Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

My son a.k.a. Brother Bear (BB) wrote this as a summary of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight for our British Literature class. Enjoy.

Take a chair and you will hear,
The tale of a contest,
Not far from here.
Starting the day before new year.

At the feast of that famous table round,
The footsteps of hooves trod the ground.
Upon it, a knight so obscene,
From his head to his toes all dressed in green.
A burly beard and an axe made of steel,
Bellowing for the strongest foe,
That a deal may be made to strike a blow.
'Come out and face a man that is real!
I come here not for battle or war,
But someone to strike me a blow with my axe,
Thats all I, you will hear from me no more.
Except a year from now I will strike you back,
Is anyone here man enough for that?”

With that calling rose the noblest of kings,
Grey and wise, but large with strength.
Accepting the challenge, the giver of rings,
From the table a voice spoke, short of length.
'Your majesty, If I may, I have no noble deeds,
Allow me to strike this blow,
If not for honor then for the need,
Lust for blood, and death of this foe.'

With that, the king stood down,
The man, sir gawain, grabbed the weapon
And readied the blade to hit the ground.
Then the green knight's head went off and down.
But to everyones surprise the body in green
Grabbed his head and turned away,
'Remember the deal we made sir gawain,
Come find me in a year and a day.'

A year followed and sir gawain set off.
He was going to keep his promise,
He left without sneer or scoff.
Stopping at a manor with intent to rest,
Inquired of the knight in green.
The lord of the house saying without jest,
'The man you seek lies across the stream,
A two mile ride, it would seem.
If what you tell me is true,
You have three days before your day is due.
In this house, stay with me and my wife too,
We are happy to accommodate you.
But shall we, strike a deal, for fun if nothing more,
Every morning I'll hunt, until sleepy is the sun.
And you will stay within my door.
At night we shall exchange the goods we get bar none.'

To this said sir Gawain,
'My lord i shall play this game.'
The next morning the lord's wife came,
With offerings of love and seduction.
But nay, what a flawless speaker Sir Gawain was,
Meeting every parley with a true explanation.
Resisting temptation of bliss,
But the woman before leaving, stole a kiss.
That night the lord gave sir gawain Venison,
A kiss gave Sir Gawain to the lord in return.

The second day two kisses for a boar,
But the third produced something more.
The lady offered Sir Gawain a belt,
Immortality, she said, leaving through the door.
That night the lord came with a fox,
Sir Gawain gave three kisses,
But not the girdle in the box.

The day after that he set off to find,
The knight in green to settle the deal.
Hearing the sharpening of blades, he made up his mind.
With girdle on his waist he waited to feel,
The green knight's blow when he would keel.

The green knight raised the axe and feigned twice,
On the third blood struck
Sir gawain's neck trickled slowly.
Sir Gawain called shenanigans, which wasn't nice,
The green knight just laughed, and gave a look.
Revealing himself to be the lord of the house,
Knew of the belt, of which he took.
To this he said, as quiet as a mouse,
'You broke the rules, now go back to your nook.
Go back to your town, you cheating thief,
Live in shame you lowlife crook.'