyde,
  • 1583 He lyȝtes luflych adoun, leueȝ his corsour,
  • 1584 Braydeȝ out a bryȝt bront, & bigly forth strydeȝ,
  • 1585 Foundeȝ fast þurȝ þe forth, þer þe felle bydeȝ,
  • 1586 Þe wylde watȝ war of þe wyȝe with weppen in honde,
  • 1587 Hef hyȝly þe here, so hetterly he fnast,
  • 1588 Þat fele ferde for þe frekeȝ, lest felle hym þe worre;
  • 1589 Þe swyn setteȝ hym out on þe segge euen,
  • 1590 Þat þe burne & þe bor were boþe vpon hepeȝ,
  • 1591 In þe wyȝt-est of þe water, þe worre hade þat oþer;
  • 1592 For þe mon merkkeȝ hym wel, as þay mette fyrst,
  • 1593 Set sadly þe scharp in þe slot euen,
  • 1594 Hit hym vp to þe hult, þat þe hert schyndered,
  • 1595 & he ȝarrande hym ȝelde, & ȝedoun þe water,
  • 1596 ful tyt;
  • 1597 A hundreth houndeȝ hym hent,
  • 1598 Þat bremely con hym bite,
  • 1599 Burneȝ him broȝt to bent,
  • 1600 & doggeȝ to dethe endite.
  • 1601 There watȝ blawyng of prys in mony breme home,
  • 1602 Heȝe halowing on hiȝe, with haþeleȝ þat myȝt;
  • 1603 Brachetes bayed þat best, as bidden þe maystereȝ,
  • 1604 Of þat chargeaunt chace þat were chef huntes.
  • 1605 Þenne a wyȝe þat watȝ wys vpon wod crafteȝ,
  • 1606 To vnlace þis bor lufly bigynneȝ;
  • 1607 Fyrst he hewes of his hed, & on hiȝe setteȝ,
  • 1608 & syþen rendeȝ him al roghe bi þe rygge after,
  • 1609 Braydeȝ out þe boweles, brenneȝ hom on glede,
  • 1610 With bred blent þer-with his braches rewardeȝ;
  • 1611 Syþen he britneȝ out þe brawen in bryȝt brode [s]cheldeȝ,
  • 1612 & hatȝ out þe hastletteȝ, as hiȝtly bisemeȝ;
  • 1613 & ȝet hem halcheȝ al hole þe halueȝ to-geder,
  • 1614 & syþen on a stif stange stoutly hem henges.
  • 1615 Now with þis ilk swyn þay swengen to home;
  • 1616 Þe bores hed watȝ borne bifore þe burnes seluen,
  • 1617 Þat him for-ferde in þe forþe, þurȝ forse of his honde,
  • 1618 so stronge;
  • 1619 Til he seȝ sir Gawayne,
  • 1620 In halle hym þoȝt ful longe,
  • 1621 He calde, & he com gayn,
  • 1622 His feeȝ þer for to fonge.
  • 1623 Þe lorde ful lowde with lote, & laȝed myry,
  • 1624 When he seȝe sir G: with solace he spekeȝ;
  • 1625 Þe goude ladyeȝ were geten, & gedered þe meyny,
  • 1626 He scheweȝ hem þe scheldeȝ, & schapes hem þe tale,
  • 1627 Of þe largesse, & þe lenþe, þe liþerneȝ alse,
  • 1628 Of þe were of þe wylde swyn, in wod þer he fled.
  • 1629 Þat oþer knyȝt ful comly comended his dedeȝ,
  • 1630 & praysed hit as gret prys, þat he proued hade;
  • 1631 For suche a brawne of a best, þe bolde burne sayde,
  • 1632 Ne such sydes of a swyn, segh he neuer are.
  • 1633 Þenne hondeled þay þe hoge hed, þe hende mon hit praysed,
  • 1634 & let lodly þerat þe lorde forte here:
  • 1635 "Now Gawayn," quod þe god mon, "þis gomen is your awen,
  • 1636 Bi fyn for-warde & faste, faythely ȝe knowe."
  • 1637 "Hit is sothe," quod þe segge, "& as siker trwe;
  • 1638 Alle my get I schal yow gif agayn, bi my trawþe."
  • 1639 He [hent] þe haþel aboute þe halse, & hendely hym kysses,
  • 1640 & efter-sones of þe same he serued hym þere.
  • 1641 "Now ar we euen," quod þe haþel, "in þis euen-tide,
  • 1642 Of alle þe couenauntes þat we knyt, syþen I com hider,
  • 1643 bi lawe;"
  • 1644 Þe lorde sayde, "bi saynt Gile,
  • 1645 e ar þe best þat I knowe,
  • 1646 e ben ryche in a whyle,
  • 1647 Such chaffer & ȝe drowe."
  • 1648 Þenne þay teldet tableȝ [on] trestes alofte,
  • 1649 Kesten cloþeȝ vpon, clere lyȝt þenne
  • 1650 Wakned bi woȝeȝ, waxen torches
  • 1651 Seggeȝ sette, & serued in sale al aboute;
  • 1652 Much glam & gle glent vp þer-inne,
  • 1653 Aboute þe fyre vpon flet, & on fele wyse,
  • 1654 at þe soper & after, mony aþel songeȝ,
  • 1655 As coundutes of kryst-masse, & caroleȝ newe,
  • 1656 With alle þe manerly merþe þat mon may of telle.
  • 1657 & euer oure luflych knyȝt þe lady bi-syde;
  • 1658 Such semblaunt to þat segge semly ho made,
  • 1659 Wyth stille stollen countenaunce, þat stalworth to plese,
  • 1660 Þat al for-wondered watȝ þe wyȝe, & wroth with hym-seluen,
  • 1661 Bot he nolde not for his nurture nurne hir a-ȝayneȝ,
  • 1662 Bot dalt with hir al in daynte, how-se-euer þe dede turned
  • 1663 to wrast;
  • 1664 Quen þay hade played in halle,
  • 1665 As longe as hor wylle hom last,
  • 1666 To chambre he con hym calle,
  • 1667 & to þe chem-ne þay past.
  • 1668 Ande þer þay dronken, & dalten, & demed eft nwe,
  • 1669 To norne on þe same note, on nweȝereȝ euen;
  • 1670 Bot þe knyȝt craued leue, to kayre on þe morn,
  • 1671 For hit watȝ neȝ at þe terme, þat he to schulde.
  • 1672 Þe lorde hym letted of þat, to lenge hym resteyed,
  • 1673 & sayde, "as I am trwe segge, I siker my trawþe,
  • 1674 Þou schal cheue to þe grene chapel, þy charres to make,
  • 1675 Leude, on nwȝereȝ lyȝt, longe bifore pryme:
  • 1676 For-þy þow lye in þy loft, & lach þyn ese,
  • 1677 & I schal hunt in þis holt, & halde þe towcheȝ,
  • 1678 Chaunge wyth þe cheuisaunce, bi þat I charre hider;
  • 1679 For I haf fraysted þe twys, & faythful I fynde þe,
  • 1680 Now þrid tyme þrowe best þenk on þe morne,
  • 1681 make we mery quyl we may, & mynne vpon ioye,
  • 1682 For þe lur may mon lach, when so mon lykeȝ."
  • 1683 Þis watȝ grayþely graunted, & Gawayn is lenged,
  • 1684 Bliþe broȝt watȝ hym drynk, & þay to bedde ȝeden,
  • 1685 with liȝt;
  • 1686 Sir G: lis & slepes,
  • 1687 Ful stille & softe al niȝt;
  • 1688 Þe lorde þat his crafteȝ kepes,
  • 1689 Ful erly he watȝ diȝt.
  • 1690 After messe a morsel he & his men token,
  • 1691 Miry watȝ þe mornyng, his mounture he askes;
  • 1692 Alle þe haþeles þat on horse schulde helden hym after,
  • 1693 Were boun busked on hor blonkkeȝ, bi-fore þe halle ȝateȝ;
  • 1694 Ferly fayre watȝ þe folde, for þe forst clenged,
  • 1695 In rede rudede vpon rak rises þe sunne,
  • 1696 & ful clere costeȝ þe clowdes of þe welkyn.
