Feb. 27th, 2009

gawainandthegreenknight: (Default)
He dwells there all that day, and dresses in the morning,
Asks early for his arms, and they all were brought.
First a crimson carpet was uncurled on the floor,
And much gilded gear laid gleaming upon it.
The strong man steps onto it and inspects the steel,
Clad in a doublet of dear Tarsian silk,
And a fine-crafted cape à dos, closed at the neck,
That with fair white fur was trimmed within.
Then they set the sabatons upon the strong man's feet,
His legs lovingly lapped in steel greaves,
With clean-polished polaynes attached to them,
Fastened about his knees with knots of gold;
Clean cuisses then, that quaintly closed
About his thick strong thighs, attached with thongs;
And then the hauberk, the body of bright steel rings,
Woven to guard that warrior over the doublet he wore,
And well-burnished braces upon both his arms,
With couters good and gay, and gloves of plate,
And all the goodly gear that should be to his gain
Beside,
A rich cote over his mail,
His gold spurs sprung with pride,
A sword that could not fail
On a silk sash by his side.

When he was wholly armed, his harness was rich;
The least latchet or loop gleamed with gold.
So harnessed as he was, he goes to hear Mass,
Makes offerings and does honour to the high altar.
After, he comes to the king and his courtly companions,
Takes a loving leave of lords and ladies,
And they kissed him and came with him, commending him to Christ.
By then Gryngolet was groomed, and girded with a saddle
That gleamed gaily with many gold fringes
Newly nailed everywhere, enriched for the new quest;
The bridle striped about, bound with bright gold.
The apparel of the breastplate and of the proud skirts,
The crupper and caparisons, accorded with the saddlebows,
And all was adroned with rich red-gold nails,
That all glittered as the sun's gleam glanced off them.
Then he takes the helmet, and hastily kisses it,
That was stapled together strongly and stuffed within.
It was high on his head, fastened behind
With a light cloth covering the mail aventail,
Embroidered and bounded with the best gems
On its broad silken border, and birds on the seams,
Painted parrots preening between,
Turtledoves and true-love knots entwined so thick
As if many maidens had spent seven winters to make it
In town.
Yet of far greater price
The circlet that bound his crown:
Of diamonds a device,
That were both bright and brown.

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gawainandthegreenknight

October 2010

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