by: Alan Lupack (Editor)
from: Lancelot of the Laik and Sir Tristrem 1994
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The long dirk pasag of the uinter and the lycht
Of Phebus comprochit with his mycht,
The which, ascending in his altitud,
Avodith Saturnn with his stormys rude.
The soft dew one fra the hevyne doune valis
Apone the erth, one hillis and on valis,
And throw the sobir and the mwst hwmouris
Up nurisit ar the erbis and in the flouris
Natur the erth of many diverss hew
Ovrfret and cled with the tendir new. 123
The birdis may them hiding in the gravis
Wel frome the halk, that oft ther lyf berevis.
And Scilla hie ascending in the ayre
That every uight may heryng hir declar
Of the sessone the passing lustynes.
This was the tyme that Phebus gan hym dress
Into the Rame and haith his courss bygown
Or that the trewis and the yher uas rown, 124
Which was yset of Galiot and the King
Of thar assemblé and of thar meting.
Arthur haith a fiftene dais before
Assemblit al his barnag and more
That weryng wnder his subjeccioune
Or lovith hyme or longith to his crown,
And haith his jornay tone, withouten let,
Onto the place the wich that was yset
Whar he hath found befor hyme mony o knycht
That cummyng war with al thar holl mycht
Al enarmyt both with spere and scheld
And ful of lugis plantith haith the feld,
Hyme in the wer for to support and serf
At al ther mycht, his thonk for to disserf.
And Gawan, which was in the seking yhit
Of the gud knycht, of hyme haith got no wit,
Remembrith hyme apone the Kingis day
And to his falowis one this wys can say:
"To yhow is knowin the mater, in what wyss
How that the King hath with his ennemys
A certan day that now comprochit nere,
And oneto ws war hevynes to here
That he uar into perell or into dreid
And we away and he of ws haith neid;
For we but hyme no thing may eschef,
And he but ws in honore well may lef.
For, be he lost, we may nothing withstond
Ourself; our honore we tyne and ek our lond.
Tharfor I red we pas onto the King,
Suppos our oth it hurt into sum thing,
And in the feld with hyme for til endur
Of lyf or deth and tak our adventur."
Tharto thei ar consentit everilkon,
And but dulay the have thar jorney tonne. 125
When that the King them saw, in his entent
Was of thar com right wonder well content,
For he preswmyt no thing that thei wold
Have cummyne but one furth to ther seking hold. 126
And thus the King his ost assemblit has
Agane the tyme, againe the day that uas
Ystatut and ordanit for to bee,
And everything hath set in the dogré.
And Galiot, that haith no thing forghet
The termys quhich that he befor had set,
Assemblit has, apone his best maner,
His folk and al his other thingis sere
That to o weryour longith to provid
And is ycome apone the tothir syde.
Whar he befor was one than uas he two, 127
And al his uthir artilyery also
He dowblith hath, that mervell was to senn.
And by the revere lychtit one the grenn
And stronghar thane ony wallit toune
His ost ybout yclosit in randoune.
Thus war thei cummyne apone ather syd
Befor the tyme, themself for to provid.
Or that the trewis was complet and rwn,
Men mycht have sen one every sid begwn
Many a fair and knychtly juperty
Of lusty men and of yong chevalry
Disyrus into armys for to pruf;
Sum for wynyng, sum causith uas for luf,
Sum into worschip to be exaltate,
Sum causit was of wordis he and hate
That lykit not ydill for to ben--
A hundereth pair at onis one the gren.
Thir lusty folk thus can thar tyme dispend
Whill that the trewis goith to the ende.
The trewis past, the day is cummyne ononne;
One every syd the can them to dispone;
And thai that war most sacret and most dere
To Galiot, at hyme the can enquere,
"Who sal assemble one yhour syd tomornne?
Tonycht the trewis to the end is worne."
He ansuerit, "As yhit oneto this were
I ame avysit I wil none armys bere
Bot if it stond of more necessitee,
Nor to the feld will pas bot for to see
Yhone knycht, the which that berith sich o fame."
Than clepit he the Conquest King be name
And hyme commandit thirti thousand tak
Againe the morne and for the feld hyme mak. 128
And Gawane haith, apone the tother syde
Consulit his eme he schuld for them provid
And that he schuld none armys to hyme tak
Whill Galiot will for the feld hyme mak.
"I grant," quod he, "wharfor yhe mone dispone
Yhow to the feld with al my folk tomorne
And thinkith in yhour manhed and curage
For to recist yhone fowis gret owtrag."
The nycht is gone; up goith the morow gray,
The brycht sone so cherith al the day.
The knychtis gone to armys than in hast.
One goith the scheildis and the helmys last.
Arthuris ost out ovr the furrde thai ryd.
And thai agane, apone the tother syd,
Assemblit ar apone o lusty greyne,
Into o vaill, whar sone thar mycht be seyne
Of knychtis togedder many o pair
Into the feld assemblyng her and thair,
And stedis which that haith thar master lorne;
The knychtis war done to the erth doune borne.
Sir Esquyris, which was o manly knycht
Into hymeself, and hardy uas and wycht
And intill armys gretly for to pryss,
Yhit he was pure, he previt wel oftsyss; 129
And that tyme was he of the cumpanee
Of Galiot, bot efterwart was hee
With Arthur. And that day into the feild
He come, al armyt boith with spere and scheld,
With ferss desir, as he that had na dout,
And is assemblit evyne apone a rowt. 130
His spere is gone; the knycht goith to the erd,
And out onon he pullith haith o swerd.
That day in armys previt he rycht well
His strenth, his manhed: Arthuris folk thai fell.
Than Galys Gwynans, with o manly hart,
Which brother was of Ywane the Bastart,
He cummyne is onone oneto the stour
For conquering in armys of honour
And cownterit with Esquyris hath so
Than horss and man, al four, to erth thai go.
And still o quhill lying at the ground
With that o part of Arthuris folk thei found
Till Gwyans and haith hyme sone reskewit.
