Ywain and Gawain, Part 3 of 4

(Lines 2001-2997)









































































































































































































Bot the lyoun wald noght fyght,
Grete fawnyng made he to the knyght.
Down on the grund he set him oft,
His fortherfete he held oloft,
And thanked the knyght als he kowth,
Al if he myght noght speke with mowth;
So wele the lyon of him lete,
Ful law he lay and likked his fete.
When Syr Ywayne that sight gan se,
Of the beste him thoght pete,
And on his way forth gan he ride;
The lyown folowd by hys syde.
In the forest al that day
The lyoun mekely foloud ay,
And never for wele ne for wa
Wald he part Sir Ywayn fra.

Thus in the forest als thai ware,
The lyoun hungerd swith sare.
Of a beste savore he hade;
Until hys lord sembland he made,
That he wald go to get his pray;
His kind it wald, the soth to say.
For his lorde sold him noght greve,
He wald noght go withowten leve.
Fra his lord the way he laght
The mountance of ane arow-draght;
Sone he met a barayn da,
And ful sone he gan hir sla;
Hir throte in twa ful sone he bate
And drank the blode whils it was hate.
That da he kest than in his nek,
Als it war a mele-sek.

Unto his lorde than he it bare;
And Sir Ywayn parsayved thare,
That it was so nere the nyght,
That no ferrer ride he might.
A loge of bowes sone he made,
And flynt and fire-yren bath he hade,
And fire ful sone thare he slogh
Of dry mos and many a bogh.
The lion has the da undone;
Sir Ywayne made a spit ful sone,
And rosted sum to thaire sopere.

The lyon lay als ye sal here:
Unto na mete he him drogh
Until his maister had eten ynogh.
Him failed thare bath salt and brede,
And so him did whyte wine and rede;
Bot of swilk thing als thai had,
He and his lyon made tham glad.
The lyon hungerd for the nanes,
Ful fast he ete raw fless and banes.
Sir Ywayn in that ilk telde
Laid his hevid opon his shelde;
Al nyght the lyon about yede
To kepe his mayster and his stede.

Thus the lyon and the knyght
Lended thare a fouretenyght.
On a day so it byfell,
Syr Ywayne come unto the well.
He saw the chapel and the thorne
And said allas that he was born;
And when he loked on the stane,
He fel in swowing sone onane.
Als he fele his swerde outshoke;
The pomel into the erth toke,
The poynt toke until his throte.
(Wel nere he made a sari note.)
Thorgh his armurs sone it smate,
A litel intil hys hals it bate;
And when the lyon saw his blude,
He brayded als he had bene wode.
Than kest he up so lathly rerde,
Ful mani fok myght he have ferde;
He wend wele, so God me rede,
That his mayster had bene ded.

It was ful grete pete to here
What sorow he made on his manere.
He stirt ful hertly, I yow hete,
And toke the swerde bytwix his fete;
Up he set it by a stane,
And thare he wald himself have slane;
And so he had sone, for sertayne,
Bot right in that rase Syr Ywayne;
And alsone als he saw hym stand,
For fayn he liked fote and hand.

Sir Ywayn said oft sithes, "Allas,
Of alkins men hard es my grace.
Mi leman set me sertayn day,
And I it brak, so wayloway.
Allas, for dole how may I dwell
To se this chapel and this well,
Hir faire thorn, hir riche stane?
My gude dayes er now al gane,
My joy es done now al bidene,
I am noght worthi to be sene.
I saw this wild beste was ful bayn
For my luf himself have slayne.
Than sold I, sertes, by more right
Sla my self for swilk a wyght
That I have for my foly lorn.
Allas the while that I was born!"

Als Sir Ywayn made his mane
In the chapel ay was ane
And herd his murnyng haly all
Thorgh a crevice of the wall,
And sone it said with simepel chere,
"What ertou, that murnes here?"

"A man," he sayd, "sum tyme I was.
What ertow? Tel me or I pas."

"I am," it sayd, "the sariest wight,
That ever lifed by day or nyght."

"Nay," he said, "by Saynt Martyne,
Thare es na sorow mete to myne,
Ne no wight so wil of wane.
I was a man, now am I nane;
Whilom I was a nobil knyght
And a man of mekyl myght;
I had knyghtes of my menye
And of reches grete plente;
I had a ful fayre seignory,
And al I lost for my foly.
Mi maste sorow als sal thou here:
I lost a lady that was me dere."

The tother sayd, "Allas, allas,
Myne es a wele sarier case:
To-morn I mun bere my jewyse,
Als my famen wil devise."

