Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
And far over the French sea Felix Brutus
On many broad hillsides settles Britain
Where war and grief and wonder
Have visited by turns,
And often joy and turmoil
Have alternated since.
(13 - 19)
More wondrous events have occurred in this country
Than in any other I know of, since that same time.
But of all those who dwelt there, of the British kings
Arthur was always judged noblest, as I have heard tell.
And so an actual adventure I mean to relate
Which some men consider a marvellous event,
And a prodigious happening among tales about Arthur.
(23 - 29)
And another habit influenced him too,
Which he had made a point of honour: he would never eat
On such a special day until he had been told
A curious tale about some perilous thing,
Of some great wonder that he could believe,
Of princes, of battles, or other marvels;
Or some knight begged him for a trustworthy foe
To oppose him in jousting.
(90 - 96)