Aganis them til Esquyris thei sewyt
Of Galiotis well thirti knychtis and mo.
Gwyans goith done and uthir seven also,
The wich war tone and Esquyris relevit.
Than Ywane the Anterus, aggrevit,
With kynnismen oneto the mellé socht.
The hardy knychtis, that one thar worschip thocht,
Cownterit them in myddis of the scheld
Whar many o knycht was born donn in the feld.
Bot thei wich ware one Galiotis part
So wndertakand nor of so hardy hart
Ne ware thei not as was in the contrare.
Sir Galys Gwyans was resqwyt thare
With his falowis, and Esqwyris don bore.
Thar al the batellis cam, withouten more,
On ather part, and is assemblit so
Whar fyfty thousand war thei and no mo.
In o plane besyd the gret rivere
Thirty thousand one Galiotis half thei uare.
Of Arthuris ten thousand and no mo
Thei ware, and yhit thai contenit them so
And in the feld so manly haith bornn
That of thar fois haith the feld forswornn.
The Conquest King, wich the perell knowith,
Ful manly oneto the feld he drowith.
The lord Sir Gawan, coverit with his scheld,
He ruschit in myddis of the feld
And haith them so into his com assayt
That of his manhed ware thei al affrait.
No langer mycht thei contrar hyme endur
Bot fled and goith oneto discumfiture.
And Galiot, wich haith the discumfit sen,
Fulfillit ful of anger and of ten,
Incontinent he send o new poware,
Wharwith the feldis al ovrcoverit ware
Of armyt stedis both in plait and maill,
With knychtis wich war reddy to assaill.
Sir Gawan, seing al the gret suppris
Of fois cummyng into sich o wys,
Togiddir al his cumpany he drew
And confortable wordis to them schew.
So at the cummyng of thar ennemys
Thei them resauf in so manly wyss
That many one felith deithis wound
And wnder horss lyith sobing one the ground.
This uther cummyth into gret desir,
Fulfillit ful of matelent and ire,
So freschly, with so gret o confluens,
Thar strong assay hath don sich vyolens
And at thar come Arthuris folk so led
That thai war ay abaysit and adred.
Bot Gawan, wich that, by this uorldis fame,
Of manhed and of knychthed bur the name,
Haith previt well be experiens;
For only intil armys his defens
Haith maid his falowis tak sich hardyment
That manfully thei biding one the bent.
Of his manhed war mervell to raherss.
The knychtis throw the scheldis can he perss
That many one thar dethis haith resavit.
None armour frome his mychty hond them savit,
Yhit ay for one ther ennemys wor thre. 131
Long mycht thei nocht endur in such dugree.
The press, it wos so creuell and so strong
In gret anoy and haith continewit longe
That, magré them, thei nedis most abak, 132
The way oneto thar lugis for to tak.
Sir Gawan thar sufferith gret myschef
And wonderis in his knychthed can he pref.
His falouschip haith mervell that hym saw;
So haith his fois that of his suerd stud aw.
King Arthur, that al this whill beheld
The danger and the perell of the feld,
Sir Ywan with o falowschip he sende,
Them in that ned to help and to defend,
Qwich fond them into danger and in were
And enterit nere into thar tentis were.
Sir Gawan fechtand was one fut at erde
And no defend but only in his swerde
Aganis them both with spere and scheld.
Of Galowa the knycht goith to the erde.
Thar was the batell furyous and woid
Of armyt knychtis. To the grownde thai yhud.
Sir Ywane, that was a noble knyght,
He schew his strenth, he schew thar his gret mycht,
In al his tyme that never of before
Off armys nore of knychthed did he more.
Sir Gawan thar reskewit he of fors,
Magré his fois, and haith hyme set one horss
That frome the first Conquest King he wann.
Bot Sir Gawan so evill was wondit than
And in the feld supprisit was so sore
That he the werss tharof was evermore.
Thar schew the lord Sir Ywan his curage,
His manhed, and his noble vassolage.
And Gawan, in his doing, wald nocht irk
So al the day enduring to the dyrk
Sal them, magré of thar desyre, constren
On athar half fore to depart in twen.
And when that Gawan of his horss uas tonn,
The blud out of his noiss and mouth is gonn,
And largly so passith every wounde,
In swonyng thore he fell oneto the ground.
Than of the puple petee was to here
The lemytable clamour and the chere,
And of the King the sorow and the care,
That of his necis lyf was in disspare.
"Far well," he sais, "my gladnes and my delyt,
Apone knychthed far well myne appetit,
Fare well of manhed al the gret curage,
Yow flour of armys and of vassolage,
Gif yow be lost." Thus til his tent hyme brocht
With wofull hart and al the surrygenis socht
Wich for to cum was reddy at his neid.
Thai fond the lord was of his lyf in dreid,
For wondit was he and ek wondit so
And in his syd ware brokyne ribys two.
Bot nocht forthi the King thai maid beleif
That at that tyme he shuld the deith eschef. 133
Off Melyhalt the Ladyis knychtis were
Into the feld and can thir tithingis here,
And home to thar lady ar thai went
Til hir to schewing efter thar entent 134
In every poynt how that the batell stud
Of Galiot and of his multitud;
And how Gawan hyme in the feld hath bornn,
Throw quhoys swerd so many o knycht uas lornn,
And of the knychtly wonderis that he wrocht;
Syne how that he oneto his tent uas brocht.
The lady hard, that lovit Gawan so
She gan to wep; into hir hart uas wo.
Thir tythyngis oneto Lancelot ar gonn,
Wharof that he was wonder wobygone.
And for the lady hastely he sent,
And sche til hyme, at his command, is went.
He salust hir and said, "Madem, is trew
Thir tithingis I her report of new
Of the assemblé and meting of the ost,
And of Sir Gawan, wich that shuld be lost?
If that be swth, adew the flour of armys!
Now nevermore recoveryt be the harmys.
In hyme was manhed, curtessy, and trouth,
Besy travell in knychthed, ay but sleuth, 135
Humilyté, gentrice, and cwrag.
