Þe kny3t wel þat tyde
Mony klyf he ouerclambe in contrayez straunge,
Fer floten fro his frendez fremedly he rydez.
At vche warþe oþer water þer þe wy3e passed
He fonde a foo hym byfore, bot ferly hit were,
And þat so foule and so felle þat fe3t hym byhode.
So mony meruayl bi mount þer þe mon fyndez,
Hit were to tore for to telle of þe tenþe dole.
Sumwhyle wyth wormez he werrez, and with wolues als,
Sumwhyle wyth wodwos, þat woned in þe knarrez,
Boþe wyth bullez and berez, and borez oþerquyle,
And etaynez, þat hym anelede of þe he3e felle;
Nade he ben du3ty and dry3e, and Dry3tyn had serued,
Douteles he hade ben ded and dreped ful ofte.
For werre wrathed hym not so much þat wynter nas wors,
When þe colde cler water fro þe cloudez schadde,
And fres er hit falle my3t to þe fale erþe;
Ner slayn wyth þe slete he sleped in his yrnes
Mo ny3tez þen innoghe in naked rokkez,
Þer as claterande fro þe crest þe colde borne rennez,
And henged he3e ouer his hede in hard iisse-ikkles.
Þus in peryl and payne and plytes ful harde
Bi contray cayrez þis kny3t, tyl Krystmasse euen,
To Mary made his mone,
Þat ho hym red to ryde
And wysse hym to sum wone.
He rode in his prayere,
Bi a mounte on þe morne meryly he rydes
Into a forest ful dep, þat ferly watz wylde,
Hi3e hillez on vche a halue, and holtwodez vnder
Of hore okez ful hoge a hundreth togeder;
Þe hasel and þe ha3þorne were harled al samen,
With ro3e raged mosse rayled aywhere,
With mony bryddez vnblyþe vpon bare twyges,
Þat pitosly þer piped for pyne of þe colde.
Þe gome vpon Gryngolet glydez hem vnder,
Þur3 mony misy and myre, mon al hym one,
Carande for his costes, lest he ne keuer schulde
To se þe seruyse of þat syre, þat on þat self nyt
Of a burde watz borne oure baret to quelle;
And þerfore sykyng he sayde, "I beseche þe, lorde,
And Mary, þat is myldest moder so dere,
Of sum herber þer he3ly I my3t here masse,
Ande þy matynez to-morne, mekely I ask,
And þerto prestly I pray my pater and aue
And cryed for his mysdede,
He sayned hym in syþes sere,
And sayde "Cros Kryst me spede!"
Þe bryge watz breme vpbrayde,
Nade he sayned hymself, segge, bot þrye,
Er he watz war in þe wod of a won in a mote,
Abof a launde, on a lawe, loken vnder boez
Of mony borelych bole aboute bi þe diches:
A castel þe comlokest þat euer kny3t a3te,
Pyched on a prayere, a park al aboute,
With a pyked palays pyned ful þik,
Þat vmbete3e mony tre mo þen two myle.
Þat holde on þat on syde þe haþel auysed,
As hit schemered and schon þur3 þe schyre okez;
Þenne hatz he hendly of his helme, and he3ly he þonkez
Jesus and sayn Gilyan, þat gentyle ar boþe,
Þat cortaysly had hym kydde, and his cry herkened.
"Now bone hostel," coþe þe burne, "I beseche yow ette!"
Þenne gerdez he to Gryngolet with þe gilt helez,
And he ful chauncely hatz chosen to þe chef gate,
Þat bro3t bremly þe burne to þe bryge ende
Þe 3atez wer stoken faste,
Þe wallez were wel arayed,
Hit dut no wyndez blaste.
mauler's (non-verse) translation:
Gawain at that time,
He climbed over many a cliff in countries unknown,
Having wandered far from his friends, riding as a stranger.
At every shallows and streambed the man crossed,
It was a wonder if he did not find a foe before him,
And one so foul and so fell that fighting was the only option.
So many wonders did that man find in those hills,
It would be too tiresome to tell a tenth part thereof.
Sometimes with dragons he battled, and with wolves as well,
Sometimes with wildmen that dwelled in the crags,
Both with wild bulls and bears, and boars other times,
And ogres of the highlands that chased him about.
Had he not been valiant and unshakable and trusted in God,
Doubtless he would have been killed many times over.
For battle bothered him less than the chill of winter,
When the clouds shed cold rain
That froze before if could fall to the pallid earth.
Nearly slain by the sleet, he slept in his armor,
More than enough nights among the barren rocks,
Where the cold stream ran clattering from the crest
And hung high over his head in hard icicles,
Thus in peril and pain and awful plights
The knight rides across the country until Christmas Eve,
Earnestly prayed to Mary,
That she show him where to ride,
And guide him to some lodging.
He prayed as he rode,
In the morning he merrily rides over a hill
Into a forest quite deep, and wondrously wild
With high hills on each side and woods below
Full of huge hoary oaks a hundred at a time;
Hazel and hawthorn were entangled together
With rough ragged moss hanging everywhere
And many wretched birds upon bare branches
Piteously twittered, tormented by the cold.
Gawain upon Gringolet gallops beneath them
Through the muck and the mire, one man, all alone.
Worried about his religious duty, lest he cannot find a way
To attend a service for the Lord, that on that selfsame night,
Was born of a virgin, our suffering to end,
And therefore, sighing, he said, "I beseech you O Lord,
And Mary that is mildest of mothers and so noble,
For some haven where in devotion I might hear mass,
And your matins tomorrow, humbly I beg.
To this end I hereby say my pater and ave
And bewailing his sins,
He crossed himself many times,
Saying, "May the Cross of Christ speed me."
The bridge was securely raised,
The knight had barely crossed himself three times
Before he caught sight through the trees of a building with a moat
In a glade on a mound, overhung by boughs
Of the many burly tree trunks surrounding the moat.
The comeliest castle ever owned by a knight,
It was set in a meadow with a lawn all around,
And guarded by sturdy spiked palisade
That encircled numerous trees and ran more than two miles.
The knight surveyed that side to the stronghold,
As it shimmered and shone through the fair oak trees.
The he properly took off his helmet and piously thanked
Jesus and Saint Julian, who are gentle ones both
And had treated him kindly by listening to his prayer,
"Now good lodging," he said, "I pray yet that this is."
Then he urged Gringolet onward with his gilded spurs,
And by chance had chosen the chief approach
That brought him directly to the edge of the drawbridge.
The gates were bolted fast,
The walls were well made,
And feared no wind’s blast.
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