Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Fitt IV


[A] Now ne3e3 þe nw3ere, & þe ny3t passe3,

Þe day dryue3 to þe derk, as dry3tyn bidde3;

2000 [B] Bot wylde wedere3 of þe worlde wakned þeroute,

Clowdes kesten kenly þe colde to þe erþe,

Wyth ny3e[1] in-noghe of þe norþe, þe naked to tene;

[C] Þe snawe snitered ful snart, þat snayped þe wylde;

2004Þe werbelande wynde wapped fro þe hy3e,

[D] & drof vche dale ful of dryftes ful grete.

Þe leude lystened ful wel, þat le3 in his bedde,

[E] Þa3 he lowke3 his lidde3, ful lyttel he slepes;

2008Bi vch kok þat crue, he knwe wel þe steuen.

De-liuerly he dressed vp, er þe day sprenged, [Fol. 118.]

For þere wat3 ly3t of a lau[m]pe, þat lemed in his chambre;

[F] He called to his chamberlayn, þat cofly hym swared,

2012& bede hym bryng hym his bruny, & his blonk sadel;

Þat oþer ferke3 hym vp, & feche3 hym his wede3,

& grayþe3 me sir Gawayn vpon a grett wyse.

Fyrst he clad hym in his cloþe3, þe colde for to were;

2016& syþen his oþer harnays, þat holdely wat3 keped,

Boþe his paunce, & his plate3, piked ful clene,

[G] Þe rynge3[2] rokked of þe roust, of his riche bruny;

& al wat3 fresch as vpon fyrst, & he wat3 fayn þenne

2020 to þonk;

He hade vpon vche pece,

Wypped ful wel & wlonk;

[H]Þe gayest in to Grece,

2024Þe burne bede bryng his blonk.

[Sidenote A: New Year's Day approaches.]

[Sidenote B: The weather is stormy.]

[Sidenote C: Snow falls.]

[Sidenote D: The dales are full of drift.]

[Sidenote E: Gawayne in his bed hears each cock that crows.]

[Sidenote F: He calls for his chamberlain, and bids him bring him his


[Sidenote G: Men knock off the rust from his rich habergeon.]

[Sidenote H: The knight then calls for his steed.]

[Footnote 1: nywe (?).]

[Footnote 2: rynke3 (?).]


[A] Whyle þe wlonkest wedes he warp on hym-seluen;

His cote, wyth be conysaunce of þe clere werke3,

Ennurned vpon veluet vertuuus[1] stone3,

2028Aboute beten, & bounden, enbrauded seme3,

& fayre furred with-inne wyth fayre pelures.

[B] 3et laft he not þe lace, þe ladie3 gifte,

Þat for-gat not Gawayn, for gode of hym-seluen;

2032Bi he hade belted þe bronde vpon his bal3e haunche3,

[C] Þenn dressed he his drurye double hym aboute;

Swyþe sweþled vmbe his swange swetely, þat kny3t,

Þe gordel of þe grene silke, þat gay wel bisemed,

2036Vpon þat ryol red cloþe, þat ryche wat3 to schewe.

[D] Bot wered not þis ilk wy3e for wele þis gordel,

For pryde of þe pendaunte3, þa3 polyst þay were,

& þa3 þe glyterande golde glent vpon ende3,

2040 [E] Bot forto sauen hym-self, when suffer hym by-houed,

To byde bale with-oute dabate, of bronde hym to were,

oþer knyffe;

Bi þat þe bolde mon boun,

2044Wynne3 þeroute bilyue,

[F]Alle þe meyny of renoun,

He þonkke3 ofte ful ryue.

[Sidenote A: While he clothed himself in his rich weeds,]

[Sidenote B: he forgot not the "lace," the lady's gift,]

[Sidenote C: but with it doubly girded his loins.]

[Sidenote D: He wore it not for its rich ornaments,]

[Sidenote E: "but to save himself when it behoved him to suffer."]

[Sidenote F: All the renowned assembly he thanks full oft.]

[Footnote 1: vertuous (?).]


[A] Thenne wat3 Gryngolet grayþe, þat gret wat3 & huge,[Fol. 118b.]

2048& hade ben soiourned sauerly, & in a siker wyse,

[B] Hym lyst prik for poynt, þat proude hors þenne;

Þe wy3e wynne3 hym to, & wyte3 on his lyre,

& sayde soberly hym-self, & by his soth swere3,

2052"Here is a meyny in þis mote, þat on menske þenkke3,

[C] Þe mon hem maynteines, ioy mot þay haue;

Þe leue lady, on lyue luf hir bityde;

3if þay for charyte cherysen a gest,

2056& halden honour in her honde, þe haþel hem 3elde,

Þat halde3 þe heuen vpon hy3e, & also yow alle!

& 3if I my3t lyf vpon londe lede any quyle,

I schuld rech yow sum rewarde redyly, if I my3t."

2060 [D] Þenn steppe3 he in-to stirop, & stryde3 alofte;

His schalk schewed hym his schelde, on schulder he hit la3t,

Gorde3 to Gryngolet, with his gilt hele3,

[E] & he starte3 on þe ston, stod he no lenger,

2064 to praunce;

His haþel on hors wat3 þenne,

Þat bere his spere & launce.

[F]"Þis kastel to Kryst I kenne,

2068He gef hit ay god chaunce!"

[Sidenote A: Then was Gringolet arrayed,]

[Sidenote B: full ready to prick on.]

[Sidenote C: Gawayne returns thanks for the honour and kindness shown to

him by all.]

[Sidenote D: He then steps into his saddle,]

[Sidenote E: and "starts on the stone" without more delay.]

[Sidenote F: "This castle to Christ I commend; may he give it ever good



[A] The brygge wat3 brayde doun, & þe brode 3ate3

Vnbarred, & born open, vpon boþe halue;

[B] Þe burne blessed hym bilyue, & þe brede3 passed;

2072Prayses þe porter, bifore þe prynce kneled,

Gef hym God & goud day, þat Gawayn he saue;

[C] & went on his way, with his wy3e one,

Þat schulde teche hym to tourne to þat tene place,

2076Þer þe ruful race he schulde re-sayue.

Þay bo3en bi bonkke3, þer bo3e3 ar bare,

[D] Þay clomben bi clyffe3, þer clenge3 þe colde;

Þe heuen wat3 vp halt, bot vgly þer vnder,

2080Mist muged on þe mor, malt on þe mounte3,

[E] Vch hille hade a hatte, a myst-hakel huge;

Broke3 byled, & breke, bi bonkke3 aboute,

Schyre schaterande on schore3, þer þay doun schowued.

2084Welawylle wat3 þe way, þer þay bi wod schulden,[Fol. 119.]

