Sir Gawain
and the
Green Knight




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Sir Gawain - gb 2009

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight  
(ed. Tolkien-Gordon, Davis 1925, 1967)
gb 2009
                           I

          1
0001    SIÞEN þe sege and þe assaut watz sesed at Troye,
               SIÞEN after  
               sege siege  
               assaut assault  
               watz was  
               sesed ceased  
0002    Þe bor3 brittened and brent to brondez and askez,
               bor3 city  
               brittened destroyed  
               brent burnt  
               brondez brands  
               askez ashes  
0003    Þe tulk þat þe trammes of tresoun þer wro3t
               tulk man  
               trammes machinations  
               tresoun treason  
               þer there  
               wro3t devised  
0004    Watz tried for his tricherie, þe trewest on erþe:
               Watz was  
               tricherie treachery  
               trewest most certain  
               erþe earth  
0005    Hit watz Ennias þe athel, and his highe kynde,
               Hit it  
               watz was  
               Ennias Aeneas  
               athel noble  
               kynde offspring  
0006    Þat siþen depreced prouinces, and patrounes bicome
               siþen afterwards  
               depreced subjugate  
               prouinces realms  
               patrounes lords  
               bicome became  
0007    Welne3e of al þe wele in þe west iles.
               Welne3e almost  
               wele wealth  
               iles islands  
0008    Fro riche Romulus to Rome ricchis hym swyþe,
               Fro after  
               riche noble  
               ricchis makes one’s way  
               hym himself  
               swyþe quickly  
0009    With gret bobbaunce þat bur3e he biges vpon fyrst,
               bobbaunce pomp  
               bur3e city  
               biges builds  
               vpon fyrst first  
0010    And neuenes hit his aune nome, as hit now hat;
               neuenes names  
               hit it  
               aune own  
               nome name  
               hit it  
               hat is called  
0011    Tirius to Tuskan and teldes bigynnes,
               Tuskan Tuscany  
               teldes dwellings  
               bigynnes founds  
0012    Langaberde in Lumbardie lyftes vp homes,
               lyftes builds  
0013    And fer ouer þe French flod Felix Brutus
               fer far  
               flod sea  
0014    On mony bonkkes ful brode Bretayn he settez
               mony many  
               bonkkes hill-sides  
               ful very  
               brode broad  
               Bretayn Britain  
               settez establishes  
0015    wyth wynne,
               wynne joy  
0016    Where werre and wrake and wonder
               werre strife  
               wrake distress  
               wonder wondrous deed  
0017    Bi syþez hatz wont þerinne,
               Bi at  
               syþez times  
               hatz have  
               wont lived  
0018    And oft boþe blysse and blunder
               boþe both  
               blunder turmoil  
0019    Ful skete hatz skyfted synne.
               Ful very  
               skete quickly  
               hatz have  
               skyfted alternated  
               synne since then  

          2
0020    Ande quen þis Bretayn watz bigged bi þis burn rych,
               Ande and  
               quen when  
               watz was  
               bigged founded  
               burn warrior  
               rych noble  
0021    Bolde bredden þerinne, baret þat lofden,
               Bolde bold men  
               bredden bred  
               þerinne there  
               baret fighting  
               þat who  
               lofden loved  
0022    In mony turned tyme tene þat wro3ten.
               mony many a  
               turned tyme times that came to pass  
               tene harm  
               þat who  
               wro3ten brought about  
0023    Mo ferlyes on þis folde han fallen here oft
               Mo more  
               ferlyes marvels  
               folde land  
               han have  
               fallen happened  
0024    Þen in any oþer þat I wot, syn þat ilk tyme.
               Þen than  
               wot know  
               syn since  
               ilk same  
0025    Bot of alle þat here bult, of Bretaygne kynges,
               Bot but  
               bult dwelt  
               Bretaygne Britain’s  
0026    Ay watz Arthur þe hendest, as I haf herde telle.
               Ay ever  
               watz was  
               hendest most courteous  
               haf have  
               herde heard  
0027    Forþi an aunter in erde I attle to schawe,
               Forþi therefore  
               aunter adventure  
               in erde in the world  
               attle intend  
               schawe show  
0028    Þat a selly in si3t summe men hit holden,
               Þat...hit which  
               selly marvel  
               in si3t to see  
               summe some  
               holden consider  
0029    And an outtrage awenture of Arthurez wonderez.
               outtrage exceedingly strange  
               Arthurez Arthur’s  
               wonderez marvellous tales  
0030    If 3e wyl lysten þis laye bot on littel quile,
               3e you  
               lysten listen to  
               laye poem  
               bot but  
               quile while  
0031    I schal telle hit as-tit, as I in toun herde,
               schal shall  
               hit it  
               as-tit at once  
               in toun in the court  
               herde heard  
0032    with tonge,
               tonge tongue  
0033    As hit is stad and stoken
               hit it  
               stad put down  
               stoken set down  
0034    In stori stif and stronge,
               stori story  
               stif brave  
0035    With lel letteres loken,
               lel true  
               loken fastened  
0036    In londe so hatz ben longe.
               hatz has  
               ben been  

          3
0037    Þis kyng lay at Camylot vpon Krystmasse
               lay was lodged  
0038    With mony luflych lorde, ledez of þe best,
               mony many a  
               luflych fair  
               ledez men  
0039    Rekenly of þe Rounde Table alle þo rich breþer,
               Rekenly worthily  
               þo those  
               rich noble  
               breþer brothers-in-arms  
0040    With rych reuel ory3t and rechles merþes.
               reuel revelry  
               ory3t fittingly  
               rechles care-free  
               merþes pleasures  
0041    Þer tournayed tulkes by tymez ful mony,
               Þer there  
               tournayed tourneyed  
               tulkes knights  
               by on  
               tymez occasions  
               ful very  
               mony many  
0042    Justed ful jolilé þise gentyle kni3tes,
               Justed jousted  
               ful very  
               jolilé gallantly  
               þise these  
               gentyle noble  
               kni3tes knights  
0043    Syþen kayred to þe court caroles to make.
               Syþen afterwards  
               kayred rode  
               caroles carols (=dance and song)  
0044    For þer þe fest watz ilyche ful fiften dayes,
               þer there  
               fest festival  
               watz was  
               ilyche the same  
               ful fully  
0045    With alle þe mete and þe mirþe þat men couþe avyse;
               mete food  
               mirþe pleasure  
               couþe could  
               avyse devise  
0046    Such glaum ande gle glorious to here,
               glaum noise of merrymaking  
               ande and  
               gle merriment  
               here hear  
0047    Dere dyn vpon day, daunsyng on ny3tes,
               Dere pleasant  
               dyn noise  
               vpon by  
               on at  
               ny3tes night  
0048    Al watz hap vpon he3e in hallez and chambrez
               watz was  
               hap happiness  
               vpon he3e to the highest pitch  
               hallez halls  
0049    With lordez and ladies, as leuest him þo3t.
               leuest most delightful  
               him them  
               þo3t it seemed to  
0050    With all þe wele of þe worlde þay woned þer samen,
               wele joy  
               þay they  
               woned lived  
               þer there  
               samen together  
0051    Þe most kyd kny3tez vnder Krystes seluen,
               kyd famous  
               kny3tez knights  
               Krystes seluen Christ himself  
0052    And þe louelokkest ladies þat euer lif haden,
               louelokkest fairest  
               lif life  
               haden had  
0053    And he þe comlokest kyng þat þe court haldes;
               comlokest noblest  
               haldes rules  
0054    For al watz þis fayre folk in her first age,
               watz was  
               her their  
0055    on sille,
               on in  
               sille hall  
0056    Þe hapnest vnder heuen,
               hapnest most fortunate  
               heuen heaven  
0057    Kyng hy3est mon of wylle;
               hy3est greatest  
               mon man  
               of in  
               wylle temper  
0058    Hit were now gret nye to neuen
               Hit it  
               were would be  
               nye difficulty  
               neuen mention  
0059    So hardy a here on hille.
               hardy bold  
               here company  
               hille castle-mound  

          4
0060    Wyle Nw 3er watz so 3ep þat hit watz nwe cummen,
               Wyle while  
               Nw 3er New Year  
               watz was  
               3ep fresh  
               hit it  
               watz was  
               nwe newly  
               cummen come  
0061    Þat day doubble on þe dece watz þe douth serued.
               dece dais  
               watz was  
               douth company  
               serued served  
0062    Fro þe kyng watz cummen with kny3tes into þe halle,
               Fro after  
               watz was  
               cummen come  
               kny3tes knights  
0063    Þe chauntré of þe chapel cheued to an ende,
               chauntré singing of mass  
               cheued come  
0064    Loude crye watz þer kest of clerkez and oþer,
               watz was  
               þer there  
               kest uttered  
               clerkez priest  
               oþer others  
0065    Nowel nayted onewe, neuened ful ofte;
               Nowel Christmas  
               nayted mentioned  
               onewe anew  
               neuened called  
               ful very  
0066    And syþen riche forth runnen to reche hondeselle,
               syþen afterwards  
               riche nobles  
               runnen ran  
               reche offer  
               hondeselle gifts at New Year  
0067    3e3ed 3eres-3iftes on hi3, 3elde hem bi hond,
               3e3ed cried  
               3eres-3iftes New Year’s gifts  
               on hi3 loudly  
               3elde gave  
               hem them  
               bi by  
               hond hand (=in person)  
0068    Debated busyly aboute þo giftes;
               Debated disputed  
               busyly eagerly  
               þo those  
0069    Ladies la3ed ful loude, þo3 þay lost haden,
               la3ed laughed  
               ful very  
               þo3 even though  
               þay they  
               haden had  
0070    And he þat wan watz not wrothe, þat may 3e wel trawe.
               wan won  
               watz was  
               wrothe displeased  
               3e you  
               trawe be sure of  
0071    Alle þis mirþe þay maden to þe mete tyme;
               mirþe revel  
               þay they  
               maden made  
               to until  
               mete dinner  
0072    When þay had waschen worþyly þay wenten to sete,
               þay they  
               waschen washed  
               worþyly becomingly  
               þay they  
               wenten went  
               sete seat  
0073    Þe best burne ay abof, as hit best semed,
               burne man  
               ay in each case  
               abof in the higher seat  
               hit it  
               semed seemed fitting  
0074    Whene Guenore, ful gay, grayþed in þe myddes,
               Whene queen  
               Guenore Guenever  
               ful very  
               grayþed set  
               myddes midst  
0075    Dressed on þe dere des, dubbed al aboute,
               Dressed arranged  
               dere precious  
               des dais  
               dubbed adorned  
0076    Smal sendal bisides, a selure hir ouer
               Smal fine  
               sendal thin rich silk  
               bisides at the sides  
               selure canopy  
               hir her  
               ouer over  
0077    Of tryed tolouse, and tars tapites innoghe,
               tryed fine  
               tolouse fabric of Toulouse  
               tars silk of Tharsia  
               tapites carpets  
               innoghe in plenty  
0078    Þat were enbrawded and beten wyth þe best gemmes
               enbrawded embroidered  
               beten set  
               gemmes gems  
0079    Þat my3t be preued of prys wyth penyes to bye,
               my3t could  
               preued proved  
               prys value  
               penyes pennies  
               bye buy  
0080    in daye.
               in daye ever  
0081    Þe comlokest to discrye
               comlokest fairest lady  
               discrye behold  
0082    Þer glent with y3en gray,
               Þer there  
               glent looked  
               y3en eyes  
0083    A semloker þat euer he sy3e
               A semloker one more fair  
               euer ever  
               sy3e saw  
0084    Soth mo3t no mon say.
               Soth with truth  
               mo3t could  
               no mon nobody  

          5
0085    Bot Arthure wolde not ete til al were serued,
               Bot but  
               wolde would  
               ete eat  
               til until  
               serued served  
0086    He watz so joly of his joyfnes, and sumquat childgered:
               watz was  
               joly gay  
               joyfnes youth  
               sumquat somewhat  
               childgered boyish  
0087    His lif liked hym ly3t, he louied þe lasse
               liked pleased  
               ly3t cheerful  
               louied loved  
               lasse less  
0088    Auþer to longe lye or to longe sitte,
               Auþer either  
               lye lie  
               sitte sit  
0089    So bisied him his 3onge blod and his brayn wylde.
               bisied stirred  
               3onge young  
               blod blood  
               wylde restless  
0090    And also an oþer maner meued him eke
               maner custom  
               meued influenced  
               eke as well  
0091    Þat he þur3 nobelay had nomen, he wolde neuer ete
               þur3 because of  
               nobelay a point of honour  
               nomen taken (on himself)  
               wolde would  
               neuer never  
               ete eat  
0092    Vpon such a dere day er hym deuised were
               dere festal  
               er before  
               deuised relate  
0093    Of sum auenturus þyng an vncouþe tale,
               sum some  
               auenturus perilous  
               vncouþe strange  
               tale story  
0094    Of sum mayn meruayle, þat he my3t trawe,
               sum some  
               mayn great  
               meruayle marvel  
               my3t could  
               trawe believe  
0095    Of alderes, of armes, of oþer auenturus,
               alderes princes  
               auenturus adventures  
0096    Oþer sum segg hym biso3t of sum siker kny3t
               Oþer or  
               sum some  
               segg man  
               biso3t begged  
               of for  
               sum some  
               siker trusty  
               kny3t knight  
0097    To joyne wyth hym in iustyng, in jopardé to lay,
               joyne encounter  
               iustyng jousting  
               in at  
               jopardé hazard  
               lay set  
0098    Lede, lif for lyf, leue vchon oþer,
               Lede man  
               leue allow  
               vchon each  
               oþer the other  
0099    As fortune wolde fulsun hom, þe fayrer to haue.
               As according as  
               wolde would  
               fulsun help  
               hom them  
               þe fayrer the advantage  
0100    Þis watz þe kynges countenaunce where he in court were,
               watz was  
               kynges king’s  
               countenaunce custom  
               where wherever  
0101    At vch farand fest among his fre meny
               vch each  
               farand splendid  
               fest festival  
               fre noble  
               meny company  
0102    in halle.
0103    Þerfore of face so fere
               Þerfore therefore  
               fere proud  
0104    He sti3tlez stif in stalle,
               sti3tlez stands  
               stif bold  
               stalle standing (up)  
0105    Ful 3ep in þat Nw 3ere
               Ful very  
               3ep brisk  
               Nw 3ere New Year  
0106    Much mirthe he mas withalle.
               mirthe revel  
               mas makes  
               withalle altogether  

          6
0107    Thus þer stondes in stale þe stif kyng hisseluen,
               þer there  
               stondes stands  
               stale standing (up)  
               stif bold  
               hisseluen himself  
0108    Talkkande bifore þe hy3e table of trifles ful hende.
               Talkkande talking  
               hy3e high  
               ful very  
               hende courteous  
0109    There gode Gawan watz grayþed Gwenore bisyde,
               gode good  
               Gawan Gawain  
               watz was  
               grayþed set  
               Gwenore Guenever  
               bisyde beside  
0110    And Agrauayn a la dure mayn on þat oþer syde sittes,
               Agrauayn a la dure mayn Agravain of the hard hand  
               þat the  
               sittes sits  
0111    Boþe þe kynges sistersunes and ful siker kni3tes;
               Boþe both  
               kynges king’s  
               sistersunes nephews  
               ful very  
               siker trusty  
               kni3tes knights  
0112    Bischop Bawdewyn abof biginez þe table,
               Bischop Bishop  
               Bawdewyn Baldwin  
               abof in the highest place  
               biginez begins (=has the place of honour)  
0113    And Ywan, Vryn son, ette with hymseluen.
               Ywan Iwain  
               Vryn Urien’s  
               ette ate  
               hymseluen him  
0114    Þise were di3t on þe des and derworþly serued,
               Þise these  
               di3t set  
               des dais  
               derworþly sumptuously  
               serued served  
0115    And siþen mony siker segge at þe sidbordez.
               siþen afterwards  
               mony many a  
               siker trusty  
               segge knight  
               sidbordez side-tables  
0116    Þen þe first cors come with crakkyng of trumpes,
               cors course  
               come came  
               crakkyng blaring  
               trumpes trumpets  
0117    Wyth mony baner ful bry3t þat þerbi henged;
               mony many a  
               baner banner  
               ful very  
               bry3t bright  
               þerbi on them  
               henged hung  
0118    Nwe nakryn noyse with þe noble pipes,
               Nwe new  
               nakryn of kettledrums  
0119    Wylde werbles and wy3t wakned lote,
               werbles warblings  
               wy3t loud  
               wakned awakened  
               lote sound  
0120    Þat mony hert ful hi3e hef at her towches.
               Þat so that  
               mony many a  
               hert heart  
               ful very  
               hi3e high  
               hef was uplifted  
               her their  
               towches bursts of music  
0121    Dayntés dryuen þerwyth of ful dere metes,
               Dayntés dainties  
               dryuen come  
               þerwyth with it  
               ful very  
               dere costly  
               metes dishes  
0122    Foysoun of þe fresche, and on so fele disches
               Foysoun abundance  
               fresche fresh food  
               fele many  
               disches dishes  
0123    Þat pine to fynde þe place þe peple biforne
               pine it was difficult  
               peple people  
               biforne before  
0124    For to sette þe sylueren þat sere sewes halden
               For in order  
               sylueren silver things  
               sere various  
               sewes stews  
               halden contain  
0125    on clothe.
               clothe table  
0126    Iche lede as he loued hymselue
               Iche each  
               lede man  
               loued liked  
               hymselue himself  
0127    Þer laght withouten loþe;
               Þer there  
               laght caught  
               withouten without  
               loþe grudge  
0128    Ay two had disches twelue,
               Ay in each case  
               disches dishes  
               twelue twelve  
0129    Good ber and bry3t wyn boþe.
               ber beer  
               bry3t bright  
               wyn wine  
               boþe as well  

          7
0130    Now wyl I of hor seruise say yow no more,
               hor their  
               seruise service  
               yow you  
0131    For vch wy3e may wel wit no wont þat þer were.
               vch wy3e every one  
               wit know  
               wont lack  
               þer there  
0132    An oþer noyse ful newe ne3ed biliue,
               oþer different  
               ful quite  
               ne3ed approached  
               biliue quickly  
0133    Þat þe lude my3t haf leue liflode to cach;
               Þat so that  
               lude prince  
               my3t might  
               haf have  
               leue leave  
               liflode food  
               cach take  
0134    For vneþe watz þe noyce not a whyle sesed,
               vneþe hardly  
               watz was  
               noyce noise  
               whyle moment  
               sesed ceased  
0135    And þe fyrst cource in þe court kyndely serued,
               cource course  
               kyndely properly  
0136    Þer hales in at þe halle dor an aghlich mayster,
               Þer there  
               hales comes  
               halle hall  
               dor door  
               aghlich terrible  
               mayster knight  
0137    On þe most on þe molde on mesure hyghe;
               On one  
               most largest  
               on þe molde on earth  
               on in  
               mesure stature  
               hyghe tall  
0138    Fro þe swyre to þe swange so sware and so þik,
               Fro from  
               swyre neck  
               swange waist  
               sware squarely built  
               þik stout  
0139    And his lyndes and his lymes so longe and so grete,
               lyndes loins  
               lymes limbs  
0140    Half etayn in erde I hope þat he were,
               etayn giant  
               in erde in the world  
               hope think  
0141    Bot mon most I algate mynn hym to bene,
               Bot but  
               mon man  
               most biggest  
               algate at any rate  
               mynn declare  
               bene be  
0142    And þat þe myriest in his muckel þat my3t ride;
               þat at that (=moreover)  
               myriest shapeliest  
               muckel size  
               my3t could  
0143    For of bak and of brest al were his bodi sturne,
               bak back  
               brest breast  
               al although  
               sturne of forbidding appearance  
0144    Both his wombe and his wast were worthily smale,
               wombe belly  
               wast waist  
               worthily becomingly  
               smale slender  
0145    And alle his fetures fol3ande, in forme þat he hade,
               fetures parts of the body  
               fol3ande in the like manner  
               forme figure  
               hade had  
0146    ful clene;
               ful very  
               clene elegant  
0147    For wonder of his hwe men hade,
               hwe hue  
               hade had  
0148    Set in his semblaunt sene;
               semblaunt appearance  
               sene plain to see  
0149    He ferde as freke were fade,
               ferde proceeded  
               freke man  
               fade bold (?)  
0150    And oueral enker-grene.
               oueral entirely  
               enker-grene bright green  

