The Knight and the Lion

"Laudine's Ring"

After only two weeks of marriage Yvain asks Laudine to let him leave with Gawain - for Gawain has persuaded him that that a knight who stays always by his wife's side, happy in her company, is a useless creature, who has forgotten how to fight and joust.

'Very well,' said Laudine, when Yvain had explained what he wanted to do. 'You may go - but you must return after a year. It is now eight days after the Feast of Saint John. I shall expect you on the same day next year. If you stay even a single day longer you will have lost my love, for it will turn into hate.'

She gave Yvain a ring.

'Take this - it has a magic stone, and no true and loyal lover who wears it can be captured or hurt. As long as you remember me, your beloved, this ring will make you as hard as iron. It will protect you like the best shield and armour in the world, and not one drop of your blood can be spilt. So I know that nothing bad can happen to you to prevent you coming back to me - unless you forget me.'

Then Yvain wept, for now he was free to go he did not want to leave her. Yet the King would not wait, and the horses were led in, bridled and ready to be mounted. With kisses and tears Yvain and Laudine said their farewells. All too soon the King and his knights were ready, and with Yvain and Gawain riding side by side among them, they set off through the forest. With her maids-in-waiting, Laudine accompanied them, weeping bitterly, until the King begged her to come no further but return to the safety of her castle.