With care and with kissing he speaks a little still,
And full-felt thanks he finely bestows,
And they said to him samely of that kind;
That commended him to Christ with full cold sighs.
Then from that many he meetly departs;
To each man from that meeting, made specific thanks
For his service and his solace and his personal role
That they with busyness had been about him to serve;
Was each sire as sore to sever with him there
As if he had lived honourably in that house for ever.
Then by lads with lights he was led to his chamber
And blithely brought to his bed to be at his rest.
If he slept soundly say not dare I
For he had much on the morrow to mind, if he would,
Let him lie there still,
He was near what he sought;
If you will a while be still,
I shall tell you how that worked.
Now nears the New Year and the night passes,
The day drives to the dark, as the Deity bids.
But wild weathers of the world wakened there-out,
Clouds casting keenly the cold to the earth,
With noise enough from the north, the naked to scour;
The snow sintered in sky, snapped at the ground;
The wrathful wind whisked down from the heights,
And drove each dale full of drifts full great.
The lad listened full well, that lies in his bed,
Though he lowers his lids, full little he sleeps;
By each cock that crowed he knew well the time.
Directly he dressed up 'ere the day sprung,
For there was light of a lamp that gleamed in his chamber.
He called to his chamberlain, that called back fast,
And bade him bring him his hauberk and saddle his horse;
That other fellow gets up and fetches his gear,
And arraigned Sir Gawain in splendid guise.
First he clad him in his clothes, the cold for to ware,
And then his other harness, that close by was kept,
Both his plackart and breastplate, polished full clean,
The rings ridded of the rust of his rich mail;
And all was fresh as upon first, as he was fain then
He put on each fine piece,
Wrapped neatly as a tank;
The gayest into Greece,
The man bade bring his shank.