Tolkien and Gordon, editors.
2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967.
Sir Gawayne and þe Grene Knȝt
1f. 95 S
iþen þe sege and þe assaut watz sesed at Troye,
2. Þe borȝ brittened and brent to brondez and askez,
3. Þe tulk þat þe trammes of tresoun þer wroȝt
4. Watz tried for his tricherie, þe trewest on erþe:
5. Hit watz Ennias þe aþel, and his highe kynde,
6. Þat siþen depreced prouinces, and patrounes bicome
7. Welneȝe of al þe wele in þe west iles.
8. Fro riche Romulus to Rome ricchis hym swyþe,
9. Wiþ gret bobbaunce þat burȝe he biges vpon fyrst,
10. And neuenes hit his aune nome, as hit now hat;
11. Tirius to Tuskan and teldes bigynnes,
12. Langaberde in Lumbardie lyftes vp homes,
13. And fer ouer þe French flod Felix Brutus
14. On mony bonkkes ful brode Bretayn he settez
15. wyþ wynne,
16. Where werre and wrake and wonder
17. Bi syþez hatz wont þerinne,
18. And oft boþe blysse and blunder
19. Ful skete hatz skyfted synne.
20. Ande quen þis Bretayn watz bigged bi þis burn rych,
21. Bolde bredden þerinne, 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 Arþur þe hendest, as I haf herde telle.
f. 95b 27. Forþi an aunter in erde I attle to schawe,
28. Þat a selly in siȝt summe men hit holden,
29. And an outtrage awenture of Arþurez wonderez.
30. If ȝe wyl lysten þis laye bot on littel quile,
31. I schal telle hit as-tit, as I in toun herde,
32. wiþ tonge,
33. As hit is stad and stoken
34. In stori stif and stronge,
35. Wiþ lel letteres loken,
36. In londe so hatz ben longe.
37. Þis kyng lay at Camylot vpon Krystmasse
38. Wiþ mony luflych lorde, ledeȝ of þe best,
39. Rekenly of þe Rounde Table alle þo rich breþer,
40. Wiþ rych reuel oryȝt and rechles merþes.
41. Þer tournayed tulkes by tymez ful mony,
42. Justed ful jolile þise gentyle kniȝtes,
43. Syþen kayred to þe court caroles to make.
44. For þer þe fest watz ilyche ful fiften dayes,
45. Wiþ alle þe mete and þe mirþe þat men couþe avyse;
46. Such glaum ande gle glorious to here,
47. Dere dyn vpon day, daunsyng on nyȝtes,
48. Al watz hap vpon heȝe in hallez and chambrez
49. Wiþ lordeȝ and ladies, as leuest him þoȝt.
50. Wiþ all þe wele of þe worlde þay woned þer samen,
51. Þe most kyd knyȝtez vnder Krystes seluen,
52. And þe louelokkest ladies þat euer lif haden,
53. And he þe comlokest kyng þat þe court haldes;
54. For al watz þis fayre folk in her first age,
55. on sille,
56. Þe hapnest vnder heuen,
57. Kyng hyȝest mon of wylle;
58. Hit were now gret nye to neuen
59. So hardy a here on hille.
60. Wyle Nw Ȝer watz so ȝep þat hit watz nwe cummen,
61. Þat day doubble on þe dece watz þe douþ serued.
62. Fro þe kyng watz cummen wiþ knyȝtes into þe halle,
63. Þe chauntre of þe chapel cheued to an ende,
64. Loude crye watz þer kest of clerkez and oþer,
f.96 65. Nowel nayted onewe, neuened ful ofte;
66. And syþen riche forþ runnen to reche hondeselle,
67. Ȝeȝed ȝeres-ȝiftes on hiȝ, ȝelde hem bi hond,
68. Debated busyly aboute þo giftes;
69. Ladies laȝed ful loude, þoȝ þay lost haden,
70. And he þat wan watz not wroþe, 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, and tars tapites innoghe,
78. Þat were enbrawded and beten wyþ þe best gemmes
79. Þat myȝt be preued of prys wyþ penyes to bye,
80. in daye.
81. Þe comlokest to discrye
82. Þer glent wiþ yȝen gray,
83. A semloker þat euer he syȝe
84. Soþ moȝt no mon say.
85. Bot Arþure wolde not ete til al were serued,
86. He watz so joly of his joyfnes, and sumquat childgered:
87. His lif liked hym lyȝt, he louied þe lasse
88. Auþer to longe lye or to longe sitte,
89. So bisied him his ȝonge blod and his brayn wylde.
90. And also an oþer maner meued him eke
91. Þat he þurȝ nobelay had nomen, he 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 bisoȝt of sum siker knyȝt
97. To joyne wyþ hym in iustyng, in joparde to lay,
98. Lede, lif for lyf, leue vchon oþer,
99. As fortune wolde fulsun hom, þe fayrer to haue.
100. Þis watz þe kynges countenaunce where he in court were,
101. At vch farand fest among his fre meny
f.96b 102. in halle.
103. Þerfore of face so fere
104. He stiȝtleȝ stif in stalle,
105. Ful ȝep in þat Nw Ȝere
106. Much mirþe he mas wiþalle.
107. Thus þer stondes in stale þe stif kyng hisseluen,
108. Talkkande bifore þe hyȝe table of trifles ful hende.
109. Þere gode Gawan watz grayþed Gwenore bisyde,
110. And Agrauayn a la dure mayn on þat oþer syde sittes,
111. Boþe þe kynges sistersunes and ful siker kniȝtes;
112. Bischop Bawdewyn abof biginez þe table,
113. And Ywan, Vryn son, ette wiþ hymseluen.
114. Þise were diȝt on þe des and derworþly serued,
115. And siþen mony siker segge at þe sidbordez.
116. Þen þe first cors come wiþ crakkyng of trumpes,
117. Wyþ mony baner ful bryȝt þat þerbi henged;
118. Nwe nakryn noyse wiþ þe noble pipes,
119. Wylde werbles and wyȝt wakned lote,
120. Þat mony hert ful hiȝe hef at her towches.
121. Dayntes dryuen þerwyþ of ful dere metes,
122. Foysoun of þe fresche, and on so fele disches
123. Þat pine to fynde þe place þe peple biforne
124. For to sette þe sylueren þat sere sewes halden
125. on cloþe.
126. Iche lede as he loued hymselue
127. Þer laght wiþouten loþe;
128. Ay two had disches twelue,
129. Good ber and bryȝt wyn boþe.
130. Now wyl I of hor seruise say yow no more,
131. For vch wyȝe may wel wit no wont þat þer were.
132. An oþer noyse ful newe neȝed biliue,
133. Þat þe lude myȝt haf leue liflode to cach;
134. For vneþe watz þe noyce not a whyle sesed,
135. And 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 hȝe;
138. Fro þe swyre to þe swange so sware and so þik,
139. And his lyndes and his lymes so longe and so grete,
f. 97 140. Half etayn in erde I hope þat he were,
141. Bot mon most I algate mynn hym to bene,
142. And þat þe myriest in his muckel þat myȝt ride;
143. For of bak and of brest al were his bodi sturne,
144. Boþ his wombe and his wast were worþily smale,
145. And 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. And oueral enker-grene.
151. Ande al grayþed in grene þis gome and his wedes:
152. A strayte cote ful streȝt, þat stek on his sides,
153. A mere mantile abof, mensked wiþinne
154. Wiþ pelure pured apert, þe pane ful clene
155. Wiþ blyþe blaunner ful bryȝt, and his hod boþe,
156. Þat watz laȝt fro his lokkez and layde on his schulderes;
157. Heme wel-haled hose of þat same,
158. Þat spenet on his sparlyr, and clene spures vnder
159. Of bryȝt golde, vpon silk bordes barred ful ryche,
160. And scholes vnder schankes þere þe schalk rides;
161. And alle his vesture uerayly watz clene verdure,
162. Boþe þe barres of his belt and oþer blyþe stones,
163. Þat were richely rayled in his aray clene
164. Aboutte hymself and his sadel, vpon silk werkeȝ.
165. Þat were to tor for to telle of tryfles þe halue
166. Þat were enbrauded abof, wyþ bryddes and flyȝes,
167. Wiþ gay gaudi of grene, þe golde ay inmyddes.
168. Þe pendauntes of his payttrure, þe proude cropure,
169. His molaynes, and alle þe metail anamayld was þenne,
170. Þe steropes þat he stod on stayned of þe same,
171. And his arsounz al after and his aþel skyrtes,
172. Þat euer glemered and glent al of grene stones;
173. Þe fole þat he ferkkes on fyn of þat ilke,
175. A grene hors gret and þikke,
176. A stede ful stif to strayne,
177. In brawden brydel quik—
f. 97b 178. To þe gome he watz ful gayn.
179. Wel gay watz þis gome gered in grene,
180. And þe here of his hed of his hors swete.
181. Fayre fannand fax vmbefoldes his schulderes;
182. A much berd as a busk ouer his brest henges,
183. Þat wyþ his hiȝlich here þat of his hed reches
184. Watz euesed al vmbetorne abof his elbowes,
185. Þat half his armes þer-vnder were halched in þe wyse
186. Of a kyngez capados þat closes his swyre;
187. Þe mane of þat mayn hors much to hit lyke,
188. Wel cresped and cemmed, wyþ knottes ful mony
189. Folden in wyþ fildore aboute þe fayre grene,
190. Ay a herle of þe here, an oþer of golde;
191. Þe tayl and his toppyng twynnen of a sute,
192. And bounden boþe wyþ a bande of a bryȝt grene,
193. Dubbed wyþ ful dere stoneȝ, as þe dok lasted,
194. Syþen þrawen wyþ 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. Watz neuer sene in þat sale wyþ syȝt er þat tyme,
198. wiþ 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 hawbergh nauþer,
204. Ne no pysan ne no plate þat pented to armes,
205. Ne no schafte ne no schelde to schwue 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. And an ax in his oþer, a hoge and vnmete,
209. A spetos sparþe to expoun in spelle, quoso myȝt.
210. Þe lenkþe of an elnȝerde þe large hede hade,
211. Þe grayn al of grene stele and of golde hewen,
212. Þe bit burnyst bryȝt, wiþ a brod egge
213. As wel schapen to schere as scharp rasores,
214. Þe stele of a stif staf þe sturne hit bi grypte,
f. 98 215. Þat watz wounden wyþ yrn to þe wandez ende,
216. And al bigrauen wiþ grene in gracios werkes;
217. A lace lapped aboute, þat louked at þe hede,
218. And so after þe halme halched ful ofte,
219. Wyþ tryed tasseleȝ þerto tacched innoghe
220. On botounȝ of þe bryȝt grene brayden ful ryche.
221. Þis haþel heldeȝ hym in and 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, and wiþ hymself speke
228. To knyȝteȝ he kest his yȝe,
229. And reled hym vp and doun;
230. He stemmed, and con studie
231. Quo walt þer most renoun.
232. Ther watz lokyng on lenþe þe lude to beholde,
233. For vch mon had meruayle quat hit mene myȝt
234. Þat a haþel and a horse myȝt such a hwe lach,
235. As growe grene as þe gres and grener hit semed,
236. Þen grene aumayl on golde glowande bryȝter.
237. Al studied þat þer stod, and stalked hym nerre
238. Wyþ al þe wonder of þe worlde what he worch schulde.
239. For fele sellyez had þay sen, bot such neuer are;
240. Forþi for fantoum and fayryȝe þe folk þere hit demed.
241. Þerfore to answare watz arȝe mony aþel freke,
242. And al stouned at his steuen and stonstil seten
243. In a swoghe sylence þurȝ þe sale riche;
244. As al were slypped vpon slepe so slaked hor lotez
245. in hyȝ—
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 byholdez,
251. And rekenly hym reuerenced, for rad was he neuer,
252. And sayde, "Wyȝe, welcum iwys to þis place,
253. Þe hede of þis ostel Arþour I hat;
254. Liȝt luflych adoun and lenge, I þe praye,
255. And quat-so þy wylle is we schal wyt after."
256. "Nay, as help me," quoþ þe haþel, "he þat on hyȝe syttes,
257. To wone any quyle in þis won, hit watz not myn ernde;
258. Bot for þe los of þe, lede, is lyft vp so hyȝe,
259. And þy burȝ and þy burnes best ar holden,
260. Stifest vnder stel-gere on stedes to ryde,
261. Þe wyȝtest and þe worþyest of þe worldes kynde,
262. Preue for to play wyþ in oþer pure laykez,
263. And here is kydde cortaysye, as I haf herd carp,
264. And þat hatȝ wayned me hider, iwyis, at þis tyme.
265. Ȝe may be seker bi þis braunch þat I bere here
266. Þat I passe as in pes, and no plyȝt seche;
267. For had I founded in fere in feȝtyng wyse,
268. I haue a hauberghe at home and a helme boþe,
269. A schelde and a scharp spere, schinande bryȝt,
270. Ande oþer weppenes to welde, I wene wel, als;
271. Bot for I wolde no were, my wedez ar softer.
272. Bot if þou be so bold as alle burnez tellen,
273. Þou wyl grant me godly þe gomen þat I ask
274. bi ryȝt."
275. Arþour con onsware,
276. And sayd, "Sir cortays knyȝt,
277. If þou craue batayl bare,
278. Here faylez þou not to fyȝt."
279. "Nay, frayst I no fyȝt, in fayþ I þe telle,
280. Hit arn aboute on þis bench bot berdlez chylder.
281. If I were hasped in armes on a heȝe stede,
282. Here is no mon me to mach, for myȝtez so wayke.
283. Forþy I craue in þis court a Crystemas gomen,
284. For hit is Ȝol and Nwe Ȝer, and here ar ȝep mony:
285. If any so hardy in þis hous holdez hymseluen,
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 innogh, to hondele as hym lykes,
290. And 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, and lach þis weppen,
293. I quit-clayme hit for euer, kepe hit as his auen,
294. And I schal stonde hym a strok, stif on þis flet,
295. Elleȝ þou wyl diȝt me þe dom to dele hym an oþer
297. And ȝet gif hym respite,
298. A twelmonyþ and a day;
299. Now hyȝe, and let se tite
300. Dar any herinne oȝt say."
301. If he hem stowned vpon fyrst, stiller were þanne
302. Alle þe heredmen in halle, þe hyȝ and þe loȝe.
303. Þe renk on his rouncé hym ruched in his sadel,
304. And runischly his rede yȝen he reled aboute,
305. Bende his bresed broȝe&z, blycande grene,
306. Wayued his berde for to wayte quo-so wolde ryse.
307. When non wolde kepe hym wiþ carp he coȝed ful hyȝe,
308. Ande rimed hym ful richly, and ryȝt hym to speke:
309. "What, is þis Arþures hous," quoþ þe haþel þenne,
310. "Þat al þe rous rennes of þurȝ ryalmes so mony?
311. Where is now your sourquydrye and your conquestes,
312. Your gryndellayk and your greme, and your grete wordes?
313. Now is þe reuel and þe renoun of þe Rounde Table
314. Ouerwalt wyþ a worde of on wyȝes speche,
315. For al dares for drede wiþoute dynt schewed!"
316. Wyþ þis he laȝes so loude þat þe lorde greued;
317. Þe blod schot for scham into his schyre face
318. and lere;
319. He wex as wroþ 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. And as þou foly hatz frayst, fynde þe behoues.
325. I know no gome þat is gast of þy grete wordes;
326. Gif me now þy geserne, vpon Godez halue,
327. And I schal bayþen þy bone þat þou boden habbes."
328. Lyȝtly lepez he hym to, and laȝt at his honde.
329. Þen feersly þat oþer freke vpon fote lyȝtis.
330. Now hatz Arþure his axe, and þe halme grypez,
331. And sturnely sturez hit aboute, þat stryke wyþ hit þoȝt.
332. Þe stif mon hym bifore stod vpon hyȝt,
333. Herre þen ani in þe hous by þe hede and more.
334. Wyþ sturne schere þer he stod he stroked his berde,
335. And wyþ a countenaunce dryȝe he droȝ doun his cote,
336. No more mate ne dismayd for hys mayn dintez
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 beseche now wiþ saȝez sene
342. Þis melly mot be myne.
