Medieval Arthurian Legend

The sword Excalibur

15th century, late-Medieval English.

An arm and a hand came above the water and caught the sword, and brandished it three times, and then vanished with the sword into the water.

'If I throw thys ryche swerde in the water, thereof shall never com good, but harme and losse.' And then sir Bedwere hyd Excalyber undir a tre... But King Arthur repremands him and sends him back.

So Bedevere went to the watirs syde. And there he bounde the gyrdyll aboute the hyltis, and threw the swerde as farre into the watir as he myght. And there cam an arme and an honde above the watir, and toke hit and cleyght hit, and shoke hit thryse and braundysshed, and than vanysshed with the swerde into the watir.

Story fragment retold from: Vinaver, Eugene, 1971, reprinted in paperback, 1977. Malory: Works. Oxford University Press. The Most Piteous Tale of the Morte Arthur saunz guerdon. IV: The Day of Destiny, p 715–6

See for yourself

Sir Thomas Malory – Wikipedia

Le Morte d'Arthur – Wikipedia

Sir Thomas Malory's 'Le Morte Darthur' – British Library, online exhibition

Excalibur – Wikipedia

Bedivere – Wikipedia

King Arthur – Wikipedia


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