In hyme thar was no maner of outrage.
Allace, knycht, allace! What shal yow say?
Yow may complen, yow may bewail the day
As of his deith, and gladschip aucht to ses,
Baith menstrasy and festing at the des;
For of this lond he was the holl comfort
In tyme of ned al knychthed to support.
Allace, madem, and I durst say at yhe
Al yhour behest not kepit haith to me,
Wharof that I was in to full belef
Aganne this day that I schuld have my lef
And nocht as cowart thus schamfully to ly
Excludit into cage frome chevalry,
Whar othir knychtis anarmyt on thar stedis
Hawntis ther yhouthhed into knychtly dedis."
"Sir," quod sche, "I red yhow not displess, 136
Yhe may in tyme herefter cum at es;
For the thrid day is ordanit and shal be
Of the ostis a new assemblé,
And I have gart ordan al the gere
That longith to your body for to were,
Boith horss and armour in the samyne wyss
Of sable, evyne aftir yhour awn devyss.
And yhe sal her remayne oneto the day;
Syne may yhe pass, fore well yhe knaw the way."
"I will obey, madem, to yhour entent."
With that sche goith and to hir rest is went.
One the morn arly up sche ross
Without delay and to the knycht sche gois
And twk hir lef and said that scho uald fare
Onto the court withouten any mare.
Than knelit he and thankit hir oftsys
That sche so mych hath done hyme of gentriss 137
And hir byhecht ever, at his myght,
To be hir awn trew and stedfast knycht.
Sche thonkith hyme and syne sche goith her way
Onto the King, withowten more delay,
Whar that in honour with King and Qwen sche sall
Rycht thonkfully resavit be withall.
Eft to Sir Gawan thai hir led, and sche
Ryght gladly hyme desyrit for to see.
And sche hyme fond, and sche was glad tharfore,
All uthirways than was hir told before.
The knycht, the wich into hir keping uas,
Sche had commandit to hir cussynece,
Wich cherist hyme apone hir best manere
And comfort hyme and maid hym rycht gud chere. 138
The days goith; so passith als the nycht.
The thrid morow, as that the sone uas lycht,
The knycht onon out of his bed aross.
The maden sone oneto his chalmer goss
And sacretly his armour one hyme spent.
He tuk his lef and syne his way he went
Ful prevaly, rycht to the samyne grenn
One the revere, whar he befor had ben,
Evyne as the day the first courss hath maad. 139
Alone rycht thar he hovit and abaade,
Behalding to the bertes whar the Qwenn
Befor at the assemblé he had senn
Rycht so the sone schewith furth his lycht
And to his armour went is every wycht.
One athir half the justing is bygon
And many o fair and knychtly courss is rown.
The Blak Knycht yhit hovyns on his sted;
Of al thar doing takith he no hed
Bot ay apone the besynes of thocht
In beholding his ey departit nocht.
To quhom the Lady of Melyhalt beheld
And knew hyme by his armour and his scheld,
Qwhat that he was. And thus sche said one hycht,
"Who is he yone? Who may he be, yhone knycht
So still that hovith and sterith not his ren
And seith the knychtis rynyng one the grenn?" 140
Than al beholdith and in princypale
Sir Gawan beholdith most of all.
Of Melyhalt the Lady to hyme maid
Incontinent, his couche and gart be had 141
Before o wyndew thore, as he mycht se
The knycht, the ost, and al the assemblé.
He lukith furth and sone the knycht hath sen;
And, but delay, he saith oneto the Qwen,
"Madem, if yhe remembir, so it was
The Red Knycht into the samyne place
That vencust al the first assemblé,
Whar that yone knycht hovis, hovit hee."
"Yha," quod the Qwen, "rycht well remembir I;
Qwhat is the causs at yhe inquere and quhy?" 142
"Madem, of this larg warld is he
The knycht the wich I most desir to see
His strenth, his manhed, his curag, and his mycht,
Or do in armys that longith to o knycht."
By thus, Arthur, with consell well avysit,
Haith ordanit his batellis and devysit: 143
The first of them led Ydrus King, and he
O worthy man uas nemmyt for to bee.
The secund led Harvy the Reveyll,
That in this world was knycht that had most feill
For to provid that longith to the were,
One agit knycht and well couth armys bere.
The thrid feld deliverit in the hond
Of Angus, King of Ylys of Scotlande,
Wich cusing was one to King Arthur nere.
One hardy knycht he was, withouten were.
The ferd batell led Ywons the King,
O manly knycht he was into al thing.
And thus devysit ware his batellis sere
In every feld fiftene thousand were.
The fift batell the lord Sir Ywan lede,
Whois manhed was in every cuntré dred.
Sone he was oneto Wryne the Kyng,
Forwart, stout, hardy, wyss, and yhing.
Twenty thousand in his ost thai past,
Wich ordanit was for to assemblé last.
And Galiot apone the tothir syde
Rycht wysly gan his batellis to devid.
The first of them led Malenginys the King,
None hardyar into this erth levyng.
He never more out of his cuntré raid,
Nor he with hyme one hundereth knychtis hade.
The secund the First-Conquest King led,
That for no perell of armys uas adred.
The thrid o king clepit Walydeyne,
He led, and was o manly knycht, but weyne.
The ferd, King Clamedeus has,
Wich that Lord of Far Ylys was.
The fift batell, whar forty thousand were,
King Brandymagus had to led and stere,
O manly knycht and previt well oftsyss,
And in his consell wonder scharp and wyss.
Galiot non armys bur that day,
Nor as o knycht he wald hymeself aray,
But as o servand in o habariowne,
O prekyne hat, and ek o gret trownsciownn
Intil his hond and one o cursour set,
The best that was in ony lond to get.
Endlong the revar men mycht behold and see
Of knychtis weryne mony one assemblé
And the Blak Knycht still he couth abyde
Without removyng, one the river syde,
Bot to the bartes to behold and see
Thar as his hart desyrit most to bee.
