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The Knightly Tale of Gologras and Gawain


1 The most splendid warriors on earth, with gear who might go

2 Was never known in the world, but in make-believe or story

3 A fairer crop [of warriors] on any field of hardy men, in faith

4 But deep valleys continuously, uplands and [wooded] vales

5 [There was nothing] but mounds and grievous ways, toilsome [to] who[ever] tells [about it]

6 Dragged about and travel-worn thus true men did become tired

7 And [have the messenger] ask leave of the lord [who] those lands has governance over (i.e., who governs there)

8 With [images of] the stoutest heroes who dealt blows in their days

9 Making mention of who, greatest in their manhood, could fight

10 He saw no living person up above [on the dais] settled

11 That with wondrous subtlety was decorated, with grandeur and riches

12 Quickly snatched because of hunger the drumstick from the body

13 Lines 96-98: Why have you hurt my man, trying to assert your superiority? / Unless you make amends to him for that wrong, by Mary [the] gracious virgin, / You shall grieve (rue) for your honor, understand (know you) without doubt

14 The other (i.e., Kay) made his way at a distance stealthily toward the door

15 I advise [that] you send forth some man, more deferential (meeker) in demeanor

16 Sir Gawain goes on the path, who dressed was handsomely

17 Why I tell you this tale, take heed now thereto (i.e., the reason I spoke to you in this manner I will now explain)

18 It would be wrong [for it] to be known (i.e., it would be a misdeed that would cause great shame)

19 And if what I said plainly to him has made my lord (Arthur) displeased

20 He (the lord) had that fair man (Arthur) [escorted] to a hall, [and seated] above on a high [dais]

21 Both with armor and sword to support you completely

22 Though all variety [of food] was sought from the sun to the sea

23 No one might get power over them through malice, nor approach too near to them

24 [Available] for dispatch, when them [it] pleased, into diverse countries

25 But [holds it] forever without [owing] service [to a superior lord], until his death

26 When the pigrimage is completed [which] I pass (i.e., undertake) for my soul's welfare

27 Before he [may] be constrained by force, as concerns threatening yonder fierce (warrior)

28 [If] you threaten yonder knight with harm, you will not escape without shame

29 The powerful king of Macedon (i.e., Alexander the Great), the most worshipful without doubt

30 Shall nonetheless be as light (i.e., ineffectual) as the least leaf of the linden tree

31 With costly diamonds grouped together, that subtly were crafted

32 [One] of the most impressive in appearance, and [someone] held in highest esteem

33 Lines 355-56: And make no threat against him, but [show] complete moderation. / Thus with diplomacy (i.e., entreaty) [should] you act [toward] that true [knight] in his castle (i.e., under his protection)

34 Therefore it pleases us [to] listen and learn [from] your lore

35 Lines 410-11: There answer to our Lord, for service when he needs [them], / Twelve crowned kings together

36 Lines 418-19: Who now is reputed to be virtually the paragon of all nobility / So widely (i.e., in every place) where honor walks by the west (i.e., where honor spreads widely among the people)

37 Not for any riches (i.e., thing) to reign (i.e., within his power)

38 Lines 434-36: Since (i.e., because) [as] free [men] our ancestors have always lived, / Prosperously among this people, not bound as vassals [to anyone], / Were I, through [either] submissiveness or threat, in homage [to another to] bind (i.e., obligate) myself

39 Though I should find them (i.e., the people on the lands) new occupation for these nine years

40 For there are warriors in this hall [who] will take a great risk (see note)

41 Before they [will] be wronged (i.e., crossed), indeed, I assure you [concerning] each man

42 Either warrior was overthrown from his horse in that [first] pass

43 With that furiously they work (i.e., fight), those worthy [fighters] in armor

44 Lines 574-75: Both those warriors, indeed, stoutly and eagerly, / Though they were stunned, in that conflict valiantly stood [their ground]

45 The fight so lethally they engaged, with each fresh attack

46 Until this insult is answered, I [will] never recover in court

47 Present yourself directly to the knight, in your bright gear

48 The worthy (knight) readied himself for the deed (i.e., the encounter), at the day appointed

49 Their steeds staggered on the battleground, and stood nickering

50 And still have men kept them in mind because of their manhood (i.e., their spectacular courage)

51 A second was named Edmond, that tried-and-true lover

52 Those knights renowned as gracious began a savage joust

53 Lines 719-20: [There] was not one [of those knights] who fiercely on the field was fighting- / [Whether] unscathed or wounded - [who was] infirm in spirit

54 Who have faithfully prepared themselves to control the course [of action]

55 The lord who rules yonder stronghold, I advise you without doubt

56 There is none so tried and true in these parts who is his peer in strength

57 Do not take on this fierce knight in single combat in this tight spot

58 He becomes fierce as a bear, that looks for no quarter

59 When he is winded, there (i.e., at that point) strike, and keep him in action

60 In this way may you succeed in the game (i.e., swordplay), through the lore that I teach

61 At the lack of an [opposing] knight to engage in the fighting.

62 Battering on rich armor, fiercely they strike

63 And took care with heart and hand that he (i.e., Kay's opponent) suffered no harm

64 Then said he [the King] for all to hear: "Sir (i.e., Kay's opponent), you are well-off

65 Lines 910-11: Two rushing courses (i.e., tilts) the princely [knights] have vehemently taken, / Each man against his opposite, to try out his foe

66 They spur on two great horses over the ground until they groan [as they gallop]

67 The rocks resounded with (the sound of) the charge, when they ran together

68 The steeds stagger in the battleplace, from the thrusting about

69 Skillfully aimed with his strength at his gorget (i.e., neck-armor)

70 The knight staggered with the stroke, all stunned in the encounter

71 Caused the beryls (i.e., gems) [to] hop off the knight [all] around him on [the] field

72 Caused precious stones to hop off the knight, who was held [to be] fierce

73 Through the gear with that stroke, through fastenings and gems

74 [Those ornaments] that [so] beautifully were set out above (i.e., on the surface), he made fall low (i.e., off)

75 Lines1006-08: [I pray] that Thou would keep from woe Gawain the powerful, / And grant that a more favorable fate may befall the knights on the field, / [In order] to keep safe the honor of both

76 These (fighters) struggled on with violence, those mighty in spirit

77 Maimed through (i.e., in spite of) mail (i.e., chain-links), and caused them to break

78 At that point the warrior (i.e., Gologras) liked Gawain the worse

79 With that, the hero at need (i.e., Gawain, the hero when things are worst) moved nearer to him (i.e., Gologras)

80 I urge [to] do as I advise, or worse [to] you [may] happen

81 Nor none to the ninth degree (even my most distant kin) have dishonor through my name

82 Lines 1077-78: The knight who shrinks from no dishonor (i.e., who does not reject what is shameful) disgrace may well undo him, / Since he loves his life more than his renown here on earth (among the living)

83 Make me hesitate in public, [neither] unlearned nor educated (see note)

84 There (i.e., because of that) will no knights, who are courteous (wise), lament his fate

85 To rest within your sense of honor, without signet or seal (i.e., formal agreement)

86 Lines 1107-08: [If I were] to live (i.e, make my life depend) on your loyalty, and you should prove untrue, / Then had I encased in care many a brave knight [who depend on me as their champion]

87 I do [entrust] myself to your honor, by [the] Lord so beloved

88 Then those noble [knights] consequently moved to their new plan of action

89 There was neither emperor nor king (who) their pact suspected

90 Then they made compact in that field, through agreement in [good] faith

91 The other knights [captured earlier] of Arthur's force lost heart

92 All [of them], thus, with mourning and mirth made [a] mixed [sound]

93 Each knight with a comely lady, who was distinguished of lineage

94 And you bind yourselves to another lord, who might be your protection

95 How fortune had befallen him in combat [and] after how he undertook to restrain [himself]

96 [Anything which] that knight's honor should besmirch

97 Lines 1211-12: I make known and affirm [in view of] his great kindness / The counterpart (i.e., same) to show him if I can

98 Whereas [in truth] Christ controls the course [of events], [and therefore] it runs smoothly

99 Lines 1225-28: When misfortune overwhelms the wheel, there goes success away (i.e., then success is lost); / Whoever [has the spirit] to withstand peril and take no care about his [mortal] fate - / [Cares] that have pushed men to a faintheartedness that lasts forever within [them] - / [For those strong in spirit] their lot will endure no longer than the Lord decrees

100 Lines 1237-40: When they had reached the mark (i.e., their set limit), then might they [do] no more / To advance themselves on the battlefield - [though] vaulting, they fell; / When Fortune becomes hostile, then fails prosperity / There [in such cases] may no [amount of] treasure overcome [Fortune] nor divert her course

101 [So] that all of his warriors of that (i.e., Gawain's behavior) hear, wholly out loud (i.e., give ear to his public account)

102 Because of that bold knight who brought me in bonds (i.e., made me his prisoner)

103 Lines 1324-25: Therefore fealty I to you [make] fast, without [any] deceit, / So that the compact may be [openly] shown, and known through signs

104 By Sir Gologras' submission the King was delighted

105 Lines 1339-40: Wines fittingly in (i.e., around) the hall went (i.e., circulated) [in] very great abundance / Among the princes at table, unequaled in honor


I have normalized the orthography of the Chepman-Myllar print (giving th for thorn; gh, g, or y for yogh as appropriate; j [note quot. marks] for i; u for v and w, v for u and w, and w for u and v) to accord with modern usage. I have expanded numerals and abbreviations (& as and, and so on). Punctuation (including capitalization) is editorial, and word division reflects current standard use. I have recorded (and corrected) obvious compositor's errors, such as turned letters (u for n, c for t, f for long medial s, and so on); in such cases I have only indicated those instances where Amours' edition differs. On the other hand, in those instances where errors in the print require a substantive emendation, I have tried to indicate the relationship of the present text to Amours' edition. Differentiating between corrections and emendations is not, however, always a straightforward process; I have tried nonetheless to give notice where decisions to change the text follow Amours' lead.
Abbreviations: CM = Beattie's facsimile of the Chepman-Myllar print (1508); A = Amours' edition; M = Madden's edition. See Select Bibliography for these editions.

Title Gologras. I elect the spelling Gologras for the title as the representative one from the print; this occurs thirteen times, with Golagras and Golograse once each. Golagros occurs twice and in the colophon, and Golagrus and Gologrus once each. Editions and allusions have virtually exhausted the possible forms for the poem's title; Pinkerton (1792) used Gologras; David Laing's facsimile reprint (1827), Golagrus; Trautmann (Anglia, 1879), Golagrus; Madden and Amours use Golagros. The Asloan MS (c. 1515) refers to "The buke of Syr Gologruss and Syr Gawane"; in the Complaynt of Scotland (1543), one of the shepherds tells of Gollogras; and Sir David Lyndsay's "Squire Meldrum" (1548) alludes to Golibras. These latter references certainly demonstrate the romance was well known in the earlier sixteenth century.

2 towart Tuskane. In the French source, these adventures of the Round Table take place not on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, but when Arthur and his company set out to release the imprisoned Girflet from the Chateau Orgueilleux. The specification of Tuscany (in northern Italy) as a part of Arthur's route to Jerusalem directly recalls one of the major narrative sections of the Alliterative Morte Arthure; here Arthur rejects Rome's claims for tribute, and wages devastating war across France and Italy, until, in the last phase of the campaign, "into Tuskane he tournez" (line 3150). Gologras differs decisively from the other Gawain romances by altering its setting from the regional - Carlisle and its environs - to the international; in moving Arthurian adventure ovr the sey (line 3), Gologras places the Round Table in the context of what the Alliterative Morte Arthure calls "Ewrope the large" (line 574).

5 barounis. CM: baros.

9 douchty. CM: donchty.

16 fenyeing. CM: sen3eing.

17 fresch. CM: fresth.

18 stout. CM: stont.

19 on stray. This prepositional phrase is an ancestor of modern English "astray," though in alliterative poetry its meaning varies to the point, as A notes in his glossary, of being "often meaningless." In Awntyrs, lines 511, 532 (as below at line 916), it seems to mean to hammer "away" at an opponent, rather than to strike an errant blow. In Jeaste, line 207, out of straye seems to mean aside, off the path. Here it certainly does not imply "astray," but simply to be off and away; at line 992 below, which repeats the same phrase from this line, the meaning seems ambiguous, either "start off" or "go astray."

22 silver. CM: silner.

46 Arthur. CM: Arthnr.

47 ane seynd. CM: ane send; A: ane saynd.

49 toune. CM: tonne.

51 boune. CM: bonne.

66 ff. This description of the embroidered or engraved canopy, recording in pictures and words the most memorable deeds of heroic legend, parallels the passage on the Nine Worthy (see lines 1233 ff. and note) or indeed Gologras itself as a mirror of honor bound together by alliteration and rhyme.

67 doughtyest. CM: donghtyest.

69 couth. CM: couh.

77 couth. CM: conth.

80 broche . . . bright. CM: brothe . . . brigh.

82 claught. CM: clanght.

84 angir. CM: augir.

86 ane woundir grym sire. Gologras maintains the anonymity of this protagonist, though in the source, the Roman de Perceval, the knight identifies himself as Ydier le Bel, a knight of the Round Table about whom there is a separate thirteenth-century French verse romance.

98 Thow. The first two letters of the first word of this line are lacking because of a missing piece of the leaf in the printed text. A provides Thow, which I follow.

99 thow. A emends to thou.

103 noght. CM: noghr.

112 mure. CM: mnre.

115 nykis yow with nay. This vivid alliterative formula occurs with some frequency, as below in line 332. When Gawain asks after the whereabouts of the Greene Knight, "al nykked hym wyth nay" (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, line 706, and see line 2471); see also The Pistel of Swete Susan, line 148, in Heroic Women From the Old Testament, ed. Russell A. Peck, TEAMS Middle English Texts Series (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1991).

122 folk. CM: fosk.

122-23 I punctuate as if line 123 were elliptical, meaning, "Let us await some better word." A suggests emending faynt to "fayn," which would give, "Your folk are feeble, and for lack of food are glad to await (or anticipate) some better word."

125 nane. CM: naue.

129 Reynit. CM: Reymt.

130 lightit doune. CM: lighit dou.

133 saill. CM: faill.

145 The lord's response - I will allow no supplies to be sold - is calculated to mislead Gawain, and thereby to test his courtesy. When Gawain sidesteps the temptation to appropriation by force, the lord reveals that - in keeping with the gift economy of an idealized honor culture - payment or sale are not possible since he will freely give all he has.

147 your. CM: yonr.

148 answerit. CM: ansnerit.

151 weild ar. CM: weildar.

159 cognisance. A quasi-technical term designating the arms, colors, and dress distinctive to a knight; the lord here emphasizes the gap between Kay's unmistakable chivalric appearance, and his unknightly behavior. Moreover, by asserting "wait I noght quhut he is" (line 163) the lord reduces Kay to a nobody, stripping him of his chivalric identity and all claims to honor.

162 wraithly. CM: wraighly.

166 And his presence plane. The phrase seems to mean "before the king and court," where presence means "royal presence," and plane means "full" (from French plein, Latin plenus); see A Dictionary of the Older Scotish Tongue, presence, n.2.b.

167 certane. CM: tertane.

174 and welth. CM: in welth. I follow A's emendation.

176 with. CM: witht.

182 blith. CM: bligh.

189 resoun. CM: resonn.

191 cousing. CM: consing. Just who this anonymous knight is, or what relation he claims to Arthur, remains unknown; see line 86 and note.

195 Ressave. CM: Ressane.

196 nedis. CM: uedis.

203 knight. CM: kinght.

205 crownit. CM: crovint; A: crovnit.

209 service . . . sene. CM: sernite . . . seue.

211 to vaill. In this and analogous phrases - in waill (line 223), to wale (line 361) - wale means "to choose," "to be chosen," and suggests those things that are choicest, most honored and honorable, of greatest pleasure or abundance.

215 war. CM: wai.

217 suthly. CM: futhly.

218 dais. A reads days.

226 ff. This cursory reference to a royal hunt signals the nearly obligatory nature of such episodes in Arthurian romance, and their function as narrative cues for impending events. Ragnelle, Carlisle, Avowyng, and Awntyrs all employ the royal hunt in this way. See also line 1344.

229 pavillonis, proudly. CM: pauilloms prondly.

230 knichtis. This rhyme, at the turning point of the stanza, is clearly a misprint or corrupt reading; "hathills" or some similar word is needed.

233 montains gay. CM: montains pay; A reads mountains. The original reading is rejected by all editors, who substitute gay; A suggests "graye" as an alternative.

237 ff. The details of Gologras' castle, which stirs both admiration and hostility in Arthur, strikingly resemble those of the massive strongholds at the center of struggles between monarchs and local lords in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Its location on a high rock by a river, with a long curtain wall and defensive towers, recalls, for example, the magnificent Bothwell Castle, built above the steep sides of the River Clyde, south of Glasgow. Bothwell was captured twice by Edward I, lost by Edward II, occupied by Edward III's forces, then captured again and destroyed by the Scots in 1337. It passed to the Douglas family who rebuilt it, and then lost it to King James II of Scotland in 1445. Both Spynagros (lines 274 ff.) and King Arthur (lines 493 ff.) hint at the terrible destructiveness characteristic of siege warfare and castle assault in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; within the narrative of Gologras, on the other hand, such wholesale destruction becomes transformed into idealized chivalric combat between individual champions. Other castles in the south of Scotland associated with great families and enmeshed in strife against English or Scots kings included Threave, Hermitage, and Douglas Castles (Douglas), Craignethan (Hamilton), and Caerlaverock (Maxwell).

240 invy, nor nygh. CM: in vy nor nyt. A interprets, "nobody might view them with envy," meaning desire was pointless because of their impregnability. I take note in the common sense of "make or get use of" (OED, note, v.1).

241 lufsum. CM: luffum.

242 feir. CM: seir; M reads schir. I emend for sense.

255 ever couth. CM: ener couch.