[F] Til hit wat3 sone sesoun, þat þe sunne ryses,

þat tyde;

[G]Þay were on a hille ful hy3e,

2088Þe quyte snaw lay bisyde;

[H]Þe burne þat rod hym by

Bede his mayster abide.

[Sidenote A: The gates are soon opened.]

[Sidenote B: The knight passes thereout,]

[Sidenote C: and goes on his way accompanied by his guide.]

[Sidenote D: They climb by cliffs,]

[Sidenote E: where each "hill had a hat and a mist-cloak,"]

[Sidenote F: until daylight.]

[Sidenote G: They were then on a "hill full high."]

[Sidenote H: The servant bade his master abide, saying,]


[A] "For I haf wonnen yow hider, wy3e, at þis tyme,

2092& now nar 3e not fer fro þat note place,

[B] Þat 3e han spied & spuryed so specially after;

Bot I schal say yow for soþe, syþen I yow knowe,

& 3e ar a lede vpon lyue, þat I wel louy,

2096Wolde 3e worch bi my wytte, 3e worþed þe better.

[C] Þe place þat 3e prece to, ful perelous is halden;

[D] Þer wone3 a wy3e in þat waste, þe worst vpon erþe;

For he is stiffe, & sturne, & to strike louies,

2100& more he is þen any mon vpon myddelerde,

[E] & his body bigger þen þe best fowre.

Þat ar in Arþure3 hous, Hestor[1] oþer oþer.

He cheue3 þat chaunce at þe chapel grene;

2104 [F] Þer passes non bi þat place, so proude in his armes,

Þat he ne dynne3 hym to deþe, with dynt of his honde;

For he is a mon methles, & mercy non vses,

[G] For be hit chorle, oþer chaplayn, þat bi þe chapel rydes,

2108Monk, oþer masse-prest, oþer any mon elles,

Hym þynk as queme hym to quelle, as quyk go hym seluen.

For-þy I say þe as soþe as 3e in sadel sitte,

Com 3e þere, 3e be kylled, [I] may þe kny3t rede,

2112Trawe 3e me þat trwely, þa3 3e had twenty lyues

to spende;

[H]He hat3 wonyd here ful 3ore,

On bent much baret bende,

2116 [I]A3ayn his dynte3 sore,

3e may not yow defende."

[Sidenote A: "I have brought you hither,]

[Sidenote B: ye are not now far from the noted place.]

[Sidenote C: Full perilous is it esteemed.]

[Sidenote D: The lord of that 'waste' is stiff and stern.]

[Sidenote E: His body is bigger 'than the best four in Arthur's house.']

[Sidenote F: None passes by the Green Chapel, 'that he does not ding to

death with dint of his hand.']

[Sidenote G: For be it churl or chaplain, monk, mass-priest, 'or any man

else,' he kills them all.]

[Sidenote H: He has lived there full long.]

[Sidenote I: Against his dints sore ye may not defend you.]

[Footnote 1: Hector (?).]


[A] "For-þy, goude sir Gawayn, let þe gome one,

& got3 a-way sum oþer gate; vpon Godde3 halue;

2120 [B] Cayre3 bi sum oþer kyth, þer Kryst mot yow spede;

& I schal hy3 me hom a3ayn, & hete yow fyrre,

[C] Þat I schal swere bi God, & alle his gode hal3e3,[Fol. 119b.]

As help me God & þe halydam, & oþe3 in-noghe,

2124Þat I schal lelly yow layne, & lance neuer tale,

Þat euer 3e fondet to fle, for freke þat I wyst."

"Grant merci;" quod Gawayn, & gruchyng he sayde,

"Wel worth þe wy3e, þat wolde3 my gode,

2128& þat lelly me layne, I leue wel þou wolde3!

[D] Bot helde þou hit neuer so holde, & I here passed,

Founded for ferde for to fle, in fourme þat þou telle3,

I were a kny3t kowarde, I my3t not[1] be excused.

2132 [E] Bot I wy1 to þe chape1, for chaunce þat may falle,

& talk wyth þat ilk tulk þe tale þat me lyste,

Worþe hit wele, oþer wo, as þe wyrde lyke3

hit hafe;

2136 [F]Þa3e he be a sturn knape,

To sti3tel, &[2] stad with staue,

[G]Ful wel con dry3tyn schape,

His seruaunte3 forto saue."

[Sidenote A: Wherefore, good Sir Gawayne, let this man alone.]

[Sidenote B: Go by some other region,]

[Sidenote C: I swear by God and all His saints, that I will never say that

ever ye attempted to flee from any man."]

[Sidenote D: Gawayne replies that to shun this danger would mark him as a

"coward knight."]

[Sidenote E: To the Chapel, therefore, he will go,]

[Sidenote F: though the owner thereof were a stern knave.]

[Sidenote G: "Full well can God devise his servants for to save."]

[Footnote 1: mot, in MS.]

[Footnote 2: & &, in MS.]


2140 [A] "Mary!" quod þat oþer mon, "now þou so much spelle3,

Þat þou wylt þyn awen nye nyme to þy-seluen,

& þe lyst lese þy lyf, þe lette I ne kepe;

[B] Haf here þi helme on þy hede, þi spere in þi honde,

2144& ryde me doun þis ilk rake, bi 3on rokke syde,

[C] Til þou be bro3t to þe boþem of þe brem valay;

[D] Þenne loke a littel on þe launde, on þi lyfte honde,

[E] & þou schal se in þat slade þe self chapel,

2148& þe borelych burne on bent, þat hit kepe3.

Now fare3 wel on Gode3 half, Gawayn þe noble,

For alle þe golde vpon grounde I nolde go with þe,

Ne bere þe fela3schip þur3 þis fryth on fote fyrre."

2152 [F] Bi þat þe wy3e in þe wod wende3 his brydel,

Hit þe hors with þe hele3, as harde as he my3t,

Lepe3 hym ouer þe launde, & leue3 þe kny3t þere,

al one.

2156 [G]"Bi Godde3 self," quod Gawayn,

"I wyl nauþer grete ne grone,

[H]To Godde3 wylle I am ful bayn,

& to hym I haf me tone."

[Sidenote A: "Mary!" quoth the other, "since it pleases thee to lose thy


[Sidenote B: take thy helmet on thy head, and thy spear in thy hand, and

ride down this path by yon rock-side,]

[Sidenote C: till thou come to the bottom of the valley;]

[Sidenote D: look a little to the left,]

[Sidenote E: and thou shalt see the Chapel itself and the man that guards


[Sidenote F: Having thus spoken the guide takes leave of the knight.]

