The Green Knight

A look of lightning flashed
from somewhere in his soul.
The force of that man’s fist
would be a thunderbolt.

Yet he wore no helmet and no hauberk either,
no armored apparel or plate was apparent,
and he swung no sword nor sported any shield,
but held in one hand a sprig of holly —
of all the evergreens the greenest ever —
and in the other hand held the mother of all axes,
a cruel piece of kit I kid you not.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: a new verse translation by Simon Armitage

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