Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Editor: J.R.R. Tolkien and E.V. Gordon
Rev. by Norman Davis,
Clarendon Press
Oxford, 1967

First ed. published in 1925
Includes bibliographical references (p. 153-156)
The printed text contained illustrations which are not noted in the electronic text

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Passus  I

folio 91r
Page 1
Stanza 1
1 SIÞEN þe sege and þe assaut watz sesed at Troye,
2 Þe bor3 brittened and brent to bronde3 and askez,
3 Þe tulk þat þe trammes of tresoun þer wro3t
4 Watz tried for his tricherie, þe trewest on erthe:
5 Hit watz Ennias þe athel, and his highe kynde,
6 Þat siþen depreced prouinces, and patrounes bicome
7 Welne3e of al þe wele in þe west iles.
8 Fro riche Romulus to Rome ricchis hym swyþe,
9 With gret bobbaunce þat bur3e he biges vpon fyrst,
10 And neuenes hit his aune nome, as hit now hat;
11 Tirius to Tuskan and teldes bigynnes,
12 Langaberde in Lumbardie lyftes vp homes,
13 And fer ouer þe French flod Felix Brutus
14 On mony bonkkes ful brode Bretayn he settez        
15         wyth wynne,
16     Where werre and wrake and wonder
17     Bi syþez hatz wont þerinne,
18     And oft boþe blysse and blunder
19     Ful skete hatz skyfted synne.

Stanza 2
20 Ande quen þis Bretayn watz bigged bi þis burn rych,
21 Bolde bredden þerinne, baret þat lofden,
22 In mony turned tyme tene þat wro3ten.
23 Mo ferlyes on þis folde han fallen here oft
24 Þen in any oþer þat I wot, syn þat ilk tyme.
25 Bot of alle þat here bult, of Bretaygne kynges,
26 Ay watz Arthur þe hendest, as I haf herde telle.
folio 91v
Page 2
27 Forþi an aunter in erde I attle to schawe,
28 Þat a selly in si3t summe men hit holden,
29 And an outtrage awenture of Arthurez wonderez.
30 If 3e wyl lysten þis laye bot on littel quile,
31 I schal telle hit as-tit, as I in toun herde,
32         with tonge,
33     As hit is stad and stoken
34     In stori stif and stronge,
35     With lel letteres loken,
36     In londe so hatz ben longe.

Stanza 3
37 Þis kyng lay at Camylot vpon Krystmasse
38 With mony luflych lorde, ledez of þe best,
39 Rekenly of þe Rounde Table alle þo rich breþer,
40 With rych reuel ory3t and rechles merþes.
41 Þer tournayed tulkes by tymez ful mony,
42 Justed ful jolilé þise gentyle kni3tes,
43 Syþen kayred to þe court caroles to make.
44 For þer þe fest watz ilyche ful fiften dayes,
45 With alle þe mete and þe mirþe þat men couþe avyse;
46 Such glaum ande gle glorious to here,
47 Dere dyn vpon day, daunsyng on ny3tes,
48 Al watz hap vpon he3e in hallez and chambrez
49 With lordez and ladies, as leuest him þo3t.
50 With all þe wele of þe worlde þay woned þer samen,
51 Þe most kyd kny3tez vnder Krystes seluen,
52 And þe louelokkest ladies þat euer lif haden,
53 And he þe comlokest kyng þat þe court haldes;
54 For al watz þis fayre folk in her first age,
55         on sille,
56     Þe hapnest vnder heuen,
57     Kyng hy3est mon of wylle;
58     Hit were now gret nye to neuen
59     So hardy a here on hille.

Stanza 4
60 Wyle Nw3er watz so 3ep þat hit watz nwe cummen,
61 Þat day doubble on þe dece watz þe douth serued.
62 Fro þe kyng watz cummen with kny3tes into þe halle,
Page 3
63 Þe chauntré of þe chapel cheued to an ende,
64 Loude crye watz þer kest of clerkez and oþer,
folio 92r
65 Nowel nayted onewe, neuened ful ofte;

66 And syþen riche forth runnen to reche hondeselle,
67 3e3ed 3eres-3iftes on hi3, 3elde hem bi hond,
68 Debated busyly aboute þo giftes;
69 Ladies la3ed ful loude, þo3 þay lost haden,
70 And he þat wan watz not wrothe, þat may 3e wel trawe.
71 Alle þis mirþe þay maden to þe mete tyme;
72 When þay had waschen worþyly þay wenten to sete,
73 Þe best burne ay abof, as hit best semed,
74 Whene Guenore, ful gay, grayþed in þe myddes,
75 Dressed on þe dere des, dubbed al aboute,
76 Smal sendal bisides, a selure hir ouer
77 Of tryed tolouse, and tars tapites innoghe,
78 Þat were enbrawded and beten wyth þe best gemmes
79 Þat my3t be preued of prys wyth penyes to bye,
80         in daye.
81     Þe comlokest to discrye
82     Þer glent with y3en gray,
83     A semloker þat euer he sy3e
84     Soth mo3t no mon say.

Stanza 5
85 Bot Arthure wolde not ete til al were serued,
86 He watz so joly of his joyfnes, and sumquat childgered:
87 His lif liked hym ly3t, he louied þe lasse
88 Auþer to longe lye or to longe sitte,
89 So bisied him his 3onge blod and his brayn wylde.
90 And also an oþer maner meued him eke
91 Þat he þur3 nobelay had nomen, he wolde neuer ete
92 Vpon such a dere day er hym deuised were
93 Of sum auenturus þyng an vncouþe tale,
94 Of sum mayn meruayle, þat he my3t trawe,
95 Of alderes, of armes, of oþer auenturus,
96 Oþer sum segg hym biso3t of sum siker kny3t
97 To joyne wyth hym in iustyng, in jopardé to lay,
98 Lede, lif for lyf, leue vchon oþer,
Page 4
99 As fortune wolde fulsun hom, þe fayrer to haue.
100 Þis watz þe kynges countenaunce where he in court were,
101 At vch farand fest among his fre meny
folio 92v
102         in halle.
103     Þerfore of face so fere
104     He sti3tlez stif in stalle,
105     Ful 3ep in þat Nw 3ere
106     Much mirthe he mas withalle.

Stanza 6
107 Thus þer stondes in stale þe stif kyng hisseluen,
108 Talkkande bifore þe hy3e table of trifles ful hende.
109 There gode Gawan watz grayþed Gwenore bisyde,
110 And Agrauayn a la dure mayn on þat oþer syde sittes,
111 Boþe þe kynges sistersunes and ful siker kni3tes;
112 Bischop Bawdewyn abof biginez þe table,
113 And Ywan, Vryn son, ette with hymseluen.
114 Þise were di3t on þe des and derworþly serued,
115 And siþen mony siker segge at þe sidbordez.
116 Þen þe first cors come with crakkyng of trumpes,
117 Wyth mony baner ful bry3t þat þerbi henged;
118 Nwe nakryn noyse with þe noble pipes,
119 Wylde werbles and wy3t wakned lote,
120 Þat mony hert ful hi3e hef at her towches.
121 Dayntés dryuen þerwyth of ful dere metes,
122 Foysoun of þe fresche, and on so fele disches
123 Þat pine to fynde þe place þe peple biforne
124 For to sette þe sylueren þat sere sewes halden
125         on clothe.
126     Iche lede as he loued hymselue
127     Þer laght withouten loþe;
128     Ay two had disches twelue,
129     Good ber and bry3t wyn boþe.

Stanza 7
130 Now wyl I of hor seruise say yow no more,
131 For vch wy3e may wel wit no wont þat þer were.
132 An oþer noyse ful newe ne3ed biliue,
133 Þat þe lude my3t haf leue liflode to cach;
Page 5
134 For vneþe watz þe noyce not a whyle sesed,
135 And þe fyrst cource in þe court kyndely serued,
136 Þer hales in at þe halle dor an aghlich mayster,
137 On þe most on þe molde on mesure hyghe;
138 Fro þe swyre to þe swange so sware and so þik,
139 And his lyndes and his lymes so longe and so grete,
folio 93r
140 Half etayn in erde I hope þat he were,
141 Bot mon most I algate mynn hym to bene,
142 And þat þe myriest in his muckel þat my3t ride;
143 For of bak and of brest al were his bodi sturne,
144 Both his wombe and his wast were worthily smale,
145 And alle his fetures fol3ande, in forme þat he hade,
146         ful clene;
147     For wonder of his hwe men hade,
148     Set in his semblaunt sene;
149     He ferde as freke were fade,
150     And oueral enker-grene.

Stanza 8
151 Ande al grayþed in grene þis gome and his wedes:
152 A strayte cote ful stre3t, þat stek on his sides,
153 A meré mantile abof, mensked withinne
154 With pelure pured apert, þe pane ful clene
155 With blyþe blaunner ful bry3t, and his hod boþe,
156 Þat watz la3t fro his lokkez and layde on his schulderes;
157 Heme wel-haled hose of þat same,
158 Þat spenet on his sparlyr, and clene spures vnder
159 Of bry3t golde, vpon silk bordes barred ful ryche,
160 And scholes vnder schankes þere þe schalk rides;
161 And alle his vesture uerayly watz clene verdure,
162 Boþe þe barres of his belt and oþer blyþe stones,
163 Þat were richely rayled in his aray clene
164 Aboutte hymself and his sadel, vpon silk werkez.
165 Þat were to tor for to telle of tryfles þe halue
166 Þat were enbrauded abof, wyth bryddes and fly3es,
167 With gay gaudi of grene, þe golde ay inmyddes.
168 Þe pendauntes of his payttrure, þe proude cropure,
169 His molaynes, and alle þe metail anamayld was þenne,
170 Þe steropes þat he stod on stayned of þe same,
Page 6
171 And his arsounz al after and his aþel skyrtes,
172 Þat euer glemered and glent al of grene stones;
173 Þe fole þat he ferkkes on fyn of þat ilke,
174         sertayn,
175     A grene hors gret and þikke,
176     A stede ful stif to strayne,
177     In brawden brydel quik--
folio 93v
178     To þe gome he watz ful gayn.

Stanza 9
179 Wel gay watz þis gome gered in grene,
180 And þe here of his hed of his hors swete.
181 Fayre fannand fax vmbefoldes his schulderes;
182 A much berd as a busk ouer his brest henges,
183 Þat wyth his hi3lich here þat of his hed reches
184 Watz euesed al vmbetorne abof his elbowes,
185 Þat half his armes þer-vnder were halched in þe wyse
186 Of a kyngez capados þat closes his swyre;
187 Þe mane of þat mayn hors much to hit lyke,
188 Wel cresped and cemmed, wyth knottes ful mony
189 Folden in wyth fildore aboute þe fayre grene,
190 Ay a herle of þe here, an oþer of golde;
191 Þe tayl and his toppyng twynnen of a sute,
192 And bounden boþe wyth a bande of a bry3t grene,
193 Dubbed wyth ful dere stonez, as þe dok lasted,
194 Syþen þrawen wyth a þwong a þwarle knot alofte,
195 Þer mony bellez ful bry3t of brende golde rungen.
196 Such a fole vpon folde, ne freke þat hym rydes,
197 Watz neuer sene in þat sale wyth sy3t er þat tyme,
198         with y3e.
199     He loked as layt so ly3t,
200     So sayd al þat hym sy3e;
201     Hit semed as no mon my3t
202     Vnder his dynttez dry3e.

Stanza 10
203 Wheþer hade he no helme ne hawbergh nauþer,
204 Ne no pysan ne no plate þat pented to armes,
205 Ne no schafte ne no schelde to schwue ne to smyte,
206 Bot in his on honde he hade a holyn bobbe,
Page 7
207 Þat is grattest in grene when greuez ar bare,
208 And an ax in his oþer, a hoge and vnmete,
209 A spetos sparþe to expoun in spelle, quoso my3t.
210 Þe lenkþe of an eln3erde þe large hede hade,
211 Þe grayn al of grene stele and of golde hewen,
212 Þe bit burnyst bry3t, with a brod egge
213 As wel schapen to schere as scharp rasores,
214 Þe stele of a stif staf þe sturne hit bi grypte,
folio 94r
215 Þat watz wounden wyth yrn to þe wandez ende,
216 And al bigrauen with grene in gracios werkes;
217 A lace lapped aboute, þat louked at þe hede,
218 And so after þe halme halched ful ofte,
219 Wyth tryed tasselez þerto tacched innoghe
220 On botounz of þe bry3t grene brayden ful ryche.
221 Þis haþel heldez hym in and þe halle entres,
222 Driuande to þe he3e dece, dut he no woþe,
223 Haylsed he neuer one, bot he3e he ouer loked.
224 Þe fyrst word þat he warp, 'Wher is', he sayd,
225 'Þe gouernour of þis gyng? Gladly I wolde
226 Se þat segg in sy3t, and with hymself speke
227         raysoun.'
228     To kny3tez he kest his y3e,
229     And reled hym vp and doun;
230     He stemmed, and con studie
231     Quo walt þer most renoun.

Stanza 11
232 Ther watz lokyng on lenþe þe lude to beholde,
233 For vch mon had meruayle quat hit mene my3t
234 Þat a haþel and a horse my3t such a hwe lach,
235 As growe grene as þe gres and grener hit semed,
236 Þen grene aumayl on golde glowande bry3ter.
237 Al studied þat þer stod, and stalked hym nerre
238 Wyth al þe wonder of þe worlde what he worch schulde.
239 For fele sellyez had þay sen, bot such neuer are;
240 Forþi for fantoum and fayry3e þe folk þere hit demed.
241 Þerfore to answare watz ar3e mony aþel freke,
242 And al stouned at his steuen and stonstil seten
243 In a swoghe sylence þur3 þe sale riche;
Page 8
244 As al were slypped vpon slepe so slaked hor lotez
245         in hy3e--
246     I deme hit not al for doute,
247     Bot sum for cortaysye--
248     Bot let hym þat al schulde loute
249     Cast vnto þat wy3e.

Stanza 12
250 Þenn Arþour bifore þe hi3 dece þat auenture byholdez,
251 And rekenly hym reuerenced, for rad was he neuer,
252 And sayde, 'Wy3e, welcum iwys to þis place,
folio 94v
253 Þe hede of þis ostel Arthour I hat;
254 Li3t luflych adoun and lenge, I þe praye,
255 And quat-so þy wylle is we schal wyt after.'
256 'Nay, as help me,' quoþ þe haþel, 'he þat on hy3e syttes,
257 To wone any quyle in þis won, hit watz not myn ernde;
258 Bot for þe los of þe, lede, is lyft vp so hy3e,
259 And þy bur3 and þy burnes best ar holden,
260 Stifest vnder stel-gere on stedes to ryde,
261 Þe wy3test and þe worþyest of þe worldes kynde,
262 Preue for to play wyth in oþer pure laykez,
263 And here is kydde cortaysye, as I haf herd carp,
264 And þat hatz wayned me hider, iwyis, at þis tyme.
265 3e may be seker bi þis braunch þat I bere here
266 Þat I passe as in pes, and no ply3t seche;
267 For had I founded in fere in fe3tyng wyse,
268 I haue a hauberghe at home and a helme boþe,
269 A schelde and a scharp spere, schinande bry3t,
270 Ande oþer weppenes to welde, I wene wel, als;
271 Bot for I wolde no were, my wedez ar softer.
272 Bot if þou be so bold as alle burnez tellen,
273 Þou wyl grant me godly þe gomen þat I ask
274         bi ry3t.'
275     Arthour con onsware,
276     And sayd, 'Sir cortays kny3t,
277     If þou craue batayl bare,
278     Here faylez þou not to fy3t.'

Stanza 13
279 'Nay, frayst I no fy3t, in fayth I þe telle,
280 Hit arn aboute on þis bench bot berdlez chylder.
281 If I were hasped in armes on a he3e stede,
Page 9
282 Here is no mon me to mach, for my3tez so wayke.
283 Forþy I craue in þis court a Crystemas gomen,
284 For hit is 3ol and Nwe 3er, and here ar 3ep mony:
285 If any so hardy in þis hous holdez hymseluen,
286 Be so bolde in his blod, brayn in hys hede,
287 Þat dar stifly strike a strok for an oþer,
288 I schal gif hym of my gyft þys giserne ryche,
289 Þis ax, þat is heué innogh, to hondele as hym lykes,
folio 95r
290 And I schal bide þe fyrst bur as bare as I sitte.
291 If any freke be so felle to fonde þat I telle,
292 Lepe ly3tly me to, and lach þis weppen,
293 I quit-clayme hit for euer, kepe hit as his auen,
294 And I schal stonde hym a strok, stif on þis flet,
295 Ellez þou wyl di3t me þe dom to dele hym an oþer
296         barlay,
297     And 3et gif hym respite,
298     A twelmonyth and a day;
299     Now hy3e, and let se tite
300     Dar any herinne o3t say.'

Stanza 14
301 If he hem stowned vpon fyrst, stiller were þanne
302 Alle þe heredmen in halle, þe hy3 and þe lo3e.
303 Þe renk on his rouncé hym ruched in his sadel,
304 And runischly his rede y3en he reled aboute,
305 Bende his bresed bro3ez, blycande grene,
306 Wayued his berde for to wayte quo-so wolde ryse.
307 When non wolde kepe hym with carp he co3ed ful hy3e,
308 Ande rimed hym ful richly, and ry3t hym to speke:
309 'What, is þis Arthures hous,' quoþ þe haþel þenne,
310 'Þat al þe rous rennes of þur3 ryalmes so mony?
311 Where is now your sourquydrye and your conquestes,
312 Your gryndellayk and your greme, and your grete wordes?
313 Now is þe reuel and þe renoun of þe Rounde Table
314 Ouerwalt wyth a worde of on wy3es speche,
315 For al dares for drede withoute dynt schewed!'
316 Wyth þis he la3es so loude þat þe lorde greued;
317 Þe blod schot for scham into his schyre face
318         and lere;
Page 10
319     He wex as wroth as wynde,
320     So did alle þat þer were.
321     Þe kyng as kene bi kynde
322     Þen stod þat stif mon nere,

Stanza 15
323 Ande sayde, 'Haþel, by heuen, þyn askyng is nys,
324 And as þou foly hatz frayst, fynde þe behoues.
325 I know no gome þat is gast of þy grete wordes;
326 Gif me now þy geserne, vpon Godez halue,
327 And I schal bayþen þy bone þat þou boden habbes.'
folio 95v
328 Ly3tly lepez he hym to, and la3t at his honde.
329 Þen feersly þat oþer freke vpon fote ly3tis.
330 Now hatz Arthure his axe, and þe halme grypez,
331 And sturnely sturez hit aboute, þat stryke wyth hit þo3t.
332 Þe stif mon hym bifore stod vpon hy3t,
333 Herre þen ani in þe hous by þe hede and more.
334 Wyth sturne schere þer he stod he stroked his berde,
335 And wyth a countenaunce dry3e he dro3 doun his cote,
336 No more mate ne dismayd for hys mayn dintez
337 Þen any burne vpon bench hade bro3t hym to drynk
338         of wyne.
339     Gawan, þat sate bi þe quene,
340     To þe kyng he can enclyne:
341     'I beseche now with sa3ez sene
342     Þis melly mot be myne.

