The Jeaste of Sir Gawain
THE JEASTE OF SIR GAWAIN: FOOTNOTES1 Until now no man has been able (to have sexual relations with her) because of her modesty
2 Before (or until) I suffer painful defeat
3 Lines 290-91: If he is not a match for you, I cannot think / That you have an equal in knighthood
4 Lines 536-38: I pray that God give good rest to us / And to all who have heard this little Jeaste, / And (that all) may come to dwell in high heaven
THE JEASTE OF SIR GAWAIN: NOTESAbbreviations: B = Bodley MS; H = surviving leaf of printed edition in the Harley Collection, British Library; M = Madden's edition. See Select Bibliography for these editions.
1 And sayde. Jeaste clearly begins in the midst of a conversation between the nameless lady and Gawain, indicating the loss of the opening episode. The context clearly indicates that Gawain has come upon the lady in her forest pavilion while hunting, and has made amorous overtures. She warns him of possible reprisals by her father and brothers, but Gawain dismisses these threats in the opening lines of the surviving text.
5 suche. M: such.
42 Following this line, the remainder of this page is taken up with a drawing showing two mounted knights, in armor with lances; one (obviously Gawain) unhorses the other. The drawings (see lines 147, 274, 357, 452, and 503 and notes) were executed by a talented amateur with archaic realism, in a pseudo-medieval style, and illustrate the enthusiastic response chivalric romance might elicit in the sixteenth century.
50 feutred. B: fentred; M emends without comment.
57 fayne. B: sayne; I emend for sense.
73 and stoure. M suggests reading in stoure.
74 ff. Gylbert here gives Gawain warning that he will soon have to fight the three sons.
103 dyspyte. M: despyte.
109 a trewe knyght. M: trewe knyght.
147 Another picture takes up the remainder of the page, showing a mounted knight with lance and a second knight - clearly Gyamoure at this point in the narrative - unhorsed and seated on the ground, but still holding his lance.
176 stryve. B: stryde; I follow the suggested emendation from M's notes.
207 out of straye. Tyrry turns his horse "astray," abruptly aside from the path on which he had been riding. For the use of this phrase, see Gologras line 19 and note.
233 Thys. This line begins with an enlarged capital T against a shaded background, four lines of text in size.
275 The entire page above this line is taken up with a drawing that closely resembles that on folio 17b; in it a mounted knight holds his lance against a knight seated on the ground (in this case, Terrye), while the latter knight's horse looks on.
284 oure. M: our.
288 than. B: that; I follow M's emendation.
295 Under line 293 a rule is drawn across the page, and line 295 is inserted to the right of line 294, remedying what is clearly a skip by the copyist.
320 Brandles. In the continuation to Chrétien's Perceval, Gawain fights and then reconciles with a knight named Bran de Lys; this same knight accompanies Arthur in the episode that forms the source of the first part of Gologras (though in the Scots poem Arthur's companion is named Spynagros). Carlisle names Syr Brancheles (line 64) among the roster of knights associated with Arthur. In Malory, Lancelot rescues a knight of this name (Braundeles) from Tarquyn (Works, pp. 268, 344 ff.). In addition, Malory declares that two of Gawain's three sons - Sir Florence and Sir Lovell - "were begotyn uppon sir Braundeles syster " (Works, p. 1147), reflecting a narrative tradition that prolongs the relationship between Gawain and this woman long beyond the brief encounter of Jeaste. In Ragnelle, the third son listed by Malory - Sir Gyngalyn - is born of the union between that heroine and Gawain; see Ragnelle, line 799 ff. and note.
324 When the Green Knight appears before Arthur's court in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, "in his on honde he hade a holyn bobbe, / That is grattest in grene when grevez ar bare / And an ax in his other" (lines 206-8: in his one hand he had a sprig of holly, which is greenest when the trees are bare, and an ax in the other). Carrying a bough signals peaceful intentions, though Brandles also holds a spear (line 341).
329 Allso. M: Also.
350 of large. The phrase means "of (considerable) size"; compare Gologras line 241, "The land wes likand in large."
357 The remainder of the page following this line is taken up by a drawing, showing three armored knights on foot, with a fourth mounted holding a spear with pennon attached. Their raised visors make their faces visible, and one, no doubt Gylbert, is bearded.