261 Schir Spynagrose. In the Roman de Perceval, Arthur is accompanied in the main episode by Bran de Lis, the Brandles of Jeaste; in Gologras he is replaced by Spynagros. Madden connects the latter (p. 341) with Malory's Sir Epynogrys, but this poet seems rather to have formed his name to echo that of the poem's second hero, Gologras. The character's name (like Gologras) is spelled variously: Spynagrose here and at line 812, Spynagrus (line 535), Spinagrus (line 506), Spynok (line 1263), and Spynagros (lines 341, 779, and 795). These patterns may reflect no more than a compositor's whim in setting type, but I have chosen the last as the representative spelling.

262 lord. CM: lordis.

263 everlesting. CM: ener lesting.

266 ever. CM: ener.

267 never. CM: nener.

273 I mak myne avow. Arthur's impulsive, public oath takes the form of the speech act that defines chivalric identity within an honor/shame culture. Such public vows constitute the central plot of Avowyng; see the introduction to that poem, and lines 127 ff., 313 ff., 425 ff. and notes, and below, lines 292 ff. and note.

274 more. Here, and at line 276, schore, the rhyme is defective. As A suggests, the difficulty in line 274 might be remedied by reversing the last two words - more speir - but the second faulty rhyme word points to some larger problem.

276 be strenyeit. CM: bestren yeit.

278 Goddis. CM: Cristis; A emends to Goddis, which I follow.

      succeudry. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, when the latter character, through his initial challenge of a beheading contest, has reduced the fellowship of the Round Table to silence, he asks, "Where is now your sourquydrye and your conquestes?" (line 311). At the conclusion of the romance, the Green Knight explains that the motive of his mission to Arthur's court was "For to assay the surquidré, yif hit soth were" (line 2457: for to test the pride [of the Round Table] and see if it were true). In both cases, surquidré suggests a false pride or arrogance linked to chivalry, which the Green Knight works to deflate. In the Alliterative Morte Arthure, after Arthur has his dream of the Nine Worthy (see below, lines 1220 ff., especially 1233 ff., and notes), his philosopher explains to him that "thy fortune es passede," for "Thow has schedde myche blode, and schalkes distroyede, / Sakeles, in cirquytrie, in sere kynges landis" (lines 3394, 3398-99: your good fortune is over; you have shed much blood and destroyed people, without cause, in your pride, in many kings' lands). This passage, and the entire denouement of the Alliterative Morte Arthure, link chivalric pride with imperialistic, territorial ambitions and with the fall of the Round Table. Though some readers have taken Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the Alliterative Morte Arthure as outright condemnations of knighthood or knightly behavior in the late Middle Ages, they seem perhaps to offer - like Gologras - a delicate probe of the interdependence of honor, violence, pride, and courtesy, of the political constraints of kingship, state-making and national identity, and of the relation of a chivalric ethos to the values and experience of other estates, classes, and groups in an increasingly heterogeneous society.

279 knicht . . . with. CM: knich . . . wyt.

281 the best . . . brevit. CM: thee best . . . beevit.

282 The myghty king of Massidone. Alexander of Macedon, one of the Nine Worthy (see below, lines 1233 ff. and note) was the hero of more medieval narratives than any other figure; throughout Europe and in the Middle East as well, it has been said that Alexander stories were exceeded in popularity only by the Bible. At least ten different works in Middle English and Middle Scots survive.

289 be licht. CM: he licht; A emends to be, which I follow.

290 The demanding rhyme scheme makes clear that this stanza lacks a line following line 290, and that lines are missing as well following lines 331 and 550. Missing lines have not been numbered in the present edition.

292 trou. CM: throu.

292 ff. Arthur reaffirms here the vow he had made at line 273 (see note), and does so in terms that resemble celebrated oaths made by knights, actual and fictional. In particular, his vow that his body will never "be laid unlaissit to sleip" (line 294) recalls the oath made by Prince Edward (the future Edward II) in 1306, that he would not sleep two nights in the same place until he had made a campaign to the Holy Land. For the traditions associated with such public vows, see Avowyng, line 127 and note, and the material cited there, especially Orgelfinger, p. 614.

297 ff. Arthur's open acceptance of the harm his warfare may cause non-combatants echoes the formulas that describe the effects of his campaigns in the Alliterative Morte Arthure:
Towrres he turnes, and turmentez the pople,
Wroghte wedewes fulle wlonke wrotherayle synge[n],
Ofte wery and wepe, and wryngene theire handes
(lines 3153-55: Towers he throws down, and torments the people, made widows most proud to sing of their misery, to curse often and to weep, and to wring their hands). Having Arthur explicitly own responsibility for such consequences highlights the brutality associated with medieval warfare and with chivalric activity in general. Whether the mention of such suffering constitutes a direct critique of knighthood (as Matthews and others have argued) seems less than certain; literary works, vernacular writers, and Latin chroniclers seem often to regard violence as an inevitable condition or by-product of a chivalrous society, so that (as in Froissart) an author can simultaneously exalt knightly exploits and regard its victims as martyrs.

300 Quhan . . . mude. CM: Quhy . . . mynde; I follow A's emendation for the sake of rhyme.

305 spurris. CM: speirris.

306 blonkis. CM: bloukis.

      Thai brochit blonkis to thair sidis brist of rede blude. The distinctive alliterative formulas of these two half-lines are repeated at line 754; they occur elsewhere only in Awntyrs line 499, and provide evidence for direct connection between the two poems.

308 Ithandly. CM: I thaudly.

309 gay. CM: pay. See line 233 and note.

310 Rone. CM: Rome. Arthur's pilgrimage ovr the sey (line 3), to the cieté of Criste, ovr the salt flude (line 302) seems certainly to have Jerusalem as its goal, despite the emphasis on passing through Italy (see line 2, note). Rone here then would seem to indicate not the city of St. Peter, but the Rhone valley. Further evidence for this identification occurs at line 1345: On the riche river of Rone ryot thai maid. The main episode of Gologras is therefore set in southeastern France, after Arthur has made his return from the Holy Land through Tuscany in northwestern Italy.

321 knichtis. CM: kinchtis.

330 burgh. CM: bnrgh.

331 Ressave. CM: Ressane.

      The rhyme scheme indicates another omitted line following this (see lines 290 and 550 and notes).

338 Shir Lancelot de Lake. Though Malory exalts Lancelot as the preeminent champion of the Round Table, at least among secular knights, he does not appear often in the Gawain romances. The exceptions are the Stanzaic Morte Arthur and the Scots romance, Lancelot of the Laik; for the latter, see the edition by Alan Lupack, TEAMS Middle English Texts series (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1994).

339 Schir Ewin. Ywain is a central figure in Arthurian romance from Chrétien de Troyes' twelfth-century Yvain through the fourteenth-century Ywain and Gawain; Carlisle mentions him in passing (see line 40, note).

340 the schore chiftane. A, following M, suggests "high, noble" for this adjective. I take it as an adjective cognate with to schore (line 276), and with the noun of the same spelling, meaning "menace" (see OED, schore sb.2, and v.2).

344 leving. CM: leuiug. A gives leuing in his corrigenda.

345 And. CM: Aud.

356 yon trew. CM: you trew.

360 Ane. CM: Has; I follow A's emendation.

368 Thre knichtis. CM: Thre thre kinchtis.

370 freschly. CM: fresthly.

374 knichtis. CM: kinchtis.

380 swiftly. CM: swistly.

395 Schir Golagrus. Though Spynagros has described this knight at some length, this is the first mention of his name. (For spelling, see note on title above). M tentatively connects the name with Malory's Galagars (see Works, p. 131); it also distantly resembles the name of a fiendish giant - Golapas - whom Arthur dispatches in the Alliterative Morte Arthure (line 2124). It seems to me more likely, however, that the poem uses the associations of the Chateau Orgueilleux (see note at line 2) to name a hero who embodied chivalric honor and pride.

400 mediatour. CM: mediatonr.

402 He is. CM: He his.

405 doughty . . . induring. CM: donghty . . . indurnig.

406 mony big bike. A, following earlier editors, in his glossary suggests "probably a thickly populated place," taking it as a metaphoric usage of the word derived from OE biowic, nest of wild bees. MED provides no help, but OED (bike, sb.4) gives a series of citations, almost all Scots, where the word means "swarm of people."

409 saw. CM: faw.

411 crownit. CM: crovint.

416 doughtynes. CM: donghtynes.

419 quhare wourscip walkis. This alliterative formula specifies the heavy dependence of a shame culture like chivalry upon the circulation of honor through word of mouth; compare Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, "your worchip walkez ayquere" (line 1521).

421 fangit. CM: sangit.

424 riches to rigne. An obscure alliterative formula (compare line 495). A takes rigne to mean "to reign" (which fits well enough with the latter line). I take the phrase to mean something like "with power to dispense," suggesting here that in seeking the friendship and homage of Gologras Arthur will stop short of nothing within his power - offering both an open promise and a covert threat.

429 gracious. CM: gracions.

429 ff. Gologras' assertion here of hereditary autonomy within his own domain parallels claims made by many individual lords in resisting preemptive appropriations by kings and emperors during the later Middle Ages. When Edward I challenged the lordship of the Earl of Gloucester in Glamorganshire - one of the Celtic territories (in southern Wales) that typically provided new lands through conquest - the Earl countered "that he holds these lands and liberties by his and his ancestors' conquests." Similarly, when Edward claimed lordship over the lands of the Earl of Warenne, the latter asserted, "My ancestors came with William the Bastard and conquered their lands with the sword. The king did not conquer and subject the land by himself, but our forebears were sharers and partners with him." Robert Bartlett discusses the conflicts surrounding lordship through conquest in The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change: 950-1350 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), pp. 90 ff.; I have taken the above quotations from his citations. Arthurian romances often built their fictional worlds on these sites of real contest and conquest; in Awntyrs Arthur bestows upon Gawain, in compensation for previously appropriated territory that he has now restored to Sir Galeron, "Al the Glamergan londe with greves so grene" (line 665), that is, the very territory whose lordship the Earl of Gloucester had disputed with his king (himself a sponsor of Arthurian recreations).

430 ever. CM: neuer. I follow A's emendation.

434 hail. In its root meaning (whole, sound), hail implies not simply "hale" and "hearty," but also uncompromised in autonomy of lordship, entirely possessed of their own estates and not in service to some higher feudal lord.

441 subjectioun. CM: subiectioun; A reads subiection.

448 na for na distance. In ME, distance usually means "strife" or "discord," and the phrase withoutin distance (line 1362, significantly the last line of Gologras) means "indisputably," "forthwith." Yet in both instances in Gologras the word has connotations of deference connected to the formal gap or remoteness between lord and subject.

449 noght. CM: nogth.

456 unsaught. CM: vnsanght.

459 ff. The details mentioned here concerning supplies and fortifications constitute the starting point for a realistic description of a drawn-out and destructive besieging of Gologras' castle, which Arthur seems about to initiate (see lines 297 ff., 499 ff. and note). The poem quickly leaves such hints behind, however, turning its back on the grinding if dull conduct of warfare most typical of the late Middle Ages. In its place Gologras offers an idealized portrayal of chivalry, a series of duels and jousts that culminates in the battle of the two champions.

461 alkin wappyns, I wys, that wes for were wroght. The inventory mentioned here includes artillery - Pellokis and Gapand gunnys of brase - suggesting the ways in which technology changed the nature of man-to-man combat in the late Middle Ages, and the ways in which chivalry accommodated these new technologies to its style of warfare. Such heavy armaments were deployed (by both defenders and attackers) in the siege warfare that typified many late medieval campaigns. Gunpowder, by increasing the chances of dying by an unknown hand, diminished the potential for honor through violence. Though it mentions these up-to-date contrivances, Gologras clearly presents war as a series of individual encounters that are opportunities to earn honor, in the ultimate case by dying at the hands of a renowned, worshipful opponent; see, for example, lines 635 ff., 713 ff. and notes. On the effects of artillery upon knightly combat and the chivalric ethos, see Keen, Chivalry, pp. 241-42 and the bibliography cited there.

462 bowis of bras. This seems to refer to a cross-bow or perhaps an arbalest, a weapon with a special mechanism (a windlass or craquelin) for drawing and slipping the string. Late medieval cross-bows were made with metal bows, which substantially increased the power with which they might hurl arrows, bolts (perhaps the ganyeis of line 465), or stones. Such armaments were typically used in siege warfare, for they were too large and difficult to manage in open-field combat, let alone in individual encounters. Commonly the bow was made of steel. Other metals, like bronze or bras (as here) lacked sufficient tensile strength, and are not mentioned so far as I know in medieval sources; perhaps bras here describes the drawing mechanism.

465 Grundin. CM: Grundiu.

470 hurdys. These are apparently scaffolds that the wrights construct in the woods; after transport to the walls of Gologras' castle, they will be used in the siege.

471-72 A points out that defective rhymes demonstrate that lines 471-72 are out of place in CM; I have therefore reversed them in the present edition.

479 schaw. CM: schair; I follow A's emendation for the sake of rhyme.

485 lans. CM: laus.

488 cunysance. See line 159 and note. The honor of each knight depends upon the recognition by others of his distinctive arms, and then of his deed. The writing of knights' names - a kind of captioned identity for a literate spectatorship - seems out of keeping with the highly visual character of heraldic sign systems.

489 names writtin. CM: mames wrictin.

494 wist. CM, A: vist.

499 ff. Arthur vows here to destroy the countryside with routis, a kind of pillaging and scorched earth policy typical of English military tactics in France during the Hundred Years War and after; the object of such warfare was to destroy the rentis or income a lord might derive from his lands, and thereby to force his submission even when he was not personally vulnerable to attack. This devastation affected most directly the people who lived and worked on the lands; Arthur's second promise - to find alternate livelihood for his victims during a long campaign - is both a generous and uncharacteristic gesture for a medieval king. Such tactics continued as a practice in the border wars between Scotland and England throughout the late Middle Ages. On the chevauchee, see Greene Knight, line 246 and note, and on border raids see the Introduction, pp. 28-33. I take notis here in its primary ME sense of work, occupation.

501 nine. CM: ix.

504 force. CM: forte (as in line 536); I follow A's emendation in both cases, who follows M and Trautman.

507 you. CM: yuo.

508 saill. CM: faill. I follow A's emendation, which he makes without note.

      wil set upone sevin. Here, and at line 668 - thai set upone sevin - this proverbial phrase means to put everything at risk. It refers to the game of hazard (similar to craps), in which a player might stake his entire wager on one throw of the dice. At line 1045 the similar phrase settis all on sevin has almost the opposite meaning. See B. J. and H. W. Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1968), S359.

514 myght. CM: mygth.

516 sicker. CM: silker. I follow A's silent emendation.

519 upone raw. A, with his usual directness, comments that this "seems a useless tag . . . [whose] meaning is of the vaguest." But this formulaic phrase is both a descriptive and constitutive feature of alliterative poetry's oral component and of the chivalric honor culture that it exalts. The phrase upone raw describes the rhythmic, symmetrical, artificed style of this poetry, with its rhymes, repetitions, echoes, and patterned stanzas, but it names as well the mnemonic principle on which such poetry is composed and performed. When Gawain delivers his message to Gologras on raw - poised amidst the splendor and order of his own court, as Arthur, richest on raw, is later - he praises Arthur as the greatest lord to ryme or rekin on raw (lines 396, 403, 1277). Style, power, meaningful and memorable speech itself, all are dependent upon this articulated order (and upon others seeing, hearing, and confirming such sights and sounds). In the present scene, speaking and understanding are themselves matters of reknand upone raw, of remembering, refashioning, revoicing the scattered but already spoken fragments of shared wisdom. By reiterating formulas like on raw, the patterned, orderly verses of Gologras make clear the equivalence of language and action, of style and substance; moreover, this equivalence marks the exchanges within its narrative descriptions - Gawain before Gologras, Spynagros with Arthur - and its performative demands on its audience, whether in a reading or listening event.

524 seymly. CM: seynily.

525 A gome . . . glisnand. CM: Agane . . . glifnaud. A reads glifnand in his corrigenda.

535 suth. CM: such. I follow A's emendation.

536 force. CM: forte (see note on line 504 above).

540 Spynagros tells Arthur, "Choose a champion" (makis furth ane man) to match the knight who has presented himself on the tower.

545 Gaudifeir. Carlisle mentions Syr Gaytefer (line 43 and note), but he does not otherwise appear as a knight of the Round Table. A points out that his exploits are associated with the cycles of ancient romance (Alexander and Caesar), which are retold in several Scots narratives, and in the French prose romance of Perceforest.

550 gif he nane had. Precisely what this phrase means is unclear, since as a nobleman of great ancestry (see lines 545-46) Gaudifeir would surely possess all the accoutrements of a knight. Perhaps he acts as if starting from scratch, emphasizing the completeness of the arming ritual. The rhyme scheme indicates a line is missing after the present line; see lines 290, 331 and notes.

557 Galiot. Lancelot of the Laik (line 302) mentions a Galiot who seems to be the same knight as Malory's Galehaut; the latter's central role within the Arthurian fellowship makes it impossible to consider him the same knight named here as a vassal of Gologras. The alliterating names of Gologras' champions here and in the following scenes (lines 585, 653 ff.) seem to have been invented for this romance.

564 steil. A reads steill.

572 ane myle way and maire. The ME phrase myle way (also at line 1119) indicates a measure of time, namely the interval it takes to walk a mile, or about twenty minutes. The poet here specifies that the two knights fought for a slightly longer period.

573 These formulas for the berserker character of chivalric violence are repeated at line 1014, and the b-verse occurs again at line 972.

577 yhude. CM: yhnde.

578 mightis. CM: nughtis.

580 craft. CM: crast.

585 Schir Rigal of Rone. A knight apparently otherwise unknown in Arthurian romance. The localization of his lordship - of Rone - provides further evidence that the fictional setting for this episode, and for Gologras' castle, is the Rhone valley, in southeastern France. See lines 310 and 597 and notes.

586 in quert. A takes quert as the fairly common ME word meaning "peace, rest," in which case the line would mean, "until this matter is requited, I will not be at ease." If quert means "court," Gologras is making a stronger statement: "until it is requited, I will not be properly lord in my own court." Compare Awntyrs, line 257, where the ghost has Guenevere swear to act "Als thou art Quene in thi quert."

590 never. CM: nener.

