Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Original Text: 
Karen Arthur, ed., in Using TACT and Electronic Texts: Text-Analysis Computing Tools Vers. 2.1 for MS-DOS and PC DOS, by I. Lancashire, in collaboration with J. Bradley, W. McCarty, M. Stairs, and T. R. Wooldridge (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1996). CD-ROM. Interlineation translation taken from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Rendered Literally into Modern English from the Alliterative Romance-Poem of A.D. 1360, from Cotton MS. Nero A x in British Museum, trans. Ernest J. B. Kirtlan (London: Charles H. Kelly, 1912). PR 2065 G3 1912 Robarts Library.
[fol. 91r]
[fitt1: stanza 1 (long)]
1siþen þe sege and þe assaut watz sesed at troye
2þe bor3 brittened and brent to brondez and askez
3þe tulk þat þe trammes of tresoun þer wro3t
4watz tried for his tricherie þe trewest on erþe
5hit watz ennias þe athel and his highe kynde
6þat siþen depreced prouinces and patrounes bicome
7welne3e of al þe wele in þe west iles
8fro riche romulus to rome ricchis hym swyþe
9with gret bobbaunce þat bur3e he biges vpon fyrst
10and neuenes hit his aune nome as hit now hat
12langaberde in lumbardie lyftes vp homes
13and fer ouer þe french flod felix brutus
14on mony bonkkes ful brode bretayn he settez
[bob]
15wyth wynne
[wheel]
16where werre and wrake and wonder
17bi syþez hatz wont þerinne
18and oft boþe blysse and blunder
19ful skete hatz skyfted synne
[After the siege and the assault of Troy, when the city was burned to ashes, the knight who therein wrought treason was tried for his treachery and was found to be the truest on earth. Aeneas the noble it was, and his high kindred, who vanquished great nations and became the rulers of wellnigh all the western world. Noble Romulus went to Rome with great show of strength, and built that city at the first, and gave it his own name, as it is called to this day. Ticius went into Tuscany and began to set up habitations, and Langobard made his home in Lombardy; whilst Brutus, far over the French sea by many a full broad hill-side, the fair land of Britain
          did win,
   Where war and wrack and wonder
Often were seen therein,
   And oft both bliss and blunder
Have come about through sin.]
[stanza 2 (long)]
20ande quen þis bretayn watz bigged bi þis burn rych
21bolde bredden þerinne baret þat lofden
22in mony turned tyme tene þat wro3ten
23mo ferlyes on þis folde han fallen here oft
24þen in any oþer þat I wot syn þat ilk tyme
25bot of alle þat here bult of bretaygne kynges
26ay watz arthur þe hendest as I haf herde telle [fol. 91]
27forþi an aunter in erde I attle to schawe
28þat a selly in si3t summe men hit holden
29and an outtrage awenture of arthurez wonderez
30if 3e wyl lysten þis laye bot on littel quile
[bob]
32with tonge
[wheel]
33as hit is stad and stoken
34in stori stif and stronge
35with lel letteres loken
36in londe so hatz ben longe
[Now, when Britain was conquered by this noble man, brave warriors were bred and born therein that were fond of striving, so that many times sorrow came thereof. And more wonders have been wrought in this land than in any other I wot of since that time. But of all the British kings, Arthur was the most courteous, as I have heard say. And I propose to tell you a wondrous adventure, as some hold it to be, that happened in Arthur's court; and if ye will listen but a little I will tell it you
          with tongue
   As I have heard it told,
In a story brave and strong,
   In a loyal book of old,
In the land it has been long.]
[stanza 3 (long)]
38with mony luflych lorde ledez of þe best
39rekenly of þe rounde table alle þo rich breþer
40with rych reuel ory3t and rechles merþes
41þer tournayed tulkes by tymez ful mony
42justed ful jolile þise gentyle kni3tes
43syþen kayred to þe court caroles to make
44for þer þe fest watz ilyche ful fiften dayes
45with alle þe mete and þe mirþe þat men couþe avyse
47dere dyn vpon day daunsyng on ny3tes
48al watz hap vpon he3e in hallez and chambrez
49with lordez and ladies as leuest him þo3t
50with all þe wele of þe worlde þay woned þer samen
51þe most kyd kny3tez vnder krystes seluen
52and þe louelokkest ladies þat euer lif haden
53and he þe comlokest kyng þat þe court haldes
54for al watz þis fayre folk in her first age
[bob]
55on sille
[wheel]
56þe hapnest vnder heuen
57kyng hy3est mon of wylle
59so hardy a here on hille
[This King Arthur was at Camelot at Christmas with many a lovely lord, and they were all princely brethren of the Round Table, and they made rich revel and mirth, and were free from care. And betimes these gentle knights held full many a tournament, and jousted in jolly fashion, and then returned they to the court to sing the Christmas carols. And the feasting was for fifteen days, and it was with all the meat and mirth that men could devise. And glorious to hear was the noisy glee by day and the dancing by night, and all was joyous in hall and chamber, among the lords and ladies as it pleased them, and they were the most renowned knights under Christ and the loveliest ladies that ever lived, for all these fair folk were in their first age, and great were they
          in mirth
   The gayest in the land,
The king was of great worth,
   I could not name a band
So hardy upon earth.]
[stanza 4 (long)]
60wyle nw 3er watz so 3ep þat hit watz nwe cummen
61þat day doubble on þe dece watz þe douth serued
62fro þe kyng watz cummen with kny3tes into þe halle
63þe chauntre of þe chapel cheued to an ende
64loude crye watz þer kest of clerkez and oþer [fol. 92r]
65nowel nayted onewe neuened ful ofte
66and syþen riche forth runnen to reche hondeselle
68debated busyly aboute þo giftes
69ladies la3ed ful loude þo3 þay lost haden
70and he þat wan watz not wrothe þat may 3e wel trawe
71alle þis mirþe þay maden to þe mete tyme
72when þay had waschen worþyly þay wenten to sete
73þe best burne ay abof as hit best semed
74whene guenore ful gay grayþed in þe myddes
75dressed on þe dere des dubbed al aboute
76smal sendal bisides a selure hir ouer
77of tryed tolouse and tars tapites innoghe
78þat were enbrawded and beten wyth þe best gemmes
79þat my3t be preued of prys wyth penyes to bye
[bob]
80in daye
[wheel]
82þer glent with y3en gray
83a semloker þat euer he sy3e
84soth mo3t no mon say
[And when the New Year was come, on that day the nobles on the daïs were double served, when the king came with his knights into the great hall and the chanting in the chapel was ended. And clerks and others set up a loud cry, and they kept the Feast of Christmas anew, and they gave and received New Year's gifts, and much talking was there about the gifts. And ladies laughed full loudly, though they had lost in the exchange, and he that won was not wrath, as ye will well trow, and they made all this mirth together as was fitting for the season. When they had washed, they worthily went to their seats, each according to his rank, as was seemly. And Queen Guinevere was full gaily attired as she took her seat on the daïs, and on fair silks under a canopy of costly Tarsian tapestry, embroidered with the finest of gems that money could buy on
          a day
   The comeliest lady, I ween,
She glanced from eyes that were grey,
   Her like that he had seen
Truly could no man say.]
[stanza 5 (long)]
85bot arthure wolde not ete til al were serued
86he watz so joly of his joyfnes and sumquat childgered
87his lif liked hym ly3t he louied þe lasse
89so bisied him his 3onge blod and his brayn wylde
90and also an oþer maner meued him eke
91þat he þur3 nobelay had nomen he wolde neuer ete
92vpon such a dere day er hym deuised were
93of sum auenturus þyng an vncouþe tale
94of sum mayn meruayle þat he my3t trawe
96oþer sum segg hym biso3t of sum siker kny3t
97to joyne wyth hym in iustyng in joparde to lay
98lede lif for lyf leue vchon oþer
99as fortune wolde fulsun hom þe fayrer to haue
101at vch farand fest among his fre meny
[bob]
[fol. 92]
102in halle
[wheel]
103þerfore of face so fere
104he sti3tlez stif in stalle
105ful 3ep in þat nw 3ere
[But Arthur would not eat until all were served, for he was so jolly, and almost like a child. Little recked he of his life; and so restless was he that he could not sit or recline for long, so active was his young blood and his brain. And there was another strange thing about him because of his noble birth, that he would not eat on these high days until he had heard some eerie tale of marvellous adventures, of his forbears or arms, or else that some knight joined with another in jousting, life for life as hap would have it. This was the custom of the King when he was in court at each feast as it came amongst his noble household
          in hall,
   Therefore so bold of face
He sat there, strong in stall,
   In that new year of grace
Much mirth he made with all.]
[stanza 6 (long)]
107þus þer stondes in stale þe stif kyng hisseluen
108talkkande bifore þe hy3e table of trifles ful hende
109þere gode gawan watz grayþed gwenore bisyde
110and agrauayn a la dure mayn on þat oþer syde sittes
111boþe þe kynges sistersunes and ful siker kni3tes
112bischop bawdewyn abof biginez þe table
114þise were di3t on þe des and derworþly serued
115and siþen mony siker segge at þe sidbordez
116þen þe first cors come with crakkyng of trumpes
117wyth mony baner ful bry3t þat þerbi henged
118nwe nakryn noyse with þe noble pipes
119wylde werbles and wy3t wakned lote
120þat mony hert ful hi3e hef at her towches
121dayntes dryuen þerwyth of ful dere metes
122foysoun of þe fresche and on so fele disches
123þat pine to fynde þe place þe peple biforne
[bob]
125on clothe
[wheel]
126iche lede as he loued hymselue
127þer laght withouten loþe
128ay two had disches twelue
129good ber and bry3t wyn boþe
[Thus was the King in the high seat talking before the high table of courteous trifles and good. Sir Gawain was sitting beside Guinevere. Agravayn of the hard hand sat on the other side, and both were sons of the king's sister and very strong and faithful knights. Bishop Bawdewyn was at the head of the table, and Ywain, son of Urien, was eating by himself. And they were all on the daïs, and well were they served, and afterwards many a true man at the sideboards. With the crashing of trumpets came the first course, and with banners and beating of drums and piping loud, so that many a heart heaved full high at the sound, and there were many dear and full dainty meats. And there were so many dishes and such great plenty that it was hard to find room to set before the folk the silver service that held the courses
          on cloth,
   Each man as he loved himself
There laughed he without loath,
   Each two had dishes twelve,
Good beer and bright wine both.]
[stanza 7 (long)]
130now wyl I of hor seruise say yow no more
131for vch wy3e may wel wit no wont þat þer were
132an oþer noyse ful newe ne3ed biliue
133þat þe lude my3t haf leue liflode to cach
134for vneþe watz þe noyce not a whyle sesed
135and þe fyrst cource in þe court kyndely serued
136þer hales in at þe halle dor an aghlich mayster
137on þe most on þe molde on mesure hyghe
138fro þe swyre to þe swange so sware and so þik
139and his lyndes and his lymes so longe and so grete
[fol. 93r]
141bot mon most I algate mynn hym to bene
142and þat þe myriest in his muckel þat my3t ride
143for of bak and of brest al were his bodi sturne
145and alle his fetures fol3ande in forme þat he hade
[bob]
146ful clene
[wheel]
147for wonder of his hwe men hade
148set in his semblaunt sene
149he ferde as freke were fade
[Now will I tell you no more of the serving, for ye may wot well no want was there. Another and a full new wonder was drawing near. Scarcely had the noise ceased and the first course been served in the court, when there came in at the hall door an ugly fellow and tallest of all men upon earth. From his neck to his loins so square set was he, and so long and stalwart of limb, that I trow he was half a giant. And yet he was a man, and the merriest that might ride. His body in back and breast was strong, his belly and waist were very small, and all his features
          full clean.
   Great wonder of the knight
Folk had in hall, I ween,
   Full fierce he was to sight,
And over all bright green.]
[stanza 8 (long)]
151ande al grayþed in grene þis gome and his wedes
152a strayt cote ful stre3t þat stek on his sides
154with pelure pured apert þe pane ful clene
155with blyþe blaunner ful bry3t and his hod boþe
156þat watz la3t fro his lokkez and layde on his schulderes
158þat spenet on his sparlyr and clene spures vnder
159of bry3t golde vpon silk bordes barred ful ryche
160and scholes vnder schankes þere þe schalk rides
161and alle his vesture uerayly watz clene verdure
162boþe þe barres of his belt and oþer blyþe stones
163þat were richely rayled in his aray clene
164aboutte hymself and his sadel vpon silk werkez
165þat were to tor for to telle of tryfles þe halue
166þat were enbrauded abof wyth bryddes and fly3es
167with gay gaudi of grene þe golde ay inmyddes
169his molaynes and alle þe metail anamayld was þenne
170þe steropes þat he stod on stayned of þe same
172þat euer glemered and glent al of grene stones
173þe fole þat he ferkkes on fyn of þat ilke
[bob]
174sertayn
[wheel]
175a grene hors gret and þikke
176a stede ful stif to strayne
177in brawden brydel quik
[fol. 93]
178to þe gome he watz ful gayn
[And he was all clad in green garments, and fitting close to his sides was a straight coat with a simple mantle above it and well lined with gay and bright furs, as was also his hood hanging about his locks and round his shoulders; and he had hosen of that same green on his calves, and bright spurs of gold, that hung down his legs upon silk borders, richly striped, where his foot rested in the stirrup.

And verily all his vesture was of pure green, both the stripings of his belt, and the stones that shone brightly in his orgeous apparel, upon silk work, on his person and saddle; and it would be too tedious to tell you even the half of such trifles as were thereon embroidered with birds and flies in gaudy greens, and ever gold in the midst. The pendants of the horse's neck-gear, the proud cropper, the ornaments, and all the metal thereof, were enamelled of green; the stirrups that he stood in of the same colour, and his saddle-bow also; and they were all glimmering and shining with green stones; and the foal on which he rode was of that same hue

          certain
   A green horse great and thick,
A steed full strong to strain,
   In broidered bridle thick,
To the man he was full gain.]
[stanza 9 (long)]
179wel gay watz þis gome gered in grene
181fayre fannand fax vmbefoldes his schulderes
183þat wyth his hi3lich here þat of his hed reches
184watz euesed al vmbetorne abof his elbowes
185þat half his armes þervnder were halched in þe wyse
186of a kyngez capados þat closes his swyre
187þe mane of þat mayn hors much to hit lyke
188wel cresped and cemmed wyth knottes ful mony
189folden in wyth fildore aboute þe fayre grene
191þe tayl and his toppyng twynnen of a sute
192and bounden boþe wyth a bande of a bry3t grene
193dubbed wyth ful dere stonez as þe dok lasted
194syþen þrawen wyth a þwong a þwarle knot alofte
195þer mony bellez ful bry3t of brende golde rungen
196such a fole vpon folde ne freke þat hym rydes
197watz neuer sene in þat sale wyth sy3t er þat tyme
[bob]
198with y3e
[wheel]
199he loked as layt so ly3t
200so sayd al þat hym sy3e
201hit semed as no mon my3t
202vnder his dynttez dry3e
[Thus gaily was this man dressed out in green, and the hair of the horse's head was of green, and his fair, flowing locks clung about his shoulders; and a great beard like a bush hung over his breast, and with his noble hair was cut evenly all round above his elbows, and the lower part of his sleeves was fastened like a king's mantle. The horse's mane was crisped and gemmed with many a knot, and folded in with gold thread about the fair green with ever a fillet of hair and one of gold, and his tail and head were intertwisted with gold in the same manner, and bound with a band of bright green, and decked with costly stones and tied with a tight knot above; and about them were ringing many full bright bells of burnished gold. Such a horse or his rider were never seen in that hall before or
          with eye.
   'He looks like flashing light,'
Say they that him descry,
   'It seemed that no man might
His dintings e'er defy.']
[stanza 10 (long)]
204ne no pysan ne no plate þat pented to armes
205ne no schafte ne no schelde to schwue ne to smyte
206bot in his on honde he hade a holyn bobbe
207þat is grattest in grene when greuez ar bare
208and an ax in his oþer a hoge and vnmete
209a spetos sparþe to expoun in spelle quoso my3t
211þe grayn al of grene stele and of golde hewen
212þe bit burnyst bry3t with a brod egge
213as wel schapen to schere as scharp rasores
214þe stele of a stif staf þe sturne hit bi grypte [fol. 94r]
215þat watz wounden wyth yrn to þe wandez ende
216and al bigrauen with grene in gracios werkes
217a lace lapped aboute þat louked at þe hede
218and so after þe halme halched ful ofte
219wyth tryed tasselez þerto tacched innoghe
220on botounz of þe bry3t grene brayden ful ryche
221þis haþel heldez hym in and þe halle entres
222driuande to þe he3e dece dut he no woþe
223haylsed he neuer one bot he3e he ouer loked
224þe fyrst word þat he warp wher is he sayd
225þe gouernour of þis gyng gladly I wolde
226se þat segg in sy3t and with hymself speke
[bob]
227raysoun
[wheel]
228to kny3tez he kest his y3e
229and reled hym vp and doun
230he stemmed and con studie
231quo walt þer most renoun
[And he had no helmet nor hauberk, nor was he armour-plated, nor had he spear or shield with which to smite; but in one hand he held a holly branch, that is most green when the groves are all bare, and in the other he held an axe, huge and uncanny, and a sharp weapon was it to describe whoso might wish. And the head thereof measured an ell, and its grain was of green steel and of hewn gold, and the broad edge of it was burnished brightly, and as well shaped for cutting as a razor. And the sturdy knight gripped the steel of the stiff staff that was wound round with iron right along its length, and engraven in green with many noble deeds; and lace lapped it about and was fastened on the head, and looped about the handle full oft with many tassels tied thereto and broidered full richly on buttons of bright green. And the man haled into the hall, and pushed forward to the high daïs, fearful of nothing, and saluted no one, but looked scornfully over them all. The first word that he uttered was 'Where is the chief of this company? Gladly would I see that man in the body, and speak with him seasonably
          in town.'
   The knight cast round his eye,
And reeled up and down,
   He stopped and 'gan to spy
Who was of best renown.]
[stanza 11 (long)]
232ther watz lokyng on lenþe þe lude to beholde
233for vch mon had meruayle quat hit mene my3t
234þat a haþel and a horse my3t such a hwe lach
235as growe grene as þe gres and grener hit semed
237al studied þat þer stod and stalked hym nerre
238wyth al þe wonder of þe worlde what he worch schulde
239for fele sellyez had þay sen bot such neuer are
240forþi for fantoum and fayry3e þe folk þere hit demed
241þerfore to answare watz ar3e mony aþel freke
243in a swoghe sylence þur3 þe sale riche
244as al were slypped vpon slepe so slaked hor lotez
[bob]
245in hy3e
[wheel]
246I deme hit not al for doute
247bot sum for cortaysye
248bot let hym þat al schulde loute
249cast vnto þat wy3e
[When they all looked at him, and every man marvelled much what it might mean that a man and his horse should be of such a colour of green, green as the grass and greener, as it seemed, than green enamel upon gold shining brightly. All studied him carefully, and came nearer to him, for they had seen many wonders, but nothing like unto this; therefore the folk deemed it to be a phantom or some faery. And many of them were afraid to answer him; astounded at his voice, stone still they sat. And there was a solemn silence through that rich hall, as though they had all fallen asleep
          speedily;
   Not all, I trow, for fear
But some for courtesy:
   Let him whom all hold dear
Unto him make reply.]
[stanza 12 (long)]
250þenn arþour bifore þe hi3 dece þat auenture byholdez
251and rekenly hym reuerenced for rad was he neuer
252and sayde wy3e welcum iwys to þis place
[fol. 94]
253þe hede of þis ostel arthour I hat
254li3t luflych adoun and lenge I þe praye
256nay as help me quoþ þe haþel he þat on hy3e syttes
257to wone any quyle in þis won hit watz not myn ernde
258bot for þe los of þe lede is lyft vp so hy3e
259and þy bur3 and þy burnes best ar holden
261þe wy3test and þe worþyest of þe worldes kynde
262preue for to play wyth in oþer pure laykez
263and here is kydde cortaysye as I haf herd carp
264and þat hatz wayned me hider iwyis at þis tyme
2653e may be seker bi þis braunch þat I bere here
266þat I passe as in pes and no ply3t seche
267for had I founded in fere in fe3tyng wyse
268I haue a hauberghe at home and a helme boþe
269a schelde and a scharp spere schinande bry3t
270ande oþer weppenes to welde I wene wel als
271bot for I wolde no were my wedez ar softer
272bot if þou be so bold as alle burnez tellen
273þou wyl grant me godly þe gomen þat I ask
[bob]
274bi ry3t
[wheel]
275arthour con onsware
276and sayd sir cortays kny3t
277if þou craue batayl bare
278here faylez þou not to fy3t
[When Arthur on the high daïs beheld that adventure, and royally did reverence unto him, for nothing could affright him, and he said, 'Sir, welcome art thou to this hall. I am Arthur, the head of this hostel. Alight from thy horse, and linger with us, I pray thee, and afterwards we will come to know what thy will is.' 'Nay,' quoth that fellow, 'As He that sitteth on high shall help me, it is not mine errand to dwell any while in this place, but I am come because the fame of thy knights is so highly praised, and thy burgesses and thy town are held to be the best in the world, and the strongest riders on horses in steel armour, and the bravest and the worthiest of all mankind, and proof in playing in all joustings; and here, too, courtesy is well known, as I have heard say; and it is for these reasons that I am come hither at this time. Thou mayest rest assured by this holly token I hold in my hand that I am come in peaceful wise, and seek no quarrel; for had I come in company, in fighting wise, I have both a helm and a hauberk at home, and a shield, and a sharp and brightly shining spear, and other weapons I wield there as I ween; but because I wage no warfare, my weeds are of softer sort. But if thou art so bold as all men say, thou wilt grant me in goodly wise the games I ask
          by right.'
   Then Arthur he did swear,
And said, 'Sir courteous knight,
   If thou cravest battle bare
Thou shalt not fail to fight.']
[stanza 13 (long)]
279nay frayst I no fy3t in fayth I þe telle
280hit arn aboute on þis bench bot berdlez chylder
281if I were hasped in armes on a he3e stede
283forþy I craue in þis court a crystemas gomen
284for hit is 3ol and nwe 3er and here ar 3ep mony
285if any so hardy in þis hous holdez hymseluen
286be so bolde in his blod brayn in hys hede
287þat dar stifly strike a strok for an oþer
288I schal gif hym of my gyft þys giserne ryche
289þis ax þat is heue innogh to hondele as hym lykes
[fol. 95r]
290and I schal bide þe fyrst bur as bare as I sitte
291if any freke be so felle to fonde þat I telle
292lepe ly3tly me to and lach þis weppen
294and I schal stonde hym a strok stif on þis flet
295ellez þou wyl di3t me þe dom to dele hym an oþer
[bob]
296barlay
[wheel]
297and 3et gif hym respite
298a twelmonyth and a day
299now hy3e and let se tite
300dar any herinne o3t say
[Nay, I tell thee in good faith, I seek not to fight, for the men on this bench are but beardless children, and if I were hasped in arms on a high steed there is no man here to match with me. I only crave of this court a Christmas game, as this is the feast of Yule and New Year, and many here are brave. And if any in this house holds himself so hardy and is so boldblooded and so utterly mad that he dare strike one stroke for another in return, I will give to him this costly axe, that is heavy enough, and he shall handle it if he likes, and I will bide the first blow as bare as I sit here. If any fellow here be so brave as to do what I say, let him come forward quickly and take hold of the weapon, and I will quit claim upon it for ever. It shall be his very own. And I will stand strongly on this floor to abide his stroke if thou wilt doom him to receive another stroke in return from me; yet will I grant him
          delay.
   I'll give to him the blow,
In a twelvemonth and a day.
   Now think and let me know
Dare any herein aught say.']
[stanza 14 (long)]
301if he hem stowned vpon fyrst stiller were þanne
302alle þe heredmen in halle þe hy3 and þe lo3e
303þe renk on his rounce hym ruched in his sadel
304and runischly his rede y3en he reled aboute
305bende his bresed bro3ez blycande grene
307when non wolde kepe hym with carp he co3ed ful hy3e
309what is þis arthures hous quoþ þe haþel þenne
310þat al þe rous rennes of þur3 ryalmes so mony
311where is now your sourquydrye and your conquestes
313now is þe reuel and þe renoun of þe rounde table
314ouerwalt wyth a worde of on wy3es speche
315for al dares for drede withoute dynt schewed
316wyth þis he la3es so loude þat þe lorde greued
317þe blod schot for scham into his schyre face
[bob]
318and lere
[wheel]
319he wex as wroth as wynde
320so did alle þat þer were
321þe kyng as kene bi kynde
322þen stod þat stif mon nere
[Now, if this man astonished them at the first, even still more were they astonished at this word, both high and low. The man rode firm in the saddle, and rolled his red eyes about, and bent his rough, green shining eyebrows, and stroked his beard, waiting for some one to rise. And when no one would answer him, he coughed loudly and scornfully, and said, ' What! is this Arthur's house that all men are talking of? Where are now your pride and your valour, your wrath and fury and great words? for now is the revel and renown of the Round Table overcome by one word, for all of you are terrified though no blow has been struck.' Then he laughed so loudly that King Arthur was grieved thereat, and the blood, for shame, shot upwards into his bright face
          so dear.
   He waxed as wroth as wind,
So did all that were there,
   The king was bravely kind,
And stood that strong man near.]
[stanza 15 (long)]
323ande sayde haþel by heuen þyn askyng is nys
324and as þou foly hatz frayst fynde þe behoues
325I know no gome þat is gast of þy grete wordes
326gif me now þy geserne vpon godez halue
327and I schal bayþen þy bone þat þou boden habbes [fol. 95]
329þen feersly þat oþer freke vpon fote ly3tis
330now hatz arthure his axe and þe halme grypez
331and sturnely sturez hit aboute þat stryke wyth hit þo3t
332þe stif mon hym bifore stod vpon hy3t
333herre þen ani in þe hous by þe hede and more
334wyth sturne schere þer he stod he stroked his berde
335and wyth a countenaunce dry3e he dro3 doun his cote
337þen any burne vpon bench hade bro3t hym to drynk
[bob]
338of wyne
[wheel]
339gawan þat sate bi þe quene
340to þe kyng he can enclyne
341I beseche now with sa3ez sene
342þis melly mot be myne
[And he said, 'By heaven, fellow, thy asking is strange, and since thou dost seek after foolishness, it behoves thee to find it. I know of no single man among us that is aghast at thy great words. Give me thy axe, for God's sake, and I will grant thee the boon thou cravest.' Arthur leapt forward towards him and caught him by the hand. Then fiercely alighted that other fellow from his horse. Arthur seized the axe, gripping it by the handle, and strongly brandished it about. The strong man stood towering before him, higher than any in the house, by his head and more. Stern of mien, he stood there and stroked his beard, and with face unmoved he drew down his coat, no more dismayed for the dints he was to receive than if any man upon the bench had brought him to drink
          of wine.
   Gawain sat by the queen,
To the king he did incline,
   'I tell thee truth I ween,
This mêlée must be mine.']
[stanza 16 (long)]
344bid me bo3e fro þis benche and stonde by yow þere
345þat I wythoute vylanye my3t voyde þis table
346and þat my legge lady lyked not ille
347I wolde com to your counseyl bifore your cort ryche
348for me þink hit not semly as hit is soþ knawen
349þer such an askyng is heuened so hy3e in your sale
350þa3 3e 3ourself be talenttyf to take hit to yourseluen
351whil mony so bolde yow aboute vpon bench sytten
352þat vnder heuen I hope non ha3erer of wylle
353ne better bodyes on bent þer baret is rered
354I am þe wakkest I wot and of wyt feblest
355and lest lur of my lyf quo laytes þe soþe
356bot for as much as 3e ar myn em I am only to prayse
357no bounte bot your blod I in my bode knowe
358and syþen þis note is so nys þat no3t hit yow falles
359and I haue frayned hit at yow fyrst foldez hit to me
360and if I carp not comlyly let alle þis cort rych
[bob]
361bout blame
[wheel]
362ryche togeder con roun
363and syþen þay redden alle same
364to ryd þe kyng wyth croun
365and gif gawan þe game
[If thou wilt allow me to come down from this bench and without fault leave this table and stand by thee there, and if my liege lady likes it not ill, I will come to thine aid before all this noble court; for methinks it not seemly that when such a thing as this is asked in this great hall, that thou shouldest deal with it thyself, though thou be eager to do so, when there are so many brave men about thee, on the benches, that, as I hope, under heaven, are not more precious than thou art, nor are they more able-bodied on the field, when there is any fighting. I am the weakest and most feeble of wit; and who seeketh truth knows that the loss of my life would be a small matter. I have no praise except that thou art mine uncle, and no goodness in my body have I except thy blood that flows in my veins. Since this affair is none of thine and I have first made demand for it, it falls to me; and if I acquit not myself comely, let all this noble court
          me blame.'
   The knights whispered that day,
And all agreed the same
   The king must yield the fray,
And give Gawain the game.]