And quhen the Lady of Melyhalt haith senn
The knycht so stond, sche said oneto the Qwenn,
"Madem, it is my consell at yhe send
Oneto yone knycht, yourself for to commend,
Beseiching hyme that he wald wndertak
This day to do of armys for your sak."
The Quen ansuerit as that hir lykit nocht,
For othir thing was more into hir thocht:
"For well yhe se the perell, how disjont
The adventur now stondith one the point
Boith of my lord, his honore, and his lond,
And of his men, in danger how thai stond;
Bot yhe and ek thir uthere ladice may,
If that yhow lykith, to the knycht gar say
The mesag. Is none that wil yhow let,
For I tharof sal nocht me entermet."
Onto the Quen scho saith, "Her I,
If so it pless thir uthir ladice by,
Am for to send oneto the knycht content."
And al the ladice can tharto assent,
Beseching hir the mesag to devyss,
As sche that was most prudent and most wyss.
Sche grantit and o madenn haith thai tone,
Discret, apone this mesag for till gone.
And Sir Gawan a sqwyar bad also,
With two speris oneto the knycht to go.
The lady than, withouten more dulay,
Haith chargit hir apone this wyss to say,
"Schaw to the knycht, the ladice everilkone
Ben in the court, excep the Quen allon,
Til hyme them haith recommandit oftsyss,
Beseching hyme of knychthed and gentriss
(Or if it hapyne evermore that he shall
Cum quhar thai may, owther an or all,
In ony thing avail hyme or support,
Or do hyme ony plesans or comfort),
He wold vichsaif for love of them this day
In armys sum manhed to assay.
And say, Sir Gawan hyme the speris sent.
Now go; this is the fek of our entent."
The damysell, sche hath hir palfray tone,
The sqwyar with the speris with hir gonn.
The nerest way thai pass oneto the knycht,
Whar sche repete hir mesag haith ful rycht.
And quhen he hard and planly wnderstude
How that the Quen not in the mesag yude,
He spak no word, bot he was not content.
Bot of Sir Gawan, glaid in his entent,
He askit quhar he was and of his fair.
And thai to hyme the maner can duclair.
Than the sqwyar he prayth that he wold
Pass to the feld, the speris for to hold.
He saw the knychtis semblyng her and thare,
The stedis rynyng with the sadillis bare.
His spuris goith into the stedis syde,
That was ful swyft and lykit not to byd.
And he that was hardy, ferss, and stout,
Furth by o syd assemblyng on a rout
Whar that one hundereth knychtis was and mo.
And with the first has recounterit so
That frome the deth not helpith hym his scheld:
Boith horss and man is lying in the feld.
The spere is gone and al in pecis brak;
And he the trunscyoune in his hand hath tak
That two or thre he haith the sadillis reft
Whill in his hond schortly nothing is left.
Syne, to the squyar, of the feld is gonn.
Fro hyme o spere into his hond haith ton
And to the feld returnyt he agayne.
The first he met, he goith one the plan,
And ek the next, and syne the thrid also.
Nor in his hond, nore in his strak was ho.
His ennemys that ueryng in affray
Befor his strok and makith roum alway.
And in sich wyss ay in the feld he urocht,
Whill that his speris gon uar al to nocht.
Wharof Sir Gawan berith uitnesing
Throw al this world that thar uas non levyng,
In so schort tyme so mych of armys wrocht.
His speris gone, out of the feld he socht
And passit is oneto the revere syde,
Rycht thore as he was wont for to abyde
And so beholdyne in the samyne plann
As to the feld hyme lykit nocht agann. 144
Sir Gawan saw and saith onto the Quen,
"Madem, yhone knycht disponit not, I weynn,
To help ws more, fore he so is avysit.
As I presume, he thinkith hyme dispisit
Of the mesag that we gart to hyme mak.
Yhowreself yhe have so specialy outtak,
He thinkith evill contempnit for to bee,
Considering how that the necessitee
Most prinspaly to yhowr supporting lyis.
Tharfor my consell is, yhow to devyss
And ek yhowreself in yhowr trespas accuss
And ask hyme mercy and yhour gilt excuss.
For well it oucht o prince or o king
Til honore and til cheriss in al thing
O worthi man that is in knychthed previt.
For throw the body of o man eschevit
Mony o wondir, mony one adventure
That mervell war til any creature.
And als ofttyme is boith hard and sen,
Quhar fourty thousand haith discumfit ben
Uith five thousand and only be o knycht.
For throw his strenth, his uorschip and his mycht,
His falowschip sich comfort of hym tais
That thai ne dreid the danger of thar fays.
And thus, madem, I wot withouten were,
If that yhone knycht this day will persyvere
With his manhed for helping of the King,
We sal have causs to dred into no thing.
Our folk of hyme thai sal sich comfort tak
And so adred thar ennemys sal mak
That sur I am, onys or the nycht,
Of forss yhone folk sal tak one them the flycht. 145
Wharffor, madem, that yhe have gilt to mend,
My consell is oneto yhon knycht ye send."
"Sir," quod sche, "quhat plessith yhow to do
Yhe may devyss and I consent tharto."
Than was the Lady of Melyhalt content
And to Sir Gawan into contynent
Sche clepit the maid, wich that passit ar,
And he hir bad the mesag thus duclar.
"Say the knycht the Quen hir recommendith 146
And sal correk in quhat that sche offendith
At his awn will, howso hyme list devyss 147
And hyme exortith in most humyll wyss,
As ever he will, whar that sche can or may
Or powar haith hir charg be ony way,
And for his worschip and his hie manhede
And for hir luf to helpen in that ned
The Kingis honore, his land fore to preserf,
That he hir thonk forever may deserf."
And four squyaris chargit he also
With thre horss and speris ten to go
Furth to the knycht, hyme prayng for his sak
At his raquest thame in his ned to tak.
The maden furth with the sqwyaris is went
Oneto the knycht and schawith ther entent.
The mesag hard and ek the present senn,
He answerit and askith of the Qwen.