"Allas," he said, "what es the skill?"

"That sal thou here, sir, if thou will.
I was a mayden mekil of pride
With a lady here nere-biside;
Men me bikalles of tresown
And has me put here in presown;
I have no man to defend me,
Tharfore to-morn brent mun I be."

He sayd, "What if thou get a knyght,
That for thee with thi fase wil fight?"

"Syr," sho sayd, "als mot I ga,
In this land er bot knyghtes twa,
That me wald help to cover of care:
The tane es went, I wate noght whare;
The tother es dweland with the king
And wate noght of my myslykyng.
The tane of tham hat Syr Gawayn,
And the tother hat Syr Ywayn.
For hym sal I be done to dede
To-morn right in this same stede;
He es the Kinges son Uriene."

"Parfay," he sayd, "I have hym sene;
I am he, and for my gilt
Sal thou never more be spilt.
Thou ert Lunet, if I can rede,
That helpyd me yn mekyl drede;
I had bene ded had thou noght bene.
Tharfore tel me us bytwene,
How bical thai thee of treson
Thus forto sla and for what reson?"

"Sir, thai say that my lady
Lufed me moste specially,
And wroght al efter my rede;
Tharefore thai hate me to the ded.
The steward says that done have I
Grete tresone unto my lady.
His twa brether sayd it als,
And I wist that thai said fals;
And sone I answerd als a sot --
For fole bolt es sone shot --
I said that I sold find a knyght,
That sold me mayntene in my right
And feght with tham al thre;
Thus the batayl wajed we.
Than thai granted me als tyte
Fourty dayes unto respite;
And at the kynges court I was;
I fand na cumfort ne na solase
Nowther of knyght, knave ne swayn."

Than said he, "Whare was Syr Gawayn?
He has bene ever trew and lele,
He fayled never no damysele."

Scho said, "In court he was noght sene,
For a knyght led oway the quene.
The king tharfore es swith grym;
Syr Gawayn folowd efter him,
He coms noght hame, for sertayne,
Until he bryng the quene ogayne.
Now has thou herd, so God me rede,
Why I sal be done to ded."

He said, "Als I am trew knyght,
I sal be redy forto fyght
To-morn with tham al thre,
Leman, for the luf of thee.
At my might I sal noght fayl,
Bot how so bese of the batayle,
If ani man my name thee frayne,
On al manere luke thou yt layne;
Unto na man my name thou say."

"Syr," sho sayd, "for soth, nay.
I prai to grete God alweldand,
That thai have noght the hegher hand;
Sen that ye wil my murnyng mend,
I tak the grace that God wil send."

Syr Ywayn sayd, "I sal thee hyght
To mend thi murnyng at my myght;
Thorgh grace of God in trenyte
I sal thee wreke of tham al thre."

Than rade he forth into frith,
And hys lyoun went hym with.
Had he redyn bot a stownde,
A ful fayre castell he fownde;
And Syr Ywaine, the soth to say,
Unto the castel toke the way.
When he come at the castel-yate,
Foure porters he fand tharate.
The drawbryg sone lete thai doun,
Bot al thai fled for the lyown.

Thai said, "Syr, withowten dowt,
That beste byhoves thee leve tharout,"

He sayd, "Sirs, so have I wyn,
Mi lyoun and I sal noght twyn;
I luf him als wele, I yow hete,
Als my self at ane mete;
Owther sal we samyn lende,
Or els wil we hethin wende."

Bot right with that the lord he met --
And ful gladly he him gret --
With knyghtes and swiers grete plente
And faire ladies and maydens fre;
Ful mekyl joy of him thai made,
Bot sorow in thaire hertes thai hade.
Unto a chameber was he led
And unarmed and sethin cled
In clothes that war gay and dere.

Bot ofttymes changed thaire chere;
Sum tyme, he saw, thai weped all
Als thai wald to water fall;
Thai made slike murnyng and slik mane
That gretter saw he never nane;
Thai feynyd tham oft for hys sake
Fayre semblant forto make.
Ful grete wonder Sir Ywayn hade
For thai swilk joy and sorow made;
"Sir," he said, "if yowre wil ware,
I wald wyt why ye make slike kare."

