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And if I fail to speak fittingly, let this full court judge

Without blame."

Then wisely they whispered of it,

And after, all said the same:

That the crowned king should be quit,12

And Gawain given the game.

 

5

Then the King commanded the courtly knight to rise.

He directly uprose, approached courteously,

Knelt low to his liege lord, laid hold of the weapon;

And he graciously let him have it, lifted up his hand

And gave him God's blessing, gladly urging him

To be strong in spirit and stout of sinew.

"Cousin, take care," said the King, "To chop once,

And if you strike with success, certainly I think

You will take the return blow without trouble in time."

Gripping the great axe, Gawain goes to the man

Who awaits him unwavering, not quailing at all.

Then said to Sir Gawain the stout knight in green,

"Let us affirm our pact freshly, before going farther.

I beg you, bold sir, to be so good

As to tell me your true name, as I trust you to."

"in good faith," said the good knight, "Gawain is my name,

loo And whatever happens after, I offer you this blow,

And in twelve months' time I shall take the return blow

With whatever weapon you wish, and with no one else

Shall I strive."

The other with pledge replied,

"I'm the merriest man alive

It's a blow from you I must bide,

Sir Gawain, so may I thrive."

6

"By God," said the Green Knight, "Sir Gawain, I rejoice

That I shall have from your hand what I have asked for here.

And you have gladly gone over, in good discourse,

The convenant I requested of the King in full,

Except that you shall assent, swearing in truth,

To seek me yourself, in such place as you think

To find me under the firmament, 13 and fetch your payment

For what you deal me today before this dignified gathering."

"How shall I hunt for you? How find your home?"

Said Gawain, "By God that made me, I go in ignorance;

Nor, knight, do I know your name or your court.

But instruct me truly thereof, and tell me your name,

And I shall wear out my wits to find my way there;

Here is my oath. on it, in absolute honor!"

"That is enough this New Year, 14 no more is needed,"

Said the gallant in green to Gawain the courteous,

"To tell you the truth, when I have taken the blow

After you have duly dealt it, I shall directly inform you

English IV