Medieval Arthurian Legend
Stanzaic Le Morte Arthur
14th century, Middle English, British Library.
At the last moment, a knight arrives to defend the Queen. But nobody knows who he is. Sir Lancelot speaks to King Arthur as though he is a stranger.
Queen Guinevere has been falsely accused of poisoning a Scottish knight and his brother insists upon justice being done. Either a knight will defend her in combat, or she shall be burnt at the stake. At the last moment, a knight arrives to defend the Queen. But nobody knows who he is.
His steed and armour all was blake [black], his visor over his eyen fall. It is Sir Lancelot, but nobody knows this. King Arthur asks if the knight wishes to dismount and eat and drink with them.
Launcelot spake as a strange knight: ‘Nay, sir,’ he said as swithe [quickly]. ‘I herde tell here of a fight.'
Story fragment recounted from: Benson, Larry D. revised by Foster, Edward E (Eds) 1994. King Arthur's Death: the Middle English Stanzaic Morte Arthur and Alliterative Morte Arthure. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Western Michigan University for TEAMS. Medieval Institute Publications. The Middle English text of the STANZAIC MORTE ARTHUR from British Library MS Harley 2252.