Now Lords and Ladies blithe and bold, To bless you here now am I bound: I thank you all a thousand-fold, And pray God save you whole and sound; Wherever you go on grass or ground, May he you guide that nought you grieve, For friendship that I here have found Against my will I take my leave. For friendship and for favours good, For meat and drink you heaped on me, The Lord that raised was on the Rood Now keep you comely company. On sea or land where’er you be, May he you guide that nought you grieve Such fair delight you laid on me Against my will I take my leave. Against my will although I wend, I may not always tarry here; For everything must have an end, And even friends must part, I fear; Be we beloved however dear Out of this world death will us reave, And when we brought are to our bier Against our will we take our leave. Now good day to you, goodmen all, And good day to you, young and old, And good day to you, great and small, And grammercy a thousand-fold! If ought there were that dear ye hold, Full fain I would the deed achieve — Now Christ you keep from sorrows cold For now at last I take my leave.
('Gawain's Leave-Taking', transl. J.R.R. Tolkien)
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