  • 1697 Hunteres vnhardeled bi a holt syde,
  • 1698 Rocheres roungen bi rys, for rurde of her hornes;
  • 1699 Summe fel in þe fute, þer þe fox bade,
  • 1700 Trayleȝ ofte a trayteres, bi traunt of her wyles;
  • 1701 A kenet kryes þerof, þe hunt on hym calles,
  • 1702 His felaȝes fallen hym to, þat fnasted ful þike,
  • 1703 Runnen forth in a rabel, in his ryȝt fare;
  • 1704 & he fyskeȝ hem by-fore, þay founden hym sone,
  • 1705 & quen þay seghe hym with syȝt, þay sued hym fast,
  • 1706 Wreȝande h[ym] ful [w]eterly with a wroth noyse;
  • 1707 & he trantes & tornayeeȝ þurȝ mony tene greue;
  • 1708 Hamlouneȝ, & herkeneȝ, bi heggeȝ ful ofte;
  • 1709 at þe last bi a littel dich he lepeȝ ouer a spenné,
  • 1710 Steleȝ out ful stilly bi a strothe rande,
  • 1711 Went haf wylt of þe wode, with wyleȝ fro þe houndes,
  • 1712 Þenne watȝ he went, er he wyst, to a wale tryster,
  • 1713 Þer þre þro at a þrich þrat hym at ones,
  • 1714 al graye;
  • 1715 He blenched aȝayn bilyue,
  • 1716 & stifly start onstray,
  • 1717 With alle þe wo on lyue,
  • 1718 To þe wod he went away.
  • 1719 Thenne watȝ hit lif vpon list to lyþen þe houndeȝ,
  • 1720 When alle þe mute hade hym met, menged to-geder,
  • 1721 Suche a sorȝe at þat syȝt þay sette on his hede,
  • 1722 As alle þe clamberande clyffes hade clatered on hepes;
  • 1723 Here he watȝ halawed, when haþeleȝ hym metten,
  • 1724 Loude he watȝ ȝayned, with ȝarande speche;
  • 1725 Þer he watȝ þreted, & ofte þef called,
  • 1726 & ay þe titleres at his tayl, þat tary he ne myȝt;
  • 1727 Ofte he watȝ runnen at, when he out rayked,
  • 1728 & ofte reled in aȝayn, so reniarde watȝ wylé.
  • 1729 & ȝe he lad hem bi lag, mon, þe lorde & his meyny;
  • 1730 On þis maner bi þe mountes, quyle myd, ouer, vnder,
  • 1731 Whyle þe hende knyȝt at home holsumly slepeȝ,
  • 1732 With-inne þe comly cortynes, on þe colde morne.
  • 1733 Bot þe lady for luf let not to slepe,
  • 1734 Ne þe purpose to payre, þat pyȝt in hir hert,
  • 1735 Bot ros hir vp radly, rayked hir þeder,
  • 1736 In a mery mantyle, mete to þe erþe,
  • 1737 Þat watȝ furred ful fyne with felleȝ, wel pured,
  • 1738 No hweȝ goud on hir hede, bot þe haȝer stones
  • 1739 Trased aboute hir tressour, be twenty in clusteres;
  • 1740 Hir þryuen face & hir þrote þrowen al naked,
  • 1741 Hir brest bare bifore, & bihinde eke.
  • 1742 Ho comeȝ with-inne þe chambre dore, & closes hit hir after,
  • 1743 Wayneȝ vp a wyndow, & on þe wyȝe calleȝ,
  • 1744 & radly þus re-hayted hym, with hir riche wordeȝ,
  • 1745 with chere;
  • 1746 "A! mon, how may þou slepe,
  • 1747 Þis morning is so clere?"
  • 1748 He watȝ in drowping depe,
  • 1749 Bot þenne he con hir here.
  • 1750 In dreȝ droupyng of dreme draueled þat noble,
  • 1751 As mon þat watȝ in mornyng of mony þro þoȝtes,
  • 1752 How þat destiné schulde þat day [dyȝt] his wyrde,
  • 1753 at þe grene chapel, when he þe gome metes,
  • 1754 & bi-houes his buffet abide, with-oute debate more;
  • 1755 Bot quen þat comly he keuered his wyttes,
  • 1756 Swenges out of þe sweuenes, & swareȝ with hast.
  • 1757 Þe lady luflych com laȝande swete,
  • 1758 Felle ouer his fayre face, & fetly him kyssed;
  • 1759 He welcumeȝ hir worþily, with a wale chere;
  • 1760 He seȝ hir so glorious, & gayly atyred,
  • 1761 So fautles of hir fetures, & of so fyne hewes,
  • 1762 Wiȝt wallande Ioye warmed his hert;
  • 1763 With smoþe smylyng & smolt þay smeten in-to merþe,
  • 1764 Þat al watȝ blis & bonchef, þat breke hem bi-twene,
  • 1765 & wynne,
  • 1766 Þay lanced wordes gode,
  • 1767 Much wele þen watȝ þer-inne,
  • 1768 Gret perile bi-twene hem stod,
  • 1769 Nif mare of hir knyȝt mynne
  • 1770 For þat prynce of pris de-presed hym so þikke.
  • 1771 Nurned hym so neȝe þe þred, þat nede hym bi-houed,
  • 1772 Oþer lach þer hir luf, oþer lodly re-fuse;
  • 1773 He cared for his cortaysye, lest craþayn he were,
  • 1774 & more for his meschef, ȝif he schulde make synne,
  • 1775 & be traytor to þat tolke, þat þat telde aȝt.
  • 1776 "God schylde," quod þe schalk, "þat schal not be-falle!"
  • 1777 With luf-laȝyng a lyt, he layd hym by-syde
  • 1778 Alle þe specheȝ of specialté þat sprange of her mouthe.
  • 1779 Quod þat burde to þe burne, "blame ȝe disserue,
  • 1780 ȝif ȝe luf not þat lyf þat ȝe lye nexte,
  • 1781 Bifore alle þe wyȝeȝ in þe worlde, wounded in hert,
  • 1782 Bot if ȝe haf a lemman, a leuer, þat yow lykeȝ better,
  • 1783 & folden fayth to þat fre, festned so harde,
  • 1784 Þat yow lausen ne lyst, & þat I leue nouþe;
  • 1785 And þat ȝe telle me þat, now trwly I pray yow,
  • 1786 For alle þe lufeȝ vpon lyue, layne not þe soþe,
  • 1787 for gile."
  • 1788 Þe knyȝt sayde, "be sayn Ion,"
  • 1789 & smeþely con he smyle,
  • 1790 "In fayth I welde riȝt non,
  • 1791 Ne non wil welde þe quile."
  • 1792 "Þat is a worde," quod þat wyȝt, "þat worst is of alle,
  • 1793 Bot I am swared for soþe, þat sore me þinkkeȝ;
  • 1794 Kysse me now coraly, & I schal cach heþen,
  • 1795 I may bot mourne vpon molde, as may þat much louyes."
  • 1796 Sykande ho sweȝe doun, & semly hym kyssed,
  • 1797 & siþen ho seueres hym fro, & says as ho stondes,
  • 1798 "Now, dere, at þis de-partyng, do me þis ese,
  • 1799 Gif me sumquat of þy gifte, þi gloue if hit were,
  • 1800 Þat I may mynne on þe mon, my mournyng to lassen."
  • 1801 "Now Iwysse," quod þat wyȝe, "I wolde I hade here
  • 1802 Þe leuest þing for þy luf, þat I in londe welde,
  • 1803 For ȝe haf deserued, forsoþe, sellyly ofte
  • 1804 More rewarde bi resoun, þen I reche myȝt,
  • 1805 Bot to dele yow for drurye, þat dawed bot neked;
  • 1806 Hit is not your honour to haf at þis tyme
  • 1807 A gloue for a garysoun, of Gawayneȝ gifteȝ,
  • 1808 & I am here [on] an erande in erdeȝ vncouþe,
  • 1809 & haue no men wyth no maleȝ, with menskful þingeȝ;
  • 1810 Þat mislykeȝ me, ladé, for luf at þis tyme,
  • 1811 Iche tolke mon do as he is tan, tas to non ille,
  • 1812 ne pine."
  • 1813 "Nay, hende of hyȝe honours,"
  • 1814 Quod þat lufsum vnder lyne,
  • 1815 "Þaȝ I hade oȝt of youreȝ,
  • 1816 ȝet schulde ȝe haue of myne."
  • 1817 Ho raȝt hym a riche rynk of red golde werkeȝ,
  • 1818 Wyth a starande ston, stondande alofte,
  • 1819 Þat bere blusschande bemeȝ as þe bryȝt sunne;
  • 1820 Wyt ȝe wel, hit watȝ worth wele ful hoge.
