Thursday, 22 December 2016

Gawain 2309 - 2357, Gawain = ALIVE!!! But WHY?



He lifts lightly his cleaver and let it down fair
With the barb of the bit by the bare neck.
Though he hammered heartily, hurt him no more
But snipped him on one side, that severed the hide.
The sharp slice to the flesh through the white fat goes,
That the scarlet blood past his shoulders shot to the earth.
And when the boy sees the blood splatter the snow,
He sprang forth, (from standing feet,) more than a spears length,
He heaved up his helm and on his head cast,
Shrugged with his shoulders his shield into his grasp,
Brings out a bright sword, and boldly he speaks-
(Never since that he was boy born of his mother,
Was he ever in this wide world half so blithe),
"Cease, knight, of thy severing, swing you no more!
I have a stroke in this stead without strife had
And if you rehearse me more, I shall readily return them,
And serve severely back - and therefore sit there -
          and stew!
But One stroke here me falls-
The covenant set it so,
Formed in Arthur's halls-
And therefore, knight, fuck you!"


The huge man hunched over and on his axe rested,
Set the shaft upon the shore and to the sharp leaned,
And looked to the lord that leapt over the steam,
He that doughty, dreadless, undaunted there stands,
Armed, alive, angry; in heart it him likes.
Then he mouths merrily with a mighty voice,
Like caroling bells he to the knight said:
"My brave boy, on this bank do not be grim-dark.
No man here unmannerly your honour has harmed,
Nor acted but as covenant at knights court shaped.
I owed you a stroke and you have it, hold you well paid;
I release you of the remnant of all other rights.
If I deadlier had been,  a buffet par-adventure
I could wrathfully have worked, to thee have wrought anger.
First I messed with you merrily with a minor game,
And left you with no lacerations, as I legally should,
For the pledge that we promised that primary night,
And thou tried no tryst and truth with me kept,
And all the gain you gave me, as good men should.
That other mark for the morrow, man, I thee proffered,
You kissed my clear wife, then kissed me in return.
For both two here I you bade but two bare marks,
         no pain.
True men truth restore,
Then that man dread no bane.
At the third you failed though,
Therefore that third tap you gain.

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