Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Gawain 1208 - 1261 - Gawain uses all his game to cock-block himself.

"Good morning, Sir Gawain," said that gay lady,
"You are an unsubtle sleeper, that one can slip in.
Now are you taken in a trice! If no truce we shape,
I shall bind you in your bed, that you may trust":
With laughter the lady laced  her jests.
"Good morning, gay," said Gawain the blithe,
"I shall work at your will, and that me well likes,
For I surrender, certainly, and seek your grace;
And that is best, I suspect, what necessity needs."
And thus he rebounded with many blithe laughter.
"But would you, lovely lady, then leave me grant,
And release your prisoner, and pray him to rise,
I would break from this bed and beclothe myself better;
then I should keep more comfort to speak you with."
"Nay, for certain, fair sir," said that sweet,
"You shall not rise from your bed, I reckon you better:
I shall tuck you in here, that other half too,
And then speak with my knight that I caught have.
For I clearly cogitate, Sir Gawain you are,
That all the world worships where-so you ride;
Your honour, your humor is highly praised
With lords, with ladies, with all that life bear.
And now we are here, and we are on our own;
My lord and his lads are in the far woods,
All the brothers in bed, and my broads are too,
The door drawn and fastened with a fat hasp.
And since I have in this house him that all like,
I shall spend my time well, while it lasts,
          with tale.
Sir you are welcome in my eyes,
Of your own will use all,
Duty's law then declares I
Your servant be, and shall.

"In good faith," said Gawain, "great I would think
"That I could be he that of you do speak;
To receive such reverence as you rehearse here
I am well unworthy, my wits well declare.
By God, I'd be glad if you thought it good
Your succor or service I might assist, or
Be a pleasure to you, princess - would be a pure joy."
"In good faith, Sir Gawain," said the gay lady,
"The prize and the prowess that pleases all other,
If I laughed at or sold lightly, I'd be slightly vile.
But here are ladies enough that I think would like more
To have you held in their hand, as I have here,
To dally with dearly your dainty words,
Claim their comfort and cool their cares,
Than gems or gleaming gold they now possess.
But I thank that high Lord that all life holds,
I have it wholly in my hand what all desire,
          by His grace."
So made she with great cheer,
That was so fair of face;
The knight with speech clear
Answered to each case.

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