Hemison

Huneson the Bald, Onesun

Sir Hemison was a lover of Morgan le Fay, living with her at one of her castles. One time Morgan gave a Cornish knight lodging, but next morning informed him that he was her prisoner until he told her who he was. She gave him, however, the place of honor at her side, which aroused Hemison’s jealousy until he almost attacked the stranger, but “left it for shame”.

When the stranger privately told Morgan his identity, she regretted her promise to let him go so easily, but made him promise to carry a shield of her design at the next tournament. As the Cornish knight departed, the jealous Hemison prepared to follow him, and Morgan’s stenuous objections only resulted in a quarrel and sent Hemison away the more “wood wroth”.

Fair friend, said Morgan, ride not after that knight, for ye shall not win no worship of him. Fie on him, coward, said Sir Hemison, for I wist never good knight come out of Cornwall but if it were Sir Tristram de Liones. What an that be he? said she. Nay, Nay, said he, he is with La Beale Isoud, and this is but a daffish knight ... For your sake, said Sir Hemison, I shall slay him.

Well, Hemison was wrong. It was Tristram (Tristan). After the fight, Hemison begged his varlet to bring him back to Morgan’s castle.

for deep draughts of death draw to my heart that I may not live, for I would fain speak with her or I died: for else my soul will be in great peril an I die.

His varlet got him to the castle,

and there Sir Hemison fell down dead. When Morgan le Fay saw him dead she made great sorrow out of reason

and buried him with honor.

Italian romance gave him a daughter by Morgan, Pulzella Gaia. He was killed by Tristan on the mountain of Petrosa, for which Morgan cursed Tristan to die with his own lance. Morgan somehow obtained the lance used by Tristan to kill Huneson, poisoned it, and sent it to King Mark of Cornwall, who used it to kill Tristan.