591 graithit. CM: graith it.

597 Raunald. A emends to Rannald to preserve consistency with subsequent spellings. The Alliterative Morte Arthure lists "Sir Raynalde" as one of the knights who accompanies the Roman prisoners to Paris (line 1607); he fights also at the siege in Saxony where one of his companions is "The riche duke of Rowne" (line 1995-96), recalling the title of Rannald's opponent, Schir Rigal of Rone.

599 schroud. CM: schrond.

600 him. CM: hun.

603 With. CM: Wich.

611 knight. CM: kinght.

613 right. CM: rihht.

614 Lightly . . . loft. CM: Lighly . . . lost.

624 in. CM: iu.

635 faucht. CM: fautht.

635 ff. The death of even a minor character is a rare occurrence in a chivalric romance. Though "chronicle" narratives like the stanzaic and alliterative poems on the death of Arthur, and Malory's Morte Darthur, record the deaths of central characters - including Gawain and of course Arthur himself - they do so as part of the narrative underpinning that announces their status as epic or tragedy. These deaths function as moral signals, either of nostalgic loss in the passing of the heroes of chivalry's golden age, or of chastening deficiency in the spectacle of an honorable society's downfall. Occasionally romances seriously contemplate the death of a notable character, as in the life-threatening circumstances that produce the "tappe" that "severed the hyde" in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (lines 2309 ff.), or in the near battle to the death of Sir Galeron and Gawain in Awntyrs. Gologras, however, quite remarkably presents death as grim and grievous, and yet as the predictable, even inevitable, outcome of chivalric violence; though Arthur and Gologras feel fierce distress at the deaths of Sir Rigal and Sir Rannald (and later at the death of Sir Edmond, lines 726 ff.), there is never any question about the rightness of chivalric combat and killing. Both men die "with mekil honour," are simultaneously buried with fit ceremony, and - most important of all - have achieved a lasting fame in the memory of a worshipful community: "Yet has men thame in mynd for thair manhede" (lines 648 ff.). The narrative in this way simultaneously impresses upon its audience the high cost and the ultimate worth of the honor and violence sponsored by knighthood. See lines 713 ff. and note, Gawain's and Gologras' acceptances of their own deaths (lines 808 and 1035 ff.), and Gologras' long speech that pinpoints the paradoxes of honor entailed in freely giving up a life that one has created through the most strenuous exertions (lines 1201 ff. and notes).

639 scheild. CM: scheid.

640 and fel. CM: ane fel.

652 glisnand. CM: glifnand.

653 Schir Louys. The Alliterative Morte Arthure mentions Lowes (line 4266), who is slain in the final battle with Mordred, though the composer of Gologras seems to have invented Louys afresh as a retainer of Gologras.

654 Edmond. This knight is otherwise unknown, and seems to have been created simply as Ywain's victim; he is apparently not the same champion as Ewmond (line 739).

655 Schir Bantellas. Again, this otherwise unknown knight, who subdues Arthur's familiar champion Bedwar, suggests by his name the exotic character of Gologras' retinue.

657 Schir Sanguel. This champion of Gologras is otherwise unknown.

661 Schir Lyonel. As son of Bors of Gaul, and brother to Lancelot's constant companion Bors de Ganys, Lyonel plays a large role in many romances, including Malory's Morte Darthur.

662 athir. CM: a thir.

663 Schir Bedwar. Bedevere is brother of Lucan the Butler, and one of Arthur's chief companions; in the Stanzaic Morte Arthur and Malory, he survives the final battle with Mordred, attends Arthur at his death, and disposes of Excalibur, Arthur's sword.

664 nemmyt. CM: nenmyt. In his glossary, A gives the meaning "taken, chosen" (from OE niman); but (as the OED citation confirms) this seems to be the past participle of nemn, "to be called," in this case, "to be called upon or summoned."

665 Gyromalance. In romances associated with Merlin, Gyromalance is the retainer of Amant, who refuses submission to Arthur. There is perhaps pointed irony in his role in Gologras, which makes him the vassal of Arthur who subdues Sangwel, the retainer of another lord who refuses homage to Arthur.

668 scheildis. CM: scheidis.

669 knightis. CM: kinghtis.

      maid. Broken type in CM makes this a conjectural reading.

674-75 The idiomatic character of these lines makes them difficult to construe. A paraphrases, "Then their horses receive such hurts in their houghs ["hocks," the lower joint of the leg], are so sorely strained, as they stand quaking, checked in their unrest - i.e., pulled up, reined in, though eager to rush on." To me, the lines seem to emphasize not the horses' eagerness, but their frenzy: they suffered such shocks that they stand quaking like horses under great stress who cannot bolt because of their harness.

677 The formulas of these two half-lines, describing the ritualized havoc of battle, repeat with slight variation in lines 755, 847, and 874.

686 bauldly. CM: banldly.

687 brymly. CM: bryimly, which A prints. I emend to the usual form of brym.

      bent. CM: beut.

689 Throu . . . schuldiris. CM: thron . . . schuldis; I follow A in expanding a mark above d in schuldis as an abbreviation for ir.

692 grams. A emends to granis, i.e. "groan." Though the form is somewhat odd (gramys would be a more likely spelling), grams fits the context.

693 reuth . . . rent. CM: renth . . . reut.

694 cair . . . knightis. CM: thair . . . kinghtis. A gives kingthis in his corrigenda.

696 ff. The statement that only God knows, and determines, the outcome of the combat reflects assumptions fundamental to a shame/honor culture like that of chivalry. Because violence constitutes the final proof of honor, the combatants must trust not simply that the best man will win, but that the winner will have proved the justice of his cause with God, the ultimate guarantor of such public rituals. Gaudifeir succeeds in rising from the ground and winning his duel with Galiot only "throu Goddis grete mightis" (line 578, above); Gawain's assertion in Awntyrs, concerning his combat with Galeron, that "God stond with the right," offers a striking articulation of this conviction; see Awntyrs line 471 and note.

698 govern. CM: gonern.

703 here. A argues this is a form of "hire," and takes the line to mean, "they receive great harms and reward or glory." Almost certainly, however, here is related to the common ME word herien, to ravage or pilage; in earlier ME, here in fact means "devastation by war" (see citations in MED).

704 All toturvit. CM, M, A: toturnit. Skeat (The Academy, 6 January 1894, p. 13; cited by A) argues for this emendation on the basis that no such word as toturnit exists in English.

706 swerdis. CM: snerdis.

      The formulas in this line are repeated at line 1106.

710 Stalwart. CM: Scalvart.

713 ff. Though the syntax is ambiguous, the account makes clear that Gologras' champion Lowes captures Lyonell (see lines 722 ff.). Here as earlier, Gologras takes care to emphasize the parity, even the symmetry, of the combat between the forces of Arthur and of Gologras: two of Arthur's knights are taken captive, while one of Gologras' knights is captured and one is killed. In giving the Arthurian side only a slight advantage, the narration makes Gologras a more formidable, and intriguing, opponent, and leaves questions of "rightness" within the poem and of audience sympathy more difficult to settle. The effect is also to increase the sense of the costliness and genuine loss consequent upon knightly violence, though without openly condemning such combat. See lines 635 ff. and note, and Gologras' speeches at lines 1035 ff. and lines 1201 ff. and notes.

714 Giromalans. CM: Giromalaus.

720 Unmanglit. CM: Wnmaglit.

721 The meaning of this line, clearly parallel to line 719, is hard to disentangle. A suggests, "none was so proud of his part that he could boast of it when he left the field, because they had all suffered so severely." I take it to mean almost the opposite: "not one of the knights so proud of his part in the battle did not win honor, even when captured" (though to obtain this meaning one has to assume a suppressed second negative).

739 Schir Agalus. Malory mentions Sir Agloval, the brother of Perceval, some ten times, but it seems doubtful that Cador's prisoner here is identical to this Arthurian knight.

      Schir Ewmond. This knight of Gologras', whose name recalls that of Edmond (line 654, slain by Ywain at line 726), is, except for the present exploit of defeating Owales, unknown.

740 Schir Mychin, Schir Meligor. These retainers of Gologras are otherwise unknown in romance.

742 Schir Hew. This knight of Gologras' retinue, otherwise unknown, resembles in name Arthur's knight Schir Hewis (line 1246).

745 fenyeing. CM: fenyenig.

746 lufsum. CM: luffum.

747 Cornwel. CM: Coruwel.

      Schir Cador of Cornwel. In the Alliterative Morte Arthure, Cador of Cornwall is nephew to Arthur, who brings news of Mordred's treason to the king in Italy; he is father of Constantine, Arthur's successor (see Carlisle, line 44 and note). Cador and Constantine are both accused by Guenevere of lack of courtesy in Awntyrs (line 96).

748 Schir Owales. Since Owales (Owiles, line 765) is otherwise unknown as an Arthurian knight, his defeat at the hands of Ewmond gives Gologras' side a victory without diminishing the glory of the Round Table.

      Schir Iwell. This Arthurian knight is otherwise unknown.

749 Schir Myreot. This seems to be another Arthurian knight invented by the composer of Gologras.

      emell. A is inclined to capitalize Emell as a proper name, making the fifth champion of the Round Table, matching the five knights named by Gologras. But he is not named again, and line 750 specifies four knights.

764 laught. CM: lght. The usual expansion would be langht, which makes no sense in this context, where laught fits appropriately. See note at line 922.

770 as. CM: ad.

775 smal. CM: swal, not noted by A.

776 Arthur. CM: Arthnr.

778 yone. CM: youe.

779 sens peir. CM: sen speir (followed by A), which is clearly a faulty word break.

782 his aune self shall do for his dail. Spynagros' account pinpoints the tension between Arthur and Gologras, namely the latter's autonomy as a lord holding allegiance to no overlord, and therefore offering implicit challenge to Arthur's kingship.

783 in this. CM: is this. I follow A's emendation.

798 to countir. This seems to be a quasi-technical term of chivalric combat, encompassing a knight's formal engagement with an opponent (compare the action of line 845).

807 mobil on the mold. This distinctive alliterative formula occurs only here and in Awntyrs line 199 (see note).

809 he war. CM: the war. I follow A's emendation.

816 do it. CM: doit.

823 nevin. CM: uevin.

827 And. CM: Ayd.

836 ff. The assignment to Sir Kay of a small but successful part in the ongoing chivalric combat is a feature that distinguishes Gologras from all the other verse romances. Here he encounters and defeats, though just barely (see lines 869 ff.), an unknown champion of Gologras. Though this is clearly the preliminary bout to the central encounter of the poem, it is presented in complete seriousness, enabling Kay to earn an unwonted bit of honor.

857 flaw. CM: fllaw, with initial two letters printed as a digraph.

872 harm. CM: harim.

873 Kynge. CM: kynde. I follow A's obvious emendation.

875 ff. Arthur's reassuring reception of the unnamed knight, and the immediate attempt to comfort him and staunch his wounds (lines 882 ff.), reinforce the sense that chivalric values like courtesy and graciousness transcend any individual hostility. Though misfortune may overtake an honorable knight (see lines 864 ff.), he retains his worship and status within the chivalric community.

878 ff. romanis. CM: romams. See note on line 778 above. The King's citation, within an Arthurian romance, of romanis [that] I reid as a source of authority creates a degree of ironic circularity, in which a fictional character cites fiction as a guide to behavior. There is, however, a large body of evidence documenting the broad interdependence of art and life concerning chivalric practices and ideals in the late Middle Ages. Moreover, the King's remark, in idealizing the audience for chivalric romance (suggesting that even monarchs consult them), explicitly points towards difficult questions surrounding their sponsorship and consumption (see General Introduction, pp. 10-23). The King's phrasing in this line, while a common oral formula, confirms the impression that line 879 is a proverb, though it is not recorded by Whiting, Proverbs. It would seem to mean something like, "Even well started plans sometimes fail."

880 pailyeoun. An odd spelling compounded by a stroke over the final "n"; A reads pailyeoune.

884 fresch. CM: fresth.

889 silk. CM: filk.

895 blonk. CM: bonlk.

896 gold and. CM: goldfand.

909 thame. CM: tha.

922 laught. CM: langht.

928 ma. CM: may. I follow A's emendation.

937 And claif throw the cantell of the clene schelde. In the Alliterative Morte Arthure, just before receiving his fatal wound from Mordred, Arthur strikes his nephew/son so fiercely that "The cantelle of the clere schelde he kerfes in sondyre" (line 4231). Awntyrs adapts this line as well in the description of the combat between Gawain and Galeron: "And clef his shelde shene . . . He clef thorgh the cantell" (lines 520-21).

961 as lyoune. The particular comparisons of Gologras - here to a lion, and at line 945, Alse ferse as the fyre - extend back (though not in a direct line) to the elaborated epic similes Homer used to characterize fighters like Sarpedon, Hector, and Achilles.

1002 wondir. CM: wndir.

1012 ff. The abridged, staccato syntax of this crucial stanza, which ends the combat between the main characters, reproduces the dense, chancy, abrupt character of the action. It begins with both champions frenzied from the battle (witlese and wod). Gawain makes the first move, striking at Gologras and destroying his shield (just as Gologras had carved Gawain's In twenty pecis and ma, line 970). The blow is by no means lethal; however, as Gologras makes a return stroke (line 1020) he loses his footing on what seems an uneven battlefield (lines 1021-22). Fatigue, loss of blood, and the weight of his armor bring him crashing to the ground, and Gawain (in the following stanza) takes the opportunity to demand his surrender. The narrative takes care in this way to suggest that Gologras' defeat does not occur solely because of Gawain's superiority, but is an outcome presided over by circumstances, Fortune, and, ultimately, by God (see lines 508, 578, 635 ff., 696 ff., 1220, 1333 ff., and notes); chivalric renown therefore depends not upon victory, but upon honorable conduct.

1025 ever. CM: ener.

1031 life. CM: lise.

1034 answerit. CM: ausnerit; A incorrectly prints ansnerit in his corrigenda.

1039 ever. CM: ener.

1043 levin. CM: leme. M emends for rhyme, though A defends the sense of the original reading as "nor look on my (dishonoured) body in the broad light of day."

1045 God, that settis all on sevin. This proverbial phrase alludes to the order imposed by the Creator during the seven days of creation. In the Alliterative Morte Arthure, Arthur leads his forces against the giants who accompany the Romans: "Thus he settez on sevene with his sekyre knyghttez" (line 2131), restoring order to his army and putting the giants in their place. A cites many additional instances. Compare the similar sounding phrase at lines 508 and 668 (with note at line 508).

1050 Doutles. CM: Dontles.

1053 swownit. CM: swowint.

1064 loft. CM: lost.

1071 eneuch. CM: eneuth.

1080 lurk for ane luke. A paraphrases, "shall make me hide from people's eyes." I take lurk to mean not "hide" but "hesitate," with the phrase emphasizing the public, spectacular nature of chivalric honor, which a knight earns for ane luke, before the gaze of onlookers.

1095 yow. A prints thow here and at line 1099, but the first letter is clearly y, not thorn.

1105 souer. CM: soner; I emend for sense.

          gentrice. CM: gentrite.

1114 sic. CM: sit.

1118 scheith. CM: schetlh.

1119 way. CM: wan.

          myle way and mare. See note at line 572.

1135 knighthede. CM: kinghthede.

1138 presoune. CM: presonne.

1144 garisoune. A paraphrases, "Knights made sport and glee of that prize." Citations from MED indicate that garisoune may mean "treasure," but usually with reference to material wealth or a particular object (compare Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, lines 1255, 1807, 1837); here it seems to refer directly to Gologras' castel of stane (line 1125).

1148 Al thus with murnyng and myrth thai maid melle. The alliterative phrasing of this line recalls the end of St. Erkenwald, where the decomposition of the pagan saint's body causes the assembled throng to feel a mixture of emotions: "Meche mournyng and myrthe was mellyd togeder" (line 350, ed. Ruth Morse [Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1975]).

1154 that. A expands the abbreviation to the.

1165 quhilk. A prints quilk.

1167 thai. CM: thair.

1169 governyng. CM: goduernyng.

1180 concele. CM: coucele.

1186 undir. A prints under.

1220 Sen Fortoune cachis the cours. Gologras' explanation of his motives for saving his life on the battlefield are less psychological than philosophical. Fortune and her ever-moving wheel, which arbitrarily brings prosperity and ruin, is a common figure in medieval literature and visual art from the time of Boethius (sixth century). The iconography of her wheel often represents four kings (at top, bottom, and sides) marked by verbs that describe shifting phases of rule: "I reign," "I was reigning," "I have reigned," "I will reign." King Arthur has a vivid, prophetic dream of Fortune in the Alliterative Morte Arthure, though here her wheel is not populated by anonymous emblematic kings, but by the Nine Worthy (see lines 1233 ff. and note). Gologras' reflections set up an opposition between Fortune's tricky regime, and the orderly providence of Christ (line 1223). But where the traditional Boethian hierarchies firmly establish the superiority of internal to external, of innocence/guilt to honor/shame, Gologras in this instance uses the traditional opposition to define two kinds of externally conferred shame/honor: false knighthood where one acts self-servingly to keep one's life or possessions, and true knighthood which pursues honor while completely disregarding immediate costs or possible gains. The connection between the inscrutable, inevitable chanciness of martial chivalry and the achievement of knightly honor is vividly pictured in one of the elaborate illustrations to Honoré Bonet's Tree of Battles: atop a tree filled with armored knights in combat stands Fortune, blind-folded and turning her wheel. At the bottom, slain knights, fallen from the tree, have their souls rescued by angels or are dragged into the mouth of hell. The iconography of the four kings does not appear; their absence makes the image not simply a memento mori, but an injunction - like Gologras' here - that every true knight should greet his fate - whether life or death, triumph or defeat - with an unflinching equanimity. For a reproduction of this illustration, see Andrea Hopkins, Knights (1990; reprint London: Grange, 1993), p. 135.