[Sidenote G: "By God's self," says Sir Gawayne, "I will neither weep nor


[Sidenote H: To God's will I am full ready."]


2160 [A] Thenne gyrde3 he to Gryngolet, & gedere3 þe rake,[Fol. 120.]

Schowue3 in bi a schore, at a scha3e syde,

[B] Ride3 þur3 þe ro3e bonk, ry3t to þe dale;

& þenne he wayted hym aboute, & wylde hit hym þo3t,

2164 [C] & se3e no syngne of resette, bisyde3 nowhere,

Bot hy3e bonkke3 & brent, vpon boþe halue,

& ru3e knokled knarre3, with knorned stone3;

Þe skwe3 of þe scowtes skayued[1] hym þo3t.

2168Þenne he houed, & wyth-hylde his hors at þat tyde,

& ofte chaunged his cher, þe chapel to seche;

[D] He se3 non suche in no syde, & selly hym þo3t,

Sone a lyttel on a launde, a lawe as hit we[re];

2172 [E] A bal3 ber3, bi a bonke, þe brymme by-syde,

Bi a for3 of a flode, þat ferked þare;

Þe borne blubred þer-inne, as hit boyled hade.

[F] Þe kny3t kache3 his caple, & com to þe lawe,

2176 [G] Li3te3 doun luflyly, & at a lynde tache3

Þe rayne, & his riche, with a ro3e braunche;

[H] Þen[n]e he bo3e3 to þe ber3e, aboute hit he walke,

D[e]batande with hym-self, quat hit be my3t.

2180Hit hade a hole on þe ende, & on ayþer syde,

& ouer-growen with gresse in glodes ay where,

& al wat3 hol3 in-with, nobot an olde caue,

[I] Or a creuisse of an olde cragge, he couþe hit no3t deme

2184 with spelle,

"We,[2] lorde," quod þe gentyle kny3t,

"Wheþer þis be þe grene chapelle;

[J]He my3t aboute myd-ny3t,

2188[Þ]e dele his matynnes telle!"

[Sidenote A: Then he pursues his journey,]

[Sidenote B: rides through the dale, and looks about.]

[Sidenote C: He sees no sign of a resting-place, but only high and steep


[Sidenote D: No chapel could he discern.]

[Sidenote E: At last he sees a hill by the side of a stream;]

[Sidenote F: thither he goes,]

[Sidenote G: alights and fastens his horse to a branch of a tree.]

[Sidenote H: He walks around the hill, debating with himself what it might


[Sidenote I: and at last finds an old cave in the crag.]

[Sidenote J: He prays that about midnight he may tell his matins.]

[Footnote 1: skayned (?).]

[Footnote 2: wel (?).]


[A] "Now i-wysse," quod Wowayn, "wysty is here;

Þis oritore is vgly, with erbe3 ouer-growen;

[B] Wel biseme3 þe wy3e wruxled in grene

2192Dele here his deuocioun, on þe deuele3 wyse;

Now I fele hit is þe fende, in my fyue wytte3,

Þat hat3 stoken me þis steuen, to strye me here;

[C] Þis is a chapel of meschaunce, þat chekke hit by-tyde,

2196Hit is þe corsedest kyrk, þat euer i com inne!"

With he3e helme on his hede, his launce in his honde, [Fol. 120b.]

[D] He rome3 vp to þe rokke of þo ro3 wone3;

Þene herde he of þat hy3e hil, in a harde roche,

2200 [E] Bi3onde þe broke, in a bonk, a wonder breme noyse,

[F] Quat! hit clatered in þe clyff, as hit cleue schulde,

As one vpon a gryndelston hade grounden a syþe;

[G] What! hit wharred, & whette, as water at a mulne,

2204What! hit rusched, & ronge, rawþe to here.

Þenne "bi Godde," quod Gawayn, "þat gere as[1] I trowe,

Is ryched at þe reuerence, me renk to mete,

bi rote;

2208Let God worche we loo,

[H]Hit helppe3 me not a mote,

My lif þa3 I for-goo,

Drede dot3 me no lote."

[Sidenote A: "Truly," says Sir Gawayne, "a desert is here,]

[Sidenote B: a fitting place for the man in green to 'deal here his

devotions in devil fashion.']

[Sidenote C: It is most cursed kirk that ever I entered."]

[Sidenote D: Roaming about he hears a loud noise,]

[Sidenote E: from beyond the brook.]

[Sidenote F: It clattered like the grinding of a scythe on a grindstone.]

[Sidenote G: It whirred like a mill-stream.]

[Sidenote H: "Though my life I forgo," says the knight, "no noise shall

terrify me."]

[Footnote 1: at, in MS.]


2212 [A] Thenne þe kny3t con calle ful hy3e,

[B] "Who sti3tle3 in þis sted, me steuen to holde?

[C] For now is gode Gawayn goande ry3t here,

If any wy3e o3t wyl wynne hider fast,

2216Oþer now, oþer neuer, his nede3 to spede."

[D] "Abyde," quod on on þe bonke, abouen ouer his hede,

"& þou schal haf al in hast, þat I þe hy3t ones."

3et he rusched on þat rurde, rapely a þrowe,

2220& wyth quettyng a-wharf, er he wolde ly3t;

[E] & syþen he keuere3 bi a cragge, & come3 of a hole,

Whyrlande out of a wro, wyth a felle weppen,

[F] A dene3 ax nwe dy3t, þe dynt with [t]o 3elde

2224With a borelych bytte, bende by þe halme,

Fyled in a fylor, fowre fote large,

Hit wat3 no lasse, bi þat lace þat lemed ful bry3t.

[G] & þe gome in þe erene gered as fyrst,

2228Boþe þe lyre & þe legge3, lokke3, & berde,

Saue þat fayre on his fote he founde3 on þe erþe,

Sette þe stele to þe stone, & stalked bysyde.

[H] When he wan to þe watter, þer he wade nolde,

2232He hypped ouer on hys ax, & orpedly stryde3,

Bremly broþe on a bent, þat brode wat3 a-boute,

on snawe.

[I]Sir Gawayn þe kny3t con mete. [Fol. 121.]

2236He ne lutte hym no þyng lowe,

[J]Þat oþer sayde, "now, sir swete,

Of steuen mon may þe trowe."

[Sidenote A: Then cried he aloud,]

[Sidenote B: "Who dwells here discourse with me to hold?"]

[Sidenote C: Now is the good Gawayne going aright]

[Sidenote D: He hears a voice commanding him to abide where he is.]

[Sidenote E: Soon there comes out of a hole, with a fell weapon,]

[Sidenote F: a Danish axe, quite new,]

[Sidenote G: the "knight in green," clothed as before.]

[Sidenote H: When he reaches the stream, he hops over and strides about.]

