Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Conte de Green Knight

Conte de Green Knight (…or, the Dark Seraph)


 (Short marvelous tales…)

Conte de Green Knight

I dare say, but I will, if a man can seize his
head in his hands, after decapitation
(as it was done by Sir. Gawain, to the Green Knight)
He is nothing less than a ghost, and perhaps a little more.
And then, talk to his decapitator. What kind
of man can stand before another and do that,
with green skin to his bones. And so in this
case we eliminate all the possibilities and get
right down to the facts, he is more than he seems,
and for a good reason, and I shall tell you that
story for posterity sake in a moment.

Sir Gawain beheaded the Green Knight, by allowing
him to take the first swing of an axe, but in return,
he would have to meet the Green Knight again, and let
him have his turn.  Quite a test for a knight is it not.
And would Gawain be true to his honor? These of course
were the testing tools for the Green Knight. And is it not
a fine reputation for a Knight, above all other things?
That was perhaps the main theme in the
back of the Green Knight’s mind.

Well, Gawain did return to the chapel where the Green Knight
was, one year later (for he had seen him prior to this, with
Florencia), and now bowed his head to be cut off
by none other than the Green Knight. But Gawain
was no fool, he put a special metal strap around
his neck to protect it, yet, he still got a wound,
but he got to walk away with his head and neck
firmly attached, and his honor unbroken.

Yes indeed, Gawain did a very shrewd thing. On the
other hand, the Green Knight used his wit and
wisdom to test the Knight’s integrity, almost
devilishly,  but then the Green Knight, he believed I suppose,
“A virtue is not a virtue until tested under fire.”

So now I will tell you with all sincerity, and simplicity,
my belief in this marvelous tale of tales,
I will need your undivided attention, for it is not like
the other medieval romances, rather it is beyond that,
if not close to a tragedy of tragedies.
And perhaps better said: the primitive instincts
inside of man, those hungry ghosts,
can at times, and will,  become brutality.

(Let it be said: a woman loves whole heartily; but love is
not the whole of man)

 The Great Hall of Camelot
The Dark Ages

(AD 400-800)

The Dialogue of Florencia and the Green Knight


Twilight-time in the Great Hall of the mediaeval castle; Men-at arms stand idly here and there

     …one of them holds up a cup of wine, his name is Gawain, as if to give it to a young lovely lady, her name is Florencia. She is about to walk away, she senses something, a being besides Gawain….!

Gawain: “I beg you, take this wine, it is good.”

Florencia: “‘t is good for sleep, and I am not yet ready!”

Then a green mist starts to show, unwittingly the blade of Gawain slowly comes out of his sheath:

Florencia: “Pardon my unbelief, Great Knight of the Round Table, go pour me a fresh drink, my thirst is great, for England’s dust lingers in my throat….”

GK: “‘T is well. Wine’s a decent craze!” said a voice lingering within the mist.  “…to your sweet face, dear lady, and your warm heart I will let Gawain live for to draw a sword, or to nearly do so, is to infer the fight has started, it was wise to have him flee, I would cast him, as the shout of my voice raised into groans!”

Florencia: “Ah, pardon me!  Forgive me mighty sire! For are you the Green Knight, the one whom only the bravest have seen, the one and only Coeur de Lion?

GK: “I squander Knights breathe on one who insults me, I give you honesty, go braid your mouth, O slanderers lady!”

Florencia: “And this I swear by all my heart, Behold, a portion of me already belongs to you, long since upon my birth I have wanted the greatest of trees, not the twig! My birthday is today, I am nineteen, and it is not strange at all of me, once bereaved, for my father was the greatest of knights, and I cannot wed a lower…”

Green Knight (with a murmur): “You put it utterly to the point, my fair lady! You are an eagle, and I accept your apology. If that indeed is what it is.”

Florencia: “I sense your blood is as green as your mist my lord, I know none such of your kind—cold as church-bells of iron in winter, and warm as a hearth’s fire, this is the first feast of winter-time, here at Camlet! My soul now breaths like flowers’ tryst…!”

GK: “A curse is to the one that harms you, be it me, or any soul or demon that would allure you!”

Florencia: “You are admirable, but tell me more, more about the lion and the fable behind you, the champion, has he not seen the wars, is there no peer, can I have consolation in his love, or  must I fear.  I hear I could never lose him on the battlefield, ere; would it be sire or wife, or husband and wife? I am but a young pine that stands too close to a grandparent tree…is this not ill for each? Have you a gentle heart?”

GK: “And suppose I had…for I am filled sick of rootless wandering the world from age to age, I now look upon you. Be gone! Or if you stay, it maybe, that I take you in haste with burning hands, love is here, long waited, so be-gone or if you stay as long as the troubadour sings, when he stops you will be mine.”

(And it was that the king’s minstrels started to sing and play their instruments thereafter.)

The Dialogue of Florencia and the Sir Gawain


The Great Hall of Camelot
Gawain Returns
              Florencia at the Feast Hall

Florencia moved by a grand-pillar of the Castle. Gawain, the favorite Knight of legend and lore, approaches her, walks to her,
 stands face to face, toe to toe, with her cup of wine,
 she is the youth of spring flowers;
it is now the last of twilight.