  • 1821 Bot þe renk hit renayed, & redyly he sayde,
  • 1822 "I wil no gifteȝ for gode, my gay, at þis tyme;
  • 1823 I haf none yow to norne, ne noȝt wyl I take."
  • 1824 Ho bede hit hym ful bysily, & he hir bode wernes,
  • 1825 & swere swyftel[y] his sothe, þat he hit sese nolde;
  • 1826 & ho sore þat he forsoke, & sayde þer-after,
  • 1827 "If ȝe renay my rynk, to ryche for hit semeȝ,
  • 1828 ȝe wolde not so hyȝly halden be to me,
  • 1829 I schal gif yow my girdel, þat gaynes yow lasse."
  • 1830 Ho laȝt a lace lyȝtly, þat leke vmbe hir sydeȝ,
  • 1831 Knit vpon hir kyrtel, vnder þe clere mantyle,
  • 1832 Gered hit watȝ with grene sylke, & with golde schaped,
  • 1833 Noȝt bot arounde brayden, beten with fyngreȝ;
  • 1834 & þat ho bede to þe burne, & blyþely bi-soȝt
  • 1835 Þaȝ hit vn-worþi were, þat he hit take wolde.
  • 1836 & he nay þat he nolde neghe in no wyse,
  • 1837 Nauþer golde ne garysoun, er God hym grace sende,
  • 1838 To acheue to þe chaunce þat he hade chosen þere.
  • 1839 "& þerfore, I pray yow, displese yow noȝt,
  • 1840 & letteȝ be your bisinesse, for I bayþe hit yow neuer
  • 1841 to graunte;
  • 1842 I am derely to yow biholde,
  • 1843 Bi-cause of your sembelaunt,
  • 1844 & euer in hot & colde
  • 1845 To be your trwe seruaunt.
  • 1846 "Now forsake ȝe þis silke." sayde þe burde þenne,
  • 1847 "For hit is symple in hit-self. & so hit wel semeȝ?
  • 1848 Lo! so hit is littel, & lasse hit is worþy;
  • 1849 Bot who-so knew þe costes þat knit ar þer-inne,
  • 1850 He wolde hit prayse at more prys, parauenture;
  • 1851 For quat gome so is gorde with þis grene lace,
  • 1852 While he hit hade hemely halched aboute,
  • 1853 Þer is no haþel vnder heuen to-hewe hym þat myȝt;
  • 1854 For he myȝt not he slayn, for slyȝt vpon erþe."
  • 1855 Þen kest þe knyȝt, & hit come to his hert,
  • 1856 Hit were a iuel for þe iopardé, þat hym iugged were,
  • 1857 When he acheued to þe chapel, his chek forto fech;
  • 1858 Myȝ he haf slypped to þe vn-slayn, þe sleȝt were noble.
  • 1859 Þenne ho þulged with hir þrepe, & þoled hir to speke,
  • 1860 & ho bere on hym þe belt, & bede hit hym swyþe,
  • 1861 & he granted, & [ho] hym gafe with a goud wylle,
  • 1862 & bisoȝt hym, for hir sake, disceuer hit neuer,
  • 1863 Bot to lelly layne for hir lorde; þe leude hym acordeȝ.
  • 1864 Þat neuer wyȝe schulde hit wyt, Iwysse, bot þay twayne,
  • 1865 for noȝte;
  • 1866 He þonkked hir oft ful swyþe,
  • 1867 Ful þro with hert & þoȝt.
  • 1868 Bi þat on þrynne syþe,
  • 1869 He hatȝ kyst þe knyȝt so toȝt.
  • 1870 Thenne lachcheȝ ho hir leue, & leueȝ hym þere,
  • 1871 For more myrþe of þat mon moȝt ho not gete;
  • 1872 When ho watȝ gon, sir G. gereȝ hym sone,
  • 1873 Rises, & riches hym in araye noble,
  • 1874 Lays vp þe luf-lace, þe lady hym raȝt,
  • 1875 Hid hit ful holdely, þer he hit eft fonde;
  • 1876 Syþen cheuely to þe chapel choses he þe waye,
  • 1877 Preuely aproched to a prest, & prayed hym þere
  • 1878 Þat he wolde lyfte his lyf, & lern hym better,
  • 1879 How his sawle schulde be saued, when he schuld seye heþen.
  • 1880 Þere he schrof hym schyrly, & schewed his mysdedeȝ,
  • 1881 Of þe more & þe mynne, & merci besecheȝ,
  • 1882 & of absolucioun he on þe segge calles;
  • 1883 & he asoyled hym surely, & sette hym so clene,
  • 1884 As domeȝ-day schulde haf ben diȝt on þe morn.
  • 1885 & syþen he mace hym as mery among þe fre ladyes,
  • 1886 With comlych caroles, & alle kynnes ioye,
  • 1887 As neuer he did bot þat daye, to þe derk nyȝt,
  • 1888 with blys;
  • 1889 Vche mon hade daynte þare,
  • 1890 Of hym, & sayde Iwysse,
  • 1891 Þus myry he watȝ neuer are,
  • 1892 Syn he com hider, er þis.
  • 1893 Now hym lenge in þat lee, þer luf hym bi-tyde;
  • 1894 et is þe lorde on þe launde, ledande his gomnes,
  • 1895 He hatȝ forfaren þis fox, þat he folȝed longe;
  • 1896 As he sprent ouer a spenné, to spye þe schrewe,
  • 1897 Þer as he herd þe howndes, þat hasted hym swyþe,
  • 1898 Renaud com richchande þurȝ a roȝe greue,
  • 1899 & alle þe rabel in a res, ryȝt at his heleȝ.
  • 1900 Þe wyȝe watȝ war of þe wylde, & warly abides,
  • 1901 & braydeȝ out þe bryȝt bronde, & at þe best casteȝ;
  • 1902 & he schunt for þe scharp, & schulde haf arered,
  • 1903 A rach rapes hym to, ryȝt er he myȝt,
  • 1904 & ryȝt bifore þe hors fete þay fel on hym alle,
  • 1905 & woried me þis wyly wyth a wroth noyse.
  • 1906 Þe lorde lyȝteȝ bilyue, & cacheȝ by sone,
  • 1907 Rased hym ful radly out of þe rach mouþes,
  • 1908 Haldeȝ heȝe ouer his hede, haloweȝ faste,
  • 1909 & þer bayen hym mony bray houndeȝ;
  • 1910 Huntes hyȝed hem þeder, with horneȝ ful mony,
  • 1911 Ay re-chatande aryȝt til þay þe renk seȝen;
  • 1912 Bi þat watȝ comen his compeyny noble,
  • 1913 Alle þat euer ber bugle blowed at ones,
  • 1914 & alle þise oþer halowed, þat hade no hornes,
  • 1915 Hit watȝ þe myriest mute þat euer men herde,
  • 1916 Þe rich rurd þat þer watȝ raysed for renaude saule,
  • 1917 with lote;
  • 1918 Hor houndeȝ þay þer rewarde,
  • 1919 Her hedeȝ þay fawne & frote,
  • 1920 & syþen þay tan reynarde,
  • 1921 & tyrnen of his cote.
  • 1922 & þenne þay helden to home, for hit watȝ nieȝ nyȝt,
  • 1923 Strakande ful stoutly in hor store horneȝ;
  • 1924 Þe lorde is lyȝt at þe laste at hys lef home,
  • 1925 Fyndeȝ fire vpon flet, þe freke þer by-side,
  • 1926 Sir Gawayn þe gode, þat glad watȝ with alle,
  • 1927 Among þe ladies for luf he ladde much ioye,
  • 1928 He were a bleaunt of blwe, þat bradde to þe erþe,
  • 1929 His surkot semed hym wel, þat softe watȝ forred,
  • 1930 & his hode of þat ilke henged on his schulder,
  • 1931 Blande al of blaunner were boþe al aboute.
  • 1932 He meteȝ me þis god mon in myddeȝ þe flore,
  • 1933 & al with gomen he hym gret, & goudly he sayde,
  • 1934 "I schal fylle vpon fyrst oure forwardeȝ nouþe,
  • 1935 Þat we spedly han spoken, þer spared watȝ no drynk;"
  • 1936 Þen acoles he [þe] knyȝt, & kysses hym þryes,
  • 1937 As sauerly & sadly as he hem sette couþe.
  • 1938 "Bi Kryst," quod þat oþer knyȝt, "ȝe cach much sele,
  • 1939 In cheuisaunce of þis chaffer, ȝif ȝe hade goud chepeȝ."
