Le Morte d'Arthur BOOK V CHAPTER XI
Legends and Sagas
How the Saracens came out of a wood for to rescue their
beasts, and of a great battle.
THEN Sir Florence called to him Sir Floridas, with an hundred
knights, and drove forth the herd of beasts. Then followed him
seven hundred men of arms; and Sir Ferant of Spain on a fair
steed came springing out of the woods, and came to Sir Florence
and asked him why he fled. Then Sir Florence took his spear and
rode against him, and smote him in the forehead and brake his
neck bone. Then all the other were moved, and thought to avenge
the death of Sir Ferant, and smote in among them, and there was
great fight, and many slain and laid down to ground, and Sir
Florence with his hundred knights alway kept the stale, and
Then when Priamus the good knight perceived the great fight, he
went to Sir Gawaine, and bade him that he should go and succour
his fellowship, which were sore bestead with their enemies. Sir,
grieve you not, said Sir Gawaine, for their gree shall be theirs.
I shall not once move my horse to them ward, but if I see more
than there be; for they be strong enough to match them.
And with that he saw an earl called Sir Ethelwold and the duke of
Dutchmen, came leaping out of a wood with many thousands, and
Priamus' knights, and came straight unto the battle. Then Sir
Gawaine comforted his knights, and bade them not to be abashed,
for all shall be ours. Then they began to wallop and met with
their enemies, <171>there were men slain and overthrown on every
side. Then thrust in among them the knights of the Table Round,
and smote down to the earth all them that withstood them, in so
much that they made them to recoil and flee. By God, said Sir
Gawaine, this gladdeth my heart, for now be they less in number
by twenty thousand. Then entered into the battle Jubance a
giant, and fought and slew down right, and distressed many of our
knights, among whom was slain Sir Gherard, a knight of Wales.
Then our knights took heart to them, and slew many Saracens. And
then came in Sir Priamus with his pennon, and rode with the
knights of the Round Table, and fought so manfully that many of
their enemies lost their lives. And there Sir Priamus slew the
Marquis of Moises land, and Sir Gawaine with his fellows so quit
them that they had the field, but in that stour was Sir
Chestelaine, a child and ward of Sir Gawaine slain, wherefore was
much sorrow made, and his death was soon avenged. Thus was the
battle ended, and many lords of Lombardy and Saracens left dead
in the field.
Then Sir Florence and Sir Gawaine harboured surely their people,
and took great plenty of bestial, of gold and silver, and great
treasure and riches, and returned unto King Arthur, which lay
still at the siege. And when they came to the king they
presented their prisoners and recounted their adventures, and how
they had vanquished their enemies.