Medieval Arthurian Legend
Chrétien de Troyes: The Knight of the Lion
12th century, Old French. Middle English translation, 14th century, British Library.
Sir Yvain rode onto the plain and a giant advanced towards him.
This geant es ful fers and fell – 'This is a very cruel and uncouth giant,' said Sir Yvain. 'I will rescue your daughter from this terrible fate or shortly die myself!'
Soon Sir Yvain was armed and all the ladies delighted in seeing it. They helped to lace him into his armour, then he leapt up onto his horse. The drawbridges were let down and over rode Sir Yvain with his lion. Many grieved and anxious men were left behind in the castle, praying on their knees for a happy outcome.
Syr Yvain rade into the playne, and the geant come hym ogayne – Sir Yvain rode onto the plain and the giant advanced towards him. His club was long and heavy and his arms were muscular and strong.
'Who made you so brave as to come out of the castle?' he asked, tauntingly. 'Whoever sent you has little love for you, by God!'