          8
0151    Ande al grayþed in grene þis gome and his wedes:
               Ande and  
               grayþed arrayed  
               grene green  
               gome man  
               wedes clothes  
0152    A strayte cote ful stre3t, þat stek on his sides,
               strayte tight  
               cote tunic  
               ful very  
               stre3t straight  
               stek fitted close  
0153    A meré mantile abof, mensked withinne
               meré fair  
               mantile mantle  
               abof upon it  
               mensked adorned  
0154    With pelure pured apert, þe pane ful clene
               pelure fur  
               pured trimmed  
               apert evident  
               pane facing  
               ful very  
               clene elegant  
0155    With blyþe blaunner ful bry3t, and his hod boþe,
               blyþe gay  
               blaunner fur (ermine?)  
               ful very  
               bry3t pure white  
               hod hood  
               boþe as well  
0156    Þat watz la3t fro his lokkez and layde on his schulderes;
               watz was  
               la3t caught back  
               fro from  
               lokkez locks  
               schulderes shoulders  
0157    Heme wel-haled hose of þat same,
               Heme neat  
               wel-haled drawn tight  
0158    Þat spenet on his sparlyr, and clene spures vnder
               spenet clung  
               on to  
               sparlyr calf  
               clene bright  
               spures spurs  
0159    Of bry3t golde, vpon silk bordes barred ful ryche,
               bry3t bright  
               bordes bands  
               ful very  
               ryche richly  
0160    And scholes vnder schankes þere þe schalk rides;
               scholes without shoes  
               schankes legs (=on his feet)  
               þere where  
               schalk man  
0161    And alle his vesture uerayly watz clene verdure,
               vesture raiment  
               uerayly truly  
               watz was  
               clene bright  
               verdure green  
0162    Boþe þe barres of his belt and oþer blyþe stones,
               Boþe both  
               barres bars  
               blyþe bright  
0163    Þat were richely rayled in his aray clene
               rayled set  
               clene elegant  
0164    Aboutte hymself and his sadel, vpon silk werkez.
               sadel saddle  
               werkez embroidery  
0165    Þat were to tor for to telle of tryfles þe halue
               were would be  
               to too  
               tor hard  
               tryfles details  
               halue half  
0166    Þat were enbrauded abof, wyth bryddes and fly3es,
               enbrauded embroidered  
               abof upon it  
               bryddes birds  
               fly3es butterflies  
0167    With gay gaudi of grene, þe golde ay inmyddes.
               gaudi ornamentation  
               grene green  
               ay always  
               inmyddes in the middle  
0168    Þe pendauntes of his payttrure, þe proude cropure,
               pendauntes pendants  
               payttrure breast-trappings of horse  
               proude superb  
               cropure crupper  
0169    His molaynes, and alle þe metail anamayld was þenne,
               molaynes bosses of horse’s bit  
               metail metal  
               anamayld enamelled  
               þenne then  
0170    Þe steropes þat he stod on stayned of þe same,
               steropes stirrups  
               stod stood  
               stayned coloured  
0171    And his arsounz al after and his aþel skyrtes,
               arsounz saddle-bows  
               after after the same fashion  
               aþel splendid  
               skyrtes saddle-skirts  
0172    Þat euer glemered and glent al of grene stones;
               glemered gleamed  
               glent glinted  
               grene green  
0173    Þe fole þat he ferkkes on fyn of þat ilke,
               fole horse  
               ferkkes rides  
               fyn completely  
               ilke same  
0174    sertayn,
               sertayn indeed  
0175    A grene hors gret and þikke,
               þikke stout  
0176    A stede ful stif to strayne,
               stede steed  
               ful very  
               stif strong  
               strayne restrain  
0177    In brawden brydel quik –
               brawden embroidered  
               brydel bridle  
               quik lively  
0178    To þe gome he watz ful gayn.
               gome man  
               watz was  
               ful very  
               gayn obedient  

          9
0179    Wel gay watz þis gome gered in grene,
               Wel very  
               watz was  
               gome man  
               gered attired  
0180    And þe here of his hed of his hors swete.
               here hair  
               hed head  
               of his hors swete to match his horse  
0181    Fayre fannand fax vmbefoldes his schulderes;
               Fayre fair  
               fannand waving  
               fax hair  
               vmbefoldes enfolds  
               schulderes shoulders  
0182    A much berd as a busk ouer his brest henges,
               much great  
               berd beard  
               busk bush  
               brest breast  
               henges hangs  
0183    Þat wyth his hi3lich here þat of his hed reches
               hi3lich splendid  
               here hair  
               of from  
               hed head  
               reches extends  
0184    Watz euesed al vmbetorne abof his elbowes,
               Watz was  
               euesed trimmed  
               vmbetorne round  
               abof above  
0185    Þat half his armes þer-vnder were halched in þe wyse
               þer-vnder under it  
               halched enclosed  
               wyse manner  
0186    Of a kyngez capados þat closes his swyre;
               kyngez king’s  
               capados hood with cape  
               closes encloses  
               swyre neck  
0187    Þe mane of þat mayn hors much to hit lyke,
               mayn strong  
               hit it  
0188    Wel cresped and cemmed, wyth knottes ful mony
               cresped curled  
               cemmed combed  
               knottes knots  
               ful very  
               mony many  
0189    Folden in wyth fildore aboute þe fayre grene,
               Folden plaited  
               fildore gold thread  
0190    Ay a herle of þe here, an oþer of golde;
               Ay in each case  
               herle strand  
               here hair  
0191    Þe tayl and his toppyng twynnen of a sute,
               toppyng forelock  
               twynnen plaited  
               of a sute to match  
0192    And bounden boþe wyth a bande of a bry3t grene,
               bounden bound  
               bande band  
               bry3t bright  
0193    Dubbed wyth ful dere stonez, as þe dok lasted,
               Dubbed adorned  
               ful very  
               dere precious  
               as as far as  
               dok tail  
               lasted extended  
0194    Syþen þrawen wyth a þwong a þwarle knot alofte,
               Syþen then  
               þrawen bound tight  
               þwong thong  
               þwarle intricate  
               alofte at the top  
0195    Þer mony bellez ful bry3t of brende golde rungen.
               Þer where  
               mony many  
               bellez bells  
               ful very  
               bry3t bright  
               brende refined  
               rungen rang  
0196    Such a fole vpon folde, ne freke þat hym rydes,
               fole horse  
               folde earth  
               ne nor  
               freke man  
0197    Watz neuer sene in þat sale wyth sy3t er þat tyme,
               Watz was  
               sene...wyth sy3t set eyes on  
               sale hall  
               er before  
0198    with y3e.
               y3e eye  
0199    He loked as layt so ly3t,
               loked looked  
               layt lightning  
               ly3t bright  
0200    So sayd al þat hym sy3e;
               sayd said  
               sy3e saw  
0201    Hit semed as no mon my3t
               Hit it  
               semed seemed  
               as as if  
               no mon nobody  
               my3t could  
0202    Vnder his dynttez dry3e.
               dynttez blows  
               dry3e survive  

          10
0203    Wheþer hade he no helme ne hawbergh nauþer,
               Wheþer yet  
               hade had  
               helme helmet  
               ne nor  
               hawbergh hauberk  
               nauþer either  
0204    Ne no pysan ne no plate þat pented to armes,
               Ne nor  
               pysan armour for upper breast and neck  
               ne nor  
               plate steel plate  
               pented belonged  
0205    Ne no schafte ne no schelde to schwue ne to smyte,
               Ne nor  
               schafte spear  
               ne nor  
               schelde shield  
               schwue thrust  
               ne nor  
               smyte strike  
0206    Bot in his on honde he hade a holyn bobbe,
               Bot but  
               on one  
               honde hand  
               hade had  
               holyn holly  
               bobbe branch  
0207    Þat is grattest in grene when greuez ar bare,
               grattest greatest  
               greuez groves  
               ar are  
0208    And an ax in his oþer, a hoge and vnmete,
               ax axe  
               hoge huge  
               vnmete monstrous  
0209    A spetos sparþe to expoun in spelle, quoso my3t.
               spetos cruel  
               sparþe battle-axe  
               expoun describe  
               spelle words  
               quoso whoever  
               my3t could  
0210    Þe lenkþe of an eln3erde þe large hede hade,
               lenkþe length  
               eln3erde measuring-rod an ell long (=45 in.)  
               large broad  
               hede head  
               hade had  
0211    Þe grayn al of grene stele and of golde hewen,
               grayn blade of axe  
               stele steel  
               hewen made  
0212    Þe bit burnyst bry3t, with a brod egge
               bit blade  
               burnyst polished  
               brod long  
               egge edge  
0213    As wel schapen to schere as scharp rasores,
               schapen fashioned  
               schere cut  
               scharp sharp  
               rasores rasors  
0214    Þe stele of a stif staf þe sturne hit bi grypte,
               stele handle  
               stif strong  
               staf staff  
               sturne grim knight  
               hit it  
               bi by (which)  
               grypte gripped  
0215    Þat watz wounden wyth yrn to þe wandez ende,
               watz was  
               wounden bound round  
               yrn iron  
               wandez stave’s  
0216    And al bigrauen with grene in gracios werkes;
               bigrauen engraved  
               gracios beautiful  
               werkes designs  
0217    A lace lapped aboute, þat louked at þe hede,
               lace thong  
               lapped wrapped  
               louked was fastened  
               hede head  
0218    And so after þe halme halched ful ofte,
               after along  
               halme handle  
               halched looped round  
               ful very  
0219    Wyth tryed tasselez þerto tacched innoghe
               tryed fine  
               tasselez tassels  
               þerto to it  
               tacched fastened  
               innoghe in plenty  
0220    On botounz of þe bry3t grene brayden ful ryche.
               botounz bosses  
               brayden embroidered  
               ful very  
               ryche richly  
0221    Þis haþel heldez hym in and þe halle entres,
               haþel knight  
               heldez proceeds  
               hym himself  
               entres enters  
0222    Driuande to þe he3e dece, dut he no woþe,
               Driuande making his way  
               he3e high  
               dece dais  
               dut feared  
               woþe danger  
0223    Haylsed he neuer one, bot he3e he ouer loked.
               Haylsed greeted  
               neuer no  
               bot but  
               he3e high  
               ouer above (them)  
               loked looked  
0224    Þe fyrst word þat he warp, ‘Wher is’, he sayd,
               warp uttered  
               Wher where  
0225    ‘Þe gouernour of þis gyng? Gladly I wolde
               gouernour ruler  
               gyng company  
               wolde would  
0226    Se þat segg in sy3t, and with hymself speke
               Se...in sy3t set eyes on  
               segg man  
               hymself him  
               speke speak  
0227    raysoun.’
               raysoun speech  
0228    To kny3tez he kest his y3e,
               To on  
               kny3tez knights  
               kest cast  
               y3e eyes  
0229    And reled hym vp and doun;
               reled rolled  
               hym them  
0230    He stemmed, and con studie
               stemmed stopped  
               con did  
               studie look carefully  
0231    Quo walt þer most renoun.
               Quo who  
               walt possessed  
               þer there  
               most greatest  
               renoun renown  

          11
0232    Ther watz lokyng on lenþe þe lude to beholde,
               Ther there  
               watz was  
               lokyng staring  
               on lenþe for a long time  
               lude man  
0233    For vch mon had meruayle quat hit mene my3t
               vch each  
               vch mon everybody  
               had meruayle wondered  
               quat what  
               hit it  
               mene mean  
               my3t might  
0234    Þat a haþel and a horse my3t such a hwe lach,
               haþel knight  
               my3t could  
               hwe hue  
               lach take  
0235    As growe grene as þe gres and grener hit semed,
               growe to grow  
               gres grass  
               grener greener  
               hit it  
               semed seemed  
0236    Þen grene aumayl on golde glowande bry3ter.
               Þen than  
               aumayl enamel  
               glowande shining  
               bry3ter brighter  
0237    Al studied þat þer stod, and stalked hym nerre
               studied watched intently  
               þer there  
               stod stood  
               stalked walked cautiously  
               nerre nearer to  
0238    Wyth al þe wonder of þe worlde what he worch schulde.
               worch do  
               schulde should  
0239    For fele sellyez had þay sen, bot such neuer are;
               fele many  
               sellyez marvels  
               þay they  
               sen seen  
               bot but  
               are before  
0240    Forþi for fantoum and fayry3e þe folk þere hit demed.
               Forþi therefore  
               fantoum illusion  
               fayry3e magic  
               hit it  
               demed considered  
0241    Þerfore to answare watz ar3e mony aþel freke,
               answare answer  
               watz was  
               ar3e afraid  
               mony many a  
               aþel noble  
               freke knight  
0242    And al stouned at his steuen and stonstil seten
               stouned astonished  
               steuen voice  
               stonstil in stony silence  
               seten sat  
0243    In a swoghe sylence þur3 þe sale riche;
               swoghe dead  
               þur3 throughout  
               sale hall  
0244    As al were slypped vpon slepe so slaked hor lotez
               As as if  
               slypped fallen  
               vpon into  
               slepe sleep  
               slaked were stilled  
               hor their  
               lotez noise of talk  
0245    in hy3e –
               in hi3e suddenly  
0246    I deme hit not al for doute,
               deme think  
               hit it  
               doute fear  
0247    Bot sum for cortaysye –
               Bot but  
               sum in part  
               cortaysye courtesy  
0248    Bot let hym þat al schulde loute
               Bot but  
               schulde should  
               loute reverence  
0249    Cast vnto þat wy3e.
               Cast speak  
               vnto to  
               wy3e knight  

          12
0250    Þenn Arþour bifore þe hi3 dece þat auenture byholdez,
               Þenn then  
               dece dais  
0251    And rekenly hym reuerenced, for rad was he neuer,
               rekenly courteously  
               reuerenced saluted  
               rad afraid  
0252    And sayde, ‘Wy3e, welcum iwys to þis place,
               sayde said  
               Wy3e knight  
               welcum welcome  
               iwys indeed  
0253    Þe hede of þis ostel Arthour I hat;
               hede head  
               ostel dwelling  
               hat am called  
0254    Li3t luflych adoun and lenge, I þe praye,
               Li3t dismount  
               luflych graciously  
               adoun down  
               lenge stay  
               þe thee  
0255    And quat-so þy wylle is we schal wyt after.’
               quat-so whatever  
               schal shall  
               wyt learn  
               after afterwards  
0256    ‘Nay, as help me,’ quoþ þe haþel, ‘he þat on hy3e syttes,
               as so  
               haþel knight  
               on hy3e in heaven  
               syttes sits  
0257    To wone any quyle in þis won, hit watz not myn ernde;
               wone dwell  
               quyle length of time  
               won dwelling  
               hit it  
               watz was  
               ernde errand  
0258    Bot for þe los of þe, lede, is lyft vp so hy3e,
               Bot but  
               for since  
               los renown  
               þe thee  
               lede prince  
               lyft extolled  
               hy3e high  
0259    And þy bur3 and þy burnes best ar holden,
               bur3 castle  
               burnes knights  
               ar are  
               holden considered  
0260    Stifest vnder stel-gere on stedes to ryde,
               Stifest strongest  
               vnder in  
               stel-gere armour  
               on stedes among knights  
0261    Þe wy3test and þe worþyest of þe worldes kynde,
               wy3test most valiant  
               worldes world’s  
               kynde offspring  
0262    Preue for to play wyth in oþer pure laykez,
               Preue valiant  
               pure noble  
               laykez sports  
0263    And here is kydde cortaysye, as I haf herd carp,
               kydde made known  
               cortaysye courtesy  
               haf have  
               herd heard  
               carp say  
0264    And þat hatz wayned me hider, iwyis, at þis tyme.
               hatz has  
               wayned brought  
               hider here  
               iwyis indeed  
0265    3e may be seker bi þis braunch þat I bere here
               3e you  
               seker assured  
               bi by  
               braunch branch  
               bere bear  
0266    Þat I passe as in pes, and no ply3t seche;
               pes peace  
               ply3t hostility  
               seche seek  
0267    For had I founded in fere in fe3tyng wyse,
               founded journeyed  
               fere company  
               fe3tyng fighting  
               wyse fashion  
0268    I haue a hauberghe at home and a helme boþe,
               hauberghe hauberk  
               helme helmet  
               boþe as well  
0269    A schelde and a scharp spere, schinande bry3t,
               schelde shield  
               scharp sharp  
               spere spear  
               schinande shining  
0270    Ande oþer weppenes to welde, I wene wel, als;
               Ande and  
               weppenes weapons  
               welde wield  
               wene know  
               als also  
0271    Bot for I wolde no were, my wedez ar softer.
               Bot but  
               for since  
               wolde wished  
               were strife  
               wedez clothes  
               ar are  
               softer gentler  
0272    Bot if þou be so bold as alle burnez tellen,
               Bot but  
               burnez men  
               tellen say  
0273    Þou wyl grant me godly þe gomen þat I ask
               godly courteously  
               gomen game  
0274    bi ry3t.’
               bi as  
               ry3t privilege  
0275    Arthour con onsware,
               con did  
               onsware answer  
0276    And sayd, ‘Sir cortays kny3t,
               cortays courteous  
0277    If þou craue batayl bare,
               craue ask for  
               batayl fight  
               bare downright  
0278    Here faylez þou not to fy3t.’
               faylez lack opportunity  

          13
0279    ‘Nay, frayst I no fy3t, in fayth I þe telle,
               frayst seek  
               in fayth in truth  
               þe thee  
0280    Hit arn aboute on þis bench bot berdlez chylder.
               Hit it (=there)  
               arn are  
               bot only  
               berdlez beardless  
               chylder children  
0281    If I were hasped in armes on a he3e stede,
               hasped clasped  
               he3e high  
               stede steed  
0282    Here is no mon me to mach, for my3tez so wayke.
               no mon nobody  
               mach match  
               for because of  
               my3tez powers  
               wayke weak  
0283    Forþy I craue in þis court a Crystemas gomen,
               Forþy therefore  
               craue ask for  
               gomen game  
0284    For hit is 3ol and Nwe 3er, and here ar 3ep mony:
               hit it  
               3ol Yule  
               Nwe 3er New Year  
               ar are  
               3ep brisk  
               mony many  
0285    If any so hardy in þis hous holdez hymseluen,
               any anyone  
               holdez considers  
               hymseluen himself  
0286    Be so bolde in his blod, brayn in hys hede,
               blod blood  
               brayn mad (?)  
               hede head  
0287    Þat dar stifly strike a strok for an oþer,
               dar dare  
               stifly fearlessly  
               for in exchange for  
0288    I schal gif hym of my gyft þys giserne ryche,
               schal shall  
               gif give  
               giserne battle-axe  
0289    Þis ax, þat is heué innogh, to hondele as hym lykes,
               ax axe  
               heué heavy  
               innogh exceedingly  
               hondele handle  
0290    And I schal bide þe fyrst bur as bare as I sitte.
               bide stand and face  
               bur blow  
               bare without armour  
               sitte sit  
0291    If any freke be so felle to fonde þat I telle,
               freke man  
               felle bold  
               fonde try  
               þat what  
0292    Lepe ly3tly me to, and lach þis weppen,
               Lepe leap  
               ly3tly swiftly  
               lach take hold of  
               weppen weapon  
0293    I quit-clayme hit for euer, kepe hit as his auen,
               quit-clayme renounce  
               hit it  
               kepe (let him) keep  
               auen own  
0294    And I schal stonde hym a strok, stif on þis flet,
               stonde stand and take from  
               stif unflinching  
               flet floor  
0295    Ellez þou wyl di3t me þe dom to dele hym an oþer
               Ellez provided that  
               di3t adjudge  
               dom right  
               dele deal  
0296    barlay,
               barlay in my turn (?)  
0297    And 3et gif hym respite,
               3et yet  
               gif give  
0298    A twelmonyth and a day;
               twelmonyth twelvemonth (=year)  
0299    Now hy3e, and let se tite
               hy3e hasten  
               se see  
               tite quickly  
0300    Dar any herinne o3t say.’
               Dar (if) dare  
               any anyone  
               o3t anything  

          14
0301    If he hem stowned vpon fyrst, stiller were þanne
               hem them  
               stowned astonished  
               vpon fyrst in the beginning  
               stiller more silent  
               þanne then  
0302    Alle þe heredmen in halle, þe hy3 and þe lo3e.
               heredmen courtiers  
               hy3 great  
               lo3e small  
0303    Þe renk on his rouncé hym ruched in his sadel,
               renk knight  
               rouncé horse  
               hym himself  
               ruched turned  
               sadel saddle  
0304    And runischly his rede y3en he reled aboute,
               runischly fiercely  
               rede red  
               y3en eyes  
               reled rolled  
0305    Bende his bresed bro3ez, blycande grene,
               Bende wrinkled  
               bresed bristling  
               bro3ez eyebrows  
               blycande gleaming  
0306    Wayued his berde for to wayte quo-so wolde ryse.
               Wayued swept from side to side  
               berde beard  
               wayte look  
               quo-so who  
0307    When non wolde kepe hym with carp he co3ed ful hy3e,
               non none  
               kepe engage in  
               carp conversation  
               co3ed shouted  
               ful very  
               hy3e loudly  
0308    Ande rimed hym ful richly, and ry3t hym to speke:
               Ande and  
               rimed drew up  
               hym himself  
               ful quite  
               richly in lordly fashion  
               ry3t proceeded  
               hym himself  
               speke speak  
0309    ‘What, is þis Arthures hous,’ quoþ þe haþel þenne,
               haþel knight  
               þenne then  
0310    ‘Þat al þe rous rennes of þur3 ryalmes so mony?
               rous fame  
               rennes is current  
               þur3 through  
               ryalmes realms  
               mony many  
0311    Where is now your sourquydrye and your conquestes,
               sourquydrye pride  
0312    Your gryndellayk and your greme, and your grete wordes?
               gryndellayk fierceness  
               greme wrath  
               grete wordes boasts  
0313    Now is þe reuel and þe renoun of þe Rounde Table
               reuel revelry  
               renoun renown  
0314    Ouerwalt wyth a worde of on wy3es speche,
               Ouerwalt overthrown  
               on one  
               wy3es man’s  
               speche speech  
0315    For al dares for drede withoute dynt schewed!’
               dares cower  
               drede dred  
               dynt blow  
               schewed offered  
0316    Wyth þis he la3es so loude þat þe lorde greued;
               la3es laughs  
               greued took offence  
0317    Þe blod schot for scham into his schyre face
               blod blood  
               schot sprang  
               scham shame  
               schyre fair  
0318    and lere;
               lere cheek  
0319    He wex wroth as wynde,
               wex grew  
               wroth angry  
               wynde wind  
0320    So did alle þat þer were.
               þer there  
0321    Þe kyng as kene bi kynde
               kene bold  
               kynde nature  
0322    Þen stod þat stif mon nere,
               stod went and stood  
               stif bold  
               nere nearer to  