  • 1940 "ȝe of þe chepe no charg," quod chefly þat oþer,
  • 1941 "As is pertly payed þe chepeȝ þat I aȝte."
  • 1942 "Mary," quod þat oþer mon, "myn is bi-hynde,
  • 1943 For I haf hunted al þis day, & noȝt haf I geten,
  • 1944 Bot þis foule fox felle, þe fende haf þe godeȝ,
  • 1945 & þat is ful pore, for to pay for suche prys þinges,
  • 1946 As ȝe haf þryȝt me here, þro suche þre cosses,
  • 1947 so gode."
  • 1948 "I-noȝ," quod sir Gawayn,
  • 1949 "I þonk yow, bi þe rode;"
  • 1950 & how þe fox watȝ slayn,
  • 1951 He tolde hym, as þay stode.
  • 1952 With merþe & mynstralsye, wyth meteȝ at hor wylle,
  • 1953 Þay maden as mery as any men moȝten,
  • 1954 With laȝyng of ladies, with loteȝ of bordes;
  • 1955 Gawayn & þe gode mon so glad were þay boþe,
  • 1956 Bot if þe douthe had doted, oþer dronken ben oþer,
  • 1957 Boþe þe mon & þe meyny maden mony iapeȝ,
  • 1958 Til þe sesoun watȝ seȝen, þat þay seuer moste;
  • 1959 Burneȝ to hor bedde be-houed at þe laste.
  • 1960 Þenne loȝly his leue at þe lorde fyrst
  • 1961 Fochcheȝ þis fre mon, & fayre he hym þonkkeȝ;
  • 1962 "Of such a sellyly soiorne, as I haf hade here,
  • 1963 Your honour, at þis hyȝe fest, þe hyȝe kyng yow ȝelde!
  • 1964 I ȝef yow me for on of youreȝ, if yowre-self lykeȝ,
  • 1965 For I mot nedes, as ȝe wot, meue to morne;
  • 1966 & ȝe me take sum tolke, to teche, as ȝe hyȝt,
  • 1967 Þe gate to þe grene chapel, as god wyl me suffer
  • 1968 To dele, on nwȝereȝ day, þe dome of my wyrdes."
  • 1969 "In god fayþe," quod þe god mon. "wyth a goud wylle;
  • 1970 Al þat euer I yow hyȝt, halde schal I rede."
  • 1971 Þer asyngnes he a seruaunt, to sett hym in þe waye,
  • 1972 & coundue hym by þe downeȝ, þat he no drechch had,
  • 1973 For to f[e]rk þurȝ þe fryth, & fare at þe gaynest,
  • 1974 bi greue.
  • 1975 Þe lorde Gawayn con þonk,
  • 1976 Such worchip he wolde hym weue;
  • 1977 Þen at þo ladyeȝ wlonk.
  • 1978 Þe knyȝt hatȝ tan his leue.
  • 1979 With care & wyth kyssyng he carppeȝ hem tille,
  • 1980 & fele þryuande þonkkeȝ he þrat hom to haue,
  • 1981 & þay ȝelden hym aȝay[n] ȝeply þat ilk;
  • 1982 Þay bikende hym to Kryst, with ful colde sykyngeȝ.
  • 1983 Syþen fro þe meyny he menskly de-partes;
  • 1984 Vche mon þat he mette, he made hem a þonke,
  • 1985 For his seruyse, & his solace, & his sere pyne,
  • 1986 Þat þay wyth busynes had ben, aboute hym to serue;
  • 1987 & vche segge as sore, to seuer with hym þere,
  • 1988 As þay hade wonde worþyly with þat wlonk euer.
  • 1989 Þen with ledes & lyȝt he watȝ ladde to his chambre,
  • 1990 & blybely broȝt to his bedde, to be at his rest;
  • 1991 if he ne slepe soundyly, say ne dar I,
  • 1992 For he hade muche on þe morn to mynne, ȝif he wolde,
  • 1993 in þoȝt;
  • 1994 Let hym lyȝe þere stille,
  • 1995 He hatȝ nere þat he soȝt,
  • 1996 & ȝe wyl a whyle be stylle,
  • 1997 I schal telle yow how þay wroȝt.
  • 1998 Now neȝeȝ þe nwȝere, & þe nyȝt passeȝ,
  • 1999 Þe day dryueȝ to þe derk, as dryȝtyn biddeȝ;
  • 2000 Bot wylde wedereȝ of þe worlde wakned þeroute,
  • 2001 Clowdes kesten kenly þe colde to þe erþe,
  • 2002 Wyth nyȝe in-noghe of þe norþe, þe naked to tene;
  • 2003 Þe snawe snitered ful snart, þat snayped þe wylde;
  • 2004 Þe werbelande wynde wapped fro þe hyȝe,
  • 2005 & drof vche dale ful of dryftes ful grete.
  • 2006 Þe leude lystened ful wel, þat leȝ in his bedde,
  • 2007 Þaȝ he lowkeȝ his liddeȝ, ful lyttel he slepes;
  • 2008 Bi vch kok þat crue, he knwe wel þe steuen.
  • 2009 De-liuerly he dressed vp, er þe day sprenged,
  • 2010 For þere watȝ lyȝt of a lau[m]pe, þat lemed in his chambre;
  • 2011 He called to his chamberlayn, þat cofly hym swared,
  • 2012 & bede hym bryng hym his bruny, & his blonk sadel;
  • 2013 Þat oþer ferkeȝ hym vp, & fecheȝ hym his wedeȝ,
  • 2014 & grayþeȝ me sir Gawayn vpon a grett wyse.
  • 2015 Fyrst he clad hym in his cloþeȝ, þe colde for to were;
  • 2016 & syþen his oþer harnays, þat holdely watȝ keped,
  • 2017 Boþe his paunce, & his plateȝ, piked ful clene,
  • 2018 Þe ryngeȝ rokked of þe roust, of his riche bruny;
  • 2019 & al watȝ fresch as vpon fyrst, & he watȝ fayn þenne
  • 2020 to þonk;
  • 2021 He hade vpon vche pece,
  • 2022 Wypped ful wel & wlonk;
  • 2023 Þe gayest in to Grece,
  • 2024 Þe burne bede bryng his blonk.
  • 2025 Whyle þe wlonkest wedes he warp on hym-seluen;
  • 2026 His cote, wyth be conysaunce of þe clere werkeȝ,
  • 2027 Ennurned vpon veluet vertuuus stoneȝ,
  • 2028 Aboute beten, & bounden, enbrauded semeȝ,
  • 2029 & fayre furred with-inne wyth fayre pelures.
  • 2030 et laft he not þe lace, þe ladieȝ gifte,
  • 2031 Þat for-gat not Gawayn, for gode of hym-seluen;
  • 2032 Bi he hade belted þe bronde vpon his balȝe hauncheȝ,
  • 2033 Þenn dressed he his drurye double hym aboute;
  • 2034 Swyþe sweþled vmbe his swange swetely, þat knyȝt,
  • 2035 Þe gordel of þe grene silke, þat gay wel bisemed,
  • 2036 Vpon þat ryol red cloþe, þat ryche watȝ to schewe.
  • 2037 Bot wered not þis ilk wyȝe for wele þis gordel,
  • 2038 For pryde of þe pendaunteȝ, þaȝ polyst þay were,
  • 2039 & þaȝ þe glyterande golde glent vpon endeȝ,
  • 2040 Bot forto sauen hym-self, when suffer hym by-houed,
  • 2041 To byde bale with-oute dabate, of bronde hym to were,
  • 2042 oþer knyffe;
  • 2043 Bi þat þe bolde mon boun,
  • 2044 Wynneȝ þeroute bilyue,
  • 2045 Alle þe meyny of renoun,
  • 2046 He þonkkeȝ ofte ful ryue.
  • 2047 Thenne watȝ Gryngolet grayþe, þat gret watȝ & huge,
  • 2048 & hade ben soiourned sauerly, & in a siker wyse,
  • 2049 Hym lyst prik for poynt, þat proude hors þenne;
  • 2050 Þe wyȝe wynneȝ hym to, & wyteȝ on his lyre,
  • 2051 & sayde soberly hym-self, & by his soth swereȝ,
  • 2052 "Here is a meyny in þis mote, þat on menske þenkkeȝ,
  • 2053 Þe mon hem maynteines, ioy mot þay haue;
  • 2054 Þe leue lady, on lyue luf hir bityde;
  • 2055 if þay for charyté cherysen a gest,
  • 2056 & halden honour in her honde, þe haþel hem ȝelde,
  • 2057 Þat haldeȝ þe heuen vpon hyȝe, & also yow alle!
