Thursday, 1 December 2016

Gawain 1263 - 1318, Gawain keeps his shit together.



"Madame," said that merry man, "Mary reward you,
For I have found, in good faith, your Franchise noble;
And some full much from other folk facsimile deeds,
But those dramatic  dividends I have never deserved -
It is from your own greatness that nought but good comes."
"By Mary," said the maiden, "me thinks it quite other;
For were I worth all the weight of women alive,
And all the wealth of the world were in my hand,
And I should bargain and barter to buy me a lord,
For the things that I have seen within you, knight, here,
Of beauty and demeanour and blithe semblance,
And what I have heard of and hold it here true,
There should no man on earth before you be chosen."
"Indeed countess," said the knight, "you already chose better;
But I am proud of the praise that you put on me,
And, soberly your servant, my sovereign  hold you,
And your knight I become, may Christ you reward."
Thus they matched muchwhat till midmorn passed,
And always the lady let as if she loved much;
The prince parried, defended, with perfect restraint.
Though she burned the brightest of all the broad world,
The less warmth in his words for the weight he could not
          outrun.
The blow that he must brave,
And needs it must be done.
the lady then spoke of leave;
He granted her full soon.


Then she gave him good day, and with a glance laughed,
And as she stood, she shocked him with full strong words:
"Now he that speeds each speech reward you for this sport!
But that you be Gawain, it goes not in mind."
"Wherefore?" says the chevalier, as if stung,
Feared lest he had failed in form of his tongue.
But the lady him blessed, and "By this sign" said:
"So good as Gawain is generally held,
And courtesy is closed so completely in him,
He could not lightly have laughed so long with a lady
But he had craved a kiss by his courtesy,
By some touch or some trifle at some tales end."
Then said Gawain, "Good lady, claim as you like;
I shall kiss at your commandment as a knight must,
As you desire, lest he displease you, so plead it no more."
She comes near with that, and catches him in arms,
Leans lovingly down and the lord kisses.
Then comely commend they to Christ each the other;
Then goes she forth at the door without a sound more,
And he reaches him to rise and rapidly too,
Claps for his chamberlain, chooses his clothes,
Wanders out, when feels ready, blithely to mass.
And then he moves to his meat that meetly, he eats,
And makes merry all day till the moon rose,
          with games.
No knight had more fun
Between two loving dames,
The old and the young;
Much joy gave the same

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