1231 And muse in his myrrour. In Awntyrs, the ghost of Guenevere's mother chastizes her daughter in her speech of greeting:
"Thus am I lyke to Lucefere: takis witnes by mee!
For al thi fressh foroure
Muse on my mirrour;
For, king and emperour,
Thus dight shul ye be"
(lines 165-69, italics added; see note)
The recurring presentation in chivalric romances of death - especially the deaths of the rich and famous - as a shocking and thereby memorable mirror of life underscores that gaining worship by arms can take place only in the shadow of death. The poems themselves function as mirrors to the aristocratic ideals of chivalry they describe, but they operate through an aesthetic not of mimesis (art imitating life), but of the spectacular (speculum is the Latin word for mirrour). The brilliant surface, especially of the alliterative poems - their decorated, lapidary descriptive style - mirrors the centrality of public gaze and display within the romances, conveyed, for example, through lavish dress, the jewelled, embroidered accessories of ladies and warriors, and the exhibitionist quality of warfare.

1233 ff. Gologras here allusively invokes the Nine Worthy, a group presented in medieval literature and art as the greatest exemplars of chivalric achievement in history. They included three heathen, three Jews, and three Christians: Hector of Troy, Alexander of Macedon, and Julius Caesar; Joshua, King David, and Judas Maccabeus; Arthur, Charlemagne, and Godfrey of Bouillon. In The Parlement of the Thre Ages, Elde, discoursing on the vanity of the world, devotes almost three hundred lines (nearly half the poem) to the Nine Worthy (lines 297-583); see the edition by M. Y. Offord, EETS 246 (Oxford, 1959). Elde's conclusion is "Bot doghetynes when dede comes ne dare noghte habyde" (line 583: when death comes, valor dare not stay), a moral quite opposite to Gologras' assertion that "Ilkane be werk and be will / Is worth his rewarde" (lines 1244-45). The turning point of the Alliterative Morte Arthure occurs in Arthur's nightmarish but prophetic vision of the Nine Worthy on Fortune's wheel (lines 3218-3455); in effect the vision telescopes his own rise and fall, making Arthur ironically a moral emblem for the fleeting, precarious character of his own experience. Gologras, in omitting the three Christian Worthy, avoids anachronism (since Arthur is, in the course of the present narrative, only achieving his status, and Charlemagne and Godfrey are yet to come) and forgoes prophecy and explicit moralization; instead, the poem substitutes two heroes from the Hebrew Bible, and then compares all these to the modern instances - those heroes who have suffered in the present glorious combat. In drawing on the tradition of the Nine Worthy, Gologras accentuates the tension within chivalry between splendor and mortality; in Gologras' interpretation, the mortal limit that these heroes come up against ("merk," line 1237) becomes not a cause for rejection of the world, but a spur to the individual knight to grasp honor in the world without thought for consequences. This emphasis, though unusual within the moral tradition that surrounds the Nine Worthy, entirely typifies the chivalric ethos celebrated in Gologras, where knights paradoxically attain lasting worship through deadly violence. Certainly one of the most magnificent representations of the theme of the Nine Worthy must have been the set of tapestries woven in Paris around 1400; the much-reproduced portrait of Arthur shows this worthy crowned and enthroned, with crowns on his robes and on the banner he holds, at once sovereign and set for a fall. It is now in the Cloisters Museum (New York); see frontispiece to Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages, ed. R. S. Loomis (1959; corrected ed., Oxford, 1967).

1246 Schir Hallolkis. A speculates that this name might be a corruption of Schir Owales (lines 748, 765), and not the introduction of yet another otherwise unknown champion.

      Schir Hewis. This Arthurian knight does not appear elsewhere, though his name is suspiciously similar to that of Gologras' knight, Schir Hew (line 742).

1258 In ony. CM: I nony.

1271 Lufsum. CM: Luffum.

1272 rout. CM: rent. I follow A in emending for the sake of rhyme.

1295 resoune. CM: resonne.

1298 Conquerour. CM: Conquer.

1300 wonnyn. CM: wounyn.

1301 fortoune. CM: fortonne.

1306 prejudice. CM: preuidice.

1308 thi. CM: the (abbreviated); I emend for sense.

1312 than. CM: thau.

1313 Ronsiwall. OF Rencesvals, modern Roncevaux or Roncesvalles (in Spain), ME Rouncyvale, the mountain pass in the Pyrenees where Charlemagne's rear guard, led by his nephew Roland and the Emperor's twelve peers (compare line 1334, douchspere), was annihilated by the Saracens (Spanish Muslims). The event is celebrated as a glorious chivalric exploit in the Chanson de Roland, in ME Charlemagne romances, and in many other retellings.

1318 ever. CM: ener.

1322 I. The pronoun is lacking in CM; I follow A in supplying this.
1324 fenyeing. CM: senyenig.

1326 bidding. CM: bibding.

1331 syll. CM: saill. I follow A in emending for rhyme.

1334 douchspere. The word is a variant of douzeperes, i.e., "twelve peers," and refers in its origin to the twelve companion knights or paladins who accompanied Charlemagne in the battle recounted in the Chanson de Roland (early twelfth century). Since the sixteenth century the word has been used to identify any collection of great knightly champions. See note on line 1313; and see Awntyrs line 4 and note.

1355 thir. CM: their.

1356 tuiching. CM: tiuching.

        temporalité. This term, which usually refers to estates and possessions of the clergy, or more generally to the domain of secular (versus ecclesiastical) lordship, here seems to be used to clarify the autonomy of Gologras' rule, as a lord who owes allegiance to no superior. This emphasis on separate rule, outside the authority of the monarch, establishes for Gologras a unique position among rivals and opponents in the Gawain romances. In the Alliterative Morte Arthure Arthur bestows on an anonymous knight lordship of the region surrounding Toulouse,
"The tolle and the tachementez, tavernez and other,
The towne and the tenementez with towrez so hye,
That towchez to the temporaltee, whiles my tyme lastez"
(lines 1568-70).
See the more traditional use in Turke, line 161.

1358 thin. CM: ym.

1362 On the leaf following the end of Gologras occurs a "Balade" that runs for two and one half pages. It is a version of a poem, entitled "Rhyme without Accord," attributed to John Lydgate, a fifteenth-century monk and follower of Chaucer. The colophon of Gologras, given here immediately after the text, follows the "Balade."