383 ff. Sir Gylbert seems to say that Gawain defeats and treats honorably all those that approach him violently; but if one speaks courteously to him from the outset, Gawain shows nothing but courtesy.
389 Another enlarged capital against a shaded background, this one six lines in size, begins this line.
451 yt. B: ys; I follow M's emendation.
453 The entire page above this line contains a drawing of two armored knights (Gawain and Brandles) on foot, fighting each other with swords drawn and visors up.
489 pardye much shame. H: moch shame parde.
491 sayde Gawayne. H: syr Gawayne.
491 ff. Having fought to a draw with Brandles, and lost his horse in the duel (as he does in Awntyrs; see lines 540 ff.), Gawain seems to feel he can no longer remain in the pavilion with the lady. He therefore departs on foot, after cutting away the heavy armor a mounted knight would wear for combat.
493 And horse were wonders. H: an horse were me wonder.
495 And. H: But.
I muste nedes. H: nedes must I.
499 hande. H: hende.
502 bande. H: bonde. Following this line, the rest of the page is occupied by a drawing of a knight in armor, holding a staff with one hand and grasping the arm of a woman (clothed in distinctively Elizabethan dress) with the other. These must be Brandles and the nameless sister.
503 nowe of Syr. H: now syr. This line begins with an enlaged capital L against a shaded background, three lines long.
507 pyttie thou. H: pyttie that thou.
508 wyll the sette. H: wyll sette.
509 He bete her. H: And bete the.
512 And he asked. H: Then he axed.
514 wende thou haddest be. H: wende that thou haddest ben.
517 Than whan. H: That whan.
519 Tyll that we. H: Tyll we.
our. H: eche our.
521 all foure together. H: all together.
527 on. H: in.
530 hys adventures. H: this adventure.
533 And after. H: After.
534 those knightes. H: these partyes; M: knyghtes.
535 there was. H: was there.
536 us. H: us al.
538 to. H: for to.
539 all maye, upon. H: all upon.
541 thy. H: the. Following AMEN there is another drawing by the same hand, showing marvelous creatures holding a shield with three fleurs-de-lis. A rectangle at the center surrounds the explicit, above which are the initials E B, perhaps those of the copyist and illustrator. The other romances in the manuscript - Isumbras, Degaré, and Eglamour - are written in the same distinctive hand, with drawings of the same sort, though none of the other romances contains a signature or initials. The date 1564 appears at the conclusion of Eglamour.
And sayde, "I dreede no threte;
I have founde youe here in my chase."
And in hys armes he gan her brace,
With kyssynge of mowthes sweete.
There Syr Gawayne made suche chere,
That greate frendeshyp he founde there,
With that fayre lady so gaye;
Suche chere he made, and suche semblaunce
That longed to love, he had her countenaunce
Withoute any more delaye.
He had not taryed with her longe,
But there came a knyght tall and stronge;
Unto the pavylion he wente.
He founde Syr Gawayne with that lady fayre:
"Syr knyght, thow makest an evyll repayre
That wyll make the shente.
Yt ys my doughter that thow lyest by.
Thowe hast done me great vyllanye -
Amende yt mayst thou nought.
Thou haste greate fortune with that dame:
Tyll nowe never man coulde for shame.1
I see, Syr knyght, that thou hast wrought,
Wherefore I see fortune ys thy frynde.
But hastely unto harnes nowe thou wynde."
Than sayed that bolde knyght:
"Thou hast done me muche dyshonoure,
And may not amende yt, by Mary floure!
Therefore hastelye the dyght."
Than bespake Syr Gawayne, and thus he sayde:
"I suppose I have the love of the mayde,
Suche grace on her have I founde.
But and youe be her father deere,
Syr, amendes nowe wyll I make here,
As I am to knyghthode bounde.
Nowe all forewardes I wyll fullfyll,
And make amendes youe untyll,
And lette me passe quyte."
"Naye," sayed the olde knyght than.
"Fyrst wyll we assaye oure myghtes as we can,
Or else yt were a dyspyte."
Nowe sayde Gawayne, "I graunte yt the,
Sythe yt none otherwise wyll be:
Nedes must that nedes shall."
He toke hys stronge horse by the brydle,
And lyghtly lepte into the saddle,
As a knyght good and royall.
He toke a spere that was greate and stronge,
And forthe he wente, a large furlonge,
And turned hys horse with mayne.