  • 2058 & ȝif I myȝt lyf vpon londe lede any quyle,
  • 2059 I schuld rech yow sum rewarde redyly, if I myȝt."
  • 2060 Þenn steppeȝ he in-to stirop, & strydeȝ alofte;
  • 2061 His schalk schewed hym his schelde, on schulder he hit laȝt,
  • 2062 Gordeȝ to Gryngolet, with his gilt heleȝ,
  • 2063 & he starteȝ on þe ston, stod he no lenger,
  • 2064 to praunce;
  • 2065 His haþel on hors watȝ þenne,
  • 2066 Þat bere his spere & launce.
  • 2067 "Þis kastel to Kryst I kenne,
  • 2068 He gef hit ay god chaunce!"
  • 2069 The brygge watȝ brayde doun, & þe brode ȝateȝ
  • 2070 Vnbarred, & born open, vpon boþe halue;
  • 2071 Þe burne blessed hym bilyue, & þe bredeȝ passed;
  • 2072 Prayses þe porter, bifore þe prynce kneled,
  • 2073 Gef hym God & goud day, þat Gawayn he saue;
  • 2074 & went on his way, with his wyȝe one,
  • 2075 Þat schulde teche hym to tourne to þat tene place,
  • 2076 Þer þe ruful race he schulde re-sayue.
  • 2077 Þay boȝen bi bonkkeȝ, þer boȝeȝ ar bare,
  • 2078 Þay clomben bi clyffeȝ, þer clengeȝ þe colde;
  • 2079 Þe heuen watȝ vp halt, bot vgly þer vnder,
  • 2080 Mist muged on þe mor, malt on þe mounteȝ,
  • 2081 Vch hille hade a hatte, a myst-hakel huge;
  • 2082 Brokeȝ byled, & breke, bi bonkkeȝ aboute,
  • 2083 Schyre schaterande on schoreȝ, þer þay doun schowued.
  • 2084 Welawylle watȝ þe way, þer þay bi wod schulden,
  • 2085 Til hit watȝ sone sesoun, þat þe sunne ryses,
  • 2086 þat tyde;
  • 2087 Þay were on a hille ful hyȝe,
  • 2088 Þe quyte snaw lay bisyde;
  • 2089 Þe burne þat rod hym by
  • 2090 Bede his mayster abide.
  • 2091 "For I haf wonnen yow hider, wyȝe, at þis tyme,
  • 2092 & now nar ȝe not fer fro þat note place,
  • 2093 Þat ȝe han spied & spuryed so specially after;
  • 2094 Bot I schal say yow for soþe, syþen I yow knowe,
  • 2095 & ȝe ar a lede vpon lyue, þat I wel louy,
  • 2096 Wolde ȝe worch bi my wytte, ȝe worþed þe better.
  • 2097 Þe place þat ȝe prece to, ful perelous is halden;
  • 2098 Þer woneȝ a wyȝe in þat waste, þe worst vpon erþe;
  • 2099 For he is stiffe, & sturne, & to strike louies,
  • 2100 & more he is þen any mon vpon myddelerde,
  • 2101 & his body bigger þen þe best fowre.
  • 2102 Þat ar in Arþureȝ hous, Hestor oþer oþer.
  • 2103 He cheueȝ þat chaunce at þe chapel grene;
  • 2104 Þer passes non bi þat place, so proude in his armes,
  • 2105 Þat he ne dynneȝ hym to deþe, with dynt of his honde;
  • 2106 For he is a mon methles, & mercy non vses,
  • 2107 For be hit chorle, oþer chaplayn, þat bi þe chapel rydes,
  • 2108 Monk, oþer masse-prest, oþer any mon elles,
  • 2109 Hym þynk as queme hym to quelle, as quyk go hym seluen.
  • 2110 For-þy I say þe as soþe as ȝe in sadel sitte,
  • 2111 Com ȝe þere, ȝe be kylled, [I] may þe knyȝt rede,
  • 2112 Trawe ȝe me þat trwely, þaȝ ȝe had twenty lyues
  • 2113 to spende;
  • 2114 He hatȝ wonyd here ful ȝore,
  • 2115 On bent much baret bende,
  • 2116 Aȝayn his dynteȝ sore,
  • 2117 e may not yow defende."
  • 2118 "For-þy, goude sir Gawayn, let þe gome one,
  • 2119 & gotȝ a-way sum oþer gate; vpon Goddeȝ halue;
  • 2120 Cayreȝ bi sum oþer kyth, þer Kryst mot yow spede;
  • 2121 & I schal hyȝ me hom aȝayn, & hete yow fyrre,
  • 2122 Þat I schal swere bi God, & alle his gode halȝeȝ,
  • 2123 As help me God & þe halydam, & oþeȝ in-noghe,
  • 2124 Þat I schal lelly yow layne, & lance neuer tale,
  • 2125 Þat euer ȝe fondet to fle, for freke þat I wyst."
  • 2126 "Grant merci;" quod Gawayn, & gruchyng he sayde,
  • 2127 "Wel worth þe wyȝe, þat woldeȝ my gode,
  • 2128 & þat lelly me layne, I leue wel þou woldeȝ!
  • 2129 Bot helde þou hit neuer so holde, & I here passed,
  • 2130 Founded for ferde for to fle, in fourme þat þou telleȝ,
  • 2131 I were a knyȝt kowarde, I myȝt not be excused.
  • 2132 Bot I wy1 to þe chape1, for chaunce þat may falle,
  • 2133 & talk wyth þat ilk tulk þe tale þat me lyste,
  • 2134 Worþe hit wele, oþer wo, as þe wyrde lykeȝ
  • 2135 hit hafe;
  • 2136 Þaȝe he be a sturn knape,
  • 2137 To stiȝtel, & stad with staue,
  • 2138 Ful wel con dryȝtyn schape,
  • 2139 His seruaunteȝ forto saue."
  • 2140 "Mary!" quod þat oþer mon, "now þou so much spelleȝ,
  • 2141 Þat þou wylt þyn awen nye nyme to þy-seluen,
  • 2142 & þe lyst lese þy lyf, þe lette I ne kepe;
  • 2143 Haf here þi helme on þy hede, þi spere in þi honde,
  • 2144 & ryde me doun þis ilk rake, bi ȝon rokke syde,
  • 2145 Til þou be broȝt to þe boþem of þe brem valay;
  • 2146 Þenne loke a littel on þe launde, on þi lyfte honde,
  • 2147 & þou schal se in þat slade þe self chapel,
  • 2148 & þe borelych burne on bent, þat hit kepeȝ.
  • 2149 Now fareȝ wel on Godeȝ half, Gawayn þe noble,
  • 2150 For alle þe golde vpon grounde I nolde go with þe,
  • 2151 Ne bere þe felaȝschip þurȝ þis fryth on fote fyrre."
  • 2152 Bi þat þe wyȝe in þe wod wendeȝ his brydel,
  • 2153 Hit þe hors with þe heleȝ, as harde as he myȝt,
  • 2154 Lepeȝ hym ouer þe launde, & leueȝ þe knyȝt þere,
  • 2155 al one.
  • 2156 "Bi Goddeȝ self," quod Gawayn,
  • 2157 "I wyl nauþer grete ne grone,
  • 2158 To Goddeȝ wylle I am ful bayn,
  • 2159 & to hym I haf me tone."
  • 2160 Thenne gyrdeȝ he to Gryngolet, & gedereȝ þe rake,
  • 2161 Schowueȝ in bi a schore, at a schaȝe syde,
  • 2162 Rideȝ þurȝ þe roȝe bonk, ryȝt to þe dale;
  • 2163 & þenne he wayted hym aboute, & wylde hit hym þoȝt,
  • 2164 & seȝe no syngne of resette, bisydeȝ nowhere,
  • 2165 Bot hyȝe bonkkeȝ & brent, vpon boþe halue,
  • 2166 & ruȝe knokled knarreȝ, with knorned stoneȝ;
  • 2167 Þe skweȝ of þe scowtes skayued hym þoȝt.
  • 2168 Þenne he houed, & wyth-hylde his hors at þat tyde,
  • 2169 & ofte chaunged his cher, þe chapel to seche;
  • 2170 He seȝ non suche in no syde, & selly hym þoȝt,
  • 2171 Sone a lyttel on a launde, a lawe as hit we[re];
  • 2172 A balȝ berȝ, bi a bonke, þe brymme by-syde,
  • 2173 Bi a forȝ of a flode, þat ferked þare;
  • 2174 Þe borne blubred þer-inne, as hit boyled hade.
