Thursday, 19 April 2007
An extract from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
The gracious green stranger tilted his head and lifted his hair
for all to see his neck laid bare white in the light of the hall.
Left foot forward, Gawain gripped the axe, gathered it high
and down like lightening he slashed that naked neck,
slicing asunder the bones with his blade, the fair flesh of his nape
sheared in two as if the steel that rang on the floor of the hall
had sliced through the finest fat and not that striking Knight.
That heavenly head fell fast to the earth as the fellow’s feet
flicked and kicked at it as it rolled around the room.
The blood burst from the body blackening all that was green,
yet he never faltered, nor fell forward, not for one beat
but this stout Knight moved surely on his sturdy legs and
roughly he reached out among the crowded Camelot ranks,
seizing his wonderful head and raising it for all to stare at.
He stepped to his steed and brought the bridle to his hands,
slipped into his stirrups and stood astride his beast whilst
his missing head was held by the hair, then settled into his
saddle until he was steady as if he had had no mishap, despite
his having no head.
He swung his body about
that bled and ugly trunk
and many felt the dread
by the time he’d had his say.
Posted by Mr Jenkins at 13:04