"Sir," quod sche, "sche into yhone bartiis lyis,
Whar that this day yhour dedis sal devyss,
Yhowr manhed, yhour worschip and affere,
How yhe contenn and how yhe armys bere,
The Quen hirself and many o lady to
Sal jugis be and uitnes how yhe do."
Than he, whois hart stant in o new aray,
Saith, "Damyceyll, onto my lady say
However that hir lykith that it bee,
Als far as wit or powar is in me,
I am hir knycht; I sal at hir command
Do at I may, withouten more demand.
And to Sir Gawan, for his gret gentriss,
Me recommend and thonk a thousand syss.
With that, o sper he takith in his hond
And so into his sterapis can he stond,
That to Sir Gawan semyth that the knycht
Encresyng gon o larg fut one hycht.
And to the ladice saith he, and the Qwen,
"Yhon is the knycht that ever I have sen
In al my tyme most knychtly of affere
And in hymeself gon farest armys bere."
The knycht that haith remembrit in his thocht
The Qwenys chargis and how sche hym besocht,
Curag can encresing to his hart.
His curser lap and gan onon to start;
And he the sqwaris haith reqwyrit so
That thai with hyme oneto the feld wald go.
Than goith he one, withowten mor abaid,
And ovr the revar to the feld he raid.
Don goith his spere onone into the rest,
And in he goith withouten mor arest
Tharas he saw most perell and most dred
In al the feld and most of held had ned,
Whar semblyt was the First-Conquest King
With mony o knycht that was in his leding.
The first he met, doune goith boith horss and man;
The sper was holl, and to the next he rann
That helpit hyme his hawbrek nor his scheld,
Bot throuch and throuch haith persit in the feld.
Sir Kay, the wich haith this encontyr sen,
His horss he strekith ovr the larg gren
And Syr Sygramors ek the Desyrand,
With Sir Gresown cummyth at thar honde,
Son of the duk and alsua Sir Ywan
The Bastart, and Sir Brandellis onan,
And Gaherss, wich that brothir was
To Gawan. Thir sex in a rass
Deliverly com prekand ovr the feldis
With speris straucht and coverit with thar scheldis,
Sum for love, sum honor to purchess
And aftir them one hundereth knychtis was,
In samyne will, thar manhed to assay.
On his five falowis clepit than Sir Kay
And saith them, "Siris, thar has yhonder ben
A courss that nevermore farar was sen
Maid be o knycht, and we ar cummyn ilkon
Only ws one worschip to dispone.
And never we in al our dais mycht
Have bet axampil than iffith ws yone knycht
Of well doing. And her I hecht for me
Ner hyme al day, if that I may, to bee
And folow hyme at al mycht I sall,
Bot deth or uthir adventur me fall. 148
With that, thir sex, al in one assent,
With fresch curag into the feld is went.
The Blak Knychtis spere in pecis gonne,
Frome o sqwyar onne uthir haith he tonne,
And to the feld onone he goith ful rycht.
Thir sex with hyme ay holdith at thar mycht. 149
And than bygan his wonderis in the feld.
Thar was no helme, no hawbryk, nore no scheld,
Nor yhit no knycht so hardy, ferss nore stout,
No yhit no maner armour mycht hald owt
His strenth, nore was of powar to withstond.
So mych of armys dyde he with his honde
That every wight ferleit of his deid
And al his fois stondith ful of dreid.
So besely he can his tyme dispend
That of the speris wich Sir Gawan send,
Holl of them all thar was not levit onne;
Throw wich but mercy to the deyth is gon
Ful many o knycht and many o weriour
That couth susten ful hardely o stour. 150
And of his horss supprisit ded ar two,
One of his awn, of Gawanis one also;
And he one fut was fechtand one the gren,
When that Sir Kay haith with his falowis senn.
The sqwyar with his horss than to hym brocht.
Magré his fois, he to his courseir socht
Deliverly, as of o mychty hart,
Without steropis into his sadill start,
That every wycht beholding mervell has
Of his strenth and deliver besynes.
Sir Kay, seing his horss, and how that thai
War cled into Sir Gawanis aray,
Askith at the squyar if he knewith
What that he was, this knycht. And he hym schewith
He wist nothing quhat that he was, nore hee
Befor that day hyme never saw with ee.
Than askith he how and one quhat wyss
On Gawanis horss makith hyme sich service.
The sqwar saith, "Forsuth Y wot no more;
My lord ws bad, I not the causs quharfore."
The Blak Knycht, horsit, to the feld can sew
Als fresch as he was in the morow new.
The sex falowis folowit hyme ilkone
And al in front onto the feld ar gonn.
Rycht freschly one thar ennemys thai foght
And many o fair poynt of armys uroght.
Than hapnyt to King Malangins ost
By Ydras King discumfit was and lost
And fled and to the Conquest King ar gonne;
Thar boith the batellis assemblit into one.
King Malengynis into his hart was wo,
For of hymeself no better knycht mycht go.
Thar forty thousand war thai for fiftene.
Than mycht the feld rycht perellus be sen
Of armyt knychtis gaping one the ground.
Sum deith and sum with mony a grevous wond;
For Arthuris knychtis that manly war and gud,
Suppos that uthir was o multitude,
Resavit tham well at the speris end.
Bot one such wyss thai may not lang defend.
The Blak Knycht saw the danger of the feld
And al his doingis knowith quho beheld
And ek remembrith into his entent
Of the mesag that sche haith to hyme sent.
Than curag, strenth encresing with manhed,
Ful lyk o knycht oneto the feld he raid,
Thinking to do his ladice love to have,
Or than his deth befor hir to resave.
Thar he begynyth in his ferss curag
Of armys, as o lyoune in his rag.
Than mervell was his doing to behold.
Thar was no knycht so strong nor yhit so bold
That in the feld befor his suerd he met
Nor he so hard his strok apone hyme set
That ded or wondit to the erth he socht,
For thar was not bot wonderis that he wrocht.