  • 2175 Þe knyȝt kacheȝ his caple, & com to þe lawe,
  • 2176 Liȝteȝ doun luflyly, & at a lynde tacheȝ
  • 2177 Þe rayne, & his riche, with a roȝe braunche;
  • 2178 Þen[n]e he boȝeȝ to þe berȝe, aboute hit he walke,
  • 2179 D[e]batande with hym-self, quat hit be myȝt.
  • 2180 Hit hade a hole on þe ende, & on ayþer syde,
  • 2181 & ouer-growen with gresse in glodes ay where,
  • 2182 & al watȝ holȝ in-with, nobot an olde caue,
  • 2183 Or a creuisse of an olde cragge, he couþe hit noȝt deme
  • 2184 with spelle,
  • 2185 "We, lorde," quod þe gentyle knyȝt,
  • 2186 "Wheþer þis be þe grene chapelle;
  • 2187 He myȝt aboute myd-nyȝt,
  • 2188 [Þ]e dele his matynnes telle!"
  • 2189 "Now i-wysse," quod Wowayn, "wysty is here;
  • 2190 Þis oritore is vgly, with erbeȝ ouer-growen;
  • 2191 Wel bisemeȝ þe wyȝe wruxled in grene
  • 2192 Dele here his deuocioun, on þe deueleȝ wyse;
  • 2193 Now I fele hit is þe fende, in my fyue wytteȝ,
  • 2194 Þat hatȝ stoken me þis steuen, to strye me here;
  • 2195 Þis is a chapel of meschaunce, þat chekke hit by-tyde,
  • 2196 Hit is þe corsedest kyrk, þat euer i com inne!"
  • 2197 With heȝe helme on his hede, his launce in his honde,
  • 2198 He romeȝ vp to þe rokke of þo roȝ woneȝ;
  • 2199 Þene herde he of þat hyȝe hil, in a harde roche,
  • 2200 Biȝonde þe broke, in a bonk, a wonder breme noyse,
  • 2201 Quat! hit clatered in þe clyff, as hit cleue schulde,
  • 2202 As one vpon a gryndelston hade grounden a syþe;
  • 2203 What! hit wharred, & whette, as water at a mulne,
  • 2204 What! hit rusched, & ronge, rawþe to here.
  • 2205 Þenne "bi Godde," quod Gawayn, "þat gere as I trowe,
  • 2206 Is ryched at þe reuerence, me renk to mete,
  • 2207 bi rote;
  • 2208 Let God worche we loo,
  • 2209 Hit helppeȝ me not a mote,
  • 2210 My lif þaȝ I for-goo,
  • 2211 Drede dotȝ me no lote."
  • 2212 Thenne þe knyȝt con calle ful hyȝe,
  • 2213 "Who stiȝtleȝ in þis sted, me steuen to holde?
  • 2214 For now is gode Gawayn goande ryȝt here,
  • 2215 If any wyȝe oȝt wyl wynne hider fast,
  • 2216 Oþer now, oþer neuer, his nedeȝ to spede."
  • 2217 "Abyde," quod on on þe bonke, abouen ouer his hede,
  • 2218 "& þou schal haf al in hast, þat I þe hyȝt ones."
  • 2219 et he rusched on þat rurde, rapely a þrowe,
  • 2220 & wyth quettyng a-wharf, er he wolde lyȝt;
  • 2221 & syþen he keuereȝ bi a cragge, & comeȝ of a hole,
  • 2222 Whyrlande out of a wro, wyth a felle weppen,
  • 2223 A deneȝ ax nwe dyȝt, þe dynt with [t]o ȝelde
  • 2224 With a borelych bytte, bende by þe halme,
  • 2225 Fyled in a fylor, fowre fote large,
  • 2226 Hit watȝ no lasse, bi þat lace þat lemed ful bryȝt.
  • 2227 & þe gome in þe erene gered as fyrst,
  • 2228 Boþe þe lyre & þe leggeȝ, lokkeȝ, & berde,
  • 2229 Saue þat fayre on his fote he foundeȝ on þe erþe,
  • 2230 Sette þe stele to þe stone, & stalked bysyde.
  • 2231 When he wan to þe watter, þer he wade nolde,
  • 2232 He hypped ouer on hys ax, & orpedly strydeȝ,
  • 2233 Bremly broþe on a bent, þat brode watȝ a-boute,
  • 2234 on snawe.
  • 2235 Sir Gawayn þe knyȝt con mete.
  • 2236 He ne lutte hym no þyng lowe,
  • 2237 Þat oþer sayde, "now, sir swete,
  • 2238 Of steuen mon may þe trowe."
  • 2239 "Gawayn," quod þat grene gome, "God þe mot loke!
  • 2240 I-wysse þou art welcom, wyȝe, to my place,
  • 2241 & þou hatȝ tymed þi trauayl as true mon schulde;
  • 2242 & þou knoweȝ þe couenaunteȝ kest vus by-twene,
  • 2243 at þis tyme twelmonyth þou toke þat þe falled,
  • 2244 & I schulde at þis nwe ȝere ȝeply þe quyte.
  • 2245 & we ar in þis valay, verayly oure one,
  • 2246 Here ar no renkes vs to rydde, rele as vus likeȝ;
  • 2247 Haf þy helme of þy hede, & haf here þy pay;
  • 2248 Busk no more debate þen I þe bede þenne,
  • 2249 "When þou wypped of my hede at a wap one."
  • 2250 "Nay, bi God," quod Gawayn, "þat me gost lante,
  • 2251 I schal gruch þe no grwe, for grem þat falleȝ;
  • 2252 Bot styȝtel þe vpon on strok, & I schal stonde stylle,
  • 2253 & warp þe no wernyng, to worch as þe lykeȝ,
  • 2254 no whare."
  • 2255 He lened with þe nek, & lutte,
  • 2256 & schewed þat schyre al bare,
  • 2257 & lette as he noȝt dutte,
  • 2258 For drede he wolde not dare.
  • 2259 Then þe gome in þe grene grayþed hym swyþe,
  • 2260 Gedereȝ yp hys grymme tole, Gawayn to smyte;
  • 2261 With alle þe bur in his body he ber hit on lofte,
  • 2262 Munt as maȝtyly, as marre hym he wolde;
  • 2263 Hade hit dryuen adoun, as dreȝ as he atled,
  • 2264 Þer hade ben ded of his dynt, þat doȝty watȝ euer.
  • 2265 Bot Gawayn on þat giserne glyfte hym bysyde,
  • 2266 As hit com glydande adoun, on glode hym to schende,
  • 2267 & schranke a lytel with þe schulderes, for þe scharp yrne.
  • 2268 Þat oþer schalk wyth a schunt þe schene wythhaldeȝ,
  • 2269 & þenne repreued he þe prynce with mony prowde wordeȝ:
  • 2270 "Þou art not Gawayn," quod þe gome, "þat is so goud halden,
  • 2271 Þat neuer arȝed for no here, by hylle ne be vale,
  • 2272 & now þou fles for ferde, er þou fele harmeȝ;
  • 2273 Such cowardise of þat knyȝt cowþe I neuer here.
  • 2274 Nawþer fyked I, ne flaȝe, freke, quen þou myntest,
  • 2275 Ne kest no kauelacion, in kyngeȝ hous Arthor,
  • 2276 My hede flaȝ to my fote, & ȝet flaȝ I neuer;
  • 2277 & þou, er any harme hent, arȝeȝ in hert,
  • 2278 Wherfore þe better burne me burde be called
  • 2279 þer-fore."
  • 2280 Quod G:, "I schunt oneȝ,
  • 2281 & so wyl I no more,
  • 2282 Bot þaȝ my hede falle on þe stoneȝ,
  • 2283 I con not hit restore.
  • 2284 Bot busk, burne, bi þi fayth, & bryng me to þe poynt,
  • 2285 Dele to me my destiné, & do hit out of honde,
  • 2286 For I schal stonde þe a strok, & start no more,
  • 2287 Til þyn ax haue me hitte, haf here my trawþe."
  • 2288 "Haf at þe þenne," quod þat oþer, & heueȝ hit alofte,
  • 2289 & wayteȝ as wroþely, as he wode were;
  • 2290 He mynteȝ at hym maȝtyly, bot not þe mon ryueȝ,
  • 2291 With-helde heterly h[i]s honde, er hit hurt myȝt.