[fol. 96r]
[stanza 17 (long)]
366þen commaunded þe kyng þe kny3t for to ryse
367and he ful radly vpros and ruchched hym fayre
368kneled doun bifore þe kyng and cachez þat weppen
369and he luflyly hit hym laft and lyfte vp his honde
370and gef hym goddez blessyng and gladly hym biddes
371þat his hert and his honde schulde hardi be boþe
372kepe þe cosyn quoþ þe kyng þat þou on kyrf sette
373and if þou redez hym ry3t redly I trowe
374þat þou schal byden þe bur þat he schal bede after
375gawan gotz to þe gome with giserne in honde
376and he baldly hym bydez he bayst neuer þe helder
377þen carppez to sir gawan þe kny3t in þe grene
378refourme we oure forwardes er we fyrre passe
379fyrst I eþe þe haþel how þat þou hattes
380þat þou me telle truly as I tryst may
381in god fayth quoþ þe goode kny3t gawan I hatte
383and at þis tyme twelmonyth take at þe an oþer
[bob]
385on lyue
[wheel]
386þat oþer onswarez agayn
387sir gawan so mot I þryue
388as I am ferly fayn
389þis dint þat þou schal dryue
[When the king commanded the knight to rise up, which he readily did, and set himself fairly and knelt down again before the king and received from him the weapon, and the king lifted up his hand and gave him God's blessing, and prayed that both his heart and hand might be hardy and strong.' Take care, cousin, that thou set one blow upon him, and if thou doest it well, then shalt thou bide the blow that he shall give thee afterwards.' Gawain went forward to the man with the axe in his hand, and the Green Knight boldly bided his coming and flinched not at all. Then said the Green Knight to Sir Gawain, 'Let us make well our covenant ere we go further. First, I want to know thy name -- tell me truly.' 'In good faith,' said the knight, 'my name is Gawain, and it is Gawain that offers to give thee this blow, whatsoever befall him afterwards; and in a twelvemonth and a day thou shalt take back the blow with any weapon thou likest, if I shall be
          alive.'
   That other answered again,
'Gawain, so may I thrive,
   For I am fiercely fain
Of the blow that thou wilt drive.']
[stanza 18 (long)]
390bigog quoþ þe grene kny3t sir gawan me lykes
391þat I schal fange at þy fust þat I haf frayst here
392and þou hatz redily rehersed bi resoun ful trwe
393clanly al þe couenaunt þat I þe kynge asked
394saf þat þou schal siker me segge bi þi trawþe
396I may be funde vpon folde and foch þe such wages
399I wot neuer where þou wonyes bi hym þat me wro3t
400ne I know not þe kny3t by cort ne þi name
401bot teche me truly þerto and telle me how þou hattes
402and I schal ware alle my wyt to wynne me þeder
[fol. 96]
404þat is innogh in nwe 3er hit nedes no more
405quoþ þe gome in þe grene to gawan þe hende
4063if I þe telle trwly quen I þe tape haue
407and þou me smoþely hatz smyten smartly I þe teche
408of my hous and my home and myn owen nome
409þen may þou frayst my fare and forwardez holde
410and if I spende no speche þenne spedez þou þe better
411for þou may leng in þy londe and layt no fyrre
[bob]
412bot slokes
[wheel]
413ta now þy grymme tole to þe
414and let se how þou cnokez
415gladly sir for soþe
416quoþ gawan his ax he strokes
[When said the Green Knight, 'Well it pleases me that I shall take at thy hand that which I sought in this hall. And thou hast truly rehearsed all the covenant I asked of the king; save that thou shalt pledge me to seek me thyself wheresoever thou dost hope to find me on the earth, and to fetch thee such wages as thou wilt deal me to-day in the presence of this noble company.' 'Oh tell me,' quoth Gawain, 'where must I seek thee? Where is thy place? By Him that made me, I wot not where thou dwellest, nor do I know thee, Sir Knight, nor thy court, nor thy name. But tell me that truly, and what is thy name, and I will use all my wit that I may win thither, and that I swear by my sooth.' ' It will suffice in the new year,' quoth the Green Knight to Gawain the gentle, 'if I tell thee truly when I have received the blow at thy hand. Then it is that I will quickly tell thee of my house, my home, and my name. Then mayest thou ask my faring, and hold the covenant, and if I say nothing at all, then will it speed thee better, for thou mayest linger in thy land and seek to fare no farther in search of such
          a sight.
   Take now the weapon grim,
Let us see how thou canst smite.
   `Gladly,' said he to him;
Then stroked the axe that knight.]
[stanza 19 (long)]
417þe grene kny3t vpon grounde grayþely hym dresses
418a littel lut with þe hede þe lere he discouerez
419his longe louelych lokkez he layd ouer his croun
420let þe naked nec to þe note schewe
421gauan gripped to his ax and gederes hit on hy3t
422þe kay fot on þe folde he before sette
423let him doun ly3tly ly3t on þe naked
424þat þe scharp of þe schalk schyndered þe bones
426þat þe bit of þe broun stel bot on þe grounde
427þe fayre hede fro þe halce hit to þe erþe
428þat fele hit foyned wyth her fete þere hit forth roled
429þe blod brayd fro þe body þat blykked on þe grene
430and nawþer faltered ne fel þe freke neuer þe helder
431bot styþly he start forth vpon styf schonkes
433la3t to his lufly hed and lyft hit vp sone
434and syþen bo3ez to his blonk þe brydel he cachchez
435steppez into stelbawe and strydez alofte
436and his hede by þe here in his honde haldez
437and as sadly þe segge hym in his sadel sette
[bob]
439in stedde
[wheel]
[fol. 97r]
441þat vgly bodi þat bledde
442moni on of hym had doute
443bi þat his resounz were redde
[The Green Knight then prepared himself, bowed down a little, and discovered his face, and his long and lovely locks flowing about his head and he bared his neck for the business in hand. Gawain gripped the axe and held it up aloft. He put his left foot forward, then he let the axe fall lightly down on the naked neck so that it sundered the bones, pierced through the flesh, so that the point of the steel bit into the ground, and the head of the Green Knight fell to the earth. And many kicked it with their feet as it rolled there, and blood rushed forth from the body and shone red on the green garments. Yet not a whit did the Green Knight falter nor fall, but started strongly forward on stiff shanks where the men were standing, and caught hold of his head and lifted it up. Then he went to his horse, seized the bridle, stepped into the saddle, and striding aloft, he held his head by the hair, and as gravely he sat in the saddle as though no evil had befallen him and he were not headless
          in that stead.
   He swayed his trunk about,
The ugly body that bled;
   Many of him had doubt
By the time his reasons were said.]
[stanza 20 (long)]
444for þe hede in his honde he haldez vp euen
445toward þe derrest on þe dece he dressez þe face
447and meled þus much with his muthe as 3e may now here
448loke gawan þou be grayþe to go as þou hettez
449and layte as lelly til þou me lude fynde
450as þou hatz hette in þis halle herande þise kny3tes
451to þe grene chapel þou chose I charge þe to fotte
452such a dunt as þou hatz dalt disserued þou habbez
453to be 3ederly 3olden on nw 3eres morn
454þe kny3t of þe grene chapel men knowen me mony
455forþi me for to fynde if þou fraystez faylez þou neuer
457with a runisch rout þe raynez he tornez
458halled out at þe hal dor his hed in his hande
459þat þe fyr of þe flynt fla3e fro fole houes
460to quat kyth he becom knwe non þere
461neuer more þen þay wyste from queþen he watz wonnen
[bob]
462what þenne
[wheel]
463þe kyng and gawen þare
464at þat grene þay la3e and grenne
4653et breued watz hit ful bare
466a meruayl among þo menne
[He held up the head in his hands, and addressed him to the dearest of those on the bench, to wit, Sir Gawain; and the eyelids were lifted up and looked forth, and the lips moved and said, 'Take heed, Sir Gawain, that thou art ready to go and seek me till thou find me as thou hast promised in this hall with these knights as witnesses. To the green chapel thou shalt come to receive such a blow as thou hast given, on New Year's morning. And many know me as the Knight of the Green Chapel. Fail not, then, to seek me until thou findest me; therefore come thou, or recreant shalt thou be called.' Then roughly he turned his reins, haled out of the hall door, with his head in his hand, and the horse's hoofs struck fire from the flinty stones. No one there knew of what kith or kin he was, or whence he came.
          Straightway
   Of the Green Knight they made light,
Yet it was thought that day,
   A marvel, a wondrous sight,
Though, laughing, they were gay.]
[stanza 21 (long)]
467þa3 arþer þe hende kyng at hert hade wonder
468he let no semblaunt be sene bot sayde ful hy3e
469to þe comlych quene wyth cortays speche
471wel bycommes such craft vpon cristmasse
472laykyng of enterludez to la3e and to syng
473among þise kynde caroles of kny3tez and ladyez
474neuer þe lece to my mete I may me wel dres
475for I haf sen a selly I may not forsake
476he glent vpon sir gawen and gaynly he sayde
477now sir heng vp þyn ax þat hatz innogh hewen
[fol. 97]
478and hit watz don abof þe dece on doser to henge
479þer alle men for meruayl my3t on hit loke
480and bi trwe tytel þerof to telle þe wonder
481þenne þay bo3ed to a borde þise burnes togeder
482þe kyng and þe gode kny3t and kene men hem serued
483of alle dayntyez double as derrest my3t falle
484wyth alle maner of mete and mynstralcie boþe
485wyth wele walt þay þat day til worþed an ende
[bob]
486in londe
[wheel]
487now þenk wel sir gawan
488for woþe þat þou ne wonde
489þis auenture for to frayn
490þat þou hatz tan on honde
[Now, though Arthur the Gentle at this had great wonder, he let no semblance thereof be seen, but spake with gentle speed to the comely Queen Guinevere: 'Dear lady, let not this day's doings dismay thee at all. Such craft well becomes the Feast of Christmas; gamings and interludes and laughing and singing and carollings of knights and ladies. And now can I dress myself for meat, for a wondrous adventure have I seen.' He glanced at Sir Gawain and said, 'Now, sir, hang up thine axe; hewing enough has it done for to-day.' Then they hung it up over the daïs at the back of the high seat, that all men might look upon the marvel of it and truly tell the wonder of it. Then went these two, the king and the good knight, to the table, and brave men served them, double of all dainties, with all manner of meat and minstrelsy. In good weal they passed the day, but it came to an end, and night
          was near.
   'Now, Sir Gawain, be sure,
Turn not away for fear
   From this grim adventure
That thou hast promised here.']
[fitt2: stanza 22 (long)]
491this hanselle hatz arthur of auenturus on fyrst
492in 3onge 3er for he 3erned 3elpyng to here
493tha3 hym wordez were wane when þay to sete wenten
495gawan watz glad to begynne þose gomnez in halle
496bot þa3 þe ende be heuy haf 3e no wonder
497for þa3 men ben mery in mynde quen þay han mayn drynk
498a 3ere 3ernes ful 3erne and 3eldez neuer lyke
499þe forme to þe fynisment foldez ful selden
500forþi þis 3ol ouer3ede and þe 3ere after
501and vche sesoun serlepes sued after oþer
502after crystenmasse com þe crabbed lentoun
503þat fraystez flesch wyth þe fysche and fode more symple
504bot þenne þe weder of þe worlde wyth wynter hit þrepez
505colde clengez adoun cloudez vplyften
506schyre schedez þe rayn in schowrez ful warme
507fallez vpon fayre flat flowrez þere schewen
508boþe groundez and þe greuez grene ar her wedez
509bryddez busken to bylde and bremlych syngen
510for solace of þe softe somer þat sues þerafter
[bob]
511bi bonk
[wheel]
512and blossumez bolne to blowe
513bi rawez rych and ronk
514þen notez noble inno3e
[fol. 98r]
515ar herde in wod so wlonk
[Now, this was the first adventure Arthur had in the year that was young; he yearned for some great show, though no words were spoken as they went to their seats. And, moreover, they had in hand quite enough to do. Sir Gawain was full glad to begin the games in the hall: it is no wonder, though heavy be the ending, and though men be merry-minded when drinking good wine, yet the year runneth rapidly and returneth it never. Full seldom agreeth the end thereof with the beginning. The Yuletide, too quickly it passed and the year that followed it. The seasons succeeded each after the other. After Christmas came the crabbed Lenten season, when the folk eat fish and simple food. Then the weather of the world doth fight with winter. The cold doth vanish and the clouds uplift, and the rain falls upon fair fields in warm showers, and the flowers appear on the ground, and in the woodlands their garments are green. Birds are busy in building their nests, and boldly they sing because of the summer's soft solace that follows thereafter
          on bank,
   And blossoms swell to blow
In rows rich and rank,
   And bird-notes sweet enow
Are heard in woodlands dank.]
[stanza 23 (long)]
516after þe sesoun of somer wyth þe soft wyndez
517quen zeferus syflez hymself on sedez and erbez
518wela wynne is þe wort þat waxes þeroute
519when þe donkande dewe dropez of þe leuez
520to bide a blysful blusch of þe bry3t sunne
521bot þen hy3es heruest and hardenes hym sone
522warnez hym for þe wynter to wax ful rype
523he dryues wyth dro3t þe dust for to ryse
524fro þe face of þe folde to fly3e ful hy3e
525wroþe wynde of þe welkyn wrastelez with þe sunne
526þe leuez lancen fro þe lynde and ly3ten on þe grounde
527and al grayes þe gres þat grene watz ere
528þenne al rypez and rotez þat ros vpon fyrst
529and þus 3irnez þe 3ere in 3isterdayez mony
530and wynter wyndez a3ayn as þe worlde askez
[bob]
[wheel]
532til me3elmas mone
533watz cumen wyth wynter wage
534þen þenkkez gawan ful sone
535of his anious uyage
[After the summer season of soft winds, when zephyrs are sighing over seeds and herbs, and the damp dews are dropping from the green leaves, then are they glad thereat, the living things that grow there waiting for the blissful blushing of the bright sun. Then hastens the harvest and hardens them right soon, and warns them before the coming of winter to wax full ripe. And the dust by the drought is driven about from the face of the fields, and it bloweth full high. And the fierce winds of the welkins wrestle with the sun. And the leaves of the trees fall to the ground, and grey is the grass that was green erewhile. Then all ripens and rots that grew up before. Thus quickly passeth the year in many yesterdays, and winter returneth will ye nill ye.
          Surely
   Till moon of Michaelmas
Was won with winter's surety.
   Then thinks Gawain, alas!
Of his sorrowful journey.]
[stanza 24 (long)]
537and he made a fare on þat fest for þe frekez sake
538with much reuel and ryche of þe rounde table
539kny3tez ful cortays and comlych ladies
540al for luf of þat lede in longynge þay were
541bot neuer þe lece ne þe later þay neuened bot merþe
542mony ioylez for þat ientyle iapez þer maden
543for aftter mete with mournyng he melez to his eme
544and spekez of his passage and pertly he sayde
545now lege lorde of my lyf leue I yow ask
5463e knowe þe cost of þis cace kepe I no more
547to telle yow tenez þerof neuer bot trifel
549to sech þe gome of þe grene as god wyl me wysse
550þenne þe best of þe bur3 bo3ed togeder
551aywan and errik and oþer ful mony
[fol. 98]
553launcelot and lyonel and lucan þe gode
554sir boos and sir byduer big men boþe
555and mony oþer menskful with mador de la port
556alle þis compayny of court com þe kyng nerre
557for to counseyl þe kny3t with care at her hert
558þere watz much derue doel driuen in þe sale
559þat so worþe as wawan schulde wende on þat ernde
560to dry3e a delful dynt and dele no more
[bob]
561wyth bronde
[wheel]
562þe kny3t mad ay god chere
563and sayde quat schuld I wonde
564of destines derf and dere
565what may mon do bot fonde
[Yet did he linger with Arthur until All Hallows Day. And on that festival Arthur made a feast for the sake of Sir Gawain, with much rich revelling of the Round Table. And full comely knights and comely ladies were in great love-longing for Sir Gawain, though they made great mirth withal.

And many were jesting who yet were joyless, for that gentle knight. For after meat he sadly turned towards his uncle, and spake of his passing, and straightway he said, 'Now, my Life's Liege Lord, I ask thy leave. Thou knowest the cost of this matter, and careless am I of it, and to tell thee of it matters but a little. To-morrow I am setting out to receive back the blow, and to seek the Green Knight as God shall direct me.' Then the best of all the burgesses banded together; Avwan and Errik and many others: Sir Doddinaual de Sauage, the Duke of Clarence, Launcelot, and Lyonel and Lucan the Good; Sir Bors and Sir Bedivere, great men both of them, and many other mighty lords, with Madoc de la Port. All this company of the court came near the king to counsel the knight; and their hearts were full of care, and great was the grief that grew in the hall that so worthy a man as Gawain should go on that journey a dreadful blow to endure and deal not one in return.

          'For why?'
   The knight made aye good cheer,
'Why should I not defy
   Destinies strong and dear;
What can man do but try?']
[stanza 25 (long)]
566he dowellez þer al þat day and dressez on þe morn
567askez erly hys armez and alle were þay bro3t
568fyrst a tule tapit ty3t ouer þe flet
569and miche watz þe gyld gere þat glent þeralofte
570þe stif mon steppez þeron and þe stel hondelez
571dubbed in a dublet of a dere tars
572and syþen a crafty capados closed aloft
573þat wyth a bry3t blaunner was bounden withinne
574þenne set þay þe sabatounz vpon þe segge fotez
575his legez lapped in stel with luflych greuez
576with polaynez piched þerto policed ful clene
577aboute his knez knaged wyth knotez of golde
578queme quyssewes þen þat coyntlych closed
579his thik þrawen þy3ez with þwonges to tachched
580and syþen þe brawden bryne of bry3t stel ryngez
581vmbeweued þat wy3 vpon wlonk stuffe
582and wel bornyst brace vpon his boþe armes
583with gode cowters and gay and glouez of plate
584and alle þe godlych gere þat hym gayn schulde
[bob]
585þat tyde
[wheel]
587his gold sporez spend with pryde
588gurde wyth a bront ful sure
589with silk sayn vmbe his syde
[He remained there that day, and dressed in the morning, and asked early for his arms, and they were all brought unto him. And first a carpet of tuly was spread on the floor, and much gold gleamed upon it. The strong man stepped forth and handled the steel, and donned a doublet of very costly Tarsian silk, and then a fair cap closed in above, and with fair fur was it bound inside. Then set they steel shoes upon the man's feet, and his legs they lapped in steel with lovely greaves and knee-pieces fastened thereunto and polished full brightly and fixed about his knees with knots of gold. Fair cuisses also cunningly covered his thighs, that were thick and brawny, and were tied with thongs. And then the woven bryny of bright steel rings enfolded the warrior over the fair stuff, and well burnished braces were upon both his arms, and good and gay elbowpieces and plated gloves, and all the goodly gear that befitted such a knight, for
          that tide,
   With rich coat of armour,
Gold spurs he fixed with pride,
   Girt with a sword full sure,
And silk girths round his side.]
[fol. 99r]
[stanza 26 (long)]
590when he watz hasped in armes his harnays watz ryche
592so harnayst as he watz he herknez his masse
593offred and honoured at þe he3e auter
595lachez lufly his leue at lordez and ladyez
596and þay hym kyst and conueyed bikende hym to kryst
597bi þat watz gryngolet grayth and gurde with a sadel
598þat glemed ful gayly with mony golde frenges
599ayquere naylet ful nwe for þat note ryched
600þe brydel barred aboute with bry3t golde bounden
601þe apparayl of þe payttrure and of þe proude skyrtez
602þe cropore and þe couertor acorded wyth þe arsounez
603and al watz rayled on red ryche golde naylez
604þat al glytered and glent as glem of þe sunne
605þenne hentes he þe helme and hastily hit kysses
606þat watz stapled stifly and stoffed wythinne
607hit watz hy3e on his hede hasped bihynde
608wyth a ly3tly vrysoun ouer þe auentayle
609enbrawden and bounden wyth þe best gemmez
610on brode sylkyn borde and bryddez on semez
611as papiayez paynted peruyng bitwene
612tortors and trulofez entayled so þyk
613as mony burde þeraboute had ben seuen wynter
[bob]
614in toune
[wheel]
615þe cercle watz more o prys
616þat vmbeclypped hys croun
617of diamauntez a deuys
618þat boþe were bry3t and broun
[As soon as he was fully armed, his trappings were noble, and the very least latchet or loop gleamed of gold. Thus accoutred, he heard Mass sung at the High Altar. Then he came to the king and to his court comrades, and lovingly took leave of lords and ladies, and they kissed him and commended him to Christ. By that time his horse, Gringolet, was geared and girt with a saddle, that gleamed full gaily with many golden fringes everywhere newly nailed and enriched for the business he had in hand. The horse's bridle was striped across and across, and bound with bright gold. The trappings of the horse's neck and of the proud skirts, the crupper and the covering, accorded with the saddle, and were all bordered in rich red gold nails. Then he took hold of the helmet and hastily kissed it, and it was strongly stapled and stuffed within. It was high on his head, and hasped behind with a light kerchief of pleasaunce over the visor, and embroidered and bound with the best of gems on broad silken borders and with birds on the borders, such as painted parrots at their feeding, and with turtles and true-love knots intertwisted thickly, and it was as if many a maiden had been making it seven winters
          In the town.
   The circle was most of price
That surrounded the crown;
   Of diamonds a device,
And both were bright and brown.]
[stanza 27 (long)]
619then þay schewed hym þe schelde þat was of schyr goulez
620wyth þe pentangel depaynt of pure golde hwez
621he braydez hit by þe bauderyk aboute þe hals kestes
622þat bisemed þe segge semlyly fayre
623and quy þe pentangel apendez to þat prynce noble
624I am in tent yow to telle þof tary hyt me schulde
625hit is a syngne þat salamon set sumquyle
626in bytoknyng of trawþe bi tytle þat hit habbez
[fol. 99]
627for hit is a figure þat haldez fyue poyntez
628and vche lyne vmbelappez and loukez in oþer
630oueral as I here þe endeles knot
631forþy hit acordez to þis kny3t and to his cler armez
632for ay faythful in fyue and sere fyue syþez
633gawan watz for gode knawen and as golde pured
[bob]
635in mote
[wheel]
636forþy þe pentangel nwe
637he ber in schelde and cote
638as tulk of tale most trwe
639and gentylest kny3t of lote
[Then they showed him the shield of shining gules and the pentangle painted with pure golden hues. He brandished it by the belt, and about his neck he cast it, that he was seemly and fair to look upon. And I am intent to tell you, though I may weary you somewhat, why that pentangle belonged to that noble prince. It is a symbol that Solomon set up some while for betokening of truth, as its name doth show. For it is a figure that hath five points, and each line overlaps, and is locked in the other, and everywhere it is endless, and the English call it, as I hear, the endless knot. Therefore was it befitting this knight and his clean armour. For Sir Gawain was known as a knight both good and true and faithful in five and many times five, and pure as gold, and void of all villany was he, and adorned with virtues
          in the mote,
   For the pentangle new
He bears in shield and coat,
   And is a knight most true
And gentle man, I wot.]
[stanza 28 (long)]
640fyrst he watz funden fautlez in his fyue wyttez
641and efte fayled neuer þe freke in his fyue fyngres
642and alle his afyaunce vpon folde watz in þe fyue woundez
643þat cryst ka3t on þe croys as þe crede tellez
645his þro þo3t watz in þat þur3 alle oþer þyngez
648at þis cause þe kny3t comlyche hade
649in þe inore half of his schelde hir ymage depaynted
650þat quen he blusched þerto his belde neuer payred
651þe fyft fyue þat I finde þat þe frek vsed
652watz fraunchyse and fela3schyp forbe al þyng
653his clannes and his cortaysye croked were neuer
654and pite þat passez alle poyntez þyse pure fyue
655were harder happed on þat haþel þen on any oþer
656now alle þese fyue syþez for soþe were fetled on þis kny3t
657and vchone halched in oþer þat non ende hade
658and fyched vpon fyue poyntez þat fayld neuer
659ne samned neuer in no syde ne sundred nouþer
661whereeuer þe gomen bygan or glod to an ende
662þerfore on his schene schelde schapen watz þe knot
663ryally wyth red golde vpon rede gowlez
[fol. 100r]
664þat is þe pure pentaungel wyth þe peple called
[bob]
665with lore
[wheel]
666now grayþed is gawan gay
667and la3t his launce ry3t þore
668and gef hem alle goud day
669he wende for euermore
[And first he was found faultless in his five wits. Then he failed not in his five fingers. And all his trust on earth was in the five wounds suffered by Christ on the cross, as the creeds do tell us, so that when the knight was placed in the mêlée, his thought was ever upon them above all other things. And so it was that all his strength he found in the five joys that the fair Queen of Heaven had in her child. And for this cause it was that the knight had made to be painted her image in comely fashion on the greater half of his shield, so that when he looked upon it his valour never failed him. Now the fifth five that this knight excelled in were frankness and fellowship above all others, his cleanness and courtesy never were crooked, and compassion, that surpasseth all else. These five pure virtues were fixed in this knight more firmly than in any other. And all five times were so joined in him that each one held to the other without any ending and fixed at five points, nor did they ever fail, for they were joined at no point nor sundered were they at all, nor could one find any end thereof at any corner when the games began or were gliding towards an ending. Therefore the knot was shaped on his strong shield, all with red gold upon red gules, called the pure pentangle among the people
          of love.
   Now geared is Gawain gay,
He brandished the lance he bore,
   And bade them all good day,
And went forth evermore.]
[stanza 29 (long)]
670he sperred þe sted with þe spurez and sprong on his way
672al þat sey þat semly syked in hert
673and sayde soþly al same segges til oþer
674carande for þat comly bi kryst hit is scaþe
675þat þou leude schal be lost þat art of lyf noble
676to fynde hys fere vpon folde in fayth is not eþe
677warloker to haf wro3t had more wyt bene
678and haf dy3t 3onder dere a duk to haue worþed
679a lowande leder of ledez in londe hym wel semez
680and so had better haf ben þen britned to no3t
681hadet wyth an aluisch mon for angardez pryde
682who knew euer any kyng such counsel to take
684wel much watz þe warme water þat waltered of y3en
685when þat semly syre so3t fro þo wonez
[bob]
686þad daye
[wheel]
687he made non abode
688bot wy3tly went hys way
689mony wylsum way he rode
690þe bok as I herde say
[He spurred his steed so strongly, and sprang forward on his way, that the stones struck fire as he rode. And all that saw that gallant knight sighed in their hearts. And each man, caring much for the comely one, said the same words to his neighbour,' By Christ, it is scathe that he should be slain who is so noble of life. In faith it is not easy to find his fellow upon earth. Now, verily, to have wrought would have been wiser, or to have made yonder dear man a duke; a shining leader of men in the land he should be. This would have been better than that he should be broken to nought, and haled by an elvish man in arrogant pride. Whoever knew any king such counsel to take as knights who are cavilling at the Christmas games? 'Many were the warm tears that welled from their eyes when that seemly sire went forth from those dwellings
          that day.
   So he made no abode,
But quickly went his way;
   Many a desert path he rode,
As I in book heard say.]
[stanza 30 (long)]
691now ridez þis renk þur3 þe ryalme of logres
692sir gauan on godez halue þa3 hym no gomen þo3t
693oft leudlez alone he lengez on ny3tez
694þer he fonde no3t hym byfore þe fare þat he lyked
695hade he no fere bot his fole bi frythez and dounez
696ne no gome bot god bi gate wyth to karp
698alle þe iles of anglesay on lyft half he haldez
699and farez ouer þe fordez by þe forlondez
700ouer at þe holy hede til he hade eft bonk
701in þe wyldrenesse of wyrale wonde þer bot lyte
[fol. 100]
702þat auþer god oþer gome wyth goud hert louied
703and ay he frayned as he ferde at frekez þat he met
704if þay hade herde any karp of a kny3t grene
706and al nykked hym wyth nay þat neuer in her lyue
707þay se3e neuer no segge þat watz of suche hwez
[bob]
708of grene
[wheel]
709þe kny3t tok gates straunge
710in mony a bonk vnbene
711his cher ful oft con chaunge
712þat chapel er he my3t sene
[Now passed Sir Gawain on God's behalf through the realms of Logres, though no game he thought it; and often alone he lingered at nighttime when he sought in vain for the way that he longed for. No companion had he save his horse, nor no one but God to whom he might call by the way. And now he was nearing the north parts of Wales, with the Isle of Anglesea on the left. He fared over the fords along by the forelands. At the Holyhead Hill he had the heights behind him in the wilderness of Wirral. Few dwelt there that loved either God or man with a good heart. And ever as he fared he would ask any that he met if they had ever heard speak of the Green Knight in any part thereabouts, or of the Green Chapel. All denied with a nay that ever in their lives they had known such a knight of such a hue
          of green.
   The way of the knight was strange;
By many a hillside, I ween,
   His face gan oft to change,
Or ever the chapel was seen.]
