Saturday, 5 November 2016

Gawain 323 - 365, Arthur takes up the challenge

And said, "Horseman, by heaven your request is half-cracked,
And as you stupidly have sought it, certainly its yours.
My guys are giggling, not grieving, at your great words.
Give me now your guisarme, upon Gods name
And I shall brave the boon that you so-boldly ask."
Lightly leaps to him and locks with his hand,
Then fiercely that fellow alights upon foot.
Now has Arthur his axe, and the haft grips,
And sternly swings it about, as strike with it he might.
The stiff man stood before him, utter and huge,
Higher than any in the house by a head and more.
With stern stare there he stood, he stroked his beard,
And with a countenance dry he drawed down his coat,
No more daunted or dismayed by the daring man
Than as if a bumbling barmaid had botched a drink
of wine.
Gawain, that sat by the queen,
To the king he inclined:
"I beseech, with speech-serene
This melee must be mine."

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