Thursday, 17 November 2016

Gawain 785 - 810, The castle, apparently, is pretty great.

The kings sister-son on the mares son remained
By the deep double-ditch that defended the place;
It's side slashed into the moat-stream, superbly deep,
And a full-huge height it haled overloft,
Of hard hewn stone up to the parapets,
Enboldened under the battlements, by builders law;
And several garrets full gay geared between,
With many lovely loopholes that locked full-clean:
A keener keep that knight had never come upon.
And even now, he beheld that hall full high,
Towers like a tridents tines rising full strong,
Fair fastnesses fitting neatly, fearsomly long,
With carved tower-crowns craftily set.
Chalk-white chimneys there he espyed
Upon gabled roofs, that gleamed full-white;
So many painted pinnacles were pitched everywhere,
Among the castle cornices clustered so thick,
That pared out of paper purely it seemed.
The foal's fine fellow it fair enough thought,
If he might contrive to come the cloister within,
To harbor in that hostel while Christs day kept
          it's warrant.
He called, and soon there came
A porter pure pleasant,
From the wall asked his name,
And hailed the knight errant.


  1. I wish I had a pleasant pure porter right now

  2. "With carved tower-crowns craftily set." This line evokes some very strange cityscapes.

    1. The original reads:

      "With coroun coprounes craftyly sleze."

      Which my copy translates as:

      ""with carved tops ingeniously and skillfully made."

      I couldn;t find an exact meaning for "coroun coprounes", I think they might be specific parts of a castle.

    2. I don't know what 'coroun coprounes' either but I like the idea of carved tops, partially because 'carved' for me means both 'created by patient deduction of space from a solid bigger piece' and 'intricately and variably made' with latter having also an association with statues/idols and rivers. Reading this part I imagined Sir Gawain travelling through something alike to strange cities of Yann (from Dunsany). Thank you, it was a powerful moment. I wish I could draw it the way I saw it.