          15
0323    Ande sayde, ‘Haþel, by heuen, þyn askyng is nys,
               Ande and  
               Haþel knight  
               heuen heaven  
               askyng request  
               nys foolish  
0324    And as þou foly hatz frayst, fynde þe behoues.
               hatz has  
               frayst asked for  
               fynde to obtain  
               þe thee  
               behoues it behoves  
0325    I know no gome þat is gast of þy grete wordes;
               gome man  
               gast afraid  
               grete wordes boasts  
0326    Gif me now þy geserne, vpon Godez halue,
               Gif give  
               geserne battle-axe  
               vpon for  
               Godez God’s  
               halue sake  
0327    And I schal bayþen þy bone þat þou boden habbes.’
               bayþen grant  
               bone request  
               boden asked  
               habbes have  
0328    Ly3tly lepez he hym to, and la3t at his honde.
               Ly3tly swiftly  
               lepez leaps  
               la3t at seized  
               honde hand  
0329    Þen feersly þat oþer freke vpon fote ly3tis.
               feersly proudly  
               freke knight  
               fote feet  
               ly3tis dismounts  
0330    Now hatz Arthure his axe, and þe halme grypez,
               hatz has  
               halme handle  
               grypez grasps  
0331    And sturnely sturez hit aboute, þat stryke wyth hit þo3t.
               sturnely grimly  
               sturez brandishes  
               hit it  
               þat who  
               þo3t intended to  
0332    Þe stif mon hym bifore stod vpon hy3t,
               stif fearless  
               mon man  
               stod stood  
               vpon hy3t towering  
0333    Herre þen ani in þe hous by þe hede and more.
               Herre taller  
               þen than  
               ani anyone  
               hede head  
0334    Wyth sturne schere þer he stod he stroked his berde,
               sturne stern  
               schere face  
               þer where  
               berde beard  
0335    And wyth a countenaunce dry3e he dro3 doun his cote,
               countenaunce expression of face  
               dry3e unmoved  
               dro3 drew  
               doun down  
               cote tunic  
0336    No more mate ne dismayd for hys mayn dintez
               mate daunted  
               ne nor  
               mayn great  
               dintez blows  
0337    Þen any burne vpon bench hade bro3t hym to drynk
               Þen than if  
               burne man  
               vpon at  
               bench table  
               hade had  
               bro3t brought  
0338    of wyne.
               wyne wine  
0339    Gawan, þat sate bi þe quene,
               sate sat  
               quene queen  
0340    To þe kyng he can enclyne:
               can did  
               enclyne bow  
0341    ‘I beseche now with sa3ez sene
               beseche beseech  
               sa3ez words  
               sene plain  
0342    Þis melly mot be myne.
               melly contest  
               mot may  

          16
0343    ‘Wolde 3e, worþilych lorde,’ quoþ Wawan to þe kyng,
               Wolde (if you) would  
               3e you  
               worþilych honoured  
               Wawan Gawain  
0344    ‘Bid me bo3e fro þis benche, and stonde by yow þere,
               Bid command  
               bo3e fro to leave  
               benche bench  
               stonde stand  
               yow you  
0345    Þat I wythoute vylanye my3t voyde þis table,
               Þat so that  
               wythoute without  
               vylanye discourtesy  
               my3t might  
               voyde leave  
0346    And þat my legge lady lyked not ille,
               þat if  
               legge sovereign  
               lyked it pleased (=it might not displease)  
               ille ill  
0347    I wolde com to your counseyl bifore your cort ryche.
               wolde would wish to  
               to your counseyl to advise you  
               cort court  
               ryche noble  
0348    For me þink hit not semly, as hit is soþ knawen,
               me þink I think  
               hit it  
               semly fitting  
               soþ truth  
               knawen acknowledged (to be)  
0349    Þer such an askyng is heuened so hy3e in your sale,
               Þer when  
               askyng request  
               heuened raised  
               hy3e publicly  
               sale hall  
0350    Þa3 3e 3ourself be talenttyf, to take hit to yourseluen,
               Þa3 though  
               3e you  
               talenttyf desirous  
               to upon  
               yourseluen yourself  
0351    Whil mony so bolde yow aboute vpon bench sytten,
               Whil while  
               mony many  
               bolde bold men  
               vpon at  
               bench table  
               sytten sit  
0352    Þat vnder heuen I hope non ha3erer of wylle,
               Þat that  
               heuen heaven  
               hope think  
               non none  
               ha3erer readier  
               of in  
               wylle temper  
0353    Ne better bodyes on bent þer baret is rered.
               Ne nor  
               bodyes men  
               bent field  
               þer where  
               baret fighting  
               rered raised  
0354    I am þe wakkest, I wot, and of wyt feblest,
               wakkest most insignificant  
               wot know  
               wyt understanding  
               feblest feeblest  
0355    And lest lur of my lyf, quo laytes þe soþe –
               lest smallest  
               lur loss  
               quo whoever  
               laytes wishes to know  
               soþe truth  
0356    Bot for as much as 3e ar myn em I am only to prayse,
               Bot only  
               for in  
               as so  
               much far  
               3e you  
               ar are  
               em (maternal) uncle  
               prayse be praised  
0357    No bounté bot your blod I in my bodé knowe;
               bounté virtue  
               bot except  
               blod blood  
               in my bodé myself  
               knowe acknowledge  
0358    And syþen þis note is so nys þat no3t hit yow falles,
               syþen since  
               note business  
               nys foolish  
               yow you  
               falles is fitting for  
0359    And I haue frayned hit at yow fyrst, foldez hit to me;
               frayned asked  
               at of  
               foldez is proper  
0360    And if I carp not comlyly, let alle þis cort rych
               carp speak  
               comlyly fittingly  
               let let be  
               cort court  
               rych noble  
0361    bout blame.’
               bout without  
0362    Ryche togeder con roun,
               Ryche nobles  
               con did  
               roun take whispered counsel  
0363    And syþen þay redden alle same
               syþen then  
               þay they  
               redden advised  
               same together  
0364    To ryd þe kyng wyth croun,
               ryd relieve  
               croun crown  
0365    And gif Gawan þe game.
               gif give  

          17
0366    Þen comaunded þe kyng þe kny3t for to ryse;
               comaunded commanded  
0367    And he ful radly vpros, and ruchched hym fayre,
               radly promptly  
               vpros rose up  
               ruchched proceeded  
               hym himself  
               fayre gracefully  
0368    Kneled doun bifore þe kyng, and cachez þat weppen;
               Kneled kneeled  
               doun down  
               cachez seizes  
               weppen weapon  
0369    And he luflyly hit hym laft, and lyfte vp his honde,
               luflyly amiably  
               laft gave up  
               honde hand  
0370    And gef hym Goddez blessyng, and gladly hym biddes
               gef gave  
               Goddez God’s  
               biddes exhorts  
0371    Þat his hert and his honde schulde hardi be boþe.
               hert heart  
               honde hand  
               schulde should  
               hardi bold  
               boþe both  
0372    ‘Kepe þe cosyn,’ quoþ þe kyng, ‘þat þou on kyrf sette,
               Kepe þe take care  
               þe thee  
               cosyn kinsman  
               on one  
               kyrf blow  
               sette deal  
0373    And if þou redez hym ry3t, redly I trowe
               redez manage  
               ry3t rightly  
               redly fully  
               trowe believe  
0374    Þat þou schal byden þe bur þat he schal bede after.’
               byden survive  
               bur blow  
               bede offer  
               after afterwards  
0375    Gawan gotz to þe gome with giserne in honde,
               gotz goes  
               gome man  
               giserne battle-axe  
               honde hand  
0376    And he baldly hym bydez, he bayst neuer þe helder.
               baldly boldly  
               bydez waits for  
               bayst was dismayed  
               neuer none  
               helder the more for that  
0377    Þen carppez to Sir Gawan þe kny3t in þe grene,
               carppez speaks  
0378    ‘Refourme we oure forwardes, er we fyrre passe.
               Refourme (let us) restate  
               oure our  
               forwardes agreements  
               er before  
               fyrre further  
               passe go  
0379    Fyrst I eþe þe, haþel, how þat þou hattes
               eþe entreat  
               þe thee  
               haþel knight  
               hattes are called  
0380    Þat þou me telle truly, as I tryst may.’
               tryst believe  
0381    ‘In god fayth,’ quoþ þe goode kny3t, ‘Gawan I hatte,
               In god fayth in truth  
               hatte am called  
0382    Þat bede þe þis buffet, quat-so bifallez after,
               Þat who  
               bede offer  
               þe thee  
               buffet blow  
               quat-so whatever  
               bifallez happens  
0383    And at þis tyme twelmonyth take at þe an oþer
               twelmonyth (a) year (hence)  
               take will take  
               at from  
               þe thee  
0384    Wyth what weppen so þou wylt, and wyth no wy3 ellez
               what...so whatever  
               weppen weapon  
               wylt will  
               wyth from (=at the hands of)  
               wy3 one  
               ellez else  
0385    on lyue.’
               on lyue alive  
0386    Þat oþer onswarez agayn,
               Þat the  
               onswarez answers  
               agayn in return  
0387    ‘Sir Gawan, so mot I þryue
               mot may  
               þryue thrive  
0388    As I am ferly fayn
               ferly wondrously  
               fayn glad  
0389    Þis dint þat þou schal dryue.
               dint blow  
               dryue strike  

          18
0390    ‘Bigog,’ quoþ þe grene kny3t, ‘Sir Gawan, me lykes
               Bigog by God  
               lykes it pleases  
0391    Þat I schal fange at þy fust þat I haf frayst here.
               fange receive  
               at from  
               fust fist  
               þat what  
               haf have  
               frayst asked for  
0392    And þou hatz redily rehersed, bi resoun ful trwe,
               hatz have  
               redily rightly  
               rehersed repeated  
               trwe true  
0393    Clanly al þe couenaunt þat I þe kynge asked,
               Clanly without omission  
               couenaunt agreement  
0394    Saf þat þou schal siker me, segge, bi þi trawþe,
               Saf þat save that  
               siker assure  
               segge knight  
               þi thy  
               trawþe plighted word  
0395    Þat þou schal seche me þiself, where-so þou hopes
               seche seek  
               where-so wherever  
               hopes think  
0396    I may be funde vpon folde, and foch þe such wages
               funde found  
               folde earth  
               foch take  
               þe thee  
               wages payment  
0397    As þou deles me to-day bifore þis douþe ryche.’
               deles deal  
               douþe company  
               ryche noble  
0398    ‘Where schulde I wale þe,’ quoþ Gauan, ‘where is þy place?
               wale find  
               þe thee  
               Gauan Gawain  
0399    I wot neuer where þou wonyes, bi hym þat me wro3t,
               wot know  
               neuer not at all  
               wonyes dwell  
               wro3t made  
0400    Ne I know not þe, kny3t, þy cort ne þi name.
               Ne nor  
               þe thee  
               cort court  
               ne nor  
               þi thy  
0401    Bot teche me truly þerto, and telle me how þou hattes,
               Bot but  
               teche inform  
               þerto on that  
               hattes are called  
0402    And I schal ware alle my wyt to wynne me þeder,
               ware employ  
               wyt cleverness  
               wynne get  
               þeder thither  
0403    And þat I swere þe for soþe, and by my seker traweþ.’
               swere swear  
               þe thee  
               for soþe truly  
               seker true  
               traweþ plighted word  
0404    ‘Þat is innogh in Nwe 3er, hit nedes no more’,
               innogh enough  
               Nwe 3er New Year  
               nedes needs  
0405    Quoþ þe gome in þe grene to Gawan þe hende;
               gome man  
               hende courteous  
0406    ‘3if I þe telle trwly, quen I þe tape haue
               3if if  
               þe thee  
               trwly truly  
               quen when  
               tape knock  
               haue have  
0407    And þou me smoþely hatz smyten, smartly I þe teche
               smoþely neatly (?)  
               hatz have  
               smyten struck  
               smartly promptly  
               þe thee  
               teche inform  
0408    Of my hous and my home and myn owen nome,
               nome name  
0409    Þen may þou frayst my fare and forwardez holde;
               frayst make trial of  
               fare practices  
               forwardez agreements  
               holde keep  
0410    And if I spende no speche, þenne spedez þou þe better,
               spende utter  
               speche speech  
               spedez...þe better will be better off  
0411    For þou may leng in þy londe and layt no fyrre –
               leng stay  
               londe land  
               layt seek  
               fyrre further  
0412    bot slokes!
               bot but  
               slokes stop  
0413    Ta now þy grymme tole to þe,
               Ta take  
               grymme grim  
               tole weapon  
               þe thee  
0414    And let se how þou cnokez.’
               se see  
               cnokez knock  
0415    ‘Gladly, sir, for soþe’,
               for soþe indeed  
0416    Quoþ Gawan; his ax he strokes.
               ax axe  

          19
0417    Þe grene kny3t vpon grounde grayþely hym dresses,
               grounde ground  
               grayþely readily  
               hym himself  
               dresses takes his stand  
0418    A littel lut with þe hede, þe lere he discouerez,
               lut with bent  
               hede head  
               lere flesh  
               discouerez uncover  
0419    His longe louelych lokkez he layd ouer his croun,
               louelych fair  
               lokkez locks  
               croun crown of the head  
0420    Let þe naked nec to þe note schewe.
               nec neck  
               to for  
               note readiness  
               schewe appear  
0421    Gauan gripped to his ax, and gederes hit on hy3t,
               Gauan Gawain  
               gripped lay hold  
               to of  
               ax axe  
               gederes lifts (with both hands)  
               on hy3t aloft  
0422    Þe kay fot on þe folde he before sette,
               kay left  
               fot foot  
               folde ground  
               sette set  
0423    Let hit doun ly3tly ly3t on þe naked,
               ly3tly swiftly  
               ly3t come down  
               naked bare flesh  
0424    Þat þe scharp of þe schalk schyndered þe bones,
               Þat so that  
               scharp sharp blade  
               schalk man  
               schyndered cleaved  
0425    And schrank þur3 þe schyire grece, and schade hit in twynne,
               schrank sank  
               þur3 through  
               schyire fair  
               grece flesh  
               schade severed  
               twynne two  
0426    Þat þe bit of þe broun stel bot on þe grounde.
               Þat so that  
               bit blade  
               broun shining  
               stel steel  
               bot on cut into  
0427    Þe fayre hede fro þe halce hit to þe erþe,
               hede head  
               fro from  
               halce neck  
               hit fell  
               erþe earth  
0428    Þat fele hit foyned wyth her fete, þere hit forth roled;
               Þat so that  
               fele many  
               foyned kicked  
               her their  
               fete feet  
               þere where  
               roled rolled  
0429    Þe blod brayd fro þe body, þat blykked on þe grene;
               blod blood  
               brayd spurted  
               fro from  
               þat which  
               blykked shone  
0430    And nawþer faltered ne fel þe freke neuer þe helder,
               nawþer neither  
               faltered staggered  
               ne nor  
               fel fell  
               freke knight  
               neuer none  
               helder the more for that  
0431    Bot styþly he start forth vpon styf schonkes,
               Bot but  
               styþly undismayed  
               start sprang  
               styf unweakened  
               schonkes legs  
0432    And runyschly he ra3t out, þere as renkkez stoden,
               runyschly fiercely  
               ra3t reached  
               þere as where  
               renkkez knights  
               stoden stood  
0433    La3t to his lufly hed, and lyft hit vp sone;
               La3t to seized  
               lufly fair  
               hed head  
               lyft lifted  
               sone at once  
0434    And syþen bo3ez to his blonk, þe brydel he cachchez,
               syþen then  
               bo3ez turns  
               blonk horse  
               cachchez catches  
0435    Steppez into stelbawe and strydez alofte,
               Steppez steps  
               stelbawe stirrup-iron  
               strydez strides  
               alofte on horseback  
0436    And his hede by þe here in his honde haldez;
               hede head  
               here hair  
               honde hand  
               haldez holds  
0437    And as sadly þe segge hym in his sadel sette
               sadly firmly  
               segge man  
               hym himself  
               sette seated  
0438    As non vnhap had hym ayled, þa3 hedlez he were
               non no  
               vnhap mishap  
               ayled troubled  
               þa3 though  
               hedlez headless  
0439    in stedde.
               in stedde there  
0440    He brayde his bulk aboute,
               brayde twisted  
               bulk trunk  
0441    Þat vgly bodi þat bledde;
               vgly gruesome  
               bledde bled  
0442    Moni on of hym had doute,
               Moni many a  
               on one  
               doute fear  
0443    Bi þat his resounz were redde.
               Bi þat by the time that  
               resounz speech  
               redde declared  

          20
0444    For þe hede in his honde he haldez vp euen,
               hede head  
               honde hand  
               haldez holds  
               euen indeed  
0445    Toward þe derrest on þe dece he dressez þe face,
               derrest noblest  
               dece dais  
               dressez turns  
0446    And hit lyfte vp þe y3e-lyddez and loked ful brode,
               lyfte raised  
               y3e-lyddez eyelids  
               loked lookd  
               brode with wide-open eyes  
0447    And meled þus much with his muthe, as 3e may now here:
               meled said  
               much to this purpose  
               muthe mouth  
               3e you  
               here hear  
0448    ‘Loke, Gawan, þou be grayþe to go as þou hettez,
               Loke look  
               grayþe ready  
               hettez promised  
0449    And layte as lelly til þou me, lude, fynde,
               layte seek  
               lelly faithfully  
               til until  
               lude knight  
0450    As þou hatz hette in þis halle, herande þise kny3tes;
               hatz have  
               hette promised  
               herande in the hearing of  
0451    To þe grene chapel þou chose, I charge þe, to fotte
               chose make your way  
               charge enjoin  
               þe thee  
               fotte get  
0452    Such a dunt as þou hatz dalt – disserued þou habbez
               dunt blow  
               hatz have  
               dalt dealt  
               disserued deserved  
               habbez have  
0453    To be 3ederly 3olden on Nw 3eres morn.
               3ederly promptly  
               3olden returned  
               Nw 3eres New Year’s  
               morn morning  
0454    Þe kny3t of þe grene chapel men knowen me mony;
               knowen know  
               mony many  
0455    Forþi me for to fynde if þou fraystez, faylez þou neuer.
               Forþi therefore  
               fraystez seek  
               faylez fail  
0456    Þerfore com, oþer recreaunt be calde þe behoues.’
               oþer or else  
               recreaunt faint-hearted  
               be to be  
               calde called  
               þe thee  
               behoues it behoves  
0457    With a runisch rout þe raynez he tornez,
               runisch violent  
               rout jerk  
               raynez reins  
               tornez turns  
0458    Halled out at þe hal dor, his hed in his hande,
               Halled went  
               hal hall  
               dor door  
               hed head  
0459    Þat þe fyr of þe flynt fla3e fro fole houes.
               Þat so that  
               fyr sparks  
               flynt flint  
               fla3e flew  
               fro from  
               fole horse’s  
               houes hoofs  
0460    To quat kyth he becom knwe non þere,
               quat what  
               kyth land  
               becom came  
               knwe knew  
               non none  
0461    Neuer more þen þay wyste from queþen he watz wonnen.
               þen than  
               þay they  
               wyste knew  
               queþen whence  
               watz was  
               wonnen come  
0462    What þenne?
               þenne next  
0463    Þe kyng and Gawen þare
               þare there  
0464    At þat grene þay la3e and grenne,
               grene green man  
               þay they  
               la3e laugh  
               grenne grin  
0465    3et breued watz hit ful bare
               3et yet  
               breued declared  
               watz was  
               bare completely  
0466    A meruayl among þo menne.
               meruayl marvel  
               þo those  
               menne men  