Stanza 16
343 'Wolde 3e, worþilych lorde,' quoþ Wawan to þe kyng,
344 'Bid me bo3e fro þis benche, and stonde by yow þere,
345 Þat I wythoute vylanye my3t voyde þis table,
346 And þat my legge lady lyked not ille,
347 I wolde com to your counseyl bifore your cort ryche.
348 For me þink hit not semly, as hit is soþ knawen,
349 Þer such an askyng is heuened so hy3e in your sale,
350 Þa3 3e 3ourself be talenttyf, to take hit to yourseluen,
351 Whil mony so bolde yow aboute vpon bench sytten,
352 Þat vnder heuen I hope non ha3erer of wylle,
353 Ne better bodyes on bent þer baret is rered.
354 I am þe wakkest, I wot, and of wyt feblest,
355 And lest lur of my lyf, quo laytes þe soþe--
Page 11
356 Bot for as much as 3e ar myn em I am only to prayse,
357 No bounté bot your blod I in my bodé knowe;
358 And syþen þis note is so nys þat no3t hit yow falles,
359 And I haue frayned hit at yow fyrst, foldez hit to me;
360 And if I carp not comlyly, let alle þis cort rych
361         bout blame.'
362     Ryche togeder con roun,
363     And syþen þay redden alle same
364     To ryd þe kyng wyth croun,
365     And gif Gawan þe game.

folio 96r
Stanza 17
366 Þen comaunded þe kyng þe kny3t for to ryse;
367 And he ful radly vpros, and ruchched hym fayre,
368 Kneled doun bifore þe kyng, and cachez þat weppen;
369 And he luflyly hit hym laft, and lyfte vp his honde,
370 And gef hym Goddez blessyng, and gladly hym biddes
371 Þat his hert and his honde schulde hardi be boþe.
372 'Kepe þe, cosyn,' quoþ þe kyng, 'þat þou on kyrf sette,
373 And if þou redez hym ry3t, redly I trowe
374 Þat þou schal byden þe bur þat he schal bede after.'
375 Gawan gotz to þe gome with giserne in honde,
376 And he baldly hym bydez, he bayst neuer þe helder.
377 Þen carppez to Sir Gawan þe kny3t in þe grene,
378 'Refourme we oure forwardes, er we fyrre passe.
379 Fyrst I eþe þe, haþel, how þat þou hattes
380 Þat þou me telle truly, as I tryst may.'
381 'In god fayth,' quoþ þe goode kny3t, 'Gawan I hatte,
382 Þat bede þe þis buffet, quat-so bifallez after,
383 And at þis tyme twelmonyth take at þe an oþer
384 Wyth what weppen so þou wylt, and wyth no wy3 ellez
385         on lyue.'
386     Þat oþer onswarez agayn,
387     'Sir Gawan, so mot I þryue
388     As I am ferly fayn
389     Þis dint þat þou schal dryue.

Stanza 18
390 'Bigog,' quoþ þe grene kny3t, 'Sir Gawan, me lykes
391 Þat I schal fange at þy fust þat I haf frayst here.
392 And þou hatz redily rehersed, bi resoun ful trwe,
Page 12
393 Clanly al þe couenaunt þat I þe kynge asked,
394 Saf þat þou schal siker me, segge, bi þi trawþe,
395 Þat þou schal seche me þiself, where-so þou hopes
396 I may be funde vpon folde, and foch þe such wages
397 As þou deles me to-day bifore þis douþe ryche.'
398 'Where schulde I wale þe,' quoþ Gauan, 'where is þy place?
399 I wot neuer where þou wonyes, bi hym þat me wro3t,
400 Ne I know not þe, kny3t, by cort ne þi name.
401 Bot teche me truly þerto, and telle me how þou hattes,
402 And I schal ware alle my wyt to wynne me þeder,
folio 96v
403 And þat I swere þe for soþe, and by my seker traweþ.'
404 'Þat is innogh in Nwe 3er, hit nedes no more',
405 Quoþ þe gome in þe grene to Gawan þe hende;
406 '3if I þe telle trwly, quen I þe tape haue
407 And þou me smoþely hatz smyten, smartly I þe teche
408 Of my hous and my home and myn owen nome,
409 Þen may þou frayst my fare and forwardez holde;
410 And if I spende no speche, þenne spedez þou þe better,
411 For þou may leng in þy londe and layt no fyrre--
412         bot slokes!
413     Ta now þy grymme tole to þe,
414     And let se how þou cnokez.'
415     'Gladly, sir, for soþe',
416     Quoþ Gawan; his ax he strokes.

Stanza 19
417 Þe grene kny3t vpon grounde grayþely hym dresses,
418 A littel lut with þe hede, þe lere he discouerez,
419 His longe louelych lokkez he layd ouer his croun,
420 Let þe naked nec to þe note schewe.
421 Gauan gripped to his ax, and gederes hit on hy3t,
422 Þe kay fot on þe folde he before sette,
423 Let him doun ly3tly ly3t on þe naked,
424 Þat þe scharp of þe schalk schyndered þe bones,
425 And schrank þur3 þe schyire grece, and schade hit in twynne,
426 Þat þe bit of þe broun stel bot on þe grounde.
427 Þe fayre hede fro þe halce hit to þe erþe,
428 Þat fele hit foyned wyth her fete, þere hit forth roled;
429 Þe blod brayd fro þe body, þat blykked on þe grene;
Page 13
430 And nawþer faltered ne fel þe freke neuer þe helder,
431 Bot styþly he start forth vpon styf schonkes,
432 And runyschly he ra3t out, þere as renkkez stoden,
433 La3t to his lufly hed, and lyft hit vp sone;
434 And syþen bo3ez to his blonk, þe brydel he cachchez,
435 Steppez into stelbawe and strydez alofte,
436 And his hede by þe here in his honde haldez;
437 And as sadly þe segge hym in his sadel sette
438 As non vnhap had hym ayled, þa3 hedlez he were
439         in stedde.
440     He brayde his bulk aboute,    
folio 97r
441     Þat vgly bodi þat bledde;
442     Moni on of hym had doute,
443     Bi þat his resounz were redde.

Stanza 20
444 For þe hede in his honde he haldez vp euen,
445 Toward þe derrest on þe dece he dressez þe face,
446 And hit lyfte vp þe y3e-lyddez and loked ful brode,
447 And meled þus much with his muthe, as 3e may now here:
448 'Loke, Gawan, þou be grayþe to go as þou hettez,
449 And layte as lelly til þou me, lude, fynde,
450 As þou hatz hette in þis halle, herande þise kny3tes;
451 To þe grene chapel þou chose, I charge þe, to fotte
452 Such a dunt as þou hatz dalt--disserued þou habbez
453 To be 3ederly 3olden on Nw 3eres morn.
454 Þe kny3t of þe grene chapel men knowen me mony;
455 Forþi me for to fynde if þou fraystez, faylez þou neuer.
456 Þerfore com, oþer recreaunt be calde þe behoues.'
457 With a runisch rout þe raynez he tornez,
458 Halled out at þe hal dor, his hed in his hande,
459 Þat þe fyr of þe flynt fla3e fro fole houes.
460 To quat kyth he becom knwe non þere,
461 Neuer more þen þay wyste from queþen he watz wonnen.
462         What þenne?
463     Þe kyng and Gawen þare
464     At þat grene þay la3e and grenne,
465     3et breued watz hit ful bare
466     A meruayl among þo menne.

Page 14
Stanza 21
467 Þa3 Arþer þe hende kyng at hert hade wonder,
468 He let no semblaunt be sene, bot sayde ful hy3e
469 To þe comlych quene wyth cortays speche,
470 'Dere dame, to-day demay yow neuer;
471 Wel bycommes such craft vpon Cristmasse,
472 Laykyng of enterludez, to la3e and to syng,
473 Among þise kynde caroles of kny3tez and ladyez.
474 Neuer þe lece to my mete I may me wel dres,
475 For I haf sen a selly, I may not forsake.'
476 He glent vpon Sir Gawen, and gaynly he sayde,
477 'Now, sir, heng vp þyn ax, þat hatz innogh hewen';
folio 97v
478 And hit watz don abof þe dece on doser to henge,
479 Þer alle men for meruayl my3t on hit loke,
480 And bi trwe tytel þerof to telle þe wonder.
481 Þenne þay bo3ed to a borde þise burnes togeder,
482 Þe kyng and þe gode kny3t, and kene men hem serued
483 Of alle dayntyez double, as derrest my3t falle;
484 Wyth alle maner of mete and mynstralcie boþe,
485 Wyth wele walt þay þat day, til worþed an ende
486         in londe.
487     Now þenk wel, Sir Gawan,
488     For woþe þat þou ne wonde
489     Þis auenture for to frayn
490     Þat þou hatz tan on honde.

Passus  II

Stanza 22
491 THIS hanselle hatz Arthur of auenturus on fyrst
492 In 3onge 3er, for he 3erned 3elpyng to here.
493 Tha3 hym wordez were wane when þay to sete wenten,
494 Now ar þay stoken of sturne werk, stafful her hond.
495 Gawan watz glad to begynne þose gomnez in halle,
496 Bot þa3 þe ende be heuy haf 3e no wonder;
497 For þa3 men ben mery in mynde quen þay han mayn drynk,
498 A 3ere 3ernes ful 3erne, and 3eldez neuer lyke,
499 Þe forme to þe fynisment foldez ful selden.
500 Forþi þis 3ol ouer3ede, and þe 3ere after,
501 And vche sesoun serlepes sued after oþer:
Page 15
502 After Crystenmasse com þe crabbed lentoun,
503 Þat fraystez flesch wyth þe fysche and fode more symple;
504 Bot þenne þe weder of þe worlde wyth wynter hit þrepez,
505 Colde clengez adoun, cloudez vplyften,
506 Schyre schedez þe rayn in schowrez ful warme,
507 Fallez vpon fayre flat, flowrez þere schewen,
508 Boþe groundez and þe greuez grene ar her wedez,
509 Bryddez busken to bylde, and bremlych syngen
510 For solace of þe softe somer þat sues þerafter
511         bi bonk;
512     And blossumez bolne to blowe
513     Bi rawez rych and ronk,
514     Þen notez noble inno3e
folio 98r
515     Ar herde in wod so wlonk.

Stanza 23
516 After þe sesoun of somer wyth þe soft wyndez
517 Quen Zeferus syflez hymself on sedez and erbez,
518 Wela wynne is þe wort þat waxes þeroute,
519 When þe donkande dewe dropez of þe leuez,
520 To bide a blysful blusch of þe bry3t sunne.
521 Bot þen hy3es heruest, and hardenes hym sone,
522 Warnez hym for þe wynter to wax ful rype;
523 He dryues wyth dro3t þe dust for to ryse,
524 Fro þe face of þe folde to fly3e ful hy3e;
525 Wroþe wynde of þe welkyn wrastelez with þe sunne,
526 Þe leuez lancen fro þe lynde and ly3ten on þe grounde,
527 And al grayes þe gres þat grene watz ere;
528 Þenne al rypez and rotez þat ros vpon fyrst,
529 And þus 3irnez þe 3ere in 3isterdayez mony,
530 And wynter wyndez a3ayn, as þe worlde askez,
531         no fage,
532     Til Me3elmas mone
533     Watz cumen wyth wynter wage;
534     Þen þenkkez Gawan ful sone
535     Of his anious uyage.

Stanza 24
536 3et quyl Al-hal-day with Arþer he lenges;
537 And he made a fare on þat fest for þe frekez sake,
538 With much reuel and ryche of þe Rounde Table.
Page 16
539 Kny3tez ful cortays and comlych ladies
540 Al for luf of þat lede in longynge þay were,
541 Bot neuer þe lece ne þe later þay neuened bot merþe:
542 Mony ioylez for þat ientyle iapez þer maden.
543 For aftter mete with mournyng he melez to his eme,
544 And spekez of his passage, and pertly he sayde,
545 'Now, lege lorde of my lyf, leue I yow ask;
546 3e knowe þe cost of þis cace, kepe I no more
547 To telle yow tenez þerof neuer bot trifel;
548 Bot I am boun to þe bur barely to-morne
549 To sech þe gome of þe grene, as God wyl me wysse.'
550 Þenne þe best of þe bur3 bo3ed togeder,
551 Aywan, and Errik, and oþer ful mony,
folio 98v
552 Sir Doddinaual de Sauage, þe duk of Clarence,
553 Launcelot, and Lyonel, and Lucan þe gode,
554 Sir Boos, and Sir Byduer, big men boþe,
555 And mony oþer menskful, with Mador de la Port.
556 Alle þis compayny of court com þe kyng nerre
557 For to counseyl þe kny3t, with care at her hert.
558 Þere watz much derue doel driuen in þe sale
559 Þat so worthé as Wawan schulde wende on þat ernde,
560 To dry3e a delful dynt, and dele no more
561         wyth bronde.
562     Þe kny3t mad ay god chere,
563     And sayde, 'Quat schuld I wonde?
564     Of destinés derf and dere
565     What may mon do bot fonde?'

Stanza 25
566 He dowellez þer al þat day, and dressez on þe morn,
567 Askez erly hys armez, and alle were þay bro3t.
568 Fyrst a tulé tapit ty3t ouer þe flet,
569 And miche watz þe gyld gere þat glent þeralofte;
570 Þe stif mon steppez þeron, and þe stel hondelez,
571 Dubbed in a dublet of a dere tars,
572 And syþen a crafty capados, closed aloft,
573 Þat wyth a bry3t blaunner was bounden withinne.
574 Þenne set þay þe sabatounz vpon þe segge fotez,
575 His legez lapped in stel with luflych greuez,
576 With polaynez piched þerto, policed ful clene,
577 Aboute his knez knaged wyth knotez of golde;
Page 17
578 Queme quyssewes þen, þat coyntlych closed
579 His thik þrawen þy3ez, with þwonges to tachched;
580 And syþen þe brawden bryné of bry3t stel ryngez
581 Vmbeweued þat wy3 vpon wlonk stuffe,
582 And wel bornyst brace vpon his boþe armes,
583 With gode cowters and gay, and glouez of plate,
584 And alle þe godlych gere þat hym gayn schulde
585         þat tyde;
586     Wyth ryche cote-armure,
587     His gold sporez spend with pryde,
588     Gurde wyth a bront ful sure
589     With silk sayn vmbe his syde.

folio 99r
Stanza 26
590 When he watz hasped in armes, his harnays watz ryche:
591 Þe lest lachet oþer loupe lemed of golde.
592 So harnayst as he watz he herknez his masse,
593 Offred and honoured at þe he3e auter.
594 Syþen he comez to þe kyng and to his cort-ferez,
595 Lachez lufly his leue at lordez and ladyez;
596 And þay hym kyst and conueyed, bikende hym to Kryst.
597 Bi þat watz Gryngolet grayth, and gurde with a sadel
598 Þat glemed ful gayly with mony golde frenges,
599 Ayquere naylet ful nwe, for þat note ryched;
600 Þe brydel barred aboute, with bry3t golde bounden;
601 Þe apparayl of þe payttrure and of þe proude skyrtez,
602 Þe cropore and þe couertor, acorded wyth þe arsounez;
603 And al watz rayled on red ryche golde naylez,
604 Þat al glytered and glent as glem of þe sunne.
605 Þenne hentes he þe helme, and hastily hit kysses,
606 Þat watz stapled stifly, and stoffed wythinne.
607 Hit watz hy3e on his hede, hasped bihynde,
608 Wyth a ly3tly vrysoun ouer þe auentayle,
609 Enbrawden and bounden wyth þe best gemmez
610 On brode sylkyn borde, and bryddez on semez,
611 As papiayez paynted peruyng bitwene,
612 Tortors and trulofez entayled so þyk
613 As mony burde þeraboute had ben seuen wynter
614         in toune.    
Page 18
615     Þe cercle watz more o prys
616     Þat vmbeclypped hys croun,
617     Of diamauntez a deuys
618     Þat boþe were bry3t and broun.

Stanza 27
619 THEN þay schewed hym þe schelde, þat was of schyr goulez
620 Wyth þe pentangel depaynt of pure golde hwez.
621 He braydez hit by þe bauderyk, aboute þe hals kestes,
622 Þat bisemed þe segge semlyly fayre.
623 And quy þe pentangel apendez to þat prynce noble
624 I am in tent yow to telle, þof tary hyt me schulde:
625 Hit is a syngne þat Salamon set sumquyle
626 In bytoknyng of trawþe, bi tytle þat hit habbez,
folio 99v
627 For hit is a figure þat haldez fyue poyntez,
628 And vche lyne vmbelappez and loukez in oþer,
629 And ayquere hit is endelez; and Englych hit callen
630 Oueral, as I here, þe endeles knot.
631 Forþy hit acordez to þis kny3t and to his cler armez,
632 For ay faythful in fyue and sere fyue syþez
633 Gawan watz for gode knawen, and as golde pured,
634 Voyded of vche vylany, wyth vertuez ennourned
635         in mote;
636     Forþy þe pentangel nwe
637     He ber in schelde and cote,
638     As tulk of tale most trwe
639     And gentylest kny3t of lote.

Stanza 28
640 Fyrst he watz funden fautlez in his fyue wyttez,
641 And efte fayled neuer þe freke in his fyue fyngres,
642 And alle his afyaunce vpon folde watz in þe fyue woundez
643 Þat Cryst ka3t on þe croys, as þe crede tellez;
644 And quere-so-euer þys mon in melly watz stad,
645 His þro þo3t watz in þat, þur3 alle oþer þyngez,
646 Þat alle his forsnes he feng at þe fyue joyez
647 Þat þe hende heuen-quene had of hir chylde;
648 At þis cause þe kny3t comlyche hade
649 In þe inore half of his schelde hir ymage depaynted,
650 Þat quen he blusched þerto his belde neuer payred.
Page 19
651 Þe fyft fyue þat I finde þat þe frek vsed
652 Watz fraunchyse and fela3schyp forbe al þyng,
653 His clannes and his cortaysye croked were neuer,
654 And pité, þat passez alle poyntez, þyse pure fyue
655 Were harder happed on þat haþel þen on any oþer.
656 Now alle þese fyue syþez, for soþe, were fetled on þis kny3t,
657 And vchone halched in oþer, þat non ende hade,
658 And fyched vpon fyue poyntez, þat fayld neuer,
659 Ne samned neuer in no syde, ne sundred nouþer,
660 Withouten ende at any noke I oquere fynde,
661 Whereeuer þe gomen bygan, or glod to an ende.
662 Þerfore on his schene schelde schapen watz þe knot
663 Ryally wyth red golde vpon rede gowlez,
folio 100r
664 Þat is þe pure pentaungel wyth þe peple called
665         with lore.
666     Now grayþed is Gawan gay,
667     And la3t his launce ry3t þore,
668     And gef hem alle goud day,
669     He wende for euermore.

