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How after that King Arthur had tidings, he returned and
came to Dover, where Sir Mordred met him to let his
landing; and of the death of Sir Gawaine

AND so as Sir Mordred was at Dover with his host, there
came King Arthur with a great navy of ships, and galleys,
and carracks.  And there was Sir Mordred ready awaiting
upon his landing, to let his own father to land upon the
land that he was king over.  Then there was launching
of great boats and small, and full of noble men of arms;
and there was much slaughter of gentle knights, and
many a full bold baron was laid full low, on both parties.
But King Arthur was so courageous that there might no
manner of knights let him to land, and his knights fiercely
followed him; and so they landed maugre Sir Mordred
and all his power, and put Sir Mordred aback, that he
fled and all his people.

So when this battle was done, King Arthur let bury
his people that were dead.  And then was noble Sir
Gawaine found in a great boat, lying more than half dead
When Sir Arthur wist that Sir Gawaine was laid so low;
he went unto him; and there the king made sorrow out
of measure, and took Sir Gawaine in his arms, and thrice
he there swooned.  And then when he awaked, he said:
Alas, Sir Gawaine, my sister's son, here now thou liest;
the man in the world that I loved most; and now is my
joy gone, for now, my nephew Sir Gawaine, I will discover
me unto your person: in Sir Launcelot and you I most
had my joy, and mine affiance, and now have I lost my
joy of you both; wherefore all mine earthly joy is gone
from me.  Mine uncle King Arthur, said Sir Gawaine,
wit you well my death-day is come, and all is through
mine own hastiness and wilfulness; for I am smitten upon
the old wound the which Sir Launcelot gave me, on the
which I feel well I must die; and had Sir Launcelot been
with you as he was, this unhappy war had never begun;
and of all this am I causer, for Sir Launcelot and his
blood, through their prowess, held all your cankered
enemies in subjection and daunger.  And now, said Sir
Gawaine, ye shall miss Sir Launcelot.  But alas, I would
not accord with him, and therefore, said Sir Gawaine, I
pray you, fair uncle, that I may have paper, pen, and ink,
that I may write to Sir Launcelot a cedle with mine own

And then when paper and ink was brought, then
Gawaine was set up weakly by King Arthur, for he was
shriven a little to-fore; and then he wrote thus, as the
French book maketh mention:  Unto Sir Launcelot, flower
of all noble knights that ever I heard of or saw by my
days, I, Sir Gawaine, King Lot's son of Orkney, sister's
son unto the noble King Arthur, send thee greeting, and
let thee have knowledge that the tenth day of May I was
smitten upon the old wound that thou gavest me afore the
city of Benwick, and through the same wound that thou
gavest me I am come to my death-day.  And I will that
all the world wit, that I, Sir Gawaine, knight of the Table
Round, sought my death, and not through thy deserving,
but it was mine own seeking; wherefore I beseech thee,
Sir Launcelot, to return again unto this realm, and see
my tomb, and pray some prayer more or less for my soul.
And this same day that I wrote this cedle, I was hurt to
the death in the same wound, the which I had of thy
hand, Sir Launcelot; for of a more nobler man might
I not be slain.  Also Sir Launcelot, for all the love
that ever was betwixt us, make no tarrying, but come
over the sea in all haste, that thou mayst with thy noble
knights rescue that noble king that made thee knight, that
is my lord Arthur; for he is full straitly bestead with a
false traitor, that is my half-brother, Sir Mordred; and he
hath let crown him king, and would have wedded my lady
Queen Guenever, and so had he done had she not put
herself in the Tower of London.  And so the tenth day
of May last past, my lord Arthur and we all landed upon
them at Dover; and there we put that false traitor, Sir
Mordred, to flight, and there it misfortuned me to be
stricken upon thy stroke.  And at the date of this letter
was written, but two hours and a half afore my death,
written with mine own hand, and so subscribed with part
of my heart's blood.  And I require thee, most famous
knight of the world, that thou wilt see my tomb.  And
then Sir Gawaine wept, and King Arthur wept; and then
they swooned both.  And when they awaked both, the
king made Sir Gawaine to receive his Saviour.  And then
Sir Gawaine prayed the king for to send for Sir Launcelot,
and to cherish him above all other knights.

And so at the hour of noon Sir Gawaine yielded up
the spirit; and then the king let inter him in a chapel
within Dover Castle; and there yet all men may see the
skull of him, and the same wound is seen that Sir Launcelot
gave him in battle.  Then was it told the king that
Sir Mordred had pight a new field upon Barham Down.
And upon the morn the king rode thither to him, and
there was a great battle betwixt them, and much people
was slain on both parties; but at the last Sir Arthur's
party stood best, and Sir Mordred and his party fled unto