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The Turke and Sir Gawain


1 Who deserve to have their prowess tested


Abbreviations: P = Percy Folio; BP= Bishop Percy's marginal notes in the MS; M = Madden's edition; F = Furnivall's edition. See Select Bibliography for these editions.

10 ff. The appearance of a strange, potentially threatening figure as preliminary to a great feast occurs frequently in Arthurian romance. See note at line 169 below. The "Turk" as emblem of festive exoticism occurs also in civic pageants at Gloucester; in 1595 the chamberlains paid ten shillings to cover expenses "for a wagon in the pageant and for the turke," the latter clearly a figure whose lavish dress conveyed his exotic, and entirely conventionalized, strangeness (Cumberland, Westmorland, Gloucestershire: Records of the Early English Drama, eds. Audrey W. Douglas and Peter Greenfield [Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1986], p. 313). The "Turk" also appears as a character in many of the folk plays that originated in the Middle Ages. Surviving versions of Sword Dances, St. George Plays, and other mummings include "The Turk," "The Turkish Knight," "The Turkish Champion," "Turkey Snipe," and so on, a boisterous figure who stands as the enemy of the plays' comically chivalric Christian heroes (see Alex Helm, The English Mummers' Play [Woodbridge, UK: D. S. Brewer, 1981], pp. 34, 76, 80, with other examples as well).

12 came. The word has been written over, perhaps by BP. P may originally have read taite, which M gives. F reads the corrected form as cane (which he notes means came).

18 iff. I follow M's reading; F reads Gift, taking the ampersand for "g".

25 Give . . . hand. M: Gine . . . hands.

35 your. P: you; F reads the abbreviation as your, which I follow.

39 thrise. P: 3ise.

40 on middlearth. M: in middlearth.

51 northwards. M: northward.

56 Hawtinge. M: Lawtinge, and adds Lawghinge? in his note.

59 part. M: that (the letter "thorn" with superscript "t"), though F's part seems accurate.

62 shalt. M: shall.

74 beene stood. M's reading of the line ends with beene, though additional (undecipherable) letters appear at the end of the line; here and at later breaks, F seems to have been able to make out more of the text, and I follow his reconstructions.

75 made them noe answere. M's line begins noe answere.

77 The mysterious adventures within this depopulated Castle, which is inside a hill and surrounded by merke (line 69), parallel events in other romances, especially (in the motifs of dangerous feasts) those associated with the Holy Grail. The entrance to the other world through an earthly, seemingly natural portal - "a hill," "The earth opened and closed again" (lines 66-67) - occurs in a wide variety of narratives beginning with Homer and Virgil, but is especially common in stories with Celtic connections. In the Breton lai, Sir Orfeo, the hero rides "In at a roche [cliff]" to enter fairyland (ed. A. J. Bliss, 2nd ed. [Oxford: Clarendon, 1966]; see Bliss's comment, pages xxxviii ff.).

79 horsse. M: horse. Whether the Turk lacked a horse during the entire journey (see line 51) or has lost his horse only at this point seems uncertain, but what is clear is the contrast between Sir Gawain as knight - mounted warrior - and the Turk as powerful, and even magical, but not chivalric. In line 114, the romance significantly notes that Gawain must abandon his horse. Jeaste makes a point of noting the discomfiture that follows upon each combat when a knight (including Gawain, in the last encounter) loses his horse.

82 look. M: looke.

113 Ther stood a bote and. M's line ends with stood a.

121 hee. M: hoe, in the sense of "stop" ("whoa").

124 we. P: he; I emend for sense.

see. P: doe; I emend for rhyme.

128 Here, and at lines 143, 195, and 210 occur defective three-line stanzas, all linked by tail-rhyme to the previous or succeeding stanza (making four potential nine-line stanzas). Other defective stanzas (e.g., at lines 37 and 74) are clearly the result of losses in the MS. See also line 219 and note.

129 the King of Man. Despite the characterization of the King as a heathen soldan (line 130), the reference seems clearly to locate this enemy on the Isle of Man in the Solway Firth; this is (as line 51 suggests) off the northwest coast of England, near Scotland. The Isle of Man is opposite Cumberland, the county which contains Carlisle, Inglewood Forest, the Tarn Wathelene, and other locations repeatedly associated with Arthurian legend in the popular Gawain romances. Man was one of the "Southern Islands," in contrast to the northern islands (which included the Orkneys, by tradition one of Sir Gawain's ancestral homes). The Manx people, originally of Celtic descent, intermarried with Scandinavian invaders, and lived under their own king, who did homage to the kings of Norway and Scotland. English control of Man began about 1290, during the reign of Edward I, though it passed back to the Scots several times during the next half century. Several English knights ruled the Manx people (by appointment of the king or purchase of the Manx crown) before 1400; in 1406 Henry IV made Sir John Stanley the hereditary King of Man, and members of this family governed the island through the eighteenth century. The chivalric exploits that led the king to appoint Sir John as ruler of the Manx people parallel those celebrated in romances (see General Introduction, pp. 33-34).

