| Quote #7
For though men are light-hearted when they have strong drink,
This passage is basically a reverse of the maxim "time heals all wounds." The point is that, in time, people’s moods can change. In this case, people who were merry and celebrating at the end of one year will be somber when the next one rolls around, for then, Gawain will embark on his death-march.
| Quote #8
And so that Yule went by, and the year ensuing,
These lines and the ones that follow describe the seasons mostly in terms of what happens in the natural world. The season of Lent, however, is characterized by the deprivation it forces men to endure - the fasting and abstention brought on by the Church’s Lenten fasting.
| Quote #9
But then the weather on earth battles with winter,
The poem’s description of the summer contains a lot of personification - in other words, it attributes human actions to non-human things. The weather does "battle" with winter, like a soldier, and "open fields and woodlands" dress themselves in green like someone preparing for a ball. The emphasis here is on the new life that the rain unleashes. The imagery engages four of the five senses: touch with "warm showers," hearing with its references to birdsong, smell with the suggestion of blossoming flowers and sight with the image as a whole.