"This joy," he said, "that we mak now,
Sir, es al for we have yow;
And, sir, also we mak this sorow
For dedys that sal be done to-morow.
A geant wons here nere-bysyde,
That es a devil of mekil pryde;
His name hat Harpyns of Mowntain.
For him we lyf in mekil payn;
My landes haves he robbed and reft,
Noght bot this kastel es me left;
And, by God that in hevyn wons,
Syr, I had sex knyghtis to sons;
I saw my self the twa slogh he,
To-morn the foure als slane mun be --
He has al in hys presowne --
And, sir, for nane other enchesowne,
Bot for I warned hym to wyve
My doghter, fayrest fode olyve.
Tharfore es he wonder-wrath,
And depely has he sworn hys ath,
With maystry that he sal hir wyn,
And that the laddes of his kychyn
And also that his werst fote-knave
His wil of that woman sal have,
Bot I to-morn might find a knight,
That durst with hym selven fyght;
And I have none to him at ga.
What wonder es if me be wa?"

Syr Ywayn lystend hym ful wele,
And when he had talde ilka dele,
"Syr," he sayd, "me think mervayl
That ye soght never no kounsayl
At the kynges hous here-bysyde;
For, sertes, in al this werld so wyde
Es no man of so mekil myght,
Geant, champioun ne knight,
That he ne has knyghtes of his menye
That ful glad and blyth wald be
Forto mete with swilk a man
That thai myght kyth thaire myghtes on."

He said, "Syr, so God me mend,
Unto the kynges kourt I send
To seke my mayster Syr Gawayn;
For he wald socore me ful fain.
He wald noght leve for luf ne drede,
Had he wist now of my nede;
For his sister es my wyfe,
And he lufes hyr als his lyfe.
Bot a knyght this other day,
Thai talde, has led the quene oway;
Forto seke hyr went Sir Gawayn,
And yit ne come he noght ogayn."

Than Syr Ywayne sighed sare
And said unto the knyght right thare;
"Syr," he sayd, "for Gawayn sake
This batayl wil I undertake
Forto fyght with the geant;
And that opon swilk a covenant,
Yif he cum at swilk a time,
So that we may fight by prime.
No langer may I tent tharto,
For other thing I have to do;
I have a dede that most be done
To-morn nedes byfor the none."

The knyght sare sighand sayd him till,
"Sir, God yelde thee thi gode wyll."
And al that ware thare in the hall,
On knese byfor hym gan thai fall.
Forth thare come a byrd ful bryght,
The fairest man might se in sight;
Hir moder come with hir infere,

And both thai morned and made yll chere.
The knight said, "Lo, verraiment,
God has us gude socure sent,
This knight that of his grace wil grant
Forto fyght with the geant."

On knese thai fel doun to his fete
And thanked him with wordes swete.
"A, God forbede", said Sir Ywain,
"That the sister of Sir Gawayn
Or any other of his blode born
Sold on this wise knel me byforn."

He toke tham up tyte both infere
And prayd tham to amend thaire chere:
"And praies fast to God alswa,
That I may venge yow on yowre fa,
And that he cum swilk tyme of day,
That I by tyme may wend my way
Forto do another dede;
For, sertes, theder most I nede.
Sertes, I wald noght tham byswike
Forto win this kinges rike."
His thoght was on that damysel,
That he left in the chapel.

Thai said, "He es of grete renowne,
For with hym dwels the lyoun."
Ful wele confort war thai all
Bath in boure and als in hall;
Ful glad war thai of thaire gest;
And when tyme was at go to rest,
The lady broght him to his bed;
And for the lyoun sho was adred.
Na man durst negh his chamber nere,
Fro thai war broght thareyn infere.
Sone at morn, when it was day,
The lady and the fayre may
Til Ywayn chamber went thai sone,
And the dore thai have undone.
Sir Ywayn to the kyrk yede
Or he did any other dede;
He herd the servise of the day
And sethin to the knyght gan say,
"Sir," he said, "now most I wend,
Lenger here dar I noght lende;
Til other place byhoves me fare."

Than had the knyght ful mekel care;
He said, "Syr, dwells a litel thraw
For luf of Gawayn that ye knaw;
Socore us now or ye wende.
I sal yow gif withowten ende
Half my land with toun and toure,
And ye wil help us in this stoure."

Sir Ywayn said, "Nai, God forbede
That I sold tak any mede."
Than was grete dole, so God me glade,
To se the sorow that thai made.
Of tham Sir Ywayn had grete pete;
Him thoght his hert myght breke in thre;
For in grete drede ay gan he dwell
For the mayden in the chapell;
For, sertes, if sho war done to ded,
Of him war than none other rede
Bot oither he sold hymselven sla
Or wode ogain to the wod ga.

