Monday, 19 December 2016

Gawain 2160 - 2211, gryndelstone = ACTIVATED

Then girds he Gryngolet and gets on the path,
Shoves through some shrubbery at the sheer side,
Rides down the rough slope right to the dale.
And then he walks his gaze, and wild it he thought,
And sees no sign of settlement anywhere about,
But high banks and buttresses upon both halves,
And rough rugged knarrs with gnarled stones;
The skies by the scree scraped he thought.
Then he halted and witheld his horse for a while,
And oft changed his cheer the chapel to search.
He sees nothing on either side, and strange it he thought,
Save, a little across the glade, a knoll as it were,
A bitter barrow by a bank the beck beside,
By fall of a flood that flashes there;
The burn bubbled therein as if to boil.
The knight catches his halter and comes to the knoll,
Alights down lightly, and at a linden attaches
The reins and his ride with a rough branch.
Then he goes to the knoll, about it he walks,
Debating with himself what it might be.
It has a hole on the end and on either side,
And overgrown with grass in gobbets and tufts,
And all was hollow within, naught but an old cave,
Or a crevasse of an old crag - he could not it name
          or spell.
"Say! Lord," said the gentle knight,
"Whether this be the green chapel?
Here might about midnight
The Devil his matins tell!

"Good grief," said Gawain, "grim it is here;
An ugly auditorium, with herbs overgrown;
Well beseems it the one wrapped in green
Deal here his devotions in the Devils way.
Now I feel in my five wits it is the fiend,
That has set on me this scheme to strike me here.
This is a chapel of mischance, may chaos it betide!
It is the coarsest church that ever I came in!"
With his helm on his head, his lance in his hand,
He roams up to the roof of the rough house.
Then heard he of that high hill, in a hard rock
Beside the brook, in a bank, a wondrous bold noise.
What! it clatters in the cliff as if it cleave should,
As if one upon a gryndelstone was grinding a scythe.
What! it whirred and whisked as water at a mill;
What! it rushed and rang, raw to the ear.
Then "By God," said Gawain, "that gong as I think,
Is raised at my reverence, to my rank a herald
Let God work! 'Oh no'-
It helps me not a mote.
If my life I must forego
Dread then me no note."

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