Of the service itself I need say no more,
For well you will know no tittle was wanting.
Another noise and a new was well-nigh at hand.
That the lord might have leave his life to nourish;
For scarce were the sweet strains still in the hall,
And the first course come to that company fair,
There hurtles in at the hall-door an unknown rider,
One the greatest on ground in growth of his frame:
From broad neck to buttocks so bulky and thick,
And his loins and his legs so long and so great,
Half a giant on earth I hold him to be,
But believe him no less that the largest of men,
And that the seemliest in his stature to see, as he rides,
For in the back and in breast though his body was grim,
His waist in its width was worthily small,
And formed with every feature in fair accord
Great wonder grew in hall
At his hue most strange to see,
For man and gear and all
Were green as green could be.
And in guise all of green, the gear and the man:
A coat cut close, that clung to his sides,
And a mantle to match, made with a lining
Of furs cut and fitted-the fabric was noble,
Embellished all with ermine, and his hood beside,
That was loosed from his locks, and laid on his shoulders.
With trim hose and tight, the same tint of green,
His great calves were girt, and gold spurs under
He bore on silk bands that embellished his heels,
And footgear well-fashioned, for riding most fit.
And all his vesture verily was verdant green;
Both the bosses on his belt and other bright gems
That were richly ranged on his raiment noble
About himself and his saddle, set upon silk,
That to tell half the trifles would tax my wits,
The butterflies and birds embroidered thereon
In green of the gayest, with many a gold thread.
The pendants of the breast-band, the princely crupper,
And the bars of the bit were brightly enameled;
And stout stirrups were green, that steadied his feet,
And the bows of the saddle and the side-panels both,
That gleamed all and glinted with green gems about.
The steed he bestrides of that same green
A green horse great and thick;
A headstrong steed of might;
In broidered bridle quick,
Mount matched man aright.
Gay was the goodly man in guise of all green.
And the hair of his head to the horse suited;
Fair flowing tresses enfolded his shoulders;
A beard big as a bush on his breast hangs,
That with his heavy hair, that from his head falls,
Was evened all about above both his elbows,
That half his arms thereunder were hid in the fashion
Of a king's cap-à-dos, that covers his throat.
The mane of that mighty horse much to it like,
Well curled and becombed, and cunningly knotted
with filaments of fine gold amid the fair green,
Here a strand of the hair, here one of gold;
His tail and his foretop twin in their hue,
And bound both with a band of bright green
That was decked adown the dock with dazzling stones
And tied tight at the top with a triple knot
Where many bells well burnished rang bright and clear.
Such a mount in his might, nor man on him riding,
None had seen, I dare swear, with sight in that hall
As lightning quick and light
He looked to all at hand;
It seemed that no man might
His deadly dints withstand.