343. "Wolde ȝe, worþilych lorde," quoþ Wawan to þe kyng,
344. "Bid me boȝe fro þis benche, and stonde by yow þere,
345. Þat I wyþoute vylanye myȝt voyde þis table,
346. And 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. Þaȝ ȝe ȝourself be talenttyf, to take hit to yourseluen,
351. Whil mony so bolde yow aboute vpon bench sytten,
352. Þat vnder heuen I hope non haȝerer of wylle,
353. Ne better bodyes on bent þer baret is rered.
354. I am þe wakkest, I wot, and of wyt feblest,
355. And 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 bodéknowe;
358. And syþen þis note is so nys þat noȝt hit yow falles,
359. And I haue frayned hit at yow fyrst, foldez hit to me;
360. And if I carp not comlyly, let alle þis cort rych
361. bout blame."
362. Ryche togeder con roun,
363. And syþen þay redden alle same
364. To ryd þe kyng wyþ croun,
365. And gif Gawan þe game.
366. Þen comaunded þe kyng þe knyȝt for to ryse;
367. And he ful radly vpros, and ruchched hym fayre,
368. Kneled doun bifore þe kyng, and cachez þat weppen;
369. And he luflyly hit hym laft, and lyfte vp his honde,
370. And gef hym Goddez blessyng, and gladly hym biddes
371. Þat his hert and his honde schulde hardi be boþe.
372. "Kepe þe cosyn," quoþ þe kyng, "þat þou on kyrf sette,
373. And if þou redez hym ryȝt, redly I trowe
374. Þat þou schal byden þe bur þat he schal bede after."
375. Gawan gotz to þe gome wiþ giserne in honde,
376. And he baldly hym bydeȝ, he bayst neuer þe helder.
377. Þen carppez to Sir Gawan þe knyȝt in þe grene,
378. "Refourme we oure forwardes, 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 fayþ," quoþ þe goode knyȝt, "Gawan I hatte,
382. Þat bede þe þis buffet, quat-so bifallez after,
383. And at þis tyme twelmonyþ take at þe an oþer
384. Wyþ what weppen so þou wylt, and wyþ no wyȝ ellez
386. Þat oþer onswarez agayn,
387. "Sir Gawan, so mot I þryue
388. As I am ferly fayn
389. Þis dint þat þou schal dryue.
390. "Bigog," quoþ þe grene knyȝt, "Sir Gawan, me lykes
391. Þat I schal fange at þy fust þat I haf frayst here.
392. And 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 þiself, where-so þou hopes
396. I may be funde vpon folde, and foch þe such wages
397. As þou deles me to-day bifore þis douþe ryche."
398. "Where schulde I wale þe," quoþ Gauan, "where is þy place?
399. I wot neuer where þou wonyes, bi hym þat me wroȝt,
400. Ne I know not þe, knyȝt, by cort ne þi name.
401. Bot teche me truly þerto, and telle me how þou hattes,
402. And I schal ware alle my wyt to wynne me þeder,
403. And þat I swere þe for soþe, and by my seker traweþ."
404. "Þat is innogh in Nwe Ȝer, hit nedes no more,"
405. Quoþ þe gome in þe grene to Gawan þe hende;
406. "Ȝif I þe telle trwly, quen I þe tape haue
407. And þou me smoþely hatȝ smyten, smartly I þe teche
408. Of my hous and my home and myn owen nome,
409. Þen may þou frayst my fare and forwardeȝ holde;
410. And if I spende no speche, þenne spedeȝ þou þe better,
411. For þou may leng in þy londe and layt no fyrre—
412. bot slokes!
413. Ta now þy grymme tole to þe,
414. And let se how þou cnokeȝ."
415. "Gladly, sir, for soþe,"
416. Quoþ Gawan; his ax he strokes.
417. The grene knyȝt vpon grounde grayþely hym dresses,
418. A littel lut wiþ 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, and gederes hit on hyȝt,
422. Þe kay fot on þe folde he before sette,
423. Let him doun lyȝtly lyȝt on þe naked,
424. Þat þe scharp of þe schalk schyndered þe bones,
425. And schrank þurȝ þe schyire grece, and schade hit in twynne,
426. Þat þe bit of þe broun stel bot on þe grounde.
427. Þe fayre hede fro þe halce hit to þe erþe,
428. Þat fele hit foyned wyþ her fete, þere hit forþ roled;
429. Þe blod brayd fro þe body, þat blykked on þe grene;
430. And nawþer faltered ne fel þe freke neuer þe helder,
431. Bot styþly he start forþ vpon styf schonkes,
432. And runyschly he raȝt out, þere as renkkeȝ stoden,
433. Laȝt to his lufly hed, and lyft hit vp sone;
434. And syþen boȝez to his blonk, þe brydel he cachchez,
435. Steppez into stelbawe and strydez alofte,
436. And his hede by þe here in his honde haldez;
437. And as sadly þe segge hym in his sadel sette
438. As non vnhap had hym ayled, þaȝ hedlez he were
439. in stedde.
440. He brayde his bulk aboute,
441. Þat vgly bodi þat bledde;
442. Moni on of hym had doute,
443. Bi þat his resounz were redde.
444. For þe hede in his honde he haldez vp euen,
445. Toward þe derrest on þe dece he dressez þe face,
446. And hit lyfte vp þe yȝe-lyddez and loked ful brode,
447. And meled þus much wiþ his muþe, as ȝe may now here:
448. "Loke, Gawan, þou be grayþe to go as þou hettez,
449. And layte as lelly til þou me, lude, fynde,
450. As þou hatz 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 hatz dalt—disserued þou habbez
453. To be ȝederly ȝolden on Nw Ȝeres morn.
454. Þe knyȝt of þe grene chapel men knowen me mony;
455. Forþi me for to fynde if þou fraystez, faylez þou neuer.
456. Þerfore com, oþer recreaunt be calde þe behoues."
457. Wiþ a runisch rout þe raynez he tornez,
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 kyþ he becom knwe non þere,
461. Neuer more þen þay wyste from queþen he watz wonnen.
462. What þenne?
463. Þe kyng and Gawen þare
464. At þat grene þay laȝe and grenne,
465. Ȝet breued watz 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 wyþ cortays speche,
470. "Dere dame, to-day demay yow neuer;
471. Wel bycommes such craft vpon Cristmasse,
472. Laykyng of enterludeȝ, to laȝe and to syng,
473. Among þise kynde caroles of knyȝteȝ and ladyez.
474. Neuer þe lece to my mete I may me wel dres,
475. For I haf sen a selly, I may not forsake."
476. He glent vpon Sir Gawen, and gaynly he sayde,
477. "Now, sir, heng vp þyn ax, þat hatȝ innogh hewen";
478. And hit watz don abof þe dece on doser to henge,
479. Þer alle men for meruayl myȝt on hit loke,
480. And bi trwe tytel þerof to telle þe wonder.
481. Þenne þay boȝed to a borde þise burnes togeder,
482. Þe kyng and þe gode knyȝt, and kene men hem serued
483. Of alle dayntyeȝ double, as derrest myȝt falle;
484. Wyþ alle maner of mete and mynstralcie boþe,
485. Wyþ wele walt þday, til worþed an ende
486. in londe.
487. Now þenk wel, Sir Gawan,
488. For woþe þat þou ne wonde
489. Þis auenture for to frayn
490. Þat þou hatȝ tan on honde.
his hanselle hatȝ Arþur of auenturus on fyrst
492. In ȝonge ȝer, for he ȝerned ȝelpyng to here.
493. Þaȝ hym wordeȝ were wane when þay to sete wenten,
494. Now ar þay stoken of sturne werk, stafful her hond.
495. Gawan watz glad to begynne þose gomnez 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, and ȝeldeȝ neuer lyke,
499. Þe forme to þe fynisment foldeȝ ful selden.
500. Forþi þis Ȝol ouerȝede, and þe ȝere after,
501. And vche sesoun serlepes sued after oþer:
502. After Crystenmasse com þe crabbed lentoun,
503. Þat fraysteȝ flesch wyþ þe fysche and fode more symple;
504. Bot þenne þe weder of þe worlde wyþ wynter hit þrepeȝ,
505. Colde clengeȝ adoun, cloudez vplyften,
506. Schyre schedeȝ þe rayn in schowrez ful warme,
507. Falleȝ vpon fayre flat, flowrez þere schewen,
508. Boþe groundeȝ and þe greuez grene ar her wedez,
509. Bryddeȝ busken to bylde, and bremlych syngen
510. For solace of þe softe somer þat sues þerafter
511. bi bonk;
512. And blossumeȝ bolne to blowe
513. Bi raweȝ rych and ronk,
514. Þen noteȝ noble innoȝe
515. Ar herde in wod so wlonk.
516. After þe sesoun of somer wyþ þe soft wyndeȝ
517. Quen Zeferus syfleȝ hymself on sedez and erbez,
518. Wela wynne is þe wort þat waxes þeroute,
519. When þe donkande dewe dropeȝ of þe leuez,
520. To bide a blysful blusch of þe bryȝt sunne.
521. Bot þen hyȝes heruest, and hardenes hym sone,
522. Warneȝ hym for þe wynter to wax ful rype;
523. He dryues wyþ droȝt þe dust for to ryse,
524. Fro þe face of þe folde to flyȝe ful hyȝe;
525. Wroþe wynde of þe welkyn wrasteleȝ wiþ þe sunne,
526. Þe leueȝ lancen fro þe lynde and lyȝten on þe grounde,
527. And al grayes þe gres þat grene watz ere;
528. Þenne al rypeȝ and rotez þat ros vpon fyrst,
529. And þus ȝirneȝ þe ȝere in ȝisterdayez mony
, 530. And wynter wyndeȝ aȝayn, as þe worlde askez,
531. no fage,
532. Til Meȝelmas mone
533. watz cumen wyþ wynter wage;
534. Þen þenkkeȝ Gawan ful sone
535. Of his anious uyage.
536. Ȝet quyl Al-hal-day wiþ Arþer he lenges;
537. And he made a fare on þat fest for þe frekeȝ sake,
538. Wiþ much reuel and ryche of þe Rounde Table.
539. Knyȝteȝ ful cortays and 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 iapez þer maden.
543. For aftter mete wiþ mournyng he meleȝ to his eme,
544. And spekeȝ of his passage, and pertly he sayde,
545. "Now, lege lorde of my lyf, leue I yow ask;
546. Ȝe knowe þe cost of þis cace, kepe I no more
547. To telle yow teneȝ þerof 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 togeder,
551. Aywan, and Errik, and oþer ful mony,
552. Sir Doddinaual de Sauage, þe duk of Clarence,
553. Launcelot, and Lyonel, and Lucan þe gode,
554. Sir Boos, and Sir Byduer, big men boþe,
555. And mony oþer menskful, wiþ Mador de la Port.
556. Alle þis compayny of court com þe kyng nerre
557. For to counseyl þe knyȝt, wiþ care at her hert.
558. Þere watz much derue doel driuen in þe sale
559. Þat so worþe as Wawan schulde wende on þat ernde,
560. To dryȝe a delful dynt, and dele no more
561. wyþ bronde.
562. Þe knyȝt mad ay god chere,
563. And sayde, "Quat schuld I wonde?
564. Of destines derf and dere
565. What may mon do bot fonde?"
566. He dowelleȝ þer al þat day, and dressez on þe morn,
567. Askeȝ erly hys armez, and alle were þay broȝt.
568. Fyrst a tule tapit tyȝt ouer þe flet,
569. And miche watz þe gyld gere þat glent þeralofte;
570. Þe stif mon steppeȝ þeron, and þe stel hondelez,
571. Dubbed in a dublet of a dere tars,
572. And syþen a crafty capados, closed aloft,
573. Þat wyþ a bryȝt blaunner was bounden wiþinne.
574. Þenne set þay þe sabatounȝ vpon þe segge fotez,
575. His legeȝ lapped in stel wiþ luflych greuez,
576. Wiþ polayneȝ piched þerto, policed ful clene,
577. Aboute his kneȝ knaged wyþ knotez of golde;
578. Queme quyssewes þen, þat coyntlych closed
579. His þik þrawen þyȝez, wiþ þwonges to tachched;
580. And syþen þe brawden bryne of bryȝt stel ryngeȝ
581. Vmbeweued þat wyȝ vpon wlonk stuffe,
582. And wel bornyst brace vpon his boþe armes,
583. Wiþ gode cowters and gay, and gloueȝ of plate,
584. And alle þe godlych gere þat hym gayn schulde
585. þat tyde;
586. Wyþ ryche cote-armure,
587. His gold sporeȝ spend wiþ pryde,
588. Gurde wyþ a bront ful sure
589. Wiþ silk sayn vmbe his syde.
590. When he watz hasped in armes, his harnays watz ryche:
591. Þe lest lachet ouer loupe lemed of golde.
592. So harnayst as he watz he herknez his masse,
593. Offred and honoured at þe heȝe auter.
594. Syþen he comeȝ to þe kyng and to his cort-ferez,
595. Lacheȝ lufly his leue at lordez and ladyez;
596. And þay hym kyst and conueyed, bikende hym to Kryst.
597. Bi þat watz Gryngolet grayþ, and gurde wiþ a sadel
598. Þat glemed ful gayly wiþ mony golde frenges,
599. Ayquere naylet ful nwe, for þat note ryched;
600. Þe brydel barred aboute, wiþ bryȝt golde bounden;
601. Þe apparayl of þe payttrure and of þe proude skyrteȝ,
602. Þe cropore and þe couertor, acorded wyþ þe arsouneȝ;
603. And al watz rayled on red ryche golde naylez,
604. Þat al glytered and glent as glem of þe sunne.
605. Þenne hentes he þe helme, and hastily hit kysses,
606. Þat watz stapled stifly, and stoffed wyþinne.
607. Hit watz hyȝe on his hede, hasped bihynde,
608. Wyþ a lyȝtly vrysoun ouer þe auentayle,
609. Enbrawden and bounden wyþ þe best gemmeȝ
610. On brode sylkyn borde, and bryddeȝ on semez,
611. As papiayeȝ paynted peruyng bitwene,
612. Tortors and trulofeȝ entayled so þyk
613. As mony burde þeraboute had ben seuen wynter
614. in toune.
615. Þe cercle watz more o prys
616. Þat vmbeclypped hys croun,
617. Of diamaunteȝ a deuys
618. Þat boþe were bryȝt and broun.
619. THEN þay schewed hym þe schelde, þat was of schyr goulez
620. Wyþ þe pentangel depaynt of pure golde hwez.
621. He braydeȝ hit by þe bauderyk, aboute þe hals kestes,
622. Þat bisemed þe segge semlyly fayre.
623. And 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 sumquyle
626. In bytoknyng of trawþe, bi tytle þat hit habbeȝ,
627. For hit is a figure þat haldeȝ fyue poyntez,
628. And vche lyne vmbelappeȝ and loukez in oþer,
629. And ayquere hit is endeleȝ; and Englych hit callen
630. Oueral, as I here, þe endeles knot.
631. Forþy hit acordeȝ to þis knyȝt and to his cler armez,
632. For ay fayþful in fyue and sere fyue syþez
633. Gawan watz for gode knawen, and as golde pured,
634. Voyded of vche vylany, wyþ vertueȝ ennourned
635. in mote;
636. Forþy þe pentangel nwe
637. He ber in schelde and cote,
638. As tulk of tale most trwe
639. And gentylest knyȝt of lote.
640. Fyrst he watz funden fautlez in his fyue wyttez,
641. And efte fayled neuer þe freke in his fyue fyngres,
642. And alle his afyaunce vpon folde watz in þe fyue woundez
643. Þat Cryst kaȝt on þe croys, as þe crede telleȝ;
644. And quere-so-euer þys mon in melly watz stad,
645. His þro þoȝt watz in þat, þurȝ alle oþer þyngez,
646. Þat alle his forsnes he feng at þe fyue joyeȝ
647. Þat þe hende heuen-quene had of hir chylde;
648. At þis cause þe knyȝt comlyche hade
649. In þe inore half of his schelde hir ymage depaynted,
650. Þat quen he blusched þerto his belde neuer payred.
