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Fast then pricked king Arthure

Ore hille, and dale, and downe:
And soone he founde the barone's bowre:

And soone the grimme baroûne.
He bare his clubbe upon his backe,

Hee stoode bothe stiffe and stronge;
And, when he had the letters reade,

Awaye the lettres flunge.
Nowe yielde thee, Arthur, and thy lands,

All forfeit unto mee;
For this is not thy paye, sir king,

Nor may thy ransomne bee.
Yet hold thy hand, thou proud barone,
I

praye thee hold thy hand;
And give mee leave to speake once more

In reskewe of my land.
This morne, as I came over a more,

I saw a ladye sette
Betwene an oke, and a greene hollèye,

All clad in red scarlètte.
Shee sayes, all women will have their wille,

This is their chief desyre;
Now yield, as thou art a barone true,

That I have payd mine hyre.
An earlye vengeaunce light on her!

The carlish baron swore:
Shee was my sister tolde thee this,

And shee's a mishapen whore.
But here I will make mine avowe,

To do her as ill a turne:
For an ever I may that foule theefe gette,

In a fyre I will her burne.

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PART THE SECONDE.
HOMEWARDE pricked king Arthùre,

And a wearye man was hee;
And soone he mette queene Guenever,

That bride so bright of blee.

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What newes! what newes! thou noble king,

Howe, Arthur, hast thou sped?
Where hast thou hung the carlish knighte?

And where bestow'd his head?
The carlish knight is safe for mee,

And free fro mortal harme:
On magicke grounde his castle stands,

And fenc'd with many a charme.
To bowe to him I was fulle faine,

And yielde mee to his hand: And but for a lothly ladye, there

I sholde have lost my land.

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And nowe this fills my hearte with woe,

And sorrowe of my life;
I swore a yonge and courtlye knight,
Sholde marry

her to his wife. Then bespake him sir Gawaine,

That was ever a gentle knighte:
That lothly ladye I will wed;

Therefore be merrye and lighte.
Now naye, nowe naye, good sir Gawaine;

My sister's sonne yee bee;
This lothlye ladye's all too grimme,

And all too foule for yee.

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Her nose is crookt and turn’d outwarde;

Her chin stands all awrye;

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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:
I'll marry her, unkle, for thy sake,

And I'll thy ransome bee.

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Nowe thankes, nowe thankes, good sir Gawaine;

And a blessing thee betyde!
To-morrow wee'll have knights and squires,

And wee'll goe fetch thy bride.

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And wee'll have hawkes and wee'll have houndes,

To cover our intent;
And wee'll away to the greene forest,

As wee a hunting went.

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Sir Lancelot, sir Stephen bolde,

They rode with them that daye; And foremoste of the companye

There rode the stewarde Kaye:

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Soe did sir Banier and sir Bore,

And eke sir Garratte keene;
Sir Tristram too, that gentle knight,

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.

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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.

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Sir Kay beheld that ladye againe,

And looked upon her snout; Whoever kisses that ladye, he sayes,

Of his kisse he stands in doubt.

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Peace, brother Kay, sayde sir Gawaine,

And amend thee of thy life:
For there is a knight amongst us all,
Must
marry

her to his wife.
What marry this foule queane, quoth Kay,

l' the devil's name anone;
Gett mee a wife wherever I maye,

In sooth shee shall be none.

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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;
For a little foule sighte and mislikinge,
Yee shall not

say
her
naye.

80 Peace, lordings, peace; sir Gawaine sayd;

Nor make debate and strife; This lothlye ladye I will take,

And marry her to my wife.
Nowe thankes, nowe thankes, good sir Gawaine, 85

And a blessinge be thy meede!
For as I am thine owne ladyè,

Thou never shalt rue this deede.

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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.

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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.”

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Sir Gawaine scant could lift his head,

For sorrowe and for care;
When, lo! instead of that lothelye dame,

Hee sawe a young ladye faire.
Sweet blushes stayn’d her rud-red cheeke,

Her eyen were blacke as sloe:
The ripening cherrye swellde her lippe,

And all her necke was snowe.

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Sir Gawaine kiss'd that lady faire,

Lying upon the sheete:
And swore, as he was a true knighte,

The spice was never so sweete.
Sir Gawaine kiss'd that lady brighte,

Lying there by his side:
" The fairest flower is not soe faire:

Thou never can’st bee my bride.”
I am thy bride, mine owne deare lorde,

The same whiche thou didst knowe,
That was soe lothlye, and was wont

Upon the wild more to goe:
Nowe, gentle Gawaine, chuse, quoth shee,

And make thy choice with care;
Whether by night, or else by daye,

Shall I be foule or faire ?

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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."

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