Stanza 29
670 He sperred þe sted with þe spurez and sprong on his way,
671 So stif þat þe ston-fyr stroke out þerafter.
672 Al þat se3 þat semly syked in hert,
673 And sayde soþly al same segges til oþer,
674 Carande for þat comly: 'Bi Kryst, hit is scaþe
675 Þat þou, leude, schal be lost, þat art of lyf noble!
676 To fynde hys fere vpon folde, in fayth, is not eþe.
677 Warloker to haf wro3t had more wyt bene,
678 And haf dy3t 3onder dere a duk to haue worþed;
679 A lowande leder of ledez in londe hym wel semez,
680 And so had better haf ben þen britned to no3t,
681 Hadet wyth an aluisch mon, for angardez pryde.
682 Who knew euer any kyng such counsel to take
683 As kny3tez in cauelaciounz on Crystmasse gomnez!'
684 Wel much watz þe warme water þat waltered of y3en,
685 When þat semly syre so3t fro þo wonez
686         þad daye.    
Page 20
687     He made non abode,
688     Bot wy3tly went hys way;
689     Mony wylsum way he rode,
690     Þe bok as I herde say.

Stanza 30
691 Now ridez þis renk þur3 þe ryalme of Logres,
692 Sir Gauan, on Godez halue, þa3 hym no gomen þo3t.
693 Oft leudlez alone he lengez on ny3tez
694 Þer he fonde no3t hym byfore þe fare þat he lyked.
695 Hade he no fere bot his fole bi frythez and dounez,
696 Ne no gome bot God bi gate wyth to karp,
697 Til þat he ne3ed ful neghe into þe Norþe Walez.
698 Alle þe iles of Anglesay on lyft half he haldez,
699 And farez ouer þe fordez by þe forlondez,
700 Ouer at þe Holy Hede, til he hade eft bonk
701 In þe wyldrenesse of Wyrale; wonde þer bot lyte
folio 100v
702 Þat auþer God oþer gome wyth goud hert louied.
703 And ay he frayned, as he ferde, at frekez þat he met,
704 If þay hade herde any karp of a kny3t grene,
705 In any grounde þeraboute, of þe grene chapel;
706 And al nykked hym wyth nay, þat neuer in her lyue
707 Þay se3e neuer no segge þat watz of suche hwez
708         of grene.
709     Þe kny3t tok gates straunge
710     In mony a bonk vnbene,
711     His cher ful oft con chaunge
712     Þat chapel er he my3t sene.

Stanza 31
713 Mony klyf he ouerclambe in contrayez straunge,
714 Fer floten fro his frendez fremedly he rydez.
715 At vche warþe oþer water þer þe wy3e passed
716 He fonde a foo hym byfore, bot ferly hit were,
717 And þat so foule and so felle þat fe3t hym byhode.
718 So mony meruayl bi mount þer þe mon fyndez,
719 Hit were to tore for to telle of þe tenþe dole.
720 Sumwhyle wyth wormez he werrez, and with wolues als,
721 Sumwhyle wyth wodwos, þat woned in þe knarrez,
722 Boþe wyth bullez and berez, and borez oþerquyle,
723 And etaynez, þat hym anelede of þe he3e felle;
Page 21
724 Nade he ben du3ty and dry3e, and Dry3tyn had serued,
725 Douteles he hade ben ded and dreped ful ofte.
726 For werre wrathed hym not so much þat wynter nas wors,
727 When þe colde cler water fro þe cloudez schadde,
728 And fres er hit falle my3t to þe fale erþe;
729 Ner slayn wyth þe slete he sleped in his yrnes
730 Mo ny3tez þen innoghe in naked rokkez,
731 Þer as claterande fro þe crest þe colde borne rennez,
732 And henged he3e ouer his hede in hard iisse-ikkles.
733 Þus in peryl and payne and plytes ful harde
734 Bi contray cayrez þis kny3t, tyl Krystmasse euen,
735         al one;
736     Þe kny3t wel þat tyde
737     To Mary made his mone,
738     Þat ho hym red to ryde
folio 101r
739     And wysse hym to sum wone.

Stanza 32
740 Bi a mounte on þe morne meryly he rydes
741 Into a forest ful dep, þat ferly watz wylde,
742 Hi3e hillez on vche a halue, and holtwodez vnder
743 Of hore okez ful hoge a hundreth togeder;
744 Þe hasel and þe ha3þorne were harled al samen,
745 With ro3e raged mosse rayled aywhere,
746 With mony bryddez vnblyþe vpon bare twyges,
747 Þat pitosly þer piped for pyne of þe colde.
748 Þe gome vpon Gryngolet glydez hem vnder,
749 Þur3 mony misy and myre, mon al hym one,
750 Carande for his costes, lest he ne keuer schulde
751 To se þe seruyse of þat syre, þat on þat self ny3t
752 Of a burde watz borne oure baret to quelle;
753 And þerfore sykyng he sayde, 'I beseche þe, lorde,
754 And Mary, þat is myldest moder so dere,
755 Of sum herber þer he3ly I my3t here masse,
756 Ande þy matynez to-morne, mekely I ask,
757 And þerto prestly I pray my pater and aue
758         and crede.'
759     He rode in his prayere,
760     And cryed for his mysdede,    
Page 22
761     He sayned hym in syþes sere,
762     And sayde 'Cros Kryst me spede!'

Stanza 33
763 NADE he sayned hymself, segge, bot þrye,
764 Er he watz war in þe wod of a won in a mote,
765 Abof a launde, on a lawe, loken vnder bo3ez
766 Of mony borelych bole aboute bi þe diches:
767 A castel þe comlokest þat euer kny3t a3te,
768 Pyched on a prayere, a park al aboute,
769 With a pyked palays pyned ful þik,
770 Þat vmbete3e mony tre mo þen two myle.
771 Þat holde on þat on syde þe haþel auysed,
772 As hit schemered and schon þur3 þe schyre okez;
773 Þenne hatz he hendly of his helme, and he3ly he þonkez
774 Jesus and sayn Gilyan, þat gentyle ar boþe,
folio 101v
775 Þat cortaysly had hym kydde, and his cry herkened.
776 'Now bone hostel,' coþe þe burne, 'I beseche yow 3ette!'
777 Þenne gerdez he to Gryngolet with þe gilt helez,
778 And he ful chauncely hatz chosen to þe chef gate,
779 Þat bro3t bremly þe burne to þe bryge ende
780         in haste.
781     Þe bryge watz breme vpbrayde,
782     Þe 3atez wer stoken faste,
783     Þe wallez were wel arayed,
784     Hit dut no wyndez blaste.

Stanza 34
785 Þe burne bode on blonk, þat on bonk houed
786 Of þe depe double dich þat drof to þe place;
787 Þe walle wod in þe water wonderly depe,
788 Ande eft a ful huge he3t hit haled vpon lofte
789 Of harde hewen ston vp to þe tablez,
790 Enbaned vnder þe abataylment in þe best lawe;
791 And syþen garytez ful gaye gered bitwene,
792 Wyth mony luflych loupe þat louked ful clene:
793 A better barbican þat burne blusched vpon neuer.
794 And innermore he behelde þat halle ful hy3e,
795 Towres telded bytwene, trochet ful þik,
796 Fayre fylyolez þat fy3ed, and ferlyly long,
Page 23
797 With coruon coprounes craftyly sle3e.
798 Chalkwhyt chymnees þer ches he inno3e
799 Vpon bastel rouez, þat blenked ful quyte;
800 So mony pynakle payntet watz poudred ayquere,
801 Among þe castel carnelez clambred so þik,
802 Þat pared out of papure purely hit semed.
803 Þe fre freke on þe fole hit fayr innoghe þo3t,
804 If he my3t keuer to com þe cloyster wythinne,
805 To herber in þat hostel whyl halyday lested,
806         auinant.
807     He calde, and sone þer com
808     A porter pure plesaunt,
809     On þe wal his ernd he nome,
810     And haylsed þe kny3t erraunt.

Stanza 35
811 'Gode sir,' quoþ Gawan, 'woldez þou go myn ernde
812 To þe he3 lorde of þis hous, herber to craue?'
folio 102r
813 '3e, Peter,' quoþ þe porter, 'and purely I trowee
814 Þat 3e be, wy3e, welcum to won quyle yow lykez.'
815 Þen 3ede þe wy3e 3erne and com a3ayn swyþe,
816 And folke frely hym wyth, to fonge þe kny3t.
817 Þay let doun þe grete dra3t and derely out 3eden,
818 And kneled doun on her knes vpon þe colde erþe
819 To welcum þis ilk wy3 as worþy hom þo3t;
820 Þay 3olden hym þe brode 3ate, 3arked vp wyde,
821 And he hem raysed rekenly, and rod ouer þe brygge.
822 Sere seggez hym sesed by sadel, quel he ly3t,
823 And syþen stabeled his stede stif men inno3e.
824 Kny3tez and swyerez comen doun þenne
825 For to bryng þis buurne wyth blys into halle;
826 Quen he hef vp his helme, þer hi3ed innoghe
827 For to hent hit at his honde, þe hende to seruen;
828 His bronde and his blasoun boþe þay token.
829 Þen haylsed he ful hendly þo haþelez vchone,
830 And mony proud mon þer presed þat prynce to honour.
831 Alle hasped in his he3 wede to halle þay hym wonnen,
832 Þer fayre fyre vpon flet fersly brenned.
833 Þenne þe lorde of þe lede loutez fro his chambre
Page 24
834 For to mete wyth menske þe mon on þe flor;
835 He sayde, '3e ar welcum to welde as yow lykez
836 Þat here is; al is yowre awen, to haue at yowre wylle
837         and welde.'
838     'Graunt mercy,' quoþ Gawayn,
839     'Þer Kryst hit yow for3elde.'
840     As frekez þat semed fayn
841     Ayþer oþer in armez con felde.

Stanza 36
842 Gawayn gly3t on þe gome þat godly hym gret,
843 And þu3t hit a bolde burne þat þe bur3 a3te,
844 A hoge haþel for þe nonez, and of hyghe eldee;
845 Brode, bry3t, watz his berde, and al beuer-hwed,
846 Sturne, stif on þe stryþþe on stalworth schonkez,
847 Felle face as þe fyre, and fre of hys speche;
848 And wel hym semed, for soþe, as þe segge þu3t,
849 To lede a lortschyp in lee of leudez ful gode.
folio 102v
850 Þe lorde hym charred to a chambre, and chefly cumaundez
851 To delyuer hym a leude, hym lo3ly to serue;
852 And þere were boun at his bode burnez inno3e,
853 Þat bro3t hym to a bry3t boure, þer beddyng watz noble,
854 Of cortynes of clene sylk wyth cler golde hemmez,
855 And couertorez ful curious with comlych panez
856 Of bry3t blaunner aboue, enbrawded bisydez,
857 Rudelez rennande on ropez, red golde ryngez,
858 Tapitez ty3t to þe wo3e of tuly and tars,
859 And vnder fete, on þe flet, of fol3ande sute.
860 Þer he watz dispoyled, wyth spechez of myerþe,
861 Þe burn of his bruny and of his bry3t wedez.
862 Ryche robes ful rad renkkez hym bro3ten,
863 For to charge, and to chaunge, and chose of þe best.
864 Sone as he on hent, and happed þerinne,
865 Þat sete on hym semly wyth saylande skyrtez,
866 Þe ver by his uisage verayly hit semed
867 Welne3 to vche haþel, alle on hwes
868 Lowande and lufly alle his lymmez vnder,
869 Þat a comloker kny3t neuer Kryst made
870         hem þo3t.    
Page 25
871     Wheþen in worlde he were,
872     Hit semed as he mo3t
873     Be prynce withouten pere
874     In felde þer felle men fo3t.

Stanza 37
875 A cheyer byfore þe chemné, þer charcole brenned,
876 Watz grayþed for Sir Gawan grayþely with cloþez,
877 Whyssynes vpon queldepoyntes þat koynt wer boþe;
878 And þenne a meré mantyle watz on þat mon cast
879 Of a broun bleeaunt, enbrauded ful ryche
880 And fayre furred wythinne with fellez of þe best,
881 Alle of ermyn in erde, his hode of þe same;
882 And he sete in þat settel semlych ryche,
883 And achaufed hym chefly, and þenne his cher mended.
884 Sone watz telded vp a tabil on trestez ful fayre,
885 Clad wyth a clene cloþe þat cler quyt schewed,
886 Sanap, and salure, and syluerin sponez.
folio 103r
887 Þe wy3e wesche at his wylle, and went to his mete.
888 Seggez hym serued semly inno3e
889 Wyth sere sewes and sete, sesounde of þe best,
890 Double-felde, as hit fallez, and fele kyn fischez,
891 Summe baken in bred, summe brad on þe gledez,
892 Summe soþen, summe in sewe sauered with spyces,
893 And ay sawes so sle3e þat þe segge lyked.
894 Þe freke calde hit a fest ful frely and ofte
895 Ful hendely, quen alle þe haþeles rehayted hym at onez,
896         'As hende,
897     Þis penaunce now 3e take,
898     And eft hit schal amende.'
899     Þat mon much merþe con make,
900     For wyn in his hed þat wende.

Stanza 38
901 Þenne watz spyed and spured vpon spare wyse
902 Bi preué poyntez of þat prynce, put to hymseluen,
903 Þat he beknew cortaysly of þe court þat he were
904 Þat aþel Arthure þe hende haldez hym one,
905 Þat is þe ryche ryal kyng of þe Rounde Table,
906 And hit watz Wawen hymself þat in þat won syttez,
Page 26
907 Comen to þat Krystmasse, as case hym þen lymped.
908 When þe lorde hade lerned þat he þe leude hade,
909 Loude la3ed he þerat, so lef hit hym þo3t,
910 And alle þe men in þat mote maden much joye
911 To apere in his presense prestly þat tyme,
912 Þat alle prys and prowes and pured þewes
913 Apendes to hys persoun, and praysed is euer;
914 Byfore alle men vpon molde his mensk is þe most.
915 Vch segge ful softly sayde to his fere:
916 'Now schal we semlych se sle3tez of þewez
917 And þe teccheles termes of talkyng noble,
918 Wich spede is in speche vnspurd may we lerne,
919 Syn we haf fonged þat fyne fader of nurture.
920 God hatz geuen vus his grace godly for soþe,
921 Þat such a gest as Gawan grauntez vus to haue,
922 When burnez blyþe of his burþe schal sitte
923         and synge.
924     In menyng of manerez mere    
folio 103v
925     Þis burne now schal vus bryng,
926     I hope þat may hym here
927     Schal lerne of luf-talkyng.'

Stanza 39
928 Bi þat þe diner watz done and þe dere vp
929 Hit watz ne3 at þe niy3t ne3ed þe tyme.
930 Chaplaynez to þe chapeles chosen þe gate,
931 Rungen ful rychely, ry3t as þay schulden,
932 To þe hersum euensong of þe hy3e tyde.
933 Þe lorde loutes þerto, and þe lady als,
934 Into a cumly closet coyntly ho entrez.
935 Gawan glydez ful gay and gos þeder sone;
936 Þe lorde laches hym by þe lappe and ledez hym to sytte,
937 And couþly hym knowez and callez hym his nome,
938 And sayde he watz þe welcomest wy3e of þe worlde;
939 And he hym þonkked þroly, and ayþer halched oþer,
940 And seten soberly samen þe seruise quyle.
941 Þenne lyst þe lady to loke on þe kny3t,
942 Þenne com ho of hir closet with mony cler burdez.
943 Ho watz þe fayrest in felle, of flesche and of lyre,
944 And of compas and colour and costes, of alle oþer,
Page 27
945 And wener þen Wenore, as þe wy3e þo3t.
946 Ho ches þur3 þe chaunsel to cheryche þat hende.
947 An oþer lady hir lad bi þe lyft honde,
948 Þat watz alder þen ho, an auncian hit semed,
949 And he3ly honowred with haþelez aboute.
950 Bot vnlyke on to loke þo ladyes were,
951 For if þe 3onge watz 3ep, 3ol3e watz þat oþer;
952 Riche red on þat on rayled ayquere,
953 Rugh ronkled chekez þat oþer on rolled;
954 Kerchofes of þat on, wyth mony cler perlez,
955 Hir brest and hir bry3t þrote bare displayed,
956 Schon schyrer þen snawe þat schedez on hillez;
957 Þat oþer wyth a gorger watz gered ouer þe swyre,
958 Chymbled ouer hir blake chyn with chalkquyte vayles,
959 Hir frount folden in sylk, enfoubled ayquere,
960 Toreted and treleted with tryflez aboute,
folio 104r
961 Þat no3t watz bare of þat burde bot þe blake bro3es,
962 Þe tweyne y3en and þe nase, þe naked lyppez,
963 And þose were soure to se and sellyly blered;
964 A mensk lady on molde mon may hir calle,
965         for Gode!
966     Hir body watz schort and þik,
967     Hir buttokez bal3 and brode,
968     More lykkerwys on to lyk
969     Watz þat scho hade on lode.

Stanza 40
970 When Gawayn gly3t on þat gay, þat graciously loked,
971 Wyth leue la3t of þe lorde he lent hem a3aynes;
972 Þe alder he haylses, heldande ful lowe,
973 Þe loueloker he lappez a lyttel in armez,
974 He kysses hir comlyly, and kny3tly he melez.
975 Þay kallen hym of aquoyntaunce, and he hit quyk askez
976 To be her seruaunt sothly, if hemself lyked.
977 Þay tan hym bytwene hem, wyth talkyng hym leden
978 To chambre, to chemné, and chefly þay asken
979 Spycez, þat vnsparely men speded hom to bryng,
980 And þe wynnelych wyne þerwith vche tyme.
981 Þe lorde luflych aloft lepez ful ofte,
Page 28
982 Mynned merthe to be made vpon mony syþez,
983 Hent he3ly of his hode, and on a spere henged,
984 And wayned hom to wynne þe worchip þerof,
985 Þat most myrþe my3t meue þat Crystenmas whyle--
986 'And I schal fonde, bi my fayth, to fylter wyth þe best
987 Er me wont þe wede, with help of my frendez.'
988 Þus wyth la3ande lotez þe lorde hit tayt makez,
989 For to glade Sir Gawayn with gomnez in halle
990         þat ny3t,
991     Til þat hit watz tyme
992     Þe lord comaundet ly3t;
993     Sir Gawen his leue con nyme
994     And to his bed hym di3t.