651. Þe fyft fyue þat I finde þat þe frek vsed
652. watz fraunchyse and felaȝschyp forbe al þyng,
653. His clannes and his cortaysye croked were neuer,
654. And pite, þat passeȝ alle poyntez, þyse pure fyue
655. Were harder happed on þat haþel þen on any oþer.
656. Now alle þese fyue syþez, for soþe, were fetled on þis knyȝt,
657. And vchone halched in oþer, þat non ende hade,
658. And fyched vpon fyue poynteȝ, þat fayld neuer,
659. Ne samned neuer in no syde, ne sundred nouþer,
660. Wiþouten ende at any noke I oquere fynde,
661. Whereeuer þe gomen bygan, or glod to an ende.
662. Þerfore on his schene schelde schapen watz þe knot
663. Ryally wyþ red golde vpon rede gowleȝ,
664. Þat is þe pure pentaungel wyþ þe peple called
665. wiþ lore.
666. Now grayþed is Gawan gay,
667. And laȝt his launce ryȝt þore,
668. And gef hem alle goud day,
669. He wende for euermore.
670. He sperred þe sted wiþ þe spureȝ and sprong on his way,
671. So stif þat þe ston-fyr stroke out þerafter.
672. Al þat seȝ þat semly syked in hert,
673. And 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 fayþ, is not eþe.
677. Warloker to haf wroȝt had more wyt bene,
678. And haf dyȝt ȝonder dere a duk to haue worþed;
679. A lowande leder of ledeȝ in londe hym wel semez,
680. And so had better haf ben þen britned to noȝt,
681. Hadet wyþ an aluisch mon, for angardeȝ pryde.
682. Who knew euer any kyng such counsel to take
683. As knyȝteȝ in cauelaciounz on Crystmasse gomnez!"
684. Wel much watz þe warme water þat waltered of yȝen,
685. When þat semly syre soȝt fro þo woneȝ
686. þad 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 lengez on nyȝtez
694. Þer he fonde noȝt hym byfore þe fare þat he lyked.
695. Hade he no fere bot his fole bi fryþez and dounez,
696. Ne no gome bot God bi gate wyþ to karp,
697. Til þat he neȝed ful neghe into þe Norþe Walez.
698. Alle þe iles of Anglesay on lyft half he haldez,
699. And farez; ouer þe fordez by þe forlondez,
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 wyþ goud hert louied.
703. And ay he frayned, as he ferde, at frekez þat he met,
704. If þay hade herde any karp of a knyȝt grene,
705. In any grounde þeraboute, of þe grene chapel;
706. And al nykked hym wyþ nay, þat neuer in her lyue
707. Þay seȝe neuer no segge þat watz of suche hwez
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 ouerclambe in contrayez straunge,
714. Fer floten fro his frendez fremedly he rydez.
715. At vche warþe oþer water þer þe wyȝe passed
716. He fonde a foo hym byfore, bot ferly hit were,
717. And þat so foule and so felle þat feȝt hym byhode.
718. So mony meruayl bi mount þer þe mon fyndez,
719. Hit were to tore for to telle of þe tenþe dole.
720. Sumwhyle wyþ wormez he werrez, and wiþ wolues als,
721. Sumwhyle wyþ wodwos, þat woned in þe knarrez,
722. Boþe wyþ bullez and berez, and borez oþerquyle,
723. And etaynez, þat hym anelede of þe heȝe felle;
724. Nade he ben duȝty and dryȝe, and Dryȝtyn had serued,
725. Douteles he hade ben ded and dreped ful ofte.
726. For werre wraþed hym not so much þat wynter nas wors,
727. When þe colde cler water fro þe cloudez schadde,
728. And fres er hit falle myȝt to þe fale erþe;
729. Ner slayn wyþ þe slete he sleped in his yrnes
730. Mo nyȝtez þen innoghe in naked rokkez,
731. Þer as claterande fro þe crest þe colde borne rennez,
732. And henged heȝe ouer his hede in hard iisse-ikkles.
733. Þus in peryl and payne and plytes ful harde
734. Bi contray cayrez þis knyȝt, tyl Krystmasse euen,
735. al one;
736. Þe knyȝt wel þat tyde
737. To Mary made his mone,
738. Þat ho hym red to ryde
739. And wysse hym to sum wone.
740. Bi a mounte on þe morne meryly he rydes
741. Into a forest ful dep, þat ferly watz wylde,
742. Hiȝe hillez on vche a halue, and holtwodez vnder
743. Of hore okez ful hoge a hundreþ togeder;
744. Þe hasel and þe haȝþorne were harled al samen,
745. Wiþ roȝe raged mosse rayled aywhere,
746. Wiþ mony bryddez vnblyþe vpon bare twyges,
747. Þat pitosly þer piped for pyne of þe colde.
748. Þe gome vpon Gryngolet glydez hem vnder,
749. Þurȝ mony misy and myre, mon al hym one,
750. Carande for his costes, lest he ne keuer schulde
751. To se þe seruyse of þat syre, þat on þat self nyȝt
752. Of a burde watz borne oure baret to quelle;
753. And þerfore sykyng he sayde, "I beseche þe, lorde,
754. And Mary, þat is myldest moder so dere,
755. Of sum herber þer heȝly I myȝt here masse,
756. Ande þy matynez to-morne, mekely I ask,
757. And þerto prestly I pray my pater and aue
758. and crede."
759. He rode in his prayere,
760. And cryed for his mysdede,
761. He sayned hym in syþes sere,
762. And sayde "Cros Kryst me spede!"
763. NADE he sayned hymself, segge, bot þrye,
764. Er he watz war in þe wod of a won in a mote,
765. Abof a launde, on a lawe, loken vnder boȝez
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. Wiþ a pyked palays pyned ful þik,
770. Þat vmbeteȝe mony tre mo þen two myle.
771. Þat holde on þat on syde þe haþel auysed,
772. As hit schemered and schon þurȝ þe schyre okeȝ;
773. Þenne hatȝ he hendly of his helme, and heȝly he þonkez
774. Jesus and sayn Gilyan, þat gentyle ar boþe,
775. Þat cortaysly had hym kydde, and his cry herkened.
776. "Now bone hostel," coþe þe burne, "I beseche yow ȝette!"
777. Þenne gerdeȝ he to Gryngolet wiþ þe gilt helez,
778. And 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 watz breme vpbrayde,
782. Þe ȝateȝ wer stoken faste,
783. Þe walleȝ were wel arayed,
784. Hit dut no wyndeȝ blaste.
785. Þe burne bode on blonk, þat on bonk 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. And syþen garyteȝ ful gaye gered bitwene,
792. Wyþ mony luflych loupe þat louked ful clene:
793. A better barbican þat burne blusched vpon neuer.
794. And innermore he behelde þat halle ful hyȝe,
795. Towres telded bytwene, trochet ful þik,
796. Fayre fylyoleȝ þat fyȝed, and ferlyly long,
797. Wiþ coruon coprounes craftyly sleȝe.
798. Chalkwhyt chymnees þer ches he innoȝe
799. Vpon bastel roueȝ, þat blenked ful quyte;
800. So mony pynakle payntet watz poudred ayquere,
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 innoghe þoȝt,
804. If he myȝt keuer to com þe cloyster wyþinne,
805. To herber in þat hostel whyl halyday lested,
807. He calde, and sone þer com
808. A porter pure plesaunt,
809. On þe wal his ernd he nome,
810. And haylsed þe knyȝt erraunt.
811. "Gode sir," quoþ Gawan, "woldeȝ þou go myn ernde
812. To þe heȝ lorde of þis hous, herber to craue?"
813. "Ȝe, Peter," quoþ þe porter, "and purely I trowee
814. Þat ȝe be, wyȝe, welcum to won quyle yow lykeȝ."
815. Þen ȝede þe wyȝe ȝerne and com aȝayn swyþe,
816. And folke frely hym wyþ, to fonge þe knyȝt.
817. Þay let doun þe grete draȝt and derely out ȝeden,
818. And 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. And he hem raysed rekenly, and rod ouer þe brygge.
822. Sere seggeȝ hym sesed by sadel, quel he lyȝt,
823. And syþen stabeled his stede stif men innoȝe.
824. Knyȝteȝ and swyerez comen doun þenne
825. For to bryng þis buurne wyþ blys into halle;
826. Quen he hef vp his helme, þer hiȝed innoghe
827. For to hent hit at his honde, þe hende to seruen;
828. His bronde and his blasoun boþe þay token.
829. Þen haylsed he ful hendly þo haþeleȝ vchone,
830. And 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 wyþ 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. and welde."
838. "Graunt mercy," quoþ Gawayn,
839. "Þer Kryst hit yow forȝelde."
840. As frekeȝ þat semed fayn
841. Ayþer oþer in armeȝ con felde.
842. Gawayn glyȝt on þe gome þat godly hym gret,
843. And þuȝt hit a bolde burne þat þe burȝ aȝte,
844. A hoge haþel for þe noneȝ, and of hȝe eldee;
845. Brode, bryȝt, watz his berde, and al beuer-hwed,
846. Sturne, stif on þe stryþþe on stalworþ schonkeȝ,
847. Felle face as þe fyre, and fre of hys speche;
848. And 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, and chefly cumaundeȝ
851. To delyuer hym a leude, hym loȝly to serue;
852. And þere were boun at his bode burneȝ innoȝe,
853. Þat broȝt hym to a bryȝt boure, þer beddyng watz noble,
854. Of cortynes of clene sylk wyþ cler golde hemmeȝ,
855. And couertoreȝ ful curious wiþ comlych panez
856. Of bryȝt blaunner aboue, enbrawded bisydeȝ,
857. Rudeleȝ rennande on ropez, red golde ryngez,
858. Tapiteȝ tyȝt to þe woȝe of tuly and tars,
859. And vnder fete, on þe flet, of folȝande sute.
860. Þer he watz dispoyled, wyþ spechez of myerþe,
861. Þe burn of his bruny and of his bryȝt wedeȝ.
862. Ryche robes ful rad renkkeȝ hym broȝten,
863. For to charge, and to chaunge, and chose of þe best.
864. Sone as he on hent, and happed þerinne,
865. Þat sete on hym semly wyþ saylande skyrteȝ,
866. Þe ver by his uisage verayly hit semed
867. Welneȝ to vche haþel, alle on hwes
868. Lowande and 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 moȝt
873. Be prynce wiþouten pere
874. In felde þer felle men foȝt.
875. A cheyer byfore þe chemne, þer charcole brenned,
876. watz grayþed for Sir Gawan grayþely wiþ cloþez,
877. Whyssynes vpon queldepoyntes þat koynt wer boþe;
878. And þenne a mere mantyle watz on þat mon cast
879. Of a broun bleeaunt, enbrauded ful ryche
880. And fayre furred wyþinne wiþ felleȝ of þe best,
881. Alle of ermyn in erde, his hode of þe same;
882. And he sete in þat settel semlych ryche,
883. And achaufed hym chefly, and þenne his cher mended.
884. Sone watz telded vp a tabil on trestez ful fayre,
885. Clad wyþ a clene cloþe þat cler quyt schewed,
886. Sanap, and salure, and syluerin sponeȝ.
887. Þe wyȝe wesche at his wylle, and went to his mete.
888. Seggeȝ hym serued semly innoȝe
889. Wyþ sere sewes and sete, sesounde of þe best.
890. Double-felde, as hit falleȝ, and fele kyn fischez,
891. Summe baken in bred, summe brad on þe gledeȝ,
892. Summe soþen, summe in sewe sauered wiþ spyces,
893. And ay sawes so sleȝe þat þe segge lyked.
894. Þe freke calde hit a fest ful frely and ofte
895. Ful hendely, quen alle þe haþeles rehayted hym at oneȝ,
896. "As hende,
897. Þis penaunce now ȝe take,
898. And eft hit schal amende."
899. Þat mon much merþe con make,
900. For wyn in his hed þat wende.
901. Þenne watz spyed and spured vpon spare wyse
902. Bi preue poynteȝ of þat prynce, put to hymseluen,
903. Þat he beknew cortaysly of þe court þat he were
904. Þat aþel Arþure þe hende haldeȝ hym one,
905. Þat is þe ryche ryal kyng of þe Rounde Table,
906. And hit watz Wawen hymself þat in þat won syttez,
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. And alle þe men in þat mote maden much joye
911. To apere in his presense prestly þat tyme,
912. Þat alle prys and prowes and pured þewes
913. Apendes to hys persoun, and praysed is euer;
914. Byfore 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 þewez
917. And 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. and 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 watz done and þe dere vp
929. Hit watz 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, and þe lady als,
934. Into a cumly closet coyntly ho entreȝ.
935. Gawan glydeȝ ful gay and gos þeder sone;
936. Þe lorde laches hym by þe lappe and ledeȝ hym to sytte,
937. And couþly hym knoweȝ and callez hym his nome,
938. And sayde he watz þe welcomest wyȝe of þe worlde;
939. And he hym þonkked þroly, and ayþer halched oþer,
940. And seten soberly samen þe seruise quyle.
941. Þenne lyst þe lady to loke on þe knyȝt,
942. Þenne com ho of hir closet wiþ mony cler burdeȝ.
943. Ho watz þe fayrest in felle, of flesche and of lyre,
944. And of compas and colour and costes, of alle oþer,
945. And wener þen Wenore, as þe wyȝe þoȝt.
946. Ho ches þurȝ þe chaunsel to cheryche þat hende.
947. An oþer lady hir lad bi þe lyft honde,
948. Þat watz alder þen ho, an auncian hit semed,
949. And heȝly honowred wiþ haþeleȝ aboute.
950. Bot vnlyke on to loke þo ladyes were,
951. For if þe ȝonge watz ȝep, ȝolȝe watz þat oþer;
952. Riche red on þat on rayled ayquere,
953. Rugh ronkled chekeȝ þat oþer on rolled;
954. Kerchofes of þat on, wyþ mony cler perleȝ,
955. Hir brest and hir bryȝt þrote bare displayed,
956. Schon schyrer þen snawe þat schedeȝ on hillez;
957. Þat oþer wyþ a gorger watz gered ouer þe swyre,
958. Chymbled ouer hir blake chyn wiþ chalkquyte vayles,
959. Hir frount folden in sylk, enfoubled ayquere,
960. Toreted and treleted wiþ tryfleȝ aboute,
961. Þat noȝt watz bare of þat burde bot þe blake broȝes,
962. Þe tweyne yȝen and þe nase, þe naked lyppeȝ,
963. And þose were soure to se and sellyly blered;
964. A mensk lady on molde mon may hir calle,
965. for Gode!
966. Hir body watz schort and þik,
967. Hir buttokeȝ balȝ and brode,
968. More lykkerwys on to lyk
969. watz þat scho hade on lode.
970. When Gawayn glyȝt on þat gay, þat graciously loked,
971. Wyþ leue laȝt of þe lorde he lent hem aȝaynes;
972. Þe alder he haylses, heldande ful lowe,
973. Þe loueloker he lappeȝ a lyttel in armez,
974. He kysses hir comlyly, and knyȝtly he meleȝ.
975. Þay kallen hym of aquoyntaunce, and he hit quyk askeȝ
976. To be her seruaunt soþly, if hemself lyked.
977. Þay tan hym bytwene hem, wyþ talkyng hym leden
978. To chambre, to chemne, and chefly þay asken
979. Spyceȝ, þat vnsparely men speded hom to bryng,
980. And þe wynnelych wyne þerwiþ vche tyme.
981. Þe lorde luflych aloft lepeȝ ful ofte,
982. Mynned merþe to be made vpon mony syþez,
983. Hent heȝly of his hode, and on a spere henged,
984. And wayned hom to wynne þe worchip þerof,
985. Þat most myrþe myȝt meue þat Crystenmas whyle—
986. "And I schal fonde, bi my fayþ, to fylter wyþ þe best
987. Er me wont þe wede, wiþ help of my frendez."
988. Þus wyþ laȝande loteȝ þe lorde hit tayt makez,
989. For to glade Sir Gawayn wiþ gomneȝ in halle
990. þat nyȝt,
991. Til þat hit watz tyme
992. Þe lord comaundet lyȝt;
993. Sir Gawen his leue con nyme
994. And to his bed hym diȝt.
995. On þe morne, as vch mon myneȝ þat tyme
996. Þat Dryȝtyn for oure destyne to deȝe watz 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 and 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 and þe gay burde togeder þay seten,
1004. Euen inmyddeȝ, as þe messe metely come,
1005. And syþen þurȝ al þe sale as hem best semed.
1006. Bi vche grome at his degre grayþely watz serued
1007. Þer watz mete, þer watz myrþe, þer watz much ioye,
1008. Þat for to telle þerof hit me tene were,
1009. And to poynte hit ȝet I pyned me parauenture.
1010. Bot ȝet I wot þat Wawen and þe wale burde
1011. Such comfort of her compaynye caȝten togeder
1012. Þurȝ her dere dalyaunce of her derne wordeȝ,
1013. Wyþ clene cortays carp closed fro fylþe,
1014. Þat hor play watz passande vche prynce gomen,
1015. in vayres.