And magré of his fois everilkone,
Into the feld ofttymys hyme alonn
Throuch and throuch he passith to and fro.
For in the ward it was the maner tho
That non o knycht shuld be the brydill tak
Hyme to orest nore cum behynd his bak
Nor mo than on at onys one o knycht
Shuld strik, for that tyme worschip stud so rycht.
Yhit was the feld rycht perellus and strong
Till Arthuris folk set thai contenyt longe.
Bot in sich wyss this Blak Knycht can conten
That thai, the wich that hath his manhed senn,
Sich hardyment haith takyne in his ded,
Them thocht thai had no maner causs of dred
Als long as he mycht owthir ryd or go,
At every ned he them recomfort so.
Sir Kay haith with his falowis al the day
Folowit hyme al that he can or may,
And wondir well thai have in armys previt
And with thar manhed oft thar folk relevit.
Bot well thai faucht in diverss placis sere,
With multitud ther folk confusit were 151
That long in sich wyss mycht thai nocht contenn.
Sir Kay, that hath Sir Gawans squyaris sen,
He clepit hyme and haith hyme prayt so
That to Sir Harvy the Revell wil he go
And say to hyme, "Ws think hyme evil avysit, 152
For her throuch hyme he sufferit be supprisit
The best knycht that ever armys bur;
And if it so befell of adventur,
In his defalt, that he be ded or lamyt,
This warld sal have hyme utraly defamyt.
And her ar of the Round Table also
A falouschip that sall in well and wo
Abid with hyme and furth for to endur
Of lyf or deth, this day, thar adventur.
And if so fal discumfyt at thai bee,
The King may say that wonder evill haith he
Contenit hyme and kepit his honore,
Thus for to tyne of chevalry the flour."
The sqwar hard and furth his way raid;
In termys schort he al his mesag said.
Sir Harvy saith, "Y wytness God that I
Never in my days comytit tratory;
And if I now begyne into myne eld,
In evill tyme fyrst com I to this feld.
Bot, if God will, I sal me son discharg.
Say to Sir Kay I sal not ber the charg;
He sal no mater have me to rapref.
I sal amend this mys if that I lef."
The sqwyar went and tellit to Sir Kay.
And Sir Harvy, in al the hast he may,
Assemblyt hath his ostis and ononn
In gret desyre on to the feld is gon
Befor his folk and haldith furth his way.
Don goith his sper, and evyne before Sir Kay
So hard o knycht he strykith in his ten
That horss and he lay boith apone the gren.
Sir Gawan saw the counter that he maad
And leuch for al the sarues that he had.
That day Sir Harvy prevyt in the feld
Of armys more than longith to his eld;
For he was more than fyfty yher of ag,
Set he was ferss and yong in his curag.
And fro that he assemblyt his bataill
Doune goith the folk of Galotis al haill.
For to withstond thai war of no poware
And yhit of folk ten thousand mo thei uare.
Kyng Walydone, that sauch on such o wyss
His falowis dangerit with thar ennemys,
With al his folk, being fress and new,
Goith to the feld onon, them to resskew.
Thar was the feld rycht perellus aganne;
Of Arthuris folk ful many on uar slan.
Bot Angus, quhich that lykith not to bid
And saw the perell one the tothir sid,
His sted he strok and with his ost is gon
Whar was most ned; and thar the feld has ton.
Kyng Clamedyus makith non abaid,
Bot with his ost oneto the sid he raid.
And Ywons King, that haith his cummyn sen,
Encounterit hyme in myddis of the grenn.
The aucht batellis assemblyt one this wiss;
On ather half the clamore and the cryiss
Was lametable and petws for til her
Of knychtis wich in diverss placis sere
Wondit war and fallyng to and fro;
Yhit Galyotis folk war twenty thousand mo.
The Blak Knycht than onto hymeself he said,
"Remembir the how yhow haith ben araid,
Ay sen the hour that yow was makid knycht,
With love agane quhois powar and whois mycht
Yow haith no strenth; yow may it not endur,
Nor yhit non uthir erthly creatur.
And bot two thingis ar the to amend, 153
Thi ladice mercy or thi lyvys end.
And well yhow wot that onto hir presens,
Til hir estat nor til hir excellens,
Thi febilness nevermore is able
For to attan, sche is so honorable.
And sen no way yow may so hie extend,
My verray consell is that yow pretend
This dayÄÄsen yow becummyne art hir knycht
Of hir comand and fechtit in hir sycht--
And well yow schaw, sen yow may do no mor, 154
That of resone sche sal the thank tharfore,
Of every poynt of cowardy yow scham
And intil armys purchess the sum nam." 155
With that of love into o new desir
His spere he straucht and swift as any vyre 156
With al his forss the nerest feld he soght,
His ful strenth in armys thar he uroght,
Into the feld rusching to and fro.
Doune goith the man, doune goith the horss also;
Sum throw the scheld is persit to the hart,
Sum throw the hedÄÄhe may it not astart.
His bludy suerd he dreuch, that carvit so
Fro sum the hed and sum the arm in two;
Sum in the feld fellit is in swonn;
Throw sum his suerd goith to the sadill doune.
His fois waren abasit of his dedis,
His mortell strok so gretly for to dred is.
Whar thai hyme saw, within a lytall space
For dreid of ded, thai levyng hyme the place,
That many o strok ful oft he haith forlornn.
The spedy horss away the knycht hath bornn.
Into his wyrking nevermore he sest,
Nor non abaid he makith nor arest.
His falowis so in his knychthed assuryd,
Thai ar recomfort, thar manhed is recoveryt,
And one thar fois ful fersly thai soght.
Thar goith the lyf of many o knycht to nocht. 157
So was the batell wonderful to tell,
Of knychtis to se the multitud that fell
That pety was til ony knycht to senn
The knychtis lying gaping on the gren.
The Blak Knycht ay continewit so fast
Whill many one discumfit at the last
Are fled and planly of the feld thei pas.