Ryght with that thare come a grome
And said tham that geant come:
"Yowre sons bringes he him byforn,
Wel nere naked als thai war born."
With wreched ragges war thai kled
And fast bunden; thus er thai led.
The geant was bath large and lang
And bare a levore of yren ful strang;
Tharwith he bet tham bitterly;
Grete rewth it was to here tham cry;
Thai had nothing tham forto hyde.
A dwergh yode on the tother syde;
He bare a scowrge with cordes ten;
Tharewith he bet tha gentil men
Ever onane als he war wode.
Efter ilka band brast out the blode;
And when thai at the walles were,
He cried loud that men myght here,
"If thou wil have thi sons in hele,
Deliver me that damysele.
I sal hir gif to warisowne
Ane of the foulest quisteroun,
That ever yit ete any brede;
He sal have hir maydenhede.
Thar sal none other lig hir by
Bot naked herlotes and lowsy."

When the lord thir wordes herd,
Als he war wode for wa he ferd.
Sir Ywayn than that was curtays,
Unto the knyght ful sone he sais:
"This geant es ful fers and fell
And of his wordes ful kruell;
I sal deliver hir of his aw
Or els be ded within a thraw.
For, sertes, it war a misaventure
That so gentil a creature
Sold ever so foul hap byfall
To be defouled with a thrall."

Sone was he armed, Sir Ywayn;
Tharfore the ladies war ful fayn.
Thai helpid to lace him in his wede,
And sone he lepe up on his stede.
Thai prai to God that grace him grant
Forto sla that foul geant.
The drawbrigges war laten doun,
And forth he rides with his lioun.
Ful mani sari murnand man
Left he in the kastel than,
That on thaire knese to God of might
Praied ful hertly for the knyght.

Syr Ywayn rade into the playne,
And the geant come hym ogayne.
His levore was ful grete and lang
And himself ful mekyl and strang;
He said, "What devil made thee so balde
Forto cum heder out of thi halde?
Whosoever thee heder send,
Lufed thee litel, so God me mend;
Of thee he wald be wroken fayn."

"Do forth thi best," said Sir Ywayn.
Al the armure he was yn,
Was noght bot of a bul-skyn.
Sir Ywayn was to him ful prest,
He strake to him inmiddes the brest;
The spere was both stif and gode;
Whare it toke bit, outbrast the blode;
So fast Sir Ywayn on yt soght,
The bul-skyn availed noght.
The geant stombild with the dynt,
And unto Sir Ywayn he mynt,
And on the shelde he hit ful fast,
It was mervayl that it myght last.
The levore bended tharwithall,
With grete force he lete it fall,
The geant was so strong and wight,
That never for no dint of knyght
Ne for batayl that he sold make,
Wald he none other wapyn take.

Sir Ywain left his spere of hand
And strake obout him with his brand,
And the geant mekil of mayn
Strake ful fast to him ogayn,
Til at the last within a throw
He rest him on his sadelbow;
And that parcayved his lioun,
That his hevid so hanged doun,
He hopid that hys lord was hyrt,
And to the geant sone he styrt.
The skyn and fless bath rafe he down
Fro his hals to hys cropoun;
His ribbes myght men se onane,
For al was bare unto bane.
At the lyown oft he mynt,
Bot ever he lepis fro his dynt,
So that no strake on him lyght.
By than was Ywain cumen to myght,
Than wil he wreke him if he may.
The geant gaf he ful gude pay;
He smate oway al his left cheke,
His sholder als of gan he kleke,
That both his levore and his hand
Fel doun law opon the land.
Sethin with a stoke to him he stert
And smate the geant unto the hert:
Than was nane other tale to tell,
Bot fast unto the erth he fell,
Als it had bene a hevy tre.

Than myght men in the kastel se
Ful mekil mirth on ilka side.
The yates kest thai opyn wyde;
The lord unto Syr Ywaine ran,
Him foloud many a joyful man;
Also the lady ran ful fast,
And hir doghter was noght the last.
I may noght tel the joy thai had;
And the foure brether war ful glad,
For thai war out of bales broght.
The lord wist it helpid noght
At pray Sir Ywayn forto dwell,
For tales that he byfore gan tell;
Bot hertly with his myght and mayn
He praied him forto cum ogayn
And dwel with him a litel stage,
When he had done hys vassage.

He said, "Sir, that may I noght do;
Bileves wele, for me bus go."
Tham was ful wo he wald noght dwell,
Bot fain thai war that it so fell.
The neghest way than gan he wele,
Until he come to the chapele.
Thare he fand a mekil fire;
And the mayden with lely lire
In hyr smok was bunden fast
Into the fire forto be kast.
Unto himself he sayd in hy
And prayed to God almyghty,
That he sold for his mekil myght
Save fro shame that swete wight.
"Yf thai be many and mekil of pryse,
I sal let for no kouwardise;
For with me es bath God and right,
And thai sal help me forto fight,
And my lyon sal help me;
Than er we foure ogayns tham thre."