[Sidenote I: He meets Sir Gawayne without obeisance.]

[Sidenote J: The other tells him that he is now ready for conversation]


[A] "Gawayn," quod þat grene gome, "God þe mot loke!

2240I-wysse þou art welcom,[1] wy3e, to my place,

[B] & þou hat3 tymed þi trauayl as true[2] mon schulde;

[C] & þou knowe3 þe couenaunte3 kest vus by-twene,

At þis tyme twelmonyth þou toke þat þe falled,

2244 [D] & I schulde at þis nwe 3ere 3eply þe quyte.

[E] & we ar in þis valay, verayly oure one,

Here ar no renkes vs to rydde, rele as vus like3;

[F] Haf þy[3] helme of þy hede, & haf here þy pay;

2248Busk no more debate þen I þe bede þenne,

"When þou wypped of my hede at a wap one."

[G] "Nay, bi God," quod Gawayn, "þat me gost lante,

I schal gruch þe no grwe, for grem þat falle3;

2252Botsty3tel þe vpon on strok, & I schal stonde stylle,

& warp þe no wernyng, to worch as þe lyke3,

no whare."

[H]He lened with þe nek, & lutte,

2256& schewed þat schyre al bare,

& lette as he no3t dutte,

[I]For drede he wolde not dare.

[Sidenote A: "God preserve thee!" says the Green Knight,]

[Sidenote B: "as a true knight 'thou hast timed thy travel']

[Sidenote C: Thou knowest the covenant between us,]

[Sidenote D: that on New Year's day I should return thy blow]

[Sidenote E: Here we are alone,]

[Sidenote F: Have off thy helmet and take thy pay at once."]

[Sidenote G: "By God," quoth Sir Gawayne, "I shall not begrudge thee thy


[Sidenote H: Then he shows his bare neck,]

[Sidenote I: and appears undaunted.]

[Footnote 1: welcon, in MS.]

[Footnote 2: truee in MS.]

[Footnote 3: MS. þy þy.]


[A] Then þe gome in þe grene grayþed hym swyþe,

2260Gedere3 yp hys grymme tole, Gawayn to smyte;

[B] With alle þe bur in his body he ber hit on lofte,

Munt as ma3tyly, as marre hym he wolde;

Hade hit dryuen adoun, as dre3 as he atled,

2264Þer hade ben ded of his dynt, þat do3ty wat3 euer.

Bot Gawayn on þat giserne glyfte hym bysyde,

[C] As hit com glydande adoun, on glode hym to schende,

[D] & schranke a lytel with þe schulderes, for þe scharp yrne.

2268Þat oþer schalk wyth a schunt þe schene wythhalde3,

[E] & þenne repreued he þe prynce with mony prowde worde3:

[F] "Þou art not Gawayn," quod þe gome, "þat is so goud halden,

Þat neuer ar3ed for no here, by hylle ne be vale,

2272 [G] & now þou fles for ferde, er þou fele harme3;[Fol. 121b.]

Such cowardise of þat kny3t cowþe I neuer here.

[H] Nawþer fyked I, ne fla3e, freke, quen þou myntest,

Ne kest no kauelacion, in kynge3 hous Arthor,

2276 [I] My hede fla3 to my fote, & 3et fla3 I neuer;

& þou, er any harme hent, ar3e3 in hert,

[J] Wherfore þe better burne me burde be called


2280 [K]Quod G:, "I schunt one3,

& so wyl I no more,

Bot pa3 my hede falle on þe stone3,

I con not hit restore.

[Sidenote A: Then the man in green seizes his grim tool.]

[Sidenote B: With all his force he raises it aloft.]

[Sidenote C: As it came gliding down,]

[Sidenote D: Sir Gawayne shrank a little with his shoulders.]

[Sidenote E: The other reproved him, saying,]

[Sidenote F: "Thou art not Gawayne that is so good esteemed,]

[Sidenote G: for thou fleest for fear before thou feelest harm.]

[Sidenote H: I never flinched when thou struckest.]

[Sidenote I: My head flew to my foot, yet I never fled,]

[Sidenote J: wherefore I ought to be called the better man."]

[Sidenote K: "I shunted once," says Gawayne, "but will no more.]


2284 [A] Bot busk, burne, bi þi fayth, & bryng me to þe poynt,

Dele to me my destine, & do hit out of honde,

For I schal stonde þe a strok, & start no more,

Til þyn ax haue me hitte, haf here my trawþe."

2288 [B] "Haf at þe þenne," quod þat oþer, & heue3 hit alofte,

& wayte3 as wroþely, as he wode were;

[C] He mynte3 at hym ma3tyly, bot not þe mon ryue3,[1]

With-helde heterly h[i]s honde, er hit hurt my3t.

2292 [D] Gawayn grayþely hit byde3, & glent with no membre,

Bot stode stylle as þe ston, oþer a stubbe auþer,

Þat raþeled is in roche grounde, with rote3 a hundreth.

Þen muryly efte con he mele, þe mon in þe grene,

2296 [E] "So now þou hat3 þi hert holle, hitte me bihou[e]s;

Halde þe now þe hy3e hode, þat Arþur þe ra3t,

& kepe þy kanel at þis kest, 3if hit keuer may."

G: ful gryndelly with greme þenne sayde,

2300 [F] "Wy þresch on, þou þro mon, þou þrete3 to longe,

I hope þat þi hert ar3e wyth þyn awen seluen."

"For soþe," quod þat oþer freke, "so felly þou speke3,

I wyl no lenger on lyte lette þin ernde,

2304 ri3t nowe."

[G]Þenne tas he[2] hym stryþe to stryke,

& frounses boþe lyppe & browe,

No meruayle þa3 hym myslyke,

2308Þat hoped of no rescowe.

[Sidenote A: Bring me to the point; deal me my destiny at once."]

[Sidenote B: "Have at thee, then," says the other.]

[Sidenote C: With that he aims at him a blow.]

[Sidenote D: Gawayne never flinches, but stands as still as a stone.]

[Sidenote E: "Now," says the Green Knight, "I must hit thee, since thy

heart is whole."]

[Sidenote F: "Thrash on," says the other.]

[Sidenote G: Then the Green Knight makes ready to strike.]

[Footnote 1: ? ryne3 = touches.]

[Footnote 2: he he, in MS.]


[A] He lyftes ly3tly his lome, & let hit doun fayre,

[B] With þe barbe of þe bitte bi þe bare nek[Fol. 122.]

Þa3 he homered heterly, hurt hym no more,

2312Bot snyrt hym on þat on syde, þat seuered þe hyde;

[C] Þe scharp schrank to þe flesche þur3 þe schyre grece,

Þat þe schene blod over his schulderes schot to þe erþe.

