Proem to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (from Middle English)

I posted a throw-away translation of the first stanza of this rightly celebrated Middle English poem just for kicks on Twitter, and people really liked it. Somebody even commissioned me anonymously to do more of it — for God only knows what reason. Not that I'm not appreciative, of course, but it feels like yet another modern English translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a bit superfluous. I mean, a new version of this thing comes out like every decade, and translating Middle English into modern English feels . And you want yet another? People are weird. Anyway, the complete commission called for the first couple hundred lines, and I'm not posting that much here because reasons. But here's the proem.

On the other hand, most recordings of Middle English literature utterly fail at maintaining what is known about actual Middle English phonology. So, I've included a recording of the two stanzas in the original, in a reconstruction of how English was pronounced in the West Midlands in the late 14th century. 

Proem to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
By the Gawain Poet (duh)
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

After the siege and the assault on the city of Troy
When that fortress was felled in flame into ashes
And the knight who crafted the cunning decoys
Was tried for his treachery, the truest on earth,
It was hero Aeneas and his high-born kin
Who went conquering abroad, and became masters
Of well-nigh all the wealth in the Westland Isles.
When Royal Romulus goes careering to Rome
With strength and splendor he sets up the city, 
Which is known even now by the name he gave it,
So too Ticius to Tuscany, constructing townships
And Longobeard to Lombardy where he lay foundations,
And far over the French sea, one Felix Brutus 
On broad-sloping banks founds Britain, where our story
    Where war and woe and wonders
    Have left their many prints,
    Where happiness and horror
    Have cycled ever since. 
And when this Britain was built by that brave noble
Bold lords were bred there, battle-happy men
Who kept turning to trouble with the returning years.
There have been more awful marvels met in that country 
Than any other I know of since the earliest days. 
But of all who there castled,  of the Kings of Britain,
Great Arthur was the noblest, as everyone knows.
And so I aim to call up an epic event
Which has struck many men   as amazingly strange,
One of the weirdest of all the wonders of Arthur,
If you will listen to my lay for a little while
I'll tell it straight as I heard it recited in the hall
    From records rightly written
    With firm and faithful pen,
    Heard loud and long in Britain
    Of old from honest men.

The Original:

Siþen þe sege and þe assaut     watz sesed at troye,
þe borȝ brittened and brent     to brondez and askez
þe tulk þat þe trammes     of tresoun þer wroȝt(e)
watz tried for his tricherie,     þe trewest on erþe:
hit watz ennias þe athel     and his highe kynde
þat siþen depreced prouinces   and patrounes bicome
welneȝe of al þe wele     in þe west iles.
Fro riche romulus to rome     ricchis hym swyþe,
with gret bobbaunce þat burȝ     he biges vpon fyrst(e)
and neuenes hit his aune nome,     as hit now hat(e);
ticius to tuskan     and teldes bigynnes,
langaberde in lumbardie     lyftes vp homes;
and fer ouer þe french flod     felix brutus
on mony bonkkes ful brode     bretayn he settez
                    wyth wynne,
          where werre and wrake and wonder
          bi syþez hatz wont þerinne,
          and oft boþe blysse and blunder
          ful skete hatz skyfted synne.
Ande quen þis bretayn watz bigged    bi þis burn rych(e),
bolde bredden þerinne      baret þat lofden,
in mony turned tyme      tene þat wroȝten.
Mo ferlyes on þis folde      han fallen here oft(e)
þen in any oþer þat I wot      syn þat ilk tyme.
bot of al þat here bult,      of bretaygne kynges,
aye watz arthur þe hendest,      as I haf herde telle.
forþi an aunter in erde      I attle to schewe,
þat a selly in siȝt      summe men hit holden
and an outtrage awenture      of arthurez wonderez.
If ȝe wyl lysten to þis laye      bot on littel quile,
I schal telle hit as tit(e),      as I in toun herde
                    with tonge,
          as hit is stad and stoken
          in stori stif and stronge,
          with lel(e) lettres loken
          in londe so hatz ben longe.

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