Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

From Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by Simon Armitage:
It was Christmas at Camelot--King Arthur's court,
where the great and the good of the land had gathered,
all the righteous lords of the ranks of the Round Table
quite properly carousing and reveling in pleasure.
Time after time, in tournaments of joust,
they had lunged at each other with leveled lances
then returned to the castle to carry on their caroling,
for the feasting lasted a full fortnight and one day,
with more food and drink than a fellow could dream of.
The hubbub of their humor was heavenly to hear:
pleasant dialogue by day and dancing after dusk,
so the house and its hall were lit with happiness
and lords and ladies were luminous with joy.
May Christmas find you at your family's Camelot, your table ringed with loved ones, the hubbub of their humor heavenly to hear--or, as the Middle English has it, "Such glaum ande gle glorious to here"--and nary a Green Knight in sight.

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