In the tyme of Arthur, as trew men me tald,
The King turnit on ane tyde towart Tuskane,
Hym to seik ovr the sey, that saiklese wes sald,
The syre that sendis all seill, suthly to sane;
With banrentis, barounis, and bernis full bald,
Biggast of bane and blude bred in Britane.
Thai walit out werryouris with wapinnis to wald,
The gayest grumys on grund, with geir that myght gane;1
Dukis and digne lordis, douchty and deir,
Sembillit to his summoune,
Renkis of grete renoune,
Cumly kingis with croune
Of gold that wes cleir.
Thus the Royale can remove, with his Round Tabill,
Of all riches maist rike, in riall array.
Wes never fundun on fold, but fenyeing or fabill,2
Ane farayr floure on ane feild of fresch men, in fay;3
Farand on thair stedis, stout men and stabill,
Mony sterne ovr the streit stertis on stray.
Thair baneris schane with the sone, of silver and sabill,
And uthir glemyt as gold and gowlis so gay;
Of silver and saphir schirly thai schane;
Ane fair battell on breid
Merkit ovr ane fair meid;
With spurris spedely thai speid,
Ovr fellis, in fane.
The King faris with his folk, ovr firthis and fellis,
Feill dais or he fand of flynd or of fyre;
Bot deip dalis bedene, dounis and dellis,4
Montains and marresse, with mony rank myre;
Birkin bewis about, boggis and wellis,
Withoutin beilding of blis, of bern or of byre;
Bot torris and tene wais, teirfull quha tellis.5
Tuglit and travalit thus trew men can tyre,6
Sa wundir wait wes the way, wit ye but wene;
And all thair vittalis war gone,
That thay weildit in wone;
Resset couth thai find none
That suld thair bute bene.
As thay walkit be the syde of ane fair well,
Throu the schynyng of the son ane cieté thai se,
With torris and turatis, teirfull to tell,
Bigly batollit about with wallis sa he.
The yettis war clenely kepit with ane castell;
Myght none fang it with force, bot foullis to fle.
Than carpit King Arthur, kene and cruell:
"I rede we send furth ane seynd to yone cieté,
And ask leif at the lord yone landis suld leid,7
That we myght entir in his toune,
For his hie renoune,
To by us vittale boune,
For money to meid."
Schir Kay carpit to the King, courtes and cleir:
"Grant me, lord, on yone gait graithly to gay;
And I sall boidword, but abaid, bring to you heir,
Gif he be freik on the fold, your freynd or your fay."
"Sen thi will is to wend, wy, now in weir,
Luke that wisly thow wirk, Criste were the fra wa!"
The berne bounit to the burgh with ane blith cheir,
Fand the yettis unclosit, and thrang in full thra.
His hors he tyit to ane tre, treuly that tyde;
Syne hynt to ane hie hall
That wes astalit with pall;
Weill wroght wes the wall,
And payntit with pride.
The sylour deir of the deise dayntely wes dent
With the doughtyest in thair dais dyntis couth dele;8
Bright letteris of gold blith unto blent,
Makand mencioune quha maist of manhede couth mele.9
He saw nane levand leid upone loft lent,10
Nouthir lord na lad, leif ye the lele.
The renk raikit in the saill, riale and gent,
That wondir wisly wes wroght with wourschip and wele.11
The berne besely and bane blenkit hym about;
He saw throu ane entré
Charcole in ane chymné;
Ane bright fyre couth he se
Birnand full stout.
Ane duergh braydit about, besily and bane,
Small birdis on broche be ane bright fyre.
Schir Kay ruschit to the roist, and reft fra the swane,
Lightly claught, throu lust, the lym fra the lyre.12
To feid hym of that fyne fude the freik wes full fane.
Than dynnyt the duergh, in angir and yre,
With raris, quhil the rude hall reirdit agane.
With that come girdand in greif ane woundir grym sire;
With stout contenance and sture he stude thame beforne,
With vesage lufly and lang,
Body stalwart and strang;
That sege wald sit with none wrang
Of berne that wes borne.
The knyght carpit to Schir Kay, cruel and kene:
"Me think thow fedis the unfair, freik, be my fay!
Suppose thi birny be bright, as bachiler suld ben,
Yhit ar thi latis unlufsum and ladlike, I lay.
Quhy has thow marrit my man, with maistri to mene?13
Bot thow mend hym that mys, be Mary, mylde may,
Thow sall rew in thi ruse, wit thow but wene,
Or thow wend of this wane wemeles away!"
Schir Kay wes haisty and hate, and of ane hie will;
Spedely to hym spak:
"Schort amendis will I mak;
Thi schore compt I noght ane caik,
Traist wele thair till."
Thairwith the grume, in his grief, leit gird to Schir Kay,
Fellit the freke with his fist flat in the flure.
He wes sa astonayt with the straik, in stede quhare he lay
Stok still as ane stane, the sterne wes sa sture!
The freik na forthir he faris, bot foundis away.
The tothir drew hym on dreigh in derne to the dure,14
Hyit hym hard throu the hall to his haiknay,
And sped hym on spedely on the spare mure.
The renk restles he raid to Arthour the King;
Said: "Lord, wendis on your way,
Yone berne nykis yow with nay;
To prise hym forthir to pray,
It helpis na thing."
Than spak Schir Gawane the gay, gratious and gude:
"Schir, ye knaw that Schir Kay is crabbit of kynde;
I rede ye mak furth ane man, mekar of mude,15
That will with fairnes fraist frendschip to fynd.
Your folk ar febill and faynt for falt of thair fude;
Sum better boidword to abide, undir wod lynd."
"Schir Gawyne, graith ye that gait, for the gude Rude!
Is nane sa bowsum ane berne, brith for to bynd."
The heynd knight at his haist held to the toune.
The yettis wappit war wyde;
The knyght can raithly in ryde,
Reynit his palfray of pryde,
Quhen he wes lightit doune.
Schir Gawyne gais furth the gait, that graithit wes gay,16
The quhilk that held to the hall, heyndly to se;
Than wes the syre in the saill, with renkis of array,
And blith birdis hym about, that bright wes of ble.
Wourthy Schir Gawyne went on his way;
Sobirly the soverane salust has he:
"I am send to your self, ane charge for to say,
Fra cumly Arthur, the King, cortesse and fre;
Quhilk prays for his saik and your gentrice,
That he might cum this toun till
To by vittale at will,
Alse deir as segis will sell,
Payand the price."
Than said the syre of the saill and the soverane:
"I will na vittale be sauld your senyeour untill."
"That is at your aune will," said wourthy Gawane;
"To mak you lord of your aune, me think it grete skill."
Than right gudly that grome answerit agane:
"Quhy I tell the this taill, tak tent now thair till:17
Pase on thi purpos furth to the plane.
For all the wyis I weild ar at his aune will,
How to luge and to leynd, and in my land lent.
Gif I sauld hym his awin,
It war wrang to be knawin;18
Than war I wourthy to be drawin
Baldly on bent.
"Thare come ane laithles leid air to this place,
With ane girdill ovrgilt, and uthir light gere;
It kythit be his cognisance ane knight that he wes,
Bot he wes ladlike of laitis, and light of his fere.
The verray cause of his come I knew noght the cace,
Bot wondirly wraithly he wroght, and all as of were.
Yit wait I noght quhat he is, be Goddis grete grace!
Bot gif it happin that he be ane knyght of youris here,
Has done my lord to displeise, that I hym said ryght,19
And his presence plane,
I say yow in certane,
He salbe set agane,
As I am trew knight!"
Schir Gawyne gettis his leif, and grathis to his steid,
And broght to the bauld King boidword of blis:
"Weill gretis yow, Lord, yone lusty in leid,
And says hym likis in land your langour to lis;
All the wyis and welth he weildis in theid
Sall halely be at your will, all that is his."
Than he merkit with myrth ovr ane grene meid
With all the best, to the burgh, of lordis, I wis.
The knight kepit the King, cumly and cleir;
With lordis and ladyis of estate,
Met hym furth on the gate,
Syne tuke him in at yate
With ane blith cheir.
He had that heynd to ane hall, hiely on hight,20
With dukis and digne lordis, doughty in deid.
"Ye ar welcum, cumly King," said the kene knyght,
"Ay, quhil you likis and list to luge in this leid.
Heir I mak yow of myne maister of myght,
Of all the wyis and welth I weild in this steid.
Thair is na ridand roy, be resoun and right,
Sa deir welcum this day, doutles but dreid.
I am your cousing of kyn, I mak to yow knawin;
This kyth and this castell,
Firth, forest, and fell,
Ay, quhill yow likis to dwell,
Ressave as your awin.
"I may refresch yow with folk, to feght gif you nedis,
With thretty thousand tald, and traistfully tight,
Of wise, wourthy, and wight, in thair were wedis,
Baith with birny and brand to strenth you ful stright,21
Weill stuffit in steill, on thair stout stedis."
Than said King Arthur hymself, seymly be sight:
"Sic frendschip I hald fair, that forssis thair dedis;
Thi kyndnes salbe quyt, as I am trew knight."
Than thay buskit to the bynke, beirnis of the best.
The King crownit with gold,
Dukis deir to behold,
Allyns the banrent bold
Gladit his gest.
Thair myght service be sene, with segis in saill,
Thoght all selcought war soght fra the son to the see.22
Wynis went within that wane, maist wourthy to vaill,
In coupis of cleir gold, brichtest of blee.
It war full teir for to tell treuly in taill
The seir courssis that war set in that semblee.
The meriest war menskit on mete, at the maill,
With menstralis myrthfully makand thame glee.
Thus thay solaist thameselvin, suthly to say,
Al thay four dais to end;
The King thankit the heynd,
Syne tuke his leve for to wend,
And went on his way.
Thus refreschit he his folk in grete fusioun,
Withoutin wanting in waill, wastell or wyne.
Thai turssit up tentis and turnit of toun,
The Roy with his Round Tabill, richest of ryne.
Thay drive on the da deir be dalis and doun,
And of the nobillest bename, noumerit of nyne.
Quhen it drew to the dirk nycht, and the day yeid doun,
Thai plantit doun pavillonis, proudly fra thine.
Thus journait gentilly thyr chevalrouse knichtis,
Ithandly ilk day,
Throu mony fer contray,
Ovr the montains gay,
Holtis and hillis.
Thai passit in thare pilgramage, the proudest in pall,
The prince provit in prese, that prise wes and deir.
Syne war thai war of ane wane, wrocht with ane wal,
Reirdit on ane riche roche, beside ane riveir,
With doubill dykis bedene drawin ovr all;
Micht nane thame note with invy, nor nygh thame to neir.23
The land wes likand in large and lufsum to call;
Propir schene schane the son, seymly and feir.
The King stude vesiand the wall, maist vailyeand to se:
On that river he saw
Cumly towris to knaw;
The Roy rekinnit on raw
Thretty and thre.
Apone that riche river, randonit full evin
The sidewallis war set, sad to the see;
Scippis saland thame by, sexty and sevyn,
To send, quhen thameself list, in seir cuntré,24
That al thai that ar wrocht undir the hie hevin
Micht nocht warne thame at wil to ische nor entré.
Than carpit the cumly King, with ane lowd stevin:
"Yone is the seymliast sicht that ever couth I se.
Gif thair be ony keyne knycht that can tell it,
Quha is lord of yone land,
Lusty and likand,
Or quham of is he haldand,
Fayne wald I wit."
Than Schir Spynagrose with speche spak to the King:
"Yone lord haldis of nane leid, that yone land aw,
Bot everlesting but legiance, to his leving,25
As his eldaris has done, enduring his daw."
"Hevinly God!" said the heynd, "how happynis this thing?
Herd thair ever ony sage sa selcouth ane saw!
Sal never myne hart be in saill na in liking,
Bot gif I loissing my life, or be laid law,
Be the pilgramage compleit I pas for saull prow,26
Bot dede be my destenyng,
He sall at my agane cumyng
Mak homage and oblissing,
I mak myne avow!"
"A! Lord, sparis of sic speche, quhill ye speir more,
For abandonit will he noght be to berne that is borne.
Or he be strenyeit with strenth, yone sterne for to schore,27
Mony ledis salbe loissit, and liffis forlorne.
Spekis na succeudry, for Goddis sone deir!
Yone knicht to scar with skaitht, ye chaip nocht but scorne.28
It is full fair for to be fallow and feir
To the best that has bene brevit you beforne.
The myghty king of Massidone, wourthiest but wene,29
Thair gat he nane homage,
For all his hie parage,
Of lord of yone lynage,
Nor never none sene.
"The wy that wendis for to were quhen he wenys best,
All his will in this warld, with welthis I wys,
Yit sall be licht as leif of the lynd lest,30
That welteris doun with the wynd, sa waverand it is.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Your mycht and your majesté mesure but mys."
"In faith," said the cumly King, "trou ye full traist,
My hecht sall haldin be, for baill or for blis:
Sall never my likame be laid unlaissit to sleip,
Quhill I have gart yone berne bow,
As I have maid myne avow -
Or ellis mony wedou
Ful wraithly sal weip."
Thair wes na man that durst mel to the King
Quhan thai saw that mighty sa movit in his mude.
The Roy rial raid withoutin resting,
And socht to the cieté of Criste, ovr the salt flude.
With mekil honour in erd he maid his offering,
Syne buskit hame the samyne way that he before yude.
Thayr wes na spurris to spair, spedely thai spring;
Thai brochit blonkis to thair sidis brist of rede blude.
Thus the Roy and his rout restles thai raid
Ithandly ilk day,
Ovr the montains gay,
To Rone tuke the reddy way,
Withoutin mare abaid.
Thai plantit doun ane pailyeoun, upone ane plane lee,
Of pall and of pillour that proudly wes picht,
With rapis of rede gold, riale to see,
And grete ensenyes of the samyne, semly by sicht;
Bordouris about, that bricht war of ble,
Betin with brint gold, burely and bricht;
Frenyeis of fyne silk, fretit ful fre
With deir dyamonthis bedene, that dayntely wes dicht.31
The King cumly in kith, coverit with croune,
Callit knichtis sa kene,
Dukis douchty bedene:
"I rede we cast us betwene,
How best is to done."
Than spak ane wight weriour, wourthy and wise:
"I rede ane sayndis man ye send to yone senyeour,
Of the proudest in pall, and haldin of prise,32
Wise, vailyeing, and moist of valour.
Gif yone douchty in deid wil do your devise,
Be boune at your bidding in burgh and in bour,
Ressave him reverendly, as resoun in lyis;
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
And gif he nykis you with nay, yow worthis on neid
For to assege yone castel
With cant men and cruel,
Durandly for to duel
Ever quhill ye speid."
Than Shir Gawane the gay, grete of degre,
And Shir Lancelot de Lake, without lesing,
And avenand Schir Ewin, thai ordanit that thre
To the schore chiftane, chargit fra the Kyng.
Spynagros than spekis, said, "Lordingis in le,
I rede ye tent treuly to my teching,
For I knaw yone bauld berne better than ye,
His land, and his lordschip, and his leving.
And ye ar thre in this thede, thrivand oft in thrang,
War al your strenthis in ane,
In his grippis and ye gane,
He wald ovrcum yow ilkane,
Yone sterne is sa strang.
"And he is maid on mold meik as ane child,
Blith and bousum that berne as byrd in hir bour,
Fayr of fell and of face as flour unfild,
Wondir stalwart and strang to strive in ane stour.
Thairfore meikly with mouth mel to that myld,
And mak him na manance, bot al mesoure.33
Thus with trety ye cast yon trew undre tyld,
And faynd his frendschip to fang with fyne favour.
It hynderis never for to be heyndly of speche;
He is ane lord riale,
Ane seymly soverane in sale,
Ane wourthy wy for to wale,
Throu all this warld reche."
"Thi counsale is convenabill, kynd and courtese;
Forthi us likis thi lair listin and leir."34
Thai wyis, wourthy in weid, wend on thair ways,
And caryis to the castell, cumly and cleir;
Sent ane saynd to the soverane sone, and hym sais,
Thre knichtis fra court cum thay weir.
Than the ledis belife the lokkis unlaissis;
On fute freschly thai frekis foundis but feir;
The renkis raithly can raik into the round hald.
Thair met thame at the entré
Ladys likand to se,
Thretty knichtis and thre,
That blith war and bald.
Thai war courtes and couth thair knyghthed to kyth,
Athir uthir wele gret in gretly degré;
Thai bowit to the bernys, that bright war and blith,
Fair in armys to fang, of figure sa fre.
Syne thay sought to the chalmer, swiftly and swith,
The gait to the grete lord semely to se,
And salust the soverane sone, in ane sith,
Courtesly inclinand, and kneland on kne.
Ane blithar wes never borne of bane nor of blude;
All thre in certane
Salust the soverane,
And he inclynand agane,
Hatles, but hude.
Than Schir Gawyne the gay, gude and gracius,
That ever wes beildit in blis, and bounté embrasit,
Joly and gentill, and full chevailrus,
That never poynt of his prise wes fundin defasit,
Egir and ertand, and ryght anterus,
Illuminat with lawté, and with lufe lasit,
Melis of the message to Schir Golagrus.
Before the riale on raw the renk wes noght rasit;
With ane clene contenance, cumly to knaw,
Said: "Our soverane, Arthour,
Gretis the with honour,
Has maid us thre as mediatour,
His message to schaw.
"He is the raillest Roy, reverend and rike,
Of all the rentaris to ryme or rekin on raw.
Thare is na leid on life of lordschip hym like,
Na nane sa doughty of deid, induring his daw.
Mony burgh, mony bour, mony big bike,
Mony kynrik to his clame, cumly to knaw,
Maneris full menskfull, with mony deip dike;
Selcouth war the sevint part to say at saw.
Thare anerdis to our Nobill, to note quhen hym nedis,35
Twelf crownit kingis in feir,
With all thair strang poweir,
And mony wight weryer,
Worthy in wedis.
"It has bene tauld hym with tong, trow ye full traist,
Your dedis, your dignité and your doughtynes,
Brevit throu bounté for ane of the best
That now is namyt neir of all nobilnes,36
Sa wyde quhare wourscip walkis be west.
Our seymly Soverane hymself, forsuth, will noght cese
Quhill he have frely fangit your frendschip to fest;
Gif pament or praier mught mak that purchese,
For na largese my Lord noght wil he never let,
Na for na riches to rigne.37
I mak you na lesing,
It war his maist yarnyng
Your grant for to get."
Than said the syre of the sail, with sad sembland:
"I thank your gracious grete lord and his gude wil;
Had ever leid of this land, that had bene levand,
Maid ony feuté before, freik, to fulfil,
I suld sickirly myself be consentand,
And seik to your soverane, seymly on syll.
Sen hail our doughty elderis has bene endurand,38
Thrivandly in this thede, unchargit as thril,
If I, for obeisance or boist, to bondage me bynde,
I war wourthy to be
Hingit heigh on ane tre,
That ilk creature might se,
To waif with the wynd.
"Bot savand my senyeoury fra subjectioun,
And my lordscip unlamyt, withoutin legiance,
All that I can to yone King, cumly with croun,
I sall preif all my pane to do hym plesance,
Baith with body and beild, bowsum and boun,
Hym to mensk on mold, withoutin manance.
Bot nowthir for his senyeoury, nor for his summoun,
Na for dreid of na dede, na for na distance,
I will noght bow me ane bak for berne that is borne.
Quhill I may my wit wald,
I think my fredome to hald,
As my eldaris of ald
Has done me beforne."
Thai lufly ledis at that lord thair levis has laught;
Bounit to the bauld King, and boidword him broght.
Than thai schupe for to assege segis unsaught,
Ay the manlyest on mold, that maist of myght moght.
Thair wes restling and reling but rest that raught.
Mony sege ovr the sey to the cité socht;
Schipmen ovr the streme thai stithil full straught,
With alkin wappyns, I wys, that wes for were wroght.
Thai bend bowis of bras braithly within;
Pellokis paisand to pase,
Gapand gunnys of brase,
Grundin ganyeis thair wase,
That maid ful gret dyn.
Thair wes blawing of bemys, braging and beir;
Bretynit doune braid wod, maid bewis full bair;
Wrightis welterand doune treis, wit ye but weir,
Ordanit hurdys ful hie in holtis sa haire,
To gar the gayest on grund grayne undir geir.
For to greif thair gomys, gramest that wer,
Thus thai schupe for ane salt, ilk sege seir;
Ilka soverane his enseyne shewin has thair;
Ferly fayr wes the feild, flekerit and faw
With gold and goulis in greyne,
Schynand scheirly and scheyne;
The sone, as cristall sa cleyne,
In scheildis thai schaw.
Be it wes mydmorne and mare, merkit on the day,
Schir Golagros mery men, menskful of myght,
In greis and garatouris, grathit full gay,
Sevyne score of scheildis thai schew at ane sicht.
Ane helme set to ilk scheild, siker of assay,
With fel lans on loft, lemand ful light.
Thus flourit thai the forefront, thair fays to fray,
The frekis, that war fundin ferse and forssy in fight.
Ilk knyght his cunysance kithit full cleir;
Thair names writtin all thare,
Quhat berne that it bare,
That ilk freke quhare he fare
Might wit quaht he weir.
"Yone is the warliest wane," said the wise King,
"That ever I wist in my walk, in all this warld wyde;
And the straitest of stuf, with richese to ring,
With unabasit bernys bergane to abide;
May nane do thame na deir with undoyng;