Stanza 41
995 On þe morne, as vch mon mynez þat tyme
996 Þat Dry3tyn for oure destyné to de3e watz borne,
997 Wele waxez in vche a won in worlde for his sake;
998 So did hit þere on þat day þur3 dayntés mony:
folio 104v
999 Boþe at mes and at mele messes ful quaynt
1000 Derf men vpon dece drest of þe best.
1001 Þe olde auncian wyf he3est ho syttez,
1002 Þe lorde lufly her by lent, as I trowe;
1003 Gawan and þe gay burde togeder þay seten,
1004 Euen inmyddez, as þe messe metely come,
1005 And syþen þur3 al þe sale as hem best semed.
1006 Bi vche grome at his degré grayþely watz serued
1007 Þer watz mete, þer watz myrþe, þer watz much ioye,
1008 Þat for to telle þerof hit me tene were,
1009 And to poynte hit 3et I pyned me parauenture.
1010 Bot 3et I wot þat Wawen and þe wale burde
1011 Such comfort of her compaynye ca3ten togeder
1012 Þur3 her dere dalyaunce of her derne wordez,
1013 Wyth clene cortays carp closed fro fylþe,
1014 Þat hor play watz passande vche prynce gomen,
1015         in vayres.
1016     Trumpez and nakerys,
1017     Much pypyng þer repayres;
1018     Vche mon tented hys,
1019     And þay two tented þayres.

Page 29
Stanza 42
1020 Much dut watz þer dryuen þat day and þat oþer,
1021 And þe þryd as þro þronge in þerafter;
1022 Þe ioye of sayn Jonez day watz gentyle to here,
1023 And watz þe last of þe layk, leudez þer þo3ten.
1024 Þer wer gestes to go vpon þe gray morne,
1025 Forþy wonderly þay woke, and þe wyn dronken,
1026 Daunsed ful dre3ly wyth dere carolez.
1027 At þe last, when hit watz late, þay lachen her leue,
1028 Vchon to wende on his way þat watz wy3e stronge.
1029 Gawan gef hym god day, þe godmon hym lachchez,
1030 Ledes hym to his awen chambre, þe chymné bysyde,
1031 And þere he dra3ez hym on dry3e, and derely hym þonkkez
1032 Of þe wynne worschip þat he hym wayued hade,
1033 As to honour his hous on þat hy3e tyde,
1034 And enbelyse his bur3 with his bele chere:
1035 'Iwysse sir, quyl I leue, me worþez þe better
folio 105r
1036 Þat Gawayn hatz ben my gest at Goddez awen fest.'
1037 'Grant merci, sir,' quoþ Gawayn, 'in god fayth hit is yowrez,
1038 Al þe honour is your awen--þe he3e kyng yow 3elde!
1039 And I am wy3e at your wylle to worch youre hest,
1040 As I am halden þerto, in hy3e and in lo3e,
1041         bi ri3t.'
1042     Þe lorde fast can hym payne
1043     To holde lenger þe kny3t;
1044     To hym answarez Gawayn
1045     Bi non way þat he my3t.

Stanza 43
1046 Then frayned þe freke ful fayre at himseluen
1047 Quat derue dede had hym dryuen at þat dere tyme
1048 So kenly fro þe kyngez kourt to kayre al his one,
1049 Er þe halidayez holly were halet out of toun.
1050 'For soþe, sir,' quoþ þe segge, '3e sayn bot þe trawþe,
1051 A he3e ernde and a hasty me hade fro þo wonez,
1052 For I am sumned myselfe to sech to a place,
1053 I ne wot in worlde whederwarde to wende hit to fynde.
1054 I nolde bot if I hit negh my3t on Nw 3eres morne
1055 For alle þe londe inwyth Logres, so me oure lorde help!
1056 Forþy, sir, þis enquest I require yow here,
1057 Þat 3e me telle with trawþe if euer 3e tale herde
Page 30
1058 Of þe grene chapel, quere hit on grounde stondez,
1059 And of þe kny3t þat hit kepes, of colour of grene.
1060 Þer watz stabled bi statut a steuen vus bytwene
1061 To mete þat mon at þat mere, 3if I my3t last;
1062 And of þat ilk Nw 3ere bot neked now wontez,
1063 And I wolde loke on þat lede, if God me let wolde,
1064 Gladloker, bi Goddez sun, þen any god welde!
1065 Forþi, iwysse, bi 3owre wylle, wende me bihoues,
1066 Naf I now to busy bot bare þre dayez,
1067 And me als fayn to falle feye as fayly of myyn ernde.'
1068 Þenne la3ande quoþ þe lorde, 'Now leng þe byhoues,
1069 For I schal teche yow to þat terme bi þe tymez ende,
1070 Þe grene chapayle vpon grounde greue yow no more;
1071 Bot 3e schal be in yowre bed, burne, at þyn ese,
1072 Quyle forth dayez, and ferk on þe fyrst of þe 3ere,
folio 105v
1073 And cum to þat merk at mydmorn, to make quat yow likez
1074         in spenne.
1075     Dowellez whyle New 3eres daye,
1076     And rys, and raykez þenne,
1077     Mon schal yow sette in waye,
1078     Hit is not two myle henne.'

Stanza 44
1079 Þenne watz Gawan ful glad, and gomenly he la3ed:
1080 'Now I þonk yow þryuandely þur3 alle oþer þynge,
1081 Now acheued is my chaunce, I schal at your wylle
1082 Dowelle, and ellez do quat 3e demen.'
1083 Þenne sesed hym þe syre and set hym bysyde,
1084 Let þe ladiez be fette to lyke hem þe better.
1085 Þer watz seme solace by hemself stille;
1086 Þe lorde let for luf lotez so myry,
1087 As wy3 þat wolde of his wyte, ne wyst quat he my3t.
1088 Þenne he carped to þe kny3t, criande loude,
1089 '3e han demed to do þe dede þat I bidde;
1090 Wyl 3e halde þis hes here at þys onez?'
1091 '3e, sir, for soþe,' sayd þe segge trwe,
1092 'Whyl I byde in yowre bor3e, be bayn to 3owre hest.'
1093 'For 3e haf trauayled,' quoþ þe tulk, 'towen fro ferre,
1094 And syþen waked me wyth, 3e arn not wel waryst
1095 Nauþer of sostnaunce ne of slepe, soþly I knowe;
Page 31
1096 3e schal lenge in your lofte, and ly3e in your ese
1097 To-morn quyle þe messequyle, and to mete wende
1098 When 3e wyl, wyth my wyf, þat wyth yow schal sitte
1099 And comfort yow with compayny, til I to cort torne;
1100         3e lende,
1101     And I schal erly ryse,
1102     On huntyng wyl I wende.'
1103     Gauayn grantez alle þyse,
1104     Hym heldande, as þe hende.

Stanza 45
1105 '3et firre,' quoþ þe freke, 'a forwarde we make:
1106 Quat-so-euer I wynne in þe wod hit worþez to yourez,
1107 And quat chek so 3e acheue chaunge me þerforne.
1108 Swete, swap we so, sware with trawþe,
1109 Queþer, leude, so lymp, lere oþer better.'
1110 'Bi God,' quoþ Gawayn þe gode, 'I grant þertylle,
folio 106r
1111 And þat yow lyst for to layke, lef hit me þynkes.'
1112 'Who bryngez vus þis beuerage, þis bargayn is maked':
1113 So sayde þe lorde of þat lede; þay la3ed vchone,
1114 Þay dronken and daylyeden and dalten vnty3tel,
1115 Þise lordez and ladyez, quyle þat hem lyked;
1116 And syþen with Frenkysch fare and fele fayre lotez
1117 Þay stoden and stemed and stylly speken,
1118 Kysten ful comlyly and ka3ten her leue.
1119 With mony leude ful ly3t and lemande torches
1120 Vche burne to his bed watz bro3t at þe laste,
1121         ful softe.
1122     To bed 3et er þay 3ede,
1123     Recorded couenauntez ofte;
1124     Þe olde lorde of þat leude
1125     Cowþe wel halde layk alofte.

Passus  III

Stanza 46
1126 Ful erly bifore þe day þe folk vprysen,
1127 Gestes þat go wolde hor gromez þay calden,
1128 And þay busken vp bilyue blonkkez to sadel,
Page 32
1129 Tyffen her takles, trussen her males,
1130 Richen hem þe rychest, to ryde alle arayde,
1131 Lepen vp ly3tly, lachen her brydeles,
1132 Vche wy3e on his way þer hym wel lyked.
1133 Þe leue lorde of þe londe watz not þe last
1134 Arayed for þe rydyng, with renkkez ful mony;
1135 Ete a sop hastyly, when he hade herde masse,
1136 With bugle to bent-felde he buskez bylyue.
1137 By þat any dayly3t lemed vpon erþe
1138 He with his haþeles on hy3e horsses weren.
1139 Þenne þise cacheres þat couþe cowpled hor houndez,
1140 Vnclosed þe kenel dore and calde hem þeroute,
1141 Blwe bygly in buglez þre bare mote;
1142 Braches bayed þerfore and breme noyse maked;
1143 And þay chastysed and charred on chasyng þat went,
1144 A hundreth of hunteres, as I haf herde telle,
1145         of þe best.
1146     To trystors vewters 3od,
1147     Couples huntes of kest;    
folio 106v
1148     Þer ros for blastez gode
1149     Gret rurd in þat forest.

Stanza 47
1150 At þe fyrst quethe of þe quest quaked þe wylde;
1151 Der drof in þe dale, doted for drede,
1152 Hi3ed to þe hy3e, bot heterly þay were
1153 Restayed with þe stablye, þat stoutly ascryed.
1154 Þay let þe herttez haf þe gate, with þe hy3e hedes,
1155 Þe breme bukkez also with hor brode paumez;
1156 For þe fre lorde hade defende in fermysoun tyme
1157 Þat þer schulde no mon meue to þe male dere.
1158 Þe hindez were halden in with hay! and war!
1159 Þe does dryuen with gret dyn to þe depe sladez;
1160 Þer my3t mon se, as þay slypte, slentyng of arwes--
1161 At vche wende vnder wande wapped a flone--
1162 Þat bigly bote on þe broun with ful brode hedez.
1163 What! þay brayen, and bleden, bi bonkkez þay de3en,
1164 And ay rachches in a res radly hem fol3es,
1165 Hunterez wyth hy3e horne hasted hem after
1166 Wyth such a crakkande kry as klyffes haden brusten.
Page 33
1167 What wylde so atwaped wy3es þat schotten
1168 Watz al toraced and rent at þe resayt,
1169 Bi þay were tened at þe hy3e and taysed to þe wattrez;
1170 Þe ledez were so lerned at þe lo3e trysteres,
1171 And þe grehoundez so grete, þat geten hem bylyue
1172 And hem tofylched, as fast as frekez my3t loke,
1173         þer-ry3t.
1174     Þe lorde for blys abloy
1175     Ful oft con launce and ly3t,
1176     And drof þat day wyth joy
1177     Thus to þe derk ny3t.

Stanza 48
1178 Þus laykez þis lorde by lynde-wodez euez,
1179 And Gawayn þe god mon in gay bed lygez,
1180 Lurkkez quyl þe dayly3t lemed on þe wowes,
1181 Vnder couertour ful clere, cortyned aboute;
1182 And as in slomeryng he slode, sle3ly he herde
1183 A littel dyn at his dor, and dernly vpon;
1184 And he heuez vp his hed out of þe cloþes,
folio 107r
1185 A corner of þe cortyn he ca3t vp a lyttel,
1186 And waytez warly þiderwarde quat hit be my3t.
1187 Hit watz þe ladi, loflyest to beholde,
1188 Þat dro3 þe dor after hir ful dernly and stylle,
1189 And bo3ed towarde þe bed; and þe burne schamed,
1190 And layde hym doun lystyly, and let as he slepte;
1191 And ho stepped stilly and stel to his bedde,
1192 Kest vp þe cortyn and creped withinne,
1193 And set hir ful softly on þe bed-syde,
1194 And lenged þere selly longe to loke quen he wakened.
1195 Þe lede lay lurked a ful longe quyle,
1196 Compast in his concience to quat þat cace my3t
1197 Meue oþer amount--to meruayle hym þo3t,
1198 Bot 3et he sayde in hymself, 'More semly hit were
1199 To aspye wyth my spelle in space quat ho wolde.'
1200 Þen he wakenede, and wroth, and to hir warde torned,
1201 And vnlouked his y3e-lyddez, and let as hym wondered,
1202 And sayned hym, as bi his sa3e þe sauer to worthe,
1203         with hande.    
Page 34
1204     Wyth chynne and cheke ful swete,
1205     Boþe quit and red in blande,
1206     Ful lufly con ho lete
1207     Wyth lyppez smal la3ande.

Stanza 49
1208 'God moroun, Sir Gawayn,' sayde þat gay lady,
1209 '3e ar a sleper vnsly3e, þat mon may slyde hider;
1210 Now ar 3e tan as-tyt! Bot true vus may schape,
1211 I schal bynde yow in your bedde, þat be 3e trayst':
1212 Al la3ande þe lady lanced þo bourdez.
1213 'Goud moroun, gay,' quoþ Gawayn þe blyþe,
1214 'Me schal worþe at your wille, and þat me wel lykez,
1215 For I 3elde me 3ederly, and 3e3e after grace,
1216 And þat is þe best, be my dome, for me byhouez nede':
1217 And þus he bourded a3ayn with mony a blyþe la3ter.
1218 'Bot wolde 3e, lady louely, þen leue me grante,
1219 And deprece your prysoun, and pray hym to ryse,
1220 I wolde bo3e of þis bed, and busk me better;
1221 I schulde keuer þe more comfort to karp yow wyth.'
folio 107v
1222 'Nay for soþe, beau sir,' sayd þat swete,
1223 '3e schal not rise of your bedde, I rych yow better,
1224 I schal happe yow here þat oþer half als,
1225 And syþen karp wyth my kny3t þat I ka3t haue;
1226 For I wene wel, iwysse, Sir Wowen 3e are,
1227 Þat alle þe worlde worchipez quere-so 3e ride;
1228 Your honour, your hendelayk is hendely praysed
1229 With lordez, wyth ladyes, with alle þat lyf bere.
1230 And now 3e ar here, iwysse, and we bot oure one;
1231 My lorde and his ledez ar on lenþe faren,
1232 Oþer burnez in her bedde, and my burdez als,
1233 Þe dor drawen and dit with a derf haspe;
1234 And syþen I haue in þis hous hym þat al lykez,
1235 I schal ware my whyle wel, quyl hit lastez,
1236         with tale.
1237     3e ar welcum to my cors,
1238     Yowre awen won to wale,
1239     Me behouez of fyne force
1240     Your seruaunt be, and schale.'

Page 35
Stanza 50
1241 'In god fayth,' quoþ Gawayn, 'gayn hit me þynkkez,
1242 Þa3 I be not now he þat 3e of speken;
1243 To reche to such reuerence as 3e reherce here
1244 I am wy3e vnworþy, I wot wel myseluen.
1245 Bi God, I were glad, and yow god þo3t,
1246 At sa3e oþer at seruyce þat I sette my3t
1247 To þe plesaunce of your prys--hit were a pure ioye.'
1248 'In god fayth, Sir Gawayn,' quoþ þe gay lady,
1249 'Þe prys and þe prowes þat plesez al oþer,
1250 If I hit lakked oþer set at ly3t, hit were littel daynté;
1251 Bot hit ar ladyes inno3e þat leuer wer nowþe
1252 Haf þe, hende, in hor holde, as I þe habbe here,
1253 To daly with derely your daynté wordez,
1254 Keuer hem comfort and colen her carez,
1255 Þen much of þe garysoun oþer golde þat þay hauen.
1256 Bot I louue þat ilk lorde þat þe lyfte haldez,
1257 I haf hit holly in my honde þat al desyres,
1258         þur3e grace.'
1259     Scho made hym so gret chere,
folio 108r
1260     Þat watz so fayr of face,
1261     Þe kny3t with speches skere
1262     Answared to vche a cace.

Stanza 51
1263 'Madame,' quoþ þe myry mon, 'Mary yow 3elde,
1264 For I haf founden, in god fayth, yowre fraunchis nobele,
1265 And oþer ful much of oþer folk fongen bi hor dedez,
1266 Bot þe daynté þat þay delen, for my disert nys euen,
1267 Hit is þe worchyp of yourself, þat no3t bot wel connez.'
1268 'Bi Mary,' quoþ þe menskful, 'me þynk hit an oþer;
1269 For were I worth al þe wone of wymmen alyue,
1270 And al þe wele of þe worlde were in my honde,
1271 And I schulde chepen and chose to cheue me a lorde,
1272 For þe costes þat I haf knowen vpon þe, kny3t, here,
1273 Of bewté and debonerté and blyþe semblaunt,
1274 And þat I haf er herkkened and halde hit here trwee,
1275 Þer schulde no freke vpon folde bifore yow be chosen.'
1276 'Iwysse, worþy,' quoþ þe wy3e, '3e haf waled wel better,
1277 Bot I am proude of þe prys þat 3e put on me,
1278 And, soberly your seruaunt, my souerayn I holde yow,
Page 36
1279 And yowre kny3t I becom, and Kryst yow for3elde.'
1280 Þus þay meled of muchquat til mydmorn paste,
1281 And ay þe lady let lyk as hym loued mych;
1282 Þe freke ferde with defence, and feted ful fayre--
1283 'Þa3 I were burde bry3test', þe burde in mynde hade.
1284 Þe lasse luf in his lode for lur þat he so3t
1285         boute hone,
1286     Þe dunte þat schulde hym deue,
1287     And nedez hit most be done.
1288     Þe lady þenn spek of leue,
1289     He granted hir ful sone.