1016. Trumpeȝ and nakerys,
1017. Much pypyng þer repayres;
1018. Vche mon tented hys,
1019. And þay two tented þayres.
1020. Much dut watz þer dryuen þat day and þat oþer,
1021. And þe þryd as þro þronge in þerafter;
1022. Þe ioye of sayn Joneȝ day watz gentyle to here,
1023. And watz þe last of þe layk, leudez þer þoȝten.
1024. Þer wer gestes to go vpon þe gray morne,
1025. Forþy wonderly þay woke, and þe wyn dronken,
1026. Daunsed ful dreȝly wyþ dere caroleȝ.
1027. At þe last, when hit watz late, þay lachen her leue,
1028. Vchon to wende on his way þat watz wyȝe stronge.
1029. Gawan gef hym god day, þe godmon hym lachcheȝ,
1030. Ledes hym to his awen chambre, þe chymne bysyde,
1031. And þere he draȝez hym on dryȝe, and derely hym þonkkez
1032. Of þe wynne worschip þat he hym wayued hade,
1033. As to honour his hous on þat hyȝe tyde,
1034. And enbelyse his burȝ wiþ his bele chere:
1035. "Iwysse sir, quyl I leue, me worþez þe better
1036. Þat Gawayn hatȝ ben my gest at Goddez awen fest."
1037. "Grant merci, sir," quoþ Gawayn, "in god fayþ hit is yowrez,
1038. Al þe honour is your awen—þe heȝe kyng yow ȝelde!
1039. And I am wyȝe at your wylle to worch youre hest,
1040. As I am halden þerto, in hyȝe and in loȝe,
1041. bi riȝt."
1042. Þe lorde fast can hym payne
1043. To holde lenger þe knyȝt;
1044. To hym answarez Gawayn
1045. Bi non way þat he myȝt.
1046. Þen frayned þe freke ful fayre at himseluen
1047. Quat derue dede had hym dryuen at þat dere tyme
1048. So kenly fro þe kyngez kourt to kayre al his one,
1049. Er þe halidayez holly were halet out of toun.
1050. "For soþe, sir," quoþ þe segge, "ȝe sayn bot þe trawþe,
1051. A heȝe ernde and a hasty me hade fro þo wonez,
1052. For I am sumned myselfe to sech to a place,
1053. I ne wot in worlde whederwarde to wende hit to fynde.
1054. I nolde bot if I hit negh myȝt on Nw Ȝeres morne
1055. For alle þe londe inwyþ Logres, so me oure lorde help!
1056. Forþy, sir, þis enquest I require yow here,
1057. Þat ȝe me telle wiþ trawþe if euer ȝe tale herde
1058. Of þe grene chapel, quere hit on grounde stondez,
1059. And of þe knyȝt þat hit kepes, of colour of grene.
1060. Þer watz stabled bi statut a steuen vus bytwene
1061. To mete þat mon at þat mere, ȝif I myȝt last;
1062. And of þat ilk Nw Ȝere bot neked now wontez,
1063. And I wolde loke on þat lede, if God me let wolde,
1064. Gladloker, bi Goddeȝ sun, þen any god welde!
1065. Forþi, iwysse, bi ȝowre wylle, wende me bihoues,
1066. Naf I now to busy bot bare þre dayez,
1067. And me als fayn to falle feye as fayly of myyn ernde."
1068. Þenne laȝande quoþ þe lorde, "Now leng þe byhoues,
1069. For I schal teche yow to þat terme bi þe tymez 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 forþ dayeȝ, and ferk on þe fyrst of þe ȝere,
f. 109b1073. And cum to þat merk at mydmorn, to make quat yow likez
1074. in spenne.
1075. Dowelleȝ whyle New Ȝeres daye,
1076. And rys, and raykeȝ þenne,
1077. Mon schal yow sette in waye,
1078. Hit is not two myle henne."
1079. Þenne watz Gawan ful glad, and 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, and ellez do quat ȝe demen."
1083. Þenne sesed hym þe syre and set hym bysyde,
1084. Let þe ladiez be fette to lyke hem þe better.
1085. Þer watz seme solace by hemself stille;
1086. Þe lorde let for luf lotez 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 ȝowre hest."
1093. "For ȝe haf trauayled," quoþ þe tulk, "towen fro ferre,
1094. And syþen waked me wyþ, ȝe arn not wel waryst
1095. Nauþer of sostnaunce ne of slepe, soþly I knowe;
1096. Ȝe schal lenge in your lofte, and lyȝe in your ese
1097. To-morn quyle þe messequyle, and to mete wende
1098. When ȝe wyl, wyþ my wyf, þat wyþ yow schal sitte
1099. And comfort yow wiþ compayny, til I to cort torne;
1100. ȝe lende,
1101. And I schal erly ryse,
1102. On huntyng wyl I wende."
1103. Gauayn grantez alle þyse,
1104. Hym heldande, as þe hende.
1105. "Ȝet firre," quoþ þe freke, "a forwarde we make:
1106. Quat-so-euer I wynne in þe wod hit worþez to yourez,
1107. And quat chek so ȝe acheue chaunge me þerforne.
1108. Swete, swap we so, sware wiþ trawþe,
1109. Queþer, leude, so lymp, lere oþer better."
1110. "Bi God," quoþ Gawayn þe gode, "I grant þertylle,
1111. And þat yow lyst for to layke, lef hit me þynkes."
1112. "Who bryngez vus þis beuerage, þis bargayn is maked":
1113. So sayde þe lorde of þat lede; þay laȝed vchone,
1114. Þay dronken and daylyeden and dalten vntyȝtel,
1115. Þise lordez and ladyez, quyle þat hem lyked;
1116. And syþen wiþ Frenkysch fare and fele fayre lotez
1117. Þay stoden and stemed and stylly speken,
1118. Kysten ful comlyly and kaȝten her leue.
1119. Wiþ mony leude ful lyȝt and lemande torches
1120. Vche burne to his bed watz broȝt at þe laste,
1121. ful softe.1122. To bed ȝet er þay ȝede,
ul erly bifore þe day þe folk vprysen,
1127. Gestes þat go wolde hor gromez þay calden,
1128. And þay busken vp bilyue blonkkez to sadel,
1129. Tyffen her 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 watz not þe last
1134. Arayed for þe rydyng, wiþ renkkez ful mony;
1135. Ete a sop hastyly, when he hade herde masse,
1136. Wiþ bugle to bent-felde he buskez bylyue.
1137. By þat any daylyȝt lemed vpon erþe
1138. He wiþ his haþeles on hyȝe horsses weren.
1139. Þenne þise cacheres þat couþe cowpled hor houndez,
1140. Vnclosed þe kenel dore and calde hem þeroute,
1141. Blwe bygly in buglez þre bare mote;
1142. Braches bayed þerfore and breme noyse maked;
1143. And þay chastysed and charred on chasyng þat went,
1144. A hundreþ 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 queþe 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 wiþ þe stablye, þat stoutly ascryed.
1154. Þay let þe hertteȝ haf þe gate, wiþ þe hyȝe hedes,
1155. Þe breme bukkez also wiþ hor brode paumez;
1156. For þe fre lorde hade defende in fermysoun tyme
1157. Þat þer schulde no mon meue to þe male dere.
1158. Þe hindez were halden in wiþ hay! and war!
1159. Þe does dryuen wiþ gret dyn to þe depe sladez;
1160. Þer myȝt mon se, as þay slypte, slentyng of arwes—
1161. At vche wende vnder wande wapped a flone—
1162. Þat bigly bote on þe broun wiþ ful brode hedez.
1163. What! þay brayen, and bleden, bi bonkkez þay deȝen,
1164. And ay rachches in a res radly hem folȝes,
1165. Hunterez wyþ hyȝe horne hasted hem after
1166. Wyþ such a crakkande kry as klyffes haden brusten.
1167. What wylde so atwaped wyȝes þat schotten
1168. watz al toraced and rent at þe resayt,
1169. Bi þay were tened at þe hyȝe and taysed to þe wattrez;
1170. Þe ledez were so lerned at þe loȝe trysteres,
1171. And þe grehoundez so grete, þat geten hem bylyue
1172. And hem tofylched, as fast as frekez myȝt loke,
1174. Þe lorde for blys abloy
1175. Ful oft con launce and lyȝt,
1176. And drof þat day wyþ joy
1177. Þus to þe derk nyȝt.
1178. Þus laykez þis lorde by lynde-wodez euez,
1179. And Gawayn þe god mon in gay bed lygez,
1180. Lurkkeȝ quyl þe daylyȝt lemed on þe wowes,
1181. Vnder couertour ful clere, cortyned aboute;
1182. And as in slomeryng he slode, sleȝly he herde
1183. A littel dyn at his dor, and dernly vpon;
1184. And he heuez vp his hed out of þe cloþes,
1185. A corner of þe cortyn he caȝt vp a lyttel,
1186. And waytez warly þiderwarde quat hit be myȝt.
1187. Hit watz þe ladi, loflyest to beholde,
1188. Þat droȝ þe dor after hir ful dernly and stylle,
1189. And boȝed towarde þe bed; and þe burne schamed,
1190. And layde hym doun lystyly, and let as he slepte;
1191. And ho stepped stilly and stel to his bedde,
1192. Kest vp þe cortyn and creped wiþinne,
1193. And set hir ful softly on þe bed-syde,
1194. And 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. Meue oþer amount—to meruayle hym þoȝt,
1198. Bot ȝet he sayde in hymself, "More semly hit were
1199. To aspye wyþ my spelle in space quat ho wolde."
1200. Þen he wakenede, and wroþ, and to hir warde torned,
1201. And vnlouked his yȝe-lyddez, and let as hym wondered,
1202. And sayned hym, as bi his saȝe þe sauer to worþe,
1203. wiþ hande.
1204. Wyþ chynne and cheke ful swete,
1205. Boþe quit and red in blande,
1206. Ful lufly con ho lete
1207. Wyþ lyppez smal laȝande.
1208. "God moroun, Sir Gawayn," sayde þat gay lady,
1209. "Ȝe ar a sleper vnslyȝe, þat mon may slyde hider;
1210. Now ar ȝe tan as-tyt! Bot true vus may schape,
1211. I schal bynde yow in your bedde, þat be ȝe trayst":
1212. Al laȝande þe lady lanced þo bourdez.
1213. "Goud moroun, gay," quoþ Gawayn þe blyþe,
1214. "Me schal worþe at your wille, and þat me wel lykez,
1215. For I ȝelde me ȝederly, and ȝeȝe after grace,
1216. And þat is þe best, be my dome, for me byhouez nede":
1217. And þus he bourded aȝayn wiþ mony a blyþe laȝter.
1218. "Bot wolde ȝe, lady louely, þen leue me grante,
1219. And deprece your prysoun, and pray hym to ryse,
1220. I wolde boȝe of þis bed, and busk me better;
1221. I schulde keuer þe more comfort to karp yow wyþ."
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. And syþen karp wyþ my knyȝt þat I kaȝt haue;
1226. For I wene wel, iwysse, Sir Wowen ȝe are,
1227. Þat alle þe worlde worchipeȝ quere-so ȝe ride;
1228. Your honour, your hendelayk is hendely praysed
1229. Wiþ lordeȝ, wyþ ladyes, wiþ alle þat lyf bere.
1230. And now ȝe ar here, iwysse, and we bot oure one;
1231. My lorde and his ledeȝ ar on lenþe faren,
1232. Oþer burnez in her bedde, and my burdez als,
1233. Þe dor drawen and dit wiþ a derf haspe;
1234. And syþen I haue in þis hous hym þat al lykez,
1235. I schal ware my whyle wel, quyl hit lastez,
1236. wiþ tale.
1237. Ȝe ar welcum to my cors,
1238. Yowre awen won to wale,
1239. Me behouez of fyne force
1240. Your seruaunt be, and schale."
1241. "In god fayþ," quoþ Gawayn, "gayn hit me þynkkez,
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 vnworþy, I wot wel myseluen.
1245. Bi God, I were glad, and 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 fayþ, Sir Gawayn," quoþ þe gay lady,
1249. "Þe prys and þe prowes þat plesez al oþer,
1250. If I hit lakked oþer set at lyȝt, hit were littel daynté;
1251. Bot hit ar ladyes innoȝe þat leuer wer nowþe
1252. Haf þe, hende, in hor holde, as I þe habbe here,
1253. To daly wiþ derely your daynté wordez,
1254. Keuer hem comfort and colen her carez,
1255. Þen much of þe garysoun oþer golde þat þay hauen.
1256. Bot I louue þat ilk lorde þat þe lyfte haldez,
1257. I haf hit holly in my honde þat al desyres,
1258. þurȝe grace."
1259. Scho made hym so gret chere,
1260. Þat watz so fayr of face,
1261. Þe knyȝt wiþ speches skere
1262. Answared to vche a cace.
1263. "Madame," quoþ þe myry mon, "Mary yow ȝelde,
1264. For I haf founden, in god fayþ, yowre fraunchis nobele,
1265. And oþer ful much of oþer folk fongen bi hor dedez,
1266. Bot þe daynte þat þay delen, for my disert nys euen,
1267. Hit is þe worchyp of yourself, þat noȝt bot wel connez."
1268. "Bi Mary," quoþ þe menskful, "me þynk hit an oþer;
1269. For were I worþ al þe wone of wymmen alyue,
1270. And al þe wele of þe worlde were in my honde,
1271. And I schulde chepen and chose to cheue me a lorde,
1272. For þe costes þat I haf knowen vpon þe, knyȝt, here,
1273. Of bewtéé and debonerté and blyþe semblaunt,
1274. And þat I haf er herkkened and halde hit here trwee,
1275. Þer schulde no freke vpon folde bifore yow be chosen."
1276. "Iwysse, worþy," quoþ þe wyȝe, "ȝe haf waled wel better,
1277. Bot I am proude of þe prys þat ȝe put on me,
1278. And, soberly your seruaunt, my souerayn I holde yow,
1279. And yowre knyȝt I becom, and Kryst yow forȝelde."
1280. Þus þay meled of muchquat til mydmorn paste,
1281. And ay þe lady let lyk as hym loued mych;
1282. Þe freke ferde wiþ defence, and 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. And nedez hit most be done.
1288. Þe lady þenn spek of leue,
1289. He granted hir ful sone.
1290. Þenne ho gef hym god day, and wyþ a glent laȝed,
1291. And as ho stod, ho stonyed hym wyþ ful stor wordez:
1292. "Now he þat spedez vche spech þis disport ȝelde yow!
1293. Bot þat ȝe be Gawan, hit gotz in mynde."
1294. "Querfore?" quoþ þe freke, and freschly he askez,
1295. Ferde lest he hade fayled in fourme of his castes;
1296. Bot þe burde hym blessed, and "Bi þis skyl" sayde:
1297. "So god as Gawayn gaynly is halden,
1298. And cortaysye is closed so clene in hymseluen,
1299. Couþ not lyȝtly haf lenged so long wyþ a lady,
1300. Bot he had craued a cosse, bi his courtaysye,
1301. Bi sum towch of summe tryfle at sum talez ende."
1302. Þen quoþ Wowen: "Iwysse, worþe as yow lykez;
1303. I schal kysse at your comaundement, as a knyȝt fallez,
1304. And fire, lest he displese yow, so plede hit no more."
1305. Ho comes nerre wiþ þat, and cacheȝ hym in armez,
1306. Loutez luflych adoun and þe leude kyssez.
1307. Þay comly bykennen to Kryst ayþer oþer;
1308. Ho dos hir forþ at þe dore wiþouten dyn more;
1309. And he ryches hym to ryse and rapes hym sone,
1310. Clepes to his chamberlayn, choses his wede,
1311. Boȝez forþ, quen he watz boun, blyþely to masse;
1312. And þenne he meued to his mete þat menskly hym keped,
1313. And made myry al day, til þe mone rysed,
1314. wiþ game.