[D] & quen þe burne se3 þe blode blenk on þe snawe,

2316He sprit forth spenne fote more þen a spere lenþe,

Hent heterly his helme, & on his hed cast,

Schot with his schuldere3 his fayre schelde vnder,

[E] Brayde3 out a bry3t sworde, & bremely he speke3;

2320Neuer syn þat he wat3 burne borne of his moder,

Wat3 he neuer in þis worlde, wy3e half so blyþe:--

[F] "Blynne, burne, of þy bur, bede me no mo;

I haf a stroke in þis sted with-oute stryf hent,

2324 [G] & if þow reche3 me any mo, I redyly schal quyte,

& 3elde 3ederly a3ayn, & þer to 3e tryst,

& foo;

[H]Bot on stroke here me falle3,

2328Þe couenaunt schop ry3t so,

[Sikered][1] in Arþure3 halle3,

& þer-fore, hende, now hoo!"

[Sidenote A: He let fall his loom on the bare]

[Sidenote B: neck of Sir Gawayne.]

[Sidenote C: The sharp weapon pierced the flesh so that the blood flowed.]

[Sidenote D: When the knight saw the blood on the snow,]

[Sidenote E: he unsheathed his sword, and thus spake:]

[Sidenote F: "Cease, man, of thy blow.]

[Sidenote G: If thou givest me any more, readily shall I requite thee.]

[Sidenote H: Our agreement stipulates only one stroke."]

[Footnote 1: Illegible.]


[A] The haþel heldet hym fro, & on his ax rested,

2332Sette þe schaft vpon schore, & to be scharp lened,

[B] & loked to þe leude, þat on þe launde 3ede,

How þat do3ty dredles deruely þer stonde3,

Armed ful a3le3; in hert hit hym lyke3.

2336þenn he mele3 muryly, wyth a much steuen,

[C] & wyth a r[a]ykande rurde he to þe renk sayde,

"Bolde burne, on þis bent be not so gryndel;

No mon here vn-manerly þe mys-boden habbe,

2340Ne kyd, bot as couenaunde, at kynge3 kort schaped;

[D] I hy3t þe a strok, & þou hit hat3, halde þe wel payed,

I relece þe of þe remnaunt, of ry3tes alle oþer;

3if[1] I deliuer had bene, a boffet, paraunter,

2344 [E] I couþe wroþeloker haf waret, [&] to þe haf wro3t anger.[2]

Fyrst I mansed þe muryly, with a mynt one,

[F] & roue þe wyth no rof, sore with ry3t I þe profered,

For þe forwarde that we fest in þe fyrst ny3t,[Fol. 122b.]

2348& þou trystyly þe trawþe & trwly me halde3,

Al þe gayne þow me gef, as god mon shulde;

[G] Þat oþer munt for þe morne, mon, I þe profered,

Þou kyssedes my clere wyf, þe cosse3 me ra3te3,

2352For boþe two here I þe bede bot two bare myntes,

boute scaþe;

[H]Trwe mon trwe restore,

Þenne þar mon drede no waþe;

2356 [I]At þe þrid þou fayled þore,

& þer-for þat tappe ta þe.

[Sidenote A: The Green Knight rested on his axe,]

[Sidenote B: looked on Sir Gawayne, who appeared bold and fearless,]

[Sidenote C: and addressed him as follows: "Bold knight, be not so wroth,]

[Sidenote D: I promised thee a stroke and thou hast it, be satisfied.]

[Sidenote E: I could have dealt worse with thee.]

[Sidenote F: I menaced thee with one blow for the covenant between us on

the first night.]

[Sidenote G: Another I aimed at thee because thou kissedst my wife.]

[Sidenote H: A true man should restore truly, and then he need fear no


[Sidenote I: Thou failedst at the third time, and therefore take thee that

tap. (See l. 1861.)]

[Footnote 1: uf, in MS.]

[Footnote 2: This word is doubtful.]


[A]For hit is my wede þat þou were3, þat ilke wouen girdel,

Myn owen wyf hit þe weued, I wot wel forsoþe;

2360 [B] Now know I wel þy cosses, & þy costes als,

& þe wowyng of my wyf, I wro3t hit myseluen;

[C] I sende hir to asay þe, & sothly me þynkke3,

On þe fautlest freke, þat euer on fote 3ede;

2364As perle bi þe quite pese is of prys more,

So is Gawayn, in god fayth, bi oþer gay kny3te3.

[D] Bot here you lakked a lyttel, sir, & lewte yow wonted,

Bot þat wat3 for no wylyde werke, ne wowyng nauþer,

2368 [E] Bot for 3e lufed your lyf, þe lasse I yow blame."

Þat oþer stif mon in study stod a gret whyle;

So agreued for greme he gryed with-inne,

[F] Alle þe blode of his brest blende in his face,

2372Þat al he schrank for schome, þat þe schalk talked.

Þe forme worde vpon folde, þat þe freke meled,--

[G] "Corsed worth cowarddyse & couetyse boþe!

In yow is vylany & vyse, þat vertue disstrye3."

2376 [H] Þenne he ka3t to þe knot, & þe kest lawse3,

Brayde broþely þe belt to þe burne seluen:

"Lo! þer þe falssyng, foule mot hit falle!

[I] For care of þy knokke cowardyse me ta3t

2380To a-corde me with couetyse, my kynde to for-sake,

Þat is larges & lewte, þat longe3 to kny3te3.

[J] Now am I fawty, & falce, & ferde haf ben euer;

Of trecherye & vn-trawþe boþe bityde sor3e

2384 & care!

[K]I bi-knowe yow, kny3t, here stylle, [Fol. 123.]

Al fawty is my fare,

Lete3 me ouer-take your wylle,

2388& efle I schal be ware."

[Sidenote A: For my weed (woven by my wife) thou wearest.]

[Sidenote B: I know thy kisses and my wife's wooing.]

[Sidenote C: I sent her to try thee, and faultless I found thee.]

[Sidenote D: But yet thou sinnedst a little,]

[Sidenote E: for love of thy life."]

[Sidenote F: Gawayne stands confounded.]

[Sidenote G: "Cursed," he says, "be cowardice and covetousness both!"]

[Sidenote H: Then he takes off the girdle and throws it to the knight.]

[Sidenote I: He curses his cowardice,]

[Sidenote J: and confesses himself to have been guilty of untruth.]

[Sidenote K: ]


[A] Thenne lo3e þat oþer leude, & luflyly sayde,

"I halde hit hardily[1] hole, þe harme þat I hade;

[B] Þou art confessed so clene, be-knowen of þy mysses,

2392& hat3 þe penaunce apert, of þe poynt of myn egge,

[C] I halde þe polysed of þat ply3t, & pured as clene,

As þou hade3 neuer forfeted, syþen þou wat3 fyrst borne.