          21
0467    Þa3 Arþer þe hende kyng at hert hade wonder,
               Þa3 though  
               hende courteous  
               hert heart  
               hade had  
0468    He let no semblaunt be sene, bot sayde ful hy3e
               semblaunt sign of his feeling  
               sene seen  
               bot but  
               hy3e loudly  
0469    To þe comlych quene wyth cortays speche,
               comlych beautiful  
               quene queen  
               cortays courteous  
               speche speech  
0470    ‘Dere dame, to-day demay yow neuer;
               Dere dear  
               demay be perturbed  
               neuer not at all  
0471    Wel bycommes such craft vpon Cristmasse,
               bycommes is fitting  
               craft doings  
0472    Laykyng of enterludez, to la3e and to syng,
               Laykyng playing  
               enterludez dramatic displays  
               la3e laugh  
0473    Among þise kynde caroles of kny3tez and ladyez.
               kynde courtly  
               caroles carols (=dance and song)  
0474    Neuer þe lece to my mete I may me wel dres,
               Neuer none  
               lece less  
               mete meal  
               me myself  
               dres proceed  
0475    For I haf sen a selly, I may not forsake.’
               haf have  
               sen seen  
               selly marvel  
               forsake deny  
0476    He glent vpon Sir Gawen, and gaynly he sayde,
               glent looked  
               gaynly appositely  
0477    ‘Now, sir, heng vp þyn ax, þat hatz innogh hewen’;
               heng hang  
               ax axe  
               þat which  
               hatz has  
               innogh enough  
               hewen cut  
0478    And hit watz don abof þe dece on doser to henge,
               watz was  
               don put  
               abof above  
               dece dais  
               doser wall-tapestry  
               henge hang  
0479    Þer alle men for meruayl my3t on hit loke,
               Þer where  
               for as  
               meruayl marvel  
               my3t could  
               loke look  
0480    And bi trwe tytel þerof to telle þe wonder.
               trwe true  
               tytel evidence  
               þerof of it  
               wonder wondrous deed  
0481    Þenne þay bo3ed to a borde þise burnes togeder,
               þay they  
               bo3ed went  
               borde table  
               burnes knights  
0482    Þe kyng and þe gode kny3t, and kene men hem serued
               gode good  
               kene bold  
               hem them  
0483    Of alle dayntyez double, as derrest my3t falle;
               Of with  
               dayntyez dainties  
               derrest the noblest  
               my3t could  
               falle be fitting for  
0484    Wyth alle maner of mete and mynstralcie boþe,
               maner kinds  
               mete food  
               mynstralcie minstrelsy  
               boþe as well  
0485    Wyth wele walt þay þat day, til worþed an ende
               wele joy  
               walt spent  
               þay they  
               til until  
               worþed was made  
0486    in londe.
               londe land  
0487    Now þenk wel, Sir Gawan,
               þenk take heed  
0488    For woþe þat þou ne wonde
               woþe danger  
               ne not  
               wonde neglect  
0489    Þis auenture for to frayn
               auenture adventure  
               frayn make trial of  
0490    Þat þou hatz tan on honde.
               hatz have  
               tan taken  
               tan on honde undertaken  
  
                           II

          22
0491    THIS hanselle hatz Arthur of auenturus on fyrst
               hanselle gift at New Year  
               hatz has  
               auenturus adventures  
               on fyrst first  
0492    In 3onge 3er, for he 3erned 3elpyng to here.
               3onge young  
               3er year  
               3erned longed  
               3elpyng challenge  
               here hear  
0493    Tha3 hym wordez were wane when þay to sete wenten,
               Tha3 though  
               hym them  
               wordez words  
               wane lacking  
               þay they  
               sete seat  
               wenten went  
0494    Now ar þay stoken of sturne werk, stafful her hond.
               ar are  
               þay they  
               stoken fully provided  
               of with  
               sturne serious  
               werk work  
               stafful cram-full  
               her their  
               hond hand  
0495    Gawan watz glad to begynne þose gomnez in halle,
               watz was  
               gomnez games  
0496    Bot þa3 þe ende be heuy haf 3e no wonder;
               þa3 though  
               heuy grievous  
               haf have  
               3e you  
0497    For þa3 men ben mery in mynde quen þay han mayn drynk,
               þa3 though  
               ben are  
               quen when  
               þay they  
               han have  
               mayn strong  
0498    A 3ere 3ernes ful 3erne, and 3eldez neuer lyke,
               3ere year  
               3ernes passes  
               3erne swiftly  
               3eldez brings back  
               lyke similar (events)  
0499    Þe forme to þe fynisment foldez ful selden.
               forme beginning  
               fynisment end  
               foldez matches  
               selden seldom  
0500    Forþi þis 3ol ouer3ede, and þe 3ere after,
               Forþi therefore  
               3ol Yule  
               ouer3ede passed by  
               3ere year  
0501    And vche sesoun serlepes sued after oþer:
               vche each  
               sesoun season  
               serlepes in turn  
               sued followed  
               oþer the other  
0502    After Crystenmasse com þe crabbed lentoun,
               com came  
               crabbed unconvivial  
               lentoun Lent  
0503    Þat fraystez flesch wyth þe fysche and fode more symple;
               Þat which  
               fraystez tests  
               fode food  
0504    Bot þenne þe weder of þe worlde wyth wynter hit þrepez,
               Bot but  
               weder weather  
               þrepez contends  
0505    Colde clengez adoun, cloudez vplyften,
               clengez shrinks  
               adoun down  
               cloudez clouds  
               vplyften rise  
0506    Schyre schedez þe rayn in schowrez ful warme,
               Schyre bright  
               schedez falls  
               schowrez showers  
               warme warm  
0507    Fallez vpon fayre flat, flowrez þere schewen,
               flat plain  
               schewen appear  
0508    Boþe groundez and þe greuez grene ar her wedez,
               groundez open land  
               greuez groves  
               ar are  
               her their  
               wedez clothes  
0509    Bryddez busken to bylde, and bremlych syngen
               Bryddez birds  
               busken make haste  
               bylde build  
               bremlych gloriously  
               syngen sing  
0510    For solace of þe softe somer þat sues þerafter
               solace delight  
               softe gentle  
               somer summer (=spring and summer)  
               sues follows  
               þerafter after that  
0511    bi bonk;
               bi bonk on the slopes  
0512    And blossumez bolne to blowe
               blossumez blossoms  
               bolne swell  
               blowe bloom  
0513    Bi rawez rych and ronk,
               rawez hedgerows  
               rych flourishing  
               ronk luxuriant  
0514    Þen notez noble inno3e
               notez notes  
               inno3e many  
0515    Ar herde in wod so wlonk.
               Ar are  
               herde heard  
               wod wood  
               wlonk lovely  

          23
0516    After þe sesoun of somer wyth þe soft wyndez
               sesoun season  
               somer summer (=spring and summer)  
               wyndez winds  
0517    Quen Zeferus syflez hymself on sedez and erbez,
               Quen when  
               Zeferus Zephirus (=the west wind)  
               syflez blows gently  
               sedez seeding grasses and plants  
               erbez green plants  
0518    Wela wynne is þe wort þat waxes þeroute,
               Wela very  
               wynne lovely  
               wort plant  
               waxes grows  
               þeroute out of them  
0519    When þe donkande dewe dropez of þe leuez,
               donkande moistening  
               dewe dew  
               dropez drops  
               of from  
               leuez leaves  
0520    To bide a blysful blusch of þe bry3t sunne.
               bide wait for  
               blysful delightful  
               blusch gleam  
               sunne sun  
0521    Bot þen hy3es heruest, and hardenes hym sone,
               hy3es hastens  
               heruest autumn  
               hardenes encourages  
               hym him (=it: wort 518)  
               sone at once  
0522    Warnez hym for þe wynter to wax ful rype;
               Warnez warns  
               hym him (=it: wort 518)  
               for for fear of  
               wax grow  
               rype ripe  
0523    He dryues wyth dro3t þe dust for to ryse,
               dryues strikes  
               dro3t drought  
0524    Fro þe face of þe folde to fly3e ful hy3e;
               Fro from  
               folde earth  
               fly3e fly  
               hy3e high  
0525    Wroþe wynde of þe welkyn wrastelez with þe sunne,
               Wroþe fierce  
               welkyn heavens  
               wrastelez wrestles  
0526    Þe leuez lancen fro þe lynde and ly3ten on þe grounde,
               leuez leaves  
               lancen fly  
               fro from  
               lynde tree  
               ly3ten fall  
0527    And al grayes þe gres þat grene watz ere;
               grayes withers  
               gres grass  
               watz was  
               ere before  
0528    Þenne al rypez and rotez þat ros vpon fyrst,
               rypez ripens  
               rotez decays  
               ros grew  
               vpon fyrst in the beginning  
0529    And þus 3irnez þe 3ere in 3isterdayez mony,
               3irnez passes  
               3ere year  
               3isterdayez yesterdays  
               mony many  
0530    And wynter wyndez a3ayn, as þe worlde askez,
               wyndez returns  
               a3ayn again  
               askez requires  
0531    no fage,
               no fage in truth  
0532    Til Me3elmas mone
               Me3elmas Michaelmas (=Sept. 29)  
               mone harvest moon  
0533    Watz cumen wyth wynter wage;
               Watz was  
               cumen come  
               wynter winter’s  
               wage pledge  
0534    Þen þenkkez Gawan ful sone
               þenkkez is mindful  
               sone at once  
0535    Of his anious uyage.
               anious troublesome  
               uyage journey  

          24
0536    3et quyl Al-hal-day with Arþer he lenges;
               3et yet  
               quyl until  
               Al-hal-day All Saints’ Day (=Nov. 1)  
               lenges stays  
0537    And he made a fare on þat fest for þe frekez sake,
               fare feast  
               fest festival  
               frekez knight’s  
0538    With much reuel and ryche of þe Rounde Table.
               reuel revelry  
0539    Kny3tez ful cortays and comlych ladies
               comlych beautiful  
0540    Al for luf of þat lede in longynge þay were,
               luf love  
               lede knight  
               longynge grief  
               þay they  
0541    Bot neuer þe lece ne þe later þay neuened bot merþe:
               neuer none  
               lece less  
               ne not  
               later less readily  
               þay they  
               neuened mentioned  
               bot only  
               merþe amusement  
0542    Mony ioylez for þat ientyle iapez þer maden.
               Mony many  
               ioylez joyless  
               ientyle gentle knight  
               iapez jests  
               þer there  
               maden made  
0543    For aftter mete with mournyng he melez to his eme,
               mete meal  
               melez speaks  
               eme (maternal) uncle  
0544    And spekez of his passage, and pertly he sayde,
               passage journey  
               pertly plainly  
0545    ‘Now, lege lorde of my lyf, leue I yow ask;
               lege sovereign  
               lyf life  
               leue leave to go  
0546    3e knowe þe cost of þis cace, kepe I no more
               3e you  
               cost terms  
               cace affair  
               kepe care  
0547    To telle yow tenez þerof neuer bot trifel;
               telle tell of  
               tenez troubles  
               þerof of it  
               bot except  
0548    Bot I am boun to þe bur barely to-morne
               boun setting out  
               to for  
               bur blow  
               barely without fail  
               to-morne tomorrow morning  
0549    To sech þe gome of þe grene, as God wyl me wysse.’
               sech seek  
               gome knight  
               wysse guide  
0550    Þenne þe best of þe bur3 bo3ed togeder,
               bur3 castle  
               bo3ed went  
0551    Aywan, and Errik, and oþer ful mony,
               Aywan Iwain  
               Errik Erec  
               oþer others  
               mony many  
0552    Sir Doddinaual de Sauage, þe duk of Clarence,
               Doddinaual de Sauage Didinal the wild  
               duk duke  
0553    Launcelot, and Lyonel, and Lucan þe gode,
               Launcelot Lancelot  
               Lyonel Lionel  
               gode good  
0554    Sir Boos, and Sir Byduer, big men boþe,
               Boos Bors  
               Byduer Bedivere  
               big strong  
               boþe both  
0555    And mony oþer menskful, with Mador de la Port.
               mony many  
               menskful noble knights  
0556    Alle þis compayny of court com þe kyng nerre
               nerre nearer  
0557    For to counseyl þe kny3t, with care at her hert.
               care grief  
               her their  
               hert heart  
0558    Þere watz much derue doel driuen in þe sale
               watz was  
               derue painful  
               doel lament  
               driuen made  
               sale hall  
0559    Þat so worþé as Wawan schulde wende on þat ernde,
               worþé honoured  
               Wawan Gawain  
               wende go  
               ernde mission  
0560    To dry3e a delful dynt, and dele no more
               dry3e endure  
               delful grievous  
               dynt blow  
               dele deal (blows)  
0561    wyth bronde.
               bronde sword  
0562    Þe kny3t mad ay god chere,
               mad made  
               ay always  
               god good  
               chere cheer (=remained cheerful)  
0563    And sayde, ‘Quat schuld I wonde?
               Quat what  
               wonde fear  
0564    Of destinés derf and dere
               destinés destinies  
               derf grievous  
               dere pleasant  
0565    What may mon do bot fonde?’
               mon one  
               bot but  
               fonde make trial  

          25
0566    He dowellez þer al þat day, and dressez on þe morn,
               dowellez remains  
               þer there  
               dressez prepares  
               morn morrow  
0567    Askez erly hys armez, and alle were þay bro3t.
               Askez asks for  
               erly early  
               armez arms  
               þay they  
0568    Fyrst a tulé tapit ty3t ouer þe flet,
               tulé of red silk  
               tapit carpet  
               ty3t spread  
               flet floor  
0569    And miche watz þe gyld gere þat glent þeralofte;
               miche much  
               watz was  
               gyld gilded  
               gere armour  
               glent glinted  
               þeralofte on it  
0570    Þe stif mon steppez þeron, and þe stel hondelez,
               stif bold  
               mon man  
               steppez steps  
               þeron on it  
               stel armour  
               hondelez takes hold of  
0571    Dubbed in a dublet of a dere tars,
               Dubbed arrayed  
               dublet doublet  
               dere costly  
               tars silk of Tharsia  
0572    And syþen a crafty capados, closed aloft,
               syþen then  
               crafty skilfully made  
               capados hood with cape  
               closed fastened  
               aloft above (=at the neck)  
0573    Þat wyth a bry3t blaunner was bounden withinne.
               Þat which  
               bry3t pure white  
               blaunner fur (ermine?)  
               bounden trimmed  
0574    Þenne set þay þe sabatounz vpon þe segge fotez,
               þay they  
               sabatounz steel shoes  
               segge knight’s  
               fotez feet  
0575    His legez lapped in stel with luflych greuez,
               legez legs  
               lapped wrapped  
               stel steel  
               luflych fair  
               greuez greaves  
0576    With polaynez piched þerto, policed ful clene,
               polaynez knee-pieces  
               piched attached  
               þerto to them  
               policed polished  
               clene bright  
0577    Aboute his knez knaged wyth knotez of golde;
               knez knees  
               knaged fastened  
               knotez knots  
0578    Queme quyssewes þen, þat coyntlych closed
               Queme fine  
               quyssewes thigh-pieces  
               þat which  
               coyntlych elegantly  
               closed enclosed  
0579    His thik þrawen þy3ez, with þwonges to tachched;
               thik thick  
               þrawen muscular  
               þy3ez thighs  
               þwonges thongs  
               to to them  
               tachched fastened  
0580    And syþen þe brawden bryné of bry3t stel ryngez
               syþen then  
               brawden linked  
               bryné mail-shirt  
               stel steel  
               ryngez rings  
0581    Vmbeweued þat wy3 vpon wlonk stuffe,
               Vmbeweued enveloped  
               wy3 knight  
               wlonk glorious  
               stuffe stuff  
0582    And wel bornyst brace vpon his boþe armes,
               bornyst polished  
               brace pair of arm-pieces  
0583    With gode cowters and gay, and glouez of plate,
               gode good  
               cowters elbow-pieces  
               gay bright  
               glouez gloves  
               plate steel plate  
0584    And alle þe godlych gere þat hym gayn schulde
               godlych fine  
               gere armour  
               gayn be of use to  
0585    þat tyde;
               þat tyde then  
0586    Wyth ryche cote-armure,
               cote-armure coat armour (=coat embroidered with heraldic devices)  
0587    His gold sporez spend with pryde,
               sporez spurs  
               spend fastened  
               with pryde splendidly  
0588    Gurde wyth a bront ful sure
               Gurde girt  
               bront sword  
               sure trusty  
0589    With silk sayn vmbe his syde.
               sayn girdle  
               vmbe round  

          26
0590    When he watz hasped in armes, his harnays watz ryche:
               watz was  
               hasped clasped  
               harnays armour  
0591    Þe lest lachet ouer loupe lemed of golde.
               lest smallest  
               lachet latchet  
               loupe loop  
               lemed shone  
0592    So harnayst as he watz he herknez his masse,
               harnayst clad in armour  
               watz was  
               herknez listens to  
               masse mass  
0593    Offred and honoured at þe he3e auter.
               Offred offered  
               honoured celebrated  
               he3e high  
               auter altar  
0594    Syþen he comez to þe kyng and to his cort-ferez,
               Syþen then  
               comez comes  
               cort-ferez companions at court  
0595    Lachez lufly his leue at lordez and ladyez;
               Lachez takes  
               lufly graciously  
               leue leave  
               at from  
               lordez lords  
0596    And þay hym kyst and conueyed, bikende hym to Kryst.
               þay they  
               kyst kissed  
               conueyed escorted  
               bikende commended  
               Kryst Christ  
0597    Bi þat watz Gryngolet grayth, and gurde with a sadel
               Bi þat by that time  
               watz was  
               grayth ready  
               gurde girt  
               sadel saddle  
0598    Þat glemed ful gayly with mony golde frenges,
               glemed shone  
               mony many  
               frenges fringes  
0599    Ayquere naylet ful nwe, for þat note ryched;
               Ayquere everywhere  
               naylet studded with nails  
               nwe newly  
               note purpose  
               ryched prepared  
0600    Þe brydel barred aboute, with bry3t golde bounden;
               brydel bridle  
               barred decorated with stripes  
               bounden adorned  
0601    Þe apparayl of þe payttrure and of þe proude skyrtez,
               apparayl gear  
               payttrure breast-trappings of horse  
               proude superb  
               skyrtez saddle-skirts  
0602    Þe cropore and þe couertor, acorded wyth þe arsounez;
               cropore crupper  
               couertor horse-cloth  
               acorded matched  
               arsounez saddle-bows  
0603    And al watz rayled on red ryche golde naylez,
               watz was  
               rayled arrayed  
               naylez nails  
0604    Þat al glytered and glent as glem of þe sunne.
               Þat so that  
               glent glinted  
               glem beam  
0605    Þenne hentes he þe helme, and hastily hit kysses,
               hentes takes  
               helme helmet  
               hastily quickly  
0606    Þat watz stapled stifly, and stoffed wythinne.
               Þat which  
               watz was  
               stapled fastened with staples  
               stifly strongly  
               stoffed stuffed  
0607    Hit watz hy3e on his hede, hasped bihynde,
               watz was  
               hede head  
               hasped clasped  
0608    Wyth a ly3tly vrysoun ouer þe auentayle,
               ly3tly gleaming  
               vrysoun strap  
               auentayle mail neck-guard  
0609    Enbrawden and bounden wyth þe best gemmez
               Enbrawden embroidered  
               bounden adorned  
               gemmez gems  
0610    On brode sylkyn borde, and bryddez on semez,
               brode broad  
               sylkyn silk  
               borde band  
               bryddez birds  
               semez seams (with ornamental stitching)  
0611    As papiayez paynted peruyng bitwene,
               As such as  
               papiayez parrots  
               paynted depicted  
               peruyng periwinkle  
               bitwene between  
0612    Tortors and trulofez entayled so þyk
               Tortors turtle-doves  
               trulofez true-love flowers  
               entayled embroidered  
               þyk densely  
0613    As mony burde þeraboute had ben seuen wynter
               mony many a  
               burde damsel  
               þeraboute engaged on it  
               ben been  
               seuen seven  
               wynter winters (=years)  
0614    in toune.
               in toun in the court  
0615    Þe cercle watz more o prys
               cercle circlet  
               watz was  
               more greater  
               o of  
               prys value  
0616    Þat vmbeclypped hys croun,
               vmbeclypped surrounded  
               croun crown of the head  
0617    Of diamauntez a deuys
               diamauntez diamonds  
               a deuys of the best  
0618    Þat boþe were bry3t and broun.
               broun brown  

