Monday, 28 November 2016

Gawain 1105 - 1149, Gawain has learnt fuck-all about games.



"Therefore," said the fort-lord, "let us freely set:
What-so-ever I win in the wood is worthily yours,
And whatever you achieve indoors, we exchange.
So, swap we Sir - swear with Truth -
Whether, lord, we lose or like the other better."
"By God," said Gawain the good, "I grant it so;
If you like to gamble so, a grand game it makes."
"When brings in the beverage, this bargain is made,"
So said the lord of that land; they laughed each one,
They drank and danced and dandled around,
These lords and ladies, as long as they liked.
And then with verbal flair and full fair words
They stood, then stalled a little, spoke softly,
Kissed full comely and claimed their leave.
By gathering footmen with gleaming flambeau
Each guest to their bed-rest was gently returned
          full soft.
Before leaving, both called
Recorded their covenant oft;
The old lord of that hall
Could well hold game aloft.


Full early before the day-folk uprose,
Guests that would go, their grooms so called,
And they briskly pack up and saddle the bags,
Untangle the tackle, truss up the mares;
The rich clad in richness, to ride all arrayed,
Leaping up lightly, latching their bridles,
Each one on his way that him well liked.
The large lord of that land was not the last
Arrayed for the riding, with servants full many;
Ate a soup hastily, when he had heard mass
With horn to the hunt-field he hurried with haste.
By time any daylight gleamed upon earth,
He with his honchos on high horses were.
Then these catchers that each claimed their hounds,
Un-closed the kennel door and called them thereout,
Blew biggly in bugles three bare notes.
Brachets bayed therefore and booming noise made,
And the chasers were chastened and cheered as they went,
By a hundred of hunters, as I have heard tell,
          the best.
Huntsman started surveying,
Hounds started to quest,
There rose from their baying,
Great noise in that forest.

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