144 Wee shall be assayled. Though this form might, in its context, be taken as "assailed" - i.e., "we shall be attacked before we finish" - I have interpreted it as a spelling of "assoil," meaning "absolve." The Turk's concern for Christian absolution suggests the superficiality of his role as exotic stereotype within the narrative. He serves clearly as a "stage Saracen," whose strangeness works to set off the hero and offset some of the plot's predictability. Within the action, though the Turk seems Gawain's adversary, he cooperates in the adventures he orchestrates to advance Christendom: he calls the King of Man a "heathen soldan" (line 130, and note at line 129), destroys the King when he rejects Christianity (lines 263 ff.), and spontaneously calls upon the Virgin Mary before his transformation. The covert alliance of the Turk with the conventional Christian ethos of the poem is only thinly veiled, therefore, by his exotic appearance.

150 The line breaks off, with fragment of a word beginning hi visible.

154 that Bishopp Sir Bodwine. This reference to a Baldwin who is by title both a bishop and a knight seems unarguably to assume a single identity for the Bishop Baldwin who accompanies Gawain in Carlisle, and the knight who exchanges vows with Arthur, Kay, and Gawain in Avowyng. See Carlisle, line 28 and note, and Avowyng, line 74 and note.

160 ff. This attack on the spiritually or clergy in England and not att the temporaltie seems, both in its very terms and in its unmotivated appearance at this point in the poem, to be a post-Reformation insertion into the text, and in this resembles the outburst in Carle, lines 269 ff.

169 Gawain's refusal to begin the feast until he witnesses an adventure is a commonplace of French and English chivalric romance. It occurs notably at the outset of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and in Malory's tale of Sir Gareth (Works, p. 293); the beginning of the present poem more distantly echoes the convention. See note at line 10.

172 thee. P: then; I emend to restore the common idiom.

181 seventeen. M: ix.

192 axeltree. The word refers literally to an axle for wheels; here it seems to be an instrument - a huge staff perhaps - used by the Turk in the tennis game and in combat against the giant.

194 assayed. M: aflayed.

194 ff. The three lines that follow, and constitute a separate short stanza, continue the sentence begun in line 194. The sense is, "He shall be more fully put to the test before he leaves - as I've said, so help me - with the three adventures, and no more, with me as witness, right now."

195 soe mote I the. M and F read tho, which almost rhymes with more (line 196). The letter form is sufficiently ambiguous to allow reading the; though not at all a rhyme, grammatically and idiomatically this is precisely the form the context demands.

199 the. F reads they, which seems possible, though there is a blot on the line.

220 bowles. M: bowler. The last line of this stanza is lost because of a missing half-page, but the rhyme scheme of the surviving five lines is defective.

222 Thris. P: ?is.

226 them. M: then.

232 gay. M suggests gray.

250 The Turk seems to rematerialize at this point, as the giant's dismay suggests.

257 wondorous. M: wonderous.

261 Eatein. M: eaten.

262 The King's pointed rejection of Christianity, symbolized by his spitting on Gawain, casts him in the role of heathen soldan (line 130), as adapted from popular verse romances associated with Charlemagne and the conquest of the Saracens (to whom the Turk would be equivalent). In The Sowdone of Babylon, when Laban, the chief enemy of the Christian West, is offered baptism, he spits into the font, and is promptly beheaded. See line 3167 of Alan Lupack's edition of The Sultan of Babylon, in Three Middle English Charlemagne Romances (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1990), p. 92.

269 washe. M: was he.

271 The act of disenchantment, where by delivering a return blow Sir Gawain changes the Turk back into Sir Gromer, is a version of the folk motif called the Beheading Game. It vividly recalls the beheading scenes in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Carle, and calls attention to the missing scene in Carlisle. Moreover, the metamorphosis to a true self as the climax of the romance resonates as well with the endings of Ragnelle, Marriage, and The Greene Knight.