Stanza 52
1290 Þenne ho gef hym god day, and wyth a glent la3ed,
1291 And as ho stod, ho stonyed hym wyth ful stor wordez:
1292 'Now he þat spedez vche spech þis disport 3elde yow!
1293 Bot þat 3e be Gawan, hit gotz in mynde.'
1294 'Querfore?' quoþ þe freke, and freschly he askez,
1295 Ferde lest he hade fayled in fourme of his castes;
1296 Bot þe burde hym blessed, and 'Bi þis skyl' sayde:
folio 108v
1297 'So god as Gawayn gaynly is halden,
1298 And cortaysye is closed so clene in hymseluen,
1299 Couth not ly3tly haf lenged so long wyth a lady,
1300 Bot he had craued a cosse, bi his courtaysye,
1301 Bi sum towch of summe tryfle at sum talez ende.'
1302 Þen quoþ Wowen: 'Iwysse, worþe as yow lykez;
1303 I schal kysse at your comaundement, as a kny3t fallez,
1304 And fire, lest he displese yow, so plede hit no more.'
1305 Ho comes nerre with þat, and cachez hym in armez,
1306 Loutez luflych adoun and þe leude kyssez.
1307 Þay comly bykennen to Kryst ayþer oþer;
1308 Ho dos hir forth at þe dore withouten dyn more;
1309 And he ryches hym to ryse and rapes hym sone,
1310 Clepes to his chamberlayn, choses his wede,
1311 Bo3ez forth, quen he watz boun, blyþely to masse;
1312 And þenne he meued to his mete þat menskly hym keped,
1313 And made myry al day, til þe mone rysed,
1314         with game.
1315     Watz neuer freke fayrer fonge
1316     Bitwene two so dyngne dame,    
Page 37
1317     Þe alder and þe 3onge;
1318     Much solace set þay same.

Stanza 53
1319 And ay þe lorde of þe londe is lent on his gamnez,
1320 To hunt in holtez and heþe at hyndez barayne;
1321 Such a sowme he þer slowe bi þat þe sunne heldet,
1322 Of dos and of oþer dere, to deme were wonder.
1323 Þenne fersly þay flokked in folk at þe laste,
1324 And quykly of þe quelled dere a querré þay maked.
1325 Þe best bo3ed þerto with burnez innoghe,
1326 Gedered þe grattest of gres þat þer were,
1327 And didden hem derely vndo as þe dede askez;
1328 Serched hem at þe asay summe þat þer were,
1329 Two fyngeres þay fonde of þe fowlest of alle.
1330 Syþen þay slyt þe slot, sesed þe erber,
1331 Schaued wyth a scharp knyf, and þe schyre knitten;
1332 Syþen rytte þay þe foure lymmes, and rent of þe hyde,
1333 Þen brek þay þe balé, þe bowelez out token
folio 109r
1334 Lystily for laucyng þe lere of þe knot;
1335 Þay gryped to þe gargulun, and grayþely departed
1336 Þe wesaunt fro þe wynt-hole, and walt out þe guttez;
1337 Þen scher þay out þe schulderez with her scharp knyuez,
1338 Haled hem by a lyttel hole to haue hole sydes.
1339 Siþen britned þay þe brest and brayden hit in twynne,
1340 And eft at þe gargulun bigynez on þenne,
1341 Ryuez hit vp radly ry3t to þe by3t,
1342 Voydez out þe avanters, and verayly þerafter
1343 Alle þe rymez by þe rybbez radly þay lance;
1344 So ryde þay of by resoun bi þe rygge bonez,
1345 Euenden to þe haunche, þat henged alle samen,
1346 And heuen hit vp al hole, and hwen hit of þere,
1347 And þat þay neme for þe noumbles bi nome, as I trowe,
1348         bi kynde;
1349     Bi þe by3t al of þe þy3es
1350     Þe lappez þay lance bihynde;
1351     To hewe hit in two þay hy3es,
1352     Bi þe bakbon to vnbynde.

Stanza 54
1353 Boþe þe hede and þe hals þay hwen of þenne,
1354 And syþen sunder þay þe sydez swyft fro þe chyne,
Page 38
1355 And þe corbeles fee þay kest in a greue;
1356 Þenn þurled þay ayþer þik side þur3 bi þe rybbe,
1357 And henged þenne ayþer bi ho3ez of þe fourchez,
1358 Vche freke for his fee, as fallez for to haue.
1359 Vpon a felle of þe fayre best fede þay þayr houndes
1360 Wyth þe lyuer and þe ly3tez, þe leþer of þe paunchez,
1361 And bred baþed in blod blende þeramongez.
1362 Baldely þay blw prys, bayed þayr rachchez,
1363 Syþen fonge þay her flesche, folden to home,
1364 Strakande ful stoutly mony stif motez.
1365 Bi þat þe dayly3t watz done þe douthe watz al wonen
1366 Into þe comly castel, þer þe kny3t bidez
1367         ful stille,
1368     Wyth blys and bry3t fyr bette.
1369     Þe lorde is comen þertylle;
1370     When Gawayn wyth hym mette
1371     Þer watz bot wele at wylle.

folio 109v
Stanza 55
1372 Thenne comaunded þe lorde in þat sale to samen alle þe meny,
1373 Boþe þe ladyes on loghe to ly3t with her burdes
1374 Bifore alle þe folk on þe flette, frekez he beddez
1375 Verayly his venysoun to fech hym byforne,
1376 And al godly in gomen Gawayn he called,
1377 Techez hym to þe tayles of ful tayt bestes,
1378 Schewez hym þe schyree grece schorne vpon rybbes.
1379 'How payez yow þis play? Haf I prys wonnen?
1380 Haue I þryuandely þonk þur3 my craft serued?'
1381 '3e iwysse,' quoþ þat oþer wy3e, 'here is wayth fayrest
1382 Þat I se3 þis seuen 3ere in sesoun of wynter.'
1383 'And al I gif yow, Gawayn,' quoþ þe gome þenne,
1384 'For by acorde of couenaunt 3e craue hit as your awen.'
1385 'Þis is soth,' quoþ þe segge, 'I say yow þat ilke:
1386 Þat I haf worthyly wonnen þis wonez wythinne,
1387 Iwysse with as god wylle hit worþez to 3ourez.'
1388 He hasppez his fayre hals his armez wythinne,
1389 And kysses hym as comlyly as he couþe awyse:
Page 39
1390 'Tas yow þere my cheuicaunce, I cheued no more;
1391 I wowche hit saf fynly, þa3 feler hit were.'
1392 'Hit is god,' quoþ þe godmon, 'grant mercy þerfore.
1393 Hit may be such hit is þe better, and 3e me breue wolde
1394 Where 3e wan þis ilk wele bi wytte of yorseluen.'
1395 'Þat watz not forward,' quoþ he, 'frayst me no more.
1396 For 3e haf tan þat yow tydez, trawe non oþer
1397         3e mowe.'
1398     Þay la3ed, and made hem blyþe
1399     Wyth lotez þat were to lowe;
1400     To soper þay 3ede as-swyþe,
1401     Wyth dayntés nwe innowe.

Stanza 56
1402 And syþen by þe chymné in chamber þay seten,
1403 Wy3ez þe walle wyn we3ed to hem oft,
1404 And efte in her bourdyng þay bayþen in þe morn
1405 To fylle þe same forwardez þat þay byfore maden:
1406 Wat chaunce so bytydez hor cheuysaunce to chaunge,
1407 What nwez so þay nome, at na3t quen þay metten.
1408 Þay acorded of þe couenauntez byfore þe court alle;
folio 110r
1409 Þe beuerage watz bro3t forth in bourde at þat tyme,
1410 Þenne þay louelych le3ten leue at þe last,
1411 Vche burne to his bedde busked bylyue.
1412 Bi þat þe coke hade crowen and cakled bot þryse,
1413 Þe lorde watz lopen of his bedde, þe leudez vchone;
1414 So þat þe mete and þe masse watz metely delyuered,
1415 Þe douthe dressed to þe wod, er any day sprenged,
1416         to chace;
1417     He3 with hunte and hornez
1418     Þur3 playnez þay passe in space,
1419     Vncoupled among þo þornez
1420     Rachez þat ran on race.

Stanza 57
1421 SONE þay calle of a quest in a ker syde,
1422 Þe hunt rehayted þe houndez þat hit fyrst mynged,
1423 Wylde wordez hym warp wyth a wrast noyce;
1424 Þe howndez þat hit herde hastid þider swyþe,
1425 And fellen as fast to þe fuyt, fourty at ones;
Page 40
1426 Þenne such a glauer ande glam of gedered rachchez
1427 Ros, þat þe rocherez rungen aboute;
1428 Hunterez hem hardened with horne and wyth muthe.
1429 Þen al in a semblé sweyed togeder,
1430 Bitwene a flosche in þat fryth and a foo cragge;
1431 In a knot bi a clyffe, at þe kerre syde,
1432 Þer as þe rogh rocher vnrydely watz fallen,
1433 Þay ferden to þe fyndyng, and frekez hem after;
1434 Þay vmbekesten þe knarre and þe knot boþe,
1435 Wy3ez, whyl þay wysten wel wythinne hem hit were,
1436 Þe best þat þer breued watz wyth þe blodhoundez.
1437 Þenne þay beten on þe buskez, and bede hym vpryse,
1438 And he vnsoundyly out so3t seggez ouerþwert;
1439 On þe sellokest swyn swenged out þere,
1440 Long sythen fro þe sounder þat si3ed for olde,
1441 For he watz breme, bor alþer-grattest,
1442 Ful grymme quen he gronyed; þenne greued mony,
1443 For þre at þe fyrst þrast he þry3t to þe erþe,
1444 And sparred forth good sped boute spyt more.
1445 Þise oþer halowed hyghe! ful hy3e, and hay! hay! cryed,
folio 110v
1446 Haden hornez to mouþe, heterly rechated;
1447 Mony watz þe myry mouthe of men and of houndez
1448 Þat buskkez after þis bor with bost and wyth noyse
1449         to quelle.
1450     Ful oft he bydez þe baye,
1451     And maymez þe mute inn melle;
1452     He hurtez of þe houndez, and þay
1453     Ful 3omerly 3aule and 3elle.

Stanza 58
1454 Schalkez to schote at hym schowen to þenne,
1455 Haled to hym of her arewez, hitten hym oft;
1456 Bot þe poyntez payred at þe pyth þat py3t in his scheldez,
1457 And þe barbez of his browe bite non wolde--
1458 Þa3 þe schauen schaft schyndered in pecez,
1459 Þe hede hypped a3ayn were-so-euer hit hitte.
Page 41
1460 Bot quen þe dyntez hym dered of her dry3e strokez,
1461 Þen, braynwod for bate, on burnez he rasez,
1462 Hurtez hem ful heterly þer he forth hy3ez,
1463 And mony ar3ed þerat, and on lyte dro3en.
1464 Bot þe lorde on a ly3t horce launces hym after,
1465 As burne bolde vpon bent his bugle he blowez,
1466 He rechated, and rode þur3 ronez ful þyk,
1467 Suande þis wylde swyn til þe sunne schafted.
1468 Þis day wyth þis ilk dede þay dryuen on þis wyse,
1469 Whyle oure luflych lede lys in his bedde,
1470 Gawayn grayþely at home, in gerez ful ryche
1471         of hewe.
1472     Þe lady no3t for3ate,
1473     Com to hym to salue;
1474     Ful erly ho watz hym ate
1475     His mode for to remwe.

Stanza 59
1476 Ho commes to þe cortyn, and at þe kny3t totes.
1477 Sir Wawen her welcumed worþy on fyrst,
1478 And ho hym 3eldez a3ayn ful 3erne of hir wordez,
1479 Settez hir softly by his syde, and swyþely ho la3ez,
1480 And wyth a luflych loke ho layde hym þyse wordez:
1481 'Sir, 3if 3e be Wawen, wonder me þynkkez,
1482 Wy3e þat is so wel wrast alway to god,
1483 And connez not of compaynye þe costez vndertake,
folio 111r
1484 And if mon kennes yow hom to knowe, 3e kest hom of your mynde;
1485 Þou hatz for3eten 3ederly þat 3isterday I ta3tte
1486 Bi alder-truest token of talk þat I cowþe.'
1487 'What is þat?' quoþ þe wyghe, 'Iwysse I wot neuer;
1488 If hit be sothe þat 3e breue, þe blame is myn awen.'
1489 '3et I kende yow of kyssyng,' quoþ þe clere þenne,
1490 'Quere-so countenaunce is couþe quikly to clayme;
1491 Þat bicumes vche a kny3t þat cortaysy vses.'
1492 'Do way,' quoþ þat derf mon, 'my dere, þat speche,
1493 For þat durst I not do, lest I deuayed were;
1494 If I were werned, I were wrang, iwysse, 3if I profered.'
1495 'Ma fay,' quoþ þe meré wyf, '3e may not be werned,
Page 42
1496 3e ar stif innoghe to constrayne wyth strenkþe, 3if yow lykez,
1497 3if any were so vilanous þat yow devaye wolde.'
1498 '3e, be God,' quoþ Gawayn, 'good is your speche,
1499 Bot þrete is vnþryuande in þede þer I lende,
1500 And vche gift þat is geuen not with goud wylle.
1501 I am at your comaundement, to kysse quen yow lykez,
1502 3e may lach quen yow lyst, and leue quen yow þynkkez,
1503         in space.'
1504     Þe lady loutez adoun,
1505     And comlyly kysses his face,
1506     Much speche þay þer expoun
1507     Of druryes greme and grace.

Stanza 60
1508 'I woled wyt at yow, wy3e,' þat worþy þer sayde,
1509 'And yow wrathed not þerwyth, what were þe skylle
1510 Þat so 3ong and so 3epe as 3e at þis tyme,
1511 So cortayse, so kny3tyly, as 3e ar knowen oute--
1512 And of alle cheualry to chose, þe chef þyng alosed
1513 Is þe lel layk of luf, þe lettrure of armes;
1514 For to telle of þis teuelyng of þis trwe kny3tez,
1515 Hit is þe tytelet token and tyxt of her werkkez,
1516 How ledes for her lele luf hor lyuez han auntered,
1517 Endured for her drury dulful stoundez,
1518 And after wenged with her walour and voyded her care,
1519 And bro3t blysse into boure with bountees hor awen--
1520 And 3e ar kny3t comlokest kyd of your elde,
folio 111v
1521 Your worde and your worchip walkez ayquere,
1522 And I haf seten by yourself here sere twyes,
1523 3et herde I neuer of your hed helde no wordez
1524 Þat euer longed to luf, lasse ne more;
1525 And 3e, þat ar so cortays and coynt of your hetes,
1526 Oghe to a 3onke þynk 3ern to schewe
1527 And teche sum tokenez of trweluf craftes.
1528 Why! ar 3e lewed, þat alle þe los weldez?
1529 Oþer elles 3e demen me to dille your dalyaunce to herken?
1530         For schame!
1531     I com hider sengel, and sitte
1532     To lerne at yow sum game;    
Page 43
1533     Dos, techez me of your wytte,
1534     Whil my lorde is fro hame.'

Stanza 61
1535 'In goud fayþe,' quoþ Gawayn, 'God yow for3elde!
1536 Gret is þe gode gle, and gomen to me huge,
1537 Þat so worþy as 3e wolde wynne hidere,
1538 And pyne yow with so pouer a mon, as play wyth your kny3t
1539 With anyskynnez countenaunce, hit keuerez me ese;
1540 Bot to take þe toruayle to myself to trwluf expoun,
1541 And towche þe temez of tyxt and talez of armez
1542 To yow þat, I wot wel, weldez more sly3t
1543 Of þat art, bi þe half, or a hundreth of seche
1544 As I am, oþer euer schal, in erde þer I leue,
1545 Hit were a folé felefolde, my fre, by my trawþe.
1546 I wolde yowre wylnyng worche at my my3t,
1547 As I am hy3ly bihalden, and euermore wylle
1548 Be seruaunt to yourseluen, so saue me Dry3tyn!'
1549 Þus hym frayned þat fre, and fondet hym ofte,
1550 For to haf wonnen hym to wo3e, what-so scho þo3t ellez;
1551 Bot he defended hym so fayr þat no faut semed,
1552 Ne non euel on nawþer halue, nawþer þay wysten
1553         bot blysse.
1554     Þay la3ed and layked longe;
1555     At þe last scho con hym kysse,
1556     Hir leue fayre con scho fonge
1557     And went hir waye, iwysse.

Stanza 62
1558 Then ruþes hym þe renk and ryses to þe masse,
folio 112r
1559 And siþen hor diner watz dy3t and derely serued.
1560 Þe lede with þe ladyez layked alle day,
1561 Bot þe lorde ouer þe londez launced ful ofte,
1562 Swez his vncely swyn, þat swyngez bi þe bonkkez
1563 And bote þe best of his brachez þe bakkez in sunder
1564 Þer he bode in his bay, tel bawemen hit breken,
1565 And madee hym mawgref his hed for to mwe vtter,
1566 So felle flonez þer flete when þe folk gedered.
1567 Bot 3et þe styffest to start bi stoundez he made,
1568 Til at þe last he watz so mat he my3t no more renne,
1569 Bot in þe hast þat he my3t he to a hole wynnez
1570 Of a rasse bi a rokk þer rennez þe boerne.
Page 44
1571 He gete þe bonk at his bak, bigynez to scrape,
1572 Þe froþe femed at his mouth vnfayre bi þe wykez,
1573 Whettez his whyte tuschez; with hym þen irked
1574 Alle þe burnez so bolde þat hym by stoden
1575 To nye hym on-ferum, bot ne3e hym non durst
1576         for woþe;
1577     He hade hurt so mony byforne
1578     Þat al þu3t þenne ful loþe
1579     Be more wyth his tusches torne,
1580     Þat breme watz and braynwod bothe,

Stanza 63
1581 Til þe kny3t com hymself, kachande his blonk,
1582 Sy3 hym byde at þe bay, his burnez bysyde;
1583 He ly3tes luflych adoun, leuez his corsour,
1584 Braydez out a bry3t bront and bigly forth strydez,
1585 Foundez fast þur3 þe forth þer þe felle bydez.
1586 Þe wylde watz war of þe wy3e with weppen in honde,
1587 Hef hy3ly þe here, so hetterly he fnast
1588 Þat fele ferde for þe freke, lest felle hym þe worre.
1589 Þe swyn settez hym out on þe segge euen,
1590 Þat þe burne and þe bor were boþe vpon hepez
1591 In þe wy3test of þe water; þe worre hade þat oþer,
1592 For þe mon merkkez hym wel, as þay mette fyrst,
1593 Set sadly þe scharp in þe slot euen,
1594 Hit hym vp to þe hult, þat þe hert schyndered,
1595 And he 3arrande hym 3elde, and 3edoun þe water        
folio 112v
1596         ful tyt.
1597     A hundreth houndez hym hent,
1598     Þat bremely con hym bite,
1599     Burnez him bro3t to bent,
1600     And doggez to dethe endite.