1315. Watz neuer freke fayrer fonge
1316. Bitwene two so dyngne dame,
1317. Þe alder and þe ȝonge;
1318. Much solace set þay same.
1319. And ay þe lorde of þe londe is lent on his gamnez,
1320. To hunt in holtez and heþe at hyndez barayne;
1321. Such a sowme he þer slowe bi þat þe sunne heldet,
1322. Of dos and of oþer dere, to deme were wonder.
1323. Þenne fersly þay flokked in folk at þe laste,
1324. And quykly of þe quelled dere a querre þay maked.
1325. Þe best boȝed þerto wiþ burnez innoghe,
1326. Gedered þe grattest of gres þat þer were,
1327. And didden hem derely vndo as þe dede askez;
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 wyþ a scharp knyf, and þe schyre knitten;
1332. Syþen rytte þay þe foure lymmes, and rent of þe hyde,
1333. Þen brek þay þe balé, þe boweleȝ out token
1334. Lystily for laucyng þe lere of þe knot;
1335. Þay gryped to þe gargulun, and grayþely departed
1336. Þe wesaunt fro þe wynt-hole, and walt out þe guttez;
1337. Þen scher þay out þe schulderez wiþ her scharp knyuez,
1338. Haled hem by a lyttel hole to haue hole sydes.
1339. Siþen britned þay þe brest and brayden hit in twynne,
1340. And eft at þe gargulun bigyneȝ on þenne,
1341. Ryuez hit vp radly ryȝt to þe byȝt,
1342. Voydez out þe avanters, and verayly þerafter
1343. Alle þe rymez by þe rybbez radly þay lance;
1344. So ryde þay of by resoun bi þe rygge bonez,
1345. Euenden to þe haunche, þat henged alle samen,
1346. And heuen hit vp al hole, and hwen hit of þere,
1347. And 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 bihynde;
1351. To hewe hit in two þay hyȝes,
1352. Bi þe bakbon to vnbynde.
1353. Boþe þe hede and þe hals þay hwen of þenne,
1354. And syþen sunder þay þe sydez swyft fro þe chyne,
1355. And þe corbeles fee þay kest in a greue;
1356. Þenn þurled þay ayþer þik side þurȝ bi þe rybbe,
1357. And henged þenne ayþer bi hoȝez of þe fourchez,
1358. Vche freke for his fee, as fallez for to haue.
1359. Vpon a felle of þe fayre best fede þay þayr houndes
1360. Wyþ þe lyuer and þe lyȝtez, þe leþer of þe paunchez,
1361. And bred baþed in blod blende þeramongez.
1362. Baldely þay blw prys, bayed þayr rachchez,
1363. Syþen fonge þay her flesche, folden to home,
1364. Strakande ful stoutly mony stif motez.
1365. Bi þat þe daylyȝt watz done þe douþe watz al wonen
1366. Into þe comly castel, þer þe knyȝt bidez
1367. ful stille,
1368. Wyþ blys and bryȝt fyr bette.
1369. Þe lorde is comen þertylle;
1370. When Gawayn wyþ hym mette
1371. Þer watz bot wele at wylle.
1372. Þenne comaunded þe lorde in þat sale to samen alle þe meny,
1373. Boþe þe ladyes on loghe to lyȝt wiþ her burdes
1374. Bifore alle þe folk on þe flette, frekeȝ he beddez
1375. Verayly his venysoun to fech hym byforne,
1376. And al godly in gomen Gawayn he called,
1377. Techez hym to þe tayles of ful tayt bestes,
1378. Schewez hym þe schyree grece schorne vpon rybbes.
1379. "How payez yow þis play? Haf I prys wonnen?
1380. Haue I þryuandely þonk þurȝ my craft serued?"
1381. "Ȝe iwysse," quoþ þat oþer wyȝe, "here is wayþ fayrest
1382. Þat I seȝ þis seuen ȝere in sesoun of wynter."
1383. "And al I gif yow, Gawayn," quoþ þe gome þenne,
1384. "For by acorde of couenaunt ȝe craue hit as your awen."
1385. "Þis is soþ," quoþ þe segge, "I say yow þat ilke:
1386. Þat I haf worþyly wonnen þis wonez wyþinne,
1387. Iwysse wiþ as god wylle hit worþez to ȝourez."
1388. He hasppez his fayre hals his armez wyþinne,
1389. And 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," quoþ þe godmon, "grant mercy þerfore.
1393. Hit may be such hit is þe better, and ȝe me breue wolde
1394. Where ȝe wan þis ilk wele bi wytte of yorseluen."
1395. "Þat watz not forward," quoþ he, "frayst me no more.
1396. For ȝe haf tan þat yow tydez, trawe non oþer
1397. ȝe mowe."
1398. Þay laȝed, and made hem blyþe
1399. Wyþ lotez þat were to lowe;
1400. To soper þay ȝede as-swyþe,
1401. Wyþ dayntés nwe innowe.
1402. And syþen by þe chymné in chamber þay seten,
1403. Wyȝez þe walle wyn weȝed to hem oft,
1404. And efte in her bourdyng þay bayþen in þe morn
1405. To fylle þe same forwardez þat þay byfore maden:
1406. Wat chaunce so bytydez hor cheuysaunce to chaunge,
1407. What nwez so þay nome, at naȝt quen þay metten.
1408. Þay acorded of þe couenauntez byfore þe court alle;
1409. Þe beuerage watz broȝt forþ 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 crowen and cakled bot þryse,
1413. Þe lorde watz lopen of his bedde, þe leudez vchone;
1414. So þat þe mete and þe masse watz metely delyuered,
1415. Þe douþe dressed to þe wod, er any day sprenged,
1416. to chace;
1417. Heȝ wiþ hunte and horneȝ
1418. Þurȝ playnez þay passe in space,
1419. Vncoupled among þo þornez
1420. Rachez þat ran on race.
1421. SONE þay calle of a quest in a ker syde,
1422. Þe hunt rehayted þe houndez þat hit fyrst mynged,
1423. Wylde wordez hym warp wyþ a wrast noyce;
1424. Þe howndez þat hit herde hastid þider swyþe,
1425. And fellen as fast to þe fuyt, fourty at ones;
1426. Þenne such a glauer ande glam of gedered rachchez
1427. Ros, þat þe rocherez rungen aboute;
1428. Hunterez hem hardened wiþ horne and wyþ muþe.
1429. Þen al in a semblé sweyed togeder,
1430. Bitwene a flosche in þat fryþ and a foo cragge;
1431. In a knot bi a clyffe, at þe kerre syde,
1432. Þer as þe rogh rocher vnrydely watz fallen,
1433. Þay ferden to þe fyndyng, and frekez hem after;
1434. Þay vmbekesten þe knarre and þe knot boþe,
1435. Wyȝez, whyl þay wysten wel wyþinne hem hit were,
1436. Þe best þat þer breued watz wyþ þe blodhoundez.
1437. Þenne þay beten on þe buskez, and bede hym vpryse,
1438. And he vnsoundyly out soȝt seggez ouerþwert;
1439. On þe sellokest swyn swenged out þere,
1440. Long syþen fro þe sounder þat siȝed for olde,
1441. For he watz breme, bor alþer-grattest,
1442. Ful grymme quen he gronyed; þenne greued mony,
1443. For þre at þe fyrst þrast he þryȝt to þe erþe,
1444. And sparred forþ good sped boute spyt more.
1445. Þise oþer halowed hȝe! ful hyȝe, and hay! hay! cryed,
1446. Haden hornez to mouþe, heterly rechated;
1447. Mony watz þe myry mouþe of men and of houndez
1448. Þat buskkez after þis bor wiþ bost and wyþ noyse
1449. to quelle.
1450. Ful oft he bydez; þe baye,
1451. And maymez þe mute inn melle;
1452. He hurtez of þe houndez, and þay
1453. Ful ȝomerly ȝaule and ȝelle.
1454. Schalkez to schote at hym schowen to þenne,
1455. Haled to hym of her arewez, hitten hym oft;
1456. Bot þe poyntez payred at þe pyþ þat pyȝt in his scheldez,
1457. And þe barbez of his browe bite non wolde—
1458. Þaȝ þe schauen schaft schyndered in pecez,
1459. Þe hede hypped aȝayn were-so-euer hit hitte.
1460. Bot quen þe dynteȝ hym dered of her dryȝe strokez,
1461. Þen, braynwod for bate, on burnez he rasez,
1462. Hurtez hem ful heterly þer he forþ hyȝez,
1463. And mony arȝed þerat, and on lyte droȝen.
1464. Bot þe lorde on a lyȝt horce launces hym after,
1465. As burne bolde vpon bent his bugle he blowez,
1466. He rechated, and rode þurȝ ronez ful þyk,
1467. Suande þis wylde swyn til þe sunne schafted.
1468. Þis day wyþ þis ilk dede þay dryuen on þis wyse,
1469. Whyle oure luflych lede lys in his bedde,
1470. Gawayn grayþely at home, in gerez ful ryche
1471. of hewe.
1472. Þe lady noȝt forȝate,
1473. Com to hym to salue;
1474. Ful erly ho watz hym ate
1475. His mode for to remwe.
1476. Ho commes to þe cortyn, and at þe knyȝt totes.
1477. Sir Wawen her welcumed worþy on fyrst,
1478. And ho hym ȝeldez aȝayn ful ȝerne of hir wordez,
1479. Setteȝ hir softly by his syde, and swyþely ho laȝez,
1480. And wyþ a luflych loke ho layde hym þyse wordez:
1481. "Sir, ȝif ȝe be Wawen, wonder me þynkkez,
1482. Wyȝe þat is so wel wrast alway to god,
1483. And connez not of compaynye þe costez vndertake,
1484. And if mon kennes yow hom to knowe, ȝe kest hom of your mynde;
1485. Þou hatȝ forȝeten ȝederly þat ȝisterday I taȝtte
1486. Bi alder-truest token of talk þat I cowþe."
1487. "What is þat?" quoþ þe wȝe, "Iwysse I wot neuer;
1488. If hit be soþe þat ȝe breue, þe blame is myn awen."
1489. "Ȝet I kende yow of kyssyng," quoþ þe clere þenne,
1490. "Quere-so countenaunce is couþe quikly to clayme;
1491. Þat bicumes vche a knyȝt þat cortaysy vses."
1492. "Do way," quoþ þat derf mon, "my dere, þat speche,
1493. For þat durst I not do, lest I deuayed were;
1494. If I were werned, I were wrang, iwysse, ȝif I profered."
1495. "Ma fay," quoþ þe mere wyf, "ȝe may not be werned,
1496. Ȝe ar stif innoghe to constrayne wyþ strenkþe, ȝif yow lykez,
1497. Ȝif any were so vilanous þat yow devaye wolde."
1498. "Ȝe, be God," quoþ Gawayn, "good is your speche,
1499. Bot þrete is vnþryuande in þede þer I lende,
1500. And vche gift þat is geuen not wiþ goud wylle.
1501. I am at your comaundement, to kysse quen yow lykez,
1502. Ȝe may lach quen yow lyst, and leue quen yow þynkkez,
1503. in space."
1504. Þe lady louteȝ adoun,
1505. And comlyly kysses his face,
1506. Much speche þay þer expoun
1507. Of druryes greme and grace.
1508. "I woled wyt at yow, wyȝe," þat worþy þer sayde,
1509. "And yow wraþed not þerwyþ, what were þe skylle
1510. Þat so ȝong and so ȝepe as ȝe at þis tyme,
1511. So cortayse, so knyȝtly, as ȝe ar knowen oute—
1512. And of alle cheualry to chose, þe chef þyng alosed
1513. Is þe lel layk of luf, þe lettrure of armes;
1514. For to telle of þis teuelyng of þis trwe knyȝtez,
1515. Hit is þe tytelet token and tyxt of her werkkez,
1516. How ledes for her lele luf hor lyuez han auntered,
1517. Endured for her drury dulful stoundez,
1518. And after wenged wiþ her walour and voyded her care,
1519. And broȝt blysse into boure wiþ bountees hor awen—
1520. And ȝe ar knyȝt comlokest kyd of your elde,
1521. Your worde and your worchip walkez ayquere,
1522. And I haf seten by yourself here sere twyes,
1523. Ȝet herde I neuer of your hed helde no wordez
1524. Þat euer longed to luf, lasse ne more;
1525. And ȝe, þat ar so cortays and coynt of your hetes,
1526. Oghe to a ȝonke þynk ȝern to schewe
1527. And teche sum tokeneȝ of trweluf craftes.
1528. Why! ar ȝe lewed, þat alle þe los weldez?
1529. Oþer elles ȝe demen me to dille your dalyaunce to herken?
1530. For schame!
1531. I com hider sengel, and sitte
1532. To lerne at yow sum game;
1533. Dos, techez me of your wytte,
1534. Whil my lorde is fro hame."
1535. "In goud fayþe," quoþ Gawayn, "God yow forȝelde!
1536. Gret is þe gode gle, and gomen to me huge,
1537. Þat so worþy as ȝe wolde wynne hidere,
1538. And pyne yow wiþ so pouer a mon, as play wyþ your knyȝt
1539. Wiþ anyskynnez countenaunce, hit keuerez me ese;
1540. Bot to take þe toruayle to myself to trwluf expoun,
1541. And towche þe temez of tyxt and talez of armez
1542. To yow þat, I wot wel, weldez more slyȝt
1543. Of þat art, bi þe half, or a hundreþ of seche
1544. As I am, oþer euer schal, in erde þer I leue,
1545. Hit were a fole felefolde, my fre, by my trawþe.
1546. I wolde yowre wylnyng worche at my myȝt,
1547. As I am hyȝly bihalden, and euermore wylle
1548. Be seruaunt to yourseluen, so saue me Dryȝtyn!"
1549. Þus hym frayned þat fre, and fondet hym ofte,
1550. For to haf wonnen hym to woȝe, what-so scho þoȝt ellez;
1551. Bot he defended hym so fayr þat no faut semed,
1552. Ne non euel on nawþer halue, nawþer þay wysten
1553. bot blysse.
1554. Þay laȝed and layked longe;
1555. At þe last scho con hym kysse,
1556. Hir leue fayre con scho fonge
1557. And went hir waye, iwysse.
1558. Then ruþes hym þe renk and ryses to þe masse,
1559. And siþen hor diner watz dyȝt and derely serued.
1560. Þe lede wiþ þe ladyez layked alle day,
1561. Bot þe lorde ouer þe londez launced ful ofte,
1562. Sweȝ his vncely swyn, þat swyngez bi þe bonkkez
1563. And bote þe best of his brachez þe bakkez in sunder
1564. Þer he bode in his bay, tel bawemen hit breken,
1565. And madee hym mawgref his hed for to mwe vtter,
1566. So felle flonez þer flete when þe folk gedered.
1567. Bot ȝet þe styffest to start bi stoundez he made,
1568. Til at þe last he watz so mat he myȝt no more renne,
1569. Bot in þe hast þat he myȝt he to a hole wynnez
1570. Of a rasse bi a rokk þer rennez þe boerne.
1571. He gete þe bonk at his bak, bigynez to scrape,
1572. Þe froþe femed at his mouþ vnfayre bi þe wykez,
1573. Whettez his whyte tuschez; wiþ hym þen irked
1574. Alle þe burnez 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 wyþ his tusches torne,
1580. Þat breme watz and braynwod boþe,
1581. Til þe knyȝt com hymself, kachande his blonk,
1582. Syȝ hym byde at þe bay, his burnez bysyde;
1583. He lyȝtes luflych adoun, leuez his corsour,
1584. Braydez out a bryȝt bront and bigly forþ strydez,
1585. Foundez fast þurȝ þe forþ þer þe felle bydez.
1586. Þe wylde watz war of þe wyȝe wiþ weppen in honde,
1587. Hef hyȝly þe here, so hetterly he fnast
1588. Þat fele ferde for þe freke, lest felle hym þe worre.