Sir Ywayn rides and cries then,
"Habides, I bid yow, fals men!
It semes wele that ye er wode,
That wil spill this sakles blode.
Ye sal noght so, yf that I may."
His lyown made hym redy way.
Naked he saw the mayden stand
Bihind hir bunden aither hand:
Than sighed Ywain wonder-oft,
Unnethes might he syt oloft.
Thare was no sembland tham bitwene,
That ever owther had other sene.

Al obout hyr myght men se
Ful mykel sorow and grete pete
Of other ladies that thare were,
Wepeand with ful sory chere.
"Lord," thai sayd, "what es oure gylt?
Oure joy, oure confort sal be spilt.
Who sal now oure erandes say?
Allas, who sal now for us pray?"
Whils thai thus karped, was Lunet
On knese byfore the prest set,
Of hir syns hir forto schrive.
And unto hir he went bylive,
Hir hand he toke, and up sho rase;
"Leman," he sayd, "whore er thi fase?"

"Sir, lo tham yonder in yone stede
Bideand until I be ded;
Thai have demed me with wrang.
Wel nere had ye dwelt over lang.
I pray to God he do yow mede
That ye wald help me in this nede."

Thir wordes herd than the steward;
He hies him unto hir ful hard.
He said, "Thou lies, fals woman!
For thi treson ertow tane.
Sho has bitraied hir lady,
And, sir, so wil sho thee in hy.
And tharefore, syr, by Goddes dome,
I rede thou wend right als thou com;
Thou takes a ful febil rede,
If thou for hir will suffer ded."

Unto the steward than said he,
"Who so es ferd, I rede he fle;
And, sertes, I have bene this day,
Whare I had ful large pay;
And yit," he sayd, "I sal noght fail."
To tham he waged the batayl.

"Do oway thi lioun," said the steward;
"For that es noght oure forward.
Allane sal thou fight with us thre."

And unto him thus answerd he,
"Of my lioun no help I crave;
I ne have none other fote-knave;
If he wil do yow any dere,
I rede wele that ye yow were."

The steward said, "On alkins wise
Thi lyoun, sir, thou most chastise,
That he do here no harm this day,
Or els wend forth on thi way;
For hir warand mai thou noght be,
Bot thou allane fight with us thre.
Al thir men wote, and so wote I,
That sho bitrayed hir lady.
Als traytures sal sho have hyre,
Sho be brent here in this fire."

Sir Ywayn sad, "Nai, God forbede!"
(He wist wele how the soth yede)
"I trow to wreke hir with the best."
He bad his lyoun go to rest;
And he laid him sone onane
Doun byfore tham everilkane;
Bitwene his legges he layd his tail
And so biheld to the batayl.

Al thre thai ride to Sir Ywayn,
And smertly rides he tham ogayn;
In that time nothing tint he,
For his an strake was worth thaires thre.
He strake the steward on the shelde,
That he fel doun flat in the felde;
Bot up he rase yit at the last
And to Sir Ywayn strake ful fast.

Tharat the lyoun greved sare,
No lenger wald he than lig thare;
To help his mayster he went onane;
And the ladies everilkane,
That war thare forto se that sight,
Praied ful fast ay for the knight.
The lyoun hasted him ful hard,
And sone he come to the steward.
A ful fel mynt to him he made:
He bigan at the shulder-blade,
And with his pawm al rafe he downe
Bath hauberk and his actoune
And al the fless doun til his kne,
So that men myght his guttes se;
To ground he fell so al torent
Was thare no man that him ment.
Thus the lioun gan hym sla.
Than war thai bot twa and twa,
And, sertanly, thare Sir Ywayn
Als with wordes did his main
Forto chastis hys lyowne;
Bot he ne wald na more lig doun.

The liown thoght, how so he sayd,
That with his help he was wele payd.
Thai smate the lyoun on ilka syde
And gaf him many woundes wide.
When that he saw hys lyoun blede,
He ferd for wa als he wald wede,
And fast he strake than in that stoure,
Might thare none his dintes doure.
So grevosly than he bygan
That doun he bare bath hors and man.

Thai yald tham sone to Sir Ywayn,
And tharof war the folk ful fayne;
And sone quit to tham thaire hire,
For both he kest tham in the fire
And said, "Wha juges men with wrang,
The same jugement sal thai fang."
Thus he helpid the maiden ying,
And sethin he made the saghtelyng
Bitwene hyr and the riche lady.

