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A Good Tale of Ipomadon

'Jason! Come and speak with me!' he cried.
'How do you know my name?' asked the other.

The black knight had been far and away the best knight at the tournament, but as evening closed in he rode towards the forest as fast as he could. He looked around and saw Jason.

'Jason! Come and speak with me!' he cried.

'How do you know my name?' asked the other.

'We were once friends! I have jousted here for three days and each day in a different colour. And I thank God that I have achieved so much and performed so well! Greet your lady for me and tell her that you have spoken to me when I was a white knight, then a red knight, and now a black. For I must go. Greet that beautiful lady a thousand times for me. Do this for me, my friend, and tell her that I shall speak with her at leisure sometime, if God wills it. Tell her this from me.'

'Sir!' exclaimed Jason. 'If you leave her like this she will be destroyed!'

Ipomadon rode into the crowd and Jason lost him.

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Thus endyd the turnamente
In faythe it is not to hyde.
The blake knyght was off dedys beste
And boldyste durste abyde.

The full tale of Ipomadon in Middle English verse survives in a substantial, late-fifteenth century manuscript known as Chetham 8009, lying in Chetham's Library, Manchester, England. Composed sometime in the late-fourteenth or very-early-fifteenth century, this version of Ipomadon is a reasonably faithful translation of a late-twelfth century work in Anglo-Norman French by Hue de Rotelande, a poet who composed his tale at the same time that Chrétien de Troyes was writing his Arthurian romances.
(read the full story in Modern English)


Anglo-Norman literature - Wikipedia

Medieval Romance - Wikipedia

Ipomadon - Wikipedia

Sir Gowther - Wikipedia

Middle English version of Hue de Roteland's Ipomadon, edited by Rhiannon Purdie, 2001, available through the Early English Text Society (EETS)


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