They feutred theyr speares, these knyghtes good,
And russhed together with eger moode,
Above on the mountayne.
Gawayne smotte thys knyght so soore,
That hys horse with strenght he overthrewe thore,
And on the grounde he laye upright.
Syr Gawayne turned hys horse agayne
And sayde, "Syr knyght, wyll ye any more fayne?"
"Naye," he sayed, for he ne myght.
"I yelde me, Syr knyght, into thy hande,
For thou arte to styffe for me to stande.
My lyfe thou graunte me."
"On thys covenaunte," Syr Gawayne sayde:
"That ye do no harme unto the mayde,
I am agreed that yt so be.
"Also ye shall swere on my swerde here,
That none armes agaynst me ye shall beare,
Neyther todaye nor tonyght.
And then take your horse, and wende your waye,
And I shall do the best that I maye,
As I am a trewe knyght."
There thys knyght sware, and dyd passe;
Syr Gylbert called he was,
A ryche earle, styffe and stoure.
He sayde, "Syr kngyht, take good kepe,
For better shalt thou be assayled or thou slepe,
With many a sharpe shoure."
Than sayd Gawayne, "I beleve right well.
Whan they come, youe shall here tell
Howe the game shall goo.
I am nowe here in my playnge -
I wyll not go awaye for no threatynge,
Or that I will feele more woo."2
Than Syr Gylberte wente hys waye.
Hys horse was gone downe the valaye,
On foote he must hym abyde;
He yode downe, without wordes more.
The strokes greaved hym full soore;
That bated muche hys pryde.
Syr Gawayne had smytten hym in the sholderblade;
After hys walkynge the blode out shade.
He rested hym under a tree.
He had not rested hym but a lyttell space,
But one of hys sonnes came to that place -
Syr Gyamoure called was he.
"Father," he sayde "what ayleth youe nowe?
Hathe any man in thys forrest hurte youe?
Me thynke full faste ye blede!"
"Yea, sonne," he sayde, "by Goddes grame!
A knyght hath done me spyte and shame,
And lost I have my stede.
"Also he hath layne by thy syster, by the Rode!
That greveth me more than shedynge of my blode,
And the dyspyte was well more:
And he hath made me to sweare
That todaye none armes shall I beare,
Agaynst hym, by Goddes ore!"
"Father, nowe be of good chere,
And I shall rewarde hym, as ye shall here,
As I am a trewe knyght!
He shall beate me, or I shall beate hym.
I shall hym beate be he never so grymme,
And hys death todyght."
"Lett be, sonne Gyamoure, nowe I the praye!
Thou speakest more than thou maye:
That shalt thoue feele soone.
There shalt thoue mete with a knyght stronge
That wyll paye hys lyveray large and longe,
Or thy journey be all done."
"Nowe farewell, father," Gyamoure sayde.
He toke the waye to hys syster the mayde
As fast as he myght on the gate;
Unto the pavylion he toke the waye,
There as Syr Gawayne and hys syster laye,
That thought on no debate.
"Aryse," he sayed, "thou knyght stronge of hande,
And geve me battaylle on thys lande.
Hye the fast anone right!
Thou hast hurte my father todaye,
And layne by my syster, that fayre may:
Therfore thy deathe ys dyght."
Than sayde Gawayne, "Though yt be so,
Amendes I wyll make or that I goo,
Yf that I have mysdone.
Better yt ys nowe to accorde right,
Than we two nowe in battayll shulde fyght.
Therfore go from me soone."
"Nay," sayed Gyamoure, "that shall not bee.
That daye, knyght, shalt thow never see,
For to suffer suche a skorne.
Aryse in haste, and that anone,
For with the wyll I fyght alone,
As God lett me be borne!"
Gawayne sawe no better bote,
And wyghtelye he lepte on foote.
Hys horse was fast hym bye;
Into the saddle wightelye he sprente,
And in hys hande hys speare he hentte,
And loked full egerlye.
Eyther turned hys horse than awaye
A furlonges lenght, I dare well saye,
Above on the mountayne.
They ranne together, those knightes good,
That theyr horses sydes ranne on bloode,
Eyther to other, certayne.
What nedeth nowe more tale to tell?
Gawayne smotte hym with hys speare so well,
That he fell flatte to the grounde;
Hys horse was fyers, and went hys waye,
And hurte was the knyght ther as he laye.