292 Te Deum Laudamus. This is a Latin hymn of praise to the Father and Son, often (though falsely) attributed to St. Ambrose and associated with the baptism of St. Augustine. It dates probably from the fifth century, and was widely familiar from its use in the daily offices and in the liturgies for various feasts and ceremonies. It was also frequently used to conclude popular festivities and plays, where its singing emphasized the solidarity of the Christian community. The transformed Sir Gromer's spontaneous performance of the hymn here signals his restoration to Christian knighthood.

299 many a worthy man. Apparently the defeat of the King of Man, with his preternatural powers, together with the transformation of the Turk, liberates those other knights and ladies whom the King had defeated, captured, and enchanted; see above, lines 226 ff. The actual restoration of these knights and ladies to their proper identities parallels the scene in Carlisle (lines 517 ff.), and its counterpart in Carle (lines 409 ff.), where the Carle shows Gawain the liveries and bones of the knights he has slain. Unlike the beheading of the Turk, the disenchantment of the Carle, who also had been "transformed soe" (Carle, line 410), does not result in the liberation of a tyrant's victims, only in prayers for their souls. The freeing of the captive ladies (to which Sir Gromer refers in lines 304 ff.) resembles the episode at Le Chastel de Pesme Avanture in Chrétien de Troyes' Yvain (lines 51 ff.), which is reproduced in the English Ywain and Gawain. In the English version, Ywain arrives at the Castel of the Hevy Sorow (line 2933), confronts a porter, defeats two "fowl felouns," and releases the women of "Maydenland" (line 3010): " 'Maidens,' he said, 'God mot yow se, / And bring yow wele whare ye wald be' " (lines 3355-56). This episode in Turke also recalls Lancelot's release of Gawain's brother Gaherys and sixty-four other knights of the Round Table from captivity within Sir Terquyne's castle, and his freeing of "three score ladyes and damesels" by the defeat of "two grete gyauntis" (Malory, Works, pp. 265-72).

301 ff. The willingness of the transformed Sir Gromer to share a meal with Gawain contrasts with the Turk's interruption of the court's feast (lines 10 ff.) which he is not asked to join, and with the apparent refusal of the Turk to partake in the meal he serves Gawain at the depopulated castle (lines 83 ff.). The shared meal signifies the restoration of Gromer's proper individual identity, and the confirmation of the generalized cultural identity he and Gawain take part in as Christian knights.

310 There they wold . . . abide. This line is not now at all legible. I follow the text as given by F. M provides no text for this line.

318 they. P: the.