The hue of the mist starts to engulf Florencia’s arms and around her breasts; she almost falls into a sleep, as if mixed in a bottle full of love potions….

Gawain (in a stupor :) “I sorrow for thy lady—such a hue on your face, I have slain others for beguiling blossoms of my heart…who is it in this room you fancy, who stops thy timid heart: forget the darkness that covers twilight, and the silence of our moment, I am your refuge in this peopled hall.

Florencia (in a toxic mood.): “She lives, yes for another man, like a horizon, ready to be gathered, ready to rise, and perhaps perish, but in peace.”

Gawain: “You will have your peace in tomb’s blackness, which gives peace-less-ness to such a foolish flame inside a young woman’s heart, I shall quench the fire, let me know who the mighty gem is, and your secret will remain with me, and I will bring him death.”

The Dialogue of Florencia and Sir Gawain


The mist rips—a shape develops, slightly, Gawain,
Pulls his sword, Florencia holds her breath
As if to say, ‘What now?’

The blade touches the shoulder of the Green Knight
Not quite fully visible yet, His sword
Disincarnates into

Gawain:  “For all kings have yearned for such a knight that we be spirit and flesh, and abilities hide in one’s own mist—subdue me if you can, host of constrain!”

GK: I have broken your strength, keep from my doom—lest your flesh vanish like fire quenched.”

(A long Silence.)

GK:  “Come now Florencia, speedily, night falls over Camelot, like a black star. Thy price thou know’st lady, when the minstrel stops I shall go—speak now or speak nevermore of this.  ‘Pain and love rules me of this moment—who dares to pay my price—not flesh, not any; yet if they could they would take my life,—but there is no knight or king can conquer it. Only you can subdue me, life is either an exploration or naught.”’ 

Florencia moves closer into the mist, as the Green Knight now transforms into a clearer image of who he is in the flesh. Gawain turns and disappears into the crowd, he realizes he cannot blow out the torch inside Florencia’s heart, and the Green Knight has acted within the Code of the Knights, he cannot take death, he is bound to his fate, his lot in life, and there, he does not take advantage of his superiority, as he has allowed Gawain to stand firm with chivalry; but neither will he allow him or anyone to put his love for Florencia in jeopardy.

Florencia notices many lords and knights now at the long tables, bright banners are brought up to the tables where the feast is to take place, the music continues to play, as plates are now put onto the tables, and meats and vegetables, breads and soups are being carried out…

GK: “In this mysterious light, that reflects throughout the hall, thou art so strangely beautiful, you consume me! Temptation transcends me, as if I am put into a new world. Do not be surprised—loveliness, forsake this world, and come into mine—deny, abjure this life; for we shall see disastrous days but perish I shall not, and therefore, you do not have to worry: I am the price, and be it what it may.”

Florencia: “All men of flesh are mad, alas! What road is left for a woman of flesh, a pearl today I may be, but when I am old, then what?”

GK: “We shall dim the winter lamp, when the time comes.”

Florencia:  “How then shall I win thy kiss…?”

GK:  “Thou soon shall see me fully in flesh, for you will see my age shall mock thy youth. Bring then your lips—like gems to mine.”

Florencia:  “Thou does amuse me, my lord!” then looking upon his countenance, her eyes continued to talk: “You are wiser than most men I have known…wiser than those who have questioned you I would guess, and you have cheated for years, as an old man cheats for days. And you see my eyes gleam for thee, lit with the light of some mysterious love.”

GK: “For what the god’s desire, I have thrown away, until now. And the gods are but the power fools who wish to be looked upon as gods. You will be my citadel, I will be your storm, and duty, love and reason will guide us.”

The Green Knight Philosophizes

GK:  “Perhaps the brave dead are braver than the brave living…for I have seen traitors spawn (what need be) for treasures, sacred or not, out of self-interest. I have fought and found the battles I fight for others are all in vain. In a moment’s time the music will stop, and you will touch my fleshly lips with your gems, burn for me in this last moment! I promise once in my arms, thou shall receive the joy of ten-thousand years, and all the love I have saved.”

(The music stops. And in the Green Knight’s mind, he whispers ‘Betray me now, or go forward. Nay, I shall not try to win thee twice.’
       Gawain is in the distance, by the tables of food, staring over at Florencia, he is unsure of her fate.  He keeps touching his sword, as if he is trying to talk himself into something.)

Continuation of: The Epic in Poetic Form
Guinevere’s Arrival

Yester-eve had arrived, merriment was at hand,
Queen Guinevere showed her presence at the party
of King Arthur’s niece; there was a lovelier lady than she,
and she notice her, Florencia, and the uninvited
guest, the Green Knight was standing near a pillar,
now clear as day, they had kissed, it pleased the
Green Knight to become visible; ere, this lovely lady
walked slowly towards the doors, her hand in his.

The king looked at them both, she was of royalty,
and her ancestors were like King Arthur’s, Roman
decent. She was the daughter of Loth, the niece
of King Arthur.

