gawainandthegreenknight: (Default)
Then Gawain was glad, and gaily he laughed:
"Now I thank you truly, past all other things!
Now my quest is achieved, I shall at your will
Dwell here, and otherwise do as you deem."
Then the lord siezed his arm and sat at his side;
Let the ladies be fetched, to please them the better,
And they made seemly cheer there by themselves.
For love, the lord let fly loud words so merry,
Like one out of his wits, that knew not what he did.
Then he called to the knight, crying aloud:
"You have bound yourself to do my bidding.
Will you hold to your word here at this hour?"
"Yes, sir, forsooth," said the true knight,
"While I bide in your walls, I'll be at your will."
"Since you've travelled," said the lord, "from far away,
And then waked late with me, you won't have had enough
Either of sustenance or of sleep-- forsooth, I know it.
So sleep late in your loft and lie at your ease
Tomorrow till mealtime; and go to your meat
When you will, with my wife, who with you shall sit
And comfort you with company, till I come back to court.
Lie low,
And I shall early rise;
A-hunting I shall go."
Gawain grants all of this
With a courteous bow.

"Yet further," says the lord, "a bargain let us make:
Whatsoever I win in the wood, it will be yours,
And what good things you gain, give me in exchange.
Sweet sir, let's shake on it, and swear to hold truth,
Whichever of us, knight, fares worse or better."
"By God," says Gawain the good, "I grant assent,
And if you like to gamble, that gladdens me."
"Bring us a beverage! This bargain is made,"
Said the lord of that land. They laughed, each one,
They drank and dallied, and talked of trifles,
These lords and ladies, as late as they liked;
And after, with Frenchified flourishes and many fair words,
They stood up, stopped and softly spoke,
Kissed in comely wise and took their leave.
With many light and gleaming torches,
Each was brought to bed at the last
Full soft.
Before they went to bed,
They repeated their bargain oft;
The old lord of that stead
Could keep a game aloft.
gawainandthegreenknight: (Default)
On the morrow, as each man remembers that time
That the Lord was born to die for our destiny,
Joy fills every dwelling in the world for his sake.
So did it there on that day with many treats:
Both at dinner and supper, quaint dishes aplenty
Were delivered to the daïs, daintily dressed.
The old ancient goodwife, highest she sits;
The lord at her side leans lovingly towards her, I believe.
Gawain and the gay lady, together they sat down
Right in the center, just as food was brought in;
And then throughout the hall, as all thought best,
To each man in his degree was swiftly served.
There was meat; there was mirth; there was so much joy
That to try to tell of it would trouble me sorely;
But I'll do my best to depict it, though I despair.
But yet I know that Gawain and the worthy lady
Took such comfort in their company together,
Through the dear dalliance of their secret speech,
With clean and courteous conversation free from filth,
That their play was more pleasant than any prince's game
For players.
Trumpets and drums, iwis,
Much piping there prepares;
Each man minded his--
And these two minded theirs.
gawainandthegreenknight: (Default)
A chair before the chimney where charcoal burned
Was dressed for Sir Gawain swiftly with clothes,
Cushions upon quilted cloths, both quaintly worked.
And then a merry mantle was cast on that man
Of a brown bleaunt silk, embroidered full richly,
And fair furred within with fells of the best
Of all ermine on earth; his hood of the same.
And he sat in that seat, seemly and rich,
And warmed himself well, and then his mood mended.
Soon a table was set up on fair trestles,
Clad with a clean cloth that showed clear white,
Serviette and salt-cellar and silver spoons.
He washed with good will and went to his meat:
Strong men enough served him in seemly wise
With several stews and sweets, seasoned finely,
Twofold servings, as was fitting, and fish of many kinds,
Some baked in bread, some roasted on the coals,
Some seethed, some in stews that savoured of spices,
And all sauces so subtle, as Sir Gawain liked.
The fair man called it a feast, full freely and often,
Right regally, and all the men of rank replied at once
Thereupon,
"This penance now you take,
It will amend anon."
Much mirth Gawain did make
For wine to his head had gone.

Then it was sought and spoken of in sparing fashion,
By certain personal points of that prince, which they put to him,
That he acknowledged courteously of what court he came:
That the high King Arthur held him as his,
The rich royal king of the Round Table,
And it is Gawain himself that sits in that hall,
Come to keep Christmas with them, as chance would have it.
When the lord learned that he had Gawain as his guest,
Loud he laughed for his delight at it,
And all the men within the motte made much joy
To appear in his presence at precisely that time,
For all peerlessness, prowess and pure politeness
Appertain to his person, for which he is praised;
Among all men on earth his honour is highest.
Each spectator softly said to his companion:
"Now we shall see seemly and courtly manners,
And the untarnished terms of noble talk.
What is splendid in speech, unsought we may learn it,
Since we have found here that fine father of nurture.
God has given us his good grace, forsooth,
That He grants us to have such a guest as Gawain,
When blithe men of His birth shall sit
and sing.
"The mode of manners clear
This knight shall to us bring.
I hope that we who hear
Shall learn of love-talking."
gawainandthegreenknight: (Default)
Though Arthur the high king had wonder at heart,
He let no sign be seen, but said aloud
To the comely queen with courteous speech:
"Dear dame, today be never dismayed!
Welcome at Christmas are crafts of this kind,
Playing of interludes, laughter and song
Among the circled carol-dances of knights and ladies.
Nevertheless I may well sit down to the meal,
For I have seen a marvel, I may not gainsay."
He glanced upon Sir Gawain and gently he said:
"Now sir, hang up your axe; it has hewn enough."
And it was hung above the dais against the rich drapes,
Where all men might marvel to look on it,
And having seen it in truth, tell of the wonder.
Then they sat to the board, this bold company together,
The king and the good knight, and keen men served them
Double portions of all dainties, as delicious as could be,
With all manner of meat and of minstrelsy both.
With goodwill they whiled away that day till its end
In that land.
Now think well, Sir Gawain,
The fear you must withstand
To keep this bold bargain
That you have taken in hand.
gawainandthegreenknight: (Default)
The king lay at Camelot upon Christmas
With many loving lords, ladies of the best;
All these rich brothers of the Round Table
With right rich revels and reckless mirth
There tourneyed; true knights full many a time
Jousted full joyfully; these gentle knghts
Then returned to the court to dance and sing carols;
For there the feast was held for full fifteen days,
With all the meat and the mirth that men could devise,
Such gleaming glee, glorious to hear:
Loud singing by day, dancing by night;
All was high and happy in halls and chambers
With lords and ladies as pleased them best;
With all the joy of the world they dwelt there assembled:
The most famous knights under Christ's self
And the loveliest ladies that ever had life
And he the comeliest king that ever held court;
For all these fair folk were in their first age
on earth,
The happiest under heaven,
With their high-willed king;
To name a better host
Today were a hard thing.
More revelry under here )

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October 2010

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