Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Fyrst he watz funden fautlez in his fyue wyttez,
And efte fayled neuer þe freke in his fyue fyngres,
And alle his afyaunce vpon folde watz in þe fyue woundez
Þat Cryst ka3t on þe croys, as þe crede tellez;
And quere-so-euer þys mon in melly watz stad,
His þro þo3t watz in þat, þur3 alle oþer þyngez,
Þat alle his forsnes he feng at þe fyue joyez
Þat þe hende heuen-quene had of hir chylde;
At þis cause þe kny3t comlyche hade
In þe inore half of his schelde hir ymage depaynted,
Þat quen he blusched þerto his belde neuer payred.
Þe fyft fyue þat I finde þat þe frek vsed
Watz fraunchyse and fela3schyp forbe al þyng,
His clannes and his cortaysye croked were neuer,
And pité, þat passez alle poyntez, þyse pure fyue
Were harder happed on þat haþel þen on any oþer.
Now alle þese fyue syþez, for soþe, were fetled on þis knyt,
And vchone halched in oþer, þat non ende hade,
And fyched vpon fyue poyntez, þat fayld neuer,
Ne samned neuer in no syde, ne sundred nouþer,
Withouten ende at any noke I oquere fynde,
Whereeuer þe gomen bygan, or glod to an ende.
Þerfore on his schene schelde schapen watz þe knot
Ryally wyth red golde vpon rede gowlez,
Þat is þe pure pentaungel wyth þe peple called

with lore.
Now grayþed is Gawan gay,
And la3t his launce ry3t þore,
And gef hem alle goud day,
He wende for euermore.

He sperred þe sted with þe spurez and sprong on his way,
So stif þat þe ston-fyr stroke out þerafter.
Al þat se3 þat semly syked in hert,
And sayde soþly al same segges til oþer,
Carande for þat comly: "Bi Kryst, hit is scaþe
Þat þou, leude, schal be lost, þat art of lyf noble!
To fynde hys fere vpon folde, in fayth, is not eþe.
Warloker to haf wro3t had more wyt bene,
And haf dy3t 3onder dere a duk to haue worþed;
A lowande leder of ledez in londe hym wel semez,
And so had better haf ben þen britned to no3t,
Hadet wyth an aluisch mon, for angardez pryde.
Who knew euer any kyng such counsel to take
As kny3tez in cauelaciounz on Crystmasse gomnez!"
Wel much watz þe warme water þat waltered of yen,
When þat semly syre so3t fro þo wonez

þad daye.
He made non abode,
Bot wy3tly went hys way;
Mony wylsum way he rode,
Þe bok as I herde say.

Now ridez þis renk þur3 þe ryalme of Logres,
Sir Gauan, on Godez halue, þa3 hym no gomen þot.
Oft leudlez alone he lengez on nytez
Þer he fonde no3t hym byfore þe fare þat he lyked.
Hade he no fere bot his fole bi frythez and dounez,
Ne no gome bot God bi gate wyth to karp,
Til þat he ne3ed ful neghe into þe Norþe Walez.
Alle þe iles of Anglesay on lyft half he haldez,
And farez ouer þe fordez by þe forlondez,
Ouer at þe Holy Hede, til he hade eft bonk
In þe wyldrenesse of Wyrale; wonde þer bot lyte
Þat auþer God oþer gome wyth goud hert louied.
And ay he frayned, as he ferde, at frekez þat he met,
If þay hade herde any karp of a kny3t grene,
In any grounde þeraboute, of þe grene chapel;
And al nykked hym wyth nay, þat neuer in her lyue
Þay se3e neuer no segge þat watz of suche hwez

of grene.
Þe kny3t tok gates straunge
In mony a bonk vnbene,
His cher ful oft con chaunge
Þat chapel er he my3t sene.

mauler's (non-verse) translation:

First he was found faultless in his five senses,
And next he was never failed by his five fingers,
And all his faith on earth was in the five wounds
That Christ received on the cross, as the Creed teaches;
And wheresoever this man found himself in battle,
His unwavering conviction was that, above all other things,
His fortitude flowed from the five joys
That the courtly Queen of Heaven received from her child.
For this reason the knight had beautifully painted
Her image on the inner half of his shield,
That when he looked upon it, his courage never faltered.
The fifth five that I find that fellow used
Was Generosity and Brotherly Love first,
Next his Purity and Courtesy were never besmirched,
And last his Compassion, first among virtues. These pure five
Were more ingrained in that knight than in any other.
Now these five multiples were truly found in this knight,
And each one attached to another, so that they never ended,
And were fixed upon five points, that never failed,
Nor overlapped at any point, nor sundered either,
Without ending anywhere I could find,
No matter where I began or stopped looking at that design.
Therefore this figure was emblazoned on his shining shield,
In royal colors of red gold and crimson,
The pentangle, called pure by people

of learning
Now gaily arrayed is Gawain
And lifting his lance in that hall
He bade them all good day
For evermore (he thought).

He spurred his steed and sprang away
So fiercely that sparks flew up from the stones.
All who watched that fine knight go felt sad at heart,
And all rightly said the same words to each other,
Grieving for that handsome one, "By Christ, it is such a shame,
That that man shall be lost, whose life is so noble!
To find his fellow on earth, in faith, is not easy!
It would have been wiser had we been more cautious,
And made that man a duke,
To be an illustrious leader of men would have suited him,
And better that than to be sliced to ribbons,
Beheaded by an eldritch man, all for foolish pride.
Whoever heard of a king taking the advice
Of an argumentative knight during a Christmas game!"
Great were the warm tears that welled in their eyes,
When that wonderful knight left those halls

that day
He tarried not a moment
But swifly went on his way
Many a bewildering path he rode
As the book I heard said.

So the knight rides through the realm of Logres,
Sir Gawain, on God's behalf, though he did not think it much sport.
He passes many nights friendless and alone,
Never finding anywhere the foods that he liked.
He had no companion but his horse in those forests and hills,
And no one to talk to on the way but God,
Until went very far into northern Wales.
All the isles of Anglesey he keeps on his left side,
And crosses over the fords at the headlands,
There at Holyhead, until he came ashore once more
In the wilderness of Wirral. Few lived there,
Whom only God or good-hearted men could love,
And always he asked as he went, of men that he met,
If they had heard any talk of a green knight,
Or of a green chapel in any place thereabouts,
And all answered him no, that never in their lives
Had they ever seen a man of such a color

of green.
The knight took strange paths
Through many a dreary land
His moods changed many times
Before he found the chapel.

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