Sacred Texts  Legends and Sagas  Index  BOOK XVII  Previous  Next 

 How Solomon took David's sword by the counsel of his
 wife, and of other matters marvellous.
 NOW have I certified thee of that thou stoodest in doubt.
 Then was Solomon glad that there should come any such
 of his lineage; but ever he marvelled and studied who
 that should be, and what his name might be.  His wife
 perceived that he studied, and thought she would know it
 at some season; and so she waited her time, and asked of
 him the cause of his studying, and there he told her altogether
 how the voice told him.  Well, said she, I shall let
 make a ship of the best wood and most durable that men
 may find.  So Solomon sent for all the carpenters of the
 land, and the best.  And when they had made the ship
 the lady said to Solomon:  Sir, said she, since it is so that
 this knight ought to pass all knights of chivalry which
 have been to-fore him and shall come after him, moreover
 I shall tell you, said she, ye shall go into Our Lord's
 temple, where is King David's sword, your father, the
 which is the marvelloust and the sharpest that ever was
 taken in any knight's hand.  Therefore take that, and
 take off the pommel, and thereto make ye a pommel of
 precious stones, that it be so subtly made that no man
 perceive it but that they be all one; and after make there
 an hilt so marvellously and wonderly that no man may
 know it; and after make a marvellous sheath.  And when
 ye have made all this I shall let make a girdle thereto, such
 as shall please me.
 All this King Solomon did let make as she devised,
 both the ship and all the remnant.  And when the ship
 was ready in the sea to sail, the lady let make a great bed
 and marvellous rich, and set her upon the bed's head,
 covered with silk, and laid the sword at the feet, and the
 girdles were of hemp, and therewith the king was angry.
 Sir, wit ye well, said she, that I have none so high a thing
 which were worthy to sustain so high a sword, and a maid
 shall bring other knights thereto, but I wot not when it
 shall be, nor what time.  And there she let make a covering
 to the ship, of cloth of silk that should never rot for
 no manner of weather.  Yet went that lady and made a
 carpenter to come to the tree which Abel was slain under.
 Now, said she, carve me out of this tree as much wood as
 will make me a spindle.  Ah madam, said he, this is the
 tree the which our first mother planted.  Do it, said she,
 or else I shall destroy thee.  Anon as he began to work
 there came out drops of blood; and then would he have
 left, but she would not suffer him, and so he took away
 as much wood as might make a spindle: and so she made
 him to take as much of the green tree and of the white
 tree.  And when these three spindles were shapen she made
 them to be fastened upon the selar of the bed.  When
 Solomon saw this, he said to his wife:  Ye have done
 marvellously, for though all the world were here right
 now, he could not devise wherefore all this was made, but
 Our Lord Himself; and thou that hast done it wottest
 not what it shall betoken.  Now let it be, said she, for ye
 shall hear tidings sooner than ye ween.  Now shall ye hear
 a wonderful tale of King Solomon and his wife.