They walked, sensing the eyes of Gawain following
them: as well as Guinevere’s eyes, and the King’s;
Bishop Baldwin was present and fifty trumpets sounded,
and the king sat down at the head of the table,
and Gawain left, disappeared into the darkness.

It was the noblest of feasts—yet Florencia
would not turn back to join the Knights, and King, she
was centered on the Green Knight, followed him proudly
to the high arched doors of the castle.

(In the background there was much beer and large
amounts of food, but she would not eat, nor drink
with her kind, her stomach was in a romantic frenzy,
her skin like goose skin, her heart pumping wildly.)

Florencia’s Youth

(Narrator :)  Now of this feast I will say little to nothing more—for I am sure this is not to your partiality, such details can be boring. But
from the noise came a voice,
then Florencia drew near to it, and she could hear him now breathing,
 actually hear his heart beating, over the music,
the drums and pipes
within the Great Hall. She could not leave him, in consequence
  she allowed all to pass her
(this youthful beauty of nineteen).
All the garments of the Green Knight were Green: a fine robe of green,
that covered his shoulders; he, himself was finely trimmed,
handsome, and with thick locks of hair.  His horse
was green, a stallion.
As many looked on towards these two figures, they knew
who this noble knight was, his reputation
 preceded him. Gladness filled
the eyes of Florencia as
grief filled the king’s.

Guinevere’s Monologue

Brave and bold he stood, the Green Knight, as young knights came to and fro, unsure of what to do, the Green Knight was completely visible in the flesh. All could see him escorting Florencia towards the doors. Sir Gawain moved slowly and Guinevere, whom appeared most happily, said:
       “The Green Knight is the finest competitor of us all, adored by many, throughout the ages, if indeed Florencia wishes to leave with him—unless there be some good reason, thus: lords, ladies, and knights, do not interfere.”
       And the soldiers let him pass without a movement; although the king was not so happy, nor as courteous as Guinevere was, but did not contradict his wife.
       Therefore by the look of the king, and voice of the Queen, did all abide, and stood not in their way.
       “Go your way in bliss, abode together and whatever life you find, may you live to enjoy it,” said Guinevere, and then she sat down at the long table. But Gawain was not as pleased, nor as kept back.

The Dialogues

Outside the Halls of Camelot
 The Dialogue of Florencia, Gawain, and the Green Knight


The Sorrows

Gawain:  “Thou shall come with me to the feast, for what remains of the night!”

(There is no music, and both the Green Knight and Florencia stand outside by the castle door now, and below them, the many steps that lead into the front courtyard;  Gawain has met and blocked them both where they stand.)

GK:  “Trouble thee not thy heart Florencia! Come closer to me; cast thy arms around me, for I love thee.”

Gawain:  “Surely you have said that to many—blind you are Florencia, sweet flow’rs of youth, do not give them to a ghost, he has sorcery to bind your heart!”

(Then Gawain pulls out his sword and with a downward thrust, slices open the Green Knight like a watermelon, it is deep, the sword descends through him like butter, and through his back, and into the midsection of Florencia, and into her internal organs.  She will bleed to death soon, and she knows it. The Ghost of the Green Knight seals his wound, within seconds, as if it were a scratch, and as fast as a whirlwind, he pulls his sword, towers over Gawain, and is ready to slice through him from head to heel, at which time, the dying Florencia speaks):

       “And on your tongue rests revenge and death, my love, slay not Gawain, no, it is not for him to die, and for you to hate and horror be place in your heart, let me die in your arms at peace, and spare my once protector…”  (…and so it was!)

The Grieving of Gawain

Gawain lifts his body up to a straight posture out of a fighting stance—the Green Knight now kneels beside his Florencia, taking a last and final kiss, then she falls backwards into death.

Gawain: “I have slain my king’s niece, and soon will cast myself against my own sword—for I have cheated her out of life, and the world of her beauty, I will stand soon before the sightless dead.”

(The Green Knight’s body was warm, and so still was hers, and as she lay into his arms, the mist around him opened up her pours, and it seeped into her…)

GK: “O fool thou have gained nothing from this, and from two kisses I have gained much. Thy sword shall not obtain thee peace by death. I shall return in a year, gather thy strength, for thou shall need it all! I will have a proposition for thee!”

(The Green knight Whispers: ‘No matter what, today has made beautiful my past, and I shall remember it until my last hour!’)

The Green Knight vanishes among the great castle towers, while Gawain carries Florencia into the Great Hall of Camelot, and one can hear the echoes of a Great Knight’s moaning…!

The author’s poetic epic was outlined in 7-9-2007, and thereafter researched, and written and edited several times throughout a five year period, to March of 2012 for publication thereafter: again reedited in September of 2014. The Romantic Tragedy, is that of the author’s imagination, in poetic prose for the most part, although bits and pieces, such as the decapitation, date back to the French version, without the Romance, to the 9th Century. Florencia’s character is strictly of the author’s imagination. #1901 N (short version) 

End to the Tale of the Green Knight