1589. Þe swyn settez hym out on þe segge euen,
1590. Þat þe burne and þe bor were boþe vpon hepeȝ
1591. In þe wyȝtest of þe water; þe worre hade þat oþer,
1592. For þe mon merkkez 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. And he ȝarrande hym ȝelde, and ȝedoun þe water
1596. ful tyt.
1597. A hundreþ houndez hym hent,
1598. Þat bremely con hym bite,
1599. Burnez him broȝt to bent,
1600. And doggez to deþe endite.
1601. Þere watz blawyng of prys in mony breme horne,
1602. Heȝe halowing on hiȝe wiþ haþelez þat myȝt;
1603. Brachetes bayed þat best, as bidden þe maysterez
1604. Of þat chargeaunt chace þat were chef huntes.
1605. Þenne a wyȝe þat watz wys vpon wodcraftez
1606. To vnlace þis bor lufly bigynnez.
1607. Fyrst he hewes of his hed and on hiȝe settez,
1608. And syþen rendez him al roghe bi þe rygge after,
1609. Braydez out þe boweles, brennez hom on glede,
1610. Wiþ bred blent þerwiþ his braches rewardez.
1611. Syþen he britnez out þe brawen in bryȝt brode cheldez,
1612. And hatz out þe hastlettez, as hiȝtly bisemez;
1613. And ȝet hem halchez al hole þe haluez togeder,
1614. And syþen on a stif stange stoutly hem henges.
1615. Now wiþ þis ilk swyn þay swengen to home;
1616. Þe bores hed watz borne bifore þe burnes seluen
1617. Þat him forferde in þe forþe þurȝ forse of his
1618. honde so stronge.
1619. Til he seȝ Sir Gawayne
1620. In halle hym poȝt ful longe;
1621. He calde, and he com gayn
1622. His feez þer for to fonge.
1623. Þe lorde ful lowde wiþ lote and laȝter myry,
1624. When he seȝe Sir Gawayn, wiþ solace he spekez;
1625. Þe goude ladyez were geten, and gedered þe meyny,
1626. He schewez hem þe scheldez, and schapes hem þe tale
1627. Of þe largesse and þe lenþe, þe liþernez alse
1628. Of þe were of þe wylde swyn in wod þer he fled.
1629. Þat oþer knyȝt ful comly comended his dedez,
1630. And 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. And let lodly þerat þe lorde for to here.
1635. "Now, Gawayn," quoþ þe godmon, "þis gomen is your awen
1636. Bi fyn forwarde and faste, fayþely ȝe knowe."
1637. "Hit is soþe," quoþ þe segge, "and as siker trwe
1638. Alle my get I schal yow gif agayn, bi my trawþe."
1639. He hent þe haþel aboute þe halse, and hendely hym kysses,
1640. And eftersones of þe same he serued hym þere.
1641. "Now ar we euen," quoþ þe haþel, "in þis euentide
1642. Of alle þe couenauntes þat we knyt, syþen I com hider,
1643. bi lawe."
1644. Þe lorde sayde, "Bi saynt Gile,
1645. Ȝe ar þe best þat I knowe!
1646. Ȝe ben ryche in a whyle,
1647. Such chaffer and ȝe drowe."
1648. Þenne þay teldet tablez trestes alofte,
1649. Kesten cloþez vpon; clere lyȝt þenne
1650. Wakned bi woȝez, waxen torches;
1651. Seggez sette and serued in sale al aboute;
1652. Much glam and gle glent vp þerinne
1653. Aboute þe fyre vpon flet, and on fele wyse
1654. At þe soper and after, mony aþel songez,
1655. As coundutes of Krystmasse and carolez newe
1656. Wiþ al þe manerly merþe þat mon may of telle,
1657. And euer oure luflych knyȝt þe lady bisyde.
1658. Such semblaunt to þat segge semly ho made
1659. Wyþ stille stollen countenaunce, þat stalworþ to plese,
1660. Þat al forwondered watz þe wyȝe, and wroþ wiþ hymseluen,
1661. Bot he nolde not for his nurture nurne hir aȝaynez,
1662. Bot dalt wiþ hir al in daynté, how-se-euer þe dede turned
1664. Quen þay hade played in halle
1665. As longe as hor wylle hom last,
1666. To chambre he con hym calle,
1667. And to þe chemné þay past.
1668. Ande þer þay dronken, and dalten, and demed eft nwe
1669. To norne on þe same note on Nwe Ȝereȝ euen;
1670. Bot þe knyȝt craued leue to kayre on þe morn,
1671. For hit watz neȝ at þe terme þat he to schulde.
1672. Þe lorde hym letted of þat, to lenge hym resteyed,
1673. And 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 Nw Ȝerez lyȝt, longe bifore pryme.
1676. Forþy þow lye in þy loft and lach þyn ese,
1677. And I schal hunt in þis holt, and halde þe towchez,
1678. Chaunge wyþ þe cheuisaunce, bi þat I charre hider;
1679. For I haf fraysted þe twys, and fayþful I fynde þe.
1680. Now 'þrid tyme þrowe best' þenk on þe morne,
1681. Make we mery quyl we may and mynne vpon joye,
1682. For þe lur may mon lach when-so mon lykez."
1683. Þis watz grayþely graunted, and Gawayn is lenged,
1684. Bliþe broȝt watz hym drynk, and þay to bedde ȝeden
1685. wiþ liȝt.
1686. Sir Gawayn lis and slepes
1687. Ful stille and softe al niȝt;
1688. Þe lorde þat his craftez kepes,
1689. Ful erly he watz diȝt.
1690. After messe a morsel he and his men token;
1691. Miry watz þe mornyng, his mounture he askes.
1692. Alle þe haþeles þat on horse schulde helden hym after
1693. Were boun busked on hor blonkkez bifore þe halle ȝatez.
1694. Ferly fayre watz þe folde, for þe forst clenged;
1695. In rede rudede vpon rak rises þe sunne,
1696. And ful clere costez 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. Traylez ofte a traueres bi traunt of her wyles;
1701. A kenet kyres þerof, þe hunt on hym calles;
1702. His felaȝes fallen hym to, þat fnasted ful þike,
1703. Runnen forþ in a rabel in his ryȝt fare,
1704. And he fyskez hem byfore; þay founden hym sone,
1705. And quen þay seghe hym wiþ syȝt þay sued hym fast,
1706. Wreȝande hym ful weterly wiþ a wroþ noyse;
1707. And he trantes and tornayeez þurȝ mony tene greue,
1708. Hauilounez, and herkenez bi heggez ful ofte.
1709. At þe last bi a littel dich he lepez ouer a spenne,
1710. Steleȝ out ful stilly bi a stroþe rande,
1711. Went haf wylt of þe wode wiþ wylez fro þe houndes;
1712. Þenne watz 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. And stifly start on-stray,
1717. Wiþ alle þe wo on lyue
1718. To þe wod he went away.
1719. Thenne watz hit list vpon lif to lyþen þe houndez,
1720. When alle þe mute hade hym met, menged togeder:
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 watz halawed, when haþelez hym metten,
1724. Loude he watz ȝayned wiþ ȝarande speche;
1725. Þer he watz þreted and ofte þef called,
1726. And ay þe titleres at his tayl, þat tary he ne myȝt;
1727. Ofte he watz runnen at, when he out rayked,
1728. And ofte reled in aȝayn, so Reniarde watz wylé.
1729. And ȝe he lad hem bi lagmon, þe lorde and his meyny,
1730. On þis maner bi þe mountes quyle myd-ouer-vnder,
1731. Whyle þe hende knyȝt at home holsumly slepes
1732. Wiþinne 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 watz furred ful fyne wiþ fellez wel pured,
1738. No hwez goud on hir hede bot þe haȝer stones
1739. Trased aboute hir tressour be twenty in clusteres;
1740. Hir þryuen face and hir þrote þrowen al naked,
1741. Hir brest bare bifore, and bihinde eke.
1742. Ho comez wiþinne þe chambre dore, and closes hit hir after,
1743. Wayuez vp a wyndow, and on þe wyȝe callez,
1744. And radly þus rehayted hym wiþ hir riche wordes,
1745. wiþ chere:
1746. "A! mon, how may þou slepe,
1747. Þis morning is so clere?"
1748. He watz in drowping depe,
1749. Bot þenne he con hir here.
1750. In dreȝ droupyng of dreme draueled þat noble,
1751. As mon þat watz in mornyng of mony þro þoȝtes,
1752. How þat destine schulde þat day dele hym his wyrde
1753. At þe grene chapel, when he þe gome metes,
1754. And bihoues his buffet abide wiþoute debate more;
1755. Bot quen þat comly com he keuered his wyttes,
1756. Swenges out of þe sweuenes, and swarez wiþ hast.
1757. Þe lady luflych com laȝande swete,
1758. Felle ouer his fayre face, and fetly hym kyssed;
1759. He welcumez hir worþily wiþ a wale chere.
1760. He seȝ hir so glorious and gayly atyred,
1761. So fautles of hir fetures and of so fyne hewes,
1762. Wiȝt wallande joye warmed his hert.
1763. Wiþ smoþe smylyng and smolt þay smeten into merþe,
1764. Þat al watz blis and bonchef þat breke hem bitwene,
1765. and wynne.
1766. Þay lanced wordes gode,
1767. Much wele þen watz þerinne;
1768. Gret perile bitwene hem stod,
1769. Nif Maré of hir knyȝt mynne.
1770. For þat prynces of pris depresed hym so þikke,
1771. Nurned hym so neȝe þe þred, þat nede hym bihoued
1772. Oþer lach þer hir luf, oþer lodly refuse.
1773. He cared for his cortaysye, lest craþayn he were,
1774. And more for his meschef ȝif he schulde make synne,
1775. And be traytor to þat tolke þat þat telde aȝt.
1776. "God schylde," quoþ þe schalk, "þat schal not befalle!"
1777. Wiþ luf-laȝyng a lyt he layd hym bysyde
1778. Alle þe spechez of specialté þat sprange of her mouþe.
1779. Quoþ þat burde to þe burne, "Blame ȝe disserue,
1780. Ȝif ȝe luf not þat lyf þat ȝe lye nexte,
1781. Bifore alle þe wyȝez in þe worlde wounded in hert,
1782. Bot if ȝe haf a lemman, a leuer, þat yow lykez better,
1783. And folden fayþ to þat fre, festned so harde
1784. Þat yow lausen ne lyst—and þat I leue nouþe;
1785. And þat ȝe telle me þat now trwly I pray yow,
1786. For alle þe lufez vpon lyue layne not þe soþe
1787. for gile."
1788. Þe knyȝt sayde, "Be sayn Jon,"
1789. And smeþely con he smyle,
1790. "In fayþ I welde riȝt non,
1791. Ne non wil welde þe quile."
1792. "Þat is a worde," quoþ þat wyȝt, "þat worst is of alle,
1793. Bot I am swared for soþe, þat sore me þinkkez.
1794. Kysse me now comly, and I schal cach heþen,
1795. I may bot mourne vpon molde, as may þat much louyes."
1796. Sykande ho sweȝe doun and semly hym kyssed,
1797. And siþen ho seueres hym fro, and says as ho stondes,
1798. "Now, dere, at þis departyng 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," quoþ þat wyȝe, "I wolde I hade here
1802. Þe leuest þing for þy luf þat I in londe welde,
1803. For ȝe haf deserued, for soþe, 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 Gawaynez giftez,
1808. And I am here an erande in erdez vncouþe,
1809. And haue no men wyþ no malez wiþ menskful þingez;
1810. Þat mislykez 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. Quoþ þat lufsum vnder lyne,
1815. "Þaȝ I hade noȝt of yourez,
1816. Ȝet schulde ȝe haue of myne."
1817. Ho raȝt hym a riche rynk of red golde werkez,
1818. Wyþ a starande ston stondande alofte
1819. Þat bere blusschande bemez as þe bryȝt sunne;
1820. Wyt ȝe wel, hit watz worþ wele ful hoge.
1821. Bot þe renk hit renayed, and redyly he sayde,
1822. "I wil no giftez, 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, and he hir bode wernes,
1825. And swere swyfte by his soþe þat he hit sese nolde,
1826. And ho soré þat he forsoke, and sayde þerafter,
1827. "If ȝe renay my rynk, to ryche for hit semez,
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 sydez,
1831. Knit vpon hir kyrtel vnder þe clere mantyle,
1832. Gered hit watz wiþ grene sylke and wiþ golde schaped,
1833. Noȝt bot arounde brayden, beten wiþ fyngrez;
1834. And þat ho bede to þe burne, and blyþely bisoȝt,
1835. Þaȝ hit vnworþi were, þat he hit take wolde.
1836. And 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. "And þerfore, I pray yow, displese yow noȝt,
1840. And lettez be your bisinesse, for I bayþe hit yow neuer
1841. to graunte;
1842. I am derely to yow biholde
1843. Bicause of your sembelaunt,
1844. And euer in hot and colde
1845. To be your trwe seruaunt."
1846. "Now forsake ȝe þis silke," sayde þe burde þenne,
1847. "For hit is symple in hitself? And so hit wel semez.
1848. Lo! so hit is littel, and lasse hit is worþy;
1849. Bot who-so knew þe costes þat knit ar þerinne,
1850. He wolde hit prayse at more prys, parauenture;
1851. For quat gome so is gorde wiþ þis grene lace,
1852. While he hit hade hemely halched aboute,
1853. Þer is no haþel vnder heuen tohewe hym þat myȝt,
1854. For he myȝt not be slayn for slyȝt vpon erþe."
1855. Þen kest þe knyȝt, and hit come to his hert
1856. Hit were a juel for þe joparde þat hym iugged were:
1857. When he acheued to þe chapel his chek for to fech,
1858. Myȝt he haf slypped to be vnslayn, þe sleȝt were noble.
1859. Þenne he þulged wiþ hir þrepe and þoled hir to speke,
1860. And ho bere on hym þe belt and bede hit hym swyþe—
1861. And he granted and hym gafe wiþ a goud wylle—
1862. And bisoȝt hym, for hir sake, disceuer hit neuer,
1863. Bot to lelly layne fro hir lorde; þe leude hym acordez
1864. Þat neuer wyȝe schulde hit wyt, iwysse, bot þay twayne
1865. for noȝte;
1866. He þonkked hir oft ful swyþe,
1867. Ful þro wiþ hert and þoȝt.
1868. Bi þat on þrynne syþe
1869. Ho hatȝ kyst þe knyȝt so toȝt.
1870. Thenne lachchez ho hir leue, and leuez hym þere,
1871. For more myrþe of þat mon moȝt ho not gete.
1872. When ho watz gon, Sir Gawayn gerez hym sone,
1873. Rises and 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. Preuély aproched to a prest, and prayed hym þere
1878. Þat he wolde lyste his lyf and lern hym better
1879. How his sawle schulde be saued when he schuld seye heþen.
1880. Þere he schrof hym schyrly and schewed his mysdedez,
1881. Of þe more and þe mynne, and merci besechez,
1882. And of absolucioun he on þe segge calles;
1883. And he asoyled hym surely and sette hym so clene
1884. As domezday schulde haf ben diȝt on þe morn.
1885. And syþen he mace hym as mery among þe fre ladyes,
1886. Wiþ comlych caroles and alle kynnes ioye,
1887. As neuer he did bot þat daye, to þe derk nyȝt,
1888. wiþ blys.
