The Knight and the Lion

"The Knights Speak"

Yvain spoke first, though his voice was weak and hard to recognize.

'Night is coming. No one will blame us or think us cowards if darkness keeps us part. I never fought such a hard battle. You know how to land your blows. You've half killed me, I must confess, and I fear you and respect you very much. I never met a knight I wanted so much to know.'

'I say the same for you too,' Gawain replied. 'You've paid me back for evrything I've given you. I'm as dazed and worn out as you are. Since you wish to know me, my name is Gawain, son of King Lot.'

The Yvain threw his shield and blood-smeared sword to the ground, crying out in dismay:

'This battle is a stupid mistake. Nothing could have made me fight you if I had known!'

And he pulled off his helmet:

'I am Yvain, who loves you better than anyone in the world.'

Then Yvain and Gawain hugged and kissed each other, and each one declared that he was the loser and tried to surrender.

'No, no, my wounds are more serious. You have defeated me', Gawain insisted.

'It's quite the opposite. I am beaten, and you are the winner', Yvain replied.

They were still arguing when the King and all the court came running over to them. The two knights, with their arms about each other's necks and covered from head to foot with wounds and bruises, continue with their dispute before the King. Gawain tries to convince the King that he has been defeated in this combat, while Yvain declares that he is the one who has lost.

In the end, King Arthur tells the Elder Sister of Noire Espine, that since both knights claim to be equally defeated, he himself must decide the matter of her land. He does this, dividing it equally among the sisters:

'If you do not accept this judgment,' the King adds, wanting to frighten the Elder Sister, 'I will declare Gawain the loser - since he himself so loudly proclaims it - and then you will have to give all your land to your younger sister.'

The Elder Sister sees she has no choice and accepts the decision of the King.