Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

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Þis burne now schal vus bryng, I hope þat may hym here Schal lerne of luf-talkyng.’Bi þat þe diner watz done and þe dere vpHit watz ne3 at þe niy3t ne3ed þe tyme.Chaplaynez to þe chapeles chosen þe gate,Rungen ful rychely, ry3t as þay schulden,To þe hersum euensong of þe hy3e tyde.Þe lorde loutes þerto, and þe lady als,Into a cumly closet coyntly ho entrez.Gawan glydez ful gay and gos þeder sone;Þe lorde laches hym by þe lappe and ledez hym to sytte,And couþly hym knowez and callez hym his nome,And sayde he watz þe welcomest wy3e of þe worlde;And he hym þonkked þroly, and ayþer halched oþer,And seten soberly samen þe seruise quyle.Þenne lyst þe lady to loke on þe kny3t,Þenne com ho of hir closet with mony cler burdez.Ho watz þe fayrest in felle, of flesche and of lyre,And of compas and colour and costes, of alle oþer,

And wener þen Wenore, as þe wy3e þo3t.Ho ches þur3 þe chaunsel to cheryche þat hende.An oþer lady hir lad bi þe lyft honde,Þat watz alder þen ho, an auncian hit semed,And he3ly honowred with haþelez aboute.Bot vnlyke on to loke þo ladyes were,For if þe 3onge watz 3ep, 3ol3e watz þat oþer;Riche red on þat on rayled ayquere,Rugh ronkled chekez þat oþer on rolled;Kerchofes of þat on, wyth mony cler perlez,Hir brest and hir bry3t þrote bare displayed,Schon schyrer þen snawe þat schedez on hillez;Þat oþer wyth a gorger watz gered ouer þe swyre,Chymbled ouer hir blake chyn with chalkquyte vayles,Hir frount folden in sylk, enfoubled ayquere,Toreted and treleted with tryflez aboute,

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Þat no3t watz bare of þat burde bot þe blake bro3es,Þe tweyne y3en and þe nase, þe naked lyppez,And þose were soure to se and sellyly blered;A mensk lady on molde mon may hir calle, for Gode! Hir body watz schort and þik, Hir buttokez bal3 and brode, More lykkerwys on to lyk Watz þat scho hade on lode.When Gawayn gly3t on þat gay, þat graciously loked,Wyth leue la3t of þe lorde he lent hem a3aynes;Þe alder he haylses, heldande ful lowe,Þe loueloker he lappez a lyttel in armez,He kysses hir comlyly, and kny3tly he melez.Þay kallen hym of aquoyntaunce, and he hit quyk askezTo be her seruaunt sothly, if hemself lyked.Þay tan hym bytwene hem, wyth talkyng hym ledenTo chambre, to chemné, and chefly þay askenSpycez, þat vnsparely men speded hom to bryng,And þe wynnelych wyne þerwith vche tyme.Þe lorde luflych aloft lepez ful ofte,

Mynned merthe to be made vpon mony syþez,Hent he3ly of his hode, and on a spere henged,And wayned hom to wynne þe worchip þerof,Þat most myrþe my3t meue þat Crystenmas whyle — ‘And I schal fonde, bi my fayth, to fylter wyth þe bestEr me wont þe wede, with help of my frendez.’Þus wyth la3ande lotez þe lorde hit tayt makez,For to glade Sir Gawayn with gomnez in halle þat ny3t, Til þat hit watz tyme Þe lord comaundet ly3t; Sir Gawen his leue con nyme And to his bed hym di3t.On þe morne, as vch mon mynez þat tymeÞat Dry3tyn for oure destyné to de3e watz borne,Wele waxez in vche a won in worlde for his sake;So did hit þere on þat day þur3 dayntés mony:
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Boþe at mes and at mele messes ful quayntDerf men vpon dece drest of þe best.Þe olde auncian wyf he3est ho syttez,Þe lorde lufly her by lent, as I trowe;Gawan and þe gay burde togeder þay seten,Euen inmyddez, as þe messe metely come,And syþen þur3 al þe sale as hem best semed.Bi vche grome at his degré grayþely watz seruedÞer watz mete, þer watz myrþe, þer watz much ioye,Þat for to telle þerof hit me tene were,And to poynte hit 3et I pyned me parauenture.Bot 3et I wot þat Wawen and þe wale burdeSuch comfort of her compaynye ca3ten togederÞur3 her dere dalyaunce of her derne wordez,Wyth clene cortays carp closed fro fylþe,Þat hor play watz passande vche prynce gomen, in vayres. Trumpez and nakerys, Much pypyng þer repayres; Vche mon tented hys, And þay two tented þayres.-29-

Much dut watz þer dryuen þat day and þat oþer,And þe þryd as þro þronge in þerafter;Þe ioye of sayn Jonez day watz gentyle to here,And watz þe last of þe layk, leudez þer þo3ten.Þer wer gestes to go vpon þe gray morne,Forþy wonderly þay woke, and þe wyn dronken,Daunsed ful dre3ly wyth dere carolez.At þe last, when hit watz late, þay lachen her leue,Vchon to wende on his way þat watz wy3e stronge.Gawan gef hym god day, þe godmon hym lachchez,Ledes hym to his awen chambre, þe chymné bysyde,And þere he dra3ez hym on dry3e, and derely hym þonkkezOf þe wynne worschip þat he hym wayued hade,As to honour his hous on þat hy3e tyde,And enbelyse his bur3 with his bele chere:’Iwysse sir, quyl I leue, me worþez þe better

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