Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Then frayned þe freke ful fayre at himseluen
Quat derue dede had hym dryuen at þat dere tyme
So kenly fro þe kyngez kourt to kayre al his one,
Er þe halidayez holly were halet out of toun.
“For soþe, sir,” quoþ þe segge, “3e sayn bot þe trawþe,
A he3e ernde and a hasty me hade fro þo wonez,
For I am sumned myselfe to sech to a place,
I ne wot in worlde whederwarde to wende hit to fynde.
I nolde bot if I hit negh my3t on Nw 3eres morne
For alle þe londe inwyth Logres, so me oure lorde help!
Forþy, sir, þis enquest I require yow here,
Þat 3e me telle with trawþe if euer 3e tale herde
Of þe grene chapel, quere hit on grounde stondez,
And of þe kny3t þat hit kepes, of colour of grene.
Þer watz stabled bi statut a steuen vus bytwene
To mete þat mon at þat mere, 3if I my3t last;
And of þat ilk Nw 3ere bot neked now wontez,
And I wolde loke on þat lede, if God me let wolde,
Gladloker, bi Goddez sun, þen any god welde!
Forþi, iwysse, bi 3owre wylle, wende me bihoues,
Naf I now to busy bot bare þre dayez,
And me als fayn to falle feye as fayly of myyn ernde.”
Þenne la3ande quoþ þe lorde, “Now leng þe byhoues,
For I schal teche yow to þat terme bi þe tymez ende,
Þe grene chapayle vpon grounde greue yow no more;
Bot 3e schal be in yowre bed, burne, at þyn ese,
Quyle forth dayez, and ferk on þe fyrst of þe 3ere,
And cum to þat merk at mydmorn, to make quat yow likez

in spenne.
Dowellez whyle New 3eres daye,
And rys, and raykez þenne,
Mon schal yow sette in waye,
Hit is not two myle henne.”

Þenne watz Gawan ful glad, and gomenly he la3ed:
“Now I þonk yow þryuandely þur3 alle oþer þynge,
Now acheued is my chaunce, I schal at your wylle
Dowelle, and ellez do quat 3e demen.”
Þenne sesed hym þe syre and set hym bysyde,
Let þe ladiez be fette to lyke hem þe better.
Þer watz seme solace by hemself stille;
Þe lorde let for luf lotez so myry,
As wy3 þat wolde of his wyte, ne wyst quat he my3t.
Þenne he carped to þe kny3t, criande loude,
3e han demed to do þe dede þat I bidde;
Wyl 3e halde þis hes here at þys onez?”
3e, sir, for soþe,” sayd þe segge trwe,
“Whyl I byde in yowre bor3e, be bayn to 3owre hest.”
“For 3e haf trauayled,” quoþ þe tulk, “towen fro ferre,
And syþen waked me wyth, 3e arn not wel waryst
Nauþer of sostnaunce ne of slepe, soþly I knowe;
3e schal lenge in your lofte, and ly3e in your ese
To-morn quyle þe messequyle, and to mete wende
When 3e wyl, wyth my wyf, þat wyth yow schal sitte
And comfort yow with compayny, til I to cort torne;

3e lende,
And I schal erly ryse,
On huntyng wyl I wende.'
Gauayn grantez alle þyse,
Hym heldande, as þe hende.

3et firre,” quoþ þe freke, “a forwarde we make:
Quat-so-euer I wynne in þe wod hit worþez to yourez,
And quat chek so 3e acheue chaunge me þerforne.
Swete, swap we so, sware with trawþe,
Queþer, leude, so lymp, lere oþer better.”
“Bi God,” quoþ Gawayn þe gode, “I grant þertylle,
And þat yow lyst for to layke, lef hit me þynkes.”
“Who bryngez vus þis beuerage, þis bargayn is maked!”
So sayde þe lorde of þat lede; þay la3ed vchone,
Þay dronken and daylyeden and dalten vnty3tel,
Þise lordez and ladyez, quyle þat hem lyked;
And syþen with Frenkysch fare and fele fayre lotez
Þay stoden and stemed and stylly speken,
Kysten ful comlyly and ka3ten her leue.
With mony leude ful ly3t and lemande torches
Vche burne to his bed watz bro3t at þe laste,

ful softe.
To bed 3et er þay 3ede,
Recorded couenauntez ofte;
Þe olde lorde of þat leude
Cowþe wel halde layk alofte.

mauler's (non-verse) translation:

Then the lord politely enquired of the knight,
What fearsome task had forced him at that festive time
To ride so boldly from the king’s court,
Before the holidays had even passed completely,
“In truth, sir,” said the knight, “Your question has merit.
A noble and urgent errand has brought me from my home,
For I am sworn to seek a place
I have no idea in the world where to go to find.
But I would not fail to reach it by New Years morn,
For all the land in Logres, so help me Lord!
Therefore, sir, this request I must ask of you now—
That you tell me truly if ever a tale you have heard
Of the Green Chapel, or where it stands,
And of the knight who keeps it, who is green in color.
There was struck a solemn agreement between us,
To meet that man at that place, if I am still alive.
Before that New Years appointment, but little time remains,
And I would look upon that man, if God would let me,
More gladly, by God’s son, than on any horde of gold!
Therefore, indeed, with your leave, it is time to go;
I have not even three days left to go,
And would rather fall dead than fail in my task.
Then, laughing the lord said, “Now you can stay,
For I shall guide you to your meeting by the appointed time.
Of the Green Chapel’s location, worry no more;
Instead you shall lay in your bed at your leisure,
While away the days, and leave on the first of the year,
And be at that place by mid-morning, to do as you will

Dwell here until New Year’s Day,
And rouse and depart then.
I shall show you the way,
For it is not two miles hence!

Gawain was gladdened greatly, and joyfully laughed:
“I thank you heartily for this, above all else.
Now my quest is accomplished, I shall, as you wish
Remain, and do whatever else you desire.”
Then his host embraced him and sat down beside him,
And bid the ladies be fetched to increase their pleasure,
But first there was some pleasure between them in private.
The lord in his joy said some merry words,
Like a man out of his mind, knowing not what he did,
Then he said to the knight, shouting loudly,
“You have agreed to do any deed I bid you;
Will you hold to this promise, here, at once?”
“Yes, sir, for sure,” said the trusty knight,
While I bide in your abode, I obey your behest.”
“You have travailed,” said the man, “traveling from afar,
And then stayed up late with me. You have not recovered,
Either your nourishment or your sleep, this I know.
You shall rest in your bed and lie at ease
Tomorrow until the mass, and then come to dinner,
When you wish, with my wife, who will sit with you,
And comfort you with company until I return to the castle.

You stay,
And I shall rise early,
A-hunting I will go.
Gawain agrees to everything
With a courtly bow.

“Yet further,” said the lord, “let us make one more promise,
That whatsoever I win in the woods belongs to you,
And what reward you achieve here you give me in exchange
We will swap this way, my friend, let us swear to it,
Whatever we win whether worthless or ,wonderful.”
“By God,” said Gawain, “I grant your request,
And I must say I approve of your penchant for such sport.”
“Bring us some beverages, a bargain is made!”
So said the lord of that company and everyone laughed.
They drank and frivoled and flirted without shame
Those lords and ladies, as long as they liked
And then with fine French manners and many lovely phrases,
They stopped and stood, and softly spoke,
Kissed each other affectionately and took their leave.
With many swift attendants carrying gleaming torches,
Each man to his bed was brought at last

But before they went to bed
The crafty lord of that land
Made Gawain repeat the bargain,
For he knew well how such games were played.

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