Stanza 64
1601 There watz blawyng of prys in mony breme horne,
1602 He3e halowing on hi3e with haþelez þat my3t;
1603 Brachetes bayed þat best, as bidden þe maysterez
1604 Of þat chargeaunt chace þat were chef huntes.
1605 Þenne a wy3e þat watz wys vpon wodcraftez
1606 To vnlace þis bor lufly bigynnez.
1607 Fyrst he hewes of his hed and on hi3e settez,
Page 45
1608 And syþen rendez him al roghe bi þe rygge after,
1609 Braydez out þe boweles, brennez hom on glede,
1610 With bred blent þerwith his braches rewardez.
1611 Syþen he britnez out þe brawen in bry3t brode cheldez,
1612 And hatz out þe hastlettez, as hi3tly bisemez;
1613 And 3et hem halchez al hole þe haluez togeder,
1614 And syþen on a stif stange stoutly hem henges.
1615 Now with þis ilk swyn þay swengen to home;
1616 Þe bores hed watz borne bifore þe burnes seluen
1617 Þat him forferde in þe forþe þur3 forse of his honde
1618         so stronge.
1619     Til he se3 Sir Gawayne
1620     In halle hym po3t ful longe;
1621     He calde, and he com gayn
1622     His feez þer for to fonge.

Stanza 65
1623 Þe lorde ful lowde with lote and la3ter myry,
1624 When he se3e Sir Gawayn, with solace he spekez;
1625 Þe goude ladyez were geten, and gedered þe meyny,
1626 He schewez hem þe scheldez, and schapes hem þe tale
1627 Of þe largesse and þe lenþe, þe liþernez alse
1628 Of þe were of þe wylde swyn in wod þer he fled.
1629 Þat oþer kny3t ful comly comended his dedez,
1630 And praysed hit as gret prys þat he proued hade,
1631 For suche a brawne of a best, þe bolde burne sayde,
1632 Ne such sydes of a swyn segh he neuer are.
1633 Þenne hondeled þay þe hoge hed, þe hende mon hit praysed,
folio 113r
1634 And let lodly þerat þe lorde for to here.
1635 'Now, Gawayn,' quoþ þe godmon, 'þis gomen is your awen
1636 Bi fyn forwarde and faste, faythely 3e knowe.'
1637 'Hit is sothe,' quoþ þe segge, 'and as siker trwe
1638 Alle my get I schal yow gif agayn, bi my trawþe.'
1639 He hent þe haþel aboute þe halse, and hendely hym kysses,
1640 And eftersones of þe same he serued hym þere.
1641 'Now ar we euen,' quoþ þe haþel, 'in þis euentide
1642 Of alle þe couenauntes þat we knyt, syþen I com hider,
1643         bi lawe.'
1644     Þe lorde sayde, 'Bi saynt Gile,
1645     3e ar þe best þat I knowe!    
Page 46
1646     3e ben ryche in a whyle,
1647     Such chaffer and 3e drowe.'

Stanza 66
1648 Þenne þay teldet tablez trestes alofte,
1649 Kesten cloþen vpon; clere ly3t þenne
1650 Wakned bi wo3ez, waxen torches;
1651 Seggez sette and serued in sale al aboute;
1652 Much glam and gle glent vp þerinne
1653 Aboute þe fyre vpon flet, and on fele wyse
1654 At þe soper and after, mony aþel songez,
1655 As coundutes of Krystmasse and carolez newe
1656 With al þe manerly merþe þat mon may of telle,
1657 And euer oure luflych kny3t þe lady bisyde.
1658 Such semblaunt to þat segge semly ho made
1659 Wyth stille stollen countenaunce, þat stalworth to plese,
1660 Þat al forwondered watz þe wy3e, and wroth with hymseluen,
1661 Bot he nolde not for his nurture nurne hir a3aynez,
1662 Bot dalt with hir al in daynté, how-se-euer þe dede turned
1663         towrast.
1664     Quen þay hade played in halle
1665     As longe as hor wylle hom last,
1666     To chambre he con hym calle,
1667     And to þe chemné þay past.

Stanza 67
1668 Ande þer þay dronken, and dalten, and demed eft nwe
1669 To norne on þe same note on Nwe 3erez euen;
1670 Bot þe kny3t craued leue to kayre on þe morn,
1671 For hit watz ne3 at þe terme þat he to schulde.
folio 113v
1672 Þe lorde hym letted of þat, to lenge hym resteyed,
1673 And sayde, 'As I am trwe segge, I siker my trawþe
1674 Þou schal cheue to þe grene chapel þy charres to make,
1675 Leude, on Nw 3erez ly3t, longe bifore pryme.
1676 Forþy þow lye in þy loft and lach þyn ese,
1677 And I schal hunt in þis holt, and halde þe towchez,
1678 Chaunge wyth þe cheuisaunce, bi þat I charre hider;
1679 For I haf fraysted þe twys, and faythful I fynde þe.
1680 Now "þrid tyme þrowe best" þenk on þe morne,
1681 Make we mery quyl we may and mynne vpon joye,
1682 For þe lur may mon lach when-so mon lykez.'
1683 Þis watz grayþely graunted, and Gawayn is lenged,
Page 47
1684 Bliþe bro3t watz hym drynk, and þay to bedde 3eden
1685         with li3t.
1686     Sir Gawayn lis and slepes
1687     Ful stille and softe al ni3t;
1688     Þe lorde þat his craftez kepes,
1689     Ful erly he watz di3t.

Stanza 68
1690 After messe a morsel he and his men token;
1691 Miry watz þe mornyng, his mounture he askes.
1692 Alle þe haþeles þat on horse schulde helden hym after
1693 Were boun busked on hor blonkkez bifore þe halle 3atez.
1694 Ferly fayre watz þe folde, for þe forst clenged;
1695 In rede rudede vpon rak rises þe sunne,
1696 And ful clere costez þe clowdes of þe welkyn.
1697 Hunteres vnhardeled bi a holt syde,
1698 Rocheres roungen bi rys for rurde of her hornes;
1699 Summe fel in þe fute þer þe fox bade,
1700 Traylez ofte a traueres bi traunt of her wyles;
1701 A kenet kyres þerof, þe hunt on hym calles;
1702 His fela3es fallen hym to, þat fnasted ful þike,
1703 Runnen forth in a rabel in his ry3t fare,
1704 And he fyskez hem byfore; þay founden hym sone,
1705 And quen þay seghe hym with sy3t þay sued hym fast,
1706 Wre3ande hym ful weterly with a wroth noyse;
1707 And he trantes and tornayeez þur3 mony tene greue,
1708 Hauilounez, and herkenez bi heggez ful ofte.
folio 114r
1709 At þe last bi a littel dich he lepez ouer a spenne,
1710 Stelez out ful stilly bi a strothe rande,
1711 Went haf wylt of þe wode with wylez fro þe houndes;
1712 Þenne watz he went, er he wyst, to a wale tryster,
1713 Þer þre þro at a þrich þrat hym at ones,
1714         al graye.
1715     He blenched a3ayn bilyue
1716     And stifly start on-stray,
1717     With alle þe wo on lyue
1718     To þe wod he went away.

Page 48
Stanza 69
1719 Thenne watz hit list vpon lif to lyþen þe houndez,
1720 When alle þe mute hade hym met, menged togeder:
1721 Suche a sor3e at þat sy3t þay sette on his hede
1722 As alle þe clamberande clyffes hade clatered on hepes;
1723 Here he watz halawed, when haþelez hym metten,
1724 Loude he watz 3ayned with 3arande speche;
1725 Þer he watz þreted and ofte þef called,
1726 And ay þe titleres at his tayl, þat tary he ne my3t;
1727 Ofte he watz runnen at, when he out rayked,
1728 And ofte reled in a3ayn, so Reniarde watz wylé.
1729 And 3e he lad hem bi lagmon, þe lorde and his meyny,
1730 On þis maner bi þe mountes quyle myd-ouer-vnder,
1731 Whyle þe hende kny3t at home holsumly slepes
1732 Withinne þe comly cortynes, on þe colde morne.
1733 Bot þe lady for luf let not to slepe,
1734 Ne þe purpose to payre þat py3t in hir hert,
1735 Bot ros hir vp radly, rayked hir þeder
1736 In a mery mantyle, mete to þe erþe,
1737 Þat watz furred ful fyne with fellez wel pured,
1738 No hwef goud on hir hede bot þe ha3er stones
1739 Trased aboute hir tressour be twenty in clusteres;
1740 Hir þryuen face and hir þrote þrowen al naked,
1741 Hir brest bare bifore, and bihinde eke.
1742 Ho comez withinne þe chambre dore, and closes hit hir after,
1743 Wayuez vp a wyndow, and on þe wy3e callez,
1744 And radly þus rehayted hym with hir riche wordes,
1745         with chere:
1746     'A! mon, how may þou slepe,    
folio 114v
1747     Þis morning is so clere?'
1748     He watz in drowping depe,
1749     Bot þenne he con hir here.

Stanza 70
1750 In dre3 droupyng of dreme draueled þat noble,
1751 As mon þat watz in mornyng of mony þro þo3tes,
1752 How þat destiné schulde þat day dele hym his wyrde
1753 At þe grene chapel, when he þe gome metes,
1754 And bihoues his buffet abide withoute debate more;
1755 Bot quen þat comly com he keuered his wyttes,
Page 49
1756 Swenges out of þe sweuenes, and swarez with hast.
1757 Þe lady luflych com la3ande swete,
1758 Felle ouer his fayre face, and fetly hym kyssed;
1759 He welcumez hir worþily with a wale chere.
1760 He se3 hir so glorious and gayly atyred,
1761 So fautles of hir fetures and of so fyne hewes,
1762 Wi3t wallande joye warmed his hert.
1763 With smoþe smylyng and smolt þay smeten into merþe,
1764 Þat al watz blis and bonchef þat breke hem bitwene,
1765         and wynne.
1766     Þay lanced wordes gode,
1767     Much wele þen watz þerinne;
1768     Gret perile bitwene hem stod,
1769     Nif Maré of hir kny3t mynne.

Stanza 71
1770 For þat prynces of pris depresed hym so þikke,
1771 Nurned hym so ne3e þe þred, þat nede hym bihoued
1772 Oþer lach þer hir luf, oþer lodly refuse.
1773 He cared for his cortaysye, lest craþayn he were,
1774 And more for his meschef 3if he schulde make synne,
1775 And be traytor to þat tolke þat þat telde a3t.
1776 'God schylde,' quoþ þe schalk, 'þat schal not befalle!'
1777 With luf-la3yng a lyt he layd hym bysyde
1778 Alle þe spechez of specialté þat sprange of her mouthe.
1779 Quoþ þat burde to þe burne, 'Blame 3e disserue,
1780 3if 3e luf not þat lyf þat 3e lye nexte,
1781 Bifore alle þe wy3ez in þe worlde wounded in hert,
1782 Bot if 3e haf a lemman, a leuer, þat yow lykez better,
1783 And folden fayth to þat fre, festned so harde
folio 115r
1784 Þat yow lausen ne lyst--and þat I leue nouþe;
1785 And þat 3e telle me þat now trwly I pray yow,
1786 For alle þe lufez vpon lyue layne not þe soþe
1787         for gile.'
1788     Þe kny3t sayde, 'Be sayn Jon,'
1789     And smeþely con he smyle,
1790     'In fayth I welde ri3t non,
1791     Ne non wil welde þe quile.'

Stanza 72
1792 'Þat is a worde,' quoþ þat wy3t, 'þat worst is of alle,
Page 50
1793 Bot I am swared for soþe, þat sore me þinkkez.
1794 Kysse me now comly, and I schal cach heþen,
1795 I may bot mourne vpon molde, as may þat much louyes.'
1796 Sykande ho swe3e doun and semly hym kyssed,
1797 And siþen ho seueres hym fro, and says as ho stondes,
1798 'Now, dere, at þis departyng do me þis ese,
1799 Gif me sumquat of þy gifte, þi gloue if hit were,
1800 Þat I may mynne on þe, mon, my mournyng to lassen.'
1801 'Now iwysse,' quoþ þat wy3e, 'I wolde I hade here
1802 Þe leuest þing for þy luf þat I in londe welde,
1803 For 3e haf deserued, for soþe, sellyly ofte
1804 More rewarde bi resoun þen I reche my3t;
1805 Bot to dele yow for drurye þat dawed bot neked,
1806 Hit is not your honour to haf at þis tyme
1807 A gloue for a garysoun of Gawaynez giftez,
1808 And I am here an erande in erdez vncouþe,
1809 And haue no men wyth no malez with menskful þingez;
1810 Þat mislykez me, ladé, for luf at þis tyme,
1811 Iche tolke mon do as he is tan, tas to non ille
1812         ne pine.'
1813     'Nay, hende of hy3e honours,'
1814     Quoþ þat lufsum vnder lyne,
1815     'Þa3 I hade no3t of yourez,
1816     3et schulde 3e haue of myne.'

Stanza 73
1817 Ho ra3t hym a riche rynk of red golde werkez,
1818 Wyth a starande ston stondande alofte
1819 Þat bere blusschande bemez as þe bry3t sunne;
1820 Wyt 3e wel, hit watz worth wele ful hoge.
1821 Bot þe renk hit renayed, and redyly he sayde,
folio 115v
1822 'I wil no giftez, for Gode, my gay, at þis tyme;
1823 I haf none yow to norne, ne no3t wyl I take.'
1824 Ho bede hit hym ful bysily, and he hir bode wernes,
1825 And swere swyfte by his sothe þat he hit sese nolde,
1826 And ho soré þat he forsoke, and sayde þerafter,
1827 'If 3e renay my rynk, to ryche for hit semez,
1828 3e wolde not so hy3ly halden be to me,
1829 I schal gif yow my girdel, þat gaynes yow lasse.'
Page 51
1830 Ho la3t a lace ly3tly þat leke vmbe hir sydez,
1831 Knit vpon hir kyrtel vnder þe clere mantyle,
1832 Gered hit watz with grene sylke and with golde schaped,
1833 No3t bot arounde brayden, beten with fyngrez;
1834 And þat ho bede to þe burne, and blyþely biso3t,
1835 Þa3 hit vnworþi were, þat he hit take wolde.
1836 And he nay þat he nolde neghe in no wyse
1837 Nauþer golde ne garysoun, er God hym grace sende
1838 To acheue to þe chaunce þat he hade chosen þere.
1839 'And þerfore, I pray yow, displese yow no3t,
1840 And lettez be your bisinesse, for I bayþe hit yow neuer
1841         to graunte;
1842     I am derely to yow biholde
1843     Bicause of your sembelaunt,
1844     And euer in hot and colde
1845     To be your trwe seruaunt.'

Stanza 74
1846 'Now forsake 3e þis silke,' sayde þe burde þenne,
1847 'For hit is symple in hitself? And so hit wel semez.
1848 Lo! so hit is littel, and lasse hit is worþy;
1849 Bot who-so knew þe costes þat knit ar þerinne,
1850 He wolde hit prayse at more prys, parauenture;
1851 For quat gome so is gorde with þis grene lace,
1852 While he hit hade hemely halched aboute,
1853 Þer is no haþel vnder heuen tohewe hym þat my3t,
1854 For he my3t not be slayn for sly3t vpon erþe.'
1855 Þen kest þe kny3t, and hit come to his hert
1856 Hit were a juel for þe jopardé þat hym iugged were:
1857 When he acheued to þe chapel his chek for to fech,
1858 My3t he haf slypped to be vnslayn, þe sle3t were noble.
folio 116r
1859 Þenne he þulged with hir þrepe and þoled hir to speke,
1860 And ho bere on hym þe belt and bede hit hym swyþe--
1861 And he granted and hym gafe with a goud wylle--
1862 And biso3t hym, for hir sake, disceuer hit neuer,
1863 Bot to lelly layne fro hir lorde; þe leude hym acordez
1864 Þat neuer wy3e schulde hit wyt, iwysse, bot þay twayne
1865         for no3te;
1866     He þonkked hir oft ful swyþe,
1867     Ful þro with hert and þo3t.    
Page 52
1868     Bi þat on þrynne syþe
1869     Ho hatz kyst þe kny3t so to3t.

Stanza 75
1870 Thenne lachchez ho hir leue, and leuez hym þere,
1871 For more myrþe of þat mon mo3t ho not gete.
1872 When ho watz gon, Sir Gawayn gerez hym sone,
1873 Rises and riches hym in araye noble,
1874 Lays vp þe luf-lace þe lady hym ra3t,
1875 Hid hit ful holdely, þer he hit eft fonde.
1876 Syþen cheuely to þe chapel choses he þe waye,
1877 Preuély aproched to a prest, and prayed hym þere
1878 Þat he wolde lyste his lyf and lern hym better
1879 How his sawle schulde be saued when he schuld seye heþen.
1880 Þere he schrof hym schyrly and schewed his mysdedez,
1881 Of þe more and þe mynne, and merci besechez,
1882 And of absolucioun he on þe segge calles;
1883 And he asoyled hym surely and sette hym so clene
1884 As domezday schulde haf ben di3t on þe morn.
1885 And syþen he mace hym as mery among þe fre ladyes,
1886 With comlych caroles and alle kynnes ioye,
1887 As neuer he did bot þat daye, to þe derk ny3t,
1888         with blys.
1889     Vche mon hade daynté þare
1890     Of hym, and sayde, 'Iwysse,
1891     Þus myry he watz neuer are,
1892     Syn he com hider, er þis.'

Stanza 76
1893 Now hym lenge in þat lee, þer luf hym bityde!
1894 3et is þe lorde on þe launde ledande his gomnes.
1895 He hatz forfaren þis fox þat he fol3ed longe;
1896 As he sprent ouer a spenne to spye þe schrewe,
folio 116v
1897 Þer as he herd þe howndes þat hasted hym swyþe,
1898 Renaud com richchande þur3 a ro3e greue,
1899 And alle þe rabel in a res ry3t at his helez.
1900 Þe wy3e watz war of þe wylde, and warly abides,
1901 And braydez out þe bry3t bronde, and at þe best castez.
1902 And he schunt for þe scharp, and schulde haf arered;
1903 A rach rapes hym to, ry3t er he my3t,
1904 And ry3t bifore þe hors fete þay fel on hym alle,
Page 53
1905 And woried me þis wyly wyth a wroth noyse.
1906 Þe lorde ly3tez bilyue, and lachez hym sone,
1907 Rased hym ful radly out of þe rach mouþes,
1908 Haldez he3e ouer his hede, halowez faste,
1909 And þer bayen hym mony braþ houndez.
1910 Huntes hy3ed hem þeder with hornez ful mony,
1911 Ay rechatande ary3t til þay þe renk se3en.
1912 Bi þat watz comen his compeyny noble,
1913 Alle þat euer ber bugle blowed at ones,
1914 And alle þise oþer halowed þat hade no hornes;
1915 Hit watz þe myriest mute þat euer men herde,
1916 Þe rich rurd þat þer watz raysed for Renaude saule
1917         with lote.
1918     Hor houndez þay þer rewarde,
1919     Her hedez þay fawne and frote,
1920     And syþen þay tan Reynarde,
1921     And tyruen of his cote.

