Sir Gawain and the Green Knight


What wylde so atwaped wy3es þat schottenWatz al toraced and rent at þe resayt,Bi þay were tened at þe hy3e and taysed to þe wattrez;Þe ledez were so lerned at þe lo3e trysteres,And þe grehoundez so grete, þat geten hem bylyueAnd hem tofylched, as fast as frekez my3t loke, þer-ry3t. Þe lorde for blys abloy Ful oft con launce and ly3t, And drof þat day wyth joy Thus to þe derk ny3t.Þus laykez þis lorde by lynde-wodez euez,And Gawayn þe god mon in gay bed lygez,Lurkkez quyl þe dayly3t lemed on þe wowes,Vnder couertour ful clere, cortyned aboute;And as in slomeryng he slode, sle3ly he herdeA littel dyn at his dor, and dernly vpon;And he heuez vp his hed out of þe cloþes,
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A corner of þe cortyn he ca3t vp a lyttel,And waytez warly þiderwarde quat hit be my3t.Hit watz þe ladi, loflyest to beholde,Þat dro3 þe dor after hir ful dernly and stylle,And bo3ed towarde þe bed; and þe burne schamed,And layde hym doun lystyly, and let as he slepte;And ho stepped stilly and stel to his bedde,Kest vp þe cortyn and creped withinne,And set hir ful softly on þe bed-syde,And lenged þere selly longe to loke quen he wakened.Þe lede lay lurked a ful longe quyle,Compast in his concience to quat þat cace my3tMeue oþer amount — to meruayle hym þo3t,Bot 3et he sayde in hymself, ‘More semly hit wereTo aspye wyth my spelle in space quat ho wolde.’Þen he wakenede, and wroth, and to hir warde torned,And vnlouked his y3e-lyddez, and let as hym wondered,And sayned hym, as bi his sa3e þe sauer to worthe, with hande.

Wyth chynne and cheke ful swete, Boþe quit and red in blande, Ful lufly con ho lete Wyth lyppez smal la3ande.’God moroun, Sir Gawayn,’ sayde þat gay lady,’3e ar a sleper vnsly3e, þat mon may slyde hider;Now ar 3e tan as-tyt! Bot true vus may schape,I schal bynde yow in your bedde, þat be 3e trayst’:Al la3ande þe lady lanced þo bourdez.’Goud moroun, gay,’ quoþ Gawayn þe blyþe,’Me schal worþe at your wille, and þat me wel lykez,For I 3elde me 3ederly, and 3e3e after grace,And þat is þe best, be my dome, for me byhouez nede’:And þus he bourded a3ayn with mony a blyþe la3ter.’Bot wolde 3e, lady louely, þen leue me grante,And deprece your prysoun, and pray hym to ryse,I wolde bo3e of þis bed, and busk me better;I schulde keuer þe more comfort to karp yow wyth.’

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‘Nay for soþe, beau sir,’ sayd þat swete,’3e schal not rise of your bedde, I rych yow better,I schal happe yow here þat oþer half als,And syþen karp wyth my kny3t þat I ka3t haue;For I wene wel, iwysse, Sir Wowen 3e are,Þat alle þe worlde worchipez quere-so 3e ride;Your honour, your hendelayk is hendely praysedWith lordez, wyth ladyes, with alle þat lyf bere.And now 3e ar here, iwysse, and we bot oure one;My lorde and his ledez ar on lenþe faren,Oþer burnez in her bedde, and my burdez als,Þe dor drawen and dit with a derf haspe;And syþen I haue in þis hous hym þat al lykez,I schal ware my whyle wel, quyl hit lastez, with tale. 3e ar welcum to my cors, Yowre awen won to wale, Me behouez of fyne force Your seruaunt be, and schale.’

‘In god fayth,’ quoþ Gawayn, ‘gayn hit me þynkkez,Þa3 I be not now he þat 3e of speken;To reche to such reuerence as 3e reherce hereI am wy3e vnworþy, I wot wel myseluen.Bi God, I were glad, and yow god þo3t,At sa3e oþer at seruyce þat I sette my3tTo þe plesaunce of your prys — hit were a pure ioye.”In god fayth, Sir Gawayn,’ quoþ þe gay lady,’Þe prys and þe prowes þat plesez al oþer,If I hit lakked oþer set at ly3t, hit were littel daynté;Bot hit ar ladyes inno3e þat leuer wer nowþeHaf þe, hende, in hor holde, as I þe habbe here,To daly with derely your daynté wordez,Keuer hem comfort and colen her carez,Þen much of þe garysoun oþer golde þat þay hauen.Bot I louue þat ilk lorde þat þe lyfte haldez,I haf hit holly in my honde þat al desyres, þur3e grace.’ Scho made hym so gret chere,

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Þat watz so fayr of face, Þe kny3t with speches skere Answared to vche a cace.’Madame,’ quoþ þe myry mon, ‘Mary yow 3elde,For I haf founden, in god fayth, yowre fraunchis nobele,And oþer ful much of oþer folk fongen bi hor dedez,Bot þe daynté þat þay delen, for my disert nys euen,Hit is þe worchyp of yourself, þat no3t bot wel connez.”Bi Mary,’ quoþ þe menskful, ‘me þynk hit an oþer;For were I worth al þe wone of wymmen alyue,And al þe wele of þe worlde were in my honde,And I schulde chepen and chose to cheue me a lorde,For þe costes þat I haf knowen vpon þe, kny3t, here,Of bewté and debonerté and blyþe semblaunt,And þat I haf er herkkened and halde hit here trwee,Þer schulde no freke vpon folde bifore yow be chosen.”Iwysse, worþy,’ quoþ þe wy3e, ‘3e haf waled wel better,Bot I am proude of þe prys þat 3e put on me,And, soberly your seruaunt, my souerayn I holde yow,

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