Sir Gawain and the Green Knight


Þe burne þat rod hym by Bede his mayster abide.’For I haf wonnen yow hider, wy3e, at þis tyme,And now nar 3e not fer fro þat note placeÞat 3e han spied and spuryed so specially after;Bot I schal say yow for soþe, syþen I yow knowe,And 3e ar a lede vpon lyue þat I wel louy,Wolde 3e worch bi my wytte, 3e worþed þe better.Þe place þat 3e prece to ful perelous is halden;Þer wonez a wy3e in þat waste, þe worst vpon erþe,For he is stiffe and sturne, and to strike louies,And more he is þen any mon vpon myddelerde,And his body bigger þen þe best fowreÞat ar in Arþurez hous, Hestor, oþer oþer.He cheuez þat chaunce at þe chapel grene,Þer passes non bi þat place so proude in his armesÞat he ne dyngez hym to deþe with dynt of his honde;For he is a mon methles, and mercy non vses,For be hit chorle oþer chaplayn þat bi þe chapel rydes,Monk oþer masseprest, oþer any mon elles,Hym þynk as queme hym to quelle as quyk go hymseluen.Forþy I say þe, as soþe as 3e in sadel sitte,Com 3e þere, 3e be kylled, may þe kny3t rede,Trawe 3e me þat trwely, þa3 3e had twenty lyues to spende. He hatz wonyd here ful 3ore, On bent much baret bende, A3ayn his dyntez sore 3e may not yow defende.’Forþy, goude Sir Gawayn, let þe gome one,And gotz away sum oþer gate, vpon Goddez halue!Cayrez bi sum oþer kyth, þer Kryst mot yow spede,And I schal hy3 me hom a3ayn, and hete yow fyrre
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Þat I schal swere bi God and alle his gode hal3ez,As help me God and þe halydam, and oþez innoghe,Þat I schal lelly yow layne, and lance neuer taleÞat euer 3e fondet to fle for freke þat I wyst.’

‘Grant merci’, quoþ Gawayn, and gruchyng he sayde:’Wel worth þe, wy3e, þat woldez my gode,And þat lelly me layne I leue wel þou woldez.Bot helde þou hit neuer so holde, and I here passed,Founded for ferde for to fle, in fourme þat þou tellez,I were a kny3t kowarde, I my3t not be excused.Bot I wyl to þe chapel, for chaunce þat may falle,And talk wyth þat ilk tulk þe tale þat me lyste,Worþe hit wele oþer wo, as þe wyrde lykez hit hafe. Þa3e he be a sturn knape To sti3tel, and stad with staue, Ful wel con Dry3tyn schape His seruauntez for to saue.”Mary!’ quoþ þat oþer mon, ‘now þou so much spellez,Þat þou wylt þyn awen nye nyme to þyseluen,And þe lyst lese þy lyf, þe lette I ne kepe.Haf here þi helme on þy hede, þi spere in þi honde,And ryde me doun þis ilk rake bi 3on rokke syde,Til þou be bro3t to þe boþem of þe brem valay;Þenne loke a littel on þe launde, on þi lyfte honde,And þou schal se in þat slade þe self chapel,And þe borelych burne on bent þat hit kepez.Now farez wel, on Godez half, Gawayn þe noble!For alle þe golde vpon grounde I nolde go wyth þe,Ne bere þe fela3schip þur3 þis fryth on fote fyrre.’Bi þat þe wy3e in þe wod wendez his brydel,Hit þe hors with þe helez as harde as he my3t,Lepez hym ouer þe launde, and leuez þe kny3t þere al one. ‘Bi Goddez self,’ quoþ Gawayn, ‘I wyl nauþer grete ne grone; To Goddez wylle I am ful bayn, And to hym I haf me tone.’
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Thenne gyrdez he to Gryngolet, and gederez þe rake,Schowuez in bi a schore at a scha3e syde,Ridez þur3 þe ro3e bonk ry3t to þe dale;

And þenne he wayted hym aboute, and wylde hit hym þo3t,And se3e no syngne of resette bisydez nowhere,Bot hy3e bonkkez and brent vpon boþe halue,And ru3e knokled knarrez with knorned stonez;Þe skwez of þe scowtes skayned hym þo3t.Þenne he houed, and wythhylde his hors at þat tyde,And ofte chaunged his cher þe chapel to seche:He se3 non suche in no syde, and selly hym þo3t,Saue, a lyttel on a launde, a lawe as hit were;A bal3 ber3 bi a bonke þe brymme bysyde,Bi a for3 of a flode þat ferked þare;Þe borne blubred þerinne as hit boyled hade.Þe kny3t kachez his caple, and com to þe lawe,Li3tez doun luflyly, and at a lynde tachezÞe rayne and his riche with a ro3e braunche.Þenne he bo3ez to þe ber3e, aboute hit he walkez,Debatande with hymself quat hit be my3t.Hit hade a hole on þe ende and on ayþer syde,And ouergrowen with gresse in glodes aywhere,And al watz hol3 inwith, nobot an olde caue,Or a creuisse of an olde cragge, he couþe hit no3t deme with spelle. ‘We! Lorde,’ quoþ þe gentyle kny3t, ‘Wheþer þis be þe grene chapelle? Here my3t aboute mydny3t Þe dele his matynnes telle!’Now iwysse,’ quoþ Wowayn, ‘wysty is here;Þis oritore is vgly, with erbez ouergrowen;Wel bisemez þe wy3e wruxled in greneDele here his deuocioun on þe deuelez wyse.Now I fele hit is þe fende, in my fyue wyttez,Þat hatz stoken me þis steuen to strye me here.Þis is a chapel of meschaunce, þat chekke hit bytyde!Hit is þe corsedest kyrk þat euer I com inne!’

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With he3e helme on his hede, his launce in his honde,He romez vp to þe roffe of þe ro3 wonez.

Þene herde he of þat hy3e hil, in a harde rocheBi3onde þe broke, in a bonk, a wonder breme noyse,Quat! hit clatered in þe clyff, as hit cleue schulde,As one vpon a gryndelston hade grounden a syþe.What! hit wharred and whette, as water at a mulne;What! hit rusched and ronge, rawþe to here.Þenne ‘Bi Godde,’ quoþ Gawayn, ‘þat gere, as I trowe,Is ryched at þe reuerence me, renk, to mete bi rote. Let God worche! “We loo” — Hit helppez me not a mote. My lif þa3 I forgoo, Drede dotz me no lote.’Thenne þe kny3t con calle ful hy3e:’Who sti3tlez in þis sted me steuen to holde?For now is gode Gawayn goande ry3t here.If any wy3e o3t wyl, wynne hider fast,Oþer now oþer neuer, his nedez to spede.”Abyde’, quoþ on on þe bonke abouen ouer his hede,’And þou schal haf al in hast þat I þe hy3t ones.’3et he rusched on þat rurde rapely a þrowe.And wyth quettyng awharf, er he wolde ly3t;And syþen he keuerez bi a cragge, and comez of a hole,Whyrlande out of a wro wyth a felle weppen,A denez ax nwe dy3t, þe dynt with to 3elde,With a borelych bytte bende by þe halme,Fyled in a fylor, fowre fote large — Hit watz no lasse bi þat lace þat lemed ful bry3t — And þe gome in þe grene gered as fyrst,Boþe þe lyre and þe leggez, lokkez and berde,Saue þat fayre on his fote he foundez on þe erþe,Sette þe stele to þe stone, and stalked bysyde.When he wan to þe watter, þer he wade nolde,He hypped ouer on hys ax, and orpedly strydez,Bremly broþe on a bent þat brode watz aboute, on snawe.

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