Syr Gawayne asked hym in that stounde:
"Syr knight wyll ye any more?"
"Naye," he sayde, "I am hurte so sore
I maye not my selfe welde.
I yelde me, syr knyght, and save my lyfe,
For with the I wyll no more stryffe,
For thowe hast wonne the felde."
"Syr, on thys covenaunte I the graunte,
So ye wyll make me faythe and warraunte,
Todaye agaynst me no armes to beare:
Sweare thys othe on my swearde bright."
"Yes," he sayde, "I wyll, as I am trewe knight,
That thys daye I wyll not youe deare.
"Nowe fare well, knyght, so God me amende!
For I see fortune ys thy greate frende -
That sheowith in the todaye;
There ys no bote to stryve agayne,
For thou arte a knyght full stronge of mayne.
Fare well, and have good daye."
Thus Gyamoure wente downe the mountayne hye.
On foote he wente full werelye;
Hys father soone hym spyed.
"A! wellcome," he sayed, "my sonne Gyamoure.
Me thynke thou hast not spede well thys stoure;
That full well I see thys tyde.
"Thou went on horsebacke, lyke a good knyght,
And nowe I see thou arte dolefully dyght;
That maketh all my care."
"Father," he sayde, "yt wyll none otherwise be.
Yonder knyght hath wonne me in warre so fre,
And hathe wounded me full sore.
"Forsothe," sayde Gyamoure, "I wyll not lye,
He ys a stronge knyght, bolde and hardye.
Of Arthures courte I trowe he ys;
I suppose on of the Rounde Table,
For at nede he ys both stronge and hable.
So have I founde hym, withouten mysse."
Right so as they spake the one to the other,
There came to them the seconde brother,
Syr Tyrry was hys name;
He came rydynge on a jolye coursyer,
Dryvinge by leapes, as the wylde fyer.
The knyght was of good fame.
He was not ware of hys father deare,
But hys brother called hym neare,
And sayde, "Syr, nowe abyde!"
He than turned hys horse, that knyght so gaye,
By leapes out of straye;
Hys hearte was full of pryde.
Than founde he hys father all blodye,
And hys brother was wounded syckerlye.
In hys hearte he began to be syke:
"A! Syr, who hath wounded youe?" quod he;
"Avenged on hym nowe wyll I be,
That shall hym myslyke."
"Iwys, sonne, yt ys a knyght stronge
That hath done us thys wronge,
Above on the mountayne.
He hath me wounded passynge soore,
And I trowe thy brother he hathe well more,
And by thy syster he hathe layne.
Therfore go nowe, as a knyght good,
And avenge the shedynge of thy fathers blood,
As faste as ever thou maye.
Loke that thou fayle not for no cowardyse,
But mete hym in the myghtyest wyse,
For he ys good at asaye."
"I see well, father, he ys a knyght stronge.
But he hathe done youe greate wronge
Yt wolde be harde hym to wynne;
But never the later I shall do my myght.
Hys strenght assaye nowe I shall in fyght,
Yf he were of the devyls kynne."
Thys knyght Syr Terry turned hys horse,
And up the mountayne he rode with force,
As fast as he myght dryve.
He came to the pavylion, with greate pryde:
"Have done, syr knyght! Thy horse bestryde,
For with the I am at stryve."
Syr Gawayne loked out at the pavylyon doore,
And sawe thys knyght armed hym before;
To hym he sayed verelye:
"Syr, yf I have ought to youe offended,
I am ready to make yt to be amended,
By mylde mother Marye!"
"Naye, syr knyght, yt maye not so be.
Therfore make the ready faste to me,
In all the haste that thou maye;
For be God that me dere bought,
Make amendes mayest thou nought.
Therfore nowe lett us playe."
Gawayne sawe none other bote than;
Hys horse he toke as a worthye man,
And into the saddle he sprente;
He toke hys horse with a greate randone, -
"Nowe, Syr knyght, lette me have done,
What in youre hearte ys mente."
"Lo! Here I am," sayde Syr Terrye,
"For to the I have greate envye."
And together gan they dasshe -
They russhed together with suche debate
That marveyll yt was howe that they sate,
They gave suche a crasshe!