And Galyot haith wondyr, for he was
Of mor powar, and askit at them qwhy
As cowartis thai fled sa schamfully.
Than saith o knycht, sor wondit in the brayne,
"Who lykith, he may retwrn agayne
Frome qwhens we come, mervalis for to see
That in his tyme never sich sauch hee."
"Marvell," quod he, "that dar I boldly say
Thay may be callit and quhat thai ar, I pray." 158
"Schir, in the feld forsuth thar is o knycht
That only throw his body and his mycht
Vencussith all that thar may non susten
His strokis, thai ar so fureows and ken.
He farith as o lyone or o beyre,
Wod in his rag, for sich is his affere.
Nor he the knycht into the armys red
Wich at the first assemblé in this sted
Vencussith all and had the holl renown,
He may to this be no comparysoune;
Fore never he sesith sen the day uas gonn
Bot evermore continewit into one."
Quod Galiot, "In nome of God and we
Al, be tyme, the suthfastness sal see."
Than he in armys that he had is gon
And to the feld with hyme agane hath ton
Al the flearis and found yne sich aray
His folk that ner discumfyt al war thay.
Bot quhen thai saw cummyne ovr the plan
Thar lord, thai tuk sich hardement agann
That thar essenyeis lowd thai gon to cry.
He chargit tham to go, that ware hyme by,
Straucht to the feld with al thar holl forss;
And thai, the wich that sparit not the horss,
All redy war to fillyng his command
And freschly went withowten more demand.
Throw qwich thar folk recoveryt haith thar place,
For al the feld preswmyt that thar was
O new ost, one such o wyss thai soght,
Whar Arthuris folk had passith al to nocht. 159
Ne war that thai the better war ilkonne 160
And at thai can them utraly disponne
Rathar to dee than flee, in thar entent,
And of the Blak Knycht haith sich hardyment,
For at al perell, al harmys and myschef,
In tyme of ned he can tham al ralef.
Thar was the batell dangerus and strong;
Gret was the pres, bath perellus and throng.
The Blak Knycht is born onto the ground;
His horss hyme falyth, that fellith dethis wound.
The six falowis that falowit hyme al day,
Sich was the press that to the erth go thay.
And thar in myd among his ennemys
He was about enclosit one sich wyss
That quhare he was non of his falowis knew
Nor mycht nocht cum to help hyme nore reskew.
And thus among his ennemys allon
His nakid suerd out of his hond haith ton;
And thar he previt his vertew and his strenth,
For thar was none within the suerdis lenth
That came bot he goith to confusioune.
Thar was no helme, thar was no habirioune
That may resist his suerd, he smytith so.
One every syd he helpith to and fro
That al about the compas thai mycht ken
The ded horss lyith uirslyng with the men.
Thai hyme assalyeing both with scheld and spere:
And he agane, as at the stok the bere
Snybbith the hardy houndis that ar ken,
So farith he; for never mycht be sen
His suerd to rest that in the gret rout
He rowmyth all the compas hyme about.
And Galiot, beholding his manhed,
Within hisself wonderith of his ded
How that the body only of o knycht
Haith sich o strenth, haith sich affere and mycht.
Than said he thus, "I wald not that throw me
Or for my causs that such o knycht suld dee,
To conquer all this world that is so larg."
His horss than can he with his spuris charg
A gret trunsioune into his hond hath ton
And in the thikest of the press is gonn
And al his folk chargit he to sess.
At his command thai levyng al the press;
And quhen he had departit all the rout
He said, "Sir knycht, havith now no dout."
Wich answerit, "I have no causs to dred."
"Yis," quod he, "sa ever God me sped,
Bot apone fut quhill ye ar fechtand here
And yhow defendith apone sich manere
So hardely and ek so lyk o knycht
I sal myself with al my holl mycht
Be yhour defens and uarand fra al harmys.
Bot had yhe left of worschip intil armys,
What I have don I wold apone no wyss.
Bot sen yhe ar of knychthed so to prys
Yhe salt no maner causs have for to dred.
And set yhour horss be falit at this ned,
Displess yhow not, forquhy ye sal not want
Als many as yhow lykith for to hawnt. 161
And I myself, I sal yhowr sqwyar bee,
And, if God will, never more sal wee
Depart." With that anon he can to lycht
Doune frome his horss and gaf hyme to the knycht.
The lord he thonkit and the horss hath ton,
And als so fresch oneto the feld is gon
As at no strokis he that day had ben.
His falowis glad one horss that hath hym sen,
To Galiot one uthir horss thai broght;
And he goith one and frome the feld he socht
And to the plan quhar that his ostis were.
And Brandymagus chargit he to stere
Efter hyme within a lytill space,
And ten thousand he takyne with hym hass.
Towart the feld onon he can to rid
And chargit them befor the ost to byd.
Wp goith the trumpetis and the claryownis,
Hornys, bugillis blawing furth thar sownis,
That al the cuntré resownit hath about.
Than Arthuris folk uar in dispar and dout
That hard the noys and saw the multitud
Of fresch folk: thai cam as thai war wod.
Bot he that was withowten any dred,
In sabill cled, and saw the gret ned
Assemblyt al his falowis and arayd.
And thus to them in manly termes said:
"What that ye ar I knaw not yhour estat;
Bot of manhed and worschip, well I wat,
Out throuch this warld yhe aw to be commendit,
This day ye have so knychtly yhow defendit.
And now yhe see how that, aganis the nycht,
Yhour ennemys pretendit, with thar myght
Of multitud and with thar new ost
And with thar buglis and thar wyndis bost
Freschly cummyng into sich aray,
To ifyne yhow one owtray or affray.
And now almost cummyne is the nycht,
Quharfor yhour strenth, yhour curag and yhour mycht
Yhe occupye into so manly wyss
That the worschip of knychthed and empryss
That yhe have wonyng and the gret renown
Be not ylost, be not ylaid doune.
For one hour the sufferyng of distress,
Gret harm it war yhe tyne the hie encress
Of uorschip servit al this day before.