320 Sir Gromer. This knight of the Round Table is apparently identical with Sir Gromer Somer Joure of Ragnelle (see line 62 and note) and Malory's Sir Gromore Somyr Ioure (Works p. 1164), an ally of Galeron of Galloway (see Awntyrs, line 417 and note).
Listen, lords, great and small,
What adventures did befall
   In England, where hath beene
Of knights that held the Round Table
Which were doughty and profittable,
   Of kempys cruell and keene.
All England, both East and West,
Lords and ladyes of the best,
   They busked and made them bowne.
And when the King sate in seate -
Lords served him att his meate -
   Into the hall a burne there came.
He was not hye, but he was broad,
And like a Turke he was made
   Both legg and thye;
And said, "Is there any will, as a brother,
To give a buffett and take another?
   And iff any soe hardy bee?"
Then spake Sir Kay, that crabbed knight,
And said "Man, thou seemest not soe wight,
   If thou be not adread.
For there beene knights within this hall
With a buffett will garr thee fall,
   And grope thee to the ground.
"Give thou be never soe stalworth of hand
I shall bring thee to the ground,
   That dare I safely sweare."
Then spake Sir Gawaine, that worthy knight,
Saith, "Cozen Kay, thou speakest not right -
   Lewd is thy answere!
"What and that man want of his witt?
Then litle worshipp were to thee pitt
   If thou shold him forefore."
Then spake the Turke with words thraw,
Saith, "Come the better of your tow,
   Though ye be breme as bore . . .
there were (once)
[Some] knights
stalwart and worthy
warriors fierce and courageous
came and went
sat; (see note)
warrior; (see note)
(i.e., a pagan)
who wishes through mutual consent
Might there be; (see note)
Given that
If; ever so stalwart; (see note)
overcome you
What if; be deficient in
honor; allotted
two; (see note)
fierce as a wild boar
    [At this point about half a page of the story is missing; Gawain enters into a sworn agreement to trade blows (apparently without weapons) with the Turk. He strikes his blow, but the return blow by the Turk is postponed.]
"This buffett thou hast . . .
   Well quitt that it shall be.
And yett I shall make thee thrise as feard
As ever was man on middlearth,
   This Court againe ere thou see."
Then said Gawaine, "My truth I plight,
I dare goe with thee full right,
   And never from thee flye;
I will never flee from noe adventure,
Justing, nor noe other turnament,
   Whilest I may live on lee."
The Turke tooke leave of King with crowne;
Sir Gawaine made him ready bowne,
   His armor and his steed.
They rode northwards two dayes and more.
By then Sir Gawaine hungred sore;
   Of meate and drinke he had great need.
The Turke wist Gawaine had need of meate,
And spake to him with words great,
   Hawtinge uppon hee;
Says "Gawaine, where is all thy plenty?
Yesterday thou wast served with dainty,
   And noe part thou wold give me,
"But with buffett thou did me sore;
Therefore thou shalt have mickle care,
   And adventures shalt thou see.
I wold I had King Arthur heere,
And many of thy fellowes in fere
   That behaves to try mastery."1
He led Sir Gawaine to a hill soe plaine.
The earth opened and closed againe -
   Then Gawaine was adread.
The merke was comen, and the light is gone:
Thundering, lightning, snow, and raine,
   Therof enough they had.
Then spake Sir Gawaine and sighed sore:
"Such wether saw I never afore
   In noe stead there I have beene stood."
three times as afraid; (see note)
(see note)
troth I pledge
[That]; resolutely
himself ready for travel
(see note)
Raising himself on high; (see note)
were; delicacies
(see note)
(see note)
in the open
Of those
place where; (see note)
    [Again at this point a half page is missing. The storms seem a preliminary test. Gawain endures them, and accepts instruction from the Turk, and is then allowed to proceed to the mysterious castle.]
". . . made them noe answere
   But only unto mee."
To the Castle they then yode.
Sir Gawaine light beside his steed,
   For horsse the Turke had none.
There they found chamber, bower, and hall,
Richly rayled about with pale,
   Seemly to look uppon.
A bord was spred within that place:
All manner of meates and drinkes there was
   For groomes that might it againe.
Sir Gawaine wold have fallen to that fare,
The Turke bad him leave for care;
   Then waxt he unfaine.
Gawaine said, "Man, I marvell have
That thou may none of these vittells spare,
   And here is soe great plentye.
Yett have I more mervaile, by my fay,
That I see neither man nor maid,
   Woman nor child soe free.
"I had lever now att mine owne will
Of this fayre meate to eate my fill
   Then all the gold in Christenty."
The Turke went forth, and tarryed nought;
Meate and drinke he forth brought,
   Was seemly for to see.
He said, "Eate, Gawaine, and make thee yare.
In faith, or thou gett victalls more
   Thou shalt both swinke and sweate.
Eate, Gawaine, and spare thee nought!"
Sir Gawaine eate as him good thought,
   And well he liked his meate.
He dranke ale, and after wine.
He saith, "I will be att thy bidding baine
   Without bost or threat.
But one thing I wold thee pray:
Give me my buffett and let me goe my way.
   I wold not longer be hereatt.
(see note)
went; (see note)
(see note)
arrayed with elegant cloths
handsome; (see note)
