Syr Gawayn & þe Grene Kny3t

He dowellez þer al þat day, and dressez on þe morn,
Askez erly hys armez, and alle were þay bro3t.
Fyrst a tulé tapit ty3t ouer þe flet,
And miche watz þe gyld gere þat glent þeralofte;
Þe stif mon steppez þeron, and þe stel hondelez,
Dubbed in a dublet of a dere tars,
And syþen a crafty capados, closed aloft,
Þat wyth a bry3t blaunner was bounden withinne.
Þenne set þay þe sabatounz vpon þe segge fotez,
His legez lapped in stel with luflych greuez,
With polaynez piched þerto, policed ful clene,
Aboute his knez knaged wyth knotez of golde;
Queme quyssewes þen, þat coyntlych closed
His thik þrawen þy3ez, with þwonges to tachched;
And syþen þe brawden bryné of bry3t stel ryngez
Vmbeweued þat wy3 vpon wlonk stuffe,
And wel bornyst brace vpon his boþe armes,
With gode cowters and gay, and glouez of plate,
And alle þe godlych gere þat hym gayn schulde

    þat tyde;

    Wyth ryche cote-armure,
    His gold sporez spend with pryde,
    Gurde wyth a bront ful sure
    With silk sayn vmbe his syde.

When he watz hasped in armes, his harnays watz ryche:
Þe lest lachet ouer loupe lemed of golde.
So harnayst as he watz he herknez his masse,
Offred and honoured at þe he3e auter.
Syþen he comez to þe kyng and to his cort-ferez,
Lachez lufly his leue at lordez and ladyez;
And þay hym kyst and conueyed, bikende hym to Kryst.
Bi þat watz Gryngolet grayth, and gurde with a sadel
Þat glemed ful gayly with mony golde frenges,
Ayquere naylet ful nwe, for þat note ryched;
Þe brydel barred aboute, with bry3t golde bounden;
Þe apparayl of þe payttrure and of þe proude skyrtez,
Þe cropore and þe couertor, acorded wyth þe arsounez;
And al watz rayled on red ryche golde naylez,
Þat al glytered and glent as glem of þe sunne.
Þenne hentes he þe helme, and hastily hit kysses,
Þat watz stapled stifly, and stoffed wythinne.
Hit watz hy3e on his hede, hasped bihynde,
Wyth a ly3tly vrysoun ouer þe auentayle,
Enbrawden and bounden wyth þe best gemmez
On brode sylkyn borde, and bryddez on semez,
As papiayez paynted peruyng bitwene,
Tortors and trulofez entayled so þyk
As mony burde þeraboute had ben seuen wynter

    in toune.

    Þe cercle watz more o prys
    Þat vmbeclypped hys croun,
    Of diamauntez a deuys
    Þat boþe were bry3t and broun.

Then þay schewed hym þe schelde, þat was of schyr goulez
Wyth þe pentangel depaynt of pure golde hwez.
He braydez hit by þe bauderyk, aboute þe hals kestes,
Þat bisemed þe segge semlyly fayre.
And quy þe pentangel apendez to þat prynce noble
I am in tent yow to telle, þof tary hyt me schulde:
Hit is a syngne þat Salamon set sumquyle
In bytoknyng of trawþe, bi tytle þat hit habbe3,
For hit is a figure þat haldez fyue poynte3,
And vche lyne vmbelappez and loukez in oþer,
And ayquere hit is endelez; and Englych hit callen
Oueral, as I here, þe endeles knot.
Forþy hit acordez to þis kny3t and to his cler armez,
For ay faythful in fyue and sere fyue syþez
Gawan watz for gode knawen, and as golde pured,
Voyded of vche vylany, wyth vertuez ennourned

    in mote;

    Forþy þe pentangel nwe
    He ber in schelde and cote,
    As tulk of tale most trwe
    And gentylest kny3t of lote.


< < < Sir Gawain and the Green Knight VIII | Sir Gawain and the Green Knight X > > >

mauler's (non-verse) translation:

25
He dawdled there the whole day and dressed the next morning,
Called early for his arms, and all were brought.
First a crimson carpet was stretched over the floor,
And much was the gilt gear that gleamed thereupon.
The sturdy man stepped forward, and handled the steel,
Dressed as he was in a doublet of costly silk,
And a well made cape, clasped at the top,
That was trimmed within with splendid ermine.
Now they fitted the steel shoes upon the knight's feet,
And laced his legs in steel with lovely greaves,
And thereto attached polains, that were brilliantly polished,
Around his knees fastened with knots of gold;
Fine cuisses next, that cunningly enclosed
His thick muscular thighs with attached thongs;
And then an interlocking byrnie of bright steel rings
Enveloped the man and his beautiful clothes;
And there were well burnished bracers on both of his arms,
With good couteres and fine, and gloves of plate,
And all the goodly gear that should serve him,

That time;
With costly coat-armor
His gold spurs worn with pride
Girt with a trusty sword
And a silk sash around his waist

26
When he was clasped in his armor, his appearance was noble:
The last latch and looplet gleaming like gold.
So harnessed as he was he went to hear mass
Offered and celebrated at the high alter;
Then he came to the king and his court-fellows,
Took graciously his leave of the lords and ladies;
And they kissed him and sent him off, commending him to Christ.
By then Gringolet was groomed, and girt with a saddle
That gaily gleamed with much golden fringe
And everywhere newly embossed for that special occasion.
The bridle was wrapped around with bright golden binding;
The trappings of the breast and the fine skirts,
The crupper and the coverlet, matched the cantle:
All were adorned over red with rich gold studs,
That glittered and glinted like the gleam of the sun.
Now he hefted up his helm, and kissed it quickly;
It was securely fastened, and padded within,
It was high on his head, clasped behind,
With an fine cloth band over the face-plate,
Embroidered and studded with the best of gems
On a broad silken border, with birds around the edges,
Parrots and periwinkles depicted in sequence
Turtle-doves and true-loves intertwined as thickly
As if many seamstresses had sewn for seven winters

In town
The circlet was even more precious,
That encircled his head
Of picture-perfect diamonds
That were both bright and pure.

27
Then they brought him the shield of shining crimson
With a pentangle of pure gold painted on it.
He threads it onto his baldric, and throws it over his neck,
In a way that suited the knight extremely well.
And how the pentangle pertained to that noble prince,
I am intent to tell you, though delay me it may;
It is a sign that Solomon declared long ago
Would betoken troth, and therefore it does,
For it is a figure that has five points
And each line overlaps and links with another
And everywhere it is endless; and the English everywhere
Call it, I hear, the "Endless Knot."
Therefore it suits this knight and his shining arms,
For ever faithful in five ways, and five times each way,
Gawain was known for goodness, and like refined gold,
Was devoid of every vice, and with virtue inured

to the mote.
Therefore the pentangle new
He bore on his shield and coat,
As a man whose word was true,
And the gentlest knight in his speech.


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