Than al the folk ful hastily
Proferd tham to his servise
To wirship him ever on al wise.
Nane of tham al wist bot Lunet,
That thai with thaire lord war met.
The lady prayed him als the hend
That he hame with tham wald wende
Forto sojorn thare a stownd,
Til he wer warist of his wound.
By his sare set he noght a stra,
Bot for his lioun was him wa.
"Madame," he said, "sertes, nay,
I mai noght dwel, the soth to say."

Sho said, "Sir, sen thou wyl wend,
Sai us thi name, so God thee mend."

"Madame," he said, "bi Saint Symoun,
I hat the Knight with the Lyoun."
Sho said, "We saw yow never or now,
Ne never herd we speke of yow."

"Tharby," he sayd, "ye understand,
I am noght knawen wide in land."

Sho said, "I prai thee forto dwell,
If that thou may, here us omell."
If sho had wist wele wha it was,
She wald wele lever have laten him pas;
And tharefore wald he noght be knawen
Both for hir ese and for his awyn.
He said, "No lenger dwel I ne may;
Beleves wele and haves goday.
I prai to Crist, hevyn kyng,
Lady, len yow gude lifing,
And len grace, that al yowre anoy
May turn yow unto mykel joy."

Sho said, "God grant that it so be."
Unto himself than thus said he,
"Thou ert the lok and kay also
Of al my wele and al my wo."

Now wendes he forth and morning mase,
And nane of tham wist what he was,
Bot Lunet that he bad sold layn;
And so sho did with al hir mayne,
Sho cunvayd him forth on his way.
He said, "Gude leman, I thee pray,
That thou tel to no moder son,
Who has bene thi champion;
And als I pray thee, swete wight,
Late and arly thou do thi might
With speche unto my lady fre
Forto make hir frende with me.
Sen ye er now togeder glade,
Help thou that we war frendes made."

"Sertes, sir," sho sayd, "ful fayn
Thareobout wil I be bayn;
And that ye have done me this day,
God do yow mede, als he wele may."

Of Lunet thus his leve he tase,
Bot in hert grete sorow he hase;
His lioun feled so mekill wa,
That he ne myght no ferrer ga.
Sir Ywayn puld gres in the felde
And made a kouche opon his shelde;
Thareon his lyoun laid he thare,
And forth he rides and sighes sare;
On his shelde so he him led,
Than was he ful evyl sted.

Forth he rides by frith and fell,
Til he come to a fayre castell.
Thare he cald and swith sone
The porter has the yates undone,
And to him made he ful gude chere.
He said, "Sir, ye er welcum here."
Syr Ywain said, "God do thee mede,
For tharof have I mekil nede."

Yn he rade right at the yate;
Faire folk kepid hym tharate.
Thai toke his shelde and his lyoun,
And ful softly thai laid it doun;
Sum to stabil led his stede,
And sum also unlaced his wede.
Thai talde the lord than of that knyght;
And sone he and his lady bryght
And thaire sons and doghters all
Come ful faire him forto kall;
Thai war ful fayn he thore was sted.

To chaumber sone thai have him led;
His bed was ordand richely,
And his lioun thai laid him by;
Him was no mister forto crave,
Redy he had what he wald have.
Twa maydens with him thai laft
That wele war lered of lechecraft;
The lordes doghters both thai wore
That war left to kepe hym thore.
Thai heled hym everilka wound,
And hys lyoun sone made thai sownd.
I can noght tel how lang he lay;
When he was helyd he went his way.
Bot whils he sojorned in that place,
In that land byfel this case.

A litil thethin in a stede
A grete lord of the land was ded.
Lifand he had none other ayre
Bot two doghters that war ful fayre.
Als sone als he was laid in molde,
The elder sister sayd sho wolde
Wend to court sone als sho myght,
Forto get hir som doghty knyght
Forto win hir al the land
And hald it halely in hir hand.
The yonger sister saw sho ne myght
Have that fell until hir right,
Bot if that it war by batail;
To court sho wil at ask cownsayl.

The elder sister sone was yare,
Unto the court fast gan sho fare.
To Sir Gawayn sho made hir mane,
And he has granted hyr onane,
"Bot yt bus be so prevely,
That nane wit bot thou and I.
If thou of me makes any yelp,
Lorn has thou al my help."