Stanza 77
1922 And þenne þay helden to home, for hit watz nie3 ny3t,
1923 Strakande ful stoutly in hor store hornez.
1924 Þe lorde is ly3t at þe laste at hys lef home,
1925 Fyndez fire vpon flet, þe freke þer-byside,
1926 Sir Gawayn þe gode, þat glad watz withalle,
1927 Among þe ladies for luf he ladde much ioye;
1928 He were a bleaunt of blwe þat bradde to þe erþe,
1929 His surkot semed hym wel þat softe watz forred,
1930 And his hode of þat ilke henged on his schulder,
1931 Blande al of blaunner were boþe al aboute.
1932 He metez me þis godmon inmyddez þe flore,
1933 And al with gomen he hym gret, and goudly he sayde,
1934 'I schal fylle vpon fyrst oure forwardez nouþe,
folio 117r
1935 Þat we spedly han spoken, þer spared watz no drynk.'
1936 Þen acoles he þe kny3t and kysses hym þryes,
1937 As sauerly and sadly as he hem sette couþe.
1938 'Bi Kryst,' quoþ þat oþer kny3t, '3e cach much sele
1939 In cheuisaunce of þis chaffer, 3if 3e hade goud chepez.'
1940 '3e, of þe chepe no charg,' quoþ chefly þat oþer,
1941 'As is pertly payed þe chepez þat I a3te.'
Page 54
1942 'Mary,' quoþ þat oþer mon, 'myn is bihynde,
1943 For I haf hunted al þis day, and no3t haf I geten
1944 Bot þis foule fox felle--þe fende haf þe godez!--
1945 And þat is ful pore for to pay for suche prys þinges
1946 As 3e haf þry3t me here þro, suche þre cosses
1947         so gode.'
1948     'Ino3,' quoþ Sir Gawayn,
1949     'I þonk yow, bi þe rode',
1950     And how þe fox watz slayn
1951     He tolde hym as þay stode.

Stanza 78
1952 With merþe and mynstralsye, with metez at hor wylle,
1953 Þay maden as mery as any men mo3ten--
1954 With la3yng of ladies, with lotez of bordes
1955 Gawayn and þe godemon so glad were þay boþe--
1956 Bot if þe douthe had doted, oþer dronken ben oþer.
1957 Boþe þe mon and þe meyny maden mony iapez,
1958 Til þe sesoun watz se3en þat þay seuer moste;
1959 Burnez to hor bedde behoued at þe laste.
1960 Þenne lo3ly his leue at þe lorde fyrst
1961 Fochchez þis fre mon, and fayre he hym þonkkez:
1962 'Of such a selly soiorne as I haf hade here,
1963 Your honour at þis hy3e fest, þe hy3e kyng yow 3elde!
1964 I 3ef yow me for on of yourez, if yowreself lykez,
1965 For I mot nedes, as 3e wot, meue to-morne,
1966 And 3e me take sum tolke to teche, as 3e hy3t,
1967 Þe gate to þe grene chapel, as God wyl me suffer
1968 To dele on Nw 3erez day þe dome of my wyrdes.'
1969 'In god fayþe,' quoþ þe godmon, 'wyth a goud wylle
1970 Al þat euer I yow hy3t halde schal I redé.'
1971 Þer asyngnes he a seruaunt to sett hym in þe waye,
folio 117v
1972 And coundue hym by þe downez, þat he no drechch had,
1973 For to ferk þur3 þe fryth and fare at þe gaynest
1974         bi greue.
1975     Þe lorde Gawayn con þonk,
1976     Such worchip he wolde hym weue.
1977     Þen at þo ladyez wlonk
1978     Þe kny3t hatz tan his leue.

Page 55
Stanza 79
1979 With care and wyth kyssyng he carppez hem tille,
1980 And fele þryuande þonkkez he þrat hom to haue,
1981 And þay 3elden hym a3ayn 3eply þat ilk;
1982 Þay bikende hym to Kryst with ful colde sykyngez.
1983 Syþen fro þe meyny he menskly departes;
1984 Vche mon þat he mette, he made hem a þonke
1985 For his seruyse and his solace and his sere pyne,
1986 Þat þay wyth busynes had ben aboute hym to serue;
1987 And vche segge as soré to seuer with hym þere
1988 As þay hade wonde worþyly with þat wlonk euer.
1989 Þen with ledes and ly3t he watz ladde to his chambre
1990 And blyþely bro3t to his bedde to be at his rest.
1991 3if he ne slepe soundyly say ne dar I,
1992 For he hade muche on þe morn to mynne, 3if he wolde,
1993         in þo3t.
1994     Let hym ly3e þere stille,
1995     He hatz nere þat he so3t;
1996     And 3e wyl a whyle be stylle
1997     I schal telle yow how þay wro3t.

Passus  IV

Stanza 80
1998 NOW ne3ez þe Nw 3ere, and þe ny3t passez,
1999 Þe day dryuez to þe derk, as Dry3tyn biddez;
2000 Bot wylde wederez of þe worlde wakned þeroute,
2001 Clowdes kesten kenly þe colde to þe erþe,
2002 Wyth ny3e innoghe of þe norþe, þe naked to tene;
2003 Þe snawe snitered ful snart, þat snayped þe wylde;
2004 Þe werbelande wynde wapped fro þe hy3e,
2005 And drof vche dale ful of dryftes ful grete.
2006 Þe leude lystened ful wel þat le3 in his bedde,
2007 Þa3 he lowkez his liddez, ful lyttel he slepes;
2008 Bi vch kok þat crue he knwe wel þe steuen.
folio 118r
2009 Deliuerly he dressed vp, er þe day sprenged,
2010 For þere watz ly3t of a laumpe þat lemed in his chambre;
2011 He called to his chamberlayn, þat cofly hym swared,
2012 And bede hym bryng hym his bruny and his blonk sadel;
Page 56
2013 Þat oþer ferkez hym vp and fechez hym his wedez,
2014 And grayþez me Sir Gawayn vpon a grett wyse.
2015 Fyrst he clad hym in his cloþez þe colde for to were,
2016 And syþen his oþer harnays, þat holdely watz keped,
2017 Boþe his paunce and his platez, piked ful clene,
2018 Þe ryngez rokked of þe roust of his riche bruny;
2019 And al watz fresch as vpon fyrst, and he watz fayn þenne
2020         to þonk;
2021     He hade vpon vche pece,
2022     Wypped ful wel and wlonk;
2023     Þe gayest into Grece,
2024     Þe burne bede bryng his blonk.

Stanza 81
2025 Whyle þe wlonkest wedes he warp on hymseluen--
2026 His cote wyth þe conysaunce of þe clere werkez
2027 Ennurned vpon veluet, vertuus stonez
2028 Aboute beten and bounden, enbrauded semez,
2029 And fayre furred withinne wyth fayre pelures--
2030 3et laft he not þe lace, þe ladiez gifte,
2031 Þat forgat not Gawayn for gode of hymseluen.
2032 Bi he hade belted þe bronde vpon his bal3e haunchez,
2033 Þenn dressed he his drurye double hym aboute,
2034 Swyþe sweþled vmbe his swange swetely þat kny3t
2035 Þe gordel of þe grene silke, þat gay wel bisemed,
2036 Vpon þat ryol red cloþe þat ryche watz to schewe.
2037 Bot wered not þis ilk wy3e for wele þis gordel,
2038 For pryde of þe pendauntez, þa3 polyst þay were,
2039 And þa3 þe glyterande golde glent vpon endez,
2040 Bot for to sauen hymself, when suffer hym byhoued,
2041 To byde bale withoute dabate of bronde hym to were
2042         oþer knyffe.
2043     Bi þat þe bolde mon boun
2044     Wynnez þeroute bilyue,
2045     Alle þe meyny of renoun
2046     He þonkkez ofte ful ryue.

folio 118v
Stanza 82
2047 Thenne watz Gryngolet grayþe, þat gret watz and huge,
2048 And hade ben soiourned sauerly and in a siker wyse,
2049 Hym lyst prik for poynt, þat proude hors þenne.
Page 57
2050 Þe wy3e wynnez hym to and wytez on his lyre,
2051 And sayde soberly hymself and by his soth swerez:
2052 'Here is a meyny in þis mote þat on menske þenkkez,
2053 Þe mon hem maynteines, ioy mot þay haue;
2054 Þe leue lady on lyue luf hir bityde;
2055 3if þay for charyté cherysen a gest,
2056 And halden honour in her honde, þe haþel hem 3elde
2057 Þat haldez þe heuen vpon hy3e, and also yow alle!
2058 And 3if I my3t lyf vpon londe lede any quyle,
2059 I schuld rech yow sum rewarde redyly, if I my3t.'
2060 Þenn steppez he into stirop and strydez alofte;
2061 His schalk schewed hym his schelde, on schulder he hit la3t,
2062 Gordez to Gryngolet with his gilt helez,
2063 And he startez on þe ston, stod he no lenger
2064         to praunce.
2065     His haþel on hors watz þenne,
2066     Þat bere his spere and launce.
2067     'Þis kastel to Kryst I kenne':
2068     He gef hit ay god chaunce.

Stanza 83
2069 The brygge watz brayde doun, and þe brode 3atez
2070 Vnbarred and born open vpon boþe halue.
2071 Þe burne blessed hym bilyue, and þe bredez passed--
2072 Prayses þe porter bifore þe prynce kneled,
2073 Gef hym God and goud day, þat Gawayn he saue--
2074 And went on his way with his wy3e one,
2075 Þat schulde teche hym to tourne to þat tene place
2076 Þer þe ruful race he schulde resayue.
2077 Þay bo3en bi bonkkez þer bo3ez ar bare,
2078 Þay clomben bi clyffez þer clengez þe colde.
2079 Þe heuen watz vphalt, bot vgly þer-vnder;
2080 Mist muged on þe mor, malt on þe mountez,
2081 Vch hille hade a hatte, a myst-hakel huge.
2082 Brokez byled and breke bi bonkkez aboute,
2083 Schyre schaterande on schorez, þer þay doun schowued.
folio 119r
2084 Wela wylle watz þe way þer þay bi wod schulden,
2085 Til hit watz sone sesoun þat þe sunne ryses
2086         þat tyde.
2087     Þay were on a hille ful hy3e,
2088     Þe quyte snaw lay bisyde;    
Page 58
2089     Þe burne þat rod hym by
2090     Bede his mayster abide.

Stanza 84
2091 'For I haf wonnen yow hider, wy3e, at þis tyme,
2092 And now nar 3e not fer fro þat note place
2093 Þat 3e han spied and spuryed so specially after;
2094 Bot I schal say yow for soþe, syþen I yow knowe,
2095 And 3e ar a lede vpon lyue þat I wel louy,
2096 Wolde 3e worch bi my wytte, 3e worþed þe better.
2097 Þe place þat 3e prece to ful perelous is halden;
2098 Þer wonez a wy3e in þat waste, þe worst vpon erþe,
2099 For he is stiffe and sturne, and to strike louies,
2100 And more he is þen any mon vpon myddelerde,
2101 And his body bigger þen þe best fowre
2102 Þat ar in Arþurez hous, Hestor, oþer oþer.
2103 He cheuez þat chaunce at þe chapel grene,
2104 Þer passes non bi þat place so proude in his armes
2105 Þat he ne dyngez hym to deþe with dynt of his honde;
2106 For he is a mon methles, and mercy non vses,
2107 For be hit chorle oþer chaplayn þat bi þe chapel rydes,
2108 Monk oþer masseprest, oþer any mon elles,
2109 Hym þynk as queme hym to quelle as quyk go hymseluen.
2110 Forþy I say þe, as soþe as 3e in sadel sitte,
2111 Com 3e þere, 3e be kylled, may þe kny3t rede,
2112 Trawe 3e me þat trwely, þa3 3e had twenty lyues
2113         to spende.
2114     He hatz wonyd here ful 3ore,
2115     On bent much baret bende,
2116     A3ayn his dyntez sore
2117     3e may not yow defende.

Stanza 85
2118 'Forþy, goude Sir Gawayn, let þe gome one,
2119 And gotz away sum oþer gate, vpon Goddez halue!
2120 Cayrez bi sum oþer kyth, þer Kryst mot yow spede,
2121 And I schal hy3 me hom a3ayn, and hete yow fyrre
folio 119v
2122 Þat I schal swere bi God and alle his gode hal3ez,
2123 As help me God and þe halydam, and oþez innoghe,
2124 Þat I schal lelly yow layne, and lance neuer tale
2125 Þat euer 3e fondet to fle for freke þat I wyst.'
Page 59
2126 'Grant merci', quoþ Gawayn, and gruchyng he sayde:
2127 'Wel worth þe, wy3e, þat woldez my gode,
2128 And þat lelly me layne I leue wel þou woldez.
2129 Bot helde þou hit neuer so holde, and I here passed,
2130 Founded for ferde for to fle, in fourme þat þou tellez,
2131 I were a kny3t kowarde, I my3t not be excused.
2132 Bot I wyl to þe chapel, for chaunce þat may falle,
2133 And talk wyth þat ilk tulk þe tale þat me lyste,
2134 Worþe hit wele oþer wo, as þe wyrde lykez
2135         hit hafe.
2136     Þa3e he be a sturn knape
2137     To sti3tel, and stad with staue,
2138     Ful wel con Dry3tyn schape
2139     His seruauntez for to saue.'

Stanza 86
2140 'Mary!' quoþ þat oþer mon, 'now þou so much spellez,
2141 Þat þou wylt þyn awen nye nyme to þyseluen,
2142 And þe lyst lese þy lyf, þe lette I ne kepe.
2143 Haf here þi helme on þy hede, þi spere in þi honde,
2144 And ryde me doun þis ilk rake bi 3on rokke syde,
2145 Til þou be bro3t to þe boþem of þe brem valay;
2146 Þenne loke a littel on þe launde, on þi lyfte honde,
2147 And þou schal se in þat slade þe self chapel,
2148 And þe borelych burne on bent þat hit kepez.
2149 Now farez wel, on Godez half, Gawayn þe noble!
2150 For alle þe golde vpon grounde I nolde go wyth þe,
2151 Ne bere þe fela3schip þur3 þis fryth on fote fyrre.'
2152 Bi þat þe wy3e in þe wod wendez his brydel,
2153 Hit þe hors with þe helez as harde as he my3t,
2154 Lepez hym ouer þe launde, and leuez þe kny3t þere
2155         al one.
2156     'Bi Goddez self,' quoþ Gawayn,
2157     'I wyl nauþer grete ne grone;
2158     To Goddez wylle I am ful bayn,
2159     And to hym I haf me tone.'

folio 120r
Stanza 87
2160 Thenne gyrdez he to Gryngolet, and gederez þe rake,
2161 Schowuez in bi a schore at a scha3e syde,
2162 Ridez þur3 þe ro3e bonk ry3t to þe dale;
Page 60
2163 And þenne he wayted hym aboute, and wylde hit hym þo3t,
2164 And se3e no syngne of resette bisydez nowhere,
2165 Bot hy3e bonkkez and brent vpon boþe halue,
2166 And ru3e knokled knarrez with knorned stonez;
2167 Þe skwez of þe scowtes skayned hym þo3t.
2168 Þenne he houed, and wythhylde his hors at þat tyde,
2169 And ofte chaunged his cher þe chapel to seche:
2170 He se3 non suche in no syde, and selly hym þo3t,
2171 Saue, a lyttel on a launde, a lawe as hit were;
2172 A bal3 ber3 bi a bonke þe brymme bysyde,
2173 Bi a for3 of a flode þat ferked þare;
2174 Þe borne blubred þerinne as hit boyled hade.
2175 Þe kny3t kachez his caple, and com to þe lawe,
2176 Li3tez doun luflyly, and at a lynde tachez
2177 Þe rayne and his riche with a ro3e braunche.
2178 Þenne he bo3ez to þe ber3e, aboute hit he walkez,
2179 Debatande with hymself quat hit be my3t.
2180 Hit hade a hole on þe ende and on ayþer syde,
2181 And ouergrowen with gresse in glodes aywhere,
2182 And al watz hol3 inwith, nobot an olde caue,
2183 Or a creuisse of an olde cragge, he couþe hit no3t deme
2184         with spelle.
2185     'We! Lorde,' quoþ þe gentyle kny3t,
2186     'Wheþer þis be þe grene chapelle?
2187     Here my3t aboute mydny3t
2188     Þe dele his matynnes telle!

Stanza 88
2189 'Now iwysse,' quoþ Wowayn, 'wysty is here;
2190 Þis oritore is vgly, with erbez ouergrowen;
2191 Wel bisemez þe wy3e wruxled in grene
2192 Dele here his deuocioun on þe deuelez wyse.
2193 Now I fele hit is þe fende, in my fyue wyttez,
2194 Þat hatz stoken me þis steuen to strye me here.
2195 Þis is a chapel of meschaunce, þat chekke hit bytyde!
2196 Hit is þe corsedest kyrk þat euer I com inne!'
folio 120v
2197 With he3e helme on his hede, his launce in his honde,
2198 He romez vp to þe roffe of þe ro3 wonez.
Page 61
2199 Þene herde he of þat hy3e hil, in a harde roche
2200 Bi3onde þe broke, in a bonk, a wonder breme noyse,
2201 Quat! hit clatered in þe clyff, as hit cleue schulde,
2202 As one vpon a gryndelston hade grounden a syþe.
2203 What! hit wharred and whette, as water at a mulne;
2204 What! hit rusched and ronge, rawþe to here.
2205 Þenne 'Bi Godde,' quoþ Gawayn, 'þat gere, as I trowe,
2206 Is ryched at þe reuerence me, renk, to mete
2207         bi rote.
2208     Let God worche! "We loo"--
2209     Hit helppez me not a mote.
2210     My lif þa3 I forgoo,
2211     Drede dotz me no lote.'

Stanza 89
2212 Thenne þe kny3t con calle ful hy3e:
2213 'Who sti3tlez in þis sted me steuen to holde?
2214 For now is gode Gawayn goande ry3t here.
2215 If any wy3e o3t wyl, wynne hider fast,
2216 Oþer now oþer neuer, his nedez to spede.'
2217 'Abyde', quoþ on on þe bonke abouen ouer his hede,
2218 'And þou schal haf al in hast þat I þe hy3t ones.'
2219 3et he rusched on þat rurde rapely a þrowe.
2220 And wyth quettyng awharf, er he wolde ly3t;
2221 And syþen he keuerez bi a cragge, and comez of a hole,
2222 Whyrlande out of a wro wyth a felle weppen,
2223 A denez ax nwe dy3t, þe dynt with to 3elde,
2224 With a borelych bytte bende by þe halme,
2225 Fyled in a fylor, fowre fote large--
2226 Hit watz no lasse bi þat lace þat lemed ful bry3t--
2227 And þe gome in þe grene gered as fyrst,
2228 Boþe þe lyre and þe leggez, lokkez and berde,
2229 Saue þat fayre on his fote he foundez on þe erþe,
2230 Sette þe stele to þe stone, and stalked bysyde.
2231 When he wan to þe watter, þer he wade nolde,
2232 He hypped ouer on hys ax, and orpedly strydez,
2233 Bremly broþe on a bent þat brode watz aboute,
2234         on snawe.
folio 121r
2235     Sir Gawayn þe kny3t con mete,
2236     He ne lutte hym noþyng lowe;    
Page 62
2237     Þat oþer sayde, 'Now, sir swete,
2238     Of steuen mon may þe trowe.'