[stanza 31 (long)]
713mony klyf he ouerclambe in contrayez straunge
714fer floten fro his frendez fremedly he rydez
715at vche warþe oþer water þer þe wy3e passed
716he fonde a foo hym byfore bot ferly hit were
717and þat so foule and so felle þat fe3t hym byhode
719hit were to tore for to telle of þe tenþe dole
720sumwhyle wyth wormez he werrez and with wolues als
721sumwhyle wyth wodwos þat woned in þe knarrez
722boþe wyth bullez and berez and borez oþerquyle
723and etaynez þat hym anelede of þe he3e felle
724nade he ben du3ty and dry3e and dry3tyn had serued
725douteles he hade ben ded and dreped ful ofte
728and fres er hit falle my3t to þe fale erþe
729ner slayn wyth þe slete he sleped in his yrnes
730mo ny3tez þen innoghe in naked rokkez
731þer as claterande fro þe crest þe colde borne rennez
733þus in peryl and payne and plytes ful harde
734bi contray cayrez þis kny3t tyl krystmasse euen
[bob]
735al one
[wheel]
736þe kny3t wel þat tyde
737to mary made his mone
738þat ho hym red to ryde
[fol. 101r]
739and wysse hym to sum wone
[He climbed many a cliff in strange countries, far removed from his friends in foreign parts he fared, and at each waterway that he passed over he found a foe before him, and a wonder, I trow, so terrible in appearance that to fight him he was forced; and many a marvel among the mountains he found, that it would be too tedious to tell the tenth part of what he found. He fought with dragons and wolves, and sometimes with madmen that dwelt among the rocks, and at other times with bulls and bears and boars, and with monsters that attacked him from the high mountain; and had he not been stiff and strong and serving the Lord, doubtless he had been done to death ere this. Fighting troubled him not so much, but the wintry weather was worse; when the clouds shed down upon him cold clear water, freezing ere it reached the fallow earth. Almost slain by the cold sleet, he slept in his harness, more nights than enough amidst the naked rocks where the cold burn ran by clattering from the crest, and hanging high above his head in hard icicles. Thus in perils and many a painful plight this knight wended his way until Christmas Eve
          arrived.
   The knight that tide,
To Mary he cried,
   To show him where to ride
Till some shelter he spied.]
[stanza 32 (long)]
740bi a mounte on þe morne meryly he rydes
741into a forest ful dep þat ferly watz wylde
742hi3e hillez on vche a halue and holtwodez vnder
743of hore okez ful hoge a hundreth togeder
744þe hasel and þe ha3þorne were harled al samen
745with ro3e raged mosse rayled aywhere
746with mony bryddez vnblyþe vpon bare twyges
747þat pitosly þer piped for pyne of þe colde
748þe gome vpon gryngolet glydez hem vnder
749þur3 mony misy and myre mon al hym one
750carande for his costes lest he ne keuer schulde
752of a burde watz borne oure baret to quelle
753and þerfore sykyng he sayde I beseche þe lorde
754and mary þat is myldest moder so dere
755of sum herber þer he3ly I my3t here masse
757and þerto prestly I pray my pater and aue
[bob]
758and crede
[wheel]
759he rode in his prayere
760and cryed for his mysdede
761he sayned hym in syþes sere
762and sayde cros kryst me spede
[In the morning he rode merrily by a mountain, through a full deep and wondrous wild forest; high hills were on each side, and woods of huge and hoary oaks, a hundred of them together, beneath him. The hazel and the hawthorn were trailing together with rough, ragged moss spread on all sides. Sorrowful birds sang on the bare twigs and piped piteously through pain of the cold. Upon Gringolet the man glided underneath them, all alone, through mud and mire, careful of his labour, lest he should be too late to see the service of his Lord, who on that night was born of a maiden our strife to be ending. Therefore, sighing, he said, 'I beseech thee, O Lord, and Mary, our dearest and mildest mother, that ye would grant me some place of rest where I might hear the Mass and matins of this moon. Full meekly I ask it, and thereto I will say full soon my pater and ave
          and creed.'
   He rode as he prayed,
And cried for misdeed,
   And sign of Cross made, And said,
'Christ's Cross me speed.']
[stanza 33 (long)]
763nade he sayned hymself segge bot þrye
764er he watz war in þe wod of a won in a mote
765abof a launde on a lawe loken vnder bo3ez
766of mony borelych bole aboute bi þe diches
767a castel þe comlokest þat euer kny3t a3te
768pyched on a prayere a park al aboute
769with a pyked palays pynned ful þik
770þat vmbete3e mony tre mo þen two myle
771þat holde on þat on syde þe haþel auysed
772as hit schemered and schon þur3 þe schyre okez
773þenne hatz he hendly of his helme and he3ly he þonkez
[fol. 101]
775þat cortaysly hade hym kydde and his cry herkened
776now bone hostel coþe þe burne I beseche yow 3ette
778and he ful chauncely hatz chosen to þe chef gate
779þat bro3t bremly þe burne to þe bryge ende
[bob]
780in haste
[wheel]
781þe bryge watz breme vpbrayde
782þe 3atez wer stoken faste
783þe wallez were wel arayed
784hit dut no wyndez blaste
[Scarcely had he thrice signed himself with the sign of the Cross, when he was ware of a castle in the wood, on an upland or hill embosomed in the foliage of many a burly monarch of the forest. It was the comeliest castle that ever a knight possessed, in the centre of a meadow, with a park all about it. A palace beautiful, and for more than two miles encircled by trees. The knight caught sight of this palace of refuge on one side, shimmering and shining through the sheeny oaks. He gently doffed his helmet, and gave high thanks to Jesus and St. Gilyan, who had both of them gently and courteously guided his footsteps and hearkened to his crying. 'Now,' quoth the knight, 'grant me good hostel.' When putting his gilt heels to Gringolet, fully by chance he chose the right path, and full soon it brought him to the end of the drawbridge
          at last.
   The bridge was soon upraised,
The gates were shut so fast,
   The walls were well appraised,
They feared not the wind's blast.]
[stanza 34 (long)]
786of þe depe double dich þat drof to þe place
787þe walle wod in þe water wonderly depe
788ande eft a ful huge he3t hit haled vpon lofte
789of harde hewen ston vp to þe tablez
790enbaned vnder þe abataylment in þe best lawe
791and syþen garytez ful gaye gered bitwene
792wyth mony luflych loupe þat louked ful clene
793a better barbican þat burne blusched vpon neuer
794and innermore he behelde þat halle ful hy3e
796fayre fylyolez þat fy3ed and ferlyly long
797with coroun coprounes craftyly sle3e
799vpon bastel rouez þat blenked ful quyte
800so mony pynakle payntet watz poudred ayquere
801among þe castel carnelez clambred so þik
802þat pared out of papure purely hit semed
804if he my3t keuer to com þe cloyster wythinne
805to herber in þat hostel whyl halyday lested
[bob]
806auinant
[wheel]
807he calde and sone þer com
808a porter pure plesaunt
809on þe wal his ernd he nome
810and haylsed þe kny3t erraunt
[The knight, on horseback, stood still on the side of the deep double ditch that led to the place. The wall of the castle was wondrously deep in the water, and rose up aloft a full great height and was built of hard hewn stone right up to the corbels, which were supported under the battlements in the very best fashion, and with watchtowers full gaily geared between, and with many a clear and lovely loophole; and that knight had never seen a better barbican. He beheld the great and high hall of the castle, and its towers builded between very thick trochets; fair and wondrously big round towers were they, with carved capitals craftily fashioned; and he saw the chalk-white chimneys, not a few, above castellated roofs that shone all white. And so many painted pinnacles were there everywhere, among the castle battlements clustered so thickly, that it seemed as if they had been cut out of paper. The noble man thought it full fair as he rode forward, if by any chance he might come within the castle cloister and harbour in that hostel during that
          holy day.
   Then came when he did call,
A porter full gay,
   And took stand on the wall,
And hailed the knight alway.]
[stanza 35 (long)]
811gode sir quoþ gawan woldez þou go myn ernde
812to þe he3 lorde of þis hous herber to craue
[fol. 102r]
814þat 3e be wy3e welcum to won quyle yow lykez
816and folke frely hym wyth to fonge þe kny3t
817þay let doun þe grete dra3t and derely out 3eden
818and kneled doun on her knes vpon þe colde erþe
819to welcum þis ilk wy3 as worþy hom þo3t
820þay 3olden hym þe brode 3ate 3arked vp wyde
821and he hem raysed rekenly and rod ouer þe brygge
822sere seggez hym sesed by sadel quel he ly3t
823and syþen stabeled his stede stif men inno3e
824kny3tez and swyerez comen doun þenne
825for to bryng þis buurne wyth blys into halle
826quen he hef vp his helme þer hi3ed innoghe
827for to hent hit at his honde þe hende to seruen
828his bronde and his blasoun boþe þay token
829þen haylsed he ful hendly þo haþelez vchone
830and mony proud mon þer presed þat prynce to honour
831alle hasped in his he3 wede to halle þay hym wonnen
832þer fayre fyre vpon flet fersly brenned
833þenne þe lorde of þe lede loutez fro his chambre
834for to mete wyth menske þe mon on þe flor
835he sayde 3e are welcum to welde as yow lykez
836þat here is al is yowre awen to haue at yowre wylle
[bob]
837and welde
[wheel]
838graunt mercy quoþ gawayn
839þer kryst hit yow for3elde
840as frekez þat semed fayn
841ayþer oþer in armez con felde
[`Good sir,' quoth Gawain, 'wilt thou go mine errand to the high lord of this place to crave of him for me a place of refuge?' 'By St. Peter,' quoth the porter, 'yea, surely I trow thou shalt be welcome to stay as long as thou likest.' Soon after the porter came again, and with him were noble folk who had come to welcome the knight. They let down the great drawbridge, and joyfully went forth, and knelt down upon the cold earth to do honour to the same knight as it seemed worthy to them. And they swung the broad gate widely on its hinges, and he saluted them royally, and rode in over the bridge. And many a fellow held for him his saddle while he alighted, and full many strong men stabled his steed. Knights and squires then came down that they might bring him with joy into the hall. And when he doffed his helmet others enow hastened to receive it at his hand, and took from him his sword and his shield. Then saluted he full kindly each one of these noblemen, and many a proud man pressed forward to pay honour to that prince. And they led him, all clad as he was in his high weeds, into the hall, where a fair fire burned fiercely upon the hearth. Then the lord of that people came down from his chamber that he might receive honourably the knight in the hall, and he said; 'Thou art welcome to do as it liketh thee. All that thou findest here is thine own to do with it as thou willest and
          to possess.
   'Great thanks,' quoth Gawain.
'May Christ always thee bless.'
   As fellows that were fain,
Each the other gave press.]
[stanza 36 (long)]
842gawayn gly3t on þe gome þat godly hym gret
843and þu3t hit a bolde burne þat þe bur3 a3te
844a hoge haþel for þe nonez and of hyghe eldee
846sturne stif on þe stryþþe on stalworth schonkez
847felle face as þe fyre and fre of hys speche
848and wel hym semed for soþe as þe segge þu3t
849to lede a lortschyp in lee of leudez ful gode
[fol. 102]
851to delyuer hym a leude hym lo3ly to serue
852and þere were boun at his bode burnez inno3e
853þat bro3t hym to a bry3t boure þer beddyng watz noble
854of cortynes of clene sylk wyth cler golde hemmez
855and couertorez ful curious with comlych panez
857rudelez rennande on ropez red golde ryngez
858tapitez ty3t to þe wo3e of tuly and tars
859and vnder fete on þe flet of fol3ande sute
860þer he watz dispoyled wyth spechez of myerþe
861þe burn of his bruny and of his bry3t wedez
863for to charge and to chaunge and chose of þe best
864sone as he on hent and happed þerinne
866þe ver by his uisage verayly hit semed
867welne3 to vche haþel alle on hwes
868lowande and lufly alle his lymmez vnder
869þat a comloker kny3t neuer kryst made
[bob]
870hem þo3t
[wheel]
871wheþen in worlde he were
873be prynce withouten pere
[Gawain glanced at the man who thus gave him good greeting, and thought him a mighty man that was master of the castle, a huge fellow for the nonce and of great age. Broad and bright was his beard, and of beaver hue, and strong and stiff was he in his stride and stalwart in shanks, and his face was fierce as fire, and of speech was he free, and well he seemed, forsooth, to our knight to hold landlordship of a free, good people. The lord of the castle led him to a clamber, and speedily commanded that a page should wait upon him loyally. And at his bidding servants enow were at hand, who straightway brought him to a bright room, where the bedding was noble, with curtains of clean silk, with bright gold hems and full curious and comely canopies and embroidered above with bright linen lawns, and the curtains ran on ropes with red gold rings. Tapestries of Tuly and Tars were hanging on the walls, and on the floors carpets of the same patterns. And then with merry speeches they took off his bryny and his gay clothing. And they brought him rich robes full readily, that he might choose the very best. And soon as he took them and was dressed therein, well did they become him. And in his flowing robes the knight seemed verily to each man there to be gay with beautiful colours. And his limbs under them were so lovely and shining that it seemed to them a comelier knight Christ never made
          for sight.
   'Whence was he on earth?'
It seemed as though he might
   Be prince of peerless worth,
In field where fierce men fight!]
[stanza 37 (long)]
875a cheyer byfore þe chemne þer charcole brenned
876watz grayþed for sir gawan grayþely with cloþez
878and þenne a mere mantyle watz on þat mon cast
879of a broun bleeaunt enbrauded ful ryche
880and fayre furred wythinne with fellez of þe best
881alle of ermyn in erde his hode of þe same
882and he sete in þat settel semlych ryche
885clad wyth a clene cloþe þat cler quyt schewed
886sanap and salure and syluerin sponez
[fol. 103r]
887þe wy3e wesche at his wylle and went to his mete
888seggez hym serued semly inno3e
889wyth sere sewes and sete sesounde of þe best
891summe baken in bred summe brad on þe gledez
892summe soþen summe in sewe sauered with spyces
894þe freke calde hit a fest ful frely and ofte
895ful hendely quen alle þe haþeles rehayted hym at onez
[bob]
896as hende
[wheel]
897þis penaunce now 3e take
898and eft hit schal amende
899þat mon much merþe con make
900for wyn in his hed þat wende
[A chair richly embroidered, together with quaint cushions and hassocks, was placed for Sir Gawain before the chimney where a fire of charcoal was burning. And then a well-made mantle was cast upon his shoulders, and it was of brown linen and embroidered full richly and fair furred within with the finest of skins and with ermine lining, and the hood also. And thus richly arrayed, he sat in that chair, and as he warmed himself, speedily his good cheer quite returned to him. And then they set up a table on fair trestles, and they covered it with a snow-white cloth and set thereon sanat and salt-cellars and silver spoons. Then the knight gladly washed himself and went to his meat. And serving-men served him in seemly fashion, with several sorts of stews and sweets, with seasonings of the best, double fold, as was fitting, and many kinds of fish, some baked with bread, and some roasted on coals, some sodden, some stewed, and savoured with spices and, withal, with clever speeches that the knight liked well. A full noble feasting the man called it when those Athelings cheered him
          as friends.
   'This penance now you take,
And you shall make amends.'
   That knight much mirth 'gan
For wine that to head wends.]
[stanza 38 (long)]
901þenne watz spyed and spured vpon spare wyse
902bi preue poyntez of þat prynce put to hymseluen
903þat he beknew cortaysly of þe court þat he were
904þat aþel arþure þe hende haldez hym one
905þat is þe ryche ryal kyng of þe rounde table
906and hit watz Wawen hymself þat in þat won syttez
907comen to þat krystmasse as case hym þen lymped
908when þe lorde hade lerned þat he þe leude hade
909loude la3ed he þerat so lef hit hym þo3t
910and alle þe men in þat mote maden much joye
911to apere in his presense prestly þat tyme
912þat alle prys and prowes and pured þewes
913apendes to hys persoun and praysed is euer
914byfore alle men vpon molde his mensk is þe most
915vch segge ful softly sayde to his fere
916now schal we semlych se sle3tez of þewez
917and þe teccheles termes of talkyng noble
918wich spede is in speche vnspurd may we lerne
919syn we haf fonged þat fyne fader of nurture
920god hatz geuen vus his grace godly for soþe
921þat such a gest as gawan grauntez vus to haue
922when burnez blyþe of his burþe schal sitte
[bob]
923and synge
[wheel]
924in menyng of manerez mere
[fol. 103]
925þis burne now schal vus bryng
926I hope þat may hym here
[Then did they, in spare fashion and privately, put questions to that princely man, and he answered them courteously that he was a knight of the court of King Arthur, that rich and royal King of the Round Table, and that to him alone he owed fealty, and that it was Sir Gawain himself sitting there, and that he was come to keep that Christmas with them as it had happened. When the lord of the castle heard that he had him in his power at last, loud laughed he thereat, so fief was it to him, and all the men in that mote made much joy to be in his presence at that very time, since prowess and purest manners were ever to be found in his person, more than in all other men upon earth, and most honourable was he. Each man softly said to his fellow, 'Now shall we, as is fitting, see modes and manners and noble talking without a blemish, and what is fair in speech unsought we shall learn, since we have here this fine father of nurture. God has given us His goodly grace forsooth, in that He granteth us to have so goodly a guest as Sir Gawain, when merry men of his breeding
          shall sing.
   Good manners now, I trow,
This knight shall be bringing;
   Who heareth him enow
Shall learn of love talking.']
[stanza 39 (long)]
928bi þat þe diner watz done and þe dere vp
929hit watz ne3 at þe niy3t ne3ed þe tyme
931rungen ful rychely ry3t as þay schulden
932to þe hersum euensong of þe hy3e tyde
933þe lorde loutes þerto and þe lady als
934into a comly closet coyntly ho entrez
935gawan glydez ful gay and gos þeder sone
936þe lorde laches hym by þe lappe and ledez hym to sytte
937and couþly hym knowez and callez hym his nome
938and sayde he watz þe welcomest wy3e of þe worlde
939and he hym þonkked þroly and ayþer halched oþer
940and seten soberly samen þe seruise quyle
941þenne lyst þe lady to loke on þe kny3t
942þenne com ho of hir closet with mony cler burdez
943ho watz þe fayrest in felle of flesche and of lyre
944and of compas and colour and costes of alle oþer
945and wener þen wenore as þe wy3e þo3t
947an oþer lady hir lad bi þe lyft honde
948þat watz alder þen ho an auncian hit semed
949and he3ly honowred with haþelez aboute
950bot vnlyke on to loke þo ladyes were
951for if þe 3onge watz 3ep 3ol3e watz þat oþer
952riche red on þat on rayled ayquere
953rugh ronkled chekez þat oþer on rolled
954kerchofes of þat on wyth mony cler perlez
955hir brest and hir bry3t þrote bare displayed
957þat oþer wyth a gorger watz gered ouer þe swyre
959hir frount folden in sylk enfoubled ayquere
[fol. 104r]
961þat no3t watz bare of þat burde bot þe blake bro3es
962þe tweyne y3en and þe nase þe naked lyppez
963and þose were soure to se and sellyly blered
964a mensk lady on molde mon may hir calle
[bob]
965for gode
[wheel]
966hir body watz schort and þik
968more lykkerwys on to lyk
969watz þat scho hade on lode
[When dinner was done, this noble man arose, and as night time was nearing, the chaplains were making their way to the chapel. Bells rang richly, as was right, to the proper evensong of that high feast. The lord and his lady also came down to the chapel, and the lady entered quaintly into a comely closet.' Gawain glided in gaily full soon. The lord of the castle caught hold of the hem of his robe, and led him to a seat, and called him by name, and said he was of all men in the world the most welcome, and gave him great thanks, and they embraced each other, and all the time of the service they sat side by side. Then did the lady list to look on the knight. Then came she from her closet with many fair maidens. Now her skin, and eke her flesh and her countenance, were the fairest of all, as she was also in form and colour and in all other virtues, and she was fairer even than Guinevere, as it seemed to Sir Gawain. And as he looked down the chancel upon that sweet lady he saw that another lady led her by the left hand, older than she was, an ancient as it seemed and high in honour, and nobles were about her. Very unlike to look upon were those two ladies, for if the young one was fair, yellow was that other one; rose red was the young one, rose red all over, whilst the other had rough and rolling wrinkled cheeks. The young one had kerchiefs with many fair pearls displayed upon her breast and her bright throat, shining sheenier than snow that falls on the hilltops; the other had a wrap on her neck folded over her black chin in milk-white veils; her forehead was folded in silks, lumped up and adorned with trifling jewels. Nothing was bare of that lady but her black eyebrows, her two eyes, her nose, and naked lips. And a sour sight were they to see, and strangely bleared. Men might say that in her a worshipful ancient lady
          was found.
   Her body was short and thick,
Her buttocks broad and round;
   A comelier one to pick
Was the lady she led on ground.]
[stanza 40 (long)]
970when gawayn gly3t on þat gay þat graciously loked
972þe alder he haylses heldande ful lowe
973þe loueloker he lappez a lyttel in armez
974he kysses hir comlyly and kny3tly he melez
975þay kallen hym of aquoyntaunce and he hit quyk askez
976to be her seruant sothly if hemself lyked
977þay tan hym bytwene hem wyth talkyng hym leden
978to chambre to chemne and chefly þay asken
979spycez þat vnsparely men speded hom to bryng
980and þe wynnelych wyne þerwith vche tyme
981þe lorde luflych aloft lepez ful ofte
982mynned merthe to be made vpon mony syþez
983hent he3ly of his hode and on a spere henged
984and wayned hom to wynne þe worchip þerof
985þat most myrþe my3t meue þat crystenmas whyle
986and I schal fonde bi my fayth to fylter wyth þe best
988þus wyth la3ande lotez þe lorde hit tayt makez
989for to glade sir gawayn with gomnez in halle
[bob]
990þat ny3t
[wheel]
991til þat hit watz tyme
993sir gawen his leue con nyme
994and to his bed hym di3t
[Now when Gawain glanced towards that gay lady, who looked so graciously, he took leave of the lord and went towards the ladies. He hailed the ancient one, and inclined himself full humbly. The lovelier of the two he took a little in his arms and kissed her in comely fashion, and addressed her courteously. They returned his greeting, and right soon he asked that he might be her servant. They took him between them, and talking together they led him to his chamber and towards the chimney corner, and they straightway asked for spices, which the pages brought full speedily, and winsome wine they brought with the spices. And the lord of the castle leapt aloft full often, for he intended that they should make mirth. He took off his hood right speedily, and hung it on a spear, and bade them win the worship thereof and so make the most mirth that Christmas tide. 'And I shall try, by my faith, to contend with the best ere I come short of it by help of my friends.' Thus doth that lord make sport with laughing words, that he might gladden Sir Gawain with games in the hall
          that night,
   Till that it was tide,
That the king commanded light,
   Sir Gawain no more doth bide,
But for bed him doth dight.]
[stanza 41 (long)]
995on þe morne as vch mon mynez þat tyme
996þat dry3tyn for oure destyne to de3e watz borne
997wele waxez in vche a won in worlde for his sake
998so did hit þere on þat day þur3 dayntes mony
[fol. 104]
999boþe at mes and at mele messes ful quaynt
1000derf men vpon dece drest of þe best
1001þe olde auncian wyf he3est ho syttez
1002þe lorde lufly her by lent as I trowe
1003gawan and þe gay burde togeder þay seten
1004euen inmyddez as þe messe metely come
1005and syþen þur3 al þe sale as hem best semed
1006bi vche grome at his degre grayþely watz serued
1007þer watz mete þer watz myrþe þer watz much ioye
1008þat for to telle þerof hit me tene were
1009and to poynte hit 3et I pyned me parauenture
1010bot 3et I wot þat wawen and þe wale burde
1011such comfort of her compaynye ca3ten togeder
1012þur3 her dere dalyaunce of her derne wordez
1013wyth clene cortays carp closed fro fylþe
[bob]
1015in vayres
[wheel]
1016trumpez and nakerys
1017much pypyng þer repayres
1018vche mon tented hys
1019and þay two tented þayres
[In the morrow morn, when all men call to mind how the Lord was born to die for our destiny, joy waxed everywhere in the world for Christ's dear sake. So was it in that castle. And doughty men on the aïs served many a dainty mess at meal times. And the ancient lady sat in the highest seat on the daïs. And the lovely lord sat by her side, as I trow. Gawain and the gay lady sat together in the midst whilst the messes were served, and throughout all the hall the folk were served, each according to his rank. There was meat and mirth, and so much joy that to tell thereof were much trouble to me, yet peradventure I may take the trouble. For I know that Gawain and the gay lady had great comfort of each other's company for the dear dalliance of their whispered words, and with clean and courteous talk, free from filth. And their playing surpassed of all princes
          the game.
   And trumpets do blare,
And much sounding declaim;
   Each of his own took care,
And they two did the same.]
[stanza 42 (long)]
1020much dut watz þer dryuen þat day and þat oþer
1021and þe þryd as þro þronge in þerafter
1022þe ioye of sayn jonez day watz gentyle to here
1023and watz þe last of þe layk leudez þer þo3ten
1024þer wer gestes to go vpon þe gray morne
1025forþy wonderly þay woke and þe wyn dronken
1026daunsed ful dre3ly wyth dere carolez
1027at þe last when hit watz late þay lachen her leue
1028vchon to wende on his way þat watz wy3e stronge
1029gawan gef hym god day þe godmon hym lachchez
1031and þere he dra3ez hym on dry3e and derely hym þonkkez
1033as to honour his hous on þat hy3e tyde
1034and enbelyse his bur3 with his bele chere
1035iwysse sir quyl I leue me worþez þe better
[fol. 105r]
1036þat gawayn hatz ben my gest at goddez awen fest
1038al þe honour is your awen þe he3e kyng yow 3elde
1039and I am wy3e at your wylle to worch youre hest
1040as I am halden þerto in hy3e and in lo3e
[bob]
1041bi ri3t
[wheel]
1042þe lorde fast can hym payne
1043to holde lenger þe kny3t
1045bi non way þat he my3t
[And there were many blows struck for two days, and the third day came quickly enow. And gentle was the joymaking of St. John's Day, which was to be the last day of the games, the folk were thinking. On the grey morning a tournament was to be held. And, wondering, they awoke and drank wine, and carolling they danced full doughtily. And at length, when it was late in the day, they took their leave, each strong man to wend on his way. Gawain bade them good day, and the good man of the house took him and led him to his own chamber beside the chimney-piece, and drawing him aside, thanked him dearly for the goodly worship he had given unto him in honouring his house as his guest and giving good cheer during the high feast. 'I trow,' said he, 'while I live, well worth will it be that Gawain was my guest at God's own feasting.' 'Grammercy,' said Sir Gawain, 'in good faith thine is the honour, not mine, and may the good God grant it unto thee. I am at thy service to do thy behest as it behoves me in high and low things
          by right.'
   The Lord was then full fain
Longer to hold that knight:
   To him answered Gawain,
In no way that he might.]
[stanza 43 (long)]
1046then frayned þe freke ful fayre at himseluen
1047quat derue dede had hym dryuen at þat dere tyme
1048so kenly fro þe kyngez kourt to kayre al his one
1049er þe halidayez holly were halet out of toun
1050for soþe sir quoþ þe segge 3e sayn bot þe trawþe
1051a he3e ernde and a hasty me hade fro þo wonez
1052for I am sumned myselfe to sech to a place
1054I nolde bot if I hit negh my3t on nw 3eres morne
1055for alle þe londe inwyth logres so me oure lorde help
1056forþy sir þis enquest I require yow here
1057þat 3e me telle with trawþe if euer 3e tale herde
1058of þe grene chapel quere hit on grounde stondez
1059and of þe kny3t þat hit kepes of colour of grene
1060þer watz stabled bi statut a steuen vus bytwene
1061to mete þat mon at þat mere 3if I my3t last
1062and of þat ilk nw 3ere bot neked now wontez
1063and I wolde loke on þat lede if god me let wolde
1064gladloker bi goddez sun þen any god welde
1065forþi iwysse bi 3owre wylle wende me bihoues
1066naf I now to busy bot bare þre dayez
1067and me als fayn to falle feye as fayly of myyn ernde
1068þenne la3ande quoþ þe lorde now leng þe byhoues
1070þe grene chapayle vpon grounde greue yow no more
1071bot 3e schal be in yowre bed burne at þyn ese
1072quyle forth dayez and ferk on þe fyrst of þe 3ere
[fol. 105]
1073and cum to þat merk at mydmorn to make quat yow likez
[bob]
1074in spenne
[wheel]
1075dowellez whyle new 3eres daye
1076and rys and raykez þenne
1077mon schal yow sette in waye
1078hit is not two myle henne
[Then sought the lord of the castle to know full surely what doughty deed he had in hand at that dear season of the year, that he came forth so keenly to journey all alone from the court of the great King Arthur before the holly of Christmas was taken down in the city. ' Forsooth,' said the man, 'thou sayest well. A high and hasty errand it was that had me forth from the court. I am summoned forth to seek out a certain place, and I know not whither to wend to find it. And for all the land of Logres, so help me our Lord, I would not fail to find it by New Year's morning. Therefore I make this request of thee here that thou wilt truly tell me if ever thou hast heard tell where standeth the Green Chapel and the Green Knight that doth keep it. By statute there was made a covenant between us that if I might be still in the land of the living, I should meet him on that day at the Green Chapel. And it now wanteth but a little of that New Year, and I would more fain and gladlier look upon that man if God will than possess any good in all the world. By your leave, therefore, it behaves me to wend thither, as I have now for the business but barely three days. As fain would I fall dead as fail of my errand.' Then the lord laughing said, 'It behoves thee rather to linger here. For by the end of the time, I will show thee the way. Grieve thyself no more about the Green Chapel. For at least four days thou shalt be at ease in thy bedchamber. Then on the first of the New Year thou shalt ride forth towards that chapel in the morning and do as thou wilt.