          27
0619    THEN þay schewed hym þe schelde, þat was of schyr goulez
               þay they  
               schewed brought out  
               schelde shield  
               schyr bright  
               goulez gules (=red in heraldry)  
0620    Wyth þe pentangel depaynt of pure golde hwez.
               pentangel pentangle (=five-pointed star)  
               depaynt painted  
               hwez hues  
0621    He braydez hit by þe bauderyk, aboute þe hals kestes,
               braydez swings  
               bauderyk baldric  
               hals neck  
               kestes casts  
0622    Þat bisemed þe segge semlyly fayre.
               bisemed suited  
               segge knight  
               semlyly becomingly  
               fayre gracefully  
0623    And quy þe pentangel apendez to þat prynce noble
               quy why  
               pentangel pentangle (=five-pointed star)  
               apendez belongs  
0624    I am in tent yow to telle, þof tary hyt me schulde:
               in tent in a mind  
               þof even though  
               tary delay  
0625    Hit is a syngne þat Salamon set sumquyle
               syngne sign  
               Salamon Salomon  
               sumquyle one upon a time  
0626    In bytoknyng of trawþe, bi tytle þat hit habbez,
               In bytoknyng as a symbol of  
               trawþe fidelity  
               tytle right (bi tytle...habbes=justly)  
               habbez has  
0627    For hit is a figure þat haldez fyue poyntez,
               haldez contains  
               fyue five  
               poyntez points  
0628    And vche lyne vmbelappez and loukez in oþer,
               vche each  
               lyne line  
               vmbelappez interlaces  
               loukez joins  
               in with  
               oþer the other  
0629    And ayquere hit is endelez; and Englych hit callen
               ayquere everywhere  
               endelez endless  
               Englych the English  
               callen call  
0630    Oueral, as I here, þe endeles knot.
               Oueral everywhere  
               here hear  
               endeles endless  
0631    Forþy hit acordez to þis kny3t and to his cler armez,
               Forþy therefore  
               acordez befits  
               cler bright  
0632    For ay faythful in fyue and sere fyue syþez
               For because  
               ay always  
               faythful trustworthy  
               fyue five (ways)  
               sere in each way  
               syþez times  
0633    Gawan watz for gode knawen, and as golde pured,
               watz was  
               for as  
               gode good knight  
               knawen known  
               pured refined  
0634    Voyded of vche vylany, wyth vertuez ennourned
               Voyded free  
               of from  
               vche every  
               vylany ill breeding  
               vertuez virtues  
               ennourned adorned  
0635    in mote;
               mote castle  
0636    Forþy þe pentangel nwe
               Forþy therefore  
               pentangel pentangle (=five-pointed star)  
               nwe new  
0637    He ber in schelde and cote,
               ber bore  
               schelde shield  
               cote coat-armour  
0638    As tulk of tale most trwe
               tulk knight  
               tale word  
               trwe trusty  
0639    And gentylest kny3t of lote.
               gentylest noblest  
               lote speech  

          28
0640    Fyrst he watz funden fautlez in his fyue wyttez,
               watz was  
               funden found  
               fautlez faultless  
               wyttez senses  
0641    And efte fayled neuer þe freke in his fyue fyngres,
               efte secondly  
               freke knight  
               fyngres fingers  
0642    And alle his afyaunce vpon folde watz in þe fyue woundez
               afyaunce trust  
               folde earth  
               watz was  
               woundez wounds  
0643    Þat Cryst ka3t on þe croys, as þe crede tellez;
               ka3t caught  
               croys cross  
               crede creed  
               tellez says  
0644    And quere-so-euer þys mon in melly watz stad,
               quere-so-euer wherever  
               mon man  
               melly contest  
               watz was  
               stad present  
0645    His þro þo3t watz in þat, þur3 alle oþer þyngez,
               þro steadfast  
               þo3t thought  
               watz was  
               þur3 beyond  
0646    Þat alle his forsnes he feng at þe fyue joyez
               forsnes fortitude  
               feng derived  
               at from  
               joyez joys  
0647    Þat þe hende heuen-quene had of hir chylde;
               hende gracious  
               heuen-quene queen of heaven  
               chylde child  
0648    At þis cause þe kny3t comlyche hade
               At for  
               cause reason  
               comlyche fittingly  
               hade had  
0649    In þe inore half of his schelde hir ymage depaynted,
               inore inner  
               half side  
               schelde shield  
               hir her  
               depaynted depicted  
0650    Þat quen he blusched þerto his belde neuer payred.
               Þat so that  
               quen when  
               blusched looked  
               þerto at it  
               belde courage  
               payred failed  
0651    Þe fyft fyue þat I finde þat þe frek vsed
               fyft fifth  
               frek knight  
               vsed practised  
0652    Watz fraunchyse and fela3schyp forbe al þyng,
               Watz was  
               fraunchyse generosity  
               fela3schyp love of fellow men  
               forbe beyond  
               þyng things  
0653    His clannes and his cortaysye croked were neuer,
               clannes purity  
               croked astray  
0654    And pité, þat passez alle poyntez, þyse pure fyue
               pité compassionateness  
               passez surpasses  
               poyntez qualities  
               þyse these  
               pure faultless  
0655    Were harder happed on þat haþel þen on any oþer.
               harder more firmly  
               happed fastened  
               haþel knight  
               þen than  
0656    Now alle þese fyue syþez, for soþe, were fetled on þis kny3t,
               syþez cases  
               for soþe indeed  
               fetled fixed  
0657    And vchone halched in oþer, þat non ende hade,
               vchone each  
               halched joined  
               in to  
               oþer the other  
               þat so that  
               non none  
               hade had  
0658    And fyched vpon fyue poyntez, þat fayld neuer,
               fyched fixed  
               fayld was wanting  
0659    Ne samned neuer in no syde, ne sundred nouþer,
               Ne nor  
               samned joined  
               syde direction  
               ne nor  
               sundred separated  
               nouþer either  
0660    Withouten ende at any noke I oquere fynde,
               Withouten without  
               noke point  
               oquere anywhere  
0661    Whereeuer þe gomen bygan, or glod to an ende.
               gomen process  
               glod came  
0662    Þerfore on his schene schelde schapen watz þe knot
               schene bright  
               schelde shield  
               schapen fashioned  
               watz was  
0663    Ryally wyth red golde vpon rede gowlez,
               Ryally splendidly  
               gowlez gules (=red in heraldry)  
0664    Þat is þe pure pentaungel wyth þe peple called
               pure noble  
               pentaungel pentangle (=five-pointed star)  
               wyth by  
               peple people  
0665    with lore.
               lore learning  
0666    Now grayþed is Gawan gay,
               grayþed prepared  
0667    And la3t his launce ry3t þore,
               la3t took  
               launce spear  
               þore there  
0668    And gef hem alle goud day,
               gef wished  
               hem them  
               goud day goodbye  
0669    He wende for euermore.
               wende thought  

          29
0670    He sperred þe sted with þe spurez and sprong on his way,
               sperred struck  
               sted steed  
               spurez spurs  
               sprong sprang  
0671    So stif þat þe ston-fyr stroke out þerafter.
               stif vigorously  
               ston-fyr sparks from the stones  
               stroke were struck  
               þerafter behind  
0672    Al þat se3 þat semly syked in hert,
               se3 saw  
               semly fair  
               syked sighed  
               hert heart  
0673    And sayde soþly al same segges til oþer,
               soþly with truth  
               same together  
               segges men  
               til to  
               oþer one another  
0674    Carande for þat comly: ‘Bi Kryst, hit is scaþe
               Carande grieving  
               comly fair knight  
               scaþe disastrous  
0675    Þat þou, leude, schal be lost, þat art of lyf noble!
               leude knight  
               art are  
               lyf life  
0676    To fynde hys fere vpon folde, in fayth, is not eþe.
               fere peer  
               folde earth  
               in fayth in truth  
               eþe easy  
0677    Warloker to haf wro3t had more wyt bene,
               Warloker more carefully  
               haf have  
               wro3t acted  
               had would have  
               wyt good sense  
               bene been  
0678    And haf dy3t 3onder dere a duk to haue worþed;
               haf have  
               dy3t appointed  
               3onder yonder (=that)  
               dere noble  
               duk duke  
               worþed become  
0679    A lowande leder of ledez in londe hym wel semez,
               lowande brilliant  
               leder leader  
               ledez men  
               semez it suits (to be)  
0680    And so had better haf ben þen britned to no3t,
               had would have  
               haf have  
               ben been  
               þen than  
               britned destroyed  
               no3t nothing  
0681    Hadet wyth an aluisch mon, for angardez pryde.
               Hadet beheaded  
               wyth by  
               aluisch elvish  
               mon man  
               for because of  
               angardez arrogant  
0682    Who knew euer any kyng such counsel to take
               take accept  
0683    As kny3tez in cauelaciounz on Crystmasse gomnez!’
               kny3tez knights (give)  
               cauelaciounz trifling disputes  
               gomnez games  
0684    Wel much watz þe warme water þat waltered of y3en,
               Wel very  
               watz was  
               water water (=tears)  
               waltered rolled in streams  
               of from  
               y3en eyes  
0685    When þat semly syre so3t fro þo wonez
               semly comely  
               syre lord  
               so3t went  
               fro from  
               þo those  
               wonez dwellings  
0686    þad daye.
               þad that  
0687    He made non abode,
               non no  
               abode delay  
0688    Bot wy3tly went hys way;
               Bot but  
               wy3tly swiftly  
0689    Mony wylsum way he rode,
               Mony many a  
               wylsum bewildering  
0690    Þe bok as I herde say.
               bok book  
               herde heard  

          30
0691    Now ridez þis renk þur3 þe ryalme of Logres,
               renk knight  
               þur3 through  
               ryalme realm  
               Logres England  
0692    Sir Gauan, on Godez halue, þa3 hym no gomen þo3t.
               Godez God’s  
               halue sake  
               þa3 though  
               gomen game  
               þo3t it seemed  
0693    Oft leudlez alone he lengez on ny3tez
               leudlez companionless  
               lengez stays  
               on at  
               ny3tez night  
0694    Þer he fonde no3t hym byfore þe fare þat he lyked.
               Þer where  
               fonde found  
               no3t not  
               fare entertainment  
0695    Hade he no fere bot his fole bi frythez and dounez,
               Hade had  
               fere companion  
               bot but  
               fole horse  
               frythez woodlands  
               dounez hills  
0696    Ne no gome bot God bi gate wyth to karp,
               Ne nor  
               gome man  
               bot but  
               bi on  
               gate the way  
               wyth with (whom)  
               karp speak  
0697    Til þat he ne3ed ful neghe into þe Norþe Walez.
               Til þat until  
               ne3ed approached  
               neghe near  
0698    Alle þe iles of Anglesay on lyft half he haldez,
               iles islands  
               Anglesay Anglesey  
               lyft left  
               half side  
               haldez keeps  
0699    And farez ouer þe fordez by þe forlondez,
               farez proceeds  
               fordez fords  
               forlondez promontories  
0700    Ouer at þe Holy Hede, til he hade eft bonk
               Ouer over there  
               Holy Hede Holyhead  
               hade reached  
               eft again  
               bonk shore  
0701    In þe wyldrenesse of Wyrale; wonde þer bot lyte
               wyldrenesse wilderness  
               Wyrale Wirral  
               wonde lived  
               þer there  
               bot only  
               lyte few  
0702    Þat auþer God oþer gome wyth goud hert louied.
               Þat whom  
               auþer either  
               oþer or  
               gome man  
               goud good  
               hert heart  
               louied loved  
0703    And ay he frayned, as he ferde, at frekez þat he met,
               ay always  
               frayned asked  
               ferde went  
               at of  
               frekez men  
0704    If þay hade herde any karp of a kny3t grene,
               þay they  
               hade had  
               herde heard  
               karp mention  
0705    In any grounde þeraboute, of þe grene chapel;
               þeraboute thereabouts  
0706    And al nykked hym wyth nay, þat neuer in her lyue
               nykked said to  
               nay no  
               her their  
               lyue life  
0707    Þay se3e neuer no segge þat watz of suche hwez
               Þay they  
               se3e saw  
               segge man  
               watz was  
               hwez hue  
0708    of grene.
0709    Þe kny3t tok gates straunge
               tok took  
               gates roads  
0710    In mony a bonk vnbene,
               mony many  
               bonk hill-side  
               vnbene inhospitable  
0711    His cher ful oft con chaunge
               cher...chaunge look about  
               con did  
0712    Þat chapel er he my3t sene.
               er before  
               my3t could  
               sene see  

          31
0713    Mony klyf he ouerclambe in contrayez straunge,
               Mony many a  
               klyf rock  
               ouerclambe climbed over  
               contrayez regions  
0714    Fer floten fro his frendez fremedly he rydez.
               Fer far  
               floten having wandered  
               fro from  
               frendez friends  
               fremedly as a stranger  
               rydez rides  
0715    At vche warþe oþer water þer þe wy3e passed
               vche each  
               warþe ford  
               oþer or  
               water stream  
               þer where  
               wy3e knight  
0716    He fonde a foo hym byfore, bot ferly hit were,
               fonde found  
               foo foe  
               bot unless  
               ferly extraordinary  
0717    And þat so foule and so felle þat fe3t hym byhode.
               þat at that (=moreover)  
               foule foul  
               felle fierce  
               fe3t to fight  
               byhode it behoved  
0718    So mony meruayl bi mount þer þe mon fyndez,
               mony many a  
               meruayl marvel  
               bi among  
               mount the hills  
               þer there  
               mon man  
               fyndez finds  
0719    Hit were to tore for to telle of þe tenþe dole.
               Hit it  
               were would be  
               to too  
               tore hard  
               tenþe tenth  
               dole part  
0720    Sumwhyle wyth wormez he werrez, and with wolues als,
               Sumwhyle sometimes  
               wormez dragons  
               werrez fights  
               wolues wolves  
               als also  
0721    Sumwhyle wyth wodwos, þat woned in þe knarrez,
               Sumwhyle sometimes  
               wodwos trolls of the forest  
               woned lived  
               knarrez crags  
0722    Boþe wyth bullez and berez, and borez oþerquyle,
               bullez bulls  
               berez bears  
               borez boars  
               oþerquyle at other times  
0723    And etaynez, þat hym anelede of þe he3e felle;
               etaynez giants  
               anelede pursued  
               of from  
               he3e high  
               felle precipitous rock  
0724    Nade he ben du3ty and dry3e, and Dry3tyn had serued,
               Nade (if he) had not  
               ben been  
               du3ty doughty  
               dry3e enduring  
               Dry3tyn God  
0725    Douteles he hade ben ded and dreped ful ofte.
               Douteles doubtless  
               hade would have  
               ben been  
               ded dead  
               dreped killed  
0726    For werre wrathed hym not so much þat wynter nas wors,
               werre fighting  
               wrathed afflicted  
               nas was not  
0727    When þe colde cler water fro þe cloudez schadde,
               cler clear  
               fro from  
               schadde was shed  
0728    And fres er hit falle my3t to þe fale erþe;
               fres froze  
               er before  
               fale faded  
0729    Ner slayn wyth þe slete he sleped in his yrnes
               Ner nearly  
               wyth by  
               slete sleet  
               sleped slept  
               yrnes pieces of armour  
0730    Mo ny3tez þen innoghe in naked rokkez,
               Mo more  
               ny3tez nights  
               þen than  
               innoghe enough  
0731    Þer as claterande fro þe crest þe colde borne rennez,
               Þer as where  
               claterande splashing  
               fro from  
               crest mountain-top  
               borne stream  
               rennez runs  
0732    And henged he3e ouer his hede in hard iisse-ikkles.
               henged hung  
               he3e high  
               hede head  
               iisse-ikkles icicles  
0733    Þus in peryl and payne and plytes ful harde
               plytes hardships  
0734    Bi contray caryez þis kny3t, tyl Krystmasse euen,
               Bi over  
               contray the land  
               caryez rides  
               euen eve  
0735    al one;
               one alone  
0736    Þe kny3t wel þat tyde
               þat tyde then  
0737    To Mary made his mone,
               mone complaint  
0738    Þat ho hym red to ryde
               ho she  
               red would direct  
               to where to  
0739    And wysse hym to sum wone.
               wysse guide  
               sum some  
               wone dwelling  

          32
0740    Bi a mounte on þe morne meryly he rydes
               mounte hill  
               morne morrow  
               meryly handsomely  
0741    Into a forest ful dep, þat ferly watz wylde,
               dep deep  
               ferly wondrously  
               watz was  
0742    Hi3e hillez on vche a halue, and holtwodez vnder
               Hi3e high  
               hillez hills  
               vche a every  
               halue side  
               holtwodez woods  
               vnder at their feet  
0743    Of hore okez ful hoge a hundreth togeder;
               hore grey  
               okez oaks  
               hoge huge  
               hundreth hundred  
0744    Þe hasel and þe ha3þorne were harled al samen,
               hasel hazel  
               ha3þorne hawthorn  
               harled tangled  
               samen together  
0745    With ro3e raged mosse rayled aywhere,
               ro3e shaggy  
               raged ragged  
               mosse moss  
               rayled set  
               aywhere everywhere  
0746    With mony bryddez vnblyþe vpon bare twyges,
               mony many  
               bryddez birds  
               vnblyþe unhappy  
               twyges twigs  
0747    Þat pitosly þer piped for pyne of þe colde.
               pyne pain  
0748    Þe gome vpon Gryngolet glydez hem vnder,
               gome knight  
               glydez hastens  
               hem them  
0749    Þur3 mony misy and myre, mon al hym one,
               Þur3 through  
               mony many a  
               misy bog  
               myre swamp  
               mon man  
               al hym one alone  
0750    Carande for his costes, lest he ne keuer schulde
               Carande being concerned  
               costes plight  
               keuer manage  
0751    To se þe seruyse of þat syre, þat on þat self ny3t
               se see  
               seruyse celebration  
               syre lord  
               self same  
               ny3t night  
0752    Of a burde watz borne oure baret to quelle;
               burde maiden  
               watz was  
               baret sorrow  
               quelle end  
0753    And þerfore sykyng he sayde, ‘I beseche þe, lorde,
               sykyng sighing  
               þe thee  
0754    And Mary, þat is myldest moder so dere,
               moder mother  
               dere dear  
0755    Of sum herber þer he3ly I my3t here masse,
               sum some  
               herber lodging  
               þer where  
               he3ly devoutly  
               here hear  
0756    Ande þy matynez to-morne, mekely I ask,
               Ande and  
               matynez matins  
               to-morne tomorrow morning  
               mekely humbly  
0757    And þerto prestly I pray my pater and aue
               þerto moreover  
               prestly promptly  
               aue ave  
0758    and crede.’
               crede creed  
0759    He rode in his prayere,
               prayere prayer  
0760    And cryed for his mysdede,
               mysdede sin  
0761    He sayned hym in syþes sere,
               sayned blessed with sign of cross  
               hym himself  
               syþes times  
               sere several  
0762    And sayde ‘Cros Kryst me spede!’
               spede bless  

          33
0763    NADE he sayned hymself, segge, bot þrye,
               NADE had not  
               sayned blessed with sign of cross  
               segge man  
               þrye thrice  
0764    Er he watz war in þe wod of a won in a mote,
               Er before  
               watz war...of perceived  
               wod wood  
               won dwelling  
               mote moat  
0765    Abof a launde, on a lawe, loken vnder bo3ez
               Abof above  
               launde glade  
               lawe knoll  
               loken shut  
               bo3ez boughs  
0766    Of mony borelych bole aboute bi þe diches:
               mony many a  
               borelych massive  
               bole tree-trunk  
               diches ditches  
0767    A castel þe comlokest þat euer kny3t a3te,
               comlokest most beutiful  
               a3te owned  
0768    Pyched on a prayere, a park al aboute,
               Pyched erected  
               prayere meadow  
0769    With a pyked palays pyned ful þik,
               pyked with spikes  
               palays palisade  
               pyned enclosed  
               þik densely  
0770    Þat vmbete3e mony tre mo þen two myle.
               vmbete3e surrounded  
               mony many a  
               mo more  
               þen than  
               myle miles  
0771    Þat holde on þat on syde þe haþel auysed,
               holde castle  
               on one  
               syde side  
               haþel knight  
               auysed beheld  
0772    As hit schemered and schon þur3 þe schyre okez;
               schemered shimmered  
               schon shone  
               þur3 through  
               schyre bright  
               okez oaks  
0773    Þenne hatz he hendly of his helme, and he3ly he þonkez
               hatz takes  
               hendly courteously  
               of off  
               helme helmet  
               he3ly devoutly  
               þonkez thanks  
0774    Jesus and sayn Gilyan, þat gentyle ar boþe,
               sayn Gilyan St. Julian l’Hospitalier  
               gentyle kindly  
               ar are  
0775    Þat cortaysly had hym kydde, and his cry herkened.
               cortaysly courtesy  
               kydde shown  
               herkened listened to  
0776    ‘Now bone hostel,’ coþe þe burne, ‘I beseche yow 3ette!’
               bone good  
               hostel lodging  
               coþe quoth  
               burne knight  
               3ette grant  
0777    Þenne gerdez he to Gryngolet with þe gilt helez,
               gerdez strikes (spurs)  
               to into  
               gilt gilded  
               helez (spurred) heels  
0778    And he ful chauncely hatz chosen to þe chef gate,
               chauncely by chance  
               hatz has  
               chosen made his way  
               chef main  
               gate road  
0779    Þat bro3t bremly þe burne to þe bryge ende
               bro3t brought  
               bremly quickly  
               burne knight  
               bryge (of the) drawbridge  
               ende end  
0780    in haste.
               in with  
               haste speed  
0781    Þe bryge watz breme vpbrayde,
               bryge drawbridge  
               watz was  
               breme stoutly  
               vpbrayde pulled up  
0782    Þe 3atez wer stoken faste,
               3atez gates  
               stoken shut  
0783    Þe wallez were wel arayed,
               wallez walls  
               arayed constructed  
0784    Hit dut no wyndez blaste.
               dut feared  
               wyndez wind’s  