men; gain
taken up that food
[But]; refrain because of harm
became [Gawain] unhappy
am astonished
foods dispense
[have]; Christendom
before; food
Without (need for)
    [Another half page is missing at this point. The Turk refuses to allow Gawain to conclude the bargain by receiving his return blow. Instead he asks that Gawain accompany him to the Isle of Man.]
Ther stood a bote and . . .
Sir Gawaine left behind his steed,
   He might noe other doe.
The Turke said to Sir Gawaine,
"He shal be here when thou comes againe -
   I plight my troth to thee -
Within an hower, as men tell me."
They were sailed over the sea:
   The Turke said, "Gawaine, hee!
"Heere are we withouten scath.
But now beginneth the great othe,
   When we shall adventures see."
He lett him see a castle faire;
Such a one he never saw yare,
   Noewher in noe country.
The Turke said to Sir Gawaine
"Yonder dwells the King of Man,
   A heathen soldan is hee.
"With him he hath a hideous rout
Of giants strong and stout
   And uglie to looke uppon.
Whosoever had sought farr and neere
As wide as the world were,
   Such a companye he cold find none.
"Many aventures thou shalt see there,
Such as thou never saw yare
   In all the world about.
Thou shalt see a tenisse ball
That never knight in Arthurs hall
   Is able to give it a lout.
"And other adventures there are moe.
Wee shall be assayled ere we goe,
   Therof have thou noe doute.
"But and yee will take to me good heed,
I shall helpe you in time of need.
   For ought I can see
There shall be none soe strong in stower
But I shall bring thee againe to hi . . .
boat; (see note)
hasten; (see note)
the fulfillment of our compact
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)
tennis ball [so large]
absolved (of sin) before; (see note)
(see note)
    [Another half page is missing here. After these reassurances, Gawain accompanies the Turk into the Castle of the King of Man where he is met with verbal assaults.]
. . . "Sir Gawaine stiffe and stowre,
How fareth thy unckle King Arthur,
   And all his company?
And that Bishopp Sir Bodwine
That will not let my goods alone,
   But spiteth them every day?
"He preached much of a Crowne of Thorne;
He shall ban the time that he was borne
   And ever I catch him may.
I anger more att the spiritually
In England, not att the temporaltie,
   They goe soe in theire array.
"And I purpose in full great ire
To brenn their clergy in a fire
   And punish them to my pay.
Sitt downe, Sir Gawaine, at the bord."
Sir Gawaine answered at that word,
   Saith, "Nay, that may not be,
"I trow not a venturous knight shall
Sitt downe in a kings hall
   Adventures or you see."
The King said, "Gawaine, faire mot thee fall!
Goe feitch me forth my tennisse ball,
   For play will I and see."
They brought it out without doubt.
With it came a hideous rout
   Of gyants great and plenty;
All the giants were there then
Heire by the halfe then Sir Gawaine,
   I tell you withouten nay.
There were seventeen giants bold of blood,
And all thought Gawaine but litle good.
   When they thought with him to play.
All the giants thoughten then
To have strucke out Sir Gawaines braine.
   Help him God that best may!
The ball of brasse was made for the giants hand;
There was noe man in all England
   Were able to carry it . . .
Baldwin; (see note)
clergy; (see note)
lavish clothes
intend; wrath
do not think a daring; (see note)
may good things befall you; (see note)
see what happens
huge throng
Higher; than
without doubt
(see note)
    [In a missing section, Gawain defeats the giants at tennis with the help of the Turk, who ends by pummeling one of the giants.]
. . . and sticked a giant in the hall
   That grysly can hee grone.
The King sayd, "Bray away this axeltree,
For such a boy I never see.
   Yett he shal be assayed better ere he goe -
"I told you, soe mote I the -
With the three adventure, and then no more
   Befor me at this tide."
Then there stood amongst them all
A chimney in the Kings hall
   With barres mickle of pride.
There was laid on in that stond
Coales and wood that cost a pound,
   That upon it did abide.
A giant bad Gawaine assay,
And said, "Gawaine, begin the play -
   Thou knowest best how it shold be!
And afterwards when thou hast done,
I trow you shal be answered soone
   Either with boy or me.
"A great giant, I understand,
Lift up the chimney with his hand
   And sett it downe againe fairly."
Sir Gawaine was never soe adread
Sith he was man on midle earth,
   And cryd on God in his thought.
Gawaine unto his boy can say
"Lift this chimney - if you may -
   That is soe worthily wrought."
Gawaines boy to it did leape,
   And gatt itt by the bowles great,
And about his head he it flang.
Thris about his head he it swang
   That the coals and the red brands . . .
gruesomely did
Take; staff; (see note)
[i.e., the Turk]
(see note)
may I prosper; (see note)
free-standing fireplace; (see note)
iron bars great in strength
in large quantity
give it a try
[i.e., the Turk]
[Should be able to]
charcoal holders; (see note)
Thrice; (see note)
    [In a missing half page the Turk completes his victory in the second contest, twirling the hot fireplace above his head. He then clothes himself in a garment of invisibility to accompany Gawain as the King of Man leads him to the final challenge. Here, a giant threatens Gawain.]