Than efter on the tother day
Unto kourt come the tother may,
And to Sir Gawayn sone sho went
And talde unto him hir entent;
Of his help sho him bysoght.
"Sertes," he sayd, "that may I noght."
Than sho wepe and wrang hir handes;

And right with that come new tithandes,
How a knyght with a lyoun
Had slane a geant ful feloun.
The same knight thare talde this tale
That Syr Ywayn broght fra bale
That had wedded Gawayn sister dere.
Sho and hir sons war thare infere;
Thai broght the dwergh, that be ye balde,
And to Sir Gawayn have thai talde
How the knyght with the lyowne
Delivred tham out of presowne,
And how he for Syr Gawayn sake
Gan that batayl undertake,
And als how nobilly that he wroght.
Sir Gawayn said, "I knaw him noght."

The yonger mayden than alsone
Of the king askes this bone
To have respite of fourti dais,
Als it fel to landes lays.
Sho wist thare was no man of main
That wald fyght with Sir Gawayn;
Sho thoght to seke by frith and fell
The knyght that sho herd tham of tell.
Respite was granted of this thing;
The mayden toke leve at the king
And sethen at al the baronage,
And forth sho went on hir vayage.

Day ne nyght wald sho noght spare;
Thurgh al the land fast gan sho fare,
Thurgh castel and thurgh ilka toun
To seke the Knight with the Lyown:
He helpes al in word and dede,
That unto him has any nede.
Sho soght hym thurgh al that land,
Bot of hym herd sho na tythand;
Na man kouth tel hir whare he was;
Ful grete sorow in hert sho has.

So mikel murning gan sho make
That a grete sekenes gan sho take.
Bot in hir way right wele sho sped;
At that kastell was sho sted,
Whare Sir Ywayn are had bene
Helid of his sekenes clene.
Thare sho was ful wele knawen
And als welcum als til hyr awyn;
With alkyn gamyn thai gan hir glade,
And mikel joy of hir thai made.
Unto the lord sho tald hyr case,
And helping hastily sho hase.
Stil in lecheing thare sho lay;
A maiden for hir toke the way
Forto seke yf that sho myght
In any land here of that knyght;
And that same kastel come sho by,
Whare Ywayn wedded the lavedy;
And fast sho spird in ylk sesown
Efter the Knight with the Lioun.
Thai tald hir how he went tham fra,
And also how thay saw him sla
Thre nobil knyghtes for the nanes
That faght with him al at anes.

Sho said, "Par charite, I yow pray,
If that ye wate wil ye me say,
Whederward that he es went?"

Thai said, for soth, thai toke na tent;
"Ne here es nane that thee can tell,
Bot if it be a damysell,
For whas sake he heder come,
And for hir the batayl he name.
We trow wele that sho can the wis;
Yonder in yone kyrk sho ys;
Tharfore we rede to hyr thou ga";
And hastily than did sho swa.

Aither other ful gudeli gret,
And sone sho frayned at Lunet
If sho kouth ani sertain sayne;
And hendly answerd sho ogayne,
"I sal sadel my palfray
And wend with thee forth on thi way
And wis thee als wele als I can."
Ful oft sithes thanked sho hir than.
Lunet was ful smertly yare,
And with the mayden forth gan sho fare.
Als thai went, al sho hyr talde,
How sho was taken and done in halde,
How wikkedly that sho was wreghed,
And how that trayturs on hir leghed,
And how that sho sold have bene brent,
Had noght God hir socore sent
Of that Knight with the Lyoun --
"He lesed me out of presoun."
Sho broght hir sone into a playn,
Whare sho parted fra Sir Ywayn;
Sho said, "Na mare can I tel thee,
Bot here parted he fra me.
How that he went wate I no mare;
Bot wounded was he wonder-sare.
God that for us sufferd wounde,
Len us to se him hale and sownde.
No lenger with thee may I dwell;
Bot cumly Crist that heried hell,
Len the grace that thou may spede
Of thine erand als thou has nede."

Lunet hastily hies hir home,
And the mayden sone to the kastel come
Whare he was helid byforehand.
The lord sone at the yate sho fond
With knyghtes and ladies grete cumpani;
Sho haylsed tham al ful hendely,
And ful fayre praied sho to tham then
If thai couth thai sold hyr ken
Whare sho myght fynd in toure or toun
A kumly knyght with a lyoun.
Than said the lord, "By swete Jhesus,
Right now parted he fra us;
Lo here the steppes of his stede,
Evyn unto him thai wil thee lede."

Than toke sho leve and went hir way,
With sporrs sho sparid noght hir palfray;
Fast sho hyed with al hyr myght,
Until sho of him had a syght
And of hys lyoun that by him ran.
Wonder-joyful was sho than,
And with hir force sho hasted so fast
That sho overtoke him at the last.