          Meanwhile,
   Rest here till New Year's day,
Then rise up without guile,
   Men shall set thee in the way --
It is not hence two mile.']
[stanza 44 (long)]
1079þenne watz gawan ful glad and gomenly he la3ed
1080now I þonk yow þryuandely þur3 alle oþer þynge
1081now acheued is my chaunce I schal at your wylle
1082dowelle and ellez do quat 3e demen
1083þenne sesed hym þe syre and set hym bysyde
1084let þe ladiez be fette to lyke hem þe better
1085þer watz seme solace by hemself stille
1086þe lorde let for luf lotez so myry
1087as wy3 þat wolde of his wyte ne wyst quat he my3t
1088þenne he carped to þe kny3t criande loude
10893e han demed to do þe dede þat I bidde
1090wyl 3e halde þis hes here at þys onez
10913e sir for soþe sayd þe segge trwe
1093for 3e haf trauayled quoþ þe tulk towen fro ferre
1094and syþen waked me wyth 3e arn not wel waryst
1095nauþer of sostnaunce ne of slepe soþly I knowe
10963e schal lenge in your lofte and ly3e in your ese
1097to morn quyle þe messequyle and to mete wende
1098when 3e wyl wyth my wyf þat wyth yow schal sitte
1099and comfort yow with compayny til I to cort torne
[bob]
11003e lende
[wheel]
1101and I schal erly ryse
1102on huntyng wyl I wende
1103gauayn grantez alle þyse
1104hym heldande as þe hende
[Then was Gawain right glad, and in gamesome mood he laughed and said, 'Now for this above all else I thank thee right heartily. Achieved will be my chance. I will dwell here meanwhile as thou wilt, and do as thou dost deem well.' Then the lord took him and set him at his side, and caused the ladies to be brought, so that they might be better pleased, though they had seemly solace in each other. And for love the lord spake many merry words, as though he scarce knew what he would say. Then he cried aloud and spake to the knight, 'Thou hast promised to do what I shall tell thee. Wilt thou do this behest that I bid thee at this time?' 'Yea sir, forsooth will I,' said the true man. 'While I bide in thy castle I am bound by thy behests.' 'Thou hast come,' quoth the lord, 'from a far country, and hast passed much waiting time with me, and hast gone short of sustenance and of sleep. I know it, forsooth. Thou shalt linger in thy sleeping-chamber at tine ease to-morrow morn, during the time of the Mass; then shalt thou wend to thy meat with my wife, and shalt sit at her side and comfort thee with her company till I return to the courtyard of the castle
          at the end.
   For I shall early rise
And a-hunting I shall wend.'
   Gawain takes his advice,
Bowing courtly to his friend.]
[stanza 45 (long)]
11053et firre quoþ þe freke a forwarde we make
1107and quat chek so 3e acheue chaunge me þerforne
1108swete swap we so sware with trawþe
1109queþer leude so lymp lere oþer better
1110bi god quoþ gawayn þe gode I grant þertylle
[fol. 106r]
1111and þat yow lyst for to layke lef hit me þynkes
1112who bryngez vus þis beuerage þis bargayn is maked
1113so sayde þe lorde of þat lede þay la3ed vchone
1114þay dronken and daylyeden and dalten vnty3tel
1115þise lordez and ladyez quyle þat hem lyked
1116and syþen with frenkysch fare and fele fayre lotez
1117þay stoden and stemed and stylly speken
1118kysten ful comlyly and ka3ten her leue
1119with mony leude ful ly3t and lemande torches
1120vche burne to his bed watz bro3t at þe laste
[bob]
1121ful softe
[wheel]
1122to bed 3et er þay 3ede
1123recorded couenauntez ofte
1124þe olde lorde of þat leude
1125cowþe wel halde layk alofte
[`But further,' quoth that lord, 'we will make a covenant that what I win in the woodlands thine it shall be, and whatsoever fortune thou shalt achieve here shall be given by thee to me in exchange for my gift to thee. Swear soothly that we will make this exchange between us, whether hap be loss or gain to us.' 'By God,' quoth Sir Gawain, 'I grant thee thy word, and fief it is to me that thou dost list to make sport.' 'Let some one bring us wine,' said the lord of the castle, 'for now this bargain is made between us'; and they both of them laughed and drank deep, and the lords and the ladies held dalliance together until night came. Then with many strange doings and fair words not a few, they stood still and spake softly, and kissed in comely fashion, and took their leave. And each was brought to his bed attended by many a page and by flaming torches
          full soft.
   To bed, ere they go out,
They recorded covenant oft.
   The old lord of that rout
Could well hold sport aloft.]
[fitt3: stanza 46 (long)]
1126ful erly bifore þe day þe folk vprysen
1127gestes þat go wolde hor gromez þay calden
1128and þay busken vp bilyue blonkkez to sadel
1130richen hem þe rychest to ryde alle arayde
1131lepen vp ly3tly lachen her brydeles
1132vche wy3e on his way þer hym wel lyked
1133þe leue lorde of þe londe watz not þe last
1134arayed for þe rydyng with renkkez ful mony
1135ete a sop hastyly when he hade herde masse
1138he with his haþeles on hy3e horsses weren
1139þenne þise cacheres þat couþe cowpled hor houndez
1140vnclosed þe kenel dore and calde hem þeroute
1141blwe bygly in buglez þre bare mote
1142braches bayed þerfore and breme noyse maked
1143and þay chastysed and charred on chasyng þat went
1144a hundreth of hunteres as I haf herde telle
[bob]
1145of þe best
[wheel]
1146to trystors vewters 3od
1147couples huntes of kest
[fol. 106]
1148þer ros for blastez gode
1149gret rurd in þat forest
[Full early before daybreak the folk that would go a-hunting rose up and called their grooms, and stirred them up to saddle the horses, gear up the trappings, and pack the bags, and dress them in noble array for riding. Then they leaped up lightly and seized the bridles, and each went the way he liked best. And the beloved lord of that land was not the last to appear. He was arrayed for riding with many a rider. And having heard the Mass he ate a sop hastily, and full readily he went forth to the bent field with bugle, before any daylight shone on the world. The lord and his nobles were upon high-stepping steeds. Then the cunning huntsmen coupled the hounds, opened the kennel-doors, and called them out, and blew three bold, clear notes on the bugles. At this there was a baying and a very great barking, and the huntsmen turned and whipped up the dogs. A hundred hunters of the best, as I have heard
          the word.
   To the trystings the trackers go,
The hounds the hunters stirred;
   Because of the blasts they blow
Great noise in the forest is heard.]
[stanza 47 (long)]
1150at þe fyrst quethe of þe quest quaked þe wylde
1151der drof in þe dale doted for drede
1152hi3ed to þe hy3e bot heterly þay were
1153restayed with þe stablye þat stoutly ascryed
1154þay let þe herttez haf þe gate with þe hy3e hedes
1155þe breme bukkez also with hor brode paumez
1156for þe fre lorde hade defende in fermysoun tyme
1157þat þer schulde no mon meue to þe male dere
1158þe hindez were halden in with hay and war
1159þe does dryuen with gret dyn to þe depe sladez
1160þer my3t mon se as þay slypte slentyng of arwes
1161at vche wende vnder wande wapped a flone
1162þat bigly bote on þe broun with ful brode hedez
1163what þay brayen and bleden bi bonkkez þay de3en
1164and ay rachches in a res radly hem fol3es
1165hunterez wyth hy3e horne hasted hem after
1166wyth such a crakkande kry as klyffes haden brusten
1167what wylde so atwaped wy3es þat schotten
1168watz al toraced and rent at þe resayt
1169bi þay were tened at þe hy3e and taysed to þe wattrez
1170þe ledez were so lerned at þe lo3e trysteres
1171and þe grehoundez so grete þat geten hem bylyue
1172and hem tofylched as fast as frekez my3t loke
[bob]
[wheel]
1174þe lorde for blys abloy
1175ful oft con launce and ly3t
1176and drof þat day wyth joy
1177thus to þe derk ny3t
[The first cry of the quest the quarry trembled with fear. The deer were driven in the dale, doting for dread. Then they hastened to the high lands, but hotly they were stopped at the trystings, where was great shouting. Harts with their high heads were let pass, and the bold bucks with their broad antlers. For the noble lord had forbidden that in the close season any man should molest the male deer. The hinds, however, were held back with a Hi! and a cry, and the does with great din were harried to the deep valleys, and as they stumbled there was glancing of arrows, so that each that turned under the trees an arrow pierced him like the wind, and they boldly bit into the deer with full broad heads. So with braying and bleeding by the hillsides they died; and ever the hounds readily followed with a rush as the hunters on high horses hustled them forward with crashing cries, as though the very rocks had burst asunder. The deer that escaped the shooting of the shooters were all of them run down and pierced by the men on foot. They were harried at the high places and harassed at the water-ways, for the huntsmen were such old hands at the low trysting-places and the greyhounds so strong that got at them that they seized them as quickly as a man might glance
          aside.
   The glad lord shouts 'abloy!'
Full oft 'gan fall and ride,
   And hunts that day with joy
Until the dark night tide.]
[stanza 48 (long)]
1179and gawayn þe god mon in gay bed lygez
1180lurkkez quyl þe dayly3t lemed on þe wowes
1181vnder couertour ful clere cortyned aboute
1182and as in slomeryng he slode sle3ly he herde
1184and he heuez vp his hed out of þe cloþes [fol. 107r]
1185a corner of þe cortyn he ca3t vp a lyttel
1186and waytez warly þiderwarde quat hit be my3t
1187hit watz þe ladi loflyest to beholde
1188þat dro3 þe dor after hir ful dernly and stylle
1189and bo3ed towarde þe bed and þe burne schamed
1190and layde hym doun lystyly and let as he slepte
1191and ho stepped stilly and stel to his bedde
1192kest vp þe cortyn and creped withinne
1194and lenged þere selly longe to loke quen he wakened
1195þe lede lay lurked a ful longe quyle
1196compast in his concience to quat þat cace my3t
1197meue oþer amount to meruayle hym þo3t
1198bot 3et he sayde in hymself more semly hit were
1199to aspye wyth my spelle in space quat ho wolde
1200þen he wakenede and wroth and to hir warde torned
1202and sayned hym as bi his sa3e þe sauer to worthe
[bob]
1203with hande
[wheel]
1204wyth chynne and cheke ful swete
1205boþe quit and red in blande
1206ful lufly con ho lete
1207wyth lyppez smal la3ande
[Thus did the lord make sport by the borders of the lind wood whilst Gawain the good lay in bed at his ease until daylight fell athwart the walls. As he dozed there under full white canopies curtained about, he suddenly heard a slight noise at the door. He lifted up his head from under the clothes, and caught up a little the cover of the curtain, and looked warily thitherwards if he might find out what it was. And he saw the lady, the loveliest to behold, and she drew the door after her darkly and softly, and came towards the bed. Sir Gawain was covered with shame, and quickly laid himself down and made as though he were sleeping. And stepping softly, she stole to his bedside, cast up the curtain and stepped within it, and sat down on the side of the bed, and lingered there, wondrous long, watching for him to waken. The man lay hiding there a full long time, troubled in his conscience as to the meaning of this, for a marvel it seemed. Yet he said to himself, 'More fitting it would be to speak to her and find out what she would.' Then he started up and turned towards her, and slowly opened his eyelids and looked wonderingly upon her, and crossed himself for greater safety that he might speak
          full true.
   With chin and cheek full sweet,
Both white and red of hue,
   Lovingly 'gan she greet,
Her small lips laughing too.]
[stanza 49 (long)]
12093e ar a sleper vnsly3e þat mon may slyde hider
1211I schal bynde yow in your bedde þat be 3e trayst
1212al la3ande þe lady lanced þo bourdez
1215for I 3elde me 3ederly and 3e3e after grace
1217and þus he bourded a3ayn with mony a blyþe la3ter
1218bot wolde 3e lady louely þen leue me grante
1219and deprece your prysoun and pray hym to ryse
1220I wolde bo3e of þis bed and busk me better
1221I schulde keuer þe more comfort to karp yow wyth
[fol. 107]
1222nay for soþe beau sir sayd þat swete
12233e schal not rise of your bedde I rych yow better
1224I schal happe yow here þat oþer half als
1225and syþen karp wyth my kny3t þat I ka3t haue
1226for I wene wel iwysse sir Wowen 3e are
1228your honour your hendelayk is hendely praysed
1229with lordez wyth ladyes with alle þat lyf bere
1230and now 3e ar here iwysse and we bot oure one
1231my lorde and his ledez ar on lenþe faren
1232oþer burnez in her bedde and my burdez als
1233þe dor drawen and dit with a derf haspe
1234and syþen I haue in þis hous hym þat al lykez
1235I schal ware my whyle wel quyl hit lastez
[bob]
1236with tale
[wheel]
12373e ar welcum to my cors
1238yowre awen won to wale
1239me behouez of fyne force
1240your seruaunt be and schale
[`Good morrow, Sir Gawain,' said the lady fair, 'full carelessly thou sleepest that one can thus creep into thy chamber. Now art thou taken unawares, and I shall bind thee in thy bed, of that be thou well assured.' Thus laughingly the lady uttered forth her jestings. 'And,' quoth Sir Gawain, 'Good morrow, gay lady; it will be well pleasing to me to be at thy service, and I yield myself thereto, and desire thy favour as must needs be.' Thus did he dally with her with full glad laughter. 'But wouldst thou, lovely lady, be so good as grant me leave to rise and thus to set free thy captive? for I would fain rise from this bed and put on my robes, so should I talk with thee with greater comfort.' 'Nay, for sooth, good sir,' said that sweet one.' Thou shalt not rise from thy bed. I will give thee better counsel. I will cover thee up in thy bed and hold converse with my knight, whom I have taken prisoner, for I wis that thou art Sir Gawain, whom all the world doth worship wheresoever thou dost ride forth. Thy worth and thy courtesy are praised alike by lords and ladies and by all living. And now thou art here with me alone. My lord and his people are gone far away, and the other men are in bed asleep, and also my maids. The door is fast closed and secured by a strong bolt. So, since I have in this castle the man whom all love, no time will I be losing while it doth last,
          In address.
   Of me have thy will,
For thou shalt me possess.
   Thy servant I am still,
As is fitting, I confess.']
[stanza 50 (long)]
1241in god fayth quoþ gawayn gayn hit me þynkkez
1242þa3 I be not now he þat 3e of speken
1243to reche to such reuerence as 3e reherce here
1244I am wy3e vnworþy I wot wel myseluen
1245bi god I were glad and yow god þo3t
1246at sa3e oþer at seruyce þat I sette my3t
1247to þe plesaunce of your prys hit were a pure ioye
1248in god fayth sir gawayn quoþ þe gay lady
1249þe prys and þe prowes þat plesez al oþer
1250if I hit lakked oþer set at ly3t hit were littel daynte
1251bot hit ar ladyes inno3e þat leuer wer nowþe
1252haf þe hende in hor holde as I þe habbe here
1253to daly with derely your daynte wordez
1254keuer hem comfort and colen her carez
1257I haf hit holly in my honde þat al desyres
[bob]
1258þur3e grace
[wheel]
1259scho made hym so gret chere
[fol. 108r]
1260þat watz so fayr of face
1261þe kny3t with speches skere
[`In good faith,' quoth Gawain, 'I think it would be gain for me were I not he of whom thou speakest, for to attain such worship as thou dost offer me herewith I wot well I am unworthy. By God, I should be glad, if it seemed good unto thee, to do thee service or pleasaunce in word or deed, and a pure joy it would be unto me.' 'By my faith, Sir Gawain,' quoth the gay lady, 'if I held lightly the price and the prowess that pleaseth all others, it would be but a little dainty. There are ladies enow that would be liefer to hold thee happily in their power as I have thee, and in dear dalliance to hear thee speak dainty words and thereby gain comfort and rid them of care, than all the guerdon or gold that they possess. And as I love the Lord who holdeth up heaven aloft, I have in my hands that which all desire
          through grace.'
   She made him so great cheer,
That was so fair of face,
   With speeches pure, that peer
Answered in each case.]
[stanza 51 (long)]
1263madame quoþ þe myry mon mary yow 3elde
1264for I haf founden in god fayth yowre fraunchis nobele
1267hit is þe worchyp of yourself þat no3t bot wel connez
1268bi mary quoþ þe menskful me þynk hit an oþer
1269for were I worth al þe wone of wymmen alyue
1270and al þe wele of þe worlde were in my honde
1271and I schulde chepen and chose to cheue me a lorde
1272for þe costes þat I haf knowen vpon þe kny3t here
1273of bewte and debonerte and blyþe semblaunt
1274and þat I haf er herkkened and halde hit here trwee
1275þer schulde no freke vpon folde bifore yow be chosen
1276iwysse worþy quoþ þe wy3e 3e haf waled wel better
1277bot I am proude of þe prys þat 3e put on me
1278and soberly your seruaunt my souerayn I holde yow
1279and yowre kny3t I becom and kryst yow for3elde
1280þus þay meled of muchquat til mydmorn paste
1282þe freke ferde with defence and feted ful fayre
1284þe lasse luf in his lode for lur þat he so3t
[bob]
1285boute hone
[wheel]
1287and nedez hit most be done
1288þe lady þenn spek of leue
1289he granted hir ful sone
[`Madam,' quoth the merry man, ' may Mary bless thee! I have found thee, in good faith, noble and frank. Full many others did me courtesy, and the dainty that they dealt me was foolishness; but thy worship is that of one who knoweth nothing but good.' 'By Mary,' quoth the lady, 'I think otherwise, for were I worth all the wealth of women on earth, and all the wealth of the world were in my hand, were I to bargain and choose and take captive a lord, then no fellow on earth before thee would I choose, because of thy courtesy and beauty and good manners, and thy blitheness of mien, and because of what I have heard from thee and hold for the truth.' 'Well I wot,' quoth Gawain, 'thou hast chosen a better man than I am, yet am I proud of the price thou puttest upon me, and soberly as thy servant I hold thee as my sovereign, and thy knight I become, and may Christ requite thee.' Thus did they talk of many things till the midnoon was past. The lady seemed to be pleased therewith, and to love him. And Sir Gawain bore himself bravely. Yet the knight had in mind that though she were the fairest of ladies, there must be no love-making for him because of the loss that he was seeking
          eftsoon.
   The blow he must abide,
And it must needs be done;
   The lady turned aside;
He grants her leave full soon.]
[stanza 52 (long)]
1290þenne ho gef hym god day and wyth a glent la3ed
1291and as ho stod ho stonyed hym wyth ful stor wordez
1292now he þat spedez vche spech þis disport 3elde yow
1293bot þat 3e be gawan hit gotz in mynde
1294querfore quoþ þe freke and freschly he askez
1295ferde lest he hade fayled in fourme of his castes
1296bot þe burde hym blessed and bi þis skyl sayde
[fol. 108]
1297so god as gawayn gaynly is halden
1298and cortaysye is closed so clene in hymseluen
1299couth not ly3tly haf lenged so long wyth a lady
1300bot he had craued a cosse bi his courtaysye
1301bi sum towch of summe tryfle at sum talez ende
1302þen quoþ wowen iwysse worþe as yow lykez
1303I schal kysse at your comaundement as a kny3t fallez
1305ho comes nerre with þat and cachez hym in armez
1306loutez luflych adoun and þe leude kyssez
1307þay comly bykennen to kryst ayþer oþer
1308ho dos hir forth at þe dore withouten dyn more
1309and he ryches hym to ryse and rapes hym sone
1310clepes to his chamberlayn choses his wede
1311bo3ez forth quen he watz boun blyþely to masse
1312and þenne he meued to his mete þat menskly hym keped
1313and made myry al day til þe mone rysed
[bob]
1314with game
[wheel]
1316bitwene two so dyngne dame
1317þe alder and þe 3onge
1318much solace set þay same
[Then she gave him good-day with a laughing glance, and standing there she caused him to wonder at the strength of her words. 'Now, he that speedeth all speech, yield us this sport, but I have it in my mind that thou art not Sir Gawain.' 'Wherefore?' quoth Sir Gawain, and afresh he asked her questions, fearing lest he had failed in his bearing and manners. But the lady blessed him, and gave her reason. 'Since Gawain is fitly held to be so gallant and courteous, he could not so long have lingered lightly with a lady without craving a kiss for courtesy's sake and some little trifle at the end of his dalliance.' Then said Gawain, 'Let it be as thou dost wish. I will kiss if thou dost command, as befits a knight who fears to displease thee, so let there be an end to thy pleading.' With that she came near to him and caught him in her arms and bent down gracefully and kissed the knight, and they commended each other to Christ. Then she went out at the door without noise. Sir Gawain rose up readily, and making haste, called to his chamberlain and chose his dresses; and as soon as he was dressed went forth gaily to Mass, and then to meat, which had been courteously kept for him, and made merry till the moon rose,
          all day.
   No man did e'er make jest
With ladies so worthy and gay;
   Much pleasure they confessed
They had of him that day.]
[stanza 53 (long)]
1319and ay þe lorde of þe londe is lent on his gamnez
1320to hunt in holtez and heþe at hyndez barayne
1321such a sowme he þer slowe bi þat þe sunne heldet
1322of dos and of oþer dere to deme were wonder
1323þenne fersly þay flokked in folk at þe laste
1324and quykly of þe quelled dere a querre þay maked
1325þe best bo3ed þerto with burnez innoghe
1326gedered þe grattest of gres þat þer were
1327and didden hem derely vndo as þe dede askez
1328serched hem at þe asay summe þat þer were
1329two fyngeres þay fonde of þe fowlest of alle
1330syþen þay slyt þe slot sesed þe erber
1331schaued wyth a scharp knyf and þe schyre knitten
1332syþen rytte þay þe foure lymmes and rent of þe hyde
[fol. 109r]
1335þay gryped to þe gargulun and grayþely departed
1337þen scher þay out þe schulderez with her scharp knyuez
1338haled hem by a lyttel hole to haue hole sydes
1339siþen britned þay þe brest and brayden hit in twynne
1340and eft at þe gargulun bigynez on þenne
1341ryuez hit vp radly ry3t to þe by3t
1342voydez out þe avanters and verayly þerafter
1343alle þe rymez by þe rybbez radly þay lance
1345euenden to þe haunche þat henged alle samen
1346and heuen hit vp al hole and hwen hit of þere
1347and þat þay neme for þe noumbles bi nome as I trowe
[bob]
1348bi kynde
[wheel]
1349bi þe by3t al of þe þy3es
1350þe lappez þay lance bihynde
1351to hewe hit in two þay hy3es
1352bi þe bakbon to vnbynde
[And ever the lord of the land was busy with his sporting, hunting in bolt and heath after the barren hinds, and by the setting of the sun there had been such a slaughter of does and of deer as was a wonder to behold. Then at last quickly flocked the folk together and fiercely made a quarry of the dead deer. And the noblest set to work with men enough; and, as is the custom, they cut up the quarry, and some of them burst open the breast, cutting the jointures with a sharp knife. Then they rent the limbs and the hide and took out the bowels, having lustily lanced it, dividing it deftly, and with their sharp knives sheared off the shoulders, haling them out by a little hole that the whole sides might be preserved. Then they broke the breast into two halves, and right quickly cut up the nombles, and it was riven right up to the forks, and they readily lanced all the rib membranes and freed them from the backbone, all evenly to the haunch, and heaved up the part that is called the nombles
          by kind.
   By the fork of the thighs,
The laps they lance behind;
   To hew it in two devise,
By the backbone to unbind.]
[stanza 54 (long)]
1353boþe þe hede and þe hals þay hwen of þenne
1354and syþen sunder þay þe sydez swyft fro þe chyne
1355and þe corbeles fee þay kest in a greue
1356þenn þurled þay ayþer þik side þur3 bi þe rybbe
1358vche freke for his fee as fallez for to haue
1359vpon a felle of þe fayre best fede þay þayr houndes
1360wyth þe lyuer and þe ly3tez þe leþer of þe paunchez
1361and bred baþed in blod blende þeramongez
1362baldely þay blw prys bayed þayr rachchez
1363syþen fonge þay her flesche folden to home
1364strakande ful stoutly mony stif motez
1365bi þat þe dayly3t watz done þe douthe watz al wonen
1366into þe comly castel þer þe kny3t bidez
[bob]
1367ful stille
[wheel]
1368wyth blys and bry3t fyr bette
1369þe lorde is comen þertylle
1370when gawayn wyth hym mette
1371þer watz bot wele at wylle
[Then they hacked off both head and neck, and severed deftly the sides from the chine, and flung the fee of the crows into a grove hard by. Then they pierced both sides through at the ribs, and hung them by the houghs of the haunches. And each man took his share that fell to him, and they fed the hounds on the skins, and with the liver and the lights and the leathern paunches, with bread dipped in blood. Boldly they blew the horns, and the hounds bayed. Then having packed up the flesh they went homewards, blowing full strongly many bugle notes, so that by the time daylight had faded, home came the doughty men, to the comely castle where Sir Gawain was biding,
          full still.
   Brightly the fire doth burn.
He greeteth with a will
   The lord at his return;
With joy each one did thrill.]
[fol. 109v: stanza 55 (long)]
1373boþe þe ladyes on loghe to ly3t with her burdes
1374bifore alle þe folk on þe flette frekez he beddez
1375verayly his venysoun to fech hym byforne
1377techez hym to þe tayles of ful tayt bestes
1378schewez hym þe schyree grece schorne vpon rybbes
1379how payez yow þis play haf I prys wonnen
1380haue I þryuandely þonk þur3 my craft serued
13813e iwysse quoþ þat oþer wy3e here is wayth fayrest
1382þat I sey þis seuen 3ere in sesoun of wynter
1383and al I gif yow gawayn quoþ þe gome þenne
1384for by acorde of couenaunt 3e craue hit as your awen
1385þis is soth quoþ þe segge I say yow þat ilke
1387iwysse with as god wylle hit worþez to 3ourez
1388he hasppez his fayre hals his armez wythinne
1390tas yow þere my cheuicaunce I cheued no more
1391I wowche hit saf fynly þa3 feler hit were
1392hit is god quoþ þe godmon grant mercy þerfore
1393hit may be such hit is þe better and 3e me breue wolde
1395þat watz not forward quoþ he frayst me no more
[bob]
13973e mowe
[wheel]
1398þay la3ed and made hem blyþe
1399wyth lotez þat were to lowe
1401wyth dayntes nwe innowe
[Then the lord of the castle commanded the household to be marshalled, and the ladies to descend with their maidens, and the men in the hall to bring the spoils of the chase and spread them out before them. And Gawain, who was goodly in games, he called and showed him the tails of full fierce beasts, and the shining grease shorn from the ribs. 'How pay you this sporting?' quoth he, 'have I won the prize? Have I deserved hearty thanks because of my craft in hunting?' 'Yea, I trow,' cried Sir Gawain; 'here is the fairest venison I have seen for seven winters.' 'All this I give to thee, Sir Gawain,' quoth that other; 'according to our covenant it is thine own.' 'That is soothly said,' quoth Gawain, 'and that which I have won within this castle, I trow it is thine with my good will.' Then he clasps the fair neck of the lord in his arms and kisses him in comely fashion, 'Take thou thus what I have achieved; there is nothing else, or I would vouchsafe it to thee though it had been much greater.' 'Good it is,' said the good man, 'I say thee grammercy therefore. Now tell me boldly how thou didst win this wealth -- was it by thine own wit?' 'Nay,' quoth Gawain, 'that was not in our covenant; try me no further. I have given thee that which betides thee. Thou shouldst ask no more,
          I trow.'
   They laugh and blithely talk
With words soft and low,
   Soon to supper they walk,
To dainties new enow.]
[stanza 56 (long)]
1402and syþen by þe chymne in chamber þay seten
1403wy3ez þe walle wyn we3ed to hem oft
1404and efte in her bourdyng þay bayþen in þe morn
1405to fylle þe same forwardez þat þay byfore maden
1407what nwez so þay nome at na3t quen þay metten
1408þay acorded of þe couenauntez byfore þe court alle [fol. 110r]
1409þe beuerage watz bro3t forth in bourde at þat tyme
1410þenne þay louelych le3ten leue at þe last
1411vche burne to his bedde busked bylyue
1413þe lorde watz lopen of his bedde þe leudez vchone
1414so þat þe mete and þe masse watz metely delyuered
1415þe douthe dressed to þe wod er any day sprenged
[bob]
1416to chace
[wheel]
1417he3 with hunte and hornez
1418þur3 playnez þay passe in space
1419vncoupled among þo þornez
1420rachez þat ran on race
[After supper they sat in the chimney corner, and oft were borne to them the costliest of wines, and often in their talking they agreed that on the morrow there should be the same covenant between them as before -- that whatever new chances betided them they would exchange them when they met in the evening. And they agreed to the covenant in the presence of all the household. And they drank together, pledging troth with many a good jest, and at the last took leave of each other lovingly. Each knight betook himself to his couch. Before the cackling cock had crowed three times, the lord leapt from his bed, and all the people who would go a-hunting. They went to Mass and then to meat, after which before day had dawned, they tried them to the woodlands
          to the chase.
