CleoTheWarriorMaiden (warriormaiden) wrote in knightsnswords,
CleoTheWarriorMaiden
warriormaiden
knightsnswords

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Ragnell


http://www.lone-star.net/mall/literature/gawain.htm
"Ah, Sir Gawain, since I have married you,
Show me a little courtesy in bed.
You cannot rightfully deny me that.
Indeed, Sir Gawain," the lady said,
If I were beautiful,
You would act a bit differently.
But you take no heed of marriage.
Still, for Arthur's sake, kiss me at least.
I ask that you do it,
So we can see how you manage."

Sir Gawain said, "I will do more
Than kiss, I swear to God!"
So he turned…
And saw she was
The fairest creature alive.
"Jesus!" he said. "What are you?"

"Sir, I am certainly your wife.
Why are you unkind to me?"

"Ah, lady, I am to blame.
I ask you mercy, fair madam.
I hadn't realized. You are so beautiful,
And earlier you were the ugliest woman
I have ever seen.
I am happy, lady, to see you thus."
So he embraced her in his arms
And began to kiss her
And made great joy, certainly.

"Sir," she said, "thus shall you have me.
By God, choose one--for my beauty will not hold.
Choose whether you will have me
Beautiful in the nights
And as ugly in the days, when men see me,
Or else have me beautiful in the day
And the ugliest woman in the nights.
One or the other you must have. Choose.
Choose, sir knight, which is more important
To your honor."

"Alas!" said Gawain, "the choice is hard.
Choosing the best is difficult.
I don't know what to choose.
To have you beautiful
At night and no more,
That would grieve my heart.
And I would lose my reputation.
But if I choose to have you beautiful in the day,
Then at night I would have slim pickings.
Now, gladly would I choose the best,
But I don't know what in the world to say.
Choose what you think best, happy lady.
The choice I put into your hand.
Do as you want, as you choose.
Untie me when you will, for I am bound.
I give the decision to you.
Body, possessions, heart and everything,
It is all yours, to buy and sell.
This I swear to God."

"Thank you, courteous knight," said the lady.
Of all the earth's knights, may you be blessed.
For now I am worshipped.
You shall have me beautiful both day and night,
And always I shall be fair and bright.
Therefore, grieve not,
For I was transformed through necromancy
By my stepmother, God have mercy on her.
She changed me by enchantment
From my true form--
Until the best of England
Had truly married me
And given me sovereignty
Over his body and all his goods.
Thus I was deformed,
And you, sir knight, courteous Gawain,
Have given me sovereignty indeed.
Never will you be sorry for that.
Kiss me, sir knight, right now,
I pray you. Be glad and make good cheer.
For all has turned out well."

Then they had joy beyond imagination,
The natural way of two people alone.
She thanked God and Mary
That she was recovered from her ugliness.
And so did Sir Gawain.
He made mirth in her bedroom
And gave many thanks to our savior, I can tell you.
With joy and mirth they stayed awake all night.

*********The complete story is in the above link***********
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