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By Anon.; Brian Stone (trans.)

Sir Gawain and the fairway Knight

Anonymous, Intro through Brian Stone

Penguin Classics variation

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Extra resources for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sample text

At the Green Knight Gawain and King Grinned and laughed again ; But plainly approved the thing As a marvel in the world of men. 21 THouGH honoured King Arthur was at heart astounded. He let no sign ofit be seen, but said clearly To the comely queen in courtly speech, 'Do not be dismayed, dear lady, today: Such cleverness comes well at Christmastide, Like the playing ofinterludes, laughter and song, As lords and ladies delight in courtly carols. ' He glanced at Sir Gawain, and gracefully said.

He sprang towards him swiftly, seized it from his hand, And fiercely the other fellow footed the floor. Now Arthur had his axe, and holding it by the haft Swung it about sternly, as if to strike with it. The strong man stood before him, stretched to his full height, Higher than any in the hall by a head and more. Stem offace he stood there, stroking his beard, Turning down his tunic in a tranquil manner, Less unmanned and dismayed by the mighty strokes* Than ifa banqueter at the bench had brought him a drink Of wine.

And always with heart-warming, heady wine. In lovingkindness the lord leaped up repeatedly And many times reminded them that mirth should Bow1 Elaborately lifted up his hood. looped it on a spear, And offered it as a mark ofhonour to whoever should prove able To make the most mirth that merry Yuletide. * Gawain took his leave and went To rest in rare delight. 41 0 N that morning when men call to mind the birth Ofour dear Lord born to die for our destiny, Joy waxes in dwellings the world over for his sake: And so it befell there on the feast day with fine fare.

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