[D] & I gif þe, sir, þe gurdel þat is golde hemmed;

2396For hit is grene as my goune, sir G:, 3e maye

Þenk vpon þis ilke þrepe, þer þou forth þrynge3

Among prynces of prys, & þis a pure token

[E] Of þe chaunce of þe grene chapel, at cheualrous kny3te3;

2400 [F] & 3e schal in þis nwe 3er a3ayn to my wone3,

& we schyn reuel þe remnaunt of þis ryche fest,

ful bene."

Þer laþed hym fast þe lorde,

2404& sayde, "with my wyf, I wene,

We schal yow wel acorde,

Þat wat3 your enmy kene."

[Sidenote A: Then the other, laughing, thus spoke:]

[Sidenote B: "Thou art confessed so clean,]

[Sidenote C: that I hold thee as pure as if thou hadst never been guilty.]

[Sidenote D: I give thee, sir, the gold-hemmed girdle,]

[Sidenote E: as a token of thy adventure at the Green Chapel.]

[Sidenote F: Come again to my abode, and abide there for the remainder of

the festival."]

[Footnote 1: hardilyly, in MS.]


[A] "Nay, for soþe," quod þe segge, & sesed hys helme,

2408& hat3 hit of hendely, & þe haþel þonkke3,

[B] "I haf soiorned sadly, sele yow bytyde,

& he 3elde hit yow 3are, þat 3arkke3 al menskes!

[C] & comaunde3 me to þat cortays, your comlych fere,

2412Boþe þat on & þat oþer, myn honoured ladye3.

Þat þus hor kny3t wyth hor kest han koyntly bigyled.

[D] Bot hit is no ferly, þa3 a fole madde,

& þur3 wyles of wymmen be wonen to sor3e;

2416 [E] For so wat3 Adam in erde with one bygyled,

& Salamon with fele sere, & Samson eft sone3,

Dalyda dalt hym hys wyrde, & Dauyth þer-after

Wat3 blended with Barsabe, þat much bale þoled.

2420Now þese were wrathed wyth her wyles, hit were a wynne huge,

[F] To luf hom wel, & leue hem not, a leude þat couþe,

For þes wer forne[1] þe freest þat fol3ed alle þe sele,[Fol.]

Ex-ellently of alle þyse oþer, vnder heuen-ryche, [123b.]

2424 þat mused;

& alle þay were bi-wyled,

With[2] wymmen þat þay vsed,

[G]Þa3 I be now bigyled,

2428Me þink me burde be excused."

[Sidenote A: "Nay, forsooth," says Gawayne,]

[Sidenote B: "I have sojourned sadly, but bliss betide thee!]

[Sidenote C: Commend me to your comely wife and that other lady who have

beguiled me.]

[Sidenote D: But it is no marvel for a man to be brought to grief through a

woman's wiles.]

[Sidenote E: Adam, Solomon, Samson, and David were beguiled by women.]

[Sidenote F: How could a man love them and believe them not?]

[Sidenote G: Though I be now beguiled, methinks I should be excused.]

[Footnote 1: forme (?)]

[Footnote 2: with wyth, in MS.]


[A] "Bot your gordel," quod G: "God yow for-3elde!

Þat wyl I welde wyth good wylle, not for þe wynne golde,

Ne þe saynt, ne þe sylk, ne þe syde pendaundes,

2432For wele, ne for worchyp, ne for þe wlonk werkke3,

[B] Bot in syngne of my surfet I schal se hit ofte;

When I ride in renoun, remorde to myseluen

Þe faut & þe fayntyse of þe flesche crabbed,

2436How tender hit is to entyse teches of fylþe;

[C] & þus, quen pryde schal me pryk, for prowes of armes,

[D] Þe loke to þis luf lace schal leþe my hert.

Bot on I wolde yow pray, displeses yow neuer;

2440Syn 3e be lorde of þe 3onde[r] londe, þer I haf lent inne,

Wyth yow wyth worschyp,--þe wy3e hit yow 3elde

Þat vp-halde3 þe heuen, & on hy3 sitte3,--

[E] How norne 3e yowre ry3t nome, & þenne no more?"

2444"Þat schal I telle þe trwly," quod þat oþer þenne,

[F] "Bernlak de Hautdesert I hat in þis londe,

Þur3 my3t of Morgne la Faye, þat in my hous lenges,

&[1] koyntyse of clergye, bi craftes wel lerned,

2448Þe maystres of Merlyn, mony ho[2] taken;

For ho hat3 dalt drwry ful dere sum tyme,

With þat conable klerk, þat knowes alle your kny3te3

at hame;

2452Morgne þe goddes,

Þer-fore hit is hir name;

[G]Welde3 non so hy3e hawtesse,

Þat ho ne con make ful tame.

[Sidenote A: But God reward you for your girdle.]

[Sidenote B: I will wear it in remembrance of my fault.]

[Sidenote C: And when pride shall prick me,]

[Sidenote D: a look to this lace shall abate it.]

[Sidenote E: But tell me your right name and I shall have done."]

[Sidenote F: The Green Knight replies, "I am called Bernlak de Hautdesert,

through might of Morgain la Fey, the pupil of Merlin.]

[Sidenote G: She can tame even the haughtiest.]

[Footnote 1: in (?).]

[Footnote 2: ho hat3 (?).]


2456 [A] Ho wayned me vpon þis wyse to your wynne halle,

For to assay þe surquidre, 3if hit soth were,

Þat rennes of þe grete renoun of þe Rounde Table;

Ho wayned me þis wonder, your wytte3 to reue,

2460 [B] For to haf greued Gaynour, & gart hir to dy3e.[Fol. 124.]

With gopnyng[1] of þat ilke gomen, þat gostlych speked,

With his hede in his honde, bifore þe hy3e table.

Þat is ho þat is at home, þe auncian lady;

2464 [C] Ho is euen þyn aunt, Arþure3 half suster,

Þe duches do3ter of Tyntagelle, þat dere Vter after

[D] Hade Arþur vpon, þat aþel is nowþe.

Þerfore I eþe þe, haþel, to com to þy naunt,

2468Make myry in my hous, my meny þe louies,

& I wol þe as wel, wy3e, bi my faythe,

As any gome vnder God, for þy grete trauþe."

[E] & he nikked hym naye, he nolde bi no wayes;

2472Þay acolen & kyssen, [bikennen] ayþer oþer

To þe prynce of paradise, & parten ry3t þere,

on coolde;

[F]Gawayn on blonk ful bene,

2476To þe kynge3 bur3 buske3 bolde,

& þe kny3t in þe enker grene,

Whider-warde so euer he wolde.