   With high hunt and horns
They pass the plain apace,
   Uncoupled among the thorns
The hounds did race.]
[stanza 57 (long)]
1421sone þay calle of a quest in a ker syde
1422þe hunt rehayted þe houndez þat hit fyrst mynged
1423wylde wordez hym warp wyth a wrast noyce
1424þe howndez þat hit herde hastid þider swyþe
1425and fellen as fast to þe fuyt fourty at ones
1427ros þat þe rocherez rungen aboute
1428hunterez hem hardened with horne and wyth muthe
1429þen al in a semble sweyed togeder
1430bitwene a flosche in þat fryth and a foo cragge
1431in a knot bi a clyffe at þe kerre syde
1432þer as þe rogh rocher vnrydely watz fallen
1433þay ferden to þe fyndyng and frekez hem after
1434þay vmbekesten þe knarre and þe knot boþe
1436þe best þat þer breued watz wyth þe blodhoundez
1437þenne þay beten on þe buskez and bede hym vpryse
1438and he vnsoundyly out so3t seggez ouerþwert
1439on þe sellokest swyn swenged out þere
1442ful grymme quen he gronyed þenne greued mony
1443for þre at þe fyrst þrast he þry3t to þe erþe
1444and sparred forth good sped boute spyt more
1445þise oþer halowed hyghe ful hy3e and hay hay cryed
[fol. 110]
1446haden hornez to mouþe heterly rechated
1447mony watz þe myry mouthe of men and of houndez
1448þat buskkez after þis bor with bost and wyth noyse
[bob]
1449to quelle
[wheel]
1450ful oft he bydez þe baye
1451and maymez þe mute inn melle
1452he hurtez of þe houndez and þay
1453ful 3omerly 3aule and 3elle
[Soon they called a quest by the side of a marsh. The hunters who first found it cheered on the hounds with words, and there was a great hallooing, and the hounds, hearing it, hastened thither quickly, forty of them at once, and fell fast to the scent. Then arose such a roaring of the gathered hounds that the rocks were ringing thereabouts. The hunters harried them with their horns, and all of the hounds swayed together between a pool in the wood, and a cliff, a rugged place it was where the rugged rock had fallen. The hounds went before and the hunters followed after. They surrounded the cliff, and with the bloodhounds marked the beast that was within. Then the hunters beat the bushes and sought to make the prey leap forth. Suddenly and fiercely he rushed athwart the huntsmen -- one of the fiercest of swine. A long time had he dwelt apart from the herd, and he was very old and tough and baleful, and one of the greatest of boars, and whenever he grunted many were fearful, for at the very first thrust he hurled three men to the earth and caused many to fall back without further hurt. And they hallooed full high, with 'Hay! hay!' and hotly blew their horns; and merry were both hounds and hunters who hastened after the boar with boastful noises.
          And why?
   Full oft he bides the bay,
The hounds he doth defy,
   He maims the dogs, and they
Full piteously howl and cry.]
[stanza 58 (long)]
1454schalkez to schote at hym schowen to þenne
1455haled to hym of her arewez hitten hym oft
1456bot þe poyntez payred at þe pyth þat py3t in his scheldez
1457and þe barbez of his browe bite non wolde
1458þa3 þe schauen schaft schyndered in pecez
1460bot quen þe dyntez hym dered of her dry3e strokez
1461þen braynwod for bate on burnez he rasez
1462hurtez hem ful heterly þer he forth hy3ez
1463and mony ar3ed þerat and on lyte dro3en
1464bot þe lorde on a ly3t horce launces hym after
1465as burne bolde vpon bent his bugle he blowez
1467suande þis wylde swyn til þe sunne schafted
1468þis day wyth þis ilk dede þay dryuen on þis wyse
1469whyle oure luflych lede lys in his bedde
1470gawayn grayþely at home in gerez ful ryche
[bob]
1471of hewe
[wheel]
1472þe lady no3t for3ate
1474ful erly ho watz hym ate
1475his mode for to remwe
[Then the shooters shot their arrows at him, and often they struck him, but their points failed to pierce his hide, and the barbs would not bite his forehead. The shaven arrow-shafts shivered in pieces wheresoever they struck him. But whenever the blows at all pierced his flesh, then, maddened, he burst forth on the hunters and hurt them hotly as he tried. And many grew timid and drew back somewhat. But the lord riding on a light horse often pierced him, as boldly on the bent-field he blew his bugle, and called them back as he rode through the dense thickets, pursuing the boar till the sun shifted westwards. Thus on this day did they drive the boar, while our lovely knight lay on his bed in rich apparel,
          all bright.
   The lady quickly tries
To greet the gentle knight,
   Full early doth she rise
To change him if she might.]
[stanza 59 (long)]
1476ho commes to þe cortyn and at þe kny3t totes
1477sir wawen her welcumed worþy on fyrst
1478and ho hym 3eldez a3ayn ful 3erne of hir wordez
1480and wyth a luflych loke ho layde hym þyse wordez
1481sir 3if 3e be wawen wonder me þynkkez
1482wy3e þat is so wel wrast alway to god
1483and connez not of compaynye þe costez vndertake
[fol. 111r]
1484and if mon kennes yow hom to knowe 3e kest hom of your mynde
1485þou hatz for3eten 3ederly þat 3isterday I ta3tte
1487what is þat quoþ þe wyghe iwysse I wot neuer
1488if hit be sothe þat 3e breue þe blame is myn awen
14893et I kende yow of kyssyng quoþ þe clere þenne
1491þat bicumes vche a kny3t þat cortaysy vses
1492do way quoþ þat derf mon my dere þat speche
1493for þat durst I not do lest I deuayed were
1494if I were werned I were wrang iwysse 3if I profered
1495ma fay quoþ þe mere wyf 3e may not be werned
14963e ar stif innoghe to constrayne wyth strenkþe 3if yow lykez
14973if any were so vilanous þat yow devaye wolde
14983e be god quoþ gawayn good is your speche
1499bot þrete is vnþryuande in þede þer I lende
1500and vche gift þat is geuen not with goud wylle
1501I am at your comaundement to kysse quen yow lykez
15023e may lach quen yow lyst and leue quen yow þynkkez
[bob]
1503in space
[wheel]
1504þe lady loutez adoun
1505and comlyly kysses his face
1506much speche þay þer expoun
1507of druryes greme and grace
[She came towards the curtain and gazed at the knight, and Sir Gawain welcomed her courteously at first, and the lady talked with him earnestly. Then she sat at his side and laughingly with loving glances she delivered her soul, 'Sir, if thou art Sir Gawain, it is, I think, passing strange that a knight who is so well disposed to gallantry should not be well versed in the customs of good company, for even if thou dost know them, thou dost cast them forth from thy mind and hast right soon forgotten what I taught thee by my talking yesterday.' 'What may that be?' quoth the knight. 'I wot not what thou meanest. If soothly thou speakest, then truly the fault is mine own.' Then said the lady, 'Why, truly. I taught thee of kissing, and that when the face of a lady is known, thou shouldst quickly claim thy meed, and that this is becoming in a knight who uses courtesy.' Then quoth the doughty man, 'Have done, dear lady, for that I durst not do, lest I should be denied, for by thy refusal should I find out my mistake.' 'By my faith,' quoth that fair one, 'thou shalt not be denied, for thou art strong enough to constrain one if thou likest, if any were so vilIanous as to refuse thee.' 'Yea, surely,' quoth Gawain, 'good is thy speech, but to threaten a lady is deemed ungallant in the land where I live, as also are all gifts given without good will. I am at your service to kiss when thou likest. Thou mayest take it or leave it when it pleaseth thee,
          in space
   The lady bendeth low,
And comely kisses his face,
   Much love-talk doth flow
Of love's joy and grace.]
[stanza 60 (long)]
1508I woled wyt at yow wy3e þat worþy þer sayde
1509and yow wrathed not þerwyth what were þe skylle
1510þat so 3ong and so 3epe as 3e at þis tyme
1511so cortayse so kny3tly as 3e ar knowen oute
1512and of alle cheualry to chose þe chef þyng alosed
1514for to telle of þis teuelyng of þis trwe kny3tez
1515hit is þe tytelet token and tyxt of her werkkez
1516how ledes for her lele luf hor lyuez han auntered
1517endured for her drury dulful stoundez
1518and after wenged with her walour and voyded her care
1519and bro3t blysse into boure with bountees hor awen
1520and 3e ar kny3t comlokest kyd of your elde
[fol. 111]
1521your worde and your worchip walkez ayquere
1522and I haf seten by yourself here sere twyes
15233et herde I neuer of your hed helde no wordez
1524þat euer longed to luf lasse ne more
1525and 3e þat ar so cortays and coynt of your hetes
1526oghe to a 3onke þynk 3ern to schewe
1527and teche sum tokenez of trweluf craftes
1528why ar 3e lewed þat alle þe los weldez
1529oþper elles 3e demen me to dille your dalyaunce to herken
[bob]
1530for schame
[wheel]
1531I com hider sengel and sitte
1532to lerne at yow sum game
1533dos techez me of your wytte
1534whil my lorde is fro hame
[`I would be knowing from thee,' said that dear lady, 'an you were not wroth thereat, how it cometh to pass that thou who art so young and active, so courteous and so knightly as thou art known to be, and so given to chivalry, which is the most praiseworthy of all things, and so well versed in the loyal sport of love and in the science of arms, art yet so slow in lovemaking. For of all the achievements of true knights, this of lovemaking is the chiefest, and for their leaf loves their lives they adventure, and endure doleful dintings, and have avenged them by their valour and delivered them from care, and have brought bliss into many a bower, and many a fine favour have bestowed; and yet thou, who art the comeliest knight of the age, and thy praise is spread abroad everywhere, hast had me sitting by thy side several times, and hast not spoken a single gentle word such as lovers do speak and such as belongeth to love, neither little nor great; and thou who art courteous and quaint in thy promisings oughtest eagerly to teach a young thing some tokens of true love's craft. Why art thou backward who canst boast of praises, unless it is that thou deemest me too dull to hearken to thy dalliance?
          For shame
   Alone I come here and sit
To learn of thee some game;
   O teach me of thy wit
While my lord is from home.']
[stanza 61 (long)]
1535in goud fayþe quoþ gawayn god yow for3elde
1536gret is þe gode gle and gomen to me huge
1537þat so worþy as 3e wolde wynne hidere
1538and pyne yow with so pouer a mon as play wyth your kny3t
1539with anyskynnez countenaunce hit keuerez me ese
1540bot to take þe toruayle to myself to trwluf expoun
1541and towche þe temez of tyxt and talez of armez
1542to yow þat I wot wel weldez more sly3t
1543of þat art bi þe half or a hundreth of seche
1544as I am oþer euer schal in erde þer I leue
1545hit were a fole felefolde my fre by my trawþe
1546I wolde yowre wylnyng worche at my my3t
1547as I am hy3ly bihalden and euermore wylle
1548be seruaunt to yourseleun so saue me dry3tyn
1549þus hym frayned þat fre and fondet hym ofte
1551bot he defended hym so fayr þat no faut semed
1552ne non euel on nawþer halue nawþer þay wysten
[bob]
1553bot blysse
[wheel]
1554þay la3ed and layked longe
1555at þe last scho con hym kysse
1556hir leue fayre con scho fonge
1557and went hir waye iwysse
[`In good faith,' quoth Sir Gawain, 'God give you good, great is this good glee of tine, and easeful is it to me that so worthy a lady as thou art shouldst come hither to me and trouble thyself about so poor a man, and play in anysuch fashion; but it would be, as I think, a manifold folly for me to take the trouble to expound true love, and tales of arms, to one who, as I wot well, hath more sleight in that art than a hundred men such as I am, or ever shall be, as long as I live upon earth. As far as I am able I would work thy will, as I am beholden to do, and I would evermore be thy servant as save me the good Lord.' Thus did she tempt him often to wrong-doing according to her evil thought, but so well did he defend himself that of no fault seemed he guilty, nor was there evil wrought by either of them,
          but bliss.
   They laughed and played that day,
At last she gave him kiss,
   And then she went her way,
And took her leave, I wis.]
[stanza 62 (long)]
1558then ruþes hym þe renk and ryses to þe masse [fol. 112r]
1559and siþen hor diner watz dy3t and derely serued
1560þe lede with þe ladyez layked alle day
1561bot þe lorde ouer þe londez launced ful ofte
1562swez his vncely swyn þat swyngez bi þe bonkkez
1563and bote þe best of his brachez þe bakkez in sunder
1564þer he bode in his bay tel bawemen hit breken
1565and madee hym mawgref his hed for to mwe vtter
1566so felle flonez þer flete when þe folk gedered
1567bot 3et þe styffest to start bi stoundez he made
1568til at þe last he watz so mat he my3t no more renne
1569bot in þe hast þat he my3t he to a hole wynnez
1570of a rasse bi a rokk þer rennez þe boerne
1571he gete þe bonk at his bak bigynez to scrape
1572þe froþe femed at his mouth vnfayre bi þe wykez
1573whettez his whyte tuschez with hym þen irked
1574alle þe burnez so bolde þat hym by stoden
[bob]
1576for woþe
[wheel]
1577he hade hurt so mony byforne
1578þat al þu3t þenne ful loþe
1579be more wyth his tusches torne
[Then arose the knight, and betook him to Mass, after which breakfast was joyfully served, and Sir Gawain played with the lady all that day. But over the country the lord was riding following the mischievous boar by steep hillsides, and the beast bit the backs of his hounds in two. There he bode at bay till the bowmen broke in upon him and caused him to utter a cry as the arrows fell fleet upon him when the folk gathered about him. But yet he made the stoutest-hearted to start, until at the last he was so weary that he could not run any longer, but as quickly as he could he gained a hole in a hillock near a rock at the side of a brook. He set himself with his back to the hillock and began to scratch, and full loathsome was his foaming at the mouth, and about his white tusks, and all the men who stood by him were a-weary, but at some distance were they, for near him none durst
          aspire.
   He had hurt so many before
That no man did desire
   To be torn by his tusks any more,
For his brain was fiercely on fire.]
[stanza 63 (long)]
1581til þe kny3t com hymself kachande his blonk
1582sy3 hym byde at þe bay his burnez bysyde
1584braydez out a bry3t bront and bigly forth strydez
1585foundez fast þur3 forth þer þe felle bydez
1586þe wylde watz war of þe wy3e with weppen in honde
1587hef hy3ly þe here so hetterly he fnast
1589þe swyn settez hym out on þe segge euen
1590þat þe burne and þe bor were boþe vpon hepez
1591in þe wy3test of þe water þe worre hade þat oþer
1592for þe mon merkkez hym wel as þay mette fyrst
1593set sadly þe scharp in þe slot euen
1594hit hym vp to þe hult þat þe hert schyndered
1595and he 3arrande hym 3elde and 3edoun þe water [fol. 112]
[bob]
1596ful tyt
[wheel]
1597a hundreth houndez hym hent
1598þat bremely con hym bite
1599burnez him bro3t to bent
1600and doggez to dethe endite
[Then came the lord of that rout himself and reined up his steed, and saw the boar at bay beside his men. He alighted in graceful fashion, and left his courser in charge, brandished forth a glittering sword and strode along with huge strides, crossed by the fording where the fierce beast was biding, who was ware of the weapon in his hand; then he heaved highly his bristles and so hotly he breathed that many of his men went and stood before their lord, lest a worse fate should befall him. The boar made so great a rush for him that both he and the lord fell in a heap, in a place where the water rushed rapidly; but the boar had the worst of it, for the man marked him well as they met, and set his sword in the pit of the beast's stomach, even up to the hilt, so as to rive his heart; and the boar, snarling, gave up the struggle as he fell down in the water
          on his knees.
   A hundred hounds and more
Fiercely did him seize;
   Men brought him to the shore,
And death gave him release.]
[stanza 64 (long)]
1601there watz blawyng of prys in mony breme horne
1602he3e halowing on hi3e with haþelez þat my3t
1603brachetes bayed þat best as bidden þe maysterez
1604of þat chargeaunt chace þat were chef huntes
1605þenne a wy3e þat watz wys vpon wodcraftez
1606to vnlace þis bor lufly bigynnez
1607fyrst he hewes of his hed and on hi3e settez
1608and syþen rendez him al roghe bi þe rygge after
1609braydez out þe boweles brennez hom on glede
1610with bred blent þerwith his braches rewardez
1611syþen he britnez out þe brawen in bry3t brode cheldez
1612and hatz out þe hastlettez as hi3tly bisemez
1613and 3et hem halchez al hole þe haluez togeder
1614and syþen on a stif stange stoutly hem henges
1615now with þis ilk swyn þay swengen to home
1616þe bores hed watz borne bifore þe burnes seluen
1617þat him forferde in þe forþe þur3 forse of his honde
[bob]
1618so stronge
[wheel]
1619til he sey sir gawayne
1620in halle hym þo3t ful longe
1621he calde and he com gayn
1622his feez þer for to fonge
[Then furious was the blast blown upon many a horn, and high hallooing on the part of the men, and the hounds bayed the beast as the masters of that dangerous chase did urge them on. Then one who was wise in woodcraft began to unlace this lovely boar. First he hewed off his head and set it on high, then he roughly rent him by the back and tore out his entrails, and burnt them on hot coals, and rewarded his hounds with bread blended therewith; then he cut out the brawn in bright broad shields, and had out the hastlets, the two halves of which, all whole, he hung upon a strong pole. Then they made for home at a swinging pace, with the boar as theirrophy, and the boar's head was borne before the knight who had fared into the ford so valiant
          and strong.
   He saw Sir Gawain in hall,
And the time it seemed full long;
   He came when he did call
To take what to him did belong.]
[stanza 65 (long)]
1624when he se3e sir gawayn with solace he spekez
1625þe goude ladyez were geten and gedered þe meyny
1626he schewez hem þe scheldez and schapes hem þe tale
1627of þe largesse and þe lenþe þe liþernez alse
1628of þe were of þe wylde swyn in wod þer he fled
1629þat oþer kny3t ful comly comended his dedez
1630and praysed hit as gret prys þat he proued hade
1631for suche a brawne of a best þe bolde burne sayde
1632ne such sydes of a swyn segh he neuer are
1633þenne hondeled þay þe hoge hed þe hende mon hit praysed [fol. 113r]
1634and let lodly þerat þe lorde for to here
1635now gawayn quoþ þe godmon þis gomen in your awen
1636bi fyn forwarde and faste faythely 3e knowe
1637hit is sothe quoþ þe segge and as siker trwe
1638alle my get I schal yow gif agayn bi my trawþe
1640and eftersones of þe same he serued hym þere
1641now ar we euen quoþ þe haþel in þis euentide
1642of alle þe couenauntes þat we knyt syþen I com hider
[bob]
1643bi lawe
[wheel]
1644þe lorde sayde bi saynt gile
16453e ar þe best þat I knowe
16463e ben ryche in a whyle
1647such chaffer and 3e drowe
[When the lord saw Sir Gawain he greeted him with loud mirth and spake words of solace to him. Then he sent for the ladies and gathered the household; he showed to them the shields of the boar, and told them of his length and breadth and height, and of the boar's fierceness, and of the fight in the wood with the wild boar. Then Sir Gawain full comely commended his deeds, and praised him at great price, and said that never before had he seen such a brawn of a beast nor such sides of a boar. Then the gentle man handled the huge head and praised it. 'Now, Gawain,' quoth this good man, 'this game is tine own, as by our fast and fair covenant it was agreed.' 'True it is,' said that other, 'all that I have gained I will give it to thee by my troth.' Then he caught the lord about the neck and gently kissed him, and eftsoons he kissed him again. 'Now are we quits,' quoth the lord, 'this eventide of all the covenants we made since I came hither.'
          ' I trow
   By St. Giles,' said the knight,
'Thou art the luckiest I know,
   Great in gains thou art this night,
And a rich man thou dost grow.']
[stanza 66 (long)]
1648þenne þay teldet tablez trestes alofte
1649kesten cloþen vpon clere ly3t þenne
1650wakned bi wo3ez waxen torches
1651seggez sette and serued in sale al aboute
1652much glam and gle glent vp þerinne
1653aboute þe fyre vpon flet and on fele wyse
1654at þe soper and after mony aþel songez
1655as coundutes of krystmasse and carolez newe
1656with al þe manerly merþe þat mon may of telle
1657and euer oure luflych kny3t þe lady bisyde
1658such semblaunt to þat segge semly ho made
1659wyth stille stollen countenaunce þat stalworth to plese
1660þat al forwondered watz þe wy3e and wroth with hymseluen
1661bot he nolde not for his nurture nurne hir a3aynez
[bob]
1663towrast
[wheel]
1664quen þay hade play in halle
1665as longe as hor wylle hom last
1666to chambre he con hym calle
1667and to þe chemne þay past
[Then they set up the tables, and cast cloths upon them, and the serving-men fixed flaming torches on the walls and set out the feast, and there was much mirth and glee in that hall, and many a stalwart man sang merry songs in many a wise during supper and afterwards, such as new carols of Christmas, with all sorts of good-mannered jesting that one may think of. And ever our lovely knight sat by the lady, and in seemly wise she bore herself towards him, and gentle was her bearing, that she might please so stalwart a man, so that he greatly marvelled thereat, and was wroth with himself. Yet would he not, because of his high lineage, make any return thereto, but dealt with her with care, howsoever things went.
          At last,
   When they had played in hall
As long as their strength did last,
   To chamber he gave them call,
And to the fireplace they passed.]
[stanza 67 (long)]
1668andre þer þay dronken and dalten and demed eft nwe
1669to norne on þe same note on nwe 3erez euen
1670bot þe kny3t craued leue to kayre on þe morn
1671for hit watz ne3 at þe terme þat he to schulde
[fol. 113]
1672þe lorde hym letted of þat to lenge hym resteyed
1673and sayde as I am trwe segge I siker my trawþe
1674þou schal cheue to þe grene chapel þy charres to make
1675leude on nw 3erez ly3t longe bifore pryme
1676forþy þow lye in þy loft and lach þyn ese
1677and I schal hunt in þis holt and halde þe towchez
1678chaunge wyth þe cheuisaunce bi þat I charre hider
1679for I haf fraysted þe twys and faythful I fynde þe
1680now þrid tyme þrowe best þenk on þe morne
1681make we mery quyl we may and mynne vpon joye
1683þis watz grayþely graunted and gawayn is lenged
1684bliþe bro3t watz hym drynk and þay to bedde 3eden
[bob]
1685with li3t
[wheel]
1686sir gawayn lis and slepes
1687ful stille and softe al ni3t
1688þe lorde þat his craftez kepes
1689ful erly he watz di3t
[And there they drank each other's health and passed away the time, and the lord proffered to make the same covenant together for New Year's Eve. But the knight craved leave to depart on the morrow. For the time was drawing near when he should go. But the lord hindered him from going, and constrained him to bide a little longer, and said, 'As I am a true man, I give my troth that thou shalt arrive at the Green Chapel on New Year's morn long before prime, that thou mayest perform thine oath. Therefore rest thou in thy bed and take thine ease while I shall hunt in the woods and keep the covenant between us and exchange our gains on my return hither. For I have proved thee twice and found thee faithful, now for the third time let us think on the morrow and make merry while we may, and be mindful of joy, for loss cometh when it will.' Sir Gawain readily consented thereto, and lingered a little longer, and they drank together and went to their rest
          with light.
   Sir Gawain lies and sleeps
Full still and soft all night,
   The lord, that woodcraft keeps,
Full early he was dight.]
[stanza 68 (long)]
1690after messe a morsel he and his men token
1691miray watz þe mornyng his mounture he askes
1692alle þe haþeles þat on horse schulde helden hym after
1694ferly fayre watz þe folde for þe forst clenged
1695in rede rudede vpon rak rises þe sunne
1697hunteres vnhardeled bi a holt syde
1698rocheres roungen bi rys for rurde of her hornes
1699summe fel in þe fute þer þe fox bade
1701a kenet kyres þerof þe hunt on hym calles
1702his fela3es fallen hym to þat fnasted ful þike
1703runnen forth in a rabel in his ry3t fare
1704and he fyskez hem byfore þay founden hym sone
1705and quen þay seghe hym with sy3t þay sued hym fast
1706wre3ande hym ful weterly with a wroth noyse
1707and he trantes and tornayeez þur3 mony tene greue
1708hauilounez and herkenez bi heggez ful ofte
[fol. 114r]
1709at þe last bi a littel dich he lepez ouer a spenne
1710stelez out ful stilly bi a strothe rande
1711went haf wylt of þe wode with wylez fro þe houndes
1713þer þre þro at a þrich þrat hym at ones
[bob]
1714al graye
[wheel]
1715he blenched a3ayn bilyue
1717with alle þe wo on lyue
1718to þe wod he went away
[After the Mass the lord and his men ate a hasty meal. Merry was the morn. He asked for his horse, and all his company whose duty it was to follow him were ready on their chargers before the hall gates. Wondrous fair was the world, for the hoar frost was on the ground. Ruddy and red the sun rose among the mists, and full clear cast aside the clouds of the welkin. The hunters dispersed themselves by the side of a wood, and the rocks and the trees rang with the noise of the horns. Some of the hunters fell in with the scent where the fox was biding, and oft they tracked and tracked across in wily fashion. One of the hounds took up the cry, and the hunters called him, and the others fell thereto panting hard and close together. They ran forth in a rabble right on his track. The fox ran on in front, and they found him at length and followed hard after him, and savagely they scolded him with an angry noise. He tricked them, and made quick turns in many a rough woodland, and dodged in and out, and sometimes would pause to listen by many a hedgerow. At length he leapt over a quickset hedge by the side of a little ditch, and then stole out stealthily by a rugged path, and tried to escape the hounds. Then, ere he knew it, he came suddenly upon one of the stations, where three hounds fiercely set upon him at once.
          All grey
   He quickly turned again,
And strongly sprang astray
   With all the woe and pain
To the wood he turned away.]
[stanza 69 (long)]
1720when alle þe mute hade hym met menged togeder
1721suche a sor3e at þat sy3t þay sette on his hede
1722as alle þe clamberande clyffes hade clatered on hepes
1723here he watz halawed when haþelez hym metten
1724loude he watz 3ayned with 3arande speche
1725þer he watz þreted and ofte þef called
1726and ay þe titleres at his tayl þat tary he ne my3t
1727ofte he watz runnen at when he out rayked
1728and ofte reled in a3ayn so reniarde watz wyle
1729and 3e he lad hem bi lagmon þe lorde and his meyny
1731whyle þe hende kny3t at home holsumly slepes
1732withinne þe comly cortynes on þe colde morne
1733bot þe lady for luf let not to slepe
1734ne þe purpose to payre þat py3t in hir hert
1735bot ros hir vp radly rayked hir þeder
1736in a mery mantyle mete to þe erþe
1737þat watz furred ful fyne with fellez wel pured
1739trased aboute hir tressour be twenty in clusteres
1740hir þryuen face and hir þrote þrowen al naked
1741hir brest bare bifore and bihinde eke
1742ho comez withinne þe chambre dore and closes hit hir after
1743wayuez vp a wyndow and on þe wy3e callez
1744and radly þus rehayted hym with hir riche wordes
[bob]
1745with chere
[wheel]
1746a mon how may þou slepe
[fol. 114]
1747þis morning is so clere
1748he watz in drowping depe
1749bot þenne he con hir here
[Then truly it was fine sport to listen to the hounds when, all crowded together, they came upon him, and such curses were flung at him as though the clustering cliffs had clattered down in heaps. And as the huntsmen met him, they hallooed together with loud and snarling words. And they threatened him, and called him a thief, and ever the hounds were at his tail that he might not tarry a moment, and often as he ran on they rushed at him, and often they rolled over and over. So wily was Reynard. And oft he led them astray in this fashion over and under and amidst the mountains, while the gentle knight at home was sleeping within the comely curtains on that cold morning. But the lady could not sleep for love thinking, lest the purpose in her heart so firmly fixed should suffer harm. But she rose up quickly and ran to his chamber, dressed in a merry mantle furred and lined with the purest of skins, with no hues of gold her head adorning, but with precious stones twined about her hair in clusters of twenty. And her face and her throat were all naked, and eke her breast before and behind. She came within the chamber, and closed it after her, flung wide open the window, and called to the knight, and thus greeted him with raillery and rich words, and
          with cheer.
   'Ah, man, how canst thou sleep?
The morning is so clear.'
   He was in drowsing deep,
And yet her words did hear.]
[stanza 70 (long)]
1750in drez droupyng of dreme draueled þat noble
1751as mon þat watz in mornyng of mony þro þo3tes
1753at þe grene chapel when he þe gome metes
1754and bihoues his buffet abide withoute debate more
1756swenges out of þe sweuenes and swarez with hast
1757þe lady luflych com la3ande swete
1758felle ouer his fayre face and fetly hym kyssed
1759he welcumez hir worþily with a wale chere
1760he sey hir so glorious and gayly atyred
1761so fautles of hir fetures and of so fyne hewes
1762wi3t wallande joye warmed his hert
1763with smoþe smylyng and smolt þay smeten into merþe
1764þat al watz blis and bonchef þat breke hem bitwene
[bob]
1765and wynne
[wheel]
1766þay lanced wordes gode
1767much wele þen watz þerinne
1768gret perile bitwene hem stod
1769nif mare of hir kny3t mynne
[But the knight was sunk in fitful and dreamy slumbers, as if in the grip of sad thinking how that on that very day destiny would dight him his Weird, when he should meet the Green Knight at his chapel and receive from him the blow without further words. But when that comely knight recovered his wits, he swung suddenly out of dreams and answered in haste. The lovely lady came towards him laughing sweetly, and bending over his fair face she kissed him. And he welcomed her worthily, with a pleasant smile. For he saw her so gloriously and gaily attired, so faultless in her features, and of such a fine complexion, that a strong and welling joy warmed his heart. And straight they smote forth mirth and smiles; yet all was pure bliss, and no more than they felt within them
          was right.
