Sir Gawayn and Þe Grene Kny3t III

Now wyl I of hor seruise say yow no more,
For vch wy3e may wel wit no wont þat þer were.
An oþer noyse ful newe ne3ed biliue,
Þat þe lude my3t haf leue liflode to cach;
For vneþe wat3 þe noyce not a whyle sesed,
And þe fyrst cource in þe court kyndely serued,
Þer hales in at þe halle dor an aghlich mayster,
On þe most on þe molde on mesure hyghe;
Fro þe swyre to þe swange so sware and so þik,
And his lyndes and his lymes so longe and so grete,
Half etayn in erde I hope þat he were,
Bot mon most I algate mynn hym to bene,
And þat þe myriest in his muckel þat my3t ride;
For of bak and of brest al were his bodi sturne,
Both his wombe and his wast were worthily smale,
And alle his fetures fol3ande, in forme þat he hade,

    ful clene;

    For wonder of his hwe men hade,
    Set in his semblaunt sene;
    He ferde as freke were fade,
    And oueral enker-grene.

Ande al grayþed in grene þis gome and his wedes:
A strayte cote ful stre3t, þat stek on his sides,
A meré mantile abof, mensked withinne
With pelure pured apert, þe pane ful clene
With blyþe blaunner ful bry3t, and his hod boþe,
Þat wat3 la3t fro his lokkez and layde on his schulderes;
Heme wel-haled hose of þat same,
Þat spenet on his sparlyr, and clene spures vnder
Of bry3t golde, vpon silk bordes barred ful ryche,
And scholes vnder schankes þere þe schalk rides;
And alle his vesture uerayly wat3 clene verdure,
Boþe þe barres of his belt and oþer blyþe stones,
Þat were richely rayled in his aray clene
Aboutte hymself and his sadel, vpon silk werke3.
Þat were to tor for to telle of tryfles þe halue
Þat were enbrauded abof, wyth bryddes and fly3es,
With gay gaudi of grene, þe golde ay inmyddes.
Þe pendauntes of his payttrure, þe proude cropure,
His molaynes, and alle þe metail anamayld was þenne,
Þe steropes þat he stod on stayned of þe same,
And his arsounz al after and his aþel skyrtes,
Þat euer glemered and glent al of grene stones;
Þe fole þat he ferkkes on fyn of þat ilke,
    sertayn, A grene hors gret and þikke,
    A stede ful stif to strayne,
    In brawden brydel quik
    To þe gome he watz ful gayn.

Wel gay watz þis gome gered in grene,
And þe here of his hed of his hors swete.
Fayre fannand fax vmbefoldes his schulderes;
A much berd as a busk ouer his brest henges,
Þat wyth his hi3lich here þat of his hed reches
Watz euesed al vmbetorne abof his elbowes,
Þat half his armes þer-vnder were halched in þe wyse
Of a kynge3 capados þat closes his swyre;
Þe mane of þat mayn hors much to hit lyke,
Wel cresped and cemmed, wyth knottes ful mony
Folden in wyth fildore aboute þe fayre grene,
Ay a herle of þe here, an oþer of golde;
Þe tayl and his toppyng twynnen of a sute,
And bounden boþe wyth a bande of a bry3t grene,
Dubbed wyth ful dere stone3, as þe dok lasted,
Syþen þrawen wyth a þwong a þwarle knot alofte,
Þer mony bellez ful bry3t of brende golde rungen.
Such a fole vpon folde, ne freke þat hym rydes,
Watz neuer sene in þat sale wyth sy3t er þat tyme,

    with y3e.

    He loked as layt so ly3t,
    So sayd al þat hym sy3e;
    Hit semed as no mon my3t
    Vnder his dyntte3 dry3e.

On to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight IV

mauler's (non-verse) translation:

Now will I tell you no more of the service,
For anyone would know that nothing was wanting.
Just then a strange and novel noise drew near
So that the lord might yet have leave to eat;
For the music had only just ceased a short while before
And the first course to the court was courteously served,
When there appears at the hall-door an eldritch horseman.
On the whole of the earth, the greatest in stature;
From neck to waste so hardy and so thick,
His legs and limbs so long and so broad
Half ettin in fact I believe that he was
But most among men I make him out to have been
And the handsomest for his height that could still ride a horse;
Though his back and his breast made his body seem mighty
His belly and waist were becomingly trim
And his features well formed, his figure

quite stunning.
But it was his hue men wondered at -
It shone from his comely visage,
He seemed such a warlike fellow,
But was entirely emerald green.

All outfitted in green this man and his gear:
A close fitting coat that clung to his sides
A fine mantle on top, lined within
With finely trimmed fur and resplendent fabrics,
With dazzling ermine, and a hood of the same,
That was lifted from his locks and laid on his shoulders;
Neatly hemmed hose of that same harvest green,
That clung to his calves; and shining spurs below
Of bright gold, upon silken socks stridently striped,
And bare soles under shanks, thus he rode shoeless.
And verily all his vesture was a brilliant verdure.
Both the gems on his belt and the other bright stones,
That were richly arrayed on his raiment resplendent
About his person and his saddle, upon embroidered silk.
It would be too tedious to tell of even half the trifles
That were embroidered all about, birds and butterflies,
Gaily and gaudily in gold over green.
The pectoral pendants, the stately crupper.
The studs and all the metal enameled,
Even the stirrups he stood in were stained the same green,
As was the cantle behind him and his princely skirts,
That ever glimmered and glinted with the green gems
And even his horse that same fine color,

you can be sure.
A green horse great and sturdy,
A headstrong steed to restrain,
Tugs at the braided bridle;
But is mastered by the man.

Quite gaily was this man geared in green,
And the hair on his head and his horse a perfect match.
Fair fanning locks enfold his shoulders
And a great bushy beard hangs over his breast
And like the handsome hair that hangs from his head,
Ended evenly just above his elbows,
Such that the upper half of his arms were hidden in the same way
As a king’s capados clasped at the neck;
The mane of his mighty horse was much the same,
Well curled and combed, with many a braid
Of fine gold filigree among the fair green,
A strand of gold for each strand of hair.
His tail and his top-knot were entwined the same way,
and both bound with a ribbon of bright green,
The length of his tail, adorned with precious stones,
And held aloft by a tightly tied thong,
From which many bright bells of burnished gold jingled.
In all the world, such a steed, nor such a strange rider,
Had ever been seen in such a setting before that time,

by mortal eyes.
He looked as nimble as lightening,
All that saw him said so;
It seemed as if no man might
Endure his mighty blows.

Back to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight II | On to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight IV

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