Sho hailsed him with hert ful fayn,
And he hir hailsed fayre ogayn.
Sho said, "Sir, wide have I yow soght;
And for my self ne es it noght,
Bot for a damysel of pryse
That halden es both war and wise.
Men dose to hir ful grete outrage,
Thai wald hir reve hyr heritage;
And in this land now lifes none
That sho traystes hyr opone
Bot anly opon God and thee,
For thou ert of so grete bounte;
Thorgh help of the sho hopes wele
To win hyr right everilka dele.
Scho sais no knyght that lifes now
Mai help hir half so wele als thou;
Gret word sal gang of thi vassage,
If that thou win hir heritage.
For thoght sho toke slike sekenes sare,
So that sho might travail no mare,
I have yow soght on sydes sere;
Tharfore yowre answer wald I here,
Whether ye wil with me wend,
Or elswhare yow likes to lend."

He said, "that knyght that idil lies
Oft sithes winnes ful litel pries.
Forthi mi rede sal sone be tane:
Gladly with thee wil I gane,
Wheder so thou wil me lede,
And hertly help thee in thi nede.
Sen thou haves me so wide soght,
Sertes, fail thee sal I noght."

Thus thaire wai forth gan thai hald
Until a kastel that was cald
The Castel of the Hevy Sorow.
Thare wald he bide until the morow;
Thare to habide him thoght it best,
For the son drogh fast to rest.
Bot al the men that thai met,
Grete wonder sone on tham thai set
And said, "Thou wreche, unsely man,
Whi wil thou here thi herber tane?
Thou passes noght without despite."

Sir Ywain answerd tham als tyte
And said, "For soth, ye er unhende
An unkouth man so forto shende;
Ye sold noght say hym velany,
Bot if ye wist encheson why."

Thai answerd than and said ful sone,
"Thou sal wit or to-morn at none."

Syr Ywaine said, "For al yowre saw
Unto yon castel wil I draw."

He and his lyoun and the may
Unto the castel toke the way.
When the porter of tham had sight,
Sone he said unto the knight,
"Cumes forth," he said, "ye al togeder!
Ful ille hail er ye cumen heder."

Thus war thai welkumd at the yate,
And yit thai went al in tharate;
Unto the porter no word thai said.
A hal thai fand ful gudeli graid,
And als Sir Ywaine made entre,
Fast bisyde him than saw he
A proper place and faire, iwis
Enclosed obout with a palis.
He loked in bitwix the trese,
And many maidens thare he sese
Wirkand silk and gold-wire;
Bot thai war al in pover atire.
Thaire clothes war reven on evil arai;
Ful tenderly al weped thai.
Thaire face war lene and als unclene,
And blak smokkes had thai on bidene;
Thai had mischefs ful manifalde
Of hunger, of threst and of calde;
And ever onane thai weped all,
Als thai wald to water fall.

When Ywaine al this understode,
Ogayn unto the yates he yode;
Bot thai war sperred ferli fast
With lokkes that ful wele wald last.
The porter kepid tham with his main
And said, "Sir, thou most wend ogain;
I wate thou wald out at the yate,
Bot thou mai noght by na gate.
Thi herber es tane til to-morow,
And tharfore getes thou mekill sorow.
Omang thi fase here sted ertow."
He said, "So have I bene or now
And past ful wele; so sal I here.
Bot, leve frend, wiltou me lere
Of thise maidens what thai are,
That wirkes al this riche ware?"

He said, "If thou wil wit trewly,
Forthermare thou most aspy."

"Tharfore," he said, "I sal noght lett."

He soght and fand a dern weket,
He opind it and in he yede.


Even though

beast / pity



distance / arrow-shot

doe / on
sack of flour



camping place



He straightway fainted

neck / bit


thought / advise

in that (moment) rose


himself to have



plain manner



must bear my punishment



burned must

The one
The other

is called









ridden but a while

together remain

such / moan


slain must be

creature alive


every bit






were they clad
tightly bound



as a prize

from his power

iron bar




neck / buttocks


also / pulled



To pray

chivalric duty

I must go

closest / take

lovely fave

are we four




where are thy foes


defend yourself



very fierce blow

jerkin (worn under the hauberk)

torn apart

go mad



wound / straw



Be will and have good day

grant / living

lock and key

make mourning

should conceal




forests and hills


thence / place



to ask


must be


from evil

dwarf / sure


forest and hill

placed, situated
Healed / completely

as to her own (home)

medical care


did not notice

whose / hither

asked from
saying, report







it please you to go

Where ever

sun drew

wretched unhappy





much evil fortue




one and all




foes / bestead

teach, tell about

concealed door

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