Yone house is sa huge hie, fra harme thame to hide.
Yit sal I mak thame unrufe, foroutin resting,
And reve thame thair rentis, with routis full ride,
Thoght I suld fynd thame new notis for this nine yeir;39
And in his aune presence
Heir sall I mak residence,
Bot he with force mak defence,
With strenth me to steir."
"Quhat nedis," said Spinagrus, "sic notis to nevin,
Or ony termis be turnit, I tell you treuly?
For thair is segis in yone saill wil set upone sevin40
Or thay be wrangit, I wis, I warne you ilk wy.41
Nane hardiar of hertis undir the hevin:
Or thay be dantit with dreid, erar will thai de;
And thai with men upone mold be machit full evin,
Thai salbe fundin right ferse, and full of chevalrie.
Schir, ye ar in your majesté, your mayne and your myght,
Yit within thir dais thre,
The sicker suth sall ye se,
Quhat kin men that thai be,
And how thai dar fight."
As the reverend Roy wes reknand upone raw,
With the rout of the Round Tabill, that wes richest,
The King crounit with gold, cumly to knaw,
With reverend baronis and beirnis of the best,
He hard ane bugill blast brym and ane loud blaw,
As the seymly sone silit to the rest.
A gome gais to ane garet, glisnand to schaw,
Turnit to ane hie toure, that tight wes full trest;
Ane helme of hard steill in hand has he hynt,
Ane scheld wroght all of weir,
Semyt wele upone feir;
He grippit to ane grete speir,
And furth his wais wynt.
"Quhat signifyis yone schene scheild?" said the Senyeour.
"The lufly helme and the lance, all ar away,
The brym blast that he blew with ane stevin stour?"
Than said Spynagrus with speche: "The suth sall I say.
Yone is ane freik in his force, and fresch in his flour.
To se that his schire weid be sicker of assay,
He thinkis prouese to preve for his paramour,
And prik in your presence to purchese his pray.
Forthi makis furth ane man, to mach hym in feild,
That knawin is for cruel,
Doughty dyntis to dell,
That for the maistry dar mell
With schaft and with scheild."
Than wes the King wondir glaid, and callit Gaudifeir;
Quhilum in Britane that berne had baronyis braid.
And he gudly furth gais, and graithit his geir,
And buskit hym to battell, without mair abaid.
That wy walit, I wis, all wedis of weir
That nedit hym to note gif he nane had.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Bery broune wes the blonk, burely and braid,
Upone the mold, quhare thai met, before the mydday.
With lufly lancis and lang,
Ane faire feild can thai fang,
On stedis stalwart and strang,
Baith blanchart and bay.
Gaudifeir and Galiot, in glemand steil wedis,
As glavis glowand on gleid, grymly thai ride.
Wondir sternly thai steir on thair stent stedis:
Athir berne fra his blonk borne wes that tide.42
Thai ruschit up rudly, quhasa right redis;
Out with swerdis thai swang fra thair schalk side.
Thairwith wraithly thai wirk, thai wourthy in wedis,43
Hewit on the hard steil, and hurt thame in the hide.
Sa wondir freschly thai frekis fruschit in feir,
Throw all the harnes thai hade,
Baith birny and breistplade,
Thairin wappynis couth wade,
Wit ye but weir.
Thus thai faught upone fold, with ane fel fair,
Quhill athir berne in that breth bokit in blude.
Thus thai mellit on mold, ane myle way and maire,
Wraithly wroht, as thei war witlese and wode.
Baith thai segis, forsuth, sadly and sair,44
Thoght thai war astonait, in that stour stithly thai stude.
The feght sa felly thai fang, with ane fresch fair,45
Quhil Gaudifeir and Galiot baith to grund yhude.
Gaudifeir gat up agane, throu Goddis grete mightis -
Abone him wichtely he wan,
With the craft that he can.
Thai lovit God and Sanct An,
The King and his knightis.
Than wes Galiot the gome hynt in till ane hald.
Golagrus grew in greif, grymly in hart,
And callit Schir Rigal of Rone, ane renk that wes bald:
"Quhill this querrell be quyt, I cover never in quert.46
With wailit wapnis of were, evin on yone wald,
On ane sterand steid that sternly will stert
I pray the, for my saik, that it be deir sald;
Was never sa unsound set to my hert."
That gome gudly furth gays and graithit his gere,
Blew ane blast of ane horne,
As wes the maner beforne;
Scheld and helm has he borne
Away with his spere.
The King crownit with gold this cumpas wele knew,
And callit Schir Raunald, cruell and kene:
"Gif ony pressis to this place, for prowes to persew,
Schaip the evin to the schalk, in thi schroud schene."47
The deir dight him to the deid, be the day dew:48
His birny and his basnet, burnist full bene;
Baith his horse and his geir wes of ane hale hew,
With gold and goulis sa gay graithit in grene;
Ane schene scheild and ane schaft, that scharply was sched.
Thre ber hedis he bair,
As his eldaris did air,
Quhilk beirnis in Britane wair
Of his blude bred.
Quhen the day can daw, deirly on hight,
And the sone in the sky wes schynyng so schir,
Fra the castell thair come cariand ane knight,
Closit in clene steill, upone ane coursyr.
Schir Rannald to his riche steid raikit full right;
Lightly lap he on loft, that lufly of lyre.
Athir laught has thair lance, that lemyt so light;
On twa stedis thai straid, with ane sterne schiere.
Togiddir freschly thai frekis fruschit, in fay;
Thair speris in splendris sprent
On scheldis, schonkit and schent,
Evin ovr thair hedis went
In feild fir away.
Thai lufly ledis belife lightit on the land,
And laught out swerdis, lufly and lang.
Thair stedis stakkerit in the stour, and stude stummerand,49
Al tostiffillit and stonayt, the strakis war sa strang!
Athir berne braithly bet with ane bright brand;
On fute freschly thai frekis feghtin thai fang;
Thai hewit on hard steil, hartly with hand,
Quhil the spalis and the sparkis spedely out sprang.
Schir Rannald raught to the renk ane rout wes unryde;
Clenely in the collair,
Fifty mailyeis and mair
Evin of the schuldir he schair,
Ane wound that wes wyde.
Thus thai faucht on fute, on the fair feild.
The blude famyt thame fra, on feild quhare thai found;
All the bernys on the bent about that beheild,
For pure sorow of that sight thai sighit unsound.
Schire teris schot fra schalkis, schene undir scheild,
Quhen thai foundrit and fel fey to the grund;
Baith thair hartis can brist braithly, but beild.
Thair wes na stalwart unstonait, so sterne wes the stound!
Schir Rannaldis body wes broght to the bright tent;
Syne to the castel of stone
Thai had Schir Regal of Rone;
With mekil murnyng and mone
Away with him went.
Thus endit the avynantis with mekil honour;
Yit has men thame in mynd for thair manhede.50
Thair bodeis wes beryit baith in ane hour;
Set segis for thair saullis to syng and to reid.
Than Gologrus graithit of his men in glisnand armour
And Schir Louys the lele, ane lord of that leid;
Ane uthir heght Edmond, that provit paramour;51
The thrid heght Schir Bantellas, the batal to leid;
The ferd wes ane weryour worthy and wight,
His name wes Schir Sanguel,
Cumly and cruel;
Thir four, treuly to tell,
Foundis to the feght.
Schir Lyonel to Schir Louys wes levit with ane lance;
Schir Ewin to Shir Edmond, athir ful evin;
Schir Bedwar to Schir Bantellas, to enschew his chance,
That baith war nemmyt in neid, nobil to nevin;
To Schir Sangwel soght gude Gyromalance.
Thus thai mellit and met with ane stout stevin,
Thir lufly ledis on the land, without legiance.
With seymely scheildis to schew, thai set upone sevin,
Thir cumly knightis to kyth ane cruel course maid.52
The frekis felloune in feir
Wondir stoutly can steir,
With geir grundin ful cleir
Rudly thai raid.
Than thair hors with thair hochis sic harmis couth hint,
As trasit in unquart quakand thai stand.
The frekis freschly thai fure, as fyre out of flynt;
Thair lufly lancis thai loissit, and lichtit on the land.
Right styth, stuffit in steill, thai stotit na stynt,
Bot buskit to battaille with birny and brand.
Thair riche birnys thai bet derfly with dynt,
Hewis doun in grete haist, hartly with hand.
Thai mighty men upon mold ane riale course maid,
Quhill clowis of clene maill
Hoppit out as the haill,
Thay beirnys in the bataill
Sa bauldly thai baid!
Thai bet on sa brymly, thai beirnys on the bent,
Bristis birneis with brandis burnist full bene.
Throu thair schene scheildis thair schuldiris war schent;
Fra schalkis schot schire blude ovr scheildis so schene.
Ryngis of rank steill rattillit and rent,
Gomys grisly on the grund grams on the grene.
The Roy ramyt for reuth, richist of rent,
For cair of his knightis cruel and kene,
Sa wondir freschly thair force thai frest on the feildis!
Sa huge wes the mellé,
Wes nane sa sutell couth se
Quhilk gome suld govern the gre,
Bot God that al weildis.
The wyis wroght uthir grete wandreth and weuch,
Wirkand woundis full wyde with wapnis of were.
Helmys of hard steill thai hatterit and heuch;
In that hailsing thai hynt grete harmys and here,
All toturvit thair entyre, traistly and tewch.
Burnist bladis of steill throw birneis thay bere.
Schort swerdis of scheith smertly thay dreuch,
Athir freik to his fallow, with fellonne affere;
Throw platis of polist steill thair poyntis can pase.
All thus thai threw in that thrang
Stalwart strakis and strang;
With daggaris derfly thay dang,
Thai doughtyis on dase.
Schir Lyonell Schir Lowes laught has in hand,
And sesit is Sangwell with Giromalans the gude.
Schir Evin has Schir Edmond laid on the land,
Braithly bartynit with baill, bullerand in blude.
Schir Bedwar to Schir Bantellas yaldis up his brand,
In that stalwart stour thay styth men in stude.
Wes nane forssy on fold that wes feghtand -53
Unmanglit and marrit - myghtles in mude;
Wes nane sa proud of his part, that prisit quhen he yeid.
Bedwer and Lyonell
War led to the castell;
The cumly knight Sangwell
To Arthour thay led.
Schir Edmond loissit has his life, and laid is full law;
Schir Evin hurtis has hynt hidwise and sair.
Knightis caryis to the corse, wes cumly to knaw,
And had hym to the castell with mekill hard cair;
Thai did to that doughty as the dede aw.
Uthir four of the folk foundis to the fair,
That wes dight to the dede, be the day can daw;
Than said bernys bald, brym as bair:
"We sal evin that is od, or end in the pane!"
Thai stuffit helmys in hy,
Breistplait and birny;
Thay renkis maid reddy
All geir that myght gane.
Schir Agalus, Schir Ewmond, honest and habill,
Schir Mychin, Schir Meligor, men of grete estait;
Than stertis out ane sterne knyght, stalwart and stabill,
Ane berne that heght Schir Hew, hardy and hait.
Now wil I rekkin the renkis of the Round Tabill,
That has traistly thame tight to governe that gait.54
Furth faris the folk, but fenyeing or fabill,
That bemyt war be the lord, lufsum of lait:
Schir Cador of Cornwel, cumly and cleir,
Schir Owales, Schir Iwell,
Schir Myreot, mighty emell;
Thir four, treuly to tell,
Foundis in feir.
Thair wes na trety of treux, trow ye full traist,
Quhen thai myghty can mach, on mold quhair thai met.
Thai brochit blonkis to thair sydis out of blude braist,
Thair lufly lancis thai loissit, and lightit but let;
Sadillis thai temyt tyt, thir trew men and traist,
Braidit out brandis, on birnys thai bet.
As fyre that fleis fra the flynt, thay fechtin sa fast,
With vengeand wapnis of were throu wedis thai wet.
It war teirfull to tell treuly the tend
Of thair strife sa strang,
The feght so fellely thai fang.
Thoght it lestit never so lang,
Yit laught it ane end.
Schir Owiles, Schir Iwill, in handis war hynt,
And to the lufly castell war led in ane lyng.
Thairwith the stalwartis in stour can stotin and stynt,
And baith Schir Agalus and Schir Hew wes led to the Kyng.
Than Schir Golograse for greif his gray ene brynt,
Wod wraith as the wynd, his handis can wryng.
Yit makis he mery, magry quhasa mynt -
Said: "I sal bargane abyde, and ane end bryng;
Tomorne, sickirly, my self sall seik to the feild."
He buskit to ane barfray -
Twa smal bellis rang thay;
Than seymly Arthur can say,
Wes schene undir scheild:
"Quhat signifyis yone rynging?" said the Ryale.
Than said Spynagros with speche: "Schir sens peir,
That sall I tell yow with tong, treuly in taill.
The wy that weildis yone wane, I warn you but weir,55
He thinkis his aune self shall do for his dail;
Is nane sa provit in this part of pyth is his peir.56
Yow worthis wisly to wirk, ane wy for to wail,
That sal duchtely his deid do with yone deir.
He is the forsiest freik, be fortoune his freynd,
That I wait levand this day."
Than Schir Gawine the gay
Prayt for the journay,
That he myght furth weynd.
The King grantit the gait to Schir Gawane,
And prayt to the grete God to grant him his grace,
Him to save and to salf, that is our soverane,
As he is makar of man, and alkyn myght haise.
Than Schir Spynagros, the freik, wox ferly unfane,
Murnyt for Schir Gawyne, and mekil mayne maise,
And said: "For His saik, that saiklese wes slane,
Tak nocht yone keyne knight to countir, in this hard cais -57
Is nane sa stalwart in stour, with stoutnes to stand.
Of al that langis to the King,
The mair is my murnyng,
Ye suld this fell fechting
Hynt upone hand.
"Sen ye ar sa wourschipfull, and wourthy in were,
Demyt with the derrest, maist doughty in deid,
Yone berne in the battale wil ye noght forbere,
For al the mobil on the mold, merkit to meid."
"Gif I de doughtely, the les is my dere,
Thoght he war Sampsone himself, sa me Criste reid!
I forsaik noght to feght, for al his grete feir,
I do the weill for to wit, doutlese but dreid."
Than said Schir Spynagrose: "Sen ye will of neid
Be boun to the battale,
Wirkis with counsale -
It sall right gret avale,
And do it in deid.
"Quhen ye mach hym on mold, merk to hym evin,
And bere ye your bright lance in myddis his scheild;
Mak that course cruel, for Crystis lufe of hevin!
And syne wirk as I wise, your wappins to weild.
Be he stonayt, yone sterne, stout beis his stevin;
He wourdis brym as ane bair, that bydis na beild.58
Noy you noght at his note, that nobill is to nevin.
Suppose his dyntis be deip dentit in your scheild,
Tak na haist upone hand, quhat happunys may hynt;
Bot lat the riche man rage,
And fecht in his curage,
To swyng with swerd quhil he suage;
Syne dele ye your dynt.
"Quhen he is stuffit, thair strike, and hald hym on steir:59
Sa sal ye stonay yone stowt, suppose he be strang.
Thus may ye lippin on the lake, throu lair that I leir;60
Bot gif ye wirk as wise, you worthis that wrang."
The King and his knihtis, cumly and cleir,
In armour dewly hym dight, be the day sprang.
Than wes Schir Kay wondir wo, wit ye but weir,
In defalt of ane freik the feghting to fang.61
That gome gudely furth gais, and graithit his geir;
Evin to the castell he raid,
Huvit in ane dern slaid;
Sa come ane knight as he baid,
Anairmit of weir.
That knight buskit to Schir Kay one ane steid broune,
Braissit in birneis and basnet full bene;
He cryis his ensenye and conteris hym full soune,
And maid ane course curagiouse, cruell and kene.
Thair lufly lancis thai loissit, and lightit baith doune,
And girdit out swerdis on the grund grene,
And hewit on hard steill hartlie but houne.
Rude reknyng raise thair renkis betwene.
Thair mailyeis with melle thay merkit in the medis;
The blude of thair bodeis
Throw breistplait and birneis,
As roise ragit on rise,
Ovrran thair riche wedis.
Thus thai faught upone fute, without fenyeing.
The sparkis flaw in the feild, as fyre out of flynt.
Thai lufly ledis in lyke, thai layid on in ane ling,
Delis thair full doughtely mony derf dynt.
Duschand on deir wedis, dourly thai dyng;62
Hidwise hurtis and huge haistely thai hynt.
That knight carpit to Schir Kay, of discomforting:
"Of this stonayand stour I rede that ye stynt.
I will yeild the my brand, sen na better may bene.
Quhair that fortoune will faill,
Thair may na besynes availl."
He braidit up his ventaill
That closit wes clene.
For to ressave the brand the berne wes full blith,
For he wes byrsit and beft, and braithly bledand.
Thoght he wes myghtles, his mercy can he thair myth,
And wald that he nane harm hynt with hart and with hand.63
Thai caryit baith to the Kynge, cumly to kyth;
Thair lancis war loissit and left on the land.
Than said he loud upone loft: "Lord, will ye lyth:64
Ye sall nane torfeir betyde, I tak upone hand.
Na mysliking have in hart, nor have ye na dout.
Oft in romanis I reid:
Airly sporne, late speid."
The King to the pailyeoun gart leid
The knight that wes stout.
Thai hynt of his harnese, to helyn his wound;
Lechis war noght to lait, with sawis sa sle.
With that, mony fresch freik can to the feild found,
With Gologras in his geir, grete of degre;
Armyt in rede gold, and rubeis sa round,
With mony riche relikis, riale to se.
Thair wes on Gologras, quhair he glaid on the ground,
Frenyeis of fine silk, fratit full fre.
Apone sterand stedis, trappit to the heill,
Sexty schalkis full schene
Cled in armour sa clene;
No wy wantit, I wene,
All stuffit in steill.
That berne raid on ane blonk of ane ble quhite,
Blyndit all with bright gold and beriallis bright -
To tell of his deir weid war doutles delite,
And alse ter for to tell the travalis war tight.
His name and his nobillay wes noght for to nyte;
Thair wes na hathill sa heich, be half ane fute hicht.
He lansit out ovr ane land, and drew noght ane lyte,
Quhair he suld frastyn his force, and fangin his fight.
Be that Schir Gawyne the gay wes graithit in his gere;
Cummyng on the ta syde,
Hovand, battale to abyde,
All reddy samyne to ryde,
With schelde and with spere.
Thir lufly ledis on the land left be thame allane,
Tuke nowthir fremmyt nor freyndis, bot found thame fra;
Twa rynnyng renkis raith the riolyse has tane,65
Ilk freik to his feir, to frestin his fa.
Thai gird one twa grete horse, on grund quhil thai grane.66
The trew helmys and traist in tathis thai ta;
The rochis reirdit with the rasch, quhen thai samyne rane.67
Thair speris in the feild in flendris gart ga;
The stedis stakerit in the stour, for strekyng on stray.68
The bernys bowit abak,
Sa woundir rude wes the rak;
Quhilk that happynnit the lak,
Couth na leid say!
Thai brayd fra thair blonkis, besely and bane.
Syne laught out swerdis, lang and lufly,
And hewit on hard steill, wondir hawtane.
Baith war thai haldin of hartis heynd and hardy.
Gologras grew in greif at Schir Gawane;
On the hight of the hard steill he hyt hym in hy,
Pertly put with his pith at his pesane,69
And fulyeit of the fyne maill ma than fyfty.
The knight stakrit with the straik, all stonayt in stound,70
Sa woundir scharply he schair,
The berne that the brand bair.
Schir Gawyne, with ane fell fair,
Can to his faa found.
With ane bitand brand, burly and braid,
Quhilk oft in battale had bene his bute and his belde,
He leit gird to the grome, with greif that he had,
And claif throw the cantell of the clene schelde.
Throw birny and breistplait and bordour it baid;
The fulye of the fyne gold fell in the feild.
The rede blude with the rout folowit the blaid,
For all the wedis, I wise, that the wy weild,
Throw claspis of clene gold, and clowis sa cleir.
Thair with Schir Gologras the syre,
In mekill angir and ire,
Alse ferse as the fyre,
Leit fle to his feir.
Sic dintis he delt to that doughty,
Leit hym destanyt to danger and dreid;
Thus wes he handillit full hait, that hawtane, in hy.
The scheld in countir he kest ovr his cleir weid,
Hewit on hard steill woundir haistely;
Gart beryallis hop of the hathill about hym on breid.71
Than the King unto Criste kest up ane cry,
Said: "Lord, as Thow life lent to levand in leid,
As Thou formit all frute to foster our fude,
Grant me confort this day,
As Thow art God verray!"
Thus prais the King in affray,
For Gawyne the gude.
Golagras at Gawyne in sic ane grief grew
As lyoune, for falt of fude, faught on the fold.
With baith his handis in haist that haltane couth hew,
Gart stanys hop of the hathill, that haltane war hold,72
Birny and breistplait, bright for to schew;
Mony mailye and plait war marrit on the mold.
Knichtis ramyt for reuth; Schir Gawyne thai rew,
That doughty delit with hym sa, for dout he war defold,
Sa wondir scharply he schare throu his schene schroud.
His scheild he chopit hym fra
In twenty pecis and ma.
Schir Wawane writhit for wa,
Witlese and woud.
Thus wourthit Schir Gawyne wraith and wepand,
And straik to that stern knight but stynt.
All engrevit the grome, with ane bright brand,
And delt thairwith doughtely mony derf dynt.
Throw byrny and breistplait, bordour and band,
He leit fle to the freke, as fyre out of flynt.
He hewit on with grete haist, hartly with hand,
Hakkit throw the hard weid, to the hede hynt;
Throw the stuf with the straik, stapalis and stanis,73
Schir Wawine, wourthy in wail,
Half ane span at ane spail,
Quhare his harnes wes hail,
