Saturday 10 December 2016

Gawain 1719 - 1768, Sexy and increasingly creepy.

Then was it lovely upon life to listen to the hounds,
When all the mutts had met him, the pack merged.
Such slurs at that sight they set on his head
As if the clustering crags had clattered in heaps.
Here he was hallooed at when hunters he met,
Loud was he saluted with snarling speech;
There was persecuted and often thief called,
Always the terminating chasers at his tail, that tarry he not;
Often he ran out, was attacked, ran back,
And turned on his own trail, intelligent Reynard.
And so by a hairs length lead them, the lord and his many,
In this manner, by the mountains through mid afternoon,
While the healthy knight at home handsomely sleeps
Within the comely curtains, on the cold morn.
But the lady, for love, let not to sleep.
Nor the purpose to pale that pierced in her heart,
But rose up readily, rushed her hither
In a merry mantle whose hems met the earth,
that was furred full fine with fleeces well pared,
No coif on her head but care-hewn stones
Traced about her features by twenty in clusters;
Her tempting face and her teasing throat were naked both,
Her breast bare before, and behind as well.
She comes within the chamber door, and closes it her after,
Raises up a window, and on Gawain calls,
And rapidly thus rallied him with her rich words,
          with cheer.
"A! man, how may you sleep?
This morning is so clear."
He was in drowsing deep,
But then he could her hear.

In deep torpor of dream drawled that noble,
As man that was in mourning, of many stark thoughts,
How that destiny should that day deal him his wyrd
At the green chapel, where he the game ends,
And must his blow abide without debate more.
But when that comely came, he clasped his wits,
Starts out of the swoon and swears with haste.
The lovely lady leaned, laughing sweetly,
Folds over his fair face and finely him kissed;
He welcomes her worthily and with winning cheer.
He sees her so glorious and gayly attired,
So faultless of her features and of so fine hues,
Quick welling joy warmed his heart.
With smooth smiling and silliness they sank into mirth
Then all was bliss and bounty that broke them between,
          and Wynne.
They lanced words right good,
Much joy there was therein;
Great peril between them stood,
If Mary her knight would not win.

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