1889. Vche mon hade daynté þare
1890. Of hym, and sayde, "Iwysse,
1891. Þus myry he watz neuer are,
1892. Syn he com hider, er þis."
1893. Now hym lenge in þat lee, þer luf hym bityde!
1894. Ȝet 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 spenne to spye þe schrewe,
1897. Þer as he herd þe howndes þat hasted hym swyþe,
1898. Renaud com richchande þurȝ a roȝe greue,
1899. And alle þe rabel in a res ryȝt at his helez.
1900. Þe wyȝe watz war of þe wylde, and warly abides,
1901. And braydeȝ out þe bryȝt bronde, and at þe best castez.
1902. And he schunt for þe scharp, and schulde haf arered;
1903. A rach rapes hym to, ryȝt er he myȝt,
1904. And ryȝt bifore þe hors fete þay fel on hym alle,
1905. And woried me þis wyly wyþ a wroþ noyse.
1906. Þe lorde lyȝteȝ bilyue, and lachez hym sone,
1907. Rased hym ful radly out of þe rach mouþes,
1908. Haldez heȝe ouer his hede, halowez faste,
1909. And þer bayen hym mony braþ houndez.
1910. Huntes hyȝed hem þeder wiþ hornez ful mony,
1911. Ay rechatande aryȝt til þay þe renk seȝen.
1912. Bi þat watz comen his compeyny noble,
1913. Alle þat euer ber bugle blowed at ones,
1914. And alle þise oþer halowed þat hade no hornes;
1915. Hit watz þe myriest mute þat euer men herde,
1916. Þe rich rurd þat þer watz raysed for Renaude saule
1917. wiþ lote.
1918. Hor houndez þay þer rewarde,
1919. Her hedez þay fawne and frote,
1920. And syþen þay tan Reynarde,
1921. And tyruen of his cote.
1922. And þenne þay helden to home, for hit watz nieȝ nyȝt,
1923. Strakande ful stoutly in hor store hornez.
1924. Þe lorde is lyȝt at þe laste at hys lef home,
1925. Fyndez fire vpon flet, þe freke þer-byside,
1926. Sir Gawayn þe gode, þat glad watz wiþalle,
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 watz forred,
1930. And his hode of þat ilke henged on his schulder,
1931. Blande al of blaunner were boþe al aboute.
1932. He metez me þis godmon inmyddez þe flore,
1933. And al wiþ gomen he hym gret, and goudly he sayde,
1934. "I schal fylle vpon fyrst oure forwardez nouþe,
1935. Þat we spedly han spoken, þer spared watz no drynk."
1936. Þen acoles he þe knyȝt and kysses hym þryes,
1937. As sauerly and sadly as he hem sette couþe.
1938. "Bi Kryst," quoþ þat oþer knyȝt, "Ȝe cach much sele
1939. In cheuisaunce of þis chaffer, ȝif ȝe hade goud chepez."
1940. "Ȝe, of þe chepe no charg," quoþ chefly þat oþer,
1941. "As is pertly payed þe chepez þat I aȝte."
1942. "Mary," quoþ þat oþer mon, "myn is bihynde,
1943. For I haf hunted al þis day, and noȝt haf I geten
1944. Bot þis foule fox felle—þe fende haf þe godeȝ!—
1945. And 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. "Inoȝ," quoþ Sir Gawayn,
1949. "I þonk yow, bi þe rode,"
1950. And how þe fox watz slayn
1951. He tolde hym as þay stode.
1952. Wiþ merþe and mynstralsye, wiþ meteȝ at hor wylle,
1953. Þay maden as mery as any men moȝten—
1954. Wiþ laȝyne of ladies, wiþ loteȝ of bordes
1955. Gawayn and þe godemon so glad were þay boþe—
1956. Bot if þe douþe had doted, oþer dronken ben oþer.
1957. Boþe þe mon and þe meyny maden mony iapez,
1958. Til þe sesoun watz seȝen þat þay seuer moste;
1959. Burnez to hor bedde behoued at þe laste.
1960. Þenne loȝly his leue at þe lorde fyrst
1961. Fochchez þis fre mon, and fayre he hym þonkkez:
1962. "Of such a selly 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 yourez, if yowreself lykez,
1965. For I mot nedes, as ȝe wot, meue to-morne,
1966. And 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 Nw Ȝereȝ day þe dome of my wyrdes."
1969. "In god fayþe," quoþ þe godmon, "wyþ 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. And coundue hym by þe downez, þat he no drechch had,
1973. For to ferk þurȝ þe fryþ and fare at þe gaynest
1974. bi greue.
1975. Þe lorde Gawayn con þonk,
1976. Such worchip he wolde hym weue.
1977. Þen at þo ladyez wlonk
1978. Þe knyȝt hatȝ tan his leue.
1979. With care and wyþ kyssyng he carppez hem tille,
1980. And fele þryuande þonkkez he þrat hom to haue,
1981. And þay ȝelden hym aȝayn ȝeply þat ilk;
1982. Þay bikende hym to Kryst wiþ ful colde sykyngez.
1983. Syþen fro þe meyny he menskly departes;
1984. Vche mon þat he mette, he made hem a þonke
1985. For his seruyse and his solace and his sere pyne,
1986. Þat þay wyþ busynes had ben aboute hym to serue;
1987. And vche segge as sore to seuer wiþ hym þere
1988. As þay hade wonde worþyly wiþ þat wlonk euer.
1989. Þen wiþ ledes and lyȝt he watz ladde to his chambre
1990. And blyþely broȝt to his bedde to be at his rest.
1991. Ȝif 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. And ȝe wyl a whyle be stylle
1997. I schal telle yow how þay wroȝt.
ow neȝez þe Nw Ȝere, and þe nyȝt passez,
1999. Þe day dryuez to þe derk, as Dryȝtyn biddez;
2000. Bot wylde wederez of þe worlde wakned þeroute,
2001. Clowdes kesten kenly þe colde to þe erþe,
2002. Wyþ nyȝe innoghe 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. And drof vche dale ful of dryftes ful grete.
2006. Þe leude lystened ful wel þat leȝ in his bedde,
2007. Þaȝ he lowkez his liddez, ful lyttel he slepes;
2008. Bi vch kok þat crue he knwe wel þe steuen.
2009. Deliuerly he dressed vp, er þe day sprenged,
2010. For þere watz lyȝt of a laumpe þat lemed in his chambre;
2011. He called to his chamberlayn, þat cofly hym swared,
2012. And bede hym bryng hym his bruny and his blonk sadel;
2013. Þat oþer ferkeȝ hym vp and fechez hym his wedez,
2014. And grayþez me Sir Gawayn vpon a grett wyse.
2015. Fyrst he clad hym in his cloþez þe colde for to were,
2016. And syþen his oþer harnays, þat holdely watz keped,
2017. Boþe his paunce and his platez, piked ful clene,
2018. Þe ryngez rokked of þe roust of his riche bruny;
2019. And al watz fresch as vpon fyrst, and he watz fayn þenne
2020. to þonk;
2021. He hade vpon vche pece,
2022. Wypped ful wel and wlonk;
2023. Þe gayest into Grece,
2024. Þe burne bede bryng his blonk.
2025. Whyle þe wlonkest wedes he warp on hymseluen—
2026. His cote wyþ þe conysaunce of þe clere werkez
2027. Ennurned vpon veluet, vertuus stonez
2028. Aboute beten and bounden, enbrauded semez,
2029. And fayre furred wiþinne wyþ fayre pelures—
2030. Ȝet laft he not þe lace, þe ladiez gifte,
2031. Þat forgat not Gawayn for gode of hymseluen.
2032. Bi he hade belted þe bronde vpon his balȝe haunchez,
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 watz to schewe.
2037. Bot wered not þis ilk wyȝe for wele þis gordel,
2038. For pryde of þe pendauntez, þaȝ polyst þay were,
2039. And þaȝ þe glyterande golde glent vpon endez,
2040. Bot for to sauen hymself, when suffer hym byhoued,
2041. To byde bale wiþoute 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 þonkkez ofte ful ryue.
2047. Thenne watz Gryngolet grayþe, þat gret watz and huge,
2048. And hade ben soiourned sauerly and in a siker wyse,
2049. Hym lyst prik for poynt, þat proude hors þenne.
2050. Þe wyȝe wynneȝ hym to and wytez on his lyre,
2051. And sayde soberly hymself and by his soþ swereȝ:
2052. "Here is a meyny in þis mote þat on menske þenkkez,
2053. Þe mon hem maynteines, ioy mot þay haue;
2054. Þe leue lady on lyue luf hir bityde;
2055. Ȝif þay for charyté cherysen a gest,
2056. And halden honour in her honde, þe haþel hem ȝelde
2057. Þat haldez þe heuen vpon hyȝe, and also yow alle!
2058. And ȝif I myȝt lyf vpon londe lede any quyle,
2059. I schuld rech yow sum rewarde redyly, if I myȝt."
2060. Þenn steppez he into stirop and strydez alofte;
2061. His schalk schewed hym his schelde, on schulder he hit laȝt,
2062. Gordez to Gryngolet wiþ his gilt helez,
2063. And he startez on þe ston, stod he no lenger
2064. to praunce.
2065. His haþel on hors watz þenne,
2066. Þat bere his spere and launce.
2067. "Þis kastel to Kryst I kenne":
2068. He gef hit ay god chaunce.
2069. Þe brygge watz brayde doun, and þe brode ȝatez
2070. Vnbarred and born open vpon boþe halue.
2071. Þe burne blessed hym bilyue, and þe bredeȝ passed—
2072. Prayses þe porter bifore þe prynce kneled,
2073. Gef hym God and goud day, þat Gawayn he saue—
2074. And went on his way wiþ his wyȝe one,
2075. Þat schulde teche hym to tourne to þat tene place
2076. Þer þe ruful race he schulde resayue.
2077. Þay boȝen bi bonkkez þer boȝez ar bare,
2078. Þay clomben bi clyffe&z þer clengez þe colde.
2079. Þe heuen watz vphalt, bot vgly þer-vnder;
2080. Mist muged on þe mor, malt on þe mountez,
2081. Vch hille hade a hatte, a myst-hakel huge.
2082. Brokez byled and breke bi bonkkez aboute,
2083. Schyre schaterande on schorez, þer þay doun schowued.
2084. Wela wylle watz þe way þer þay bi wod schulden,
2085. Til hit watz 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. And now nar ȝe not fer fro þat note place
2093. Þat ȝe han spied and spuryed so specially after;
2094. Bot I schal say yow for soþe, syþen I yow knowe,
2095. And 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 wonez a wyȝe in þat waste, þe worst vpon erþe,
2099. For he is stiffe and sturne, and to strike louies,
2100. And more he is þen any mon vpon myddelerde,
2101. And his body bigger þen þe best fowre
2102. Þat ar in Arþureȝ hous, Hestor, oþer oþer.
2103. He cheuez þat chaunce at þe chapel grene,
2104. Þer passes non bi þat place so proude in his armes
2105. Þat he ne dyngez hym to deþe wiþ dynt of his honde;
2106. For he is a mon meþles, and mercy non vses,
2107. For be hit chorle oþer chaplayn þat bi þe chapel rydes,
2108. Monk oþer masseprest, oþer any mon elles,
2109. Hym þynk as queme hym to quelle as quyk go hymseluen.
2110. Forþy I say þe, as soþe as ȝe in sadel sitte,
2111. Com ȝe þere, ȝe be kylled, may þe knyȝt rede,
2112. Trawe ȝe me þat trwely, þaȝ ȝe had twenty lyues
2113. to spende.
2114. He hatz wonyd here ful ȝore,
2115. On bent much baret bende,
2116. Aȝayn his dyntez sore
2117. Ȝe may not yow defende.
2118. "Forþy, goude Sir Gawayn, let þe gome one,
2119. And gotz away sum oþer gate, vpon Goddez halue!
2120. Cayrez bi sum oþer kyþ, þer Kryst mot yow spede,
2121. And I schal hyȝ me hom aȝayn, and hete yow fyrre
2122. Þat I schal swere bi God and alle his gode halȝez,
2123. As help me God and þe halydam, and oþez innoghe,
2124. Þat I schal lelly yow layne, and lance neuer tale
2125. Þat euer ȝe fondet to fle for freke þat I wyst."
2126. "Grant merci," quoþ Gawayn, and gruchyng he sayde:
2127. "Wel worþ þe, wyȝe, þat woldez my gode,
2128. And þat lelly me layne I leue wel þou woldeȝ.
2129. Bot helde þou hit neuer so holde, and I here passed,
2130. Founded for ferde for to fle, in fourme þat þou tellez,
2131. I were a knyȝt kowarde, I myȝt not be excused.
2132. Bot I wyl to þe chapel, for chaunce þat may falle,
2133. And talk wyþ þat ilk tulk þe tale þat me lyste,
2134. Worþe hit wele oþer wo, as þe wyrde lykez
2135. hit hafe.
2136. Þaȝe he be a sturn knape
2137. To stiȝtel, and stad wiþ staue,
2138. Ful wel con Dryȝtyn schape
2139. His seruauntez for to saue."
2140. "Mary!" quoþ þat oþer mon, "now þou so much spellez,
2141. Þat þou wylt þyn awen nye nyme to þyseluen,
2142. And þe lyst lese þy lyf, þe lette I ne kepe.
2143. Haf here þi helme on þy hede, þi spere in þi honde,
2144. And 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. And þou schal se in þat slade þe self chapel,
2148. And þe borelych burne on bent þat hit kepez.
2149. Now farez wel, on Godez half, Gawayn þe noble!
2150. For alle þe golde vpon grounde I nolde go wyþ þe,
2151. Ne bere þe felaȝschip þurȝ þis fryþ on fote fyrre."
2152. Bi þat þe wyȝe in þe wod wendez his brydel,
2153. Hit þe hors wiþ þe helez as harde as he myȝt,
2154. Lepez; hym ouer þe launde, and leuez þe knyȝt þere
2155. al one.
2156. "Bi Goddez self," quoþ Gawayn,
2157. "I wyl nauþer grete ne grone;
2158. To Goddez wylle I am ful bayn,
2159. And to hym I haf me tone."
2160. Þenne gyrdez he to Gryngolet, and gederez þe rake,
2161. Schowuez in bi a schore at a schaȝe syde,
2162. Ridez þurȝ þe roȝe bonk ryȝt to þe dale;
2163. And þenne he wayted hym aboute, and wylde hit hym þoȝt,
2164. And seȝe no syngne of resette bisydez nowhere,
2165. Bot hyȝe bonkkez and brent vpon boþe halue,
2166. And ruȝe knokled knarrez wiþ knorned stonez;
2167. Þe skwez of þe scowtes skayned hym þoȝt.
2168. Þenne he houed, and wyþhylde his hors at þat tyde,
2169. And ofte chaunged his cher þe chapel to seche:
2170. He seȝ non suche in no syde, and selly hym þoȝt,
2171. Saue, a lyttel on a launde, a lawe as hit were;
2172. A balȝ berȝ bi a bonke þe brymme bysyde,
2173. Bi a forȝ of a flode þat ferked þare;
2174. Þe borne blubred þerinne as hit boyled hade.
2175. Þe knyȝt kachz his caple, and com to þe lawe,
2176. Liȝtez doun luflyly, and at a lynde tachez
2177. Þe rayne and his riche wiþ a roȝe braunche.
2178. Þenne he boȝez to þe berȝe, aboute hit he walkez,
2179. Debatande wiþ hymself quat hit be myȝt.
2180. Hit hade a hole on þe ende and on ayþer syde,
2181. And ouergrowen wiþ gresse in glodes aywhere,
2182. And al watz holȝ inwiþ, nobot an olde caue,
2183. Or a creuisse of an olde cragge, he couþe hit noȝt deme
2184. wiþ spelle.
2185. "We! Lorde," quoþ þe gentyle knyȝt,
2186. "Wheþer þis be þe grene chapelle?
2187. Here myȝt aboute mydnyȝt
2188. Þe dele his matynnes telle!
2189. "Now iwysse," quoþ Wowayn, "wysty is here;
2190. Þis oritore is vgly, wiþ erbez ouergrowen;
2191. Wel bisemez þe wyȝe wruxled in grene
2192. Dele here his deuocioun on þe deuelez wyse.
2193. Now I fele hit is þe fende, in my fyue wyttez,
2194. Þat hatȝ stoken me þis steuen to strye me here.
2195. Þis is a chapel of meschaunce, þat chekke hit bytyde!
2196. Hit is þe corsedest kyrk þat euer I com inne!"
2197. Wiþ heȝe helme on his hede, his launce in his honde,
2198. He romez vp to þe roffe of þe roȝ wonez.
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 and whette, as water at a mulne;
2204. What! hit rusched and ronge, rawþe to here.
2205. Þenne "Bi Godde," quoþ 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 helppez me not a mote.