". . . saw of mickle might
   And strong were in battell.
"I have slaine them thorrow my mastery,
And now, Gawaine, I will slay thee,
   And then I have slaine all the flower.
There went never none againe no tale to tell,
Nor more shalt thou, thoe thou be fell,
   Nor none that longeth to King Arthur."
The Turke was clad invissible gay:
No man cold see him withouten nay,
He was cladd in such a weede.
He heard their talking lesse and more:
And yet he thought they shold find him there
When they shold do that deed.
Then he led him into steddie
Werhas was a boyling leade,
   And welling uppon hie:
And before it a giant did stand
With an iron forke in his hand,
   That hideous was to see.
The giant that looked soe keene
That before Sir Gawaine had never seene
   Noe where in noe country.
The King saide to the giant thoe,
"Here is none but wee tow;
   Let see how best may bee."
When the giant saw Gawaines boy there was,
He leapt and threw, and cryed "Alas,
   That he came in that stead!"
Sir Gawaines boy to him lept,
And with strenght up him gett,
   And cast him in the lead.
With an iron forke made of steele
He held him downe wondorous weele,
   Till he was scalded to the dead.
Then Sir Gawaine unto the King can say,
"Without thou wilt agree unto our law,
   Eatein is all thy bread."
The King spitt on Gawaine the knight.
With that the Turke hent him upright
   And into the fyer him flang,
And saide to Sir Gawaine at the last,
"Noe force, Master, all the perill is past!
   Thinke not we tarrie too longe . . .
(i.e., other knights); (see note)
elite (of chivalry)
none ever returned
Any more than; though; fierce
clothed with wonderful invisibility; (see note)
without doubt
feel his presence
(i.e., the King led Gawain); a spot
Where; [cauldron of] molten lead
[one so fierce]
do your best
(see note)
this place
well; (see note)
(i.e., your time is up); (see note)
(see note)
seized him as he stood
No worry
    [In a missing half page, Gawain and the Turk apparently move quickly to another part of the Castle, where captives have been magically imprisoned. The Turk then, instead of taking the return blow at Gawain to which he is entitled, requests that Gawain deliver a sword stroke that would behead him.]
He tooke forth a bason of gold
As an Emperour washe shold,
   As fell for his degree.
He tooke a sword of mettle free,
Saies "If ever I did any thing for thee,
   Doe for me in this stead:
Take here this sword of steele
That in battell will bite weele,
   Therwith strike of my head."
"That I forefend!" said Sir Gawaine,
"For I wold not have thee slaine
   For all the gold soe red."
"Have done, Sir Gawaine! I have no dread.
But in this bason let me bleed,
   That standeth here in this steed,
"And thou shalt see a new play,
With helpe of Mary that mild mayd
   That saved us from all dread."
He drew forth the brand of steele
That in battell bite wold weele,
   And there stroke of his head.
And when the blood in the bason light,
He stood up a stalwortht Knight
   That day, I undertake,
And song "'Te Deum Laudamus' -
Worshipp be to our Lord Jesus
   That saved us from all wracke!
"A! Sir Gawaine! Blessed thou be!
For all the service I have don thee,
   Thou hast well quitt it me."
Then he tooke him by the hand,
And many a worthy man they fand
   That before they never see.
He said, "Sir Gawaine, withouten threat
Sitt downe boldly at thy meate,
   And I will eate with thee.
Ladyes all, be of good cheere:
Eche ane shall wend to his owne deer
   In all hast that may be.
"First we will to King Arthurs hall,
And soone after your husbands send we shall
   In country where they beene;
There they wold . . . abide.
Such as; (see note)
it suited his rank
metal noble; (see note)
[And] says
Help me; case
[And] with it; off
turn of events
dare say
sang; (see note)
encountered; (see note)
had seen
with all courtesy; (see note)
one; go; dear
have lived
(see note)
    [In another missing section, the process of liberating the chivalric captives continues with the return to Arthur's court.]
"Thus we have brought seventeen ladys cleere
That there were left in great danger,
   And we have brought them out."
Then sent they for theire husbands swithe,
And every one tooke his oune wife,
   And lowlye can they lowte,
And thanked the two knights and the King,
And said they wold be at theire bidding
   In all England about.
Sir Gromer kneeld upon his knee,
Saith "Sir King, and your wil be,
   Crowne Gawaine King of Man."
Sir Gawaine kneeld downe by,
And said "Lord, nay, not I;
   Give it him, for he it wan.
"For I never purposed to be noe King,
Never in all my livinge,
   Whilest I am a living man."
He said, "Sir Gromer, take it thee,
For Gawaine will never King bee
   For no craft that I can."
Thus endeth the tale that I of meane,
Of Arthur and his knightes keene
   That hardy were and free.
God give them good life far and neere
That such talking loves to heere!
   Amen for Charity!
humbly did they bow
(see note)
(see note)
if it be your will
[of the Isle] of Man
next to Sir Gromer
(i.e., Arthur); for yourself
argument I may make
had in mind
to them (i.e., the audience)
The end
Go To The Marriage of Sir Gawain

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