          34
0785    Þe burne bode on blonk, þat on bonk houed
               burne knight  
               bode waited  
               blonk horse  
               þat which  
               bonk bank  
               houed halted  
0786    Of þe depe double dich þat drof to þe place;
               depe deep  
               dich ditch  
               drof to enclosed  
0787    Þe walle wod in þe water wonderly depe,
               wod stood  
               wonderly marvellously  
               depe deep  
0788    Ande eft a ful huge he3t hit haled vpon lofte
               Ande and  
               eft then  
               huge great  
               he3t height  
               haled rose  
               vpon lofte aloft  
0789    Of harde hewen ston vp to þe tablez,
               hewen shaped  
               tablez cornices  
0790    Enbaned vnder þe abataylment in þe best lawe;
               Enbaned provided with horizontal coursings  
               abataylment battlement  
               lawe style  
0791    And syþen garytez ful gaye gered bitwene,
               syþen then  
               garytez turrets  
               gaye fair  
               gered fashioned  
               bitwene at intervals  
0792    Wyth mony luflych loupe þat louked ful clene:
               mony many a  
               luflych pleasing  
               loupe window  
               louked shut  
               clene neatly  
0793    A better barbican þat burne blusched vpon neuer.
               barbican outer fortification  
               burne knight  
               blusched looked  
0794    And innermore he behelde þat halle ful hy3e,
               innermore further in  
               hy3e high  
0795    Towres telded bytwene, trochet ful þik,
               Towres towers  
               telded set up  
               bytwene at intervals  
               trochet provided with pinnacles  
               þik densely  
0796    Fayre fylyolez þat fy3ed, and ferlyly long,
               fylyolez pinnacles  
               fy3ed fitted  
               ferlyly wondrously  
0797    With coruon coprounes craftyly sle3e.
               coruon carved  
               coprounes ornamental tops  
               craftyly ingeniously  
               sle3e made  
0798    Chalkwhyt chymnees þer ches he inno3e
               Chalkwhyt white as chalk  
               chymnees chimneys  
               ches perceived  
               inno3e in plenty  
0799    Vpon bastel rouez, þat blenked ful quyte;
               bastel (of) towers  
               rouez roofs  
               blenked gleamed  
               quyte white  
0800    So mony pynakle payntet watz poudred ayquere,
               mony many a  
               pynakle pinnacle  
               payntet painted  
               watz was  
               poudred scattered  
               ayquere everywhere  
0801    Among þe castel carnelez clambred so þik,
               carnelez embrasures in battlements  
               clambred clustered  
               þik densely  
0802    Þat pared out of papure purely hit semed.
               pared cut  
               papure paper  
               purely entirely  
               semed seemed  
0803    Þe fre freke on þe fole hit fayr innoghe þo3t,
               fre noble  
               freke knight  
               fole horse  
               fayr good  
               innoghe enough  
               þo3t thought  
0804    If he my3t keuer to com þe cloyster wythinne,
               keuer manage  
               cloyster enclosure  
0805    To herber in þat hostel whyl halyday lested,
               herber lodge  
               hostel dwelling  
               halyday festival  
               lested lasted  
0806    auinant.
               auinant pleasant  
0807    He calde, and sone þer com
               calde called out  
               sone at once  
0808    A porter pure plesaunt,
               pure faultlessly  
               plesaunt civil  
0809    On þe wal his ernd he nome,
               ernd message  
               nome took  
0810    And haylsed þe kny3t erraunt.
               haylsed greeted  
               erraunt errant  

          35
0811    ‘Gode sir,’ quoþ Gawan, ‘woldez þou go myn ernde
               woldez would  
               myn my  
               ernde (as) messenger  
0812    To þe he3 lorde of þis hous, herber to craue?’
               he3 high  
               herber lodging  
               craue beg for  
0813    ‘3e, Peter,’ quoþ þe porter, ‘and purely I trowee
               3e yes  
               Peter St. Peter  
               purely certainly  
               trowee believe  
0814    Þat 3e be, wy3e, welcum to won quyle yow lykez.’
               3e you  
               be are  
               won remain  
               quyle as long as  
               lykez it pleases  
0815    Þen 3ede þe wy3e 3erne and com a3ayn swyþe,
               3ede went  
               wy3e man  
               3erne eagerly  
               com came  
               a3ayn back  
               swyþe quickly  
0816    And folke frely hym wyth, to fonge þe kny3t.
               folke people  
               frely readily  
               fonge welcome  
0817    Þay let doun þe grete dra3t and derely out 3eden,
               Þay they  
               doun down  
               dra3t drawbridge  
               derely courteously  
               3eden went  
0818    And kneled doun on her knes vpon þe colde erþe
               kneled kneeled  
               her their  
               knes knees  
0819    To welcum þis ilk wy3 as worþy hom þo3t;
               ilk same  
               wy3 knight  
               worþy fitting  
               hom them  
               þo3t it seemed to  
0820    Þay 3olden hym þe brode 3ate, 3arked vp wyde,
               Þay they  
               3olden allowed (to pass)  
               brode broad  
               3ate gate  
               3arked set  
               wyde wide  
0821    And he hem raysed rekenly, and rod ouer þe brygge.
               hem them  
               raysed bade rise  
               rekenly courteosuly  
               rod rode  
               brygge drawbridge  
0822    Sere seggez hym sesed by sadel, quel he ly3t,
               Sere several  
               seggez men  
               sesed took  
               quel while  
               ly3t dismounted  
0823    And syþen stabeled his stede stif men inno3e.
               syþen then  
               stabeled put in a stable  
               stede steed  
               stif bold  
               inno3e many  
0824    Kny3tez and swyerez comen doun þenne
               swyerez esquires  
               comen came  
               þenne then  
0825    For to bryng þis buurne wyth blys into halle;
               buurne knight  
               blys joy  
0826    Quen he hef vp his helme, þer hi3ed innoghe
               Quen when  
               hef lifted  
               helme helmet  
               hi3ed hastened  
               innoghe many  
0827    For to hent hit at his honde, þe hende to seruen;
               hent take  
               at from  
               honde hand  
               hende courteous one  
               seruen wait on  
0828    His bronde and his blasoun boþe þay token.
               bronde sword  
               blasoun shield  
               þay they  
               token took  
0829    Þen haylsed he ful hendly þo haþelez vchone,
               haylsed greeted  
               hendly courteously  
               þo those  
               haþelez knights  
               vchone every one  
0830    And mony proud mon þer presed þat prynce to honour.
               mony many a  
               mon man  
               presed hastened  
0831    Alle hasped in his he3 wede to halle þay hym wonnen,
               hasped clasped  
               he3 noble  
               wede armour  
               þay they  
               wonnen brought  
0832    Þer fayre fyre vpon flet fersly brenned.
               Þer where  
               vpon in  
               flet hall  
               fersly fiercely  
               brenned burned  
0833    Þenne þe lorde of þe lede loutez fro his chambre
               lede company  
               loutez goes  
               fro from  
               chambre chamber  
0834    For to mete wyth menske þe mon on þe flor;
               mete meet  
               menske courtesy  
               mon man  
0835    He sayde, ‘3e ar welcum to welde as yow lykez
               3e you  
               welde use  
               lykez it pleases  
0836    Þat here is; al is yowre awen, to haue at yowre wylle
               Þat what  
               awen own  
               haue possess  
               at yowre wylle to your pleasure  
0837    and welde.’
               welde control  
0838    ‘Graunt mercy,’ quoþ Gawayn,
               Graunt mercy many thanks  
0839    ‘Þer Kryst hit yow for3elde.’
               for3elde may reward  
0840    As frekez þat semed fayn
               frekez men  
               fayn glad  
0841    Ayþer oþer in armez con felde.
               Ayþer oþer each other  
               con did  
               felde embrace  

          36
0842    Gawayn gly3t on þe gome þat godly hym gret,
               gly3t looked  
               on at  
               gome man  
               godly courteously  
               gret greeted  
0843    And þu3t hit a bolde burne þat þe bur3 a3te,
               þu3t thought  
               burne man  
               bur3 castle  
               a3te owned  
0844    A hoge haþel for þe nonez, and of hyghe eldee;
               hoge huge  
               haþel knight  
               for þe nonez indeed  
               of hyghe eldee in the prime of life  
0845    Brode, bry3t, watz his berde, and al beuer-hwed,
               Brode broad  
               watz was  
               berde beard  
               beuer-hwed beaver-coloured (=reddish brown)  
0846    Sturne, stif on þe stryþþe on stalworth schonkez,
               Sturne stern  
               stif firm  
               stryþþe stance  
               stalworth stalwort  
               schonkez legs  
0847    Felle face as þe fyre, and fre of hys speche;
               Felle fierce  
               fre courtly  
0848    And wel hym semed, for soþe, as þe segge þu3t,
               semed it would have suited  
               for soþe indeed  
               segge knight  
               þu3t thought  
0849    To lede a lortschyp in lee of leudez ful gode.
               lede hold  
               lortschyp lordship  
               lee castle  
               of over  
               leudez knights  
               gode good  
0850    Þe lorde hym charred to a chambre, and chefly cumaundez
               charred took  
               chefly quickly  
               cumaundez commands  
0851    To delyuer hym a leude, hym lo3ly to serue;
               delyuer assign  
               leude man  
               lo3ly with deference  
               serue wait on  
0852    And þere were boun at his bode burnez inno3e,
               boun ready  
               bode command  
               burnez men  
               inno3e many  
0853    Þat bro3t hym to a bry3t boure, þer beddyng watz noble,
               bro3t brought  
               boure bedroom  
               þer where  
               beddyng bedclothes  
               watz was  
0854    Of cortynes of clene sylk wyth cler golde hemmez,
               cortynes bed-curtains  
               clene pure  
               cler bright  
               hemmez borders  
0855    And couertorez ful curious with comlych panez
               couertorez coverlet  
               curious of elaborate design  
               comlych beautiful  
               panez facings  
0856    Of bry3t blaunner aboue, enbrawded bisydez,
               bry3t pure white  
               blaunner fur (ermine?)  
               aboue upon it  
               enbrawded embroidered  
               bisydez at the sides  
0857    Rudelez rennande on ropez, red golde ryngez,
               Rudelez curtains  
               rennande sliding  
               ropez cords  
               ryngez rings  
0858    Tapitez ty3t to þe wo3e of tuly and tars,
               Tapitez tapestries  
               ty3t hung  
               to on  
               wo3e wall  
               tuly red silk  
               tars silk of Tharsia  
0859    And vnder fete, on þe flet, of fol3ande sute.
               fete feet  
               flet floor  
               fol3ande similar  
               sute sort  
0860    Þer he watz dispoyled, wyth spechez of myerþe,
               watz was  
               dispoyled stripped  
               spechez words  
               myerþe joy  
0861    Þe burn of his bruny and of his bry3t wedez.
               burn knight  
               bruny mail-shirt  
               wedez clothes  
0862    Ryche robes ful rad renkkez hym bro3ten,
               rad promptly  
               renkkez men  
               bro3ten brought  
0863    For to charge, and to chaunge, and chose of þe best.
               charge put on  
               chaunge change  
0864    Sone as he on hent, and happed þerinne,
               Sone as soon  
               on one  
               hent received  
               happed wrapped  
               þerinne in it  
0865    Þat sete on hym semly wyth saylande skyrtez,
               sete fitted  
               semly seemly  
               saylande flowing  
               skyrtez skirts  
0866    Þe ver by his uisage verayly hit semed
               ver spring-time  
               uisage appearance  
               verayly truly  
               semed seemed  
0867    Welne3 to vche haþel, alle on hwes
               Welne3 almost  
               vche every  
               haþel knight  
               hwes hues  
0868    Lowande and lufly alle his lymmez vnder,
               Lowande brilliant  
               lufly beautiful  
               lymmez limbs  
               vnder underneath  
0869    Þat a comloker kny3t neuer Kryst made
               comloker fairer  
0870    hem þo3t.
               hem them  
               þo3t it seemed to  
0871    Wheþen in worlde he were,
               Wheþen from wherever  
0872    Hit semed as he mo3t
               mo3t could  
0873    Be prynce withouten pere
               withouten without  
               pere peer  
0874    In felde þer felle men fo3t.
               felde field  
               þer where  
               felle bold  
               fo3t fought  

          37
0875    A cheyer byfore þe chemné, þer charcole brenned,
               cheyer chair  
               chemné fireplace  
               þer where  
               charcole charcoal  
               brenned burned  
0876    Watz grayþed for Sir Gawan grayþely with cloþez,
               Watz was  
               grayþed prepared  
               grayþely pleasantly  
               cloþez coverings  
0877    Whyssynes vpon queldepoyntes þat koynt wer boþe;
               Whyssynes cushions  
               queldepoyntes quilted coverings  
               koynt skilfully made  
0878    And þenne a meré mantyle watz on þat mon cast
               meré fair  
               mantyle mantle  
               watz was  
               mon man  
0879    Of a broun bleeaunt, enbrauded ful ryche
               bleeaunt rich fabric  
               enbrauded embroidered  
               ful very  
               ryche richly  
0880    And fayre furred wythinne with fellez of þe best,
               fayre gracefully  
               furred lined with fur  
               fellez skins  
0881    Alle of ermyn in erde, his hode of þe same;
               in erde in the world  
               hode hood  
0882    And he sete in þat settel semlych ryche,
               sete sat  
               settel seat  
               semlych excellently  
0883    And achaufed hym chefly, and þenne his cher mended.
               achaufed warmed  
               hym himself  
               chefly quickly  
               cher mood  
               mended improved  
0884    Sone watz telded vp a tabil on trestez ful fayre,
               Sone soon  
               watz was  
               telded set  
               tabil table  
               trestez trestles  
0885    Clad wyth a clene cloþe þat cler quyt schewed,
               Clad covered  
               clene clean  
               cloþe table-cloth  
               cler pure  
               quyt white  
               schewed appeared  
0886    Sanap, and salure, and syluerin sponez.
               Sanap over-cloth  
               salure salt-cellar  
               syluerin silver  
               sponez spoons  
0887    Þe wy3e wesche at his wylle, and went to his mete.
               wy3e knight  
               wesche washed  
               at his wylle at his good pleasure  
               mete meal  
0888    Seggez hym serued semly inno3e
               Seggez men  
               semly becomingly  
               inno3e exceedingly  
0889    Wyth sere sewes and sete, sesounde of þe best.
               sere various  
               sewes stews  
               sete excellent  
               sesounde seasoned  
0890    Double-felde, as hit fallez, and fele kyn fischez,
               Double-felde with twice the usual amount  
               fallez is fitting  
               fele many  
               kyn kinds of  
0891    Summe baken in bred, summe brad on þe gledez,
               Summe some  
               baken baked  
               bred bread  
               brad grilled  
               gledez red-hot charcoal  
0892    Summe soþen, summe in sewe sauered with spyces,
               Summe some  
               soþen boiled  
               sewe stew  
               sauered flavoured  
0893    And ay sawes so sle3e þat þe segge lyked.
               ay always  
               sawes sauce  
               sle3e skilfully made  
               segge knight  
               lyked pleased  
0894    Þe freke calde hit a fest ful frely and ofte
               freke knight  
               calde called  
               fest feast  
               frely readily  
0895    Ful hendely, quen alle þe haþeles rehayted hym at onez,
               hendely courteously  
               quen when  
               haþeles knights  
               rehayted exhorted  
               at ones together  
0896    ‘As hende,
               As hende courteously  
0897    Þis penaunce now 3e take,
               penaunce penitential fare  
               3e you  
0898    And eft hit schal amende.’
               eft afterwards  
               amende improve  
0899    Þat mon much merþe con make,
               mon man  
               merþe revel  
               con did  
0900    For wyn in his hed þat wende.
               For because of  
               wyn wine  
               in to  
               hed head  
               wende went  

          38
0901    Þenne watz spyed and spured vpon spare wyse
               watz was  
               spyed inquired  
               spured asked  
               vpon in  
               spare sparing  
               wyse manner (=tactfully)  
0902    Bi preué poyntez of þat prynce, put to hymseluen,
               preué discreet  
               poyntez questions  
               hymseluen him  
0903    Þat he beknew cortaysly of þe court þat he were
               Þat so that  
               beknew acknowledged  
               were was  
0904    Þat aþel Arthure þe hende haldez hym one,
               Þat which  
               aþel noble  
               hende courteous  
               haldez rules  
               hym one alone  
0905    Þat is þe ryche ryal kyng of þe Rounde Table,
               ryche noble  
               ryal royal  
0906    And hit watz Wawen hymself þat in þat won syttez,
               watz was  
               Wawen Gawain  
               won dwelling  
               syttez sits  
0907    Comen to þat Krystmasse, as case hym þen lymped.
               Comen come  
               case chance  
               lymped befell  
0908    When þe lorde hade lerned þat he þe leude hade,
               hade had  
               lerned learned  
               leude knight  
               hade had  
0909    Loude la3ed he þerat, so lef hit hym þo3t,
               la3ed laughed  
               þerat at it  
               lef delighful  
               þo3t seemed to  
0910    And alle þe men in þat mote maden much joye
               mote castle  
               maden made  
0911    To apere in his presense prestly þat tyme,
               apere appear  
               prestly promptly  
0912    Þat alle prys and prowes and pured þewes
               Þat...to hys to whose  
               prys excellence  
               prowes prowess  
               pured refined  
               þewes manners  
0913    Apendes to hys persoun, and praysed is euer;
               Apendes belongs  
0914    Byfore alle men vpon molde his mensk is þe most.
               vpon molde on earth  
               mensk honour  
               most greatest  
0915    Vch segge ful softly sayde to his fere:
               Vch each  
               segge man  
               softly in a whisper  
               fere companion  
0916    ‘Now schal we semlych se sle3tez of þewez
               semlych pleasantly  
               se see  
               sle3tez skilled demonstrations  
               þewez manners  
0917    And þe teccheles termes of talkyng noble,
               teccheles irreproachable  
               termes expressions  
               talkyng conversation  
0918    Wich spede is in speche vnspurd may we lerne,
               Wich what  
               spede profit  
               speche conversation  
               vnspurd without asking  
0919    Syn we haf fonged þat fyne fader of nurture.
               Syn since  
               haf have  
               fonged entertained  
               fader father  
               nurture good breeding  
0920    God hatz geuen vus his grace godly for soþe,
               hatz has  
               geuen given  
               vus us  
               grace favour  
               godly graciously  
               for soþe indeed  
0921    Þat such a gest as Gawan grauntez vus to haue,
               gest guest  
               grauntez grants  
               vus us  
0922    When burnez blyþe of his burþe schal sitte
               burnez men  
               blyþe glad  
               burþe birth  
0923    and synge.
               synge sing  
0924    In menyng of manerez mere
               menyng understanding  
               manerez manners  
               mere noble  
0925    Þis burne now schal vus bryng,
               burne knight  
               vus us  
0926    I hope þat may hym here
               hope believe  
               þat anyone who  
               here hear  
0927    Schal lerne of luf-talkyng.’
               luf-talkyng art of lovers’ conversation  