   The words they said were good,
And their joy was fair and light;
   Great peril between them stood,
But Mary guarded her knight.]
[stanza 71 (long)]
1771nurned hym so ne3e þe þred þat nede hym bihoued
1772oþer lach þer hir luf oþer lodly refuse
1773he cared for his cortaysye lest craþayn he were
1774and more for his meschef 3if he schulde make synne
1775and be traytor to þat tolke þat þat telde a3t
1776god schylde quoþ þe schalk þat schal not befalle
1778alle þe spechez of specialte þat sprange of her mouthe
1779quoþ þat burde to þe burne blame 3e disserue
17803if 3e luf not þat lyf þat 3e lye nexte
1781bifore alle þe wy3ez in þe worlde wounded in hert
1782bot if 3e haf a lemman a leuer þat yow lykez better
1783and folden fayth to þat fre festned so harde
[fol. 115r]
1784þat yow lausen ne lyst and þat I leue nouþe
1785and þat 3e telle me þat now trwly I pray yow
1786for alle þe lufez vpon lyue layne not þe soþe
[bob]
1787for gile
[wheel]
1788þe kny3t sayde be sayn jon
1789and smeþely con he smyle
1790in fayth I welde ri3t non
1791ne non wil welde þe quile
[For verily the worthy Prince bore himself as a victor, for she proffered herself to him so earnestly that it behoved him either to take her love or to refuse it in uncourteous fashion. He cared much for his courtesy, lest he should prove himself craven-hearted, and yet much more for the mischief that would follow were he to commit sin and betray the lord who was his host in that castle. 'God shield us,' said he, 'this shall not befall us,' and with spare love, laughing, he received all the words of choice that fell from her lips. And the lady said, 'Thou dost deserve great blame if thou lovest me not who am wounded in heart more than all else in the world, but perchance it is because thou hast a mistress that thou lovest better than thou lovest me, and boldest thy troth to her, and wouldst not lose her, as I trow. And now do thou tell me that truly, I pray thee; for the sake of all the true love in the world, hide it not from me
          through guile.'
   The knight said, 'By St. John,'
And softly he did smile,
   `In faith I have not one,
Nor none will have the while.']
[stanza 72 (long)]
1792þat is a worde quoþ þat wy3t þat worst is of alle
1793bot I am swared for soþe þat sore me þinkkez
1794kysse me now comly and I schal cach hepen
1795I may bot mourne vpon molde as may þat much louyes
1796sykande ho swe3e doun and semly hym kyssed
1797and siþen ho seueres hym fro and says as ho stondes
1798now dere at þis departyng do me þis ese
1800þat I may mynne on þe mon my mournyng to lassen
1801now iwysse quoþ þat wy3e I wolde I hade here
1802þe leuest þing for þy luf þat I in londe welde
1803for 3e haf deserued for soþe sellyly ofte
1804more rewarde bi resoun þen I reche my3t
1805bot to dele yow for drurye þat dawed bot neked
1806hit is not your honour to haf at þis tyme
1807a gloue for a garysoun of gawaynez giftez
1808and I am here an erande in erdez vncouþe
1809and haue no men wyth no malez with menskful þingez
1811iche tolke mon do as he is tan tas to non ille
[bob]
1812ne pine
[wheel]
1813nay hende of hy3e honours
1814quoþ þat lufsum vnder lyne
18163et schulde 3e haue of myne
[`That word,' quoth she, 'is the worst of all. I am answered forsooth, and sore wounded am I. Kiss me now comely, and I will hie me hence. I can only mourn in the world as lovers do.' Then, sighing, she stooped down and said as she stood there, 'Now, dear one, at my passing do me this ease; give me some little token, if it be only thy glove, that I may think on thee and thus lessen my grief.' 'Now I wot,' said the knight, 'I would that I had here the dearest thing I possess in the world, for thou hast, forsooth, deserved wondrous oft and rightly greater reward than I could ever bestow, but to bestow upon you some love-token, that would avail but little. For it would be a stain upon your honour at this time that Gawain should give you a glove as a reward, for I am come hither on the most unheard-of errand upon earth, and have no men or baggage with things of value for every man must bide his fate, whether of sorrow
          or gall.'
   'Nay, knight of high degree,'
Quoth the lady fair and tall,
   'Though nought thou givest me,
I'd yield to thee my all.']
[stanza 73 (long)]
1817ho ra3t hym a riche rynk of red golde werkez
1818wyth a starande ston stondande alofte
1819þat bere blusschande bemez as þe bry3t sunne
1820wyt 3e wel hit watz worth wele ful hoge
1821bot þe renk hit renayed and redyly he sayde
[fol. 115]
1822I wil no giftez for gode my gay at þis tyme
1823I haf none yow to norne ne no3t wyl I take
1824ho bede hit hym ful bysily and he hir bode wernes
1826and ho sore þat he forsoke and sayde þerafter
1827if 3e renay my rynk to ryche for hit semez
18283e wolde not so hy3ly halden be to me
1829I schal gif yow my girdel þat gaynes yow lasse
1831knit vpon hir kyrtel vnder þe clere mantyle
1832gered hit watz with grene sylke and with golde schaped
1833no3t bot arounde brayden beten with fyngrez
1834and þat ho bede to þe burne and blyþely biso3t
1835þa3 hit vnworþi were þat he hit take wolde
1836and he nay þat he nolde neghe in no wyse
1837nauþer golde ne garysoun er god hym grace sende
1838to acheue to þe chaunce þat he hade chosen þere
1839and þerfore I pray yow displese yow no3t
1840and lettez be your bisinesse for I bayþe hit yow neuer
[bob]
1841to graunte
[wheel]
1842I am derely to yow biholde
1843bicause of your sembelaunt
1844and euer in hot and colde
1845to be your trwe seruaunt
[She gave him a rich ring of red gold, with a glittering stone standing out therefrom, from which shone forth blushing beams as of the bright sun; and surely it was of very great price. But the knight refused it, and readily he said, 'I will take no gift from thee at this time. I have none to offer thee in return, and none will I take.' She pressed it upon him, but he would none of it, and swiftly swore his sooth that he would not take it, and very sorrowful was she, and said, 'If thou refusest my ring because it seems to thee too rich a present, and thou wouldst not be so deeply beholden to me, I will give thee my girdle, for that is of less value.' She caught hold of a circlet of lace that girdled her sides and was fastened to her kirtle under the white mantle, and it was geared with green silk and shapen with gold and all embroidered with finger-work. She offered it to the knight, and blithely she besought him to accept it, though of little worth it were. But he said that he would not take it in no wise, neither gold nor treasure as God sent him grace, that he might achieve the event that he had chosen in coming there. 'And therefore I pray thee, be not displeased, and cease from this business, for I can never consent to thy request, therefore
          do not rue;
   Dear debt to thee is mine
As thy courtesy's due,
   And ever in fair and fine
I am thy servant true.']
[stanza 74 (long)]
1846now forsake 3e þis silke sayde þe burde þenne
1847for hit is symple in hitself and so hit wel semez
1848lo so hit is littel and lasse hit is worþy
1850he wolde hit prayse at more prys parauenture
1851for quat gome so is gorde with þis grene lace
1852while he hit hade hemely halched aboute
1853þer is no haþel vnder heuen tohewe hym þat my3t
1854for he my3t not be slayn for sly3t vpon erþe
1855þen kest þe kny3t and hit come to his hert
1856hit were a juel for þe joparde þat hym iugged were
1857when he acheued to þe chapel his chek for to fech
1859þenne he þulged with hir þrepe and þoled hir to speke
1860and ho bere on hym þe belt and bede hit hym swyþe
1861and he granted and hym gafe with a goud wylle
1862and biso3t hym for hir sake disceuer hit neuer
1864þat neuer wy3e schulde hit wyt iwysse bot þay twayne
[bob]
1865for no3te
[wheel]
1866he þonkked hir oft ful swyþe
1867ful þro with hert and þo3t
1868bi þat on þrynne syþe
1869ho hatz kyst þe kny3t so to3t
[`Now dost thou refuse this silk girdle,' said the lady, 'for simple it is in itself and of little worth it seems. But whoso knew the virtues that are knit therein, he would appraise it at greater price, peradventure. For whatsoever man is girded with this green lace while he has it secretly fastened about his body, there is no man under heaven that could hew him asunder. He could not be slain by any sleight or trick in the world.' Then the knight set himself to thinking, and it came into his heart that such a girdle would be a jewel in the jeopardy to which he was pledged in going to the Green Chapel to receive the deadly blow; and if he should slip and be in danger of death it would be a noble sleight of defence. Then he endured her chiding, and let her speak, and she thrust the belt upon him quickly, and he took it from her as she gave it with good will and besought him for her sake never to reveal it, but to loyally hide it from her lord. The knight agreed thereto, and swore that no man should ever know it save they two, as she
          did crave.
   Great thanks he gave that day
With heart and mind so grave.
   The third time, as I say,
She kissed that knight so brave.]
[stanza 75 (long)]
1870thenne lachchez ho hir leue and leuez hym þere
1871for more myrþe of þat mon mo3t ho not gete
1873rises and riches hym in araye noble
1875hid hit ful holdely þer he hit eft fonde
1876syþen cheuely to þe chapel choses he þe waye
1877preuely aproched to a prest and prayed hym þere
1879how his sawle schulde be saued when he schuld seye heþen
1880þere he schrof hym schyrly and schewed his mysdedez
1881of þe more and þe mynne and merci besechez
1882and of absolucioun he on þe segge calles
1883and he asoyled hym surely and sette hym so clene
1884as domezday schulde haf ben di3t on þe morn
1885and syþen he mace hym as mery among þe fre ladyes
1886with comlych caroles and alle kynnes ioye
1887as neuer he did bot þat to þe derk ny3t
[bob]
1888with blys
[wheel]
1889vche mon hade daynte þare
1890of hym and sayde iwysse
1891þus myry he watz neuer are
1892syn he com hider er þis
[When she took her leave, for there was no more love-play to be gained from the knight. As soon as she had gone, Sir Gawain dressed himself right soon and arrayed himself in noble garments and hid away the love-lace the lady had given him, where he could easily find it at need. Then first he went to the chapel of the castle and found out the priest, and prayed for absolution and that he would show to him a better way to save his soul when he should go thence. Then he made a clean shrift, and confessed his misdeeds both great and small, and sought for mercy. And the priest absolved him and gave him such cleanness as though on the morrow doomsday should dawn. Then he made himself so merry among the noble ladies with comely carols and all kinds of joy as never before or since that day, until the dark night came
          with bliss.
   Each one had dainty more
Of him and said, I wis,
   That so merry he ne'er was before,
Since thither he came, ere this.]
[stanza 76 (long)]
1893now hym lenge in þat lee þer luf hym bityde
18943et is þe lorde on þe launde ledande his gomnes
1895he hatz forfaren þis fox þat he fol3ed longe
1896as he sprent ouer a spenne to spye þe schrewe
[fol. 116]
1897þer as he herd þe howndes þat hasted hym swyþe
1898renaud com richchande þur3 a ro3e greue
1899and alle þe rabel in a res ry3t at his helez
1900þe wy3e watz war of þe wylde and warly abides
1901and braydez out þe bry3t bronde and at þe best castez
1902and he schunt for þe scharp and schulde haf arered
1903a rach rapes hym to ry3t er he my3t
1904and ry3t bifore þe hors dete þay fel on hym alle
1905and woried me þis wyly wyth a wroth noyse
1907rased hym ful radly out of þe rach mouþes
1908haldez he3e ouer his hede halowez faste
1910huntes hy3ed hem þeder with hornez ful mony
1911ay rechatande ary3t til þay þe renk se3en
1912bi þat watz comen his compeyny noble
1913alle þat euer ber bugle blowed at ones
1914and alle þise oþper halowed þat hade no hornes
1915hit watz þe myriest mute þat euer men herde
1916þe rich rurd þat þer watz raysed for renaude saule
[bob]
1917with lote
[wheel]
1918hor houndez þay þer rewarde
1920and syþen þay tan reynarde
1921and tyruen of his cote
[And he lingered there, where love was his portion. And all the time the lord was on the land leading his men, and he had killed the fox that he had followed so long, as he leapt over a hedge to spy upon the shrewd fellow. For there, as he heard the hounds that were hard upon him, Reynard came running through a rough grove, and all the rabble racing at his heels. The lord was ware of the fox, and warily he waited for him, and brandished forth the bright sword, and made a cast at him, whereat he flinched and should have retreated, but a hound rushed at him e'en before he could escape, and right in front of the feet of the horse they all fell upon him and worried the wily fellow to death with a loud noise. The lord alighted quickly, and soon caught hold of him and tore him out of the mouths of the dogs, and held him high above his head, hallooing the while, and many a brave hound bayed at him there. The hunters tried thither, blowing a recheat on their horns till they saw the knight, and by the time that his noble company were come up, all that bore bugles blew at the same time, and those who had no horns raised a great halloo! It was the merriest meet ever heard of, and the greatest noise ever made for the soul of a fox.
          With jest
   The hounds they did reward,
Their heads they then caressed,
   And then they took Reynard
And straightway him undressed.]
[stanza 77 (long)]
1922and þenne þay helden to home for hit watz nie3 ny3t
1923strakande ful stoutly in hor store hornez
1924þe lorde is lyþt at þe laste at hys lef home
1927among þe ladies for luf he ladde much ioye
1928he were a bleaunt of blwe þat bradde to þe erþe
1929his surkot semed hym wel þat softe watz forred
1930and his hode of þat ilke henged on his schulder
1931blande al of blaunner were boþe al aboute
1932he metez me þis godmon inmyddez þe flore
1933and al with gomen he hym gret and goudly he sayde
1934I schal fylle vpon fyrst oure forwardez nouþe
[fol. 117r]
1935þat we spedly han spoken þer spared watz no drynk
1937as sauerly and sadly as he hem sette couþe
1938bi kryst quoþ þat oþer kny3t 3e cach much sele
1939in cheuisaunce of þis chaffer 3if 3e hade goud chepez
19403e of þe chepe no charg quoþ chefly þat oþer
1942mary quoþ þat oþer mon myn is bihynde
1943for I haf hunted al þis day and no3t haf I geten
1944bot þis foule fox felle þe fende haf þe godez
1945and þat is ful pore for to pay for suche prys þinges
1946as 3e haf þry3t me here þro suche þre cosses
[bob]
1947so gode
[wheel]
1948ino3 quoþ sir gawayn
1949I þonk yow bi þe rode
1950and how þe fox watz slayn
1951he tolde hym as þay stode
[And forthwith they made for home, blowing full stoutly on their loud horns, for night was drawing near. And at length the lord alighted at his beloved homestead, and found the fire on the floor and the knight beside it. Sir Gawain the good made merry with them all, for among the ladies he had much joy for love. He wore a fine blue linen mantle, that reached down to the ground, and his surcoat suited him well, for it was soft furred, and a hood of that ilk hung on his shoulder, and both were blended with fur. The lord met this good man in the midst of the hall, and greeted him gaily, and the knight spake goodly words: 'I will be the first to fulfil our covenant that we plighted together when the drink was not lacking.' Then he embraced the lord and kissed him three times as gravely and carefully as he could. 'By Christ,' said the lord, 'thou hast had great joy in achieving such treasures, and thy bargain was a good one.' 'Yea then, no matter the bargain,' said that other, 'quickly is given the bargain I drove.' 'Marry,' quoth the lord, 'my prize is coming on after me, for all the day I have been hunting and nought have I gotten but this foul fox; and the devil take him, and indeed it is a poor return to make for such precious gifts as thou hast given me in three such kisses
          so good.'
   `nough,' said Sir Gawain,
'I thank thee by the rood,'
   And how the fox was slain
He told him as they stood.]
[stanza 78 (long)]
1952with merþe and mynstralsye with metez at hor wylle
1953þay maden as mery as any me mo3ten
1954with la3yne of ladies with lotez of bordes
1955gawayn and þe godemon so glad were þay boþe
1956bot if þe douthe had doted oþer dronken ben oþer
1957boþe þe mon and þe meyny maden mony iapez
1958til þe sesoun watz se3en þat þay seuer moste
1959burnez to hor bedde behoued at þe laste
1960þenne lo3ly his leue at þe lorde fyrst
1961fochchez þis fre mon and fayre he hym þonkkez
1963your honour at þis hy3e fest þe hy3e kyng yow 3elde
1964I 3ef yow me for on of yourez if yowreself lykez
1966and 3e me take sum tolke to teche as 3e hy3t
1967þe gate to þe grene chapel as god wyl me suffer
1968to dele on nw 3erez day þe dome of my wyrdes
1969in god fayþe quoþ þe godmon wyth a goud wylle
1970al þat euer I yow hy3t halde schal I rede
1971þer asyngnes he a seruaunt to sett hym in þe waye [fol. 117]
1972and coundue hym by þe downez þat he no drechch had
[bob]
1974bi greue
[wheel]
1975þe lorde gawayn con þonk
1976such worchip he wolde hym weue
1977þen at þo ladyez wlonk
1978þe kny3t hatz tan his leue
[When with mirth and minstrelsy, and with meats at their will, they made as merry as any men could, and the ladies laughed merrily, and there were spoken many jesting words. And Gawain and the good man were both of them so glad that they were in danger of losing their heads or of becoming drunken. So great was the revelry in the hall until it was time to separate and retire to their beds. Then most humbly did the knight take leave of the lord, and in fair fashion he thanked him. 'May the High King bless thee for the wondrous sojourn I have had here in thy castle at this high feast. I pray thee to grant me one of thy men if thou wilt to show me, as thou didst promise, the way to the Green Chapel, so God will suffer me to endure on New Year's Day the destiny appointed me.' 'In good faith,' said the lord, 'with a right good will -- that ever I promised thee I will hold to my reed.' Then he assigned him a servant to set him in the way and conduct him by the downs that he might suffer no hurt in going through the forests, and fare forth in gainly fashion,
          and live.
   The lord then thanked Gawain,
Such worship he would him give,
   And of the ladies twain
The knight then took his leave.]
[stanza 79 (long)]
1979with care and wyth kyssyng he carppez hem tille
1980and fele þryuande þonkkez he þrat hom to haue
1982þay bikende hym to kryst with ful colde sykyngez
1983syþen fro þe meyny he menskly departes
1984vche mon þat he mette he made hem a þonke
1985for his seruyse and his solace and his sere pyne
1986þat þay wyth busynes had ben aboute hym to serue
1987and vche segge as sore to seuer with hym þere
1988as þay hade wonde worþyly with þat wlonk euer
1989þen with ledes and ly3t he watz ladde to his chambre
1990and blyþely bro3t to his bedde to be at his rest
19913if he ne slepe soundyly say ne dar I
1992for he hade muche on þe morn to mynne 3if he wolde
[bob]
1993in þo3t
[wheel]
1994let hym ly3e þere stille
1995he hatz nere þat he so3t
1996and 3e wyl a whyle be stylle
1997I schal telle yow how þay wro3t
[With courteous kisses he took leave of them all and gave them great thanks, and received their thanks in return. Then they entrusted him to Christ, and heaved deep sighs as he passed out from their midst, and each man that he met he gave him thanks for service and solace and the great pains they had taken, especially those who had done him personal service. And each man was sore troubled at parting with him with whom they had dwelt so worthily. Then with flaming torches they led him to his chamber, and blithely brought him to rest in his bed. I dare not say that he slept soundly, for of the morn he had much
          of thought.
   Let him lie there still,
He is near that which he sought,
   An ye will awhile be still
I will tell you how he wrought.]
[fitt4: stanza 80 (long)]
1998now ne3ez þe nw 3ere and þe ny3t passez
1999þe day dryuez to þe derk as dry3tyn biddez
2000bot wylde wederez of þe worlde wakned þeroute
2001clowdes kesten kenly þe colde to þe erþe
2002wyth ny3e innoghe of þe norþe þe naked to tene
2003þe snawe snitered ful snart þat snayped þe wylde
2004þe werbelande wynde wapped fro þe hy3e
2005and drof vche dale ful of dryftes ful grete
2006þe leude lystened ful wel þat le3 in his bedde
2007þa3 he lowkez his liddez ful lyttel he slepes
2008bi vch kok þat crue he knwe wel þe steuen
[fol. 118r]
2009deliuerly he dressed vp er þe day sprenged
2011he called to his chamberlayn þat cofly hym swared
2012and bede hym bryng hym his bruny and his blonk sadel
2013þat oþer ferkez hym vp and fechez hym his wedez
2014and grayþez me sir gawayn vpon a grett wyse
2015fyrst he clad hym in his cloþez þe colde for to were
2016and syþen his oþer harnays þat holdely watz keped
2017boþe his paunce and his platez piked ful clene
2018þe ryngez rokked of þe roust of his riche bruny
2019and al watz fresch as vpon fyrst and he watz fayn þenne
[bob]
2020to þonk
[wheel]
2021he hade vpon vche pece
2022wypped ful wel and wlonk
2023þe gayest into grece
2024þe burne bede bryng his blonk
[Now drew near the New Year as the night waned and the darkness passed away as God doth bid. But wild weather of the world came out of the wakening day, and clouds cast down cold upon the earth, and there was enough of the north in the weather to vex the naked. And snow fell sharply and covered the wilds. The whistling wind rushed down from the heights, and there were great drifts in the dales. And as the knight lay in his bed he listened to the storm, and though he locked his eyelids, full little he slept, and he heard the crwing of each cock in turn. Ere the day dawned he dressed himself by the light of a lamp that gleamed in his chamber. He called to his servant, and quickly he answered him, and he bade him bring in his cuirass and his saddle, and he rose up forthwith and fetched the riding apparel, and prepared Sir Gawain for his journey in great wise. First he clad him in his clothes, that he might ward off the cold, and then in his other harness that had been faithfully guarded. His coats of mail and his armour-plate all shone with burnishing, and the rings of his rich coat of mail were cleansed of all rust, and were all fresh as at first, and he was fain to thank
          him there.
   Of the armour every piece
He had wiped clean and fair,
   As no warrior's in Greece.
He asked for his steed so rare.]
[stanza 81 (long)]
2025whyle þe wlonkest wedes he warp on hymseluen
2026his cote wyth þe conysaunce of þe clere werkez
2028aboute beten and bounden enbrauded semez
2029and fayre furred withinne wyth fayre pelures
20303et laft he not þe lace þe ladiez gifte
2031þat forgat not gawayn for gode of hymseluen
2032bi he hade belted þe bronde vpon his bal3e haunchez
2033þenn dressed he his drurye double hym aboute
2034swyþe sweþled vmbe his swange swetely þat kny3t
2035þe gordel of þe grene silke þat gay wel bisemed
2036vpon þat ryol red cloþe þat ryche watz to schewe
2037bot wered not þis ilk wy3e for wele þis gordel
2038for pryde of þe pendauntez þa3 polyst þay were
2039and þa3 þe glyterande golde glent vpon endez
2040bot for to sauen hymself when suffer hym byhoued
2041to byde bale withoute dabate of bronde hym to were
[bob]
2042oþer knyffe
[wheel]
2043bi þat þe bolde mon boun
2044wynnez þeroute bilyue
2045alle þe meyny of renoun
2046he þonkkez ofte ful ryue
[And while he was then being decked out in these rich weeds, his coat with the badge of noble deeds, adorned as it was with stones of virtue up on velvet and bound with embroidered seams and fair furred within with costly furs, yet forgot he not the lace girdle, the lady's gift for his protection. When he had belted his sword upon his smooth haunches he wound the love-token round and round about him, and he quickly folded the gay girdle of green silk about his loins over the rich and royal red cloth. But he wore not this rich girdle for its great price, nor for pride of polished pendants, or because gold glittered and gleamed upon it, but to save himself when it behoved him to suffer and to bide bale without debate and to beware of the sword
          or blow.
   And then the bold knight down
From that fair castle doth go,
   All that household of renown
He thanketh them, I trow.]
[fol. 118]
[stanza 82 (long)]
2047thenne watz gryngolet grayþe þat gret watz and huge
2048and hade ben soiourned sauerly and in a siker wyse
2049hym lyst prik for poynt þat proude hors þenne
2050þe wy3e wynnez hym to and wytez on his lyre
2051and sayde soberly hymself and by his soth swerez
2052here is a meyny in þis mote þat on menske þenkkez
2054þe leue lady on lyue luf hir bityde
20553ef þay for charyte cherysen a gest
2056and halden honour in her honde þe haþel hem 3elde
2057þat haldez þe heuen vpon hy3e and also yow alle
2058and 3if I my3t lyf vpon londe lede any quyle
2059I schuld rech yow sum rewarde redyly if I my3t
2060þenn steppez he into stirop and strydez alofte
2061his schalk schewed hym his schelde on schulder he hit la3t
2062gordez to gryngolet with his gilt helez
2063and he startez on þe ston stod he no lenger
[bob]
2064to praunce
[wheel]
2065his haþel on hors watz þenne
2066þat bere his spere and launce
2067þis kastel to kryst I kenne
2068he gef hit ay god chaunce
[Then his fine and huge horse Gringolet was made ready. He had been well cared for, and was proud and eager for galloping. Sir Gawain went up to him and looked in his face. Then he solemnly addressed the company, and swore, 'Here indeed is a well-mannered and courteous household, and may the lord who maintains them have great joy. And may love betide the dear lady of the house all her life. And when they cherish their guests and do honour to them, may the High Lord that wields heaven on high bless them and you all; and if I live long enough I will grant you some meed for your services.' Then stepped he into the stirrups and mounted his horse, and his servant handed him his shield, which he received on his shoulder, and then goading Gringolet with his golden spurs, he stood there no longer, but struck sparks from the stones, and the horse
          did prance.
   His man on horse was then
That bore his spear and lance,'
   This castle to Christ I ken
Oweth its good chance.']
[stanza 83 (long)]
2069the brygge watz brayde doun and þe brode 3atez
2070vnbarred and born open vpon boþe halue
2071þe burne blessed hym bilyue and þe bredez passed
2072prayses þe porter bifore þe prynce kneled
2073gef hym god and goud day þat gawayn he saue
2074and went on his way with his wy3e one
2075þat schulde teche hym to tourne to þat tene place
2076þer þe ruful race he schulde resayue
2077þay bo3en bi bonkkez þer bo3ez ar bare
2078þay clomben bi clyffez þer clengez þe colde
2080mist muged on þe mor malt on þe mountez
2082brokez byled and breke bi bonkkez aboute
2083schyre schaterande on schorez þer þay doun schowued [fol. 119r]
2084wela wylle watz þe way þer þay bi wod schulden
2085til hit watz zone sesoun þat sunne ryses
[bob]
2086þat tyde
[wheel]
2087þay were on a hille ful hy3e
2088þe quyte snaw lay bisyde
2089þe burne þat rod hym by
2090bede his mayster abide
[When the bridge was let down, and the broad gates were flung open, both halves of them. The knight crossed himself as he passed the threshold, and praised the porter, and knelt before the prince of that castle and bade him good day, and went on his way with his one servant who was to show him the path to that sorrowful place where he was doomed to receive the rueful blow. They took their way by hills where the boughs of the trees were bare, and they climbed up by cliffs where the frost was clinging. The clouds did not fling down the snow, but gloomy was it beneath. The moor was muggy with mist, and the snow melted on the mountains, and each hill had a cap or mantle of fog, and brooks boiled among the rocks, dashing white on the shores as they rushed downwards, and lonesome was the way as they went by the woodlands until the time came for the sun to rise
          that tide.
   They rode o'er a hill full high,
The white snow lay beside;
   The man who rode him by
Bade his master abide.]