[Sidenote A: It was she who caused me to test the renown of the Round


[Sidenote B: hoping to grieve Guenever and cause her death through fear.]

[Sidenote C: She is even thine aunt.]

[Sidenote D: Therefore come to her and make merry in my house."]

[Sidenote E: Gawayne refuses to return with the Green Knight.]

[Sidenote F: On horse full fair he bends to Arthur's hall.]

[Footnote 1: glopnyng (?).]


[A] Wylde waye3 in þe worlde Wowen now ryde3,

2480On Gryngolet, þat þe grace hade geten of his lyue;

[B] Ofte he herbered in house, & ofte al þeroute,

& mony a-venture in vale, & venquyst ofte,

Þat I ne ty3t, at þis tyme, in tale to remene.

2484 [C] Þe hurt wat3 hole, þat he hade hent in his nek,

[D] & þe blykkande belt he bere þeraboute,

A belef as a bauderyk, bounden bi his syde,

Loken vnder his lyfte arme, þe lace, with a knot,

2488 [E] In tokenyng he wat3 tane in tech of a faute;

[F] & þus he commes to þe court, kny3t al in sounde.

[G] Þer wakned wele in þat wone, when wyst þe grete,

Þat gode G: wat3 commen, gayn hit hym þo3t;

2492 [H] Þe kyng kysse3 þe kny3t, & þe whene alce,

& syþen mony syker kny3t, þat so3t hym to haylce,

[I] Of his fare þat hym frayned, & ferlyly he telles;

Biknowo3 alle þe costes of care þat he hade,--

2496Þe chaunce of þe chapel, þe chere of þe kny3t,

[J] Þe luf of þe ladi, þe lace at þe last. [Fol. 124b.]

Þe nirt in þe nek he naked hem schewed,

[K] Þat he la3t for his vnleute at þe leudes hondes,

2500 for blame;

He tened quen he schulde telle,

[L]He groned for gref & grame;

Þe blod in his face con melle,

2504When he hit schulde schewe, for schame.

[Sidenote A: Wild ways now Gawayne rides.]

[Sidenote B: Oft he harboured in house and oft thereout.]

[Sidenote C: The wound in his neck became whole.]

[Sidenote D: He still carried about him the belt,]

[Sidenote E: in token of his fault.]

[Sidenote F: Thus he comes to the Court of King Arthur.]

[Sidenote G: Great then was the joy of all.]

[Sidenote H: The king and his knights ask him concerning his journey.]

[Sidenote I: Gawayne tells them of his adventures,]

[Sidenote J: the love of the lady, and lastly of the lace.]

[Sidenote K: He showed them the cut in his neck.]

[Sidenote L: He groaned for grief and shame, and the blood rushed into his



[A] "Lo! lorde," quod þe leude, & þe lace hondeled,

"Þis is þe bende of þis blame I bere [in] my nek,

Þis is þe laþe & þe losse, þat I la3t haue,

2508 [B] Of couardise & couetyse, þat I haf ca3t þare,

Þis is þe token of vn-trawþe, þat I am tan inne,

[C] & I mot nede3 hit were, wyle I may last;

For non may hyden his harme, bot vnhap ne may hit,

2512For þer hit one3 is tachched, twynne wil hit neuer."

[D] Þe kyng comforte3 þe kny3t, & alle þe court als,

La3en loude þer-at, & luflyly acorden,

Þat lordes & ladis, þat longed to þe Table,

2516 [E] Vche burne of þe broþer-hede a bauderyk schulde haue,

A bende, a belef hym aboute, of a bry3t grene,

[F] & þat, for sake of þat segge, in swete to were.

For þat wat3 acorded þe renoun of þe Rounde Table,

2520 [G] & he honoured þat hit hade, euer-more after,

As hit is breued in þe best boke of romaunce.

[H] Þus in Arthurus day þis aunter bitidde,

Þe Brutus bokees þer-of beres wyttenesse;

2524Syþen Brutus, þe bolde burne, bo3ed hider fyrst,

After þe segge & þe asaute wat3 sesed at Troye,


Mony auntere3 here bi-forne,

2528Haf fallen suche er þis:

[I]Now þat bere þe croun of þorne,

He bryng vus to his blysse! AMEN.

[Sidenote A: "Lo!" says he, handling the lace, "this is the band of blame,]

[Sidenote B: a token of my cowardice and covetousness,]

[Sidenote C: I must needs wear it as long as I live."]

[Sidenote D: The king comforts the knight, and all the court too.]

[Sidenote E: Each knight of the brotherhood agrees to wear a bright green


[Sidenote F: for Gawayne's sake,]

[Sidenote G: who ever more honoured it.]

[Sidenote H: Thus in Arthur's day this adventure befell.]

[Sidenote I: He that bore the crown of thorns bring us to His bliss!]

* * * * *


Line 8 Ricchis turns, goes,

The king ...

Ricchis his reynys and the Renke metys:

Girden to gedur with þere grete speires.--T.B. l. 1232.

37 Þis kyng lay at Camylot vpon kryst-masse.

Camalot, in Malory's "Morte Arthure," is said to be the same as

Winchester. Ritson supposes it to be Caer-went, in Monmouthshire,

and afterwards confounded with Caer-wynt, or Winchester. But

popular tradition here seems the best guide, which assigned the site

of Camalot to the ruins of a castle on a hill, near the church of

South Cadbury, in Somersetshire (Sir F. Madden).

65 Nowel nayted o-newe, neuened ful ofte.

Christmas celebrated anew, mentioned full often.

Sir F. Madden leaves the word nayted unexplained in his Glossary

to "Syr Gawayne."

124syluener = sylueren, i.e. silver dishes.

139lyndes = lendes, loins.

142in his muckel, in his greatness.

184Wat3 euesed al umbe-torne--? was trimmed, all cut evenly around;

umbe-torne may be an error for vmbe-corue = cut round.

216in gracios werkes. Sir F. Madden reads gracons for gracios, and

suggests Greek as the meaning of it.

244-5 As al were slypped vpon slepe so slaked hor lote3

in hy3e.

As all were fallen asleep so ceased their words

in haste (suddenly).

Sir F. Madden reads slaked horlote3, instead of slaked hor lote3,

which, according to his glossary, signifies drunken vagabonds.

He evidently takes horlote3 to be another (and a very uncommon) form

of harlote3 = harlots. But harlot, or vagabond, would be a very

inappropriate term to apply to the noble Knights of the Round Table.