  • 2292 Gawayn grayþely hit bydeȝ, & glent with no membre,
  • 2293 Bot stode stylle as þe ston, oþer a stubbe auþer,
  • 2294 Þat raþeled is in roche grounde, with roteȝ a hundreth.
  • 2295 Þen muryly efte con he mele, þe mon in þe grene,
  • 2296 "So now þou hatȝ þi hert holle, hitte me bihou[e]s;
  • 2297 Halde þe now þe hyȝe hode, þat Arþur þe raȝt,
  • 2298 & kepe þy kanel at þis kest, ȝif hit keuer may."
  • 2299 G: ful gryndelly with greme þenne sayde,
  • 2300 "Wy þresch on, þou þro mon, þou þreteȝ to longe,
  • 2301 I hope þat þi hert arȝe wyth þyn awen seluen."
  • 2302 "For soþe," quod þat oþer freke, "so felly þou spekeȝ,
  • 2303 I wyl no lenger on lyte lette þin ernde,
  • 2304 riȝt nowe."
  • 2305 Þenne tas he hym stryþe to stryke,
  • 2306 & frounses boþe lyppe & browe,
  • 2307 No meruayle þaȝ hym myslyke,
  • 2308 Þat hoped of no rescowe.
  • 2309 He lyftes lyȝtly his lome, & let hit doun fayre,
  • 2310 With þe barbe of þe bitte bi þe bare nek
  • 2311 Þaȝ he homered heterly, hurt hym no more,
  • 2312 Bot snyrt hym on þat on syde, þat seuered þe hyde;
  • 2313 Þe scharp schrank to þe flesche þurȝ þe schyre grece,
  • 2314 Þat þe schene blod over his schulderes schot to þe erþe.
  • 2315 & quen þe burne seȝ þe blode blenk on þe snawe,
  • 2316 He sprit forth spenne fote more þen a spere lenþe,
  • 2317 Hent heterly his helme, & on his hed cast,
  • 2318 Schot with his schuldereȝ his fayre schelde vnder,
  • 2319 Braydeȝ out a bryȝt sworde, & bremely he spekeȝ;
  • 2320 Neuer syn þat he watȝ burne borne of his moder,
  • 2321 Watȝ he neuer in þis worlde, wyȝe half so blyþe:--
  • 2322 "Blynne, burne, of þy bur, bede me no mo;
  • 2323 I haf a stroke in þis sted with-oute stryf hent,
  • 2324 & if þow recheȝ me any mo, I redyly schal quyte,
  • 2325 & ȝelde ȝederly aȝayn, & þer to ȝe tryst,
  • 2326 & foo;
  • 2327 Bot on stroke here me falleȝ,
  • 2328 Þe couenaunt schop ryȝt so,
  • 2329 [Sikered] in Arþureȝ halleȝ,
  • 2330 & þer-fore, hende, now hoo!"
  • 2331 The haþel heldet hym fro, & on his ax rested,
  • 2332 Sette þe schaft vpon schore, & to be scharp lened,
  • 2333 & loked to þe leude, þat on þe launde ȝede,
  • 2334 How þat doȝty dredles deruely þer stondeȝ,
  • 2335 Armed ful aȝleȝ; in hert hit hym lykeȝ.
  • 2336 þenn he meleȝ muryly, wyth a much steuen,
  • 2337 & wyth a r[a]ykande rurde he to þe renk sayde,
  • 2338 "Bolde burne, on þis bent be not so gryndel;
  • 2339 No mon here vn-manerly þe mys-boden habbe,
  • 2340 Ne kyd, bot as couenaunde, at kyngeȝ kort schaped;
  • 2341 I hyȝt þe a strok, & þou hit hatȝ, halde þe wel payed,
  • 2342 I relece þe of þe remnaunt, of ryȝtes alle oþer;
  • 2343 if I deliuer had bene, a boffet, paraunter,
  • 2344 I couþe wroþeloker haf waret, [&] to þe haf wroȝt anger.
  • 2345 Fyrst I mansed þe muryly, with a mynt one,
  • 2346 & roue þe wyth no rof, sore with ryȝt I þe profered,
  • 2347 For þe forwarde that we fest in þe fyrst nyȝt,
  • 2348 & þou trystyly þe trawþe & trwly me haldeȝ,
  • 2349 Al þe gayne þow me gef, as god mon shulde;
  • 2350 Þat oþer munt for þe morne, mon, I þe profered,
  • 2351 Þou kyssedes my clere wyf, þe cosseȝ me raȝteȝ,
  • 2352 For boþe two here I þe bede bot two bare myntes,
  • 2353 boute scaþe;
  • 2354 Trwe mon trwe restore,
  • 2355 Þenne þar mon drede no waþe;
  • 2356 at þe þrid þou fayled þore,
  • 2357 & þer-for þat tappe ta þe.
  • 2358 For hit is my wede þat þou wereȝ, þat ilke wouen girdel,
  • 2359 Myn owen wyf hit þe weued, I wot wel forsoþe;
  • 2360 Now know I wel þy cosses, & þy costes als,
  • 2361 & þe wowyng of my wyf, I wroȝt hit myseluen;
  • 2362 I sende hir to asay þe, & sothly me þynkkeȝ,
  • 2363 On þe fautlest freke, þat euer on fote ȝede;
  • 2364 As perle bi þe quite pese is of prys more,
  • 2365 So is Gawayn, in god fayth, bi oþer gay knyȝteȝ.
  • 2366 Bot here you lakked a lyttel, sir, & lewte yow wonted,
  • 2367 Bot þat watȝ for no wylyde werke, ne wowyng nauþer,
  • 2368 Bot for ȝe lufed your lyf, þe lasse I yow blame."
  • 2369 Þat oþer stif mon in study stod a gret whyle;
  • 2370 So agreued for greme he gryed with-inne,
  • 2371 Alle þe blode of his brest blende in his face,
  • 2372 Þat al he schrank for schome, þat þe schalk talked.
  • 2373 Þe forme worde vpon folde, þat þe freke meled,--
  • 2374 "Corsed worth cowarddyse & couetyse boþe!
  • 2375 In yow is vylany & vyse, þat vertue disstryeȝ."
  • 2376 Þenne he kaȝt to þe knot, & þe kest lawseȝ,
  • 2377 Brayde broþely þe belt to þe burne seluen:
  • 2378 "Lo! þer þe falssyng, foule mot hit falle!
  • 2379 For care of þy knokke cowardyse me taȝt
  • 2380 To a-corde me with couetyse, my kynde to for-sake,
  • 2381 Þat is larges & lewte, þat longeȝ to knyȝteȝ.
  • 2382 Now am I fawty, & falce, & ferde haf ben euer;
  • 2383 Of trecherye & vn-trawþe boþe bityde sorȝe
  • 2384 & care!
  • 2385 I bi-knowe yow, knyȝt, here stylle,
  • 2386 Al fawty is my fare,
  • 2387 Leteȝ me ouer-take your wylle,
  • 2388 & efle I schal be ware."
  • 2389 Thenne loȝe þat oþer leude, & luflyly sayde,
  • 2390 "I halde hit hardily hole, þe harme þat I hade;
  • 2391 Þou art confessed so clene, be-knowen of þy mysses,
  • 2392 & hatȝ þe penaunce apert, of þe poynt of myn egge,
  • 2393 I halde þe polysed of þat plyȝt, & pured as clene,
  • 2394 As þou hadeȝ neuer forfeted, syþen þou watȝ fyrst borne.
  • 2395 & I gif þe, sir, þe gurdel þat is golde hemmed;
  • 2396 For hit is grene as my goune, sir G:, ȝe maye
  • 2397 Þenk vpon þis ilke þrepe, þer þou forth þryngeȝ
  • 2398 Among prynces of prys, & þis a pure token
  • 2399 Of þe chaunce of þe grene chapel, at cheualrous knyȝteȝ;
  • 2400 & ȝe schal in þis nwe ȝer aȝayn to my woneȝ,
  • 2401 & we schyn reuel þe remnaunt of þis ryche fest,
  • 2402 ful bene."
  • 2403 Þer laþed hym fast þe lorde,
  • 2404 & sayde, "with my wyf, I wene,
  • 2405 We schal yow wel acorde,
  • 2406 Þat watȝ your enmy kene."
  • 2407 "Nay, for soþe," quod þe segge, & sesed hys helme,
  • 2408 & hatȝ hit of hendely, & þe haþel þonkkeȝ,
  • 2409 "I haf soiorned sadly, sele yow bytyde,
  • 2410 & he ȝelde hit yow ȝare, þat ȝarkkeȝ al menskes!
