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Fast then pricked king Arthure
Ore hille, and dale, and downe:
And soone the grimme baroûne.
Hee stoode bothe stiffe and stronge;
Awaye the lettres flunge.
All forfeit unto mee;
Nor may thy ransomne bee.
praye thee hold thy hand;
In reskewe of my land.
I saw a ladye sette
All clad in red scarlètte.
This is their chief desyre;
That I have payd mine hyre.
The carlish baron swore:
And shee's a mishapen whore.
To do her as ill a turne:
In a fyre I will her burne.
PART THE SECONDE.
And a wearye man was hee;
That bride so bright of blee.
What newes! what newes! thou noble king,
Howe, Arthur, hast thou sped?
And where bestow'd his head?
And free fro mortal harme:
And fenc'd with many a charme.
And yielde mee to his hand: And but for a lothly ladye, there
I sholde have lost my land.
And nowe this fills my hearte with woe,
And sorrowe of my life;
her to his wife. Then bespake him sir Gawaine,
That was ever a gentle knighte:
Therefore be merrye and lighte.
My sister's sonne yee bee;
And all too foule for yee.
Her nose is crookt and turn’d outwarde;
Her chin stands all awrye;
A worse form'd ladye than shee is
Was never seen with eye.
What though her chin stand all awrye,
And shee be foule to see:
And I'll thy ransome bee.
Nowe thankes, nowe thankes, good sir Gawaine;
And a blessing thee betyde!
And wee'll goe fetch thy bride.
And wee'll have hawkes and wee'll have houndes,
To cover our intent;
As wee a hunting went.
Sir Lancelot, sir Stephen bolde,
They rode with them that daye; And foremoste of the companye
There rode the stewarde Kaye:
Soe did sir Banier and sir Bore,
And eke sir Garratte keene;
To the forest freshe and greene.
And when they came to the greene
forrèst, Beneathe a faire holley tree There sate that ladye in red scarlette
That unseemelye was to see.
Sir Kay beheld that lady's face,
And looked upon her sweere; Whoever kisses that ladye, he sayes,
Of his kisse he stands in feare.
Sir Kay beheld that ladye againe,
And looked upon her snout; Whoever kisses that ladye, he sayes,
Of his kisse he stands in doubt.
Peace, brother Kay, sayde sir Gawaine,
And amend thee of thy life:
her to his wife.
l' the devil's name anone;
In sooth shee shall be none.
Then some tooke up their hawkes in haste,
And some took up their houndes; And sayd they wolde not marry her,
75 For cities, nor for townes. Then bespake him king Arthùre,
And sware there by this daye;
80 Peace, lordings, peace; sir Gawaine sayd;
Nor make debate and strife; This lothlye ladye I will take,
And marry her to my wife.
And a blessinge be thy meede!
Thou never shalt rue this deede.
Then up they took that lothly dame,
And home anone they bringe: And there sir Gawaine he her wed,
And married her with a ringe. Percy. III.
And when they were in wed-bed laid,
And all were done awaye: “Come turne to mee, mine owne wed-lord,
Come turne to mee I praye.”
Sir Gawaine scant could lift his head,
For sorrowe and for care;
Hee sawe a young ladye faire.
Her eyen were blacke as sloe:
And all her necke was snowe.
Sir Gawaine kiss'd that lady faire,
Lying upon the sheete:
The spice was never so sweete.
Lying there by his side:
Thou never can’st bee my bride.”
The same whiche thou didst knowe,
Upon the wild more to goe:
And make thy choice with care;
Shall I be foule or faire ?
“To have thee foule still in the night,
When I with thee should playe! I had rather farre, my lady deare,
To have thee foule by daye."