Syr Terrye spake in that place,
And Gawayne fought faste in that race,
And throughe the sholder hym pyght;
And caste hym over the horse backe,
That in the earth hys helme stacke,
That nyghe hys death he was dyght.
Syr Gawayne than sayed on hyght:
"Syr knyght, wyll ye any more fyght?"
He aunswered hym, "Naye!
I am so soore hurte I may no more stande.
Therfore I yelde me into thy hande;
Of mercye I the praye."
"What," sayde Gawayne, "ys that youre boast greate?
I wende youe woulde have foughten tyll ye had sweate!
Ys youre strenght all done?"
"Yea, syr, in fayth, so God me nowe save!
Of me thou mayste no more crave,
For all my myght ys gone.
"Thou haste today wonne thre knyghtes,
The father, and two sonnes, that well fyghtes,
Worshypfullye under thy shyelde.
And yf thou maye wynne oure eldest brother,
I call thee the best knyght, and none other,
That ever fought in fyelde.
"For he ys full wyght, I warne youe welle:
He endureth better than doth the steele,
And that shalte thou soone see.
But he be thy matche, I can not knowe,
Of knyghthode thoue haste no felowe,3
On my fayth I ensure thee."
"Nowe," quod Gawayne, "lette hym be.
And, Syr knyght, make an othe to me,
That this daye thou do me no greve;
And thou shalt passe fro me all quyte,
Where as ys nowe thy moste delyght,
Withoute any moore repreve."
Syr Terrye sayde, "Therto I graunte.
Farewell nowe! God be thy warrante."
Full weykelye he wente on foote;
He lefte never tyll he came there,
Where as hys father and Gyamoure were,
That carefull heartes had, God wote.
Than bespake Gyamoure, hys yongest brother:
"Syr, thou hast gotten as we have, and non other;
That knewe I well yt shoulde so be."
"By God!" sayd Syr Terrye, "so nowe yt ys.
He ys a devyll, forsothe ywys,
And that ys proved on me."
"Yea," quod Syr Gylbart, that Earle so olde;
"He ys a knyght bothe stronge and bolde,
And fortune ys hys frende;
My doughters love he hath clene wanne.
Therfore I dare well saye he ys a manne,
Whereever that he wende."
As they thre stode thus talkynge,
They hearde a manne full loude synge,
That all the woode ronge:
"That ys my sonne Brandles so gaye;
Whan he seeth us in suche araye,
He wyll leave hys songe."
By than they sawe the knight comynge;
A grene boughe in hys hande he dyd brynge,
Syttynge on a joylye coursyere.
Hys horse was trapped in redde velvett;
Many ouches of golde theron was sette.
Of knyghthode he had no peere.
Allso hys horse was armed before -
The headde and the brest, and no more,
And that in fyne steele.
Hymselfe was armed passynge sure,
In harneys that woulde strokes endure,
That had bene proved right wele.
Thys knyght bare on hys hedde a pomell gaye.
Syttynge on hys horse, stertynge oute of the waye,
By leapes he came aboute.
A shyelde he had, that was of renowne:
He bare theryn a blacke fawcowne;
The shyelde was of sylver withoute.
Also in hys hande a spere he bare,
Bothe stronge and longe, I make youe ware,
And of a trustye tree;
There was an headde theron of steele wrought,
The best that myght be made or bought,
And well assayed had be.
Theron of pleasaunce a kercheyf dyd honge;
I wote yt was more than thre elles longe,
Enbrodered all withe golde.
He was a knyght of large and lenght,
And proved well of muche strenght,
Assaye hym whoso woulde.
Spurres of golde also he had on,
And a good swerde, that wolde byte abone.
Thus came he dryvynge,
Tyll he came there as hys father was;
Whan he all sawe, he sayde, "Alas!
Thys ys an evyll tydynge."
Whan he sawe hys father all blodye,
And hys two brethern hurte full syckerlye,
"Alas!" sayde Brandles than,
"Who hath done youe suche a dyspite?
Tell me in haste, that I maye yt quyte,
For my hearte ys wo begone."
Than saide the father, "Sonne, I shall the tell:
All thys hathe done a knyght full fell,
And layne by thy syster also.
He beete me fyrst, and them all,
And made us swere that we ne shall
Thys daye do hym no wo."
Nowe saide Brandles, "Thys ys yll come!