Moreover, slaked never, I think, means drunken. The general sense of

the verb slake is to let loose, lessen, cease. Cf. lines 411-2,

where sloke, another form of slake, occurs with a similar meaning:

-- layt no fyrre;

bot slokes.

-- seek no further,

but stop (cease).

Sir F. Madden suggests blows as the explanation of slokes. It

is, however, a verb in the imperative mood.

286Brayn. Maetzner suggests brayn-wod.

296barlay = par loi. This word is exceedingly common in the T. Book

(see l. 3391).

I bid you now, barlay, with besines at all

Þat ye set you most soverainly my suster to gete.--T.B. l. 2780.

394siker. Sir F. Madden reads swer.

440bluk. Sir F. Madden suggests blunk (horse). I am inclined to keep to

the reading of the MS., and explain bluk as = bulk = trunk. Cf. the

use of the word Blok in "Early English Alliterative Poems,"

p. 100, l. 272.

558derue doel, etc. = great grief. Sir F. Madden reads derne, i.e. secret,

instead of derue (= derf). Cf. line 564.

577knaged, fastened.

The braunches were borly, sum of bright gold,

With leuys full luffly, light of the same;

With burions aboue bright to beholde;

And fruit on yt fourmyt of fairest of shap,

Of mony kynd that was knyt, knagged aboue.--T.B. l. 4973.

629& ay quere hit is endele3, etc.

And everywhere it is endless, etc.

Sir F. Madden reads emdele3, i.e. with equal sides.

652for-be = for-bi = surpassing, beyond.

681for Hadet read Halet = haled = exiled (?). See line 1049.

806auinant = auenaunt, pleasantly. Sir F. Madden reads amnant.

954of. Should we not read on (?).

957Þat oþer wyth a gorger wat3 gered ouer þe swyre.

The gorger or wimple is stated first to have appeared in Edward the

First's reign, and an example is found on the monument of Aveline,

Countess of Lancaster, who died in 1269. From the poem, however, it

would seem that the gorger was confined to elderly ladies (Sir F.


968More lykker-wys on to lyk,

Wat3 þat scho had on lode.

A more pleasant one to like,

Was that (one) she had under her control.

988tayt = lively, and hence pleasant, agreeable.

1015in vayres, in purity.

1020dut = dunt (?) = dint (?), referring to sword-sports.

1022sayn[t] Ione3 day. This is the 27th of December, and the last of the

feast. Sometimes the Christmas festivities were prolonged to New

Year's Day (Sir F. Madden).

1047derne dede = secret deed. I would prefer to read derue dede =

great deed. Cf. lines 558, 564.

1053I wot in worlde, etc. = I not (I know not) in worlde, etc.

1054 I nolde, bot if I hit negh my3t on nw3eres morne,

For alle þe londe in-wyth Logres, etc.

I would not [delay to set out], unless I might approach it on New

Year's morn, for all the lands within England, etc.

1074in spenne = in space = in the interval = meanwhile. See line 1503.

1160slentyng of arwes. Sir F. Madden reads sleutyng.

"Of drawyn swordis sclentyng to and fra,

The brycht mettale, and othir armouris seir,

Quharon the sonnys blenkis betis cleir,

Glitteris and schane, and vnder bemys brycht,

Castis ane new twynklyng or a lemand lycht."

(G. Douglas' AEneid, Vol. i, p. 421.)

1281let lyk = appeared pleased.

1283 Þa3 I were burde bry3test, þe burde in mynde hade, etc.

The sense requires us to read:

Þa3 ho were burde bry3test, þe burne in mynde hade, etc.

i.e., Though she were lady fairest, the knight in mind had, etc.

1440 Long sythen [seuered] for þe sounder þat wi3t for-olde

Long since separated from the sounder or herd that fierce (one)

for-aged (grew very old).

"Now to speke of the boore, the fyrste year he is

A pygge of the sounder callyd, as haue I blys;

The secounde yere an hogge, and soo shall he be,

And an hoggestere, whan he is of yeres thre;

And when he is foure yere, a boor shall he be,

From the sounder of the swyne thenne departyth he;

A synguler is he soo, for alone he woll go."

(Book of St. Alban's, ed. 1496, sig. d., i.)

1476totes = looks, toots.

Sho went up wightly by a walle syde.

To the toppe of a toure and tot ouer the water.--T.B. l. 862.

1623A verb [? lalede = cried] seems wanting after lorde.

1702fnasted, breathed.

These balfull bestes were, as the boke tellus,

Full flaumond of fyre with fnastyng of logh.--T.B. l. 168.

1710a strothe rande = a rugged path. Cf. the phrases tene greue, l. 1707;

ro3e greue, l. 1898.

1719 Thenne wat3 hit lif vpon list, etc.

Should we not read:

Thenne wat3 hit list vpon lif, etc.

i.e., Then was there joy in life, etc.

1729bi lag = be-lagh(?) = below (?).

1780lyf = lef(?), beloved (one).

1869 Ho hat3 kyst þe kny3t so to3t.

She has kissed the knight so courteous.

Sir F. Madden explains to3t, promptly. To3t seems to be the same as

the Northumbrian taght in the following extract from the "Morte


"There come in at the fyrste course, before the kyng seluene,

Bare hevedys that ware bryghte, burnyste with sylver,

Alle with taghte mene and towne in togers fulle ryche."--(p. 15.)

The word towne (well-behaved) still exists in wan-ton, the

original meaning of which was ill-mannered, ill-bred.

1909bray hounde3 = braþ hounde3, i.e. fierce hounds.

1995He hat3 nere þat he so3t = He wat3 nere þat he so3t = He was near to

that which he sought.

2160gedere3 þe rake = takes the path or way.

2167 Þe skwe3 of þe scowtes skayued hym þo3t.

The shadows of the hills appeared wild (desolate) to him. Sir F.

Madden reads skayned, of which he gives no explanation.

Skayued = skayfed, seems to be the N. Prov. English scafe, wild.

Scotch schaivie, wild, mad. O.N. skeifr. Sw. skef, awry, distorted.

2204ronge = clattered.

2211 Drede dot3 me no lote =

No noise shall cause me to dread (fear).

2357 & þer-for þat tappe ta þe.

And therefore take thee that tap.

ta þe = take thee. Sir F. Madden reads taþe = taketh. See l. 413,

where to þe rhymes with sothe. We have no imperatives in th in

this poem.

2401We schyn reuel, etc. Sir F. Madden reads wasch yn reuel.

But schyn = shall. See Glossary to "Alliterative Poems."

2474on-coolde = on-colde = coldly = sorrowfully.

2489in-sounde = soundly, well. Cf. in-blande = together;

in-lyche, alike; inmydde3, amidst.