Sir Gawain and the Green Knight


‘Tas yow þere my cheuicaunce, I cheued no more;I wowche hit saf fynly, þa3 feler hit were.”Hit is god,’ quoþ þe godmon, ‘grant mercy þerfore.Hit may be such hit is þe better, and 3e me breue woldeWhere 3e wan þis ilk wele bi wytte of yorseluen.”Þat watz not forward,’ quoþ he, ‘frayst me no more.For 3e haf tan þat yow tydez, trawe non oþer 3e mowe.’ Þay la3ed, and made hem blyþe Wyth lotez þat were to lowe; To soper þay 3ede as-swyþe, Wyth dayntés nwe innowe.And syþen by þe chymné in chamber þay seten,Wy3ez þe walle wyn we3ed to hem oft,And efte in her bourdyng þay bayþen in þe mornTo fylle þe same forwardez þat þay byfore maden:Wat chaunce so bytydez hor cheuysaunce to chaunge,What nwez so þay nome, at na3t quen þay metten.Þay acorded of þe couenauntez byfore þe court alle;

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Þe beuerage watz bro3t forth in bourde at þat tyme,Þenne þay louelych le3ten leue at þe last,Vche burne to his bedde busked bylyue.Bi þat þe coke hade crowen and cakled bot þryse,Þe lorde watz lopen of his bedde, þe leudez vchone;So þat þe mete and þe masse watz metely delyuered,Þe douthe dressed to þe wod, er any day sprenged, to chace; He3 with hunte and hornez Þur3 playnez þay passe in space, Vncoupled among þo þornez Rachez þat ran on race.SONE þay calle of a quest in a ker syde,Þe hunt rehayted þe houndez þat hit fyrst mynged,Wylde wordez hym warp wyth a wrast noyce;Þe howndez þat hit herde hastid þider swyþe,And fellen as fast to þe fuyt, fourty at ones;

Þenne such a glauer ande glam of gedered rachchezRos, þat þe rocherez rungen aboute;Hunterez hem hardened with horne and wyth muthe.Þen al in a semblé sweyed togeder,Bitwene a flosche in þat fryth and a foo cragge;In a knot bi a clyffe, at þe kerre syde,Þer as þe rogh rocher vnrydely watz fallen,Þay ferden to þe fyndyng, and frekez hem after;Þay vmbekesten þe knarre and þe knot boþe,Wy3ez, whyl þay wysten wel wythinne hem hit were,Þe best þat þer breued watz wyth þe blodhoundez.Þenne þay beten on þe buskez, and bede hym vpryse,And he vnsoundyly out so3t seggez ouerþwert;On þe sellokest swyn swenged out þere,Long sythen fro þe sounder þat si3ed for olde,For he watz breme, bor alþer-grattest,Ful grymme quen he gronyed; þenne greued mony,For þre at þe fyrst þrast he þry3t to þe erþe,And sparred forth good sped boute spyt more.Þise oþer halowed hyghe! ful hy3e, and hay! hay! cryed,

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Haden hornez to mouþe, heterly rechated;Mony watz þe myry mouthe of men and of houndezÞat buskkez after þis bor with bost and wyth noyse to quelle. Ful oft he bydez þe baye, And maymez þe mute inn melle; He hurtez of þe houndez, and þay Ful 3omerly 3aule and 3elle.Schalkez to schote at hym schowen to þenne,Haled to hym of her arewez, hitten hym oft;Bot þe poyntez payred at þe pyth þat py3t in his scheldez,And þe barbez of his browe bite non wolde — Þa3 þe schauen schaft schyndered in pecez,Þe hede hypped a3ayn were-so-euer hit hitte.-41-

Bot quen þe dyntez hym dered of her dry3e strokez,Þen, braynwod for bate, on burnez he rasez,Hurtez hem ful heterly þer he forth hy3ez,And mony ar3ed þerat, and on lyte dro3en.Bot þe lorde on a ly3t horce launces hym after,As burne bolde vpon bent his bugle he blowez,He rechated, and rode þur3 ronez ful þyk,Suande þis wylde swyn til þe sunne schafted.Þis day wyth þis ilk dede þay dryuen on þis wyse,Whyle oure luflych lede lys in his bedde,Gawayn grayþely at home, in gerez ful ryche of hewe. Þe lady no3t for3ate, Com to hym to salue; Ful erly ho watz hym ate His mode for to remwe.Ho commes to þe cortyn, and at þe kny3t totes.Sir Wawen her welcumed worþy on fyrst,And ho hym 3eldez a3ayn ful 3erne of hir wordez,Settez hir softly by his syde, and swyþely ho la3ez,And wyth a luflych loke ho layde hym þyse wordez:’Sir, 3if 3e be Wawen, wonder me þynkkez,Wy3e þat is so wel wrast alway to god,And connez not of compaynye þe costez vndertake,

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And if mon kennes yow hom to knowe, 3e kest hom of your mynde;Þou hatz for3eten 3ederly þat 3isterday I ta3tteBi alder-truest token of talk þat I cowþe.”What is þat?’ quoþ þe wyghe, ‘Iwysse I wot neuer;If hit be sothe þat 3e breue, þe blame is myn awen.”3et I kende yow of kyssyng,’ quoþ þe clere þenne,’Quere-so countenaunce is couþe quikly to clayme;Þat bicumes vche a kny3t þat cortaysy vses.”Do way,’ quoþ þat derf mon, ‘my dere, þat speche,For þat durst I not do, lest I deuayed were;If I were werned, I were wrang, iwysse, 3if I profered.”Ma fay,’ quoþ þe meré wyf, ‘3e may not be werned,

3e ar stif innoghe to constrayne wyth strenkþe, 3if yow lykez,3if any were so vilanous þat yow devaye wolde.”3e, be God,’ quoþ Gawayn, ‘good is your speche,Bot þrete is vnþryuande in þede þer I lende,And vche gift þat is geuen not with goud wylle.I am at your comaundement, to kysse quen yow lykez,3e may lach quen yow lyst, and leue quen yow þynkkez, in space.’ Þe lady loutez adoun, And comlyly kysses his face, Much speche þay þer expoun Of druryes greme and grace.’I woled wyt at yow, wy3e,’ þat worþy þer sayde,’And yow wrathed not þerwyth, what were þe skylleÞat so 3ong and so 3epe as 3e at þis tyme,So cortayse, so kny3tly, as 3e ar knowen oute — And of alle cheualry to chose, þe chef þyng alosedIs þe lel layk of luf, þe lettrure of armes;For to telle of þis teuelyng of þis trwe kny3tez,Hit is þe tytelet token and tyxt of her werkkez,How ledes for her lele luf hor lyuez han auntered,Endured for her drury dulful stoundez,And after wenged with her walour and voyded her care,And bro3t blysse into boure with bountees hor awen — And 3e ar kny3t comlokest kyd of your elde,

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