When Gawayn gly3t on þat gay, þat graciously loked,
Wyth leue la3t of þe lorde he lent hem a3aynes;
Þe alder he haylses, heldande ful lowe,
Þe loueloker he lappez a lyttel in armez,
He kysses hir comlyly, and kny3tly he melez.
Þay kallen hym of aquoyntaunce, and he hit quyk askez
To be her seruaunt sothly, if hemself lyked.
Þay tan hym bytwene hem, wyth talkyng hym leden
To chambre, to chemné, and chefly þay asken
Spycez, þat vnsparely men speded hom to bryng,
And þe wynnelych wyne þerwith vche tyme.
Þe lorde luflych aloft lepez ful ofte,
Mynned merthe to be made vpon mony syþez,
Hent he3ly of his hode, and on a spere henged,
And wayned hom to wynne þe worchip þerof,
Þat most myrþe my3t meue þat Crystenmas whyle—
“And I schal fonde, bi my fayth, to fylter wyth þe best
Er me wont þe wede, with help of my frendez.”
Þus wyth la3ande lotez þe lorde hit tayt makez,
For to glade Sir Gawayn with gomnez in halle
Til þat hit watz tyme
Þe lord comaundet ly3t;
Sir Gawen his leue con nyme
And to his bed hym di3t.
41 in vayres.
On þe morne, as vch mon mynez þat tyme
Þat Dry3tyn for oure destyné to de3e watz borne,
Wele waxez in vche a won in worlde for his sake;
So did hit þere on þat day þur3 dayntés mony:
Boþe at mes and at mele messes ful quaynt
Derf men vpon dece drest of þe best.
Þe olde auncian wyf he3est ho syttez,
Þe lorde lufly her by lent, as I trowe;
Gawan and þe gay burde togeder þay seten,
Euen inmyddez, as þe messe metely come,
And syþen þur3 al þe sale as hem best semed.
Bi vche grome at his degré grayþely watz serued
Þer watz mete, þer watz myrþe, þer watz much ioye,
Þat for to telle þerof hit me tene were,
And to poynte hit 3et I pyned me parauenture.
Bot 3et I wot þat Wawen and þe wale burde
Such comfort of her compaynye ca3ten togeder
Þur3 her dere dalyaunce of her derne wordez,
Wyth clene cortays carp closed fro fylþe,
Þat hor play watz passande vche prynce gomen,
Trumpez and nakerys,
Much pypyng þer repayres;
Vche mon tented hys,
And þay two tented þayres.
42 bi ri3t.”
Much dut watz þer dryuen þat day and þat oþer,
And þe þryd as þro þronge in þerafter;
Þe ioye of sayn Jonez day watz gentyle to here,
And watz þe last of þe layk, leudez þer þo3ten.
Þer wer gestes to go vpon þe gray morne,
Forþy wonderly þay woke, and þe wyn dronken,
Daunsed ful dre3ly wyth dere carolez.
At þe last, when hit watz late, þay lachen her leue,
Vchon to wende on his way þat watz wy3e stronge.
Gawan gef hym god day, þe godmon hym lachchez,
Ledes hym to his awen chambre, þe chymné bysyde,
And þere he dra3ez hym on dry3e, and derely hym þonkkez
Of þe wynne worschip þat he hym wayued hade,
As to honour his hous on þat hy3e tyde,
And enbelyse his bur3 with his bele chere:
“Iwysse sir, quyl I leue, me worþez þe better
Þat Gawayn hatz ben my gest at Goddez awen fest.”
“Grant merci, sir,” quoþ Gawayn, “in god fayth hit is yowrez,
Al þe honour is your awen—þe he3e kyng yow 3elde!
And I am wy3e at your wylle to worch youre hest,
As I am halden þerto, in hy3e and in lo3e,
Þe lorde fast can hym payne
To holde lenger þe kny3t;
To hym answarez Gawayn
Bi non way þat he my3t.
mauler's (non-verse) translation:
40 in the hall,
Gawain gazed at that beauty that was looking at him shyly,
And taking leave of the lord, he made his way toward them.
He greeted the older one first, bowing deeply;
The lovelier he briefly embraces in his arms,
And kisses her sweetly, with knightly comportment.
They ask his acquaintance, and he immediately begs
To be their loyal servant, if it would please them.
They take him between them, and still talking, lead him
To a room and a fireplace, and immediately ask
For spice cakes and which servants unstintingly rushed to bring them,
As well as wonderful wines, whenever they asked.
The lord delightedly leapt up several times,
Repeatedly demanding that more mirth be made.
He politely removed his hood, and hung it on a spear
And urged them to win the honor of wearing it,
By making the most mirth on that Christmas occasion,
“And I shall try, by my troth, to contend with the best,
Before I forfeit my hood with the help of my friends.”
With these light-hearted words, the lord makes merry,
To amuse Sir Gawain with games that night
Until it grew so late
That the lord ordered torches.
Sir Gawain took his leave,
And prepared himself for bed.
41 for sure.
In the morning, when everyone remembers the time
That God, to die for our salvation, was born,
And joy abounds in every home on earth on his account,
So too it did there, with a fabulous feast,
Both main dishes and desserts masterfully made,
Strong men served on the dais in elaborate arrangements.
The ancient old woman sat in the highest seat of honor,
The lord, by her side, I believe;
Gawain and the beautiful lady sat together,
Right in the center of the table, where they were fittingly served first,
And then the rest of the hall, in the proper manner,
By which each man was duly served according to his rank.
There was food, there was mirth, there was such joy,
That to tell of it all would bore me greatly,
And I have already taken great pains to tell many details.
But I can say that Gawain and his woman of choice,
Took such comfort in each others company,
And in the pleasing repartee of whispered sweet nothings,
Though those were perfectly civil, with no hint of filth,
That their banter surpassed any princely amusement
Trumpets and kettledrums
Much music in the air
Each man followed his bliss,
And those two followed theirs.
42 for your kindness.”
Much joy was had that day and the next,
And a third, as delightful, followed thereafter.
The revelry of St. John’s Day was glorious to hear,
And was the last of the holidays, they knew,
And the guests were to leave early the next morning,
So therefore they stayed up and drank long into the night,
And deliriously danced rounds without resting.
At last, as morning came, they took their leave,
And each went on his way, those worthy guests.
Gawain bade farewell too, but his host grasped his hand,
And led him to his own chamber, beside the fire,
And prevented him from leaving, thanking him deeply,
For the wonderful kindness Gawain had showed him
To honor his house on that holy occasion,
And grace his castle with his charming presence.
“Indeed as long as I live, I shall cherish the day,
That Gawain was my guest on the feast of our Lord.”
“Many thanks,” said Gawain, “But the pleasure was mine,
The honor was mine, may the God above reward you!
And I am your humble servant to use as you please,
As I am beholden to serve you, in matters big and small
The lord took great pains
To convince the knight to stay,
But to him Gawain replied
By no means could he remain.
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