[stanza 84 (long)]
2091for I haf wonnen yow hider wy3e at þis tyme
2092and now nar 3e not fer fro þat þat note place
2093þat 3e han spied and spuryed so specially after
2094bot I schal say yow for soþe syþen I yow knowe
2095and 3e ar a lede vpon lyue þat I wel louy
2096wolde 3e worch bi my wytte 3e worþed þe better
2097þe place þat 3e prece to ful perelous is halden
2098þer wonez a wy3e in þat waste þe worst vpon erþe
2099for he is stiffe and sturne and to strike louies
2100and more he is þen any mon vpon myddelerde
2101and his body bigger þen þe best fowre
2102þat ar in arþurez hous hestor oþer oþer
2103he cheuez þat chaunce at þe chapel grene
2104þer passes non bi þat place so proude in his armes
2106for he is a mon methles and mercy non vses
2107for be hit chorle oþer chaplayn þat bi þe chapel rydes
2108monk oþer masseprest oþer any mon elles
2109hym þynk as queme hym to quelle as quyk go hymseluen
2110forþy I say þe as soþe as 3e in sadel sitte
2111com 3e þere 3e be kylled may þe kny3t rede
2112trawe 3e me þat trwely þa3 3e had twenty lyues
[bob]
2113to spende
[wheel]
2114he hatz wonyd here ful 3ore
2115on bent much baret bende
2116a3ayn his dyntez sore
21173e may not yow defende
[`For hither,' said the man, 'I have brought thee at this time, and now thou art not far from that famous place about which thou hast so specially asked so many questions. But soothly I will tell thee, since I know thee and thou art one among ten thousand, and I love thee well, that wouldst thou take my counsel it would be better for thee; for the place towards which thou dost press forward is held to be full perilous, for there dwells in that waste one of the worst upon earth. And he is strong and stern, and loves to deal great blows, and greater is he than any man in the world, and his body bigger than the best four knights that are in the house of King Arthur, Hector, or any others. And such chance he achieves at the Green Chapel that none passes that place, though he be proud in his armour, but that he deals them a death-blow by a stroke of his hand. For pitiless is he, and shows no mercy. For whosoever rides past the chapel he thinks it as good to kill him as to remain alive himself, be he churl or chaplain, monk or mass-priest. Therefore I say to thee, forsooth, as thou dost sit in the saddle, if thou comest there, thou shalt be killed, believe thou that, forsooth, though thou hadst twenty lives
          to spend.
   He has dwelt here of yore;
Do not thither wend,
   Against his dintings sore
Thou mayest not thee defend.']
[stanza 85 (long)]
2118forþy goude sir gawayn let þe gome one
2119and gotz away sum oþer gate vpon goddez halue
2120cayrez bi sum oþer kyth þer kryst mot yow spede
2121and I schal hyy me hom a3ayn and hete yow fyrre
[fol. 119]
2122þat I schal swere bi god and alle his gode hal3ez
2123as help me god and þe halydam and oþez innoghe
2124þat I schal lelly yow layne and lance neuer tale
2125þat euer 3e fondet to fle for freke þat I wyst
2126grant merci quoþ gawayn and gruchyng he sayde
2127wel worth þe wy3e þat woldez my gode
2128and þat lelly me layne I leue wel þou woldez
2129bot helde þou hit neuer so holde and I here passed
2130founded for ferde for to fle in fourme þat þou tellez
2132bot I wyl to þe chapel for chaunce þat may falle
2133and talk wyth þat ilk tulk þe tale þat me lyste
2134worþe hit wele oþer wo as þe wyrde lykez
[bob]
2135hit hafe
[wheel]
2136þa3e he be a sturn knape
2138ful wel con dry3tyn schape
2139his seruauntez for to saue
[For thy welfare, Sir Gawain, let him alone, and gang some other gait, for God's dear sake. Go where Christ may speed thee, and I will hie me home again; and further I promise thee on my oath, by God and all His good saints, as help me, God and Our Lady and others, that I will keep thy secret and say not a word that ever thou didst turn back from thy quest.' 'Grammercy,' quoth Gawain, 'well may it be with thee for that thou desirest my good, and wouldst loyally keep a secret, as I believe thou wouldst verily, but didst thou keep it never so truly, were I to turn away for fear as thou dost bid me, a coward knight I should show myself and without excuse. Nay, but I will to the chapel, come what come may, and deal with that fellow as I list, and as Weird doth like, be it for weal
          or woe.
   Though he be fierce to yield,
And deal a deadly blow,
   My God can full well shield
His servant from the foe.']
[stanza 86 (long)]
2140mary quoþ þat oþer mon now þou so much spellez
2141þat þou wylt þyn awen nye nyme to þyseluen
2142and þe lyst lese þy lyf þe lette I ne kepe
2143haf here þi helme on þy hede þi spere in þi honde
2144and ryde me doun þis ilk rake bi 3on rokke syde
2145til þou be bro3t to þe boþem of þe brem valay
2146þenne loke a littel on þe launde on þi lyfte honde
2147and þou schal se in þat slade þe self chapel
2148and þe borelych burne on bent þat hit kepez
2149now farez wel on godez half gawayn þe noble
2151ne bere þe fela3schip þur3 þis fryth on fote fyrre
2152bi þat þe wy3e in þe wod wendez his brydel
2153hit þe hors with þe helez as harde as he my3t
2154lepez hym ouer þe launde and leuez þe kny3t þere
[bob]
2155al one
[wheel]
2156bi goddez self quoþ gawayn
2157I wyl nauþer grete ne grone
2158to goddez wylle I am ful bayn
2159and to hym I haf me tone
[`Marry,' quoth that other, now thou hast said that thou wilt thrust thyself into such danger, and it listeth thee to lose thy life, I will not hinder thee. Set then thy helmet on thy head, and thy spear in thy hand, and ride down the path by the side of yonder rock till thou shalt come to the bottom of the rugged valley; then take a look round on thy left hand and thou shalt see in the valley the very chapel that thou seekest and the burly fellow that keepeth it. Now fare thee well, and God bless thee, Gawain the noble. For all the gold in the world I would not wend with thee nor bear thee company through this valley a single inch farther.' Then the man turned his horse round in the wood, put his spurs to sides as hard as he could, and galloped over the land, leaving the knight
          alone.
   'By God's self,' quoth Gawain,
I will neither weep nor groan;
   To do His will I am full fain,
He will delver me full soon.']
[fol. 120r]
[stanza 87 (long)]
2160thenne gyrdez he to gryngolet and gederez þe rake
2161schowuez in bi a schore at a scha3e syde
2162ridez þur3 þe ro3e bonk ry3t to þe dale
2163and þenne he wayted hym aboute and wylde hit hym þo3t
2164and se3e no syngne of resette bisydez nowhere
2165bot hy3e honkkez and brent vpon boþe halue
2166and ru3e knokled knarrez with knorned stonez
2167þe skwez of þe scowtes skayned hym þo3t
2168þenne he houed and wythhylde his hors at þat tyde
2169and ofte chaunged his cher þe chapel to seche
2170he sey non suche in no syde and selly hym þo3t
2172a bal3 ber3 bi a bonke þe brymme bysyde
2173bi a for3 of a flode þat ferked þare
2174þe borne blubred þerinne as hit boyled hade
2175þe kny3t kachez his caple and com to þe lawe
2176li3tez doun luflyly and at a lynde tachez
2178þenne he bo3ez to þe ber3e aboute hit he walkez
2179debatande with hymself quat hit be my3t
2180hit hade a hole on þe ende and on ayþer syde
2181and ouergrowen with gresse in glodes aywhere
2182and al watz hol3 inwith nobot an olde caue
2183or a creuisse of an olde cragge he coupe hit no3t deme
[bob]
2184with spelle
[wheel]
2185we lorde quoþ þe gentyle kny3t
2186wheþer þis be þe grene chapelle?
2188þe dele his matynnes telle
[Then spurred he Gringolet, and betook himself along the path by the side of a wood, and rode over a rough hill into the valley. And he lingered there some time, and a wild place he thought it, for he saw no resting-place, but only high hills on both sides, and rough, rugged rocks and huge boulders, and the hill shadows seemed desolating to him. Then he drew up his horse, and it seemed wondrous strange to him that he saw not the Green Chapel on any side. At length a little way off he caught sight of a round hillock by the side of a brook, and there was a ford across the brook, and the water therein bubbled as though it were boiling. The knight caught up the reins and came to the hill, alighted, and tied up the reins to the rugged branch of a tree. Then he went to the hill and walked round about it, debating within himself what place it might be. It had a hole at the end and on either side, and it was overgrown with tufts of grass and was all round and hollow within. He thought it nought but an old cave or a crevice. Within and about it there seemed to be
          a spell.
   'Ah lord,' quoth the gentle knight,
Is this the green chapel?
   Here truly at midnight
Might the devil his matins tell.']
[stanza 88 (long)]
2189now iwysse quoþ wowayn wysty is here
2190þis oritore is vgly with erbez ouergrowen
2191wel bisemez þe wy3e wruxled in grene
2192dele here his deuocioun on þe deuelez wyse
2193now I fele hit is þe fende in my fyue wyttez
2194þat hatz stoken me þis steuen to strye me here
2195þis is a chapel of meschaunce þat chekke hit bytyde
2196hit is þe corsedest kyrk þat euer I com inne
[fol. 120]
2197with he3e helme on his hede his launce in his honde
2198he romez vp to þe roffe of þe ro3 wonez
2199þene herde he of þat hy3e hil in a harde roche
2200bi3onde þe broke in a bonk a wonder breme noyse
2201quat hit clatered in þe clyff as hit cleue schulde
2202as one vpon a gryndelston hade grounden a syþe
2203what hit wharred and whette as water at a mulne
2204what hit rusched and ronge rawþe to here
2206is ryched at þe reuerence me renk to mete
[bob]
2207bi rote
[wheel]
2208let god worche we loo
2209hit helppez me not a mote
2210my lif þa3 I forgoo
2211drede dotz me no lote
[`Now,' said Sir Gawain, 'this is a desert place, I trow. This oratory is loathsome, overgrown as it is with weeds, and well it befitteth that fellow clad in green, for his devotion to the devil. Now in my five wits I ween it is the very devil himself who has made this tryst with me, that he may destroy me. This is a chapel of ill-luck, and the most accursed kirk that I have ever seen, and may ill luck befall it.' With his helmet high on his head and lance in hand, he wandered up to that rocky dwelling. Then came there from a rock in that high hill beyond the brook a wondrous strange noise, and it clattered among the cliffs as though it would cleave them asunder, as though one were grinding a scythe upon a grindstone, and it made a whirring sound like water in a mill, and rushed and sang out and was terrible to hear. 'By God Himself,' said Gawain, 'that is the noise of armour which is being made ready for that fellow wherewith he may come forth to meet me
          by rote.
   Let God work me woe.
It helpeth me not a mote,
   My life though I forgo,
No noise shall make me dote.']
[stanza 89 (long)]
2212thenne þe kny3t con calle ful hy3e
2213who sti3tlez in þis sted me steuen to holde
2214for now is gode gawayn goande ry3t here
2215if any wy3e o3t wyl wynne hider fast
2216oþer now oþer neuer his nedez to spede
2217abyde quoþ on on þe bonke abouen ouer his hede
2218and þou schal haf al in hast þat I þe hy3t ones
22193et he rusched on þat rurde rapely a þrowe
2220and wyth quettyng awharf er he wolde ly3t
2221and syþen he keuerez bi a cragge and comez of a hole
2222whyrlande out of a wro wyth a felle weppen
2224with a borelych bytte bende by þe halme
2225fyled in a fylor fowre fote large
2226hit watz no lasse bi þat lace þat lemed ful bry3t
2227and þe gome in þe grene gered as fyrst
2228boþe þe lyre and þe leggez lokkez and berde
2229saue þat fayre on his fote he foundez on þe erþe
2230sette þe stele to þe stone and stalked bysyde
2231when he wan to þe watter þer he wade nolde
2232he hypped ouer on hys ax and orpedly strydez
2233bremly broþe on a bent þat brode watz aboute
[bob]
2234on snawe
[fol. 121r]
[wheel]
2235sir gawayn þe kny3t con mete
2236he ne lutte hym noþyng lowe
2237þat oþer sayde now sir swete
2238of steuen mon may þe trowe
[Then a loud voice the knight 'gan call, 'Who dwells in this place and would hold par1ey with me? For now is good Sir Gawain in the right way at last, and if any man would have aught with him let him come hither quickly; now or never is his chance.' 'Tarry a moment,' quoth a voice on the hill above his head, 'and thou shalt receive all that I promised thee in right good time.' Thereupon he rushed forward at a great speed till he arrived near a crag and came whirling out of a hole in a corner of it with a fell weapon in his hand; and it was a new Danish axe with which to give the blow, with a huge piece of steel bent at the handle, and it was four feet long and filed at the grindstone, and it gleamed full brightly. It was the Green Knight, dressed as at their first meeting, the same in face and legs, looks, and beard, save that he went on foot. When he reached the water he would not wade therein, but hopped over on his axe and strode boldly forward over
          the snow.
   Sir Gawain the knight 'gan meet,
To him he bowed not low;
   The other said, 'Now, my sweet,
The tryst thou keepest, I trow?']
[stanza 90 (long)]
2239gawayn quoþ þat grene gome god þe mot loke
2241and þou hatz tymed þi trauayl as truee mon schulde
2242and þou knowez þe couenauntez kest vus bytwene
2243at þis tyme twelmonyth þou toke þat þe falled
2244and I schulde at þis nwe 3ere 3eply þe quyte
2245and we are in þis valay verayly oure one
2246here ar no renkes vs to rydde rele as vus likez
2248busk no more debate þen I þe bede þenne
2249when þou wypped of my hede at a wap one
2250nay bi god quoþ gawayn þat me gost lante
2251I schal gruch þe no grwe for grem þat fallez
2252bot sty3tel þe vpon on strok and I schal stonde stylle
2253and warp þe no wernyng to worch as þe lykez
[bob]
2254nowhare
[wheel]
2255he lened with þe nek and lutte
2256and schewed þat schyre al bare
2257and lette as he no3t dutte
2258for drede he wolde not dare
[`Gawain,' quoth the Green Knight, 'may God protect thee. I wis thou art welcome to my place, and thou hast kept thy promise as befitteth a true man. Thou knowest the covenant between us made -- how a twelvemonth ago thou didst take that which befell thee and I was to be quits with thee on this New Year's Day. We are alone verily in this valley; there are no knights here to separate us. Doff thy helmet and take thy pay, and make no more ado than I did when thou didst whip off my head at one blow.' 'Nay, by the most high God,' said Gawain, 'so I have spirit I grudge thee not thy will for any mischief that may befall me; but I stand here for thy stroke, and do not deny thee thy will
          anywhere.'
   Down he bent his head,
And showed his neck all bare.
   There was no sign of dread,
Or that he would not dare.]
[stanza 91 (long)]
2259then þe gome in þe grene grayþed hym swyþe
2260gederez vp hys grymme tole gawayn to smyte
2261with alle þe bur in his body he ber hit on lofte
2262munt as ma3tyly as marre hym he wolde
2263hade hit dryuen adoun as dre3 as he atled
2264þer hade ben ded of his dynt þat do3ty watz euer
2265bot gawayn on þat giserne glyfte hym bysyde
2266as hit com glydande adoun on glode hym to schende
2267and schranke a lytel with þe schuldered for þe scharp yrne
2268þat oþer schalk wyth a schunt þe schene wythhaldez
2269and þenne repreued he þe prynce with mony prowde wordez
2270þou art not gawayn quoþ þe gome þat is so goud halden
2271þat neuer ar3ed for no here by hylle ne be vale
[fol. 121]
2272and now þou fles for ferde er þou fele harmez
2273such cowardise of þat kny3t cowþe I neuer here
2275ne kest no kauelacion in kyngez hous arthor
2276my hede fla3 to my fote and 3et fla3 I neuer
2277and þou er any harme hent ar3ez in hert
2278wherfore þe better burne me burde be called
[bob]
2279þerfore
[wheel]
2280quoþ gawayn I schunt onez
2281and so wyl I no more
2282bot þa3 my hede falle on þe stonez
2283I con not hit restore
[Then the Green Knight get himself ready quickly, and gathered up his grim weapon with which to smite Sir Gawain, and with all the strength of his body he raised it aloft and made a feint of destroying him and drove it downwards as though he were right angry with him, so that the doughty knight would have been killed by that blow. But Gawain started aside a little from the axe as it came gliding downwards to destroy him on that hillside, and shrank a little from that sharp iron with his shoulders. And the other withheld somewhat the shining weapon, and then reproved the princely knight with many a proud word. 'Thou art not Gawain,' said he, 'that is holden to be so brave that never winced a hair by hill or valley, for now thou dost flee for fear, ere thou art hurt at all. Never heard I of such cowardice of that knight, neither did I shrink or flee when thou didst strike me, nor did I cavil at all in King Arthur's house. My head flew down to my foot, yet fled I not, and thou, ere any harm befell thee, waxest timid in heart. The better man of the two it behoves me to be called
          therefore.
   Quoth Gawain, 'I shrank once,
But so will I no more,
   Yet though my head fell on the stones
I cannot it restore.']
[stanza 92 (long)]
2284bot busk burne bi þi fayth and bryng me to þe poynt
2285dele to me my destine and do hit out of honde
2286for I schal stonde þe a strok and start no more
2287til þyn ax haue me hitte haf here my trawþe
2288haf at þe þenne quoþ þat oþer and heuez hit alofte
2289and waytez as wroþely as he wode were
2290he myntez at hym ma3tyly bot not þe mon rynez
2292gawayn grayþely hit bydez and glent with no membre
2293bot stode stylle as þe ston oþer a stubbe auþer
2294þat raþeled is in roche grounde with rotez a hundreth
2295þen muryly efte con he mele þe mon in þe grene
2296so now þou hatz þi hert holle hitte me bihous
2297halde þe now þe hy3e hode þat arþur þe ra3t
2298and kepe þy kanel at þis kest 3if hit keuer may
2299gawayn ful gryndelly with greme þenne sayde
2300wy þresch on þou þro mon þou þretez to longe
2301I hope þat þi hert ar3e wyth þyn awen seluen
2302for soþe quoþ þat oþer freke so felly þou spekez
2303I wyl no lenger on lyte lette þin ernde
[bob]
2304ri3t nowe
[wheel]
2306and frounsez boþe lyppe and browe
2307no meruayle þa3 hym myslyke
2308þat hoped of no rescowe
[But hasten thou, and let us come to the point. Deal me my destiny, and do it out of hand, for I will stand thee a stroke, and start aside no more till thine axe hath smitten me: have here my troth.' 'Have at thee then,' quoth that other, and he heaved the axe aloft and looked so angry that he might have been a madman. He struck at him mightily, but withheld his hand suddenly ere it could hurt him. Gawain promptly abided it and shrank in no limb of his body, but stood still as a stone or a tree stock that is rooted in the rocky ground with a hundred roots. Then merrily 'gan he speak, the man in green, 'So now thou hast thy heart whole and while it behoves me to smite. Hold high thy hood that Arthur gave thee, and keep thy neck to thy body lest it get in the way again.' Gawain then answered him full fiercely, and with heart sorrow, 'Strike then, thou bold man; thou dost threaten too long. I hope that thy heart may wax timid.' 'Forsooth,' quoth that other, 'so fiercely thou dost speak, I will no longer hinder thee of thine errand
          right now.'
   Then took he a stride to strike,
And wrinkled lips and brow,
   No marvel it did him mislike,
Who hoped for no rescue now.]
[stanza 93 (long)]
2309he lyftes ly3tly his lome and let hit doun fayre
[fol. 122r]
2310with þe barbe of þe bitte bi þe bare nek
2311þa3 he homered heterly hurt hym no more
2312bot snyrt hym on þat on syde þat seuered þe hyde
2313þe scharp schrank to þe flesche þur3 þe schyre grece
2314þat þe schene blod ouer his schulderes schot to þe erþe
2315and quen þe burne sey þe blode blenk on þe snawe
2317hent heterly his helme and on his hed cast
2318schot with his schulderez his fayre schelde vnder
2319braydez out a bry3t sworde and bremely he spekez
2321watz he neuer in þis worlde wy3e half so blyþe
2322blynne burne of þy bur bede me no mo
2323I haf a stroke in þis sted withoute stryf hent
2324and if þow rechez me any mo I redyly schal quyte
2325and 3elde 3ederly a3ayn and þerto 3e tryst
[bob]
2326and foo
[wheel]
2327bot on stroke here me fallez
2328þe couenaunt schop ry3t so
2330and þerfore hende now hoo
[He raised lightly his axe and let it fall with the barb on his bare neck; and though he hotly hammered he did not hurt him much, but cut his skin a little. The sharp sword pierced through the flesh, so that the bright blood spurted over his shoulders to the ground; and when he saw the blood on the snow he started forward more than a spear length, hastily seized his helmet and put it on his head, and adjusted his shield; then brandishing forth a glittering sword, he spake fierce words, and never since his mother bare him was he half so merry. 'Cease now from thy strokes. Offer me no more. I have taken a blow in this place without striving; if thou givest me any more I will readily return them, be ye of that well assured,
          my foe.
   But one stroke shall on me fall,
The covenant was right so
   Made by us in Arthur's hall,
And therefore, knight, now ho!']
[stanza 94 (long)]
2331the haþel heldet hym fro and on his ax rested
2332sette þe schaft vpon schore and to þe scharp lened
2333and loked to þe leude þat on þe launde 3ede
2334how þat do3ty dredles deruely þer stondez
2335armed ful a3lez in hert hit hym lykez
2336þenn he melez muryly wyth a much steuen
2338bolde burne on þis bent be not so gryndel
2340ne kyd bot as couenaunde at kyngez kort schaped
2341I hy3t þe a strok and þou hit hatz halde þe wel payed
2342I relece þe of þe remnaunt of ry3tes alle oþer
2343iif I deliuer had bene a boffet paraunter
2344I couþe wroþeloker haf waret to þe haf wro3t anger
2345fyrst I mansed þe muryly with a mynt one
[fol. 122]
2347for þe forwarde þat we fest in þe fyrst ny3t
2348and þou trystyly þe trawþe and trwly me haldez
2349al þe gayne þow me gef as god mon schulde
2350þat oþer munt for þe morne mon I þe profered
2351þou kyssedes my clere wyf þe cossez me ra3tez
2352for boþe two here I þe bede bot two bare myntes
[bob]
2353boute scaþe
[wheel]
2354trwe mon trwe restore
2356at þe þrid þou fayled þore
2357and þerfor þat tappe ta þe
[The man held back and rested upon his axe, set the shaft on the ground, and leaned on the point, looked at Sir Gawain, and saw how bravely he stood there, doughty and dreadless and fully armed, and in his heart he was well pleased. Then spake he merrily and loudly, with a rushing sound, and said, 'Bold man, on this hill be not thou so angry, for no man has done thee wrong, unmannerly nor In any wise, except as was agreed in the court of King Arthur. I promised thee a stroke -- thou hast it; hold thyself well payed. I hereby release thee of the remnant and of all other rights. Had I so liked, I could have dealt thee a worse blow; but first I menaced thee in playful wise, and cut thee not at all, though with right I proffered it to thee for the covenant made between us the first night when thou faithfully didst keep thy troth and gavest me all thy gain as a true man should. The second blow I gave thee for the morning when thou didst kiss my beautiful wife, and gavest me the kisses, and for the two kisses I gave thee here but two blows without scathe
          or tear.
   A true man keeps his sooth,
And no scathe need he fear,
   Thou didst flinch at the third, in truth,
So that stroke I gave thee here.]
[stanza 95 (long)]
2358for hit is my wede þat þou werez þat ilke wouen girdel
2359myn owen wyf hit þe weued I wot wel for soþe
2360now know I wel þy cosses and þy costes als
2361and þe wowyng of my wyf I wro3t hit myseluen
2363on þe fautlest freke þat euer on fote 3ede
2364as perle bi þe quite pese is of prys more
2365so is gawayn in god fayth bi oþer gay kny3tez
2366bot here yow lakked a lyttel sir and lewte yow wonted
2367bot þat watz for no wylyde werke ne wowyng nauþer
2368bot for 3e lufed your lyf þe lasse I yow blame
2369þat oþper stif mon in study stod a gret whyle
2370so agreued for greme he gryed withinne
2371alle þe blode of his brest blende in his face
2372þat al he schrank for schome þat þe schalk talked
2373þe forme worde vpon folde þat þe freke meled
2374corsed worth cowarddyse and couetyse boþe
2375in yow is vylany and vyse þat vertue disstryez
2376þenne he ka3t to þe knot and þe kest lawsez
2377brayde broþely þe belt to þe burne seluen
2378lo þer þe falssyng foule mot hit falle
2379for care of þy knokke cowardyse me ta3t
2380to acorde me with couetyse my kynde to forsake
2381þat is larges and lewte þat longez to kny3tez
2382now am I fawty and falce and ferde haf ben euer
2383of trecherye and vntrawþe boþe bityde sor3e
[bob]
2384and care
[fol. 123r]
[wheel]
2385I biknowe yow kny3t here stylle
2386al fawty is my fare
2387letez me ouertake your wylle
2388and efte I schal be ware
[For in truth thou art wearing my weed in that same woven girdle which my wife gave to thee, as I wot well. And I know all about thy kisses and thy virtues also, and it was I myself who brought about the wooing of my wife. I sent her to assail thee, and I found thee to be the most faultless man on earth; as pearl is of more price than white pease, so is Gawain, in good faith, than all other gay knights. But, good sir, in this thou wast lacking a little in loyalty, not in any amorous working or wooing; but that thou didst love thy life the less I blame thee.' Then Sir Gawain stood thoughtful for a long time, and he trembled with rage, and all the blood of his body rushed to his face, and he shrank for shame all the time the Green Knight was talking. And the first words he uttered were, 'A curse on both cowardice and covetousness! In them are both villany and vice, that destroy virtue.' Then he caught hold of the girdle and violently flung it at the knight. 'Lo, there is the false thing, and may evil befall it. For fear of thy stroke cowardice seized me, and for covetousness I was false to my nature, which is loyal and true as befitteth a knight. Now am I faulty and false and fearful. May sorrow betide Treachery and Untruth
          and Care.
   I know thee knight here still.
All faulty is my fare,
   Let me but thwart thy will,
And after I will be ware.']
[stanza 96 (long)]
2389thenn lo3e þat oþer leude and luflyly sayde
2391þou art confessed so clene beknowen of þy mysses
2392and hatz þe penaunce apert of þe poynt of myn egge
2393I halde þe polysed of þat ply3t and pured as clene
2394as þou hadez neuer forfeted syþen þou watz fyrst borne
2396for hit is grene as my goune sir gawayn 3e maye
2397þenk vpon þis ilke þrepe þer þou forth þryngez
2398among prynces of prys and þis a pure token
2399of þe chaunce of þe grene chapel at cheualrous kny3tez
2400and 3e schal in þis new 3er a3ayn to my wonez
2401and we schyn reuel þe remnaunt of þis ryche fest
[bob]
2402ful bene
[wheel]
2403þer laþed hym fast þe lorde
2404and sayde With my wyf I wene
2405we schal yow wel acorde
2406þat watz your enmy kene
[Then the other laughed and said, 'I reck nought of the harm I had of thee, for thou hast made such clean confession of thy misdeeds, and hast done such penance at the point of my sword that I hold thee free from thy fault and as innocent as if thou hadst never forfeited innocence since thou wast born. And here I give to thee again the girdle, that is gold hemmed and green as my gown. And thou shalt think on this chiding when thou goest forth among princes of price, and this shall be a pure token of thy chance at the Green Chapel, to chivalrous knights. Thou shalt come in this New Year and turn again to my dwelling, and we will spend the remnant of this noble feast in revellings as shall
          be seen.'
   Thus invited Sir Gawain the lord,
And quoth he 'My lady, I ween,
   She shall thee well accord,
Though she was thine enemy keen.']
[stanza 97 (long)]
2407nay for soþe quoþ þe segge and sesed hys helme
2408and hatz hit of hendely and þe haþel þonkkez
2409I haf soiorned sadly sele yow bytyde
2410and he 3elde hit yow 3are þat 3arkkez al menskes
2411and comaundez me to þat cortays your comlych fere
2412boþe þat on and þat oþer myn honoured ladyez
2413þat þus hor kny3t wyth hor kest han koyntly bigyled
2414bot hit is no ferly þa3 a fole madde
2415and þur3 wyles of wymmen be wonen to sor3e
2416for so watz adam in erde with one bygyled
2417and salamon with fele sere and samson eftsonez
2418dalyda dalt hym hys wyrde and dauyth þerafter
2419watz blended with barsabe þat much bale þoled
2420now þese were wrathed wyth her wyles hit were a wynne huge
2421to luf hom wel and leue hem not a leude þat couþe
[fol. 123]
2422for þes wer forne þe freest þat fol3ed alle þe sele
2423exellently of alle þyse oþer vnder heuenryche
[bob]
2424þat mused
[wheel]
2425and alle þay were biwyled
2427þa3 I be now bigyled
2428me þink me burde be excused
[`Nay, forsooth,' quoth Gawain, and he seized his helmet, gracefully doffed it, and thanked the Green Knight. 'Sadly have I sojourned, and may joy betide thee from Him who hath all men in His keeping. Commend me to that courteous one thy noble lady, and to the ancient dame, my honoured ladies who have so cunningly beguiled me. It is no wonder if a fool go mad in loving, and through the wiles of a woman be brought to sorrow, for so was Adam beguiled by one woman and Solomon by many; and to Samson, Delilah dealt him his weird, and David was beguiled by Barsabe, through whom he suffered great loss. All these were troubled by the wiles of women. Great joy it would be to love them well, and believe them not, if a man could do it. For of those who under heaven
          have mused,
   All of them were beguiled
By women that they used;
   Though I be now be-wiled
I think I am excused.']