2210. My lif þaȝ I forgoo,
2211. Drede dotz me no lote."
2212. Thenne þe knyȝt con calle ful hyȝe:
2213. "Who stiȝtlez 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 nedez to spede."
2217. "Abyde," quoþ on on þe bonke abouen ouer his hede,
2218. "And þou schal haf al in hast þat I þe hyȝt ones."
2219. Ȝet he rusched on þat rurde rapely a þrowe.
2220. And wyþ quettyng awharf, er he wolde lyȝt;
2221. And syþen he keuerez bi a cragge, and comez of a hole,
2222. Whyrlande out of a wro wyþ a felle weppen,
2223. A denez ax nwe dyȝt, þe dynt wiþ to ȝelde,
2224. Wiþ a borelych bytte bende by þe halme,
2225. Fyled in a fylor, fowre fote large—
2226. Hit watz no lasse bi þat lace þat lemed ful bryȝt—
2227. And þe gome in þe grene gered as fyrst,
2228. Boþe þe lyre and þe leggez, lokkez and berde,
2229. Saue þat fayre on his fote he foundez on þe erþe,
2230. Sette þe stele to þe stone, and stalked bysyde.
2231. When he wan to þe watter, þer he wade nolde,
2232. He hypped ouer on hys ax, and orpedly strydez,
2233. Bremly broþe on a bent þat brode watz aboute,
2234. on snawe.
2235. Sir Gawayn þe knyȝt con mete,
2236. He ne lutte hym noþyng lowe;
2237. Þat oþer sayde, "Now, sir swete,
2238. Of steuen mon may þe trowe."
2239. "Gawayn," quoþ þat grene gome, "God þe mot loke!
2240. Iwysse þou art welcom, wyȝe, to my place,
2241. And þou hatȝ tymed þi trauayl as truee mon schulde,
2242. And þou knowez þe couenauntez kest vus bytwene:
2243. At þis tyme twelmonyþ þou toke þat þe falled,
2244. And I schulde at þis Nwe Ȝere ȝeply þe quyte.
2245. And we ar in þis valay verayly oure one;
2246. Here ar no renkes vs to rydde, rele as vus likez.
2247. Haf þy helme of þy hede, and 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," quoþ Gawayn, "þat me gost lante,
2251. I schal gruch þe no grwe for grem þat fallez.
2252. Bot styȝtel þe vpon on strok, and I schal stonde stylle
2253. And warp þe no wernyng to worch as þe lykeȝ,
2255. He lened wiþ þe nek, and lutte,
2256. And schewed þat schyre al bare,
2257. And lette as he noȝt dutte;
2258. For drede he wolde not dare.
2259. THEN þe gome in þe grene grayþed hym swyþe,
2260. Gedereȝ vp hys grymme tole Gawayn to smyte;
2261. Wiþ 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 watz euer.
2265. Bot Gawayn on þat giserne glyfte hym bysyde,
2266. As hit com glydande adoun on glode hym to schende,
2267. And schranke a lytel wiþ þe schulderes for þe scharp yrne.
2268. Þat oþer schalk wyþ a schunt þe schene wyþhaldez;,
2269. And þenne repreued he þe prynce wiþ mony prowde wordez:
2270. "Þou art not Gawayn," quoþ þe gome, "þat is so goud halden,
2271. Þat neuer arȝed for no here by hylle ne be vale,
2272. And now þou fles for ferde er þou fele harmez!
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 kyngez hous Arþor.
2276. My hede flaȝ to my fote, and ȝet flaȝ I neuer;
2277. And þou, er any harme hent, arȝez in hert;
2278. Wherfore þe better burne me burde be called
2280. Quoþ Gawayn, "I schunt oneȝ,
2281. And so wyl I no more;
2282. Bot þaȝ my hede falle on þe stonez,
2283. I con not hit restore.
2284. "Bot busk, burne, bi þi fayþ, and bryng me to þe poynt.
2285. Dele to me my destiné, and do hit out of honde,
2286. For I schal stonde þe a strok, and start no more
2287. Til þyn ax haue me hitte: haf here my trawþe."
2288. "Haf at þe þenne!" quoþ þat oþer, and heuez hit alofte,
2289. And waytez as wroþely as he wode were.
2290. He myntez at hym maȝtyly, bot not þe mon rynez,
2291. Wiþhelde heterly his honde, er hit hurt myȝt.
2292. Gawayn grayþely hit bydez, and glent wiþ no membre,
2293. Bot stode stylle as þe ston, oþer a stubbe auþer
2294. Þat raþeled is in roché grounde wiþ rotez a hundreþ.
2295. Þen muryly efte con he mele, þe mon in þe grene:
2296. "So, now þou hatȝ þi hert holle, hitte me bihous.
2297. Halde þe now þe hyȝe hode þat Arþur þe raȝt,
2298. And kepe þy kanel at þis kest, ȝif hit keuer may."
2299. Gawayn ful gryndelly wiþ greme þenne sayde:
2300. "Wy! þresch on, þou þro mon, þou þretez to longe;
2301. I hope þat þi hert arȝe wyþ þyn awen seluen."
2302. "For soþe," quoþ þat oþer freke, "so felly þou spekez,
2303. I wyl no lenger on lyte lette þin ernde
2304. riȝt nowe."
2305. Þenne tas he hym stryþe to stryke,
2306. And frounsez boþe lyppe and browe;
2307. No meruayle þaȝ hym myslyke
2308. Þat hoped of no rescowe.
2309. He lyftes lyȝtly his lome, and let hit doun fayre
2310. Wiþ 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 ouer his schulderes schot to þe erþe;
2315. And quen þe burne seȝ þe blode blenk on þe snawe,
2316. He sprit forþ spenne-fote more þen a spere lenþe,
2317. Hent heterly his helme, and on his hed cast,
2318. Schot wiþ his schulderez his fayre schelde vnder,
2319. Braydez out a bryȝt sworde, and bremely he spekez—
2320. Neuer syn þat he watz burne borne of his moder
2321. watz 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 wiþoute stryf hent,
2324. And if þow rechez me any mo, I redyly schal quyte,
2325. And ȝelde ȝederly aȝayn—and þerto ȝe tryst—
2326. and foo.
2327. Bot on stroke here me fallez—
2328. Þe couenaunt schop ryȝt so,
2329. Fermed in Arþurez hallez—
2330. And þerfore, hende, now hoo!"
2331. The haþel heldet hym fro, and on his ax rested,
2332. Sette þe schaft vpon schore, and to þe scharp lened,
2333. And loked to þe leude þat on þe launde ȝede,
2334. How þat doȝty, dredles, deruely þer stondeȝ
2335. Armed, ful aȝlez: in hert hit hym lykez.
2336. Þenn he melez muryly wyþ a much steuen,
2337. And wyþ a rynkande rurde he to þe renk sayde:
2338. "Bolde burne, on þis bent be not so gryndel.
2339. No mon here vnmanerly þe mysboden habbez,
2340. Ne kyd bot as couenaunde at kyngez; kort schaped.
2341. I hyȝt þe a strok and þou hit hatz, halde þe wel payed;
2342. I relece þe of þe remnaunt of ryȝtes alle oþer.
2343. Iif I deliuer had bene, a boffet paraunter
2344. I couþe wroþeloker haf waret, to þe haf wroȝt anger.
2345. Fyrst I mansed þe muryly wiþ a mynt one,
2346. And roue þe wyþ no rof-sore, wiþ ryȝt I þe profered
2347. For þe forwarde þat we fest in þe fyrst nyȝt,
2348. And þou trystyly þe trawþe and trwly me haldeȝ,
2349. Al þe gayne þow me gef, as god mon schulde.
2350. Þat oþer munt for þe morne, mon, I þe profered,
2351. Þou kyssedes my clere wyf—þe cossez me raȝtez.
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. And þerfor þat tappe ta þe.
2358. "For hit is my wede þat þou werez, þat ilke wouen girdel,
2359. Myn owen wyf hit þe weued, I wot wel for soþe.
2360. Now know I wel þy cosses, and þy costes als,
2361. And þe wowyng of my wyf: I wroȝt hit myseluen.
2362. I sende hir to asay þe, and soþly me þynkkez
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 fayþ, bi oþer gay knyȝtez.
2366. Bot here yow lakked a lyttel, sir, and lewté yow wonted;
2367. Bot þat watz 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 wiþinne;
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 worþ cowarddyse and couetyse boþe!
2375. In yow is vylany and vyse þat vertue disstryez."
2376. Þenne he kaȝt to þe knot, and þe kest lawsez,
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 acorde me wiþ couetyse, my kynde to forsake,
2381. Þat is larges and lewte þat longeȝ to knyȝtez.
2382. Now am I fawty and falce, and ferde haf ben euer
2383. Of trecherye and vntrawþe: boþe bityde sorȝe
2384. and care!
2385. I biknowe yow, knyȝt, here stylle,
2386. Al fawty is my fare;
2387. Leteȝ me ouertake your wylle
2388. And efte I schal be ware."
2389. Thenn loȝe þat oþer leude and luflyly sayde:
2390. "I halde hit hardily hole, þe harme þat I hade.
2391. Þou art confessed so clene, beknowen of þy mysses,
2392. And hatȝ þe penaunce apert of þe poynt of myn egge,
2393. I halde þe polysed of þat plyȝt, and pured as clene
2394. As þou hadez; neuer forfeted syþen þou watz fyrst borne;
2395. And I gif þe, sir, þe gurdel þat is golde-hemmed,
2396. For hit is grene as my goune. Sir Gawayn, ȝe maye
2397. Þenk vpon þis ilke þrepe, þer þou forþ þryngez
2398. Among prynces of prys, and þis a pure token
2399. Of þe chaunce of þe grene chapel at cheualrous knyȝtez.
2400. And ȝe schal in þis Nwe Ȝer aȝayn to my wonez,
2401. And we schyn reuel þe remnaunt of þis ryche fest
2402. ful bene."
2403. Þer laþed hym fast þe lorde
2404. And sayde: "Wiþ my wyf, I wene,
2405. We schal yow wel acorde,
2406. Þat watz your enmy kene."
2407. "Nay, for soþe," quoþ þe segge, and sesed hys helme,
2408. And hatȝ hit of hendely, and þe haþel þonkkez,
2409. "I haf soiorned sadly; sele yow bytyde,
2410. And he ȝelde hit yow ȝare þat ȝarkkez al menskes!
2411. And comaundez; me to þat cortays, your comlych fere,
2412. Boþe þat on and þat oþer, myn honoured ladyez;,
2413. Þat þus hor knyȝt wyþ hor kest han koyntly bigyled.
2414. Bot hit is no ferly þaȝ a fole madde,
2415. And þurȝ wyles of wymmen be wonen to sorȝe,
2416. For so watz Adam in erde wiþ one bygyled,
2417. And Salamon wiþ fele sere, and Samson eftsonez—
2418. Dalyda dalt hym hys wyrde—and Dauyþ þerafter
2419. watz blended wiþ Barsabe, þat much bale þoled.
2420. Now þese were wraþed wyþ her wyles, hit were a wynne huge
2421. To luf hom wel, and leue hem not, a leude þat couþe.
2422. For þes wer forne þe freest, þat folȝed alle þe sele
2423. Exellently of alle þyse oþer, vnder heuenryche
2424. þat mused;
2425. And alle þay were biwyled
2426. Wiþ wymmen þat þay vsed.
2427. Þaȝ I be now bigyled,
2428. Me þink me burde be excused.
2429. "Bot your gordel," quoþ Gawayn, "God yow forȝelde!
2430. Þat wyl I welde wyþ guod 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 werkkez,
2433. Bot in syngne of my surfet I schal se hit ofte,
2434. When I ride in renoun, remorde to myseluen
2435. Þe faut and þe fayntyse of þe flesche crabbed,
2436. How tender hit is to entyse teches of fylþe;
2437. And 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 ȝonder londe þer I haf lent inne
2441. Wyþ yow wyþ worschyp—þe wyȝe hit yow ȝelde
2442. Þat vphaldez þe heuen and on hyȝ sittez—
2443. How norne ȝe yowre ryȝt nome, and þenne no more?"
2444. "Þat schal I telle þe trwly," quoþ þat oþer þenne,
2445. "Bertilak de Hautdesert I hat in þis londe.
2446. Þurȝ myȝt of Morgne la Faye, þat in my hous lenges,
2447. And koyntyse of clergye, bi craftes wel lerned,
2448. Þe maystres of Merlyn mony hatȝ taken—
2449. For ho hatȝ dalt drwry ful dere sumtyme
2450. Wiþ þat conable klerk, þat knowes alle your knyȝtez
2451. at hame;
2452. Morgne þe goddes
2453. Þerfore 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 surquidré, ȝif hit soþ 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 and gart hir to dyȝe
2461. Wiþ glopnyng of þat ilke gome þat gostlych speked
2462. Wiþ 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 þyn aunt,
2468. Make myry in my hous; my meny þe louies,
2469. And I wol þe as wel, wyȝe, bi my fayþe,
2470. As any gome vnder God for þy grete trauþe."
2471. And he nikked hym naye, he nolde bi no wayes.
2472. Þay acolen and kyssen and kennen ayþer oþer
2473. To þe prynce of paradise, and parten ryȝt þere
2474. on coolde;
2475. Gawayn on blonk ful bene
2476. To þe knygez burȝ buskez bolde,
2477. And þe knyȝt in þe enker-grene
2478. Whiderwarde-so-euer he wolde.
2479. Wylde wayez in þe worlde Wowen now rydez
2480. On Gryngolet, þat þe grace hade geten of his lyue;
2481. Ofte he herbered in house and ofte al þeroute,
2482. And mony aventure in vale, and venquyst ofte,
2483. Þat I ne tyȝt at þis tyme in tale to remene.
2484. Þe hurt watz hole þat he hade hent in his nek,
2485. And þe blykkande belt he bere þeraboute
2486. Abelef as a bauderyk bounden bi his syde,
2487. Loken vnder his lyfte arme, þe lace, wiþ a knot,
2488. In tokenyng he watz tane in tech of a faute.
2489. And þus he commes to þe court, knyȝt al in sounde.
2490. Þer wakned wele in þat wone when wyst þe grete
2491. Þat gode Gawayn watz commen; gayn hit hym þoȝt.
2492. Þe kyng kyssez þe knyȝt, and þe whene alce,
2493. And syþen mony syker knyȝt þat soȝt hym to haylce,
2494. Of his fare þat hym frayned; and ferlyly he telles,
2495. Biknowez 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 vnleuté at þe leudes hondes
2500. for blame.
2501. He tened quen he schulde telle,
2502. He groned for gref and grame;
2503. Þe blod in his face con melle,
2504. When he hit schulde schewe, for schame.
2505. "Lo! lorde," quoþ þe leude, and þe lace hondeled,
2506. "Þis is þe bende of þis blame I bere in my nek,
2507. Þis is þe laþe and þe losse þat I laȝt haue
2508. Of couardise and couetyse þat I haf caȝt þare;
2509. Þis is þe token of vntrawþe þat I am tan inne,
2510. And I mot nedez hit were wyle I may last;
2511. For mon may hyden his harme, bot vnhap ne may hit,
2512. For þer hit onez is tachched twynne wil hit neuer."
2513. Þe kyng comfortez þe knyȝt, and alle þe court als
2514. Laȝen loude þerat, and luflyly acorden
2515. Þat lordes and ladis þat longed to þe Table,
2516. Vche burne of þe broþerhede, a bauderyk schulde haue,
2517. A bende abelef hym aboute of a bryȝt grene,
2518. And þat, for sake of þat segge, in swete to were.
2519. For þat watz acorded þe renoun of þe Rounde Table,
2520. And he honoured þat hit hade euermore after,
2521. As hit is breued in þe best boke of romaunce.
2522. Þus in Arþurus day þis aunter bitidde,
2523. Þe Brutus bokez þerof beres wyttenesse;
2524. Syphen Brutus, þe bolde burne, boȝed hider fyrst,
2525. After þe segge and þe asaute watz sesed at Troye,
2527. Mony aunterez here-biforne
2528. Haf fallen suche er þis.
2529. Now þat here þe croun of þorne,
2530. He bryng vus to his blysse! AMEN.
2531. HONY SOYT QUI MAL PENCE.