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This Wicked Day

“Then was King Arthur ware where Sir Mordred leaned upon his sword among a great heap of dead men.

‘Now give me my spear,’ said Arthur unto Sir Lucan, ‘for yonder I have espied the traitor that all this woe hath wrought.’

‘Sir, let him be,’ said Sir Lucan, ‘for he is unhappy; and if ye pass this unhappy day ye shall be right well revenged upon him. Good lord, remember ye of your night’s dream, and what the spirit of Sir Gawaine told you this night, yet God of his great goodness hath preserved you hitherto. Therefore, for God’s sake, my lord, leave off by this, for blessed be God ye have won the field, for here we be three alive, and with Sir Mordred is none alive; and if ye leave off now this wicked day of destiny is past.’

‘Tide me death, betide me life,’ saith the king, ‘now I see him yonder alone he shall never escape mine hands, for at a better avail shall I never have him.’ “

– Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur

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