[stanza 98 (long)]
2429bot your gordel quoþ gawayn god yow for3elde
2430þat wyl I welde wyth guod wylle not for þe wynne golde
2431ne þe saynt ne þe sylk ne þe syde pendaundes
2432for wele ne for worchyp ne for þe wlonk werkkez
2433bot in syngne of my surfet I schal se hit ofte
2434when I ride in renoun remorde to myseluen
2435þe faut and þe fayntyse of þe flesche crabbed
2436how tender hit is to entyse teches of fylþe
2437and þus quen pryde schal me pryk for prowes of armes
2439bot on I wolde yow pray displeses yow neuer
2440syn 3e be lorde of þe 3onder londe þer I haf lent inne
2441wyth yow wyth worschyp þe wy3e hit yow 3elde
2442þat vphaldez þe heuen and on hy3 sittez
2443how norne 3e yowre ry3t nome and þenne no more
2444þat schal I telle þe trwly quoþ þat oþer þenne
2445bertilak de hautdesert I hat in þis londe
2446þur3 my3t of morgne la faye þat in my house lenges
2447and koyntyse of clergye bi craftes wel lerned
2449for ho hatz dalt drwry ful dere sumtyme
2450with þat conable klerk þat knowes alle your kny3tez
[bob]
2451at hame
[wheel]
2452morgne þe goddes
2453þerfore hit is hir name
2454weldez non so hy3e hawtesse
2455þat ho ne con make ful tame
[`But for thy girdle;' quoth Gawain, 'God reward thee for it, and I will wield it with good will, not for the gold, nor the samite, nor the silk, nor for its pendants, nor for weal nor worship, nor for its fair workings, but as a sign of my surfeit oft shall I look upon it; and when I ride in renown I shall feel remorse for the fault and cowardice of the crabbed flesh, and how easy it is to be smirched by filth, and thus, when pride shall prick me through prowess of arms, the sight of this lovely lace shall moderate the beating of my heart. But one thing I pray thee, and may it not displease thee, since thou art lord of that land where I have sojourned with thee in worship -- and may the Lord reward thee that sitteth on high and upholds the heavens -- tell me thy name, and no more do I ask thee.' 'That shall I tell thee truly,' quoth that other. 'Bernlak de Haudesert I am called in this land; and through might of Morgan le Fay, who lodges in my house, and the cunning of the clergy, I am well learned in crafts. She was the mistress of Merlin, and many has she taken captive by her wiles. For she has made love for a long time to that famous clerk that knows all your knights
          at home.
   Morgan the goddess
Therefore is her name;
   There is no haughtiness
She cannot make full tame.']
[stanza 99 (long)]
2456ho wayned me vpon þis wyse to your wynne halle
2457for to assay þe surquidre 3if hit soth were
2458þat rennes of þe grete renoun of þe rounde table
2459ho wayned me þis wonder your wyttez to reue
[fol. 124r]
2460for to haf greued gaynour and gart hir to dy3e
2462with his hede in his honde bifore þe hy3e table
2463þat is ho þat is at home þe auncian lady
2465þe duches do3ter of tyntagelle þat dere vter after
2466hade arþur vpon þat aþel is nowþe
2468make myry in my house my meny þe louies
2469and I wol þe as wel wy3e bi my faythe
2470as any gome vnder god for þy grete trauþe
2471and he nikked hym naye he nolde bi no wayes
2473to þe prynce of paradise and parten ry3t þere
[bob]
2474on coolde
[wheel]
2475gawayn on blonk ful bene
2476to þe kyngez bur3 buskez bolde
[`It was she who brought me in this wise to your joyous I hall, to assay the pride thereof if it were truly spoken of, and to put to the test the great renown of the Round Table. She it was who made me do this marvel to put you all out of your wits, in order to vex and pain Guinevere and to cause her death, together with all that ghostly game and the knight with his head in his hand before the high table. It was the work of Morgan, who is that ancient dame thou didst see in my house. And she is thine aunt, and half-sister to Arthur, the daughter of the Duchess of Tintagel, who afterwards married Uther and gave birth to Arthur, who now is king. Therefore I implore thee, come and see thy aunt. Make merry in my house, for my servants all love thee, and I wish thee well, by my faith, as any man under heaven because of thy great truth.' But Sir Gawain denied with a nay, and said he would not in any wise. Then they embraced and kissed and commended each other to the King of Paradise, and they parted right there
          on the wold.
   Gawain mounts horses, I ween,
To the king's town hastes him, bold.
   The knight, in weeds of green,
Went o'er the moorland cold.]
[stanza 100 (long)]
2479wylde wayez in þe worlde wowen now rydez
2480on gryngolet þat þe grace hade geten of his lyue
2481ofte he herbered in house and ofte al þeroute
2483þat I ne ty3t at þis tyme in tale to remene
2484þe hurt watz hole þat he hade hent in his nek
2485and þe blykkande belt he bere þeraboute
2486abelef as a bauderyk bounden bi his syde
2487loken vnder his lyfte arme þe lace with a knot
2488in tokenyng he watz tane in tech of a faute
2489and þus he commes to þe court kny3t al in sounde
2490þer wakned wele in þat wone when wyst þe grete
2491þat gode gawayn watz commen gayn hit hym þo3t
2492þe kyng kyssez þe kny3t and þe whene alce
2493and syþen mony syker kny3t þat so3t hym to haylce
2494of his fare þat hym frayned and ferlyly he telles
2495biknowez alle þe costes of care þat he hade
2496þe chaunce of þe chapel þe chere of þe kny3t [fol. 124]
2497þe luf of þe ladi þe lace at þe last
2498þe nirt in þe nek he naked hem schewed
2499þat he la3t for his vnleute at þe leudes hondes
[bob]
2500for blame
[wheel]
2501he tened quen he schulde telle
2502he groned for gref and grame
2503þe blod in his face con melle
2504when he hit schulde schewe for schame
[Gawain rode over wild ways of the world. Sometimes he found rest in houses, and sometimes in the open air, and had many adventures in the valleys, and oft he overcame, and I will not try to tell it all. The hurt was healed that he had in his neck, and he still carried the glittering belt at his side; under his left arm was the lace, tied with a knot, in token that he was taken in a fault. Thus he came to court, a knight all unhurt. There was joy in that hall when the great ones knew that Sir Gawain was come back, and great gain they thought it. The king kissed the knight, and the queen also, and many a faithful knight sought to embrace him, and they asked him of his faring, and he told them all the wonders thereof and all the labours he had endured, the chance of the chapel, the doings of the Green Knight, the love-making of the lady, and of the lace last of all. Then he showed them the cut in his neck which for his disloyalty he received at the hand of the Green Knight
          for blame.
   He moaned as he did it tell,
The blood to his face then came,
   As he groaned for grief as well,
When he showed it to them for shame.]
[stanza 101 (long)]
2505lo lorde quoþ þe leude and þe lace hondeled
2507þis is þe laþe and þe losse þat I la3t haue
2508of couardise and couetyse þat I haf ca3t þare
2509þis is þe token of vntrawþe þat I am tan inne
2510and I mot nedez hit were wyle I may last
2512for þer hit onez is tachched twynne wil hit neuer
2513þe kyng comfortez þe kny3t and alle þe court als
2514la3en loude þerat and luflyly acorden
2515þat lordes and ladis þat longed to þe table
2516vche burne of þe broþerhede a bauderyk schulde haue
2517a bende abelef hym aboute of a bry3t grene
2518and þat for sake of þat segge in swete to were
2519for þat watz acorded þe renoun of þe rounde table
2520and he honoured þat hit hade euermore after
2521as hit is breued in þe best boke of romaunce
2522þus in arthurus day þis aunter bitidde
2523þe brutus bokez þerof beres wyttenesse
2524syþen brutus þe bolde burne bo3ed hider fyrst
2525after þe segge and þe asaute watz sesed at troye
[bob]
2526iwysse
[wheel]
2527mony aunterez here biforne
2528haf fallen suche er þis
2529now þat here þe croun of þorne
2530he bryng vus to his blysse amen
[`Lo, my lord,' quoth the knight as he handled the lace, 'this is the bond and sign of my shame, this is the loss and the hurt that I have suffered through cowardice and covetousness. It is the token of untruth, and I must needs wear it while life shall last, for none may hide it, for when it is once fixed upon any one never will it pass from him.' The king comforted the knight, as did all the court; and they laughed loudly, and it was agreed that all the lords and ladies of the Round Table, each member of the brotherhood, should have a lace belt, a band of bright green, and wear it for the sake of Sir Gawain as long as they lived. And this was the renown of the Round Table, and he that had it was held in great honour for evermore, as I have seen it written in the best book of romance. Thus in King Arthur's day did this adventure betide. The Brutus books bear witness to it, since the bold Knight Brutus came hither first after the siege and the assault ceased at Troy, as
          I wis.
   Many adventures herebefore
Have befallen such ere this.
   Now He that thorn-crown for us bore
Bring us to His bliss. Amen.]
[motto]
hony soyt qui mal pence

Notes

11] ticius: tirius [Silverstein] TG; tiscius AW; tuscius [or] tirius S Back to Line
31] as tit: as-tit TG; astit AW; as tit S Back to Line
37] kryst masse: krystmasse TG; krystmasse AW; krystmasse S Back to Line
46] glaumande: glaum ande [Emerson] TG; glaum ande AW; glaum ande [Emerson] S Back to Line
58] werere: were TG; were AW; were S Back to Line
67] 3eres3iftes: 3eres-3iftes TG; ; 3eres 3iftes AW; 3eres 3iftes S Back to Line
81] discry: discrye TG; discrye AW; discrye S Back to Line
88] lenge: longe TG; longe AW; longe S Back to Line
95] of of: of TG; of AW; of S Back to Line
100] watz: watz þe [Madden] TG; watz þe [Madden] S Back to Line
106] with alle: withalle TG; with alle AW; withalle S Back to Line
113] wit: with TG; with AW; with S Back to Line
124] syluen': sylueren TG; sylueren AW; sylueren S Back to Line
140] half etayn: Half etayn TG; Half-etayn AW; Half etayn S Back to Line
144] bot: Both [Napier] TG; Both AW; Both [Napier] S Back to Line
150] enker grene: enker-grene TG; enker grene AW; enker grene S Back to Line
153] with inne: withinne TG; withinne AW; withinne S Back to Line
157] wel haled: wel-haled TG; wel-haled AW; wel-haled S
þat same grene: same TG; same grene AW; same hewe S Back to Line
168] pe: þe TG; þe AW; þe S Back to Line
171] scurtes: skyrtes [Menner] TG; ; scurtes AW; skurtes [Gollancz] S Back to Line
180] hed: hed and S Back to Line
182] as as: as TG; as AW; as S Back to Line
190] anoþer: an oþer TG; anoþer AW; an oþer S Back to Line
203] hawbrgh: hawbergh TG; hawbergh AW; hawbrgh S Back to Line
210] hede: lenkþe [Davis] TG; hede AW; lenkþe [Davis] S
lenkþe: hede [Davis] TG; lenkþe AW; hede [Davis] S Back to Line
236] lowande: glowande TG; glowande AW; glowande [Emerson] S Back to Line
242] stonstil: stonstil TG; ston-stil AW; stonstil S Back to Line
255] quat so: quat-so TG; quatso AW; quatso S Back to Line
260] stel gere: stel-gere TG; stel-gere AW; stel gere S Back to Line
282] fo: so TG; so AW; so S Back to Line
293] quit clayme: quit-clayme TG; quit-clayme AW; quitclayme S Back to Line
306] quo so: quo-so TG; quoso AW; quoso S Back to Line
308] richly: richely TG; richly AW; richely [Davis] S Back to Line
312] gry dellayk: gryndellayk TG; gryndellayk AW; gryndellayk S Back to Line
328] la3t: la3t hit AW Back to Line
336] hyns: hys TG; hys AW; hys S
dintez: dinte S Back to Line
343] gawan: wawan TG; ; wawan AW; wawan S Back to Line
382] quat so: quat-so TG; quatso AW; quatso S Back to Line
384] fo: so TG; so AW; so S Back to Line
395] where so: where-so TG; whereso AW; whereso S Back to Line
397] to day: to-day TG; today AW; to-day S Back to Line
398] plate: place TG; place AW; place S Back to Line
403] for soþe: for-soþe TG; ; for soþe AW; for soþe S Back to Line
425] scade: schade TG; schade AW; scade S Back to Line
432] ruyschly: runyschly TG; runyschly AW; runyschly S Back to Line
438] ho we: he were TG; nowe [Cawley] AW; nowe [Morris] S Back to Line
440] bluk: bulk [Onions] TG; bluk AW; bulk [Onions] S Back to Line
446] y3e lyddez: y3e-lyddez TG; y3e-lyddez AW; y3elyddez S Back to Line
456] behoueus: behoues TG; behoues AW; behoues S Back to Line
470] to day: to-day TG; today AW; to-day S Back to Line
494] staf ful: stafful TG; staf-ful AW; stafful S Back to Line
531] sage: fage [Onions] TG; fage [Onions] AW; fage [Onions] S Back to Line
536] alhalday: al-hal-day TG; al hal day AW; al hal day S Back to Line
548] to morne: to-morne TG; tomorne AW; to-morne S Back to Line
552] doddinanal: doddinaual TG; doddinaual AW; doddinal S Back to Line
586] cote armure: cote-arumure TG; cote-armure AW; cote-armure S Back to Line
591] ouer: oþer TG; oþer AW; oþer [Morris] S Back to Line
594] cort ferez: cort-ferez TG; cort-ferez AW; cort ferez S Back to Line
629] emdelez: endelez TG; endelez AW; endelez S Back to Line
634] verertuez: vertuez TG; vertuez AW; vertuez S Back to Line
644] quere soeuer: quere-so-euer TG; queresoeuer AW; queresoeuer S Back to Line
646] fong: feng TG; fong AW; fong S Back to Line
647] heuen quene: heuen-quene TG; heuen quene AW; heuen quene S Back to Line
660] quere: oquere TG; oquere AW; oquere S Back to Line
671] stonfyr: ston-fyr TG; ston-fyr AW; ston fyr S Back to Line
683] cauelounz: cauelaciounz TG; cauelaciounz AW; cauelaciounz S Back to Line
697] noghe: neghe TG; neghe AW; neghe S Back to Line
705] clapel: chapel TG; chapel AW; chapel S Back to Line
718] fo: So TG; So AW; So S Back to Line
726] was: nas TG; nas [Davis] AW; nas [Davis] S Back to Line
727] schadden: schadde TG; schadde [Gollancz] AW; schadde [TG] S Back to Line
732] ysse ikkles: iisse-ikkles TG; iisseikkles AW; iisseikkles S Back to Line
751] seruy: seruyse TG; seruyse AW; seruyse S Back to Line
756] to morne: to-morne TG; tomorne AW; tomorne S Back to Line
774] say: sayn TG; sayn AW; sayn S Back to Line
777] gederez: gerdez [Napier] TG; gederez AW; gerdez [Napier] S Back to Line
785] bonk: blonk TG; bonk AW; blonk [Davis] S
blonk: bonk TG; blonk AW; bonk [Davis] S Back to Line
795] towre: towres TG; towres AW; towres S Back to Line
798] chalk whyt: chalkwhyt TG; chalk-whyt AW; chalkwhyt S Back to Line
803] innghe: innoghe TG; innoghe AW; innoghe S Back to Line
813] trowoe: trowee TG; trowee AW; trowoe S Back to Line
815] wy3e: wy3e 3erne and com TG; wy3e 3erne and com [Davis] AW; wy3e 3erne and com [Davis] S Back to Line
845] beuer hwed: beuer-hwed TG; beuer-hwed AW; beuer-hwed S Back to Line
850] clesly: chefly TG; chesly AW; chefly S Back to Line
856] blaunmer: blaunner [Gollancz] TG; blaunmer AW; blaunmer S Back to Line
862] hem: hym TG; hem AW; hym S Back to Line
865] hyn: hym TG; hym AW; hym S Back to Line
872] my3t: mo3t TG; mo3t [TG] AW; mo3t S Back to Line
874] fy3t: fo3t TG; fo3t [TG] AW; fo3t S Back to Line
877] þa: þat TG; þat AW; þat S Back to Line
883] cefly: chefly TG; chefly AW; chefly S Back to Line
884] tapit: tabil TG; tabil [Gollancz] AW; tabil [Gollancz] S Back to Line
890] double felde: double-felde TG; doublefelde AW; doublefelde S Back to Line
893] sawes so sle3ez: sawes so sle3e TG; sawses so sle3e [Napier] AW; sawses so sle3e [TG] S Back to Line
927] luf talkyng: luf-talkyng TG; luf-talkyng AW; luf talkyng S Back to Line
930] claplaynez: chaplaynez TG; chaplaynez AW; chaplaynez S Back to Line
946] he: ho [Wright] TG; ho [Wright] AW; ho [Wright] S Back to Line
956] scheder: schedez TG; schedes AW; schedez S Back to Line
958] mylk quyte: chalkquyte [Onions] TG; chalk-quyte [Onions] AW; chalkquyte [Onions] S Back to Line
960] toret: toreted TG; toret AW; toreted [Davis] S Back to Line
967] bay: bal3 TG; bal3 [TG] AW; bal3 [TG] S Back to Line
971] went: lent [Andrew] TG; lent [Andrew] AW; lent [Andrew] S Back to Line
987] wedez: wede TG; wede AW; wede [TG] S Back to Line
992] kyng: lord TG; lord [Gollancz] AW; lord [TG] S Back to Line
1014] and: þat TG; þat AW; þat [TG] S Back to Line
1030] hymne: chymne TG; chymne AW; chymne S Back to Line
1032] and: þat TG; þat AW; þat S Back to Line
1037] nerci: merci TG; merci AW; merci [Madden] S Back to Line
1044] answrez: answarez TG; answrez AW; answrez S Back to Line
1053] wot: ne wot TG; not AW; not [Madden] S Back to Line
1069] þa: þat TG; þat AW; þat [Morris] S Back to Line
1092] 3owe: 3owre TG; 3owre AW; 3owre [Madden] S Back to Line
1106] quat soeuer: quat-so-euer TG; quatsoeuer AW; quatsoeuer S Back to Line
1129] he: her TG; her AW; her [Madden] S Back to Line
1136] bent felde: bent-felde TG; bentfelde AW; bentfelde S Back to Line
1137] þat þat: þat TG; þat AW; þat S Back to Line
1173] þer ry3t: þer-ry3t TG; þer ry3t AW; þerry3t S Back to Line
1178] lynde wodez: lynde-wodez TG; lynde-wodez AW; lynde-wodez S Back to Line
1183] derfly: dernly TG; derfly AW; dernly [Davis] S Back to Line
1193] bed syde: bed-syde TG; bed-syde AW; bedsyde S Back to Line
1201] y3e lyddez: y3e-lyddez TG; y3e-lyddez AW; y3elyddez S Back to Line
1208] fayr: gay TG; gay [TG] AW; gay [TG] S Back to Line
1210] astyt: as-tyt TG; astyt AW; as tyt S Back to Line
1213] gay: gay TG; gay AW; gracios S Back to Line
1214] þourr: your TG; your AW; your S Back to Line
1216] he: be TG; be AW; be S Back to Line
1227] quere so: quere-so TG; quereso AW; quereso S Back to Line
1255] þat þat: þat TG; þat AW; þat S Back to Line
1256] loyue: louue TG; louue AW; louye S Back to Line
1262] aswared: answared TG; answared AW; answared S Back to Line
1265] fongen : fongen bi TG; fongen bi [Davis] S Back to Line
1266] nysen: nys euen TG; nys euer AW; nys euen [Davis] S Back to Line
1281] a hym: as hym TG; a hym AW; as hym S Back to Line
1283] I: I TG; ho [Morris] AW; ho [Gollancz] S Back to Line
1286] sclulde: schulde TG; schulde AW; schulde S Back to Line
1304] fo: so TG; so AW; so S Back to Line
1315] with: watz TG; watz AW; watz S Back to Line
1333] balez: bowelez TG; bowelez AW; bowelez [Davis] S Back to Line
1334] and: þe [Gollancz] TG; þe [Gollancz] AW; þe [Gollancz] S Back to Line
1336] wynt hole: wynt-hole TG; wynt-hole AW; wynthole S Back to Line
1344] fo: so TG; so AW; so S Back to Line
1357] aþer: ayþer TG; ayþer AW; ayþer S Back to Line
1372] comaunded: comaunded TG; comaunded AW; sumned S Back to Line
1376] gaway: gawayn TG; gawayn AW; gawayn S Back to Line
1386] and: þat [Gollancz] TG; þat [Gollancz] AW; þat [Gollancz] S
worthyly: worthyly wonnen TG; worthyly wonnen AW; worthyly wonnen [TG] S Back to Line
1389] ho: he [Madden] TG; he [Madden] AW; he [Madden] S Back to Line
1394] horseleun: yorseluen TG; yorseluen AW; yorseluen [TG] S Back to Line
1396] trawe 3e: trawe TG; trawe 3e AW; trawe 3e S Back to Line
1400] asswyþe: as-swyþe TG; asswyþe AW; as swyþe S Back to Line
1406] þat: wat TG; wat [TG] AW; wat [TG] S Back to Line
1412] crowez: crowen TG; crowen AW; crowen S Back to Line
1426] glauerande: glauer ande TG; glauer ande AW; glauer ande [Emerson] S Back to Line
1435] wyt inne: wythinne TG; wythinne AW; wythinne S Back to Line
1440] for: fro TG; fro AW; fro S; þe sounder þat wi3t: si3ed TG; so3t AW; si3te S Back to Line
1441] watz: watz breme TG; watz borelych and brode AW; watz bige S
alþer grattest: alþer-grattest TG; alþer-grattest AW; alþergrattest S Back to Line
1459] were so euer: were-so-euer TG; weresoeuer AW; weresoeuer S Back to Line
1466] rode: rode TG; rode AW; rydez S Back to Line
1473] com to: com to TG; to com AW; to com [Waldron] S Back to Line
1479] sofly: softly TG; sofly AW; softly [Morris] S Back to Line
1486] alder truest: alder-truest TG; alder-truest AW; aldertruest S Back to Line
1490] quere so: quere-so TG; quereso AW; quereso S Back to Line
1513] lellayk: lel layk TG; lel layk AW; lel layk S Back to Line
1550] what so: what-so TG; whatso AW; whatso S Back to Line
1575] on ferum: on-ferum TG; onferum AW; on-ferum S Back to Line
1580] watz : watz and TG; watz and AW; watz and [Morris] S Back to Line
1583] luslych: luflych TG; luflych AW; luflych S Back to Line
1588] frekez: freke TG; freke AW; freke [Madden] S Back to Line
1623] and la3ed: and la3ter TG; and la3ter [Davis] AW; la3ed [Gollancz] S Back to Line
1639] he : he hent TG; he hent AW; he hent [TG] S Back to Line
1662] how se euer: how-se-euer TG; how-se-euer AW; howseeuer S Back to Line
1682] when so: when-so TG; whenso AW; whenso S Back to Line
1693] biforere: bifore TG; bifore AW; bifore S Back to Line
1696] costez: costez TG; castez AW; costez S Back to Line
1700] atrayteres: a traueres TG; atraueres [Gollancz] AW; a trayteres S Back to Line
1712] to to: to TG; to AW; to S Back to Line
1716] onstray: on-stray TG; onstray AW; onstray S Back to Line
1719] lif vpon list: list vpon lif [Morris] TG; list vpon lif [Morris] AW; list vpon lif [Morris] S Back to Line
1730] myd ouer vnder: myd-ouer-vnder TG; myd ouer vnder AW; mydouervnder S Back to Line
1738] hwez goud: hwez goud TG; hwef goud AW; hwe gord S Back to Line
1752] day : day dele hym TG; day dele hym [TG] AW; day dele hym [TG] S Back to Line
1755] comly : comly com TG; comly com [Emerson] AW; comly com [TG] S Back to Line
1770] prynce: prynces TG; prynces [Emerson] AW; prynces [Emerson] S Back to Line
1777] luf la3yng: luf-la3yng TG; luf-la3yng AW; luf la3yng S Back to Line
1799] of: if TG; if AW; if [Madden] S Back to Line
1810] tyne: tyme TG; tyme AW; tyme S Back to Line
1815] hade o3t: hade no3t TG; nade o3t [Gollancz] AW; nade no3t S Back to Line
1825] swyftel: swyfte by TG; swyfte by [Emerson] AW; swyfte by [Emerson] S Back to Line
1830] þat þat: þat TG; þat AW; þat S Back to Line
1849] who so: who-so TG; whoso AW; whoso S Back to Line
1858] my3: my3t TG; my3t AW; my3t S Back to Line
1863] for: fro TG; fro [Morris] AW; fro [Morris] S Back to Line
1872] he: ho TG; ho [Madden] AW; ho [Madden] S Back to Line
1874] luf lace: luf-lace TG; luf-lace AW; luf lace S Back to Line
1878] lyfte: lyste [Burrow] TG; lyste [Burrow] AW; lyste [Burrow] S Back to Line
1906] cachez: lachez TG; lachez [TG] AW; lachez S; by: hym TG; hym [Madden] AW; hym [Morris] S Back to Line
1909] bray: braþ TG; braþ [Morris] AW; braþ [Morris] S Back to Line
1919] her her: her TG; her AW; her S Back to Line
1925] þer byside: þer-byside TG; þerbyside AW; þerbyside S Back to Line
1926] with alle: withalle TG; with alle AW; with alle S Back to Line
1936] he : he þe TG; he þe AW; he þe [Madden] S Back to Line
1941] chepez: chepez TG; porchas AW; chepez S Back to Line
1962] sellyly: selly TG; selly AW; selly [Madden] S Back to Line
1965] to morne: to-morne TG; tomorne AW; tomorne S Back to Line
1973] frk: ferk TG; ferk AW; ferk [Madden] S Back to Line
1981] a3ay: a3ayn TG; a3ayn AW; a3ayn [Madden] S Back to Line
2010] laupe: laumpe TG; laumpe AW; laumpe S Back to Line
2027] vertuuus: vertuus TG; vertuus AW; vertuus S Back to Line
2053] þay: þay TG; he [Gollancz] AW; he [Gollancz] S Back to Line
2079] þer vnder: þer-vnder TG; þervnder AW; þervnder S Back to Line
2081] myst hakel: myst-hakel TG; myst-hakel AW; myst-hakel S Back to Line
2105] dynnez: dyngez TG; dyngez [Napier] AW; dyngez [TG] S Back to Line
2131] mot: not TG; not AW; not [Madden] S Back to Line
2137] and and: and TG; and AW; and S Back to Line
2150] ge: go TG; go AW; go S Back to Line
2171] we: were TG; were AW; were [Madden] S Back to Line
2177] and his riche: and his riche TG; of his riche AW; and hit richez S Back to Line
2187] he: here TG; here AW; here [TG] S Back to Line
2205] at: as TG; as [Madden] AW; as [Madden] S Back to Line
2223] witho: with to TG; with to [Madden] AW; with to [Madden] S Back to Line
2240] welcon: welcom TG; welcom AW; welcom [Madden] S Back to Line
2247] þy þy: þy TG; þy AW; þou þy S Back to Line
2274] myntest: myntest TG; myntest AW; myntes S Back to Line
2291] hs: his TG; his AW; his [Madden] S Back to Line
2305] he he: he TG; he AW; he S Back to Line
2316] spenne fote: spenne-fote TG; spenne-fote AW; spennefote S Back to Line
2320] burne: burne TG; barne [Andrew] AW; barne [Andrew] S Back to Line
2329] fermed: fermed [Menner] TG; festned [Cawley] AW; fermed [Menner] S Back to Line
2337] rykande: rynkande [Napier] TG; rynkande [Napier] AW; rynkande [Napier] S Back to Line
2339] habbe: habbez TG; habbez [Napier] AW; habbez [TG] S Back to Line
2346] rof sore: rof-sore TG; rof-sore AW; rofsore S Back to Line
2355] þar: þar TG; þar AW; þarf S Back to Line
2362] sothly: sothly þou S Back to Line
2390] hardilyly: hardily TG; hardily AW; hardily [Madden] S Back to Line
2395] golde hemmed: golde-hemmed TG; golde-hemmed AW; golde hemmed S Back to Line
2426] with wyth: with TG; with AW; with S Back to Line
2438] luf lace: luf-lace TG; luf-lace AW; luf lace S Back to Line
2448] ho: hatz TG; hatz [Madden] AW; hatz [Madden] S Back to Line
2461] gopnyng: glopnyng TG; glopnyng AW; glopnyng [Morris] S
gomen: gome TG; gome AW; gome S Back to Line
2464] half suster: half-suster TG; half-suster AW; halfsuster S Back to Line
2467] þy naunt: þyn aunt TG; þyn aunt AW; þy naunt S Back to Line
2472] kyssen : kyssen and kennen TG; kyssen and kennen [TG] AW; kyssen and kennen [TG] S Back to Line
2477] enker grene: enker-grene TG; enker grene AW; enker grene S Back to Line
2478] whiderwarde so euer: whiderwarde-so-euer TG; whiderwarde-soeuer AW; whiderwardesoeuer S Back to Line
2482] and: and TG; he [Gollancz] AW; and S Back to Line
2506] bere : bere in TG; bere in [Madden] AW; bere in [Madden] S Back to Line
2511] non: mon TG; mon [Andrew] AW; mon [Andrew] S Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1375
Publication Notes: 
British Library Cotton Nero A.x, fols. 91r-124v, ca. 1375?-1400?
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.