I ensure youe by my holydome,
I shall prove hys myght;
Were he as stronge as Sampson was,
In fayth shall I never from hym pas,
Tyll the one of us to death be dyght."
"Yea, sonne Brandles, thou shalt not soo.
Thoughe he have done wronge, lett hym goo.
The knyght ys passynge sure;
I wyll not for more than I wyll sayne
See the, Syr Brandels, there slayne,
For I warraunte the he wyll endure.
"The knyght ys stronge, and well fight can,
And when he hathe at hande a man,
He wyll do hym none yll.
But gentle wordes speake agayne,
And do hym no harme ne mayne,
Thus gentyll he ys in skyll."
"Nowe lette hym be," sayde Brandles than;
"Sone shall we see yf he be a manne,"
And sayed "Have good daye."
Streyght to the pavylyon he rode;
That sawe the mayden as she stode,
That yt was her brother gaye.
"Syr knyght," she sayde, "here cometh one,
Yt wyl be harde hym to overgone -
Beholde nowe and see:
Yonder cometh one wyll dure in fyght;
I warraunte ye sawe never a better knight
Than ye shall fynde hym, syckerlye.
"Beholde nowe my brother, Syr Brandles.
He ys in warre full slye, ywys,
And that thowe shalt fynde;
Me thynke hym passynge lyke a knyght.
Have no drede ye shall fynde hym wight,
Nowe under thys lynde."
"By God!" sayde Gawayne, "he ys full lyke
To abyde a buffette and to stryke,
And of hys handes a man.
I sawe not or nowe thys yeares thre,
A man more lyke a man to be,
By God and by Saynt Johan!"
Right so Syr Brandles, the knyght gaye,
Spake on hyghe, and thus gan saye:
"Where arte thou, good Squyer?
Come forthe in haste," he sayde on hyght,
"For with the will I fyght.
A newe game thoue shalt leere.
"Thou haste done me dysworship greate,
And mayst not nowe amendement gette;
Yt ys no tyme of peace to speake."
Syr Gawayne saide, "Syr, I the praye,
Let me make amendes, and youe maye,
Or thou begynne thys wreke.
"Syr, and I have ought mysdone,
Tell me, and it shal be amended soone,
All gentlenes to fullfyll.
I have bene bestad todaye full soore;
Shame yt were to prove me any moore.
But here I am at youre wyll."
"Ywys," quod Brandles, "that ys sothe.
But I must nedes holde myne othe,
Thou haste done so yll -
My father and my brethren thou hast beaten bothe.
To accorde with the I were therof lothe,
My worshippe to fullfyll."
Nowe sayed Gawayne, "Sythe yt ys so,
I muste nedes me dryve ther to.
Thys daye God lende me grace,
For my worde shall do none advauntage:
Let us see howe well we can outrage,
Yf I maye dare ought in thys trace."
"Gramarcy," sayde Brandles, "in good faye,
Nowe shall youe see me make good playe.
Of knighthode thou hast no peere;
I am right gladde thou hast myght,
But sorye I am we lacke the dayelyght.
But amended ys my cheere."
They fought together, those knightes good;
Throughe theyr haburgeons ran out the redde blode,
That pytté yt was to see;
They fought together with suche yre,
That after flamed out the fyre.
They spake of no mercye.
Thus full longe than gan they fyght,
Tyll at the laste they wanted lyght;
They wyste not what to done.
Than sayde Syr Brandles, that knyght so gaye:
"Syr knyght, we wante lyght of the daye;
Therfore I make my mone.
"Yf we fyght thus in the darke together
Throughe myshappe the one myght sle the other;
And therefore by myne assent,
Lett us sweare on oure sweardes bothe,
Where that we mete for leyfe or lothe,
Yf that we mete in present,
"Never to leave the battayll tyll the one be slayne."
"I assent me therunto," than sayde Gawayne,
"And ye wyll that yt so be."
Than sayde Syr Brandles, "I may none other do,
For suche promesse I made my father unto;
Therefore thys othe make we.
"I wotte there ys no stroke that thou gavest me,
But I shall quyte yt full syckerlye -
And thou arte not in my debte.
Full large of lyveray thou arte, syr knyght -
Never none that proved so well my myght;
We bene even as we mette.
"Lett us make an othe on our swerdes here,
In that place we mete, farre or nere,
Even there as ether other may fynde,
Even so we shall do the battayle utterlye."