And to yhow al my consell is, tharfore,
With manly curag but radour yhe pretend
To met tham scharply at the speris end
So that thei feil the cold speris poynt
Outthrow thar scheldis in thar hartis poynt
So sal thai fynd we ar nothing affrayt,
Wharthrouch we sall the well less be assayt. 162
If that we met them scharply in the berd, 163
The formest sal mak al the laif afferd."
And with o voyss thai cry al, "Sir knycht
Apone yhour manhed and yhour gret mycht
We sal abid for no man shall eschef
Frome yhow this day, his manhed for to pref."
And to his ost the lord Sir Ywane said,
"Yhe comfort yow, yhe be nothing affrayd.
Ws ned no more to dreding of suppriss:
We se the strenth of al our ennemys."
Thus he said, for he wend thai uar no mo,
Bot Sir Gawan knew well it uas not so;
For al the ostis mycht he se al day
And the gret host he saw quhar that it lay.
And Galiot, he can his folk exort,
Beseching them to be of good comfort
And sich enconter . . .
Banishes; fierce; (see note)
falls; (see note)
hide in the groves
air; (see note)
person may hear her
advanced; (see note)
Ram [i.e., Aries]; orbit
For; meeting [in combat]
are subject to; authority
had come; entire force
With; thanks; deserve
who was still in search
sorrow to hear
without him; achieve
without us; live
Although; in some measure
In preparation for
put in order
not at all forgotten
in the best way he can
for a warrior it is necessary
implements of war
camped in a field
Before; truce; elapsed
spirited; young knights
in arms to prove themselves
loud and impassioned
at once; field
These spirited; pass
they began; position
in this war
if there is a greater need
Counseled his uncle
not take up arms
Until; (see note)
must plan; (see note)
[to go] to the field
that enemy's; offense
the gray morning comes
they in response
In a vale; seen
lost; (see note)
brave; (see note)
in arms of great esteem
Who; (see note)
at once; battle
to the ground
a while; on
Until; they come
In response to; they followed
down; seven others
vexed; (see note)
into the battle went
of their honor
on Galiot's side
were; in the opposition
battalions; more ado
more; (see note)
in his attack engaged
who; defeat seen
armor and chain mail
in such a way
many a one feels death's
struck down; (see note)
confused and frightened
was the epitome
proved himself well by
fight on the field
press of battle; was
stood in awe
sent; (see note)
in danger and in peril
fighting on foot on the ground
rescued; by force
In spite of
prowess in battle
until the dark
On both sides; in two; (see note)
copiously; goes from
a swoon there
sorrowful cries; display
For; farewell; inclination
wounded to such a degree
and heard these tidings
have they gone
in her heart; (see note)
joy ought to cease
minstrelsy; dais; (see note)
dare say that you
In preparation for
Spend their youth in
had prepared all the gear
is necessary; wage war
took her leave; she would go
promised; as far as he could
received; (see note)
commended; female relative
morning; as soon as
took his leave
secretly; same field
remained and waited
On both sides; jousting
run; (see note)
in the preoccupation
(i.e., he stares)
went; (see note)
there so that
abides, he abided
what a knight should do
pertains to war
knew how to bear arms
battlefield he assigned to
fourth battalion; (see note)
in every way
arrayed; various forces
called; (see note)
without a doubt
fourth; (see note)
lead and command; (see note)
servant; coat of mail
(see note); club
In; war horse
to be had
Along the river
fighting many a skirmish
knew how to wait; (see note)
do deeds of arms; sake
it did not please her
in a difficult position
on the brink
these other ladies
cause to be said
these other ladies nearby
Declare; every one
commended many times
because of; courtesy
either one or all [of them]
bring him any pleasure
valor to undertake
most direct way; go
glad in his spirit
about his condition
horses running; empty
to stand still
fighting in a troop
in pieces broke
onto the ground
striking was there a halt
make way constantly
did such deeds of arms
made his way
where he usually remained
plans; suspect; (see note)
thinks himself despised
had delivered to him
concerns support for you
of your fault
it were to
heard and seen
know without a doubt
at some time before
called; who went before
exhorts; humble manner
them [the lances]
heard; gift seen
in a new condition
that [which]; demur
Grew a full foot in height
bore arms the best
charger reared; race forward
assembled [for battle]
under his command
[neither] his mail
close by them; (see note)
These six in a charge
With the same wish; prove
passage at arms; fairer; seen
Made by; each one
plan [on winning]
to the best of my ability
these six; in agreement
nor was strong enough
person wondered at his deeds
on foot; fighting
horse made his way
knew not at all who
in what manner
does him such
squire; in truth; know
bade us; know not
six companions; each one
were they as opposed to
(see note to l. 1090)
long hold out
act in order; lady's
lion; violent anger
That he did not
dead; made his way
one at a time
It seemed to them
either ride or walk
knows how or is able to
seen; (see note)
Because of his absence
it befalls; defeated that
borne himself and guarded
squire heard; rode
In a few words
in my old age
legal issue; charge against
as fast as he can
went forth on his way
Down; right before
laughed; (see note)
is expected of; age
more were they
saw; (see note)
many a one was slain
delay; (see note)
arrival seen; (see note)
lamentable; pitiable to hear
since you have become
So that reasonably; you
cowardice; be ashamed
fear of death; leave
In his activity; ceased
pity; for any; see
(see note to l. 1090)
defeated; (see note)
from the field; go
larger force; of
all the glory
in time; truth
those who fled; (see note)
that; utterly decided
in the midst of
with his hand; taken
without being killed
helmet; coat of mail
all around they might see
in response; (see note)
clears all the circumference
because of me
on my account; die
spurs urge on
club; hand; taken
leave all the battle
so; God help me
on foot; fighting
neglected honor in
in no way
since; of such worth
although; has failed
As if in no combat
gets on; went
heard the noise
courage and honor; know
just before the night
in such array
give; offense; fright
if you should lose
without fear; attempt
first; remainder afraid
stand fast; flee
such a battle