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Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, The Song of Roland, Beowulf (Penguin Epics, #14), Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Nibelungenlied, The Mabinogion, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo, The Death of King Arthur, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Cleanness, Patience
Written by an anonymous 14th-century poet, this epic poem is recognized as an equal of Chaucer's masterworks and of the great Old English poems, including "Beowulf." This edition includes a Preface by Raffel and a new Introduction. Revised reissue., Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Pearl are two poems by an unknown author written in about 1400. Sir Gawain is a romance, a fairy-tale for adults, full of life and colour; but it is also much more than this, being at the same time a powerful moral tale which examines religious and social values.
Pearl is apparently an elegy on the death of a child, a poem pervaded with a sense of great personal loss: but, like Gawain it is also a sophisticated and moving debate on much less tangible matters.
Sir Orfeo is a slighter romance, belonging to an earlier and different tradition. It was a special favourite of Tolkien's. The three translations represent the complete rhyme and alliterative schemes of the originals., "Roland sent que ses yeux ne voient plus. Il se remet debout et rassemble ses dernires forces. Son visage n'a plus de couleurs. Devant lui se trouve une roche grise. Il la frappe de dix coups d'pe avec colre, avec dpit. L'acier grince sans se briser ni s'brcher. "Ah ! prie le comte, sainte Marie, au secours ! Ah ! Durendal, ma bonne pe, quel malheur pour vous ! Puisque me voil perdu, je ne suis plus dsormais responsable de vous. Grce vous j'ai remport tant de victoires sur les champs de bataille et conquis tant de vastes territoires que possde maintenant Charles dont la barbe est toute blanche. Ne tombez jamais aux mains d'un guerrier capable de fuir devant un autre. Vous avez appartenu longtemps un vaillant seigneur. Jamais on ne reverra pareille pe dans la sainte France""., Recounting the final days of Arthur, this thirteenth-century French version of the Camelot legend, written by an unknown author, is set in a world of fading chivalric glory. It depicts the Round Table diminished in strength after the Quest for the Holy Grail, and with its integrity threatened by the weakness of Arthur's own knights. Whispers of Queen Guinevere's infidelity with his beloved comrade-at-arms Sir Lancelot profoundly distress the trusting King, leaving him no match for the machinations of the treacherous Sir Mordred. The human tragedy of The Death of King Arthur so impressed Malory that he built his own Arthurian legend on this view of the court - a view that profoundly influenced the English conception of the 'great' King.