"I holde," sayde Gawayne, "by mylde Marye!
And thus we make an ende."
Syr Gawayne put up hys swerde than:
"Syr knight, be frende to that gentle woman,
As ye be gentle knyght."
"As for that," sayde Brandles than,
"She hathe caused today, pardye, much shame.
Yt ys pyttye she hathe her syght."
"Syr knyght," sayde Gawayne, "have good daye,
For on foote I have a longe waye,
And horse were wonders deare;
Some tyme good horses I have good wone,
And nowe on foote I muste nedes gone.
God in haste amende my chere!"
Syr Gawayne was armed passynge heavy;
On fote myght he not endure, trewely.
Hys knyfe he toke in hande;
Hys armure good he cutte hym fro,
Els on foote myght he not goo.
Thus with care was he bande.
Leave we nowe of Syr Gawayne in wo,
And speake we more of Syr Brandles tho.
When he with hys syster mette
He sayed, "Fye on the, harlot stronge!
Yt ys pyttie thou lyvest so longe.
Strypes harde I wyll the sette."
He bete her bothe backe and syde.
And than woulde he not abyde,
But to hys father streight he wentte,
And he asked hym how he fared.
He sayde, "Sonne, for the have I cared;
I wende thou haddest be shente."
Brandles sayde, "I have beate my syster,
And the knyght, I made hym sweare
Than whan we mete agayne,
He and I wyll together fyght
Tyll that we have spended our myght,
And that one of us be slayne."
So home they went all foure together,
And eche of them helped other,
As well as they myght go.
Than the lady gate her awaye -
They sawe her never after that daye;
She went wandrynge to and fro.
Also Syr Gawayne on hys partye,
On foote he went full werylye,
Tyll he to the courte came home.
All hys adventures he shewed the Kinge,
That with those foure knyghtes he had fyghtynge,
And eche after other alone.
And after that tyme they never mette more;
Full gladde were those knightes therfore.
So there was made the ende.
I praye God geve us good reste,
And those that have harde thys lyttel Jeste,
And in hye heaven to be dwellynge;4
And that we all maye, upon domesdaye,
Come to the blysse that lasteth aye,
Where we maye here thy Aungels synge.
Here endeth the Jeaste of Syr Gawayne.
fear; (see note)
was so good mannered; (see note)
was appropriate to; favor
leave you ruined
(i.e., the father)
flower [of women]
If you allow me to leave free and clear
What will be must be
braced their spears for combat; (see note)
do you desire any more; (see note)
too powerful; withstand
strong; (see note)
stay on guard; (see note)
ready for contest
Because of; flowed
outrage was still greater; (see note)
make good on his reputation
Before your encounter
before I go further
agree in justice
[That I should] suffer such dishonor
God made me
seized; (see note)
at that point
get full control of myself
give me good faith; guarantee
is obvious through your actions
fight again; (see note)
fared; in this battle
at this time
defeated; honorable combat
[he is] one
in a pinch; able
make no mistake
aside; (see note)
So that it shall hurt him
with extreme pain
take him on; way
If he had not done
Even if; kin
by God who saved me
join in battle
such a clash
that [the outcome of]; (see note)
[worked up a] sweat
In honorable chivalric combat
on the field
powerful, I advise you
leave him aside
harm; (see note)
Which is; greatest desire
for absolute certainty
[Gylbert says:]; (see note)
in front; (see note)
an ornamental boss
changing his course
on the outside
tried out; been
handsomely a pennon did hang
about twelve feet
big and tall; (see note)
above [all others]
in a rush
piece of news
marked for death
stalwart without measure
than I can say
assure you; prevail
So noble; in knightly behavior
(i.e., whatever he is); (see note)
just the sort
in his strength a warrior
if you please
[If I wish] to maintain my honor
enter into combat
negotiation will gain
Great thanks; faith
coats of mail
sparks; (see note)
bad luck; slay
Wherever; love or hate
one of us
powerful in combat
No other ever tested
as equal as when
to the death
by God; (see note)
she is yet alive
badly wounded; (see note)
beset (bound); (see note)
A lashing; give; (see note)
beat; (see note)
thought; perished; (see note)
exhausted; (see note)
went off by herself
for his part; (see note)
disclosed; (see note)
in single combat
encountered again; (see note)
Return To The Table of Contents