He hewit attanis.
Thus raithly the riche berne rassit his array.
The tothir stertis ane bak, the sterne that wes stout,
Hit Schir Gawayne on the gere quhil grevit wes the gay,
Betit doune the bright gold and beryallis about;
Scheddit his schire wedis scharply away:
That lufly lappit war on loft, he gart thame law lout.74
The sterne stakrit with the straik, and stertis on stray,
Quhill neir his resoune wes tynt, sa rude wes the rout!
The beryallis on the land of bratheris gart light,
Rubeis and sapheir,
Precious stanis that weir;
Thus drese thai wedis sa deir,
That dantely wes dight.
Thai gyrd on sa grymly, in ane grete ire,
Baith Schir Gawine the grome, and Gologras the knight.
The sparkis flew in the feild, as fagottis of fire,
Sa wondir frely thai frekis fangis the fight.
Thai luschit and laid on, thai luflyis of lyre.
King Arthur Jhesu besoght, seymly with sight:
"As Thow art Soverane God, sickerly, and syre,
At Thow wald warys fra wo Wawane the wight,75
And grant the frekis on fold farar to fall,
Baith thair honouris to saif."
At Crist with credence thai craif,
Knight, squyar and knaif;
And thus pray thay all.
Thai mellit on with malice, thay myghtyis in mude,76
Mankit throu mailyeis, and maid thame to mer;77
Wraithly wroght, as thai war witlese and wod.
Be that Schir Wawane the wy likit the wer;78
The ble of his bright weid wes bullerand in blude.
Thair with the nobill in neid nyghit hym ner,79
Straik hym with ane steill brand, in stede quhare he stude.
The scheld in fardellis can fle, in feild away fer;
The tothir hyt hym agane with ane hard swerd.
As he loutit ovr ane bra,
His feit founderit hym fra;
Schir Gologras graithly can ga
Grulingis to erd.
Or ever he gat up agane, gude Schir Gawane
Grippit to Schir Gologras on the grund grene.
Thairof gromys wes glaid, gudly and gane,
Lovit Criste of that case with hartis sa clene.
Ane daggar dayntely dight that doughty has drawne;
Than he carpit to the knight, cruel and kene:
"Gif thou luffis thi life, lelely noght to layne,
Yeld me thi bright brand, burnist sa bene;
I rede thow wirk as I wise, or war the betide."80
The tothir answerit schortly:
"Me think farar to dee,
Than schamyt be, verralie,
And sclander to byde.
"Wes I never yit defoullit, nor fylit in fame,
Nor nane of my eldaris, that ever I hard nevin.
Bot ilk berne has bene unbundin with blame,
Ringand in rialté, and reullit thameself evin.
Sall never sege undir son se me with schame,
Na luke on my lekame with light nor with levin,
Na nane of the nynt degré have noy of my name,81
I swere be suthfast God, that settis all on sevin!
Bot gif that wourschip of were win me away,
I trete for na favour.
Do furth thi devoir -
Of me gettis thou na more,
Doutles this day."
Lordingis and ladyis in the castell on loft,
Quhen thai saw thair liege lord laid on the landis,
Mony sweit thing of sware swownit full oft,
Wyis wourthit for wo to wringin thair handis.
Wes nowthir solace nor sang thair sorow to soft -
Ane sayr stonayand stour at thair hartis standis.
On Criste cumly thay cry: "On Croce as Thou coft,
With Thi blissit blude to bring us out of bandis,
Lat never our soverane his cause with schame to encheif!
Mary, farest of face,
Beseik thi sone in this cace,
Ane drop of His grete grace
He grant us to geif!"
Thus the ledis on loft in langour war lent.
The lordis on the tothir side for likyng thay leugh.
Schir Gawyne tretit the knight to turn his entent,
For he wes wondir wa to wirk hym mare wugh.
"Schir, say for thiself, thow seis thou art schent;
It may nocht mend the ane myte to mak it so teugh.
Rise, and raik to our Roy, richest of rent;
Thow salbe newit at neid with nobillay eneuch,
And dukit in our duchery, all the duelling."
"Than war I woundir unwis,
To purchese proffit for pris,
Quhare schame ay ever lyis,
All my leving.
"The sege that schrenkis for na schame, the schent might hym schend,82
That mare luffis his life than lois upone erd.
Sal never freik on fold, fremmyt nor freynde,
Gar me lurk for ane luke, lawit nor lerd.83
For quhasa with wourschip sall of this warld wende,
Thair wil nane wyis, that ar wis, wary the werd.84
For ony trety may tyde, I tell the the teynd,
I wil noght turn myn entent, for all this warld brerd,
Or I pair of pris ane penny-worth in this place,
For besandis or beryell;
I knaw my aune quarrell -
I dreid not the pereill
To dee in this cace!"
Schir Gawyne rewit the renk, that wes riale,
And said to the reverend, riche and rightwis:
"How may I succour the sound, semely in sale,
Before this pepill in plane, and pair noght thy pris?"
"That sall I tel the with tong, trewly in tale,
Wald yow denye the in deid to do my devis:
Lat it worth at my wil the wourschip to wale,
As I had wonnyn the of were, wourthy and wis;
Syne cary to the castel, quhare I have maist cure.
Thus may yow saif me fra syte;
As I am cristynit perfite,
I sall thi kyndnes quyte,
And sauf thyn honoure."
"That war hard," said that heynd, "sa have I gude hele!
Ane wounder peralous poynt, partenyng grete plight,
To souer in thi gentrice, but signete or sele,85
And I before saw the never, sickerly, with sight.
To leif in thi lauté, and thow war unlele,86
Than had I cassin in cair mony kene knight.
Bot I knaw thou art kene, and alse cruell;
Or thow be fulyeit fey, freke, in the fight,
I do me in thi gentrice, be Drightin sa deir!"87
He leynt up in the place;
The tothir raithly upraise.
Gat never grome sic ane grace,
In feild of his feir!
Than thei nobillis at neid yeid to thair note new -88
Freschly foundis to feght, all fenyeand thair fair.
Tua schort swerdis of scheith smertly thai drew,
Than thai mellit on mold, ane myle way and mare.
Wes newthir casar nor king thair quentance that knew;89
It semyt be thair contenance that kendillit wes care.
Syne thai traist in that feild, throu trety of trew,90
Put up thair brandis sa braid, burly and bair.
Gologras and Gawyne, gracious and gude,
Yeid to the castel of stane,
As he war yoldin and tane.
The King precious in pane
Sair murnand in mude.
The Roy ramand ful raith, that reuth wes to se,
And raikit full redles to his riche tent;
The watter wet his chekis, that schalkis myght se,
As all his welthis in warld had bene away went,
And othir bernys for barrat blakynnit thair ble,
Braithly bundin in baill, thair breistis war blent.
"The flour of knighthede is caught throu his cruelté!
Now is the Round Tabil rebutit, richest of rent,
Quhen wourschipfull Wawane, the wit of our were,
Is led to ane presoune;
Now failyeis gude fortoune!"
The King, cumly with croune,
Grat mony salt tere.
Quhen that Gawyne the gay, grete of degre,
Wes cummyn to the castel, cumly and cleir,
Gromys of that garisoune maid gamyn and gle,
And ledis lofit thair lord, lufly of lyere;
Beirdis beildit in blise, brightest of ble.
The tothir knightis maid care of Arthuris here;91
Al thus with murnyng and myrth thai maid melle.92
Ay, quhil the segis war set to the suppere,
The seymly soverane of the sail marschel he wes;
He gart Schir Gawyne upga,
His wife, his doghter alsua,
And, of that mighty, na ma
War set at that des.
He gart at ane sete burd the strangearis begin;
The maist seymly in sale ordanit thame sete,
Ilk knyght ane cumly lady, that cleir wes of kyn.93
With kynde contenance the renk couth thame rehete,
Quhen thai war machit at mete, the mare and the myn,
And ay the meryest on mold marschalit at mete.
Than said he lowd upone loft, the lord of that in,
To al the beirnys about, of gré that wes grete:
"Lufly ledis in land, lythis me til!"
He straik the burd with ane wand,
The quhilk he held in hand.
Thair wes na word muvand,
Sa war thai all stil.
"Heir ye ar gaderit in grosse, al the gretest
Of gomys that grip has, undir my governyng,
Of baronis and burowis, of braid land the best,
And alse the meryest on mold has intrometting.
Cumly knightis, in this cace I mak you request,
Freyndfully, but falsset, or ony fenyeing,
That ye wald to me, treuly and traist,
Tell your entent, as tuiching this thing
That now hingis on my hart, sa have I gude hele!
It tuichis myne honour sa neir,
Ye mak me plane answeir;
Thairof I you requeir -
I may noght concele.
"Say me ane chois, the tane of thir twa,
Quhethir ye like me lord, laught in the feild,
Or ellis my life at the lest lelely forga,
And boune yow to sum berne, that myght be your beild?"94
The wourthy wyis at that word wox woundir wa,
Than thai wist thair soverane wes schent undir scheild.
"We wil na favour here fenye to frende nor to fa.
We like yow ay as our lord, to were and to weild;
Your lordschip we may noght forga, alse lang as we leif.
Ye sal be our governour,
Quhil your dais may endure,
In eise and honour,
For chance that may cheif."
Quhen this avenand and honest had maid this answer,
And had tald thair entent trewly him till,
Than Schir Gologras the gay, in gudly maneir,
Said to thai segis, semely on syll,
How wourschipful Wawane had wonnin him on weir,
To wirk him wandreth or wough, quhilk war his wil;
How fair him fell in feght, syne how he couth forbere.95
"In sight of his soverane, this did the gentill:
He has me savit fra syte throw his gentrice.
It war syn, but recure,
The knightis honour suld smure,96
That did me this honoure,
Quhilk maist is of price.
"I aught as prynce him to prise for his prowese,
That wanyt noght my wourschip, as he that al wan;
And at his bidding full bane, blith to obeise
This berne full of bewté, that all my baill blan,
I mak that knawin and kend, his grete kyndnes,97
The countirpas to kyth to him, gif I can."
He raikit to Schir Gawine, right in ane race,
Said: "Schir, I knaw be conquest thow art ane kynd man;
Quhen my lyfe and my dede wes baith at thi will,
Thy frendschip frely I fand;
Now wil I be obeyand,
And make the manrent with hand,
As right is, and skill.
"Sen Fortoune cachis the cours, throu hir quentys,
I did it noght for nane dreid that I had to de,
Na for na fauting of hart, na for na fantise.
Quhare Criste cachis the cours, it rynnis quently -98
May nowthir power nor pith put him to prise.
Quhan onfortone quhelmys the quheil, thair gais grace by;99
Quha may his danger endure or destanye dispise,
That led men in langour ay lestand inly,
The date na langar may endure na Drightin devinis.
Ilk man may kyth be his cure,
Baith knyght, king and empriour,
And muse in his myrrour;
And mater maist mine is.
"Hectour and Alexander, and Julius Cesar,
David and Josué, and Judas the gent,
Sampsone and Salamon, that wise and wourthy war,
And that ryngis on erd, richest of rent:
Quhen thai met at the merk, than might thai na mair,100
To speid thame ovr the sperefeild - enspringing thai sprent;
Quhen Fortune worthis unfrende, than failieis welefair -
Thair ma na tresour ovrtak nor twyn hir entent.
All erdly riches and ruse is noght in thair garde;
Quhat menis Fortoune be skill,
Ane gude chance or ane ill,
Ilkane be werk and be will
Is worth his rewarde.
"Schir Hallolkis, Schir Hewis, heynd and hardy,
Schir Lyonel lufly, and alse Schir Bedwere,
Schir Wawane the wise knight, wicht and wourthy -
Carys furth to the King, cumly and clere;
Alse my self sall pase with yow reddy,
My kyth and my castel compt his conquere."
Thai war arait ful raith, that ryale cumpany,
Of lordis and ladis, lufsum to lere,
With grete lightis on loft, that gaif grete leime -
Sexty torcheis ful bright,
Before Schir Gologras the knyght;
That wes ane semely syght,
In ony riche reime.
All effrayt of that fair wes the fresch King,
Wend the wyis had bene wroght all for the weir.
Lordis laught thair lancis, and went in ane lyng,
And graithit thame to the gait, in thair greif geir.
Spynok spekis with speche, said: "Move you na thing -
It semys saughtnyng thai seik, I se be thair feir.
Yone riche cummis arait in riche robbing:
I trow this devore be done, I dout for na deir.
I wait Schir Gawane the gay has graithit this gait;
Betwix Schir Gologras and he
Gude contenance I se,
And uthir knightis so fre,
Lufsum of lait."
The renk raikit to the Roy, with his riche rout -
Sexty schalkis that schene, seymly to schaw,
Of banrenttis and baronis bauld hym about,
In clathis of cleyne gold, cumly to knaw.
To that lordly on loft that lufly can lout,
Before the riale renkis, richest on raw;
Salust the bauld berne, with ane blith wout,
Ane furlenth before his folk, on feildis so faw.
The King crochit with croune, cumly and cleir,
Tuke him up by the hand,
With ane fair sembland;
Grete honour that avenand
Did to the deir.
Than that seymly be sight said to the gent,
Wes vailyeand and verteous, foroutin ony vice:
"Heir am I cumyn at this tyme to your present,
As to the wourschipfullest in warld, wourthy and wise,
Of al that ryngis in erd richest of rent,
Of pyth and of prowes, peirles of prise.
Heir I mak yow ane grant, with gudly entent,
Ay to your presence to persew, with al my service;
Quhare ever ye found or fair, be firth or be fell,
I sal be reddy at your will
In alkin resoune and skill,
As I am haldin thairtill,
Treuly to tell."
He did the Conquerour to knaw all the cause quhy,
That all his hathillis in that heir, hailly on hight -101
How he wes wonnyn of wer with Wawane the wy,
And al the fortoune the freke befell in the fight;
The dout and the danger he tauld him quently.
Than said Arthur himselvin, semely by sight:
"This is ane soveranefull thing, be Jhesu, think I,
To leif in sic perell, and in sa grete plight.
Had ony prejudice apperit in the partyce,
It had bene grete perell.
Bot sen thi lawté is lell,
That thow my kyndnes wil heill,
The mare is thi price.
"I thank the mekill, Schir Knight," said the Ryall.
"It makis me blythar to be than all thi braid landis,
Or all the renttis fra thyne unto Ronsiwall,
Thoght I myght reif thame with right, rath to my handis."
Than said the senyeour in syth, semely in saill:
"Because of yone bald berne, that broght me of bandis,102
All that I have undir hevyne, I hald of you haill,
In firth, forest and fell, quhare ever that it standis.
Sen wourschipfull Wawane has wonnyn to your handis
The senyory in governyng,
Cumly Conquerour and Kyng,
Heir mak I yow obeising,
As liege lord of landis.
"And syne fewté I yow fest, without fenyeing,103
Sa that the cause may be kend, and knawin throw skill,
Blithly bow and obeise to your bidding,
As I am haldin, to tell treuly, thairtill."
Of Schir Gologras grant blith wes the King,104
And thoght the fordward wes fair, freyndschip to fulfil.
Thair Schir Gawane the gay, throu requiring,
Gart the Soverane himself, semely on syll,
Cary to the castel, cleirly to behald -
With all the wourthy that were,
Erll, duke and douchspere,
Baith banrent and bachilere,
That blyth war and bald.
Quhen the semely Soverane wes set in the saill,
It wes selcouth to se the seir service.
Wynis wisly in wane went full grete waill105
Amang the pryncis in place, peirles to price.
It war teir for to tel, treuly in tail,
To ony wy in this warld, wourthy, I wise,
With revaling and revay all the oulk hale,
Also rachis can ryn undir the wod rise;
On the riche river of Rone ryot thai maid.
And syne, on the nynte day,
The renkis rial of array
Bownyt hame thair way,
Withoutin mare baid.
Quhen the ryal Roy, maist of renoune,
With al his reverend rout wes reddy to ryde,
The King, cumly with kith, wes crochit with croune.
To Schir Gologras the gay said gudly that tyde:
"Heir mak I the reward, as I have resoune,
Before thir senyeouris in sight, semely beside,
As tuiching thi temporalité, in toure and in toune,
In firth, forest, and fell, and woddis so wide:
I mak releisching of thin allegiance.
But dreid I sall the warand,
Baith be sey and be land,
Fre as I the first fand,
Withoutin distance."
Heir endis the Knightly Tale of Golagros and Gawane
[for sale] in the south gait of Edinburgh
be [by] Walter Chepman and Androw Millar,
the viii day of Aprile,
the yhere of God, M.CCCCC. and viii. yheris
journeyed; time; Tuscany; (see note)
seek over the sea; guiltless; sold
wholesomeness, truly to say
bannerets, barons; fighting men; bold; (see note)
bone; blood
They chose warriors; weapons; wield
Dukes; worthy; bold and outstanding; (see note)
Assembled; summons
Handsome; crown(s)
was bright
King did set out
nobles most kingly; royal
(see note)
(see note)
Traveling; steeds; unwavering; (see note)
Many a bold one on the way starts out; (see note)
banners shone; sun; sable
other [gear] gleamed; gules (i.e., red)
sapphire (i.e., blue) brightly; (see note)
troop in breadth
Marched over; field
quickly; moved
Over moors, with joy
travels; forest; moors
Many days before he came upon flint
morass; swollen bogs
Birch trees; swamps and streams
building; comfort; barn; shed
fantastically harsh was; know; without doubt
carried as usual
Welcome could
should; safe-keeping be
by; spring
shining; sun; walled city; see
towers; turrets; toilsome to tell [fully]
Greatly fortified; so [very] high
gates were fully guarded by
take; except birds that fly
spoke out; bold and fierce; (see note)
advise; a messenger; city; (see note)
manor; (see note)
buy provisions right away; (see note)
as compensation
Sir; spoke; courteously
way quickly to go
shall a message, just wait; here
Whatever person he be on earth; foe
Since; go, man; cautiously
behave; keep you from woe
warrior advanced; in good spirits
gates; went in boldly
tied; time
Afterwards [he] went to a tall building
set out with rich cloth
Beautifully decorated
canopy rich; dais gracefully was adorned; (see note)
(see note)
delightful to the glance
(see note)
believe; truth
warrior moved ahead; hall, royal and lavish
warrior attentively and quickly glanced
(see note)
dwarf bustled; deftly
skewer by; (see note)
roast and wrested [it]; servant
(see note)
feed himself; food; man; eager
clamored the dwarf; (see note)
roars while; great; resounded back
bounding in anger; fierce lord; (see note)
face; full
warrior would suffer
From [any] person
spoke out
feed yourself wrongfully man
Even if; armor; knight's should be
Yet; manners offensive and ignoble; declare
(see note)
Before; depart; castle unharmed; (see note)
hot[-headed]; strong will
threat count; cake; (see note)
Trust well thereto
lord; anger, did approach
on the floor
astonished; stroke; spot where
Stock-still; stone; angry [lord]; so ferocious
warrior; goes, but strides
Hastened him fast; hackney (horse)
to the barren moor; (see note)
warrior breathless; rode
knight rebuffs; (see note)
To attempt; to beseech
irritable by nature
fairness attempt; to seek [out]
people (i.e., army); lack of food; (see note)
message to await; lindenwood
take you this mission; holy Cross
amiable a person anger; quell; (see note)
gentle; behest made for
gates were flung wide [open]
did quickly
Reined; handsome; (see note)
When; alighted; (see note)
which; led; pleasing
lord; hall; warriors in order; (see note)
pleasant women; countenance
Politely; saluted (i.e., greeted)
Who; sake; courtesy
purchase supplies
As dear as people
will [allow]; lord; (see note)
act as; own; quite reasonable; (see note)
lord answered in return; (see note)
Continue; mission
people I rule; (i.e., Arthur's) own; (see note)
lodge; linger; remain
If I sold
drawn (i.e., punished for treason)
Openly on ground (i.e., among people)
discourteous "boy" (i.e., Kay) earlier
gilded-over; trifling gear
appeared by his heraldic dress; (see note)
ignoble; manners; silly; behavior
actual; visit; circumstances
hostile he acted; war; (see note)
Yet know
But if
Or his majesty offended; (see note)
tell; (see note)
shall be compensated
obtains his leave; goes; steed
bold; message
yon powerful [one] with his people
it pleases him; distress to lessen
subjects; possesses in his land; (see note)
Shall wholly
marched; over; meadow; (see note)
city; surely
met; comely and fresh
on the way
Afterwards; the gate
cheerful regard; (see note)
worthy; deed
Always while; wish to lodge; land
Here; in my domain sovereign complete
people; territory
knightly prince; (see note)
without any doubt
cousin (i.e., relation) by birth; (see note)
Wood; meadow
Receive; (see note)
refresh (i.e., provide); to fight; (see note)
[all] told; reliably equipped
powerful; war gear
dressed out in steel
to sight
Such; hold; that shows forth
kindness shall be requited; (see note)
moved off; bench, warriors
(see note)
In all ways the banneret (powerful knight)
hospitality; warriors in hall; (see note)
Wines were passed; castle; enjoy; (see note)
cups; brightest of surface
toilsome; tale
many courses; company
honored at dinner during the meal; (see note)
minstrels; making [for] them
enjoyed; truly; (see note)
those four days in full; (see note)
