January 2, 2018

January 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — theresaurus @ 11:14 pm

From “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”:

The year being so young that yester-even saw its birth,
That day double on the dais were the diners served.
Mass sung and service ended, straight from the chapel
The King and his company came into hall.
Called on with cries from clergy and laity,
Noel was newly announced, named time and time again.
Then lords and ladies leaped forth, largesse distributing,
Offered New Year gifts in high voices, handed them out,
Bustling and bantering about these offerings.
Ladies laughed full loudly, though losing their wealth,
And he that won was not woeful, you may well believe.
All this merriment they made until meal time.

Then delicacies and dainties were delivered to the guests,
Fresh food in foison, such freight of full dishes
That space was scarce at the social tables
For the several soups set before them in silver
On the cloth.
Each feaster made free with the fare,
Took lightly and nothing loth;
Twelve plates were for every pair;
Good beer and bright wine both.

Of their meal I shall mention no more just now,
For it is evident to all that ample was served;
Now another noise, quite new, neared suddenly,
Likely to allow the liege lord to eat;
For barely had the blast of trump abated one minute
And the first course in the court been courteously served,
When there heaved in at the hall door an awesome fellow
Who in height outstripped all earthly men.
From the throat to thigh he was so thickset and square,
His loins and limbs were so long and so great,
That he was half a giant on earth, I believe;
Yet mainly and most of all a man he seemed,
And the handsomest of horsemen, though huge, at that;
For though at back and at breast his body was broad,
His hips and haunches were elegant and small,
And perfectly proportioned were all parts of the man,
As seen.
Men gaped at the hue of him
Ingrained in garb and mien,
A fellow fiercely grim,
And all a glittering green.

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