Sir Gawain and the Green Knight


As al were slypped vpon slepe so slaked hor lotez in hy3e — I deme hit not al for doute, Bot sum for cortaysye — Bot let hym þat al schulde loute Cast vnto þat wy3e.Þenn Arþour bifore þe hi3 dece þat auenture byholdez,And rekenly hym reuerenced, for rad was he neuer,And sayde, ‘Wy3e, welcum iwys to þis place,

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Þe hede of þis ostel Arthour I hat;Li3t luflych adoun and lenge, I þe praye,And quat-so þy wylle is we schal wyt after.”Nay, as help me,’ quoþ þe haþel, ‘he þat on hy3e syttes,To wone any quyle in þis won, hit watz not myn ernde;Bot for þe los of þe, lede, is lyft vp so hy3e,And þy bur3 and þy burnes best ar holden,Stifest vnder stel-gere on stedes to ryde,Þe wy3test and þe worþyest of þe worldes kynde,Preue for to play wyth in oþer pure laykez,And here is kydde cortaysye, as I haf herd carp,And þat hatz wayned me hider, iwyis, at þis tyme.3e may be seker bi þis braunch þat I bere hereÞat I passe as in pes, and no ply3t seche;For had I founded in fere in fe3tyng wyse,I haue a hauberghe at home and a helme boþe,A schelde and a scharp spere, schinande bry3t,Ande oþer weppenes to welde, I wene wel, als;Bot for I wolde no were, my wedez ar softer.Bot if þou be so bold as alle burnez tellen,Þou wyl grant me godly þe gomen þat I ask bi ry3t.’ Arthour con onsware, And sayd, ‘Sir cortays kny3t, If þou craue batayl bare, Here faylez þou not to fy3t.”Nay, frayst I no fy3t, in fayth I þe telle,Hit arn aboute on þis bench bot berdlez chylder.If I were hasped in armes on a he3e stede,

Here is no mon me to mach, for my3tez so wayke.Forþy I craue in þis court a Crystemas gomen,For hit is 3ol and Nwe 3er, and here ar 3ep mony:If any so hardy in þis hous holdez hymseluen,Be so bolde in his blod, brayn in hys hede,Þat dar stifly strike a strok for an oþer,I schal gif hym of my gyft þys giserne ryche,Þis ax, þat is heué innogh, to hondele as hym lykes,

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And I schal bide þe fyrst bur as bare as I sitte.If any freke be so felle to fonde þat I telle,Lepe ly3tly me to, and lach þis weppen,I quit-clayme hit for euer, kepe hit as his auen,And I schal stonde hym a strok, stif on þis flet,Ellez þou wyl di3t me þe dom to dele hym an oþer barlay, And 3et gif hym respite, A twelmonyth and a day; Now hy3e, and let se tite Dar any herinne o3t say.’If he hem stowned vpon fyrst, stiller were þanneAlle þe heredmen in halle, þe hy3 and þe lo3e.Þe renk on his rouncé hym ruched in his sadel,And runischly his rede y3en he reled aboute,Bende his bresed bro3ez, blycande grene,Wayued his berde for to wayte quo-so wolde ryse.When non wolde kepe hym with carp he co3ed ful hy3e,Ande rimed hym ful richly, and ry3t hym to speke:’What, is þis Arthures hous,’ quoþ þe haþel þenne,’Þat al þe rous rennes of þur3 ryalmes so mony?Where is now your sourquydrye and your conquestes,Your gryndellayk and your greme, and your grete wordes?Now is þe reuel and þe renoun of þe Rounde TableOuerwalt wyth a worde of on wy3es speche,For al dares for drede withoute dynt schewed!’Wyth þis he la3es so loude þat þe lorde greued;Þe blod schot for scham into his schyre face and lere;

He wex as wroth as wynde, So did alle þat þer were. Þe kyng as kene bi kynde Þen stod þat stif mon nere,Ande sayde, ‘Haþel, by heuen, þyn askyng is nys,And as þou foly hatz frayst, fynde þe behoues.I know no gome þat is gast of þy grete wordes;Gif me now þy geserne, vpon Godez halue,And I schal bayþen þy bone þat þou boden habbes.’

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Ly3tly lepez he hym to, and la3t at his honde.Þen feersly þat oþer freke vpon fote ly3tis.Now hatz Arthure his axe, and þe halme grypez,And sturnely sturez hit aboute, þat stryke wyth hit þo3t.Þe stif mon hym bifore stod vpon hy3t,Herre þen ani in þe hous by þe hede and more.Wyth sturne schere þer he stod he stroked his berde,And wyth a countenaunce dry3e he dro3 doun his cote,No more mate ne dismayd for hys mayn dintezÞen any burne vpon bench hade bro3t hym to drynk of wyne. Gawan, þat sate bi þe quene, To þe kyng he can enclyne: ‘I beseche now with sa3ez sene Þis melly mot be myne.’Wolde 3e, worþilych lorde,’ quoþ Wawan to þe kyng,’Bid me bo3e fro þis benche, and stonde by yow þere,Þat I wythoute vylanye my3t voyde þis table,And þat my legge lady lyked not ille,I wolde com to your counseyl bifore your cort ryche.For me þink hit not semly, as hit is soþ knawen,Þer such an askyng is heuened so hy3e in your sale,Þa3 3e 3ourself be talenttyf, to take hit to yourseluen,Whil mony so bolde yow aboute vpon bench sytten,Þat vnder heuen I hope non ha3erer of wylle,Ne better bodyes on bent þer baret is rered.I am þe wakkest, I wot, and of wyt feblest,And lest lur of my lyf, quo laytes þe soþe —

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