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22 April 2012 @ 02:42 pm
Fitt 3 Stanza 4  

" God moroun, sir Gawayn, " sayde þat fayr lady,
"Good morrow, sir Gawain," said that fair lady,

" 3e ar a sleper vn-sly3e, þat mon may slyde hider;
"You are not a sly sleeper, that man may slide hither.

Now ar 3e tan astyt, bot true vus may schape,
Now you are taken off-kilter, but we may unkink you.

I schal bynde yow in your bedde, þat be 3e trayst: "
I shall bind you in your bed; lay bare your trust."

Al la3ande þe lady lanced þo bourde3.
All laughing, the lady launched those bawdries.

" Goud moroun gaye, " quod Gawayn þe blyþe,
"Good morrow, gay lady" quoth Gawain the blithe,

" Me schal worþe at your wille, & þat me wel lyke3,
"I shall be at your will & I shall like that well,

For I 3elde me 3ederly, & 3e3e after grace,
For I yield myself freely, & cry for your mercy,

& þat is þe best, be my dome, for me by-houe3 nede; "
& believe it is best. Be my domme, for I'm obliged by my bond."

& þus he bourded a-3ayn with mony a blyþe la3ter.
& thus he bandied back with many a blithe laughter,

" Bot wolde 3e, lady louely, þen leue me grante,
"But would you, lovely lady, then grant me leave

& de-prece your prysoun, & pray hym to ryse,
& parole your prisoner & pray him to rise.

I wolde bo3e of þis bed, & busk me better,
I would bound out of bed & bedeck myself better

I schulde keuer þe more comfort to karp yow wyth. "
& should recover much comfort for chatting with you."

" Nay, for soþe, beau sir, " sayd þat swete,
"Nay, forsooth fine sir," said that fair sweet,

" 3e schal not rise of your bedde, I rych yow better,
"You shall not rise off your bed; I'll array you better.

I schal happe yow here þat oþer half als,
I shall wrap you right up the rest of the way

& syþen karp wyth my kny3t þat I ka3t haue;
& know better my knight that I have nabbed napping.

For I wene wel, Iwysse, sir Wawen 3e are,
For I am surely certain that you are Sir Gawain,

Þat alle þe worlde worchipe3, quere-so 3e ride;
That all the world worships wherever you ride.

Your honour, your hendelayk is hendely praysed
Your name, your nobility are notably praised

With lorde3, wyth ladyes, with alle þat lyf bere.
By lords, by ladies, by all that bear life.

& now 3e ar here, iwysse, & we bot oure one;
& now you are here & we're on our own.

" My lorde & his lede3 ar on lenþe faren,
My lord & his lackeys are riding at length,

Oþer burne3 in her bedde, & my burde3 als,
Other barons in their beds & my maidens besides,

Þe dor drawen, & dit with a derf haspe;
The door drawn & done with a good sturdy hasp,

& syþen I haue in þis hous hym þat al lyke3,
& since I have in this house him that all like,

I schal ware my whyle wel, quyl hit laste3,
I shall wear my while well, while it lasts,

        with tale;
        with tale.

    3e ar welcum to my cors,
    You're welcome to my whole;

    Yowre awen won to wale,
    Of my separate parts avail.

    Me be-houe3 of fyne force,
    It's my required role:

    Your seruaunt be & schale. "
    Your servant without fail."

Mark E. Phairistgut on May 7th, 2012 06:44 am (UTC)
I wonder if the Python crew was familiar with this when they wrote Holy Grail. The Castle Anthrax seems like a pretty well lifted. Just did a google search, and I am very clearly not the first to make this connection, nor did I expect that I was :)

Now, as far as the translations go, I haven't decided which of these lines is my favorite of this stanza:
My lord & his lackeys are riding at length,
& believe it is best. Be my domme, for I'm obliged by my bond."

mister_b33 on May 7th, 2012 02:48 pm (UTC)
I expect the the translation of 'dome' to 'domme' is the most controversial, if for no other reason that 'domme' does not yet appear in most dictionaries. Here are my thoughts on this choice. 'Dome' is where we get the Modern English word 'doom', but it did not yet perhaps have the modern meanings of death and ruin. I believe we get the modern 'doom' through the word 'Doomsday' which earlier just meant 'Judgement Day'. Earlier meanings of 'doom' seem to be all legal in nature, having to do with laws, judges, and judging, and judgement. I believe the best literal translation of 'dome' in this stanza is 'judge'. I feel that 'domme' captures the power exchange aspects of the judge/prisoner relationship, stays in the context of the lady's proposal of bondage, and also ties in to the flirting sexuality of the whole stanza.