          39
0928    Bi þat þe diner watz done and þe dere vp
               Bi þat by the time that  
               diner dinner  
               watz was  
               done over  
               dere noble  
               vp up from table  
0929    Hit watz ne3 at þe niy3t ne3ed þe tyme.
               watz was  
               ne3 near  
               at to  
               niy3t night  
               ne3ed drawn  
0930    Chaplaynez to þe chapeles chosen þe gate,
               Chaplaynez chaplains  
               chosen took  
               gate way  
0931    Rungen ful rychely, ry3t as þay schulden,
               Rungen rang  
               rychely with festive peal  
               þay they  
               schulden should  
0932    To þe hersum euensong of þe hy3e tyde.
               hersum devout  
               euensong vespers  
               hy3e tyde festival  
0933    Þe lorde loutes þerto, and þe lady als,
               loutes goes  
               þerto to it  
               als also  
0934    Into a cumly closet coyntly ho entrez.
               closet closed pew  
               coyntly gracefully  
               ho she  
0935    Gawan glydez ful gay and gos þeder sone;
               glydez hastens  
               gos goes  
               þeder thither  
               sone at once  
0936    Þe lorde laches hym by þe lappe and ledez hym to sytte,
               laches takes  
               lappe fold  
               ledez leads  
0937    And couþly hym knowez and callez hym his nome,
               couþly familiarly  
               knowez acknowledges  
               nome name  
0938    And sayde he watz þe welcomest wy3e of þe worlde;
               watz was  
               wy3e man  
0939    And he hym þonkked þroly, and ayþer halched oþer,
               þonkked thanked  
               þroly heartily  
               ayþer each  
               halched embraced  
               oþer the other  
0940    And seten soberly samen þe seruise quyle.
               seten sat  
               soberly gravely  
               samen together  
               þe seruise quyle during the service time  
0941    Þenne lyst þe lady to loke on þe kny3t,
               lyst it pleased  
               loke look  
               on at  
0942    Þenne com ho of hir closet with mony cler burdez.
               com came  
               ho she  
               of out of  
               hir her  
               closet closed pew  
               mony many  
               cler fair  
               burdez ladies  
0943    Ho watz þe fayrest in felle, of flesche and of lyre,
               Ho she  
               watz was  
               felle skin  
               lyre cheek  
0944    And of compas and colour and costes, of alle oþer,
               compas proportion  
               colour complexion  
               costes qualities  
               oþer others  
0945    And wener þen Wenore, as þe wy3e þo3t.
               wener more lovely  
               þen than  
               Wenore Guenever  
               wy3e knight  
               þo3t thought  
0946    Ho ches þur3 þe chaunsel to cheryche þat hende.
               Ho she  
               ches made her way  
               þur3 through  
               chaunsel chancel  
               cheryche salute graciously  
               hende courteous one  
0947    An oþer lady hir lad bi þe lyft honde,
               hir her  
               lad led  
               lyft left  
0948    Þat watz alder þen ho, an auncian hit semed,
               watz was  
               alder older  
               þen than  
               ho she  
               auncian aged woman  
0949    And he3ly honowred with haþelez aboute.
               he3ly highly  
               with by  
               haþelez knights  
0950    Bot vnlyke on to loke þo ladyes were,
               vnlyke dissimilar  
               on upon  
               loke look  
               þo those  
0951    For if þe 3onge watz 3ep, 3ol3e watz þat oþer;
               3onge young  
               watz was  
               3ep fresh  
               3ol3e withered  
0952    Riche red on þat on rayled ayquere,
               on one  
               rayled set  
               ayquere everywhere  
0953    Rugh ronkled chekez þat oþer on rolled;
               Rugh rugged  
               ronkled wrinkled  
               chekez cheeks  
               rolled sagged  
0954    Kerchofes of þat on, wyth mony cler perlez,
               Kerchofes kerchiefs  
               on one  
               mony many  
0955    Hir brest and hir bry3t þrote bare displayed,
               brest breast  
               bry3t pure white  
               þrote throat  
0956    Schon schyrer þen snawe þat schedez on hillez;
               Schon shone  
               schyrer brighter  
               þen than  
               snawe snow  
               schedez falls  
0957    Þat oþer wyth a gorger watz gered ouer þe swyre,
               gorger gorget  
               watz was  
               gered attired  
               swyre neck  
0958    Chymbled ouer hir blake chyn with chalkquyte vayles,
               Chymbled wrapped up  
               blake black  
               chyn chin  
               chalkquyte white as chalk  
               vayles veils  
0959    Hir frount folden in sylk, enfoubled ayquere,
               frount forhead  
               folden wimpled  
               enfoubled muffled up  
               ayquere everywhere  
0960    Toreted and treleted with tryflez aboute,
               Toreted with embroidered edge  
               treleted latticed  
               tryflez fine stitching  
0961    Þat no3t watz bare of þat burde bot þe blake bro3es,
               no3t nothing  
               burde lady  
               bot except  
               blake black  
               bro3es eyebrows  
0962    Þe tweyne y3en and þe nase, þe naked lyppez,
               tweyne two  
               y3en eyes  
               nase nose  
               lyppez lips  
0963    And þose were soure to se and sellyly blered;
               soure unpleasant  
               se see  
               sellyly exceedingly  
               blered bleared  
0964    A mensk lady on molde mon may hir calle,
               mensk honoured  
               on molde on earth  
               mon man  
0965    for Gode!
               for before  
               Gode God  
0966    Hir body watz schort and þik,
               watz was  
0967    Hir buttokez bal3 and brode,
               buttokez buttocks  
               bal3 swelling  
0968    More lykkerwys on to lyk
               lykkerwys sweet  
               lyk taste  
0969    Watz þat scho hade on lode.
               Watz was  
               þat that whom  
               scho she  
               hade had  
               on lode with her  

          40
0970    When Gawayn gly3t on þat gay, þat graciously loked,
               gly3t looked  
               on at  
               gay fair lady  
0971    Wyth leue la3t of þe lorde he lent hem a3aynes;
               leue leave  
               la3t taken  
               of from  
               lent went  
               hem them  
               a3aynes towards  
0972    Þe alder he haylses, heldande ful lowe,
               alder elder  
               haylses greets  
               heldande bowing  
0973    Þe loueloker he lappez a lyttel in armez,
               loueloker fairer  
               lappez embraces  
               lyttel little  
0974    He kysses hir comlyly, and kny3tly he melez.
               comlyly fittingly  
               kny3tly courteous  
               melez speaks  
0975    Þay kallen hym of aquoyntaunce, and he hit quyk askez
               Þay they  
               kallen beg  
               of for  
               aquoyntaunce acquaintance  
               quyk quickly  
0976    To be her seruaunt sothly, if hemself lyked.
               her their  
               sothly truly  
               hemself them  
               lyked it pleased  
0977    Þay tan hym bytwene hem, wyth talkyng hym leden
               Þay they  
               tan take  
               hem them  
               talkyng conversation  
               leden lead  
0978    To chambre, to chemné, and chefly þay asken
               chemné fireplace  
               chefly particularly  
               þay they  
0979    Spycez, þat vnsparely men speded hom to bryng,
               Spycez spiced cakes  
               vnsparely unsparingly  
               speded hastened  
               hom themselves  
0980    And þe wynnelych wyne þerwith vche tyme.
               wynnelych pleasant  
               wyne wine  
               þerwith with it  
               vche every  
0981    Þe lorde luflych aloft lepez ful ofte,
               luflych courteously  
               aloft up  
               lepez leaps  
0982    Mynned merthe to be made vpon mony syþez,
               Mynned exhorted  
               merthe revel  
               vpon on  
               mony many  
               syþez occasions  
0983    Hent he3ly of his hode, and on a spere henged,
               Hent took  
               he3ly gaily  
               of off  
               hode hood  
               spere spear  
               henged hung  
0984    And wayned hom to wynne þe worchip þerof,
               wayned urged  
               hom them  
               wynne win  
               worchip honour  
               þerof of it  
0985    Þat most myrþe my3t meue þat Crystenmas whyle –
               myrþe fun  
               meue provide  
               whyle time  
0986    ‘And I schal fonde, bi my fayth, to fylter wyth þe best
               fonde try  
               bi my fayth on my honour  
               fylter contend  
0987    Er me wont þe wede, with help of my frendez.’
               Er before  
               me wont I lose  
               wede garment  
               frendez friends  
0988    Þus wyth la3ande lotez þe lorde hit tayt makez,
               la3ande laughing  
               lotez words  
               tayt merry  
0989    For to glade Sir Gawayn with gomnez in halle
               glade gladden  
               gomnez games  
0990    þat ny3t,
               ny3t night  
0991    Til þat hit watz tyme
               Til þat until  
               watz was  
0992    Þe lord comaundet ly3t;
               comaundet ordered  
               ly3t lights  
0993    Sir Gawen his leue con nyme
               leue leave  
               con did  
               nyme take  
0994    And to his bed hym di3t.
               hym di3t went  

          41
0995    On þe morne, as vch mon mynez þat tyme
               morne morrow  
               vch mon everybody  
               mynez remembers  
0996    Þat Dry3tyn for oure destyné to de3e watz borne,
               Dry3tyn God  
               de3e die  
               watz was  
0997    Wele waxez in vche a won in worlde for his sake;
               Wele joy  
               waxez increases  
               vche a every  
               won dwelling  
0998    So did hit þere on þat day þur3 dayntés mony:
               þur3 through  
               dayntés dainties  
               mony many  
0999    Boþe at mes and at mele messes ful quaynt
               mes breakfast  
               mele mealtime  
               messes dishes of food  
1000    Derf men vpon dece drest of þe best.
               Derf doughty  
               dece dais  
               drest arranged  
1001    Þe olde auncian wyf he3est ho syttez,
               auncian aged  
               wyf woman  
               he3est highest  
               ho she  
               syttez sits  
1002    Þe lorde lufly her by lent, as I trowe;
               lufly courteously  
               by beside  
               lent took his place  
               trowe believe  
1003    Gawan and þe gay burde togeder þay seten,
               gay fair  
               burde lady  
               þay they  
               seten sat  
1004    Euen inmyddez, as þe messe metely come,
               Euen right  
               inmyddez in the middle  
               as where  
               messe food  
               metely fittingly  
               come came  
1005    And syþen þur3 al þe sale as hem best semed.
               syþen then  
               þur3 through  
               sale hall  
               hem them  
               semed it seemed to  
1006    Bi vche grome at his degré grayþely watz serued
               Bi when  
               vche each  
               grome man  
               at according to  
               degré rank  
               grayþely readily  
               watz was  
1007    Þer watz mete, þer watz myrþe, þer watz much ioye,
               watz was  
               mete food  
               myrþe amusement  
               ioye joy  
1008    Þat for to telle þerof hit me tene were,
               þerof of it  
               tene trouble  
               were would be  
1009    And to poynte hit 3et I pyned me parauenture.
               And...3et even if  
               poynte describe in detail  
               pyned troubled  
               me myself  
               parauenture perchance  
1010    Bot 3et I wot þat Wawen and þe wale burde
               wot know  
               Wawen Gawain  
               wale fair  
               burde lady  
1011    Such comfort of her compaynye ca3ten togeder
               comfort pleasure  
               her their  
               ca3ten took  
1012    Þur3 her dere dalyaunce of her derne wordez,
               Þur3 through  
               her their  
               dere pleasant  
               dalyaunce courtly conversation  
               her their  
               derne private  
1013    Wyth clene cortays carp closed fro fylþe,
               carp speech  
               closed free  
               fro from  
               fylþe impurity  
1014    Þat hor play watz passande vche prynce gomen,
               hor their  
               watz passande surpassed  
               vche every  
               prynce princely  
               gomen pleasure  
1015    in vayres.
               in vayres in truth  
1016    Trumpez and nakerys,
               Trumpez trumpets  
               nakerys kettledrums  
1017    Much pypyng þer repayres;
               pypyng music of pipes  
               repayres is present  
1018    Vche mon tented hys,
               vche mon everybody  
               tented attended to  
               hys his own affairs  
1019    And þay two tented þayres.
               þay those  
               tented attended to  
               þayres theirs  

          42
1020    Much dut watz þer dryuen þat day and þat oþer,
               dut joy  
               watz was  
               dryuen made  
               oþer second  
1021    And þe þryd as þro þronge in þerafter;
               þryd third  
               as equally  
               þro packed with delight  
               þronge pressed its way  
               þerafter after it  
1022    Þe ioye of sayn Jonez day watz gentyle to here,
               ioye joy  
               sayn Jonez St. John’s  
               watz was  
               gentyle excellent  
               here hear  
1023    And watz þe last of þe layk, leudez þer þo3ten.
               watz was  
               layk entertainment  
               leudez people  
               þo3ten thought  
1024    Þer wer gestes to go vpon þe gray morne,
               gestes guests  
               morne morrow  
1025    Forþy wonderly þay woke, and þe wyn dronken,
               Forþy therefore  
               wonderly marvellously  
               þay they  
               woke kept awake  
               wyn wine  
               dronken drank  
1026    Daunsed ful dre3ly wyth dere carolez.
               dre3ly unceasingly  
               dere pleasant  
               carolez carols (=dance and song)  
1027    At þe last, when hit watz late, þay lachen her leue,
               At þe last at last  
               watz was  
               lachen take  
               her their  
               leue leave  
1028    Vchon to wende on his way þat watz wy3e stronge.
               Vchon each one  
               wende go  
               þat who  
               wy3e man  
               stronge strange  
1029    Gawan gef hym god day, þe godmon hym lachchez,
               gef wished  
               god day goodbye  
               godmon master of the house  
               lachchez seizes  
1030    Ledes hym to his awen chambre, þe chymné bysyde,
               Ledes lead  
               awen own  
               chymné fireplace  
1031    And þere he dra3ez hym on dry3e, and derely hym þonkkez
               dra3ez...on dry3e holds...back  
               derely courteously  
               þonkkez thanks  
1032    Of þe wynne worschip þat he hym wayued hade,
               wynne delightful  
               worschip honour  
               wayued shown  
               hade had  
1033    As to honour his hous on þat hy3e tyde,
               hy3e tyde festival  
1034    And enbelyse his bur3 with his bele chere:
               enbelyse grace  
               bur3 castle  
               bele chere gracious company  
1035    ‘Iwysse sir, quyl I leue, me worþez þe better
               Iwysse certainly  
               quyl as long as  
               leue live  
               me for me  
               worþez it will be  
1036    Þat Gawayn hatz ben my gest at Goddez awen fest.’
               hatz has  
               ben been  
               gest guest  
               Goddez God’s  
               awen own  
               fest festival  
1037    ‘Grant merci, sir,’ quoþ Gawayn, ‘in god fayth hit is yowrez,
               Grant merci many thanks  
               in god fayth in truth  
               yowrez yours  
1038    Al þe honour is your awen – þe he3e kyng yow 3elde!
               awen own  
               he3e high  
               3elde repay  
1039    And I am wy3e at your wylle to worch youre hest,
               wy3e man  
               at your wylle at your good pleasure  
               worch do  
               hest bidding  
1040    As I am halden þerto, in hy3e and in lo3e,
               halden bound  
               þerto to that  
               hy3e great  
               lo3e small  
1041    bi ri3t.’
               ri3t duty  
1042    Þe lorde fast can hym payne
               fast earnestly  
               can did  
               hym himself  
               payne endeavour  
1043    To holde lenger þe kny3t;
               holde restrain  
               lenger longer  
1044    To hym answarez Gawayn
               answarez answers  
1045    Bi non way þat he my3t.
               Bi non way by no means  
               my3t could  

          43
1046    Then frayned þe freke ful fayre at himseluen
               frayned inquired  
               freke knight  
               fayre courteously  
               at of  
               himseluen him  
1047    Quat derue dede had hym dryuen at þat dere tyme
               Quat what  
               derue grievous  
               dede deed  
               dere festal  
1048    So kenly fro þe kyngez kourt to kayre al his one,
               kenly daringly  
               fro from  
               kyngez king’s  
               kayre ride  
               al his one alone  
1049    Er þe halidayez holly were halet out of toun.
               Er before  
               halidayez festivals  
               holly wholly  
               halet passed  
               out of toun away  
1050    ‘For soþe, sir,’ quoþ þe segge, ‘3e sayn bot þe trawþe,
               For soþe indeed  
               segge knight  
               3e you  
               sayn say  
               trawþe truth  
1051    A he3e ernde and a hasty me hade fro þo wonez,
               he3e important  
               ernde mission  
               hasty pressing one  
               hade took  
               fro from  
               þo those  
               wonez dwellings  
1052    For I am sumned myselfe to sech to a place,
               sumned summoned  
               sech go  
1053    I ne wot in worlde whederwarde to wende hit to fynde.
               ne not  
               wot know  
               whederwarde whither  
               wende go  
1054    I nolde bot if I hit negh my3t on Nw 3eres morne
               nolde bot if would not have it happen that...not  
               negh reach  
               Nw 3eres New Year’s  
               morne morning  
1055    For alle þe londe inwyth Logres, so me oure lorde help!
               inwyth within  
               Logres England  
1056    Forþy, sir, þis enquest I require yow here,
               Forþy therefore  
               enquest inquiry  
               require ask  
1057    Þat 3e me telle with trawþe if euer 3e tale herde
               3e you  
               trawþe truth  
               tale account  
               herde heard  
1058    Of þe grene chapel, quere hit on grounde stondez,
               quere where  
               grounde earth  
               stondez stands  
1059    And of þe kny3t þat hit kepes, of colour of grene.
               kepes keeps  
1060    Þer watz stabled bi statut a steuen vus bytwene
               watz was  
               stabled agreed upon  
               statut formal agreement  
               steuen appointment  
               vus us  
1061    To mete þat mon at þat mere, 3if I my3t last;
               mete meet  
               mon man  
               mere appointed place  
               3if if  
               last live  
1062    And of þat ilk Nw 3ere bot neked now wontez,
               ilk same  
               Nw 3ere New Year  
               bot only  
               of...neked...wontez it wants little until  
1063    And I wolde loke on þat lede, if God me let wolde,
               loke look  
               lede knight  
               let allow  
1064    Gladloker, bi Goddez sun, þen any god welde!
               Gladloker more gladly  
               sun son  
               þen than  
               god property  
               welde possess  
1065    Forþi, iwysse, bi 3owre wylle, wende me bihoues,
               Forþi threfore  
               iwysse indeed  
               wylle leave  
               wende to go  
               bihoues it behoves  
1066    Naf I now to busy bot bare þre dayez,
               Naf have not  
               busy bestir myself  
               bot only  
               bare barely  
               þre three  
1067    And me als fayn to falle feye as fayly of myyn ernde.’
               als as  
               fayn desirous  
               feye doomed  
               fayly fail  
               of in  
               myyn my  
               ernde mission  
1068    Þenne la3ande quoþ þe lorde, ‘Now leng þe byhoues,
               la3ande laughing  
               leng to stay  
               þe thee  
               byhoues it behoves  
1069    For I schal teche yow to þat terme bi þe tymez ende,
               teche direct  
               terme appointed place  
               tymez period’s  
1070    Þe grene chapayle vpon grounde greue yow no more;
               grounde earth  
               greue let trouble  
1071    Bot 3e schal be in yowre bed, burne, at þyn ese,
               3e you  
               burne knight  
               ese ease  
1072    Quyle forth dayez, and ferk on þe fyrst of þe 3ere,
               Quyle until  
               forth dayez well on in the day  
               ferk ride  
               fyrst first day  
               3ere year  
1073    And cum to þat merk at mydmorn, to make quat yow likez
               cum come  
               merk appointed place  
               mydmorn midmorning (=9 a.m.)  
               quat what  
               likez pleases  
1074    in spenne.
               in spenne there  
1075    Dowellez whyle New 3eres daye,
               Dowellez stay  
               whyle until  
               New 3eres New Year’s  
1076    And rys, and raykez þenne,
               rys rise  
               raykez depart  
1077    Mon schal yow sette in waye,
               Mon one  
               sette in waye put on the right road  
1078    Hit is not two myle henne.’
               myle miles  
               henne hence  

          44
1079    Þenne watz Gawan ful glad, and gomenly he la3ed:
               gomenly merrily  
               la3ed laughed  
1080    ‘Now I þonk yow þryuandely þur3 alle oþer þynge,
               þonk thank  
               þryuandely heartily  
               þur3 beyond  
               þynge things  
1081    Now acheued is my chaunce, I schal at your wylle
               acheued accomplished  
               chaunce adventure  
               at your wylle at your good pleasure  
1082    Dowelle, and ellez do quat 3e demen.’
               Dowelle stay  
               ellez in other things  
               quat what  
               3e you  
               demen think fit  
1083    Þenne sesed hym þe syre and set hym bysyde,
               sesed took  
               syre lord  
               set seated  
               hym himself  
               bysyde alongside  
1084    Let þe ladiez be fette to lyke hem þe better.
               Let caused to  
               fette brought  
               lyke please  
               hem them  
1085    Þer watz seme solace by hemself stille;
               watz was  
               seme excellent  
               solace delight  
               hemself themselves  
               stille privately  
1086    Þe lorde let for luf lotez so myry,
               let uttered  
               luf friendliness  
               lotez words  
               myry joyful  
1087    As wy3 þat wolde of his wyte, ne wyst quat he my3t.
               wy3 one  
               wolde was likely  
               of (to go) off  
               wyte mind  
               ne nor  
               wyst knew  
               quat what  
               my3t was doing  
1088    Þenne he carped to þe kny3t, criande loude,
               carped said  
               criande shouting  
1089    ‘3e han demed to do þe dede þat I bidde;
               3e you  
               han have  
               demed determined  
               bidde request  
1090    Wyl 3e halde þis hes here at þys onez?’
               3e you  
               halde keep  
               hes promise  
               at þys onez at this very moment  
1091    ‘3e, sir, for soþe,’ sayd þe segge trwe,
               3e yes  
               for soþe indeed  
               segge knight  
               trwe trusty  
1092    ‘Whyl I byde in yowre bor3e, be bayn to 3owre hest.’
               Whyl while  
               byde stay  
               bor3e castle  
               bayn obedient  
               3owre your  
               hest bidding  
1093    ‘For 3e haf trauayled,’ quoþ þe tulk, ‘towen fro ferre,
               For because  
               3e you  
               haf have  
               trauayled travelled toilsomely  
               tulk knight  
               towen journeyed  
               fro from  
               ferre afar  
1094    And syþen waked me wyth, 3e arn not wel waryst
               syþen since  
               waked revelled at night  
               3e you  
               arn are  
               wel fully  
               waryst recovered  
1095    Nauþer of sostnaunce ne of slepe, soþly I knowe;
               Nauþer neither  
               sostnaunce food  
               ne nor  
               soþly truly  
1096    3e schal lenge in your lofte, and ly3e in your ese
               3e you  
               lenge stay  
               lofte upper room  
               ly3e lie  
               in at  
               ese ease  
1097    To-morn quyle þe messequyle, and to mete wende
               To-morn tomorrow morning  
               quyle until  
               messequyle time for Mass  
               mete meal  
               wende go  
1098    When 3e wyl, wyth my wyf, þat wyth yow schal sitte
               3e you  
               wyf wife  
1099    And comfort yow with compayny, til I to cort torne;
               comfort amuse  
               cort court  
               torne return  
1100    3e lende,
               3e you  
               lende stay  
1101    And I schal erly ryse,
               erly early  
1102    On huntyng wyl I wende.’
               wende go  
1103    Gauayn grantez alle þyse,
               grantez grants  
1104    Hym heldande, as þe hende.
               Hym himself  
               heldande bowing  
               as þe hende courteously  