  • 2411 & comaundeȝ me to þat cortays, your comlych fere,
  • 2412 Boþe þat on & þat oþer, myn honoured ladyeȝ.
  • 2413 Þat þus hor knyȝt wyth hor kest han koyntly bigyled.
  • 2414 Bot hit is no ferly, þaȝ a fole madde,
  • 2415 & þurȝ wyles of wymmen be wonen to sorȝe;
  • 2416 For so watȝ Adam in erde with one bygyled,
  • 2417 & Salamon with fele sere, & Samson eft soneȝ,
  • 2418 Dalyda dalt hym hys wyrde, & Dauyth þer-after
  • 2419 Watȝ blended with Barsabe, þat much bale þoled.
  • 2420 Now þese were wrathed wyth her wyles, hit were a wynne huge,
  • 2421 To luf hom wel, & leue hem not, a leude þat couþe,
  • 2422 For þes wer forne þe freest þat folȝed alle þe sele,
  • 2423 Ex-ellently of alle þyse oþer, vnder heuen-ryche,
  • 2424 þat mused;
  • 2425 & alle þay were bi-wyled,
  • 2426 With wymmen þat þay vsed,
  • 2427 Þaȝ I be now bigyled,
  • 2428 Me þink me burde be excused."
  • 2429 "Bot your gordel," quod G: "God yow for-ȝelde!
  • 2430 Þat wyl I welde wyth good wylle, not for þe wynne golde,
  • 2431 Ne þe saynt, ne þe sylk, ne þe syde pendaundes,
  • 2432 For wele, ne for worchyp, ne for þe wlonk werkkeȝ,
  • 2433 Bot in syngne of my surfet I schal se hit ofte;
  • 2434 When I ride in renoun, remorde to myseluen
  • 2435 Þe faut & þe fayntyse of þe flesche crabbed,
  • 2436 How tender hit is to entyse teches of fylþe;
  • 2437 & þus, quen pryde schal me pryk, for prowes of armes,
  • 2438 Þe loke to þis luf lace schal leþe my hert.
  • 2439 Bot on I wolde yow pray, displeses yow neuer;
  • 2440 Syn ȝe be lorde of þe ȝonde[r] londe, þer I haf lent inne,
  • 2441 Wyth yow wyth worschyp,--þe wyȝe hit yow ȝelde
  • 2442 Þat vp-haldeȝ þe heuen, & on hyȝ sitteȝ,--
  • 2443 How norne ȝe yowre ryȝt nome, & þenne no more?"
  • 2444 "Þat schal I telle þe trwly," quod þat oþer þenne,
  • 2445 "Bernlak de Hautdesert I hat in þis londe,
  • 2446 Þurȝ myȝt of Morgne la Faye, þat in my hous lenges,
  • 2447 & koyntyse of clergye, bi craftes wel lerned,
  • 2448 Þe maystres of Merlyn, mony ho taken;
  • 2449 For ho hatȝ dalt drwry ful dere sum tyme,
  • 2450 With þat conable klerk, þat knowes alle your knyȝteȝ
  • 2451 at hame;
  • 2452 Morgne þe goddes,
  • 2453 Þer-fore hit is hir name;
  • 2454 Weldeȝ non so hyȝe hawtesse,
  • 2455 Þat ho ne con make ful tame.
  • 2456 Ho wayned me vpon þis wyse to your wynne halle,
  • 2457 For to assay þe surquidre, ȝif hit soth were,
  • 2458 Þat rennes of þe grete renoun of þe Rounde Table;
  • 2459 Ho wayned me þis wonder, your wytteȝ to reue,
  • 2460 For to haf greued Gaynour, & gart hir to dyȝe.
  • 2461 With gopnyng of þat ilke gomen, þat gostlych speked,
  • 2462 With his hede in his honde, bifore þe hyȝe table.
  • 2463 Þat is ho þat is at home, þe auncian lady;
  • 2464 Ho is euen þyn aunt, Arþureȝ half suster,
  • 2465 Þe duches doȝter of Tyntagelle, þat dere Vter after
  • 2466 Hade Arþur vpon, þat aþel is nowþe.
  • 2467 Þerfore I eþe þe, haþel, to com to þy naunt,
  • 2468 make myry in my hous, my meny þe louies,
  • 2469 & I wol þe as wel, wyȝe, bi my faythe,
  • 2470 As any gome vnder God, for þy grete trauþe."
  • 2471 & he nikked hym naye, he nolde bi no wayes;
  • 2472 Þay acolen & kyssen, [bikennen] ayþer oþer
  • 2473 To þe prynce of paradise, & parten ryȝt þere,
  • 2474 on coolde;
  • 2475 Gawayn on blonk ful bene,
  • 2476 To þe kyngeȝ burȝ buskeȝ bolde,
  • 2477 & þe knyȝt in þe enker grene,
  • 2478 Whider-warde so euer he wolde.
  • 2479 Wylde wayeȝ in þe worlde Wowen now rydeȝ,
  • 2480 On Gryngolet, þat þe grace hade geten of his lyue;
  • 2481 Ofte he herbered in house, & ofte al þeroute,
  • 2482 & mony a-venture in vale, & venquyst ofte,
  • 2483 Þat I ne tyȝt, at þis tyme, in tale to remene.
  • 2484 Þe hurt watȝ hole, þat he hade hent in his nek,
  • 2485 & þe blykkande belt he bere þeraboute,
  • 2486 A belef as a bauderyk, bounden bi his syde,
  • 2487 Loken vnder his lyfte arme, þe lace, with a knot,
  • 2488 In tokenyng he watȝ tane in tech of a faute;
  • 2489 & þus he commes to þe court, knyȝt al in sounde.
  • 2490 Þer wakned wele in þat wone, when wyst þe grete,
  • 2491 Þat gode G: watȝ commen, gayn hit hym þoȝt;
  • 2492 Þe kyng kysseȝ þe knyȝt, & þe whene alce,
  • 2493 & syþen mony syker knyȝt, þat soȝt hym to haylce,
  • 2494 Of his fare þat hym frayned, & ferlyly he telles;
  • 2495 Biknowoȝ alle þe costes of care þat he hade,--
  • 2496 Þe chaunce of þe chapel, þe chere of þe knyȝt,
  • 2497 Þe luf of þe ladi, þe lace at þe last.
  • 2498 Þe nirt in þe nek he naked hem schewed,
  • 2499 Þat he laȝt for his vnleute at þe leudes hondes,
  • 2500 for blame;
  • 2501 He tened quen he schulde telle,
  • 2502 He groned for gref & grame;
  • 2503 Þe blod in his face con melle,
  • 2504 When he hit schulde schewe, for schame.
  • 2505 "Lo! lorde," quod þe leude, & þe lace hondeled,
  • 2506 "Þis is þe bende of þis blame I bere [in] my nek,
  • 2507 Þis is þe laþe & þe losse, þat I laȝt haue,
  • 2508 Of couardise & couetyse, þat I haf caȝt þare,
  • 2509 Þis is þe token of vn-trawþe, þat I am tan inne,
  • 2510 & I mot nedeȝ hit were, wyle I may last;
  • 2511 For non may hyden his harme, bot vnhap ne may hit,
  • 2512 For þer hit oneȝ is tachched, twynne wil hit neuer."
  • 2513 Þe kyng comforteȝ þe knyȝt, & alle þe court als,
  • 2514 Laȝen loude þer-at, & luflyly acorden,
  • 2515 Þat lordes & ladis, þat longed to þe Table,
  • 2516 Vche burne of þe broþer-hede a bauderyk schulde haue,
  • 2517 A bende, a belef hym aboute, of a bryȝt grene,
  • 2518 & þat, for sake of þat segge, in swete to were.
  • 2519 For þat watȝ acorded þe renoun of þe Rounde Table,
  • 2520 & he honoured þat hit hade, euer-more after,
  • 2521 As hit is breued in þe best boke of romaunce.
  • 2522 Þus in Arthurus day þis aunter bitidde,
  • 2523 Þe Brutus bokees þer-of beres wyttenesse;
  • 2524 Syþen Brutus, þe bolde burne, boȝed hider fyrst,
  • 2525 After þe segge & þe asaute watȝ sesed at Troye,
  • 2526 I-wysse;
  • 2527 Mony auntereȝ here bi-forne,
  • 2528 Haf fallen suche er þis:
  • 2529 Now þat bere þe croun of þorne,
  • 2530 He bryng vus to his blysse! AMEN.
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