handsome [lord]
Then; to go
lack of choice items [of] bread or wine
packed; departed from
King; lands
pursue the doe deer by dales; (see note)
[took in] number nine
When; dark; went
pavilions; thence; (see note)
journeyed; these; (see note)
Continuously each
(see note)
passed on; robes
proven in battle; renowned
Then were; aware; building, fortified; (see note)
Erected; magnificent
moats together set
(see note)
pleasing in extent; handsome to describe; (see note)
[With] special splendor shone the sun; (see note)
viewing; valiant
counted on row
arranged symmetrically
firm against the sea
[There were] ships sailing
[Such] that; made
prevent; to issue or enter
Then spoke out; voice
most beautiful; (see note)
Vigorous and handsome
Or from whom is he holding [his lordship]
Happily; know
(see note)
holds [power] through no lord; governs; (see note)
(see note)
elders (i.e., ancestors); to his day
handsome [King]
any wise [person] so marvelous a saying; (see note)
health; happiness; (see note)
Unless; lose; low
Unless death; destiny
homage and obeisance
(see note)
cease from such; until; inquire; (see note)
subjugated; knight
(see note)
men shall be lost; forfeited
Speak no false pride; (see note)
(see note)
fellow (i.e., equal) and companion
praised; (see note)
(see note)
high rank
person; (make) war; knows better
power; resources indeed
(see note)
flutters; so insecure; (see note)
majesty add up only to trouble; (see note)
believe you securely
promise; woe
body; unlaced [i.e., without armor]
Until; made yon knight bow down
a widow; (see note)
wrenchingly shall weep
powerful [one]; mood; (see note)
royal rode
sought for; flood (i.e., sea)
much; earth
Then hastened home; went
spurs to spare; rushed [off]; (see note)
spurred horses till; burst; blood; (see note)
Steadily each; (see note)
(see note)
[the] Rhone [valley]; (see note)
more delay
set out; pavilion; plain sheltered
rich cloth; fur; constructed
heraldic bearings; same [material]
bright; appearance
Beaten; burnished gold, noble
Fringes; crisscrossed
with his household
(see note)
advise we take counsel
messenger; lord
valiant and most
If; request
compliant; city; private room; (see note)
Receive; honorably; as lies within reason; (see note)
scorns you [it] becomes you
bold; fierce
Stoutly; fight
lying; (see note)
courteous; dispatched; (see note)
fearsome; instructed; (see note)
on earth [i.e., right here]
advise; attend
bold warrior
living (i.e., income); (see note)
Though; company; triumphing; combat; (see note)
Were; [combined] into one
if you go
each one
made (i.e., conducts himself) on earth
gracious; bride in her own room
skin; unspoiled
(see note)
seek; to obtain
hall; (see note)
person to exalt
world magnificent
Those men; dress, move
go [off] to
[They]; messenger; right away; [to] him
were; (see note)
servants quickly the locks unlatch
foot; men proceed without doubt; (see note)
men directly do advance; hold (i.e., castle)
ladies pleasing to see
(see note)
courteous and polished; to display
Each [the] other; saluted
bowed (i.e., showed deference)
embrace, in appearance so noble
Then; sought out the chamber; briskly; (see note)
greet; immediately, [all] at one time
A more noble [knight]; bone
acknowledging in return
Hatless, but [for] his hood
anchored; [with] largesse filled
detail; honor was found deficient
Eager and lively; adventurous
Radiant with loyalty; love bound up
Speaks; (see note)
in his place the knight; discomposed
a candid look; behold
(see note)
show (i.e., make known)
kingliest King; powerful; (see note)
lords to make note of or reckon in order
during his day (i.e., life); (see note)
Many [a] city; dwelling; swarm of men; (see note)
kingdom; control
Manors; noble; deep moats
Wondrous were the seventh; in words; (see note)
(see note)
many [a] powerful warrior
(see note)
Renowned for largesse; one
(see note)
truly; cease
Until; accepted; in hand; (see note)
If gift or prayer; agreement
riches; let [up]
(see note)
[feudal] submission to receive
lord of the hall with solemn look
(see note)
lord; living; (see note)
Made any fealty; sir
surely; agreeable
on throne
(see note)
[Then] I were
keeping [safe] my sovereignty; (see note)
unimpaired; service
prove (take) every pain
possessions friendly and eager
to honor; hostility
neither; lordship; command
no strife; (see note)
bow my back one time; (see note)
wield (i.e., possess)
intend my [own] lordship
Those; their leaves have taken
Went; message
prepared to assault warriors unyielding; (see note)
tumult and confusion without; went on
fighter; made way; (see note)
hasten straightaway
all kinds of weapons; war; (see note)
furiously; (see note)
Cannonballs heavy to [set in] place
Sharpened darts there were; (see note)
trumpets, racket and blare
Chopped; broad branches; boughs
Carpenters hacking; without doubt
Set up hurdles; woods so bare; (see note)
To cause; (to) groan in their gear; (see note)
enemies, most hostile
prepared; assault, each and every warrior
commander his heraldic sign displayed
Marvelously; sparkling and dappled
gules (i.e., red) dyed fast
brightly; beautiful
reflect; (see note)
By [the time] it; as the day goes
Gologras' hearty; proud
greaves and sashes, fitted out
show at one sight
tried and true
lethal lances aloft, gleaming; (see note)
deployed; foes to frighten
warriors; proven fierce and stalwart
[heraldic] device displayed; (see note)
(see note)
Which knight
make known who he was
most formidable stronghold
saw in my travels; (see note)
soundest built; with power to reign
undaunted warriors conflict to endure
harm with open attack
[for] them strife without; (see note)
deprive; [feudal] rents; pillaging fierce
(see note)
Unless; (see note)
[And]; drive off
such words to say
Before; exchanged; (see note)
(see note)
daunted; sooner; die
If; earth are matched up evenly
(see note)
these days three
unshakable truth; (see note)
What kind [of]
considering [each point] in a row; (see note)
company; most powerful
loudly; trump
sank to its; (see note)
turret, sparkling to behold; (see note)
Went; constructed was soundly
[gold] wire
[Which] seemed well together
are gone [now]
fierce; powerful sound
truth; (see note)
warrior in his prime; (see note)
To test; handsome gear; sure against attack
his prowess to show; beloved
ride (joust); earn his reputation
Therefore put forth; (see note)
strokes to strike
(see note)
Once; sired
hastened; delay
warrior picked out; garments of war
it was necessary for him to use; (see note)
Berry-brown; horse, burly and huge
did they take
white and reddish-brown
steel armor; (see note)
blades; on live coals
they advance; unflinching
furiously, whoso rightly understands
skin; (see note)
struggled together
Both cuirass and breastplate
Where; penetrate
You may be certain
lethal onslaught
strife moved about through blood
struggled; for about half an hour; (see note)
Furiously; reckless and mad; (see note)
Until; fell; (see note)
(see note)
Over him (i.e., Galiot) powerfully he prevailed
skill; could [muster]; (see note)
praised; Saint Anne
knight taken into a stronghold
bold; (see note)
(see note)
choice (i.e., valuable); war; field
lively; boldly will move
dear bought
such trouble; (see note)
warrior; goes and readies; (see note)
fierce and eager; (see note)
hastens; prowess to pursue
(see note)
(see note)
armor; helmet polished well are
a single color
red; adorned; (see note)
bear heads [as heraldic device]
ancestors did before
Which warriors
did dawn
riding; (see note)
Enclosed; warhorse
proceeded; (see note)
leaped he aloft; appearance; (see note)
Each [warrior] grasped; sparkled
advanced; look
struggled in faith
splinters shattered
shivered and ruined
fighters quickly dismounted
(see note)
All strained and stunned the strokes
fiercely beat (i.e., laid on)
combat they engaged
dealt to his foe a blow; grievous
Cleanly from; sheared
(see note)
foamed; they proved [each other]
on the field
sighed sorely
Bright tears; knights; handsome; (see note)
lurched and fell dead; (see note)
did burst violently without life
unshaken so terrible; shock
much mourning
died the courteous [knights]; much
buried both in the same hour
[There were] appointed men (i.e., priests)
readied; gleaming; (see note)
loyal; people; (see note)
(see note)
called; lead; (see note)
(see note)
Set out
left (i.e., paired) [each] with; (see note)
each equally matched; (see note)
to follow his fate; (see note)
summoned; name; (see note)
(see note)
struggled; tummult
fighters; submission
took great risks; (see note)
(see note)
fierce together
did conduct [themselves]
Violently they rode
leg joints such; did sustain; (see note)
harnessed [horses that have been] spooked
fought on
destroyed; got down; (see note)
stalwart, enclosed; hesitated nor ceased
on earth; tilt
Until scraps
These warriors
endured; (see note)
fiercely; field; (see note)
Burst; polished full well
shoulders were shattered; (see note)
bright blood
hard steel rattled and gave way
Felled knights grieve terribly on the field; (see note)
cried out for pity; lordship; (see note)
care; fierce; (see note)
vigorously; put to proof
melee; (see note)
have the victory; (see note)
warriors; each other; distress and sorrow
battered and hewed
encounter they sustained; loss; (see note)
repulsed; charge stoutly; unyielding; (see note)
from sheaths nimbly they drew; (see note)
opponent, with fearsome war frenzy
polished; did pass
dealt; throng
strokes; (see note)
grievously they struck
days [i.e., in their time]
taken; (see note)
seized; by; (see note)
Fiercely felled with woe, rolling
fierce battle those unyielding men
(see note)
earned worship; was taken; (see note)
suffered hideous
proceed; corpse; decorous to see
much deep sorrow
dead deserve
Another; gracious [lord] (i.e., Gologras)
prepared; action, as soon as
fierce as [a] bear
odd (unanswered); die
in haste
able; (see note)
(see note)
Then advances; solid
was named; hot[-tempered]; (see note)
mention the knights
without feigning or fable; (see note)
chosen were by; countenance; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)
in their midst; (see note)
Set out together
truce, believe you [me]
those; did join battle on ground
spurred horses until
destroyed, and alighted without pause
emptied right off
Whipped; beat
flies; fought so hard
pitiless weapons; strike [blows]
hard; outcome
fiercely they engaged
found; (see note)
in hand-to-hand; taken
battle did stop and stint
eyes burned
Violently angry; did; (see note)
despite [what] anyone might think
conflict engage
Tomorrow indeed
withdrew to a belfry
(see note)
did; (see note)
Royal (i.e., the King); (see note)
Lord without peer; (see note)
own; estates; (see note)
(see note)
It profits you; fighter; choose
valiantly; worthy [lord]
most powerful man, if fortune be
know living
Entreated; mission
infinite power has
became wondrously upset
Mourned; much lament makes
(see note)
in combat; to withstand
all [those] that are in service
[That] you should; lethal fight
Take in hand
Since; war
Honored with the worthy
ransom; designated as recompense; (see note)
I [Gawain] die; hurt
help; (see note)
refuse; fearsomeness
want you to understand, without any doubt
of necessity
Act with counsel
shall very greatly help
If [you]; for sure; (see note)
encounter; attack him straight on
fierce for love of Christ
afterwards work as I advise
[If] he is stunned; will be his outcry
Worry; voice; grand; sound; (see note)
Even if his strokes
haste; whatever chances may occur
fight; strength; (see note)
until he lets up
stun that stout [knight], even if
Unless; deserve that misfortune
properly him readied; sunrise
without doubt; (see note)
[Kay] splendidly forth goes; prepares
Right; rode
Pulled up in a secluded vale
Armed for war
hastened toward
Clad in mail; helmet; excellent
battle cry; assails
And ran a tilt
vigorously without pause
Savage conflict arose those; between
armor; onslaught; dent; middle
Like [a red] rose on thorny branch
Ran over; armor
in truth
flew; (see note)
fighters handsome in body; laid on; moor
Deal out there; many a strong blow
Hideous; immediately they sustain
[out] of perplexity
numbing battle I urge; cease
sword, since [it] no
Wherever; fall short
no busy-ness (i.e., efforts)
threw; visor
receive the sword the knight (i.e., Kay)
bruised and buffeted; severely bleeding
weakened; did; show
(see note)
moved off; of repute; (see note)
(see note)
[To] you; no injury befall; give my hand
misgiving; fear
romance; (see note)
Early spurred; arrived
pavilion had conducted; (see note)
took off; heal
Physicians; too late; salves so subtle
did; go; (see note)
heirlooms, royal
Fringes; decorated most lavishly; (see note)
lively; with trappings to the heel
[Were] sixty knights
No one was missing [of sixty]
warhorse with forehead white; (see note)
Studded; beryls; (see note)
costly gear were doubtless a joy
as tedious; pains that were taken
reputation and his nobility; deny
knight so high; foot's height
rushed; drew [up] not a bit
make trial of his strength; join
By that [time]
the one side
Halting; to engage
went off by themselves alone
foe nor friends; went [away]; (see note)
sturdy in tatters they leave
splinters are made to go
fierce; crash
Which [one] suffered the worse
jumped from; lively and quick
Then grabbed; (see note)
possessed of hearts noble
top; in haste
destroyed; more [links]; (see note)
keenly he hewed
who the sword wielded
lethal thrust
Did at his foe move
biting sword, stout and broad
Which; aid; protection
made to assault; anger
cut through the corner; (see note)
foil (i.e., plating)
blow; blade
Through all the armor indeed; had on
At that; lord
As fierce
Did rush at his fellow knight (Gawain)
Such blows he (Gologras) dealt
Made him subject; fear
manhandled so hotly; that noble
in defense; shining armor
the living among [your] people
created all living things; nourishment
lion for lack; fought; earth; (see note)
suddenly that warrior did
cried out for pity; sorrow [for]
[Because]; handled; fear; shamed
sliced; bright armor
Gawain writhed for woe
Reckless and enraged
became; angry to tears
made for; without let-up
[Gawain] made grief for
many [a] bold blow
let fly
laid on
Hacked; struck
among the best
[From] half a span (nine inches) to a splinter
Where; had been unbroken
at once
suddenly; destroys [Gologras'] armor
[i.e., Gologras]
[Gawain] staggered; stroke; astray
Until; lost; fierce
from bracers (arm protector); fall
fares this gear so costly
delicately was decorated
engage; (see note)
struck out; in looks
beseeched, seemly
truly, and lord
To; faith they pray
squire and knave
(see note)
Angrily reckless; heedless and enraged
surface; billowing
in [the] spot where
splinters did fly
other (i.e., Gologras); again (i.e., in return)
bent; slope
feet foundered
immediately did go
Groveling to earth
Before; (see note)
Took hold of
For that; quickly
[They] praised Christ for that outcome
delicately made
cried; fierce
in truth not to conceal [anything]; (see note)
Surrender; polished so splendidly
(see note)
more worshipful to die
shamed (to) be truly
slander to endure
dishonored nor defiled
ancestors; heard named (talked of); (see note)
each; unbesmirched
Reigning; governed themselves wholly
Nor look; body; scorn; contempt; (see note)
made all in seven [days of creation]; (see note)
Unless honor in combat takes
Do what you must
(see note)
sweet thing with lovely neck swooned; (see note)
Nobles began
sore stunning strife
You redeemed [us]
his enterprise; to conclude
Beseech; cause
were sunk; (see note)
for pleasure they laugh
entreated; change his intention
reluctant; more harm
see; you say; lost
help you a bit; tough
restored; honor enough; (see note)
[made a] duke; kingdom, all your life
advantage [at the cost] of honor
always [would] prevail
foe nor friend
(see note)
whoever; shall [out] of
For any deal [that] might [be] arranged; shortly
change my intention; world entire
Before I impair my honor
money or gems
own affair (i.e., the rules of honor)
To die under these conditions
sorrowed [for] the knight
praiseworthy [man]; honor-bound
keep you alive, handsome in hall
in plain [view]; impair; honor
put yourself at risk; plan; (see note)
happen; have
As [if]; overcome you in combat
Then go [off] to; prerogative
from disgrace
baptized truly
And keep safe
noble; health (i.e., on my life)
dangerous spot, involving
(see note)
valiant; fierce
Before you are done [to] death
quickly got up
(see note)
In combat from his fellow [knight]
Newly proceed; staging their violence
Two; (see note)
tangled; a half-hour; (see note)
kindled was hostility
swords; brawny and naked
As [if] he (Gawain) were subdued and taken [prisoner]
in cloth
[Was] sorely mourning in spirit
bursting out suddenly; pity
went off fully inconsolable
water (i.e., tears); cheeks; fighters
As [if]
grief darkened in their looks
Harshly bound in sorrow; troubled
boldness; (see note)
spirit of our warfare
(see note)
stronghold; sport and celebration; (see note)
[the] people praised; of appearance
Women basked in bliss; looks
(see note)
hall chief officer he was
had; go up
of that magnificent [company], no more
seated; dais; (see note)
had; begin the board (i.e., do the honors)
arranged [for] them seats
knight; cheer
matched; greater; lesser
inn (i.e., castle)
of degree (i.e., status)
struck the table; scepter
which; (see note)
(see note)
gathered all together
power; lordship; (see note)
baronies and towns; broad
[the chance to] take part
on this occasion
Candidly, without falsehood; deceit
would; faithfully
touching this matter
weighs; on my soul
[That] you; full
This I [of ] you demand
I make no attempt to hide it; (see note)
Tell; one of these two
Whether you prefer; [having been] captured
at the least loyally forfeit
became deeply sorrowful
When they knew; defeated; (see note)
attachment here pretend
[make] war; govern
disavow; live
ease (i.e., well being)
these courteous [nobles]
on [the] floor
captured him in combat
shame or sorrow, whichever
from dishonor; nobility
loss without remedy
diminished; honor; won
eager, glad to serve
nobleness; trouble relieved
went; rush
by [your] conquest
death were both
do you homage
and reasonable
As; directs; devices; (see note)
default of courage; cowardice
strength make him to swerve
make [himself] known by his hardship
[may] reflect upon his own example; (see note)
[this] theme most [applies to] my own [situation]
(see note)
Judas [Maccabeus]
And who reigned
earthly; fame; keeping
Whatever may mean Fortune by [her] devices
Each person by deed and by intention
noble; (see note)
Go forth
[shall be] reckoned as his conquest
arrayed most quickly
lights on high; radiance
realm; (see note)
taken back by that commotion
Thought; gathered; warfare
caught up; formed; column
readied themselves; gate; heavy gear
Spynagros; Attempt
peaceful terms; fire
lord (i.e., Gologras); arrayed; attire
campaign; fear no harm
perceive; made possible this outcome
Mutual respect
appearance; (see note)
[Gologras] approached; company; (see note)
warriors who gleamed, fair to view
(i.e., Arthur); (i.e., Gologras) did bow
in order
Greets; look
furlong in front of; dappled
inclined [towards him]
noble [king]
that worthy
[one] handsome to look upon (i.e., Gologras)
[Who]; valiant; free from any
reigns on earth
might; unequaled in honor
Ever; majesty to attend
travel or fare, by wood or by hill
every cause and situation; (see note)
bound thereto
He made; reason why; (see note)
made prisoner; (see note)
events [that to] the knight (i.e., Gawain); (see note)
peril; graciously
masterful (noble)
live in (go through) such
small-mindedness; [opposing] party; (see note)
loyalty is true; (see note)
[So] that; acknowledge
your honor
to feel gladder; (see note)
yours unto Roncevaux; (see note)
[Even] though; seize; abruptly
lord at once
woods; moor; (see note)
obeisance (homage); (see note)
(see note)
Gladly [I] bow and submit; (see note)
bound; thereto
Had; handsome on floor; (see note)
Go off
were [there]
douzeperes (companion knights); (see note)
banneret and bachelor [knights]
wonderful; various courses
hardship; detail
in appropriate style, indeed
reveling and celebration all the week entire
As small hounds did run; forest boughs
Rhone festival
after; ninth
Set off
greatest of renown
household was furnished
these lords in public; (see note)
your estates; (see note)
give release; (see note)
Without doubt; declare
Both by sea
Absolutely; (see note)
The end
Go To The Greene Knight

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