Thursday 8 December 2016

Gawain, 1623 - 1689, Everyone's feelings are complex and weird.

The lord full loud with life and merry laughter
When he sees Sir Gawain, with solace he speaks.
The good ladies were got out, and gathered the many;
He shows them the slabs and shapes them the tale
Of the largeness and length, the litheness also
And the will of the wild swine in wood where he fled.
That other knight full comely commended his deeds,
And praised it as great prize that he proved had,
For such a brawny beast, the bold brother said,
Nor a swine of such size he had never seen.
Then handled they that huge head, the knight horror claimed,
And let loudly thereat the lord for to hear.
"Now Gawain," said the good man, "this game is your own
By sincere stipulation you certainly know."
"It is so," said the chevalier, "and as is stil true
All my gain I shall give you again, by my Truth."
He took the knight round the neck and tenderly kissed,
And another of the same he served him again.
"Now we are even," said the horseman, "in this eventide,
Of all the covenants we kept since I came here,
          as law laid.
The lord said, "By saint Giles,
A bold deal I've made!
You'll be rich in a while,
If you keep on such trade."

Then they set up the tables on trestles aloft,
Cast cloths upon; clear light then
Wakened on the walls, waxen torches;
Servants set and served up supper for all.
Much glamour and glee growed in the hall
About the fire upon feasters, and in fair ways
At the supper and after, many sweet songs,
As conducts of Christmas and carols new,
With all the mannerly mirth that man may of tell,
And ever our lovely knight the lady beside.
Such semblance to that chevalier seemly she made,
With still stolen glimpses, that stalwart to please,
That all for-wondered was the wanderer, and wroth with himself,
But he could not for his nature turn from her face,
But dealt with her all dainty, how-so-ever the deed would
          be seen.
When they had played in hall
As long as the lord would deem
To chamber he did call
And to the chimney's gleam.

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