Stanza 90
2239 'Gawayn,' quoþ þat grene gome, 'God þe mot loke!
2240 Iwysse þou art welcom, wy3e, to my place,
2241 And þou hatz tymed þi trauayl as truee mon schulde,
2242 And þou knowez þe couenauntez kest vus bytwene:
2243 At þis tyme twelmonyth þou toke þat þe falled,
2244 And I schulde at þis Nwe 3ere 3eply þe quyte.
2245 And we ar in þis valay verayly oure one;
2246 Here ar no renkes vs to rydde, rele as vus likez.
2247 Haf þy helme of þy hede, and haf here þy pay.
2248 Busk no more debate þen I þe bede þenne
2249 When þou wypped of my hede at a wap one.'
2250 'Nay, bi God,' quoþ Gawayn, 'þat me gost lante,
2251 I schal gruch þe no grwe for grem þat fallez.
2252 Bot sty3tel þe vpon on strok, and I schal stonde stylle
2253 And warp þe no wernyng to worch as þe lykez,
2254         nowhare.'
2255     He lened with þe nek, and lutte,
2256     And schewed þat schyre al bare,
2257     And lette as he no3t dutte;
2258     For drede he wolde not dare.

Stanza 91
2259 THEN þe gome in þe grene grayþed hym swyþe,
2260 Gederez vp hys grymme tole Gawayn to smyte;
2261 With alle þe bur in his body he ber hit on lofte,
2262 Munt as ma3tyly as marre hym he wolde;
2263 Hade hit dryuen adoun as dre3 as he atled,
2264 Þer hade ben ded of his dynt þat do3ty watz euer.
2265 Bot Gawayn on þat giserne glyfte hym bysyde,
2266 As hit com glydande adoun on glode hym to schende,
2267 And schranke a lytel with þe schulderes for þe scharp yrne.
2268 Þat oþer schalk wyth a schunt þe schene wythhaldez,
2269 And þenne repreued he þe prynce with mony prowde wordez:
2270 'Þou art not Gawayn,' quoþ þe gome, 'þat is so goud halden,
2271 Þat neuer ar3ed for no here by hylle ne be vale,
folio 121v
2272 And now þou fles for ferde er þou fele harmez!
2273 Such cowardise of þat kny3t cowþe I neuer here.
Page 63
2274 Nawþer fyked I ne fla3e, freke, quen þou myntest,
2275 Ne kest no kauelacion in kyngez hous Arthor.
2276 My hede fla3 to my fote, and 3et fla3 I neuer;
2277 And þou, er any harme hent, ar3ez in hert;
2278 Wherfore þe better burne me burde be called
2279         þerfore.'
2280     Quoþ Gawayn, 'I schunt onez,
2281     And so wyl I no more;
2282     Bot þa3 my hede falle on þe stonez,
2283     I con not hit restore.

Stanza 92
2284 'Bot busk, burne, bi þi fayth, and bryng me to þe poynt.
2285 Dele to me my destiné, and do hit out of honde,
2286 For I schal stonde þe a strok, and start no more
2287 Til þyn ax haue me hitte: haf here my trawþe.'
2288 'Haf at þe þenne!' quoþ þat oþer, and heuez hit alofte,
2289 And waytez as wroþely as he wode were.
2290 He myntez at hym ma3tyly, bot not þe mon rynez,
2291 Withhelde heterly his honde, er hit hurt my3t.
2292 Gawayn grayþely hit bydez, and glent with no membre,
2293 Bot stode stylle as þe ston, oþer a stubbe auþer
2294 Þat raþeled is in roché grounde with rotez a hundreth.
2295 Þen muryly efte con he mele, þe mon in þe grene:
2296 'So, now þou hatz þi hert holle, hitte me bihous.
2297 Halde þe now þe hy3e hode þat Arþur þe ra3t,
2298 And kepe þy kanel at þis kest, 3if hit keuer may.'
2299 Gawayn ful gryndelly with greme þenne sayde:
2300 'Wy! þresch on, þou þro mon, þou þretez to longe;
2301 I hope þat þi hert ar3e wyth þyn awen seluen.'
2302 'For soþe,' quoþ þat oþer freke, 'so felly þou spekez,
2303 I wyl no lenger on lyte lette þin ernde
2304         ri3t nowe.'
2305     Þenne tas he hym stryþe to stryke,
2306     And frounsez boþe lyppe and browe;
2307     No meruayle þa3 hym myslyke
2308     Þat hoped of no rescowe.

Stanza 93
2309 He lyftes ly3tly his lome, and let hit doun fayre
folio 122r
2310 With þe barbe of þe bitte bi þe bare nek;
Page 64
2311 Þa3 he homered heterly, hurt hym no more
2312 Bot snyrt hym on þat on syde, þat seuered þe hyde.
2313 Þe scharp schrank to þe flesche þur3 þe schyre grece,
2314 Þat þe schene blod ouer his schulderes schot to þe erþe;
2315 And quen þe burne se3 þe blode blenk on þe snawe,
2316 He sprit forth spenne-fote more þen a spere lenþe,
2317 Hent heterly his helme, and on his hed cast,
2318 Schot with his schulderez his fayre schelde vnder,
2319 Braydez out a bry3t sworde, and bremely he spekez--
2320 Neuer syn þat he watz burne borne of his moder
2321 Watz he neuer in þis worlde wy3e half so blyþe--
2322 'Blynne, burne, of þy bur, bede me no mo!
2323 I haf a stroke in þis sted withoute stryf hent,
2324 And if þow rechez me any mo, I redyly schal quyte,
2325 And 3elde 3ederly a3ayn--and þerto 3e tryst--
2326         and foo.
2327     Bot on stroke here me fallez--
2328     Þe couenaunt schop ry3t so,
2329     Fermed in Arþurez hallez--
2330     And þerfore, hende, now hoo!'

Stanza 94
2331 The haþel heldet hym fro, and on his ax rested,
2332 Sette þe schaft vpon schore, and to þe scharp lened,
2333 And loked to þe leude þat on þe launde 3ede,
2334 How þat do3ty, dredles, deruely þer stondez
2335 Armed, ful a3lez: in hert hit hym lykez.
2336 Þenn he melez muryly wyth a much steuen,
2337 And wyth a rynkande rurde he to þe renk sayde:
2338 'Bolde burne, on þis bent be not so gryndel.
2339 No mon here vnmanerly þe mysboden habbez,
2340 Ne kyd bot as couenaunde at kyngez kort schaped.
2341 I hy3t þe a strok and þou hit hatz, halde þe wel payed;
2342 I relece þe of þe remnaunt of ry3tes alle oþer.
2343 Iif I deliuer had bene, a boffet paraunter
2344 I couþe wroþeloker haf waret, to þe haf wro3t anger.
2345 Fyrst I mansed þe muryly with a mynt one,
2346 And roue þe wyth no rof-sore, with ry3t I þe profered
folio 122v
Page 65
2347 For þe forwarde þat we fest in þe fyrst ny3t,
2348 And þou trystyly þe trawþe and trwly me haldez,
2349 Al þe gayne þow me gef, as god mon schulde.
2350 Þat oþer munt for þe morne, mon, I þe profered,
2351 Þou kyssedes my clere wyf--þe cossez me ra3tez.
2352 For boþe two here I þe bede bot two bare myntes
2353         boute scaþe.
2354     Trwe mon trwe restore,
2355     Þenne þar mon drede no waþe.
2356     At þe þrid þou fayled þore,
2357     And þerfor þat tappe ta þe.

Stanza 95
2358 'For hit is my wede þat þou werez, þat ilke wouen girdel,
2359 Myn owen wyf hit þe weued, I wot wel for soþe.
2360 Now know I wel þy cosses, and þy costes als,
2361 And þe wowyng of my wyf: I wro3t hit myseluen.
2362 I sende hir to asay þe, and sothly me þynkkez
2363 On þe fautlest freke þat euer on fote 3ede;
2364 As perle bi þe quite pese is of prys more,
2365 So is Gawayn, in god fayth, bi oþer gay kny3tez.
2366 Bot here yow lakked a lyttel, sir, and lewté yow wonted;
2367 Bot þat watz for no wylyde werke, ne wowyng nauþer,
2368 Bot for 3e lufed your lyf; þe lasse I yow blame.'
2369 Þat oþer stif mon in study stod a gret whyle,
2370 So agreued for greme he gryed withinne;
2371 Alle þe blode of his brest blende in his face,
2372 Þat al he schrank for schome þat þe schalk talked.
2373 Þe forme worde vpon folde þat þe freke meled:
2374 'Corsed worth cowarddyse and couetyse boþe!
2375 In yow is vylany and vyse þat vertue disstryez.'
2376 Þenne he ka3t to þe knot, and þe kest lawsez,
2377 Brayde broþely þe belt to þe burne seluen:
2378 'Lo! þer þe falssyng, foule mot hit falle!
2379 For care of þy knokke cowardyse me ta3t
2380 To acorde me with couetyse, my kynde to forsake,
2381 Þat is larges and lewté þat longez to kny3tez.
2382 Now am I fawty and falce, and ferde haf ben euer
2383 Of trecherye and vntrawþe: boþe bityde sor3e
2384         and care!
folio 123r
Page 66
2385     I biknowe yow, kny3t, here stylle,
2386     Al fawty is my fare;
2387     Letez me ouertake your wylle
2388     And efte I schal be ware.'

Stanza 96
2389 Thenn lo3e þat oþer leude and luflyly sayde:
2390 'I halde hit hardily hole, þe harme þat I hade.
2391 Þou art confessed so clene, beknowen of þy mysses,
2392 And hatz þe penaunce apert of þe poynt of myn egge,
2393 I halde þe polysed of þat ply3t, and pured as clene
2394 As þou hadez neuer forfeted syþen þou watz fyrst borne;
2395 And I gif þe, sir, þe gurdel þat is golde-hemmed,
2396 For hit is grene as my goune. Sir Gawayn, 3e maye
2397 Þenk vpon þis ilke þrepe, þer þou forth þryngez
2398 Among prynces of prys, and þis a pure token
2399 Of þe chaunce of þe grene chapel at cheualrous kny3tez.
2400 And 3e schal in þis Nwe 3er a3ayn to my wonez,
2401 And we schyn reuel þe remnaunt of þis ryche fest
2402         ful bene.'
2403     Þer laþed hym fast þe lorde
2404     And sayde: 'With my wyf, I wene,
2405     We schal yow wel acorde,
2406     Þat watz your enmy kene.'

Stanza 97
2407 'Nay, for soþe,' quoþ þe segge, and sesed hys helme,
2408 And hatz hit of hendely, and þe haþel þonkkez,
2409 'I haf soiorned sadly; sele yow bytyde,
2410 And he 3elde hit yow 3are þat 3arkkez al menskes!
2411 And comaundez me to þat cortays, your comlych fere,
2412 Boþe þat on and þat oþer, myn honoured ladyez,
2413 Þat þus hor kny3t wyth hor kest han koyntly bigyled.
2414 Bot hit is no ferly þa3 a fole madde,
2415 And þur3 wyles of wymmen be wonen to sor3e,
2416 For so watz Adam in erde with one bygyled,
2417 And Salamon with fele sere, and Samson eftsonez--
2418 Dalyda dalt hym hys wyrde--and Dauyth þerafter
2419 Watz blended with Barsabe, þat much bale þoled.
2420 Now þese were wrathed wyth her wyles, hit were a wynne huge
Page 67
2421 To luf hom wel, and leue hem not, a leude þat couþe.
folio 123v
2422 For þes wer forne þe freest, þat fol3ed alle þe sele
2423 Exellently of alle þyse oþer, vnder heuenryche
2424         þat mused;
2425     And alle þay were biwyled
2426     With wymmen þat þay vsed.
2427     Þa3 I be now bigyled,
2428     Me þink me burde be excused.

Stanza 98
2429 'Bot your gordel', quoþ Gawayn, 'God yow for3elde!
2430 Þat wyl I welde wyth guod wylle, not for þe wynne golde,
2431 Ne þe saynt, ne þe sylk, ne þe syde pendaundes,
2432 For wele ne for worchyp, ne for þe wlonk werkkez,
2433 Bot in syngne of my surfet I schal se hit ofte,
2434 When I ride in renoun, remorde to myseluen
2435 Þe faut and þe fayntyse of þe flesche crabbed,
2436 How tender hit is to entyse teches of fylþe;
2437 And þus, quen pryde schal me pryk for prowes of armes,
2438 Þe loke to þis luf-lace schal leþe my hert.
2439 Bot on I wolde yow pray, displeses yow neuer:
2440 Syn 3e be lorde of þe 3onder londe þer I haf lent inne
2441 Wyth yow wyth worschyp--þe wy3e hit yow 3elde
2442 Þat vphaldez þe heuen and on hy3 sittez--
2443 How norne 3e yowre ry3t nome, and þenne no more?'
2444 'Þat schal I telle þe trwly,' quoþ þat oþer þenne,
2445 'Bertilak de Hautdesert I hat in þis londe.
2446 Þur3 my3t of Morgne la Faye, þat in my hous lenges,
2447 And koyntyse of clergye, bi craftes wel lerned,
2448 Þe maystrés of Merlyn mony hatz taken--
2449 For ho hatz dalt drwry ful dere sumtyme
2450 With þat conable klerk, þat knowes alle your kny3tez
2451         at hame;
2452     Morgne þe goddes
2453     Þerfore hit is hir name:
2454     Weldez non so hy3e hawtesse
2455     Þat ho ne con make ful tame--

Stanza 99
2456 'Ho wayned me vpon þis wyse to your wynne halle
2457 For to assay þe surquidré, 3if hit soth were
Page 68
2458 Þat rennes of þe grete renoun of þe Rounde Table;
2459 Ho wayned me þis wonder your wyttez to reue,
folio 124r
2460 For to haf greued Gaynour and gart hir to dy3e
2461 With glopnyng of þat ilke gome þat gostlych speked
2462 With his hede in his honde bifore þe hy3e table.
2463 Þat is ho þat is at home, þe auncian lady;
2464 Ho is euen þyn aunt, Arþurez half-suster,
2465 Þe duches do3ter of Tyntagelle, þat dere Vter after
2466 Hade Arþur vpon, þat aþel is nowþe.
2467 Þerfore I eþe þe, haþel, to com to þyn aunt,
2468 Make myry in my hous; my meny þe louies,
2469 And I wol þe as wel, wy3e, bi my faythe,
2470 As any gome vnder God for þy grete trauþe.'
2471 And he nikked hym naye, he nolde bi no wayes.
2472 Þay acolen and kyssen and kennen ayþer oþer
2473 To þe prynce of paradise, and parten ry3t þere
2474         on coolde;
2475     Gawayn on blonk ful bene
2476     To þe knygez bur3 buskez bolde,
2477     And þe kny3t in þe enker-grene
2478     Whiderwarde-so-euer he wolde.

Stanza 100
2479 Wylde wayez in þe worlde Wowen now rydez
2480 On Gryngolet, þat þe grace hade geten of his lyue;
2481 Ofte he herbered in house and ofte al þeroute,
2482 And mony aventure in vale, and venquyst ofte,
2483 Þat I ne ty3t at þis tyme in tale to remene.
2484 Þe hurt watz hole þat he hade hent in his nek,
2485 And þe blykkande belt he bere þeraboute
2486 Abelef as a bauderyk bounden bi his syde,
2487 Loken vnder his lyfte arme, þe lace, with a knot,
2488 In tokenyng he watz tane in tech of a faute.
2489 And þus he commes to þe court, kny3t al in sounde.
2490 Þer wakned wele in þat wone when wyst þe grete
2491 Þat gode Gawayn watz commen; gayn hit hym þo3t.
2492 Þe kyng kyssez þe kny3t, and þe whene alce,
2493 And syþen mony syker kny3t þat so3t hym to haylce,
2494 Of his fare þat hym frayned; and ferlyly he telles,
Page 69
2495 Biknowez alle þe costes of care þat he hade,
2496 Þe chaunce of þe chapel, þe chere of þe kny3t,
folio 124v
2497 Þe luf of þe ladi, þe lace at þe last.
2498 Þe nirt in þe nek he naked hem schewed
2499 Þat he la3t for his vnleuté at þe leudes hondes
2500         for blame.
2501     He tened quen he schulde telle,
2502     He groned for gref and grame;
2503     Þe blod in his face con melle,
2504     When he hit schulde schewe, for schame.

Stanza 101
2505 'Lo! lorde,' quoþ þe leude, and þe lace hondeled,
2506 'Þis is þe bende of þis blame I bere in my nek,
2507 Þis is þe laþe and þe losse þat I la3t haue
2508 Of couardise and couetyse þat I haf ca3t þare;
2509 Þis is þe token of vntrawþe þat I am tan inne,
2510 And I mot nedez hit were wyle I may last;
2511 For mon may hyden his harme, bot vnhap ne may hit,
2512 For þer hit onez is tachched twynne wil hit neuer.'
2513 Þe kyng comfortez þe kny3t, and alle þe court als
2514 La3en loude þerat, and luflyly acorden
2515 Þat lordes and ladis þat longed to þe Table,
2516 Vche burne of þe broþerhede, a bauderyk schulde haue,
2517 A bende abelef hym aboute of a bry3t grene,
2518 And þat, for sake of þat segge, in swete to were.
2519 For þat watz acorded þe renoun of þe Rounde Table,
2520 And he honoured þat hit hade euermore after,
2521 As hit is breued in þe best boke of romaunce.
2522 Þus in Arthurus day þis aunter bitidde,
2523 Þe Brutus bokez þerof beres wyttenesse;
2524 Syphen Brutus, þe bolde burne, bo3ed hider fyrst,
2525 After þe segge and þe asaute watz sesed at Troye,
2526         iwysse,
2527     Mony aunterez here-biforne
2528     Haf fallen suche er þis.
2529     Now þat here þe croun of þorne,
2530     He bryng vus to his blysse!    AMEN.