Key words£ºKing Arthur, Saxons, Excalibur,  battle, Armorica  
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Genre£ºlegend Topic£ºKing Arthur Words:1100
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ESL,  English,  Story,  Tale,  Legend, Folktale, Myth, Fable, Learning, Teaching

"Oh, Holy Virgin," Arthur said.
"Please give me the strength to defeat this enemy."

King Arthur and the Saxons

-Told by Sir Roland
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Author£ºShaun Flewellen Source£ºstudents.ou.edu  
Nation£ºEngland Date£º2008-9-7


(Saxon Archers attacking Arthur's Knights,
by H. J. Ford)
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As I (Sir Roland) said Arthur and Gueneverre had been married for ten years now, and life inside Camelot was good. However, life outside Camelot was growing ever darker. A new army had begun to ravage Northern England. This army was one of the fiercest we had ever seen, and they called themselves the Saxons.

There were in fact twelve battles between Arthur and the Saxon Leader. The last was the greatest battle that had ever been fought in our land. It was called the battle of Mount Badon.

It was a cold and foggy morning in October. The soldiers of Camelot sat on their horses side by side with the soldiers of Armorica. King Hoel of Armorica was a friend of Arthur for many years, and he proudly rode next to Arthur into battle.

The two armies sat on the foothills of Mount Badon watching the Saxon army march towards us. The Saxons had amassed an army of over 10,000. Twice the size of the two armies of Camelot and Armorica combined. The Saxons were vicious men. They pillaged and burned villages and towns, leaving none alive.

Arthur rode out in front of the army dressed in armor fit for only the greatest of kings. His breastplate was molded from the finest gold any man had seen. His helmet was made of pure gold and was engraved with a picture of a dragon. His shield, which he called Priwen, was as wide as some men, and it bore a picture of the Holy Virgin. Clenched in his right hand, Arthur held the means to our victory; the sword Excalibur.

Arthur turned to face his outnumbered and frightened army and he filled us with inspiration.

"My friends, do not fear the army that lies before us. For they are weak. They have no courage and they have no honor. I see before me the finest of my country men. And I say to you today, that I am proud to fight and to die next to all of you."

(Yelling from the army)

"Today we will vanquish the Saxon threat forever! We will prove to all that we will not allow our country to be invaded and destroyed. We will fight to our last breath, and we will take our enemy with us into the after life."

(Yelling from the army)

"Now ride with me, my brothers! Ride with me to victory, and you shall live in the hearts of all men forever!"

(Yelling from the army)

With that we prepared ourselves for battle and rode toward the Saxon army. Arthur and Hoel led our men down the mountainside right into the heart of the awaiting Saxons. When the two armies collided, it made a sound like lightning striking the ground. We cut through the first wave of their defenses rather easily. The second wave was much more difficult. The Saxons began shooting arrows at us. Many men fell due to the arrows. After what seemed like an eternity of battle, we had final killed off the second wave of Saxons. It seemed impossible to believe, but we had actually cut through almost half of the Saxon army. We lost many men doing this but we now stood on almost even ground with them. We now dismounted our horses and began attacking on foot.

To the West a cloud began to rise, and without warning a lightning bolt had stuck through several of the Saxons. Then another hit and another. Many of the Saxons were on fire and others began to flee. I looked towards Mount Badon, and through the fog I could make out the silhouette of Merlin, summoning the elements to his command.

Thanks to Merlin's help, we now outnumbered the Saxons who did not flee. Leading their charge was their leader. He was a large man, at least seven feet tall, and he held a sword in one hand and a giant hammer in the other. He tore through several of our soldiers, smashing their heads in before they could even lift their swords.

Arthur summoned him.

"You, Saxon. You have blood to pay."

"Arthur! At last we meet. I have long searched for someone worth killing."

With that Arthur and the Saxon leader embraced in battle. I could not see the entire fight for I was busy fighting my own battles. I did see that Arthur was brilliant. It seemed that he could not be touched. Then two other Saxons came at Arthur from behind. Sir Kay sprung after them and tried to save Arthur. One of the Saxons landed a blow to Arthur's right hand, forcing him to drop Excalibur. Kay began battle with the Saxons, but they both landed their swords to his midsection. The two Saxons then turned their attention to Arthur. The raised their swords to strike him, and suddenly they both fell to the ground dead. Sir Tristram, who was a marksman with a bow, had shot two arrows simultaneously, and killed both Saxons.

Arthur turned back to the Saxon leader. The Saxon thrust his hammer at Arthur, and Arthur ducked under his shield. Arthur looked frantically for Excalibur. He did not see where it had fallen in the commotion. The Saxon came at Arthur again, this time cracking his shield.

"Oh, Holy Virgin," Arthur said. "Please give me the strength to defeat this enemy."

"My lord," Sir Kay shouted. "Your sword!"

Arthur turned and saw his half brother, bleeding from the stomach, holding Excalibur. Arthur then took his shield and slammed it into the Saxon's face. The Saxon stumbled, and Arthur reached back as Kay threw Excalibur to him. Arthur took Excalibur and sliced the Saxon's hammer from his hand. Arthur then cut through both of his legs. The Saxon leader fell to the ground on the bloody ends of his knees and looked up at Arthur.

"Well done my lord," the Saxon said, as Arthur cut Excalibur through his neck.

When the war had ended many men that I was close to had died. Sir Kay did not survive his wounds. Merlin told us he had bled too much on the battlefield. Sir Kay smiled to Arthur as he took his last breath and said to him, "Good-bye little brother".

Many of the women including Queen Gueneverre served as nurses for the wounded. Sir Tristram and I lay next to each other, grieving for our lost friends and admiring our victory. We sat talking two days after the battle and we both noticed that the Queen seemed to fancy caring for Sir Lancelot among all the other men, especially since he was not injured as much as others.

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(Lancelot and Guinevere,
artist unknown)

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Discussion£º

1. How many battles did Arthur fight with the Saxons? 

2. How many soliders were there in Camelot and Armorica armies?

3. Who was King Hoel?

4. What did the Saxon leader say when he was killed by Arthur?

5. Who died at the end of the battle?

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