Sir Gawain and the Green Knight


And yowre kny3t I becom, and Kryst yow for3elde.’Þus þay meled of muchquat til mydmorn paste,And ay þe lady let lyk as hym loued mych;Þe freke ferde with defence, and feted ful fayre — ‘Þa3 I were burde bry3test’, þe burde in mynde hade.Þe lasse luf in his lode for lur þat he so3t boute hone, Þe dunte þat schulde hym deue, And nedez hit most be done. Þe lady þenn spek of leue, He granted hir ful sone.Þenne ho gef hym god day, and wyth a glent la3ed,And as ho stod, ho stonyed hym wyth ful stor wordez:’Now he þat spedez vche spech þis disport 3elde yow!Bot þat 3e be Gawan, hit gotz in mynde.”Querfore?’ quoþ þe freke, and freschly he askez,Ferde lest he hade fayled in fourme of his castes;Bot þe burde hym blessed, and ‘Bi þis skyl’ sayde:

“folio” n=”108v”
‘So god as Gawayn gaynly is halden,And cortaysye is closed so clene in hymseluen,Couth not ly3tly haf lenged so long wyth a lady,Bot he had craued a cosse, bi his courtaysye,Bi sum towch of summe tryfle at sum talez ende.’Þen quoþ Wowen: ‘Iwysse, worþe as yow lykez;I schal kysse at your comaundement, as a kny3t fallez,And fire, lest he displese yow, so plede hit no more.’Ho comes nerre with þat, and cachez hym in armez,Loutez luflych adoun and þe leude kyssez.Þay comly bykennen to Kryst ayþer oþer;Ho dos hir forth at þe dore withouten dyn more;And he ryches hym to ryse and rapes hym sone,Clepes to his chamberlayn, choses his wede,Bo3ez forth, quen he watz boun, blyþely to masse;And þenne he meued to his mete þat menskly hym keped,And made myry al day, til þe mone rysed, with game. Watz neuer freke fayrer fonge Bitwene two so dyngne dame,

Þe alder and þe 3onge; Much solace set þay same.And ay þe lorde of þe londe is lent on his gamnez,To hunt in holtez and heþe at hyndez barayne;Such a sowme he þer slowe bi þat þe sunne heldet,Of dos and of oþer dere, to deme were wonder.Þenne fersly þay flokked in folk at þe laste,And quykly of þe quelled dere a querré þay maked.Þe best bo3ed þerto with burnez innoghe,Gedered þe grattest of gres þat þer were,And didden hem derely vndo as þe dede askez;Serched hem at þe asay summe þat þer were,Two fyngeres þay fonde of þe fowlest of alle.Syþen þay slyt þe slot, sesed þe erber,Schaued wyth a scharp knyf, and þe schyre knitten;Syþen rytte þay þe foure lymmes, and rent of þe hyde,Þen brek þay þe balé, þe bowelez out token

“folio” n=”109r”
Lystily for laucyng þe lere of þe knot;Þay gryped to þe gargulun, and grayþely departedÞe wesaunt fro þe wynt-hole, and walt out þe guttez;Þen scher þay out þe schulderez with her scharp knyuez,Haled hem by a lyttel hole to haue hole sydes.Siþen britned þay þe brest and brayden hit in twynne,And eft at þe gargulun bigynez on þenne,Ryuez hit vp radly ry3t to þe by3t,Voydez out þe avanters, and verayly þerafterAlle þe rymez by þe rybbez radly þay lance;So ryde þay of by resoun bi þe rygge bonez,Euenden to þe haunche, þat henged alle samen,And heuen hit vp al hole, and hwen hit of þere,And þat þay neme for þe noumbles bi nome, as I trowe, bi kynde; Bi þe by3t al of þe þy3es Þe lappez þay lance bihynde; To hewe hit in two þay hy3es, Bi þe bakbon to vnbynde.Boþe þe hede and þe hals þay hwen of þenne,And syþen sunder þay þe sydez swyft fro þe chyne,

And þe corbeles fee þay kest in a greue;Þenn þurled þay ayþer þik side þur3 bi þe rybbe,And henged þenne ayþer bi ho3ez of þe fourchez,Vche freke for his fee, as fallez for to haue.Vpon a felle of þe fayre best fede þay þayr houndesWyth þe lyuer and þe ly3tez, þe leþer of þe paunchez,And bred baþed in blod blende þeramongez.Baldely þay blw prys, bayed þayr rachchez,Syþen fonge þay her flesche, folden to home,Strakande ful stoutly mony stif motez.Bi þat þe dayly3t watz done þe douthe watz al wonenInto þe comly castel, þer þe kny3t bidez ful stille, Wyth blys and bry3t fyr bette. Þe lorde is comen þertylle; When Gawayn wyth hym mette Þer watz bot wele at wylle.

“folio” n=”109v”
Thenne comaunded þe lorde in þat sale to samen alle þe meny,Boþe þe ladyes on loghe to ly3t with her burdesBifore alle þe folk on þe flette, frekez he beddezVerayly his venysoun to fech hym byforne,And al godly in gomen Gawayn he called,Techez hym to þe tayles of ful tayt bestes,Schewez hym þe schyree grece schorne vpon rybbes.’How payez yow þis play? Haf I prys wonnen?Haue I þryuandely þonk þur3 my craft serued?”3e iwysse,’ quoþ þat oþer wy3e, ‘here is wayth fayrestÞat I se3 þis seuen 3ere in sesoun of wynter.”And al I gif yow, Gawayn,’ quoþ þe gome þenne,’For by acorde of couenaunt 3e craue hit as your awen.”Þis is soth,’ quoþ þe segge, ‘I say yow þat ilke:Þat I haf worthyly wonnen þis wonez wythinne,Iwysse with as god wylle hit worþez to 3ourez.’He hasppez his fayre hals his armez wythinne,And kysses hym as comlyly as he couþe awyse:

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