Sir Oluf he rideth over the plain,
Full seven miles broad and seven miles wide,
But never, ah never can meet with the man
A tilt with him dare ride.
He saw under the hill-side
A Knight full well equipped;
His steed was black, his helm was barred;
He was riding at full speed.
He wore upon his spurs
Twelve little golden birds;
Anon he spurred his steed with a clang,
And there sat all the birds and sang.
He wore upon his mail
Twelve little golden wheels;
Anon in eddies the wild wind blew,
And round and round the wheels they flew.
He wore before his breast
A lance that was poised in rest;
And it was sharper than diamond-stone,
It made Sir Oluf’s heart to groan.
He wore upon his helm,
A wreath of ruddy gold;
And that gave him the Maidens Three,
The youngest was fair to behold.
Sir Oluf questioned the Knight eftsoon
If he were come from heaven down;
“Art thou Christ of Heaven,” quoth he,
“So will I yield me unto thee.”
“I am not Christ the Great,
Thou shalt not yield thee yet;
I am an Unknown Knight,
Three modest Maidens have me bedight.”
“Art thou a Knight elected.
And have three Maidens thee bedight;
So shalt thou ride a tilt this day,
For all the Maidens’ honor!”
The first tilt they together rode
They put their steeds to the test;
The second tilt they together rode.
They proved their manhood best.
The third tilt they together rode,
Neither of them would yield;
The fourth tilt they together rode.
They both fell on the field.
Now lie the lords upon the plain,
And their blood runs unto death;
Now sit the Maidens in the high tower,
The youngest sorrows till death.