          45
1105    ‘3et firre,’ quoþ þe freke, ‘a forwarde we make:
               3et firre moreover  
               freke knight  
               forwarde agreement  
               we make let us make  
1106    Quat-so-euer I wynne in þe wod hit worþez to yourez,
               Quat-so-euer whatever  
               wynne win  
               wod wood  
               worþez to shall become  
               yourez yours  
1107    And quat chek so 3e acheue chaunge me þerforne.
               quat...so whatever  
               chek fortune  
               3e you  
               acheue gain  
               chaunge exchange  
               þerforne for it  
1108    Swete, swap we so, sware with trawþe,
               Swete good sir  
               swap we let us swap  
               sware answer  
               with trawþe honestly  
1109    Queþer, leude, so lymp, lere oþer better.’
               Queþer...so whichever  
               leude sir  
               lymp may fall to our lot  
               lere worthless  
               oþer or  
1110    ‘Bi God,’ quoþ Gawayn þe gode, ‘I grant þertylle,
               grant consent  
               þertylle to it  
1111    And þat yow lyst for to layke, lef hit me þynkes.’
               lyst it pleases  
               layke play  
               lef delighful  
               þynkes seems to  
1112    ‘Who bryngez vus þis beuerage, þis bargayn is maked’:
               Who whoever  
               vus us  
               þis the (customary)  
               beuerage drink  
               bargayn agreement  
               maked made  
1113    So sayde þe lorde of þat lede; þay la3ed vchone,
               lede company  
               þay they  
               la3ed laughed  
               vchone each one  
1114    Þay dronken and daylyeden and dalten vnty3tel,
               Þay they  
               dronken drank  
               daylyeden played at love  
               dalten vnty3tel revelled  
1115    Þise lordez and ladyez, quyle þat hem lyked;
               quyle þat as long as  
               hem them  
               lyked it pleased  
1116    And syþen with Frenkysch fare and fele fayre lotez
               syþen then  
               Frenkysch fare French courtly manners  
               fele many  
               lotez words  
1117    Þay stoden and stemed and stylly speken,
               Þay they  
               stoden stood  
               stemed hesitated  
               stylly softly  
               speken spoke  
1118    Kysten ful comlyly and ka3ten her leue.
               Kysten kissed  
               comlyly graciously  
               ka3ten took  
               her their  
               leue leave  
1119    With mony leude ful ly3t and lemande torches
               mony many a  
               leude man  
               ly3t brisk  
               lemande shining  
1120    Vche burne to his bed watz bro3t at þe laste,
               Vche each  
               burne knight  
               watz was  
               bro3t brought  
               at þe laste at last  
1121    ful softe.
               softe in comfort  
1122    To bed 3et er þay 3ede,
               er before  
               3ede went  
1123    Recorded couenauntez ofte;
               Recorded recalled  
               couenauntez terms of compact  
1124    Þe olde lorde of þat leude
               leude company  
1125    Cowþe wel halde layk alofte.
               Cowþe could  
               halde aloft maintain  
               layk play  
  
                           III

          46
1126    Ful erly bifore þe day þe folk vprysen,
               vprysen rose up  
1127    Gestes þat go wolde hor gromez þay calden,
               Gestes guests  
               wolde wished to  
               hor their  
               gromez servants  
               calden called  
1128    And þay busken vp bilyue blonkkez to sadel,
               busken vp hasten  
               bilyue quickly  
               blonkkez horses  
1129    Tyffen her takles, trussen her males,
               Tyffen prepare  
               her their  
               takles gear  
               trussen pack  
               her their  
               males bags  
1130    Richen hem þe rychest, to ryde alle arayde,
               Richen prepare  
               hem themselves  
               rychest those of highest rank  
               arayde dressed  
1131    Lepen vp ly3tly, lachen her brydeles,
               Lepen leap  
               ly3tly swiftly  
               lachen take  
               her their  
               brydeles bridles  
1132    Vche wy3e on his way þer hym wel lyked.
               Vche each  
               wy3e man  
               þer where  
               lyked it pleased  
1133    Þe leue lorde of þe londe watz not þe last
               leue dear  
1134    Arayed for þe rydyng, with renkkez ful mony;
               Arayed dressed  
               renkkez men  
1135    Ete a sop hastyly, when he hade herde masse,
               Ete ate  
               sop light meal  
               hade had  
               herde heard  
1136    With bugle to bent-felde he buskez bylyue.
               bent-felde hunting field  
               buskez makes haste  
               bylyue quickly  
1137    By þat any dayly3t lemed vpon erþe
               Bi þat by the time that  
               lemed shone  
               erþe earth  
1138    He with his haþeles on hy3e horsses weren.
               haþeles knights  
1139    Þenne þise cacheres þat couþe cowpled hor houndez,
               cacheres huntsmen  
               couþe knew their craft  
               cowpled leashed in pairs  
               hor their  
1140    Vnclosed þe kenel dore and calde hem þeroute,
               kenel kennel  
               dore door  
               calde called  
               hem them  
               þeroute out  
1141    Blwe bygly in buglez þre bare mote;
               Blwe blew  
               bygly mightily  
               bare single  
               mote notes  
1142    Braches bayed þerfore and breme noyse maked;
               Braches hounds  
               bayed barked  
               þerfore for that reason  
               breme fierce  
               maked made  
1143    And þay chastysed and charred on chasyng þat went,
               chastysed rebuked  
               charred turned back  
               chasyng chasing (false scents)  
               þat those which  
1144    A hundreth of hunteres, as I haf herde telle,
               hundreth hundred  
               haf have  
               herde heard  
1145    of þe best.
1146    To trystors vewters 3od,
               trystors hunting stations  
               vewters keepers of greyhounds  
               3od went  
1147    Couples huntes of kest;
               Couples leashes  
               huntes huntsmen  
               of kest cast off  
1148    Þer ros for blastez gode
               ros rose  
               blastez blasts  
1149    Gret rurd in þat forest.
               rurd noise  

          47
1150    At þe fyrst quethe of þe quest quaked þe wylde;
               quethe utterance  
               quest baying of hounds on the scent  
               quaked trembled  
               wylde wild creatures  
1151    Der drof in þe dale, doted for drede,
               Der deer  
               drof rushed  
               doted dazed  
               drede fear  
1152    Hi3ed to þe hy3e, bot heterly þay were
               Hi3ed hastened  
               hy3e high ground  
               heterly fiercely  
1153    Restayed with þe stablye, þat stoutly ascryed.
               Restayed turned back  
               with by  
               stablye ring of beaters  
               stoutly vigorously  
               ascryed shouted  
1154    Þay let þe herttez haf þe gate, with þe hy3e hedes,
               herttez harts  
               haf þe gate pass  
               hedes heads  
1155    Þe breme bukkez also with hor brode paumez;
               breme stout  
               bukkez bucks  
               hor their  
               brode broad  
               paumez flat antlers  
1156    For þe fre lorde hade defende in fermysoun tyme
               fre noble  
               hade had  
               defende forbidden  
               fermysoun close-season  
1157    Þat þer schulde no mon meue to þe male dere.
               no mon nobody  
               meue to start  
               dere deer  
1158    Þe hindez were halden in with hay! and war!
               hindez hinds  
               halden in restrained  
               hay hey  
               war ware (=hunting cry)  
1159    Þe does dryuen with gret dyn to þe depe sladez;
               dryuen driven  
               dyn noise  
               sladez valleys  
1160    Þer my3t mon se, as þay slypte, slentyng of arwes –
               my3t could  
               mon one  
               se see  
               slypte were loosed  
               slentyng slanting flight  
               arwes arrows  
1161    At vche wende vnder wande wapped a flone –
               vche every  
               wende turn  
               vnder wande in the wood  
               wapped rushed  
               flone arrow  
1162    Þat bigly bote on þe broun with ful brode hedez.
               bigly mightily  
               bote on pierced  
               broun brown hide  
               hedez heads  
1163    What! þay brayen, and bleden, bi bonkkez þay de3en,
               brayen bray  
               bleden bleed  
               bi bonkkes on the slopes  
               þay they  
               de3en die  
1164    And ay rachches in a res radly hem fol3es,
               ay always  
               rachches hounds  
               res rush  
               radly swiftly  
               hem them  
               fol3es pursue  
1165    Hunterez wyth hy3e horne hasted hem after
               hy3e loud  
               hasted hastened  
               hem them  
1166    Wyth such a crakkande kry as klyffes haden brusten.
               crakkande ringing  
               kry shouting  
               as as if  
               klyffes rocks  
               haden had  
               brusten broken  
1167    What wylde so atwaped wy3es þat schotten
               What...so whatever  
               wylde wild beast  
               atwaped escaped  
               wy3es men  
               þat who  
               schotten were shooting  
1168    Watz al toraced and rent at þe resayt,
               toraced pulled down  
               rent slaughtered  
               resayt receiving stations  
1169    Bi þay were tened at þe hy3e and taysed to þe wattrez;
               Bi by the time that  
               þay they  
               tened harassed  
               hy3e high ground  
               taysed driven  
               wattrez streams  
1170    Þe ledez were so lerned at þe lo3e trysteres,
               ledez men  
               lerned skilled  
               lo3e low  
               trysteres hunting stations  
1171    And þe grehoundez so grete, þat geten hem bylyue
               grehoundez greyhounds  
               grete huge  
               geten (they) seized  
               hem them  
               bylyue quickly  
1172    And hem tofylched, as fast as frekez my3t loke,
               hem them  
               tofylched tore down  
               frekez men  
               my3t could  
               loke look  
1173    þer-ry3t.
               þer-ry3t right there  
1174    Þe lorde for blys abloy
               for with  
               blys joy  
               abloy carried away  
1175    Ful oft con launce and ly3t,
               con did  
               launce gallop  
               ly3t dismount  
1176    And drof þat day wyth joy
               drof passed  
1177    Thus to þe derk ny3t.
               to until  
               derk dark  
               ny3t night  

          48
1178    Þus laykez þis lorde by lynde-wodez euez,
               laykez amuses himself  
               lynde-wodez woods’  
               euez borders  
1179    And Gawayn þe god mon in gay bed lygez,
               mon man  
               gay bright  
               lygez lies  
1180    Lurkkez quyl þe dayly3t lemed on þe wowes,
               Lurkkez lies snug  
               quyl until  
               lemed shone  
               wowes walls  
1181    Vnder couertour ful clere, cortyned aboute;
               couertour coverlet  
               clere bright  
               cortyned curtained  
1182    And as in slomeryng he slode, sle3ly he herde
               slomeryng slumber  
               slode drifted  
               sle3ly (made) warily  
               herde heard  
1183    A littel dyn at his dor, and dernly vpon;
               dyn noise  
               dor door  
               dernly stealthily  
               vpon open  
1184    And he heuez vp his hed out of þe cloþes,
               heuez lifts  
               hed head  
1185    A corner of þe cortyn he ca3t vp a lyttel,
               cortyn bed-curtain  
               ca3t vp raised  
1186    And waytez warly þiderwarde quat hit be my3t.
               waytez looks  
               warly warily  
               þiderwarde in that direction  
               quat what  
1187    Hit watz þe ladi, loflyest to beholde,
               loflyest fairest  
1188    Þat dro3 þe dor after hir ful dernly and stylle,
               dro3 closed  
               hir her  
               dernly stealthily  
               stylle secretly  
1189    And bo3ed towarde þe bed; and þe burne schamed,
               bo3ed turned  
               burne knight  
               schamed was embarassed  
1190    And layde hym doun lystyly, and let as he slepte;
               hym himself  
               lystyly craftily  
               let behaved  
               as as if  
1191    And ho stepped stilly and stel to his bedde,
               ho she  
               stilly softly  
               stel stole  
1192    Kest vp þe cortyn and creped withinne,
               Kest lifted  
               cortyn bed-curtain  
               creped crept  
1193    And set hir ful softly on þe bed-syde,
               set seated  
               hir herself  
1194    And lenged þere selly longe to loke quen he wakened.
               lenged stayed  
               selly exceedingly  
               loke look  
               quen when  
               wakened would wake up  
1195    Þe lede lay lurked a ful longe quyle,
               lede knight  
               lurked lurking  
               quyle time  
1196    Compast in his concience to quat þat cace my3t
               Compast ponderered  
               concience mind  
               quat what  
               cace occurrence  
               my3t could  
1197    Meue oþer amount – to meruayle hym þo3t,
               to...Meue result in  
               oþer or  
               to...amount signify  
               to meruayle marvellous  
               þo3t it seemed to  
1198    Bot 3et he sayde in hymself, ‘More semly hit were
               in within  
               semly fitting  
               were would be  
1199    To aspye wyth my spelle in space quat ho wolde.’
               aspye discover  
               spelle speech  
               in space straightaway  
               quat what  
               ho she  
               wolde wished  
1200    Þen he wakenede, and wroth, and to hir warde torned,
               wakenede woke up  
               wroth stretched himself  
               to hir warde towards her  
               torned turned  
1201    And vnlouked his y3e-lyddez, and let as hym wondered,
               vnlouked opened  
               y3e-lyddez eyelids  
               let behaved  
               as as if  
               wondered it surprised  
1202    And sayned hym, as bi his sa3e þe sauer to worthe,
               sayned blessed with sign of cross  
               hym himself  
               as as if  
               sa3e words  
               sauer safer  
               worthe become  
1203    with hande.
1204    Wyth chynne and cheke ful swete,
               chynne chin  
               cheke cheek  
               swete sweet  
1205    Boþe quit and red in blande,
               quit white  
               in blande mingled together  
1206    Ful lufly con ho lete
               lufly amiably  
               con did  
               ho she  
               lete behave  
1207    Wyth lyppez smal la3ande.
               la3ande laughing  

          49
1208    ‘God moroun, Sir Gawayn,’ sayde þat gay lady,
               moroun morning  
               gay fair  
1209    ‘3e ar a sleper vnsly3e, þat mon may slyde hider;
               3e you  
               ar are  
               vnsly3e unwary  
               þat seeing that  
               mon one  
               slyde steal  
               hider hither  
1210    Now ar 3e tan as-tyt! Bot true vus may schape,
               ar are  
               3e you  
               tan taken  
               as-tyt at once  
               Bot unless  
               true truce  
               vus us  
               schape be arranged  
1211    I schal bynde yow in your bedde, þat be 3e trayst’:
               bynde bind  
               þat be 3e trayst be sure of that  
1212    Al la3ande þe lady lanced þo bourdez.
               la3ande laughing  
               lanced uttered  
               þo those  
               bourdez jests  
1213    ‘Goud moroun, gay,’ quoþ Gawayn þe blyþe,
               moroun morning  
               gay fair lady  
               blyþe glad  
1214    ‘Me schal worþe at your wille, and þat me wel lykez,
               schal it shall  
               worþe happen  
               at your wille at your good pleasure  
               lykez pleases  
1215    For I 3elde me 3ederly, and 3e3e after grace,
               3elde surrender  
               me myself  
               3ederly promptly  
               3e3e cry  
               after for  
               grace mercy  
1216    And þat is þe best, be my dome, for me byhouez nede’:
               be in  
               dome judgement  
               byhouez it behoves  
               nede of necessity  
1217    And þus he bourded a3ayn with mony a blyþe la3ter.
               bourded jested  
               a3ayn in return  
               mony many  
               blyþe merry  
               la3ter laugh  
1218    ‘Bot wolde 3e, lady louely, þen leue me grante,
               wolde 3e if you would  
               leue leave  
1219    And deprece your prysoun, and pray hym to ryse,
               deprece release  
               prysoun prisoner  
               pray beg  
1220    I wolde bo3e of þis bed, and busk me better;
               bo3e of leave  
               busk dress  
               me myself  
1221    I schulde keuer þe more comfort to karp yow wyth.’
               keuer obtain  
               karp speak  
1222    ‘Nay for soþe, beau sir,’ sayd þat swete,
               for soþe indeed  
               swete fair lady  
1223    ‘3e schal not rise of your bedde, I rych yow better,
               3e you  
               of from  
               rych direct  
1224    I schal happe yow here þat oþer half als,
               happe wrap  
               half side  
               als as well  
1225    And syþen karp wyth my kny3t þat I ka3t haue;
               syþen then  
               karp speak  
               ka3t caught  
1226    For I wene wel, iwysse, Sir Wowen 3e are,
               wene know  
               iwysse indeed  
               Wowen Gawain  
               3e you  
1227    Þat alle þe worlde worchipez quere-so 3e ride;
               worchipez honours  
               quere-so wherever  
               3e you  
1228    Your honour, your hendelayk is hendely praysed
               hendelayk courtliness  
               hendely courteously  
1229    With lordez, wyth ladyes, with alle þat lyf bere.
               With by  
               bere have  
1230    And now 3e ar here, iwysse, and we bot oure one;
               3e you  
               iwysse indeed  
               bot oure one alone by ourselves  
1231    My lorde and his ledez ar on lenþe faren,
               ledez knights  
               ar are  
               on lenþe far away  
               faren gone  
1232    Oþer burnez in her bedde, and my burdez als,
               burnez men  
               her their  
               burdez ladies  
               als as well  
1233    Þe dor drawen and dit with a derf haspe;
               dor door  
               drawen drawn  
               dit locked  
               derf stout  
               haspe door-pin  
1234    And syþen I haue in þis hous hym þat al lykez,
               syþen since  
               lykez pleases  
1235    I schal ware my whyle wel, quyl hit lastez,
               ware employ  
               whyle time  
               quyl while  
1236    with tale.
               tale speech  
1237    3e ar welcum to my cors,
               3e you  
               cors body (=me)  
1238    Yowre awen won to wale,
               awen own  
               won course (of action)  
               wale take  
1239    Me behouez of fyne force
               behouez it behoves  
               fyne sheer  
               force necessity  
1240    Your seruaunt be, and schale.’
               be to be  
               schale I shall be  

          50
1241    ‘In god fayth,’ quoþ Gawayn, ‘gayn hit me þynkkez,
               In god fayth in truth  
               gayn a good thing  
               þynkkez seems to  
1242    Þa3 I be not now he þat 3e of speken;
               Þa3 though  
               3e you  
               speken speak  
1243    To reche to such reuerence as 3e reherce here
               reche attain  
               reuerence honour  
               3e you  
               reherce mention  
1244    I am wy3e vnworþy, I wot wel myseluen.
               wy3e man  
               wot know  
               myseluen myself  
1245    Bi God, I were glad, and yow god þo3t,
               were should be  
               and if  
               þo3t it seemed to  
1246    At sa3e oþer at seruyce þat I sette my3t
               sa3e word  
               oþer or  
               seruyce deed  
               sette do  
1247    To þe plesaunce of your prys – hit were a pure ioye.’
               plesaunce pleasure  
               your prys you  
               were would be  
1248    ‘In god fayth, Sir Gawayn,’ quoþ þe gay lady,
               In god fayth in truth  
               gay fair  
1249    ‘Þe prys and þe prowes þat plesez al oþer,
               prys excellence  
               prowes prowess  
               plesez pleases  
               oþer others  
1250    If I hit lakked oþer set at ly3t, hit were littel daynté;
               lakked found fault with  
               oþer or  
               set at li3t esteemed lightly  
               were would be  
               daynté courtesy  
1251    Bot hit ar ladyes inno3e þat leuer wer nowþe
               hit it (=there)  
               ar are  
               inno3e many  
               þat to whom  
               leuer more delightful  
               wer would be  
               nowþe now  
1252    Haf þe, hende, in hor holde, as I þe habbe here,
               Haf to have  
               þe thee  
               hende courteous one  
               hor their  
               holde possession  
               þe thee  
               habbe have  
1253    To daly with derely your daynté wordez,
               daly play at love  
               derely pleasantly  
               daynté delightful  
1254    Keuer hem comfort and colen her carez,
               Keuer obtain  
               hem themselves  
               comfort pleasure  
               colen assuage  
               her their  
               carez sorrows  
1255    Þen much of þe garysoun oþer golde þat þay hauen.
               Þen than  
               garysoun treasure  
               oþer or  
               hauen have  
1256    Bot I louue þat ilk lorde þat þe lyfte haldez,
               louue praise  
               ilk same  
               lyfte heavens  
               haldez rules  
1257    I haf hit holly in my honde þat al desyres,
               haf have  
               holly wholly  
               þat that which  
               desyres desire  
1258    þur3e grace.’
               þur3e through  
               grace gracious gift  
1259    Scho made hym so gret chere,
               Scho she  
               made...so gret chere behaved so graciously  
1260    Þat watz so fayr of face,
               Þat who  
1261    Þe kny3t with speches skere
               speches words  
               skere pure  
1262    Answared to vche a cace.