Monday, 31 October 2016

Gawain 1 - 59, The history of Britain and the joyfulness of Arthurs court

I got bored and depressed so I tried translating part of 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'.

I might keep doing it.

(Needless to say, its a very personal translation.)

Since the siege and the assault was ceased at Troy,
The burg broken and burnt to brands and ashes,
The turd that the strands of treason there wove,
Was tried for his treachery, the truest on earth.
It was Aeneas, the earl, and his high kind,
That since deposed provinces, and patrons became
Wielders of all the wealth in the west isles.
For rich Romulus, to Romes riches he speeds,
With great bobbaunce that burgh he builds upon first,
And names with his own name, as it now has;
Ticius to Tuscany goes and there builds,
Langobard to Lombardy, and lifts up homes,
And far over the French flood, Felix Brutus
On many banks full broad, Britian he sets
with wynne,
Where war and wrath and wonder
By shifts hath worked therin,
And oft both bliss and blunder
Full swift have strike'd there since.


And when this Britain was builded by this rich Baron,
Bold breeded therein, a strife-loving kind
That many a troubled time catastrophe worked.
More frights on this field have fallen here oft
Than in any other that I know, since that ill time.
But of all that here built as Britians kings
It was Arthur the highest, as I have heard tell;
For an earth-actual fact I have now to show,
(Not a salley in jest, as some men it hold)
And an outrageous adventure of Arthurs wonders
If you will listen this lay but a little while,
I shall tell it as-it, as I in turn heard,
with tongue
As it is said and spoken,
In story stiff and strange,
And with Light's letters looked-on,
Has long been in this land.


This king lay at Camelot upon Christmas,
With many lovely Lords, leaders of the best,
Reckoners of the Round Table, all those rich brothers,
With wealthy revels-royal, and wrathless mirth
There tournied Dukes by times full-many,
Jousted full-jolly these gentle knights,
Then careered to court, carols to make.
For there the feast was alive full fifteen days,
With all the meat and the mirth that men could devise;
Such gladness and glee, glorious to hear,
There song upon day, dancing by nights,
All happiness upon those in halls and chambers,
With lords and ladies, as liked them best.
With all the will of the world they wined there together,
The most kind knights under Christs kingdom
And the lovliest ladies that ever life had,
And he the comliest king a court could hold.
For all was this fair folk in their first age,
and still,
The happiest under heaven.
King, highest man of will.
It were now hard so to namen
So happy a host on-hill.

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