Sacred Texts  Legends and Sagas  Index  BOOK IX  Previous  Next 


How Sir Tristram smote down Sir Palomides, and how he
jousted with King Arthur, and other feats.

SO the King of Northgalis and the King with the Hundred Knights,
they two encountered with King Carados and with the King of
Ireland; and there the King with the Hundred Knights smote down
King Carados, and the King of Northgalis smote down the King of
Ireland.  With that came in Sir Palomides, and when he came he
made great work, for by his indented <410>shield he was well
known.  So came in King Arthur, and did great deeds of arms
together, and put the King of Northgalis and the King with the
Hundred Knights to the worse.  With this came in Sir Tristram
with his black shield, and anon he jousted with Sir Palomides,
and there by fine force Sir Tristram smote Sir Palomides over his
horse's croup.  Then King Arthur cried:  Knight with the Black
Shield, make thee ready to me, and in the same wise Sir Tristram
smote King Arthur.  And then by force of King Arthur's knights
the King and Sir Palomides were horsed again.  Then King Arthur
with a great eager heart he gat a spear in his hand, and there
upon the one side he smote Sir Tristram over his horse.  Then
foot-hot Sir Palomides came upon Sir Tristram, as he was upon
foot, to have overridden him.  Then Sir Tristram was ware of him,
and there he stooped aside, and with great ire he gat him by the
arm, and pulled him down from his horse.  Then Sir Palomides
lightly arose, and then they dashed together mightily with their
swords; and many kings, queens, and lords, stood and beheld them. 
And at the last Sir Tristram smote Sir Palomides upon the helm
three mighty strokes, and at every stroke that he gave him he
said:  This for Sir Tristram's sake.  With that Sir Palomides
fell to the earth grovelling.

Then came the King with the Hundred Knights, and brought Sir
Tristram an horse, and so was he horsed again.  By then was Sir
Palomides horsed, and with great ire he jousted upon Sir Tristram
with his spear as it was in the rest, and gave him a great dash
with his sword.  Then Sir Tristram avoided his spear, and gat him
by the neck with his both hands, and pulled him clean out of his
saddle, and so he bare him afore him the length of ten spears,
and then in the presence of them all he let him fall at his
adventure.  Then Sir Tristram was ware of King Arthur with a
naked sword in his hand, and with his spear Sir Tristram ran upon
King Arthur; and then King Arthur boldly abode him and with his
sword he smote a-two his spear, and therewithal Sir Tristram
stonied; and so King Arthur gave him three or four <411>strokes
or he might get out his sword, and at the last Sir Tristram drew
his sword and [either] assailed other passing hard.  With that
the great press departed [them].  Then Sir Tristram rode here and
there and did his great pain, that eleven of the good knights of
the blood of King Ban, that was of Sir Launcelot's kin, that day
Sir Tristram smote down; that all the estates marvelled of his
great deeds and all cried upon the Knight with the Black Shield.