British - A prince of Lyonesse. A Knight of the Round Table. Husband of Isolde. Father of Iseo, Kalegras, Tristram. The Younger and Ysaie. His parents are variously given as Meliad and Elizabeth, Meliad and Eliabel, Rivalin or Rowland and Blanchefleur. In the Welsh version his father is Tallwch and in the Icelandic version he has a son, Kalegras. In some stories, his father was imprisoned by an enchantress, in others captured by highwaymen. His mother, pregnant at the time, searched for him in the forest and died giving birth to Tristram. Meliad later married a daughter of Hoel, king of Brittany, and they had several children. She tried to poison Tristram to ensure that her own son inherited his father's kingdom of Lyonesse but her son took the drink by mistake and died. When the king ordered his wife to be burned at the stake, Tristram interceded on her behalf and she was pardoned. Meliad sent his son to the court of King Hoel for safety and here his stepmother's younger sister, Belinda, fell in love with him. When he rejected her love, she too tried to poison him. In one account, he was carried off by Norsemen who put him ashore in Britain when they were caught in a storm which, they believed, was due to their crime. He found his way to the court of King Mark where he was made welcome. In other versions, his father then sent him to live with his uncle Mark, king of Cornwall, where he learned that his father had been killed by Morgan. He rode straight to Morgan's castle and killed him. The Irish king, Anguish, sent his huge brother-in-law, Morholt, to demand tribute from Mark but Tristram, though wounded by Morholt's spear, killed him in single combat, leaving a piece of his swordblade buried in Morholt's head. In some versions he killed Morholt and sent his severed head back to Ireland. Other versions say that Morholt was merely wounded and returned to Ireland where he died. In either event, his sister, the queen, discovered the piece of the sword-blade and kept it. Tristram's own wound refused to heal and, in one version, he sailed for Camelot to seek help from Merlin but a storm landed him in Ireland. He had been taught music at an early age and was a fine harpist and in another version he went to Ireland to recuperate in the guise of Tantris, a minstrel. He was tended by the king's daughter, Isolde, with whom he fell in love. When Palamedes, a Syrian prince, arrived and asked for the hand of Isolde, Tristram met him in single combat and defeated him so that he sailed for home in disgrace. The queen noticed his broken sword and, and, comparing the broken pieces, realised that it was he who had killed Morholt. She tried to kill Tristram with his own sword but failed. Leaving the court, Tristram returned to Cornwall where both he and King Mark were attracted by the wife of Segwarides. She invited Tristram to meet her and, when Mark and two knights waylaid him, he defeated Mark and killed the two knights. He later defeated Segwarides who challenged him for sleeping with his wife. Mark and Tristram were now enemies and the king sent Tristram to Ireland to ask for the hand of Isolde, hoping that he would be killed. In one story, Tristram's ship was thrown back by strong winds and he landed at Camelot at the same time as King Anguish who had been summoned to Arthur's court to answer a charge of treason. Tristram repaid the king's earlier kindness by taking the charge upon himself and fighting Blamor de Ganis, one of the king's accusers. He defeated Blamor but refused to kill him and they became friends. He went on to Ireland with Anguish and sued for the hand of Isolde on behalf of Mark. In another version, he saved the Irish king who was being attacked by an ogre or, some say, he killed a fearsome dragon which was ravaging the countryside. Isolde's mother prepared a love potion to ensure that her daughter would come to love her husband, Mark, whom she had never seen, and entrusted it to Branwen, Isolde's maid, who was to travel with them on the journey to Cornwall. The potion was drunk by the young couple who fell hopelessly in love. Despite that, Isolde went through with the marriage to Mark but continued to meet Tristram at every opportunity. Andred spied on Tristram and caught him in bed with Isolde. Tristram was captured and put in prison but escaped after seizing Andred's sword and killing ten knights. He rescued Isolde who had been immured by Mark and took her to a manor house in the forest. He was wounded by an arrow fired by a man whose brother Tristram had killed earlier and the wound refused to heal. He was told that he could be cured only by Isolde of the White Hands, another daughter of King Hoel. He went to France where Isolde healed his wounds and he married her. While there, he defeated the giant, Beliagog, and forced him to build a palace decorated with scenes of Cornwall. Other variations of the story say that when Mark was told of his wife's adultery, he condemned both the lovers to be burned at the stake. Tristram asked to be allowed to pray in a small chapel and made his escape through a window, dropping down the cliff to the shore where his squire Gouvernail waited with horses and armour. Mark handed over Isolde to Ivan, leader of a band of filthy lepers, instead of burning her and Tristram arrived in time to rescue her from a fate worse even than the stake. Isolde was reconciled with Mark but further spying by Godron and Guerlon persuaded Mark that she really was unfaithful and a trial was arranged, in front of King Arthur and his knights, in which Isolde was declared innocent. The lovers then resumed their meetings and, en route to one of these assignations, Tristram killed Donelan and then shot an arrow through the eye of Godwin as he spied on them. Mark finally found them together and killed Tristram with a poisoned spear. Other stories say Tristram was banished by King Mark. During this banishment he wandered the land seeking adventure and saved the life of King Arthur. The king had been ensnared by the enchantress, Vivien, who had given him a magic ring that held him in her power. Tristram killed the three robbers who were attacking the king and, taking the girl servant of Vivien who had led him to Arthur, returned to Camelot with the king who made him a Knight of the Round Table. Mark came to Camelot intent upon killing Tristram and when Isolde was abducted by Bruce the Pitiless, it was Tristram who rescued her, killing her captor. In another story, Tristram carried off Isolde, who was being illtreated by King Mark, and took her to Garde Joyeuse where she lived for some time with Guinevere. To avoid further conflict with Mark over his love for Isolde, Tristram went to Brittany where he married Isolde of the White Hands. His abandonment of the first Isolde was condemned by Lancelot and they fought each other to a standstill when Tristram next returned to Britain. Another version of this encounter says that Tristram fought Lancelot in the belief that he was Palamedes who had promised to meet him to settle their differences. One version says that Lancelot and Tristram patched up their quarrel and Arthur installed Tristram as a Knight of the Round table in the seat formerly occupied by Morholt. Mark offered a false hand of friendship to Tristram who went back to Cornwall with the king. At the behest of Mark, who hoped to see Tristram killed by Bagdemagus and Galahaut who hated Lancelot, he took part in a tournament in the guise of Lancelot and frustrated Mark's scheme by defeating both of Lancelot's enemies. He allowed Mark to treat his wounds and was drugged and put in prison. He was rescued by Percival with the help of Dinas who temporarily imprisoned Mark. There are many versions of how Tristram came to receive the wound that caused his death. Some say it was inflicted in the struggle with Melot, others that Mark wounded him with a poisoned spear, some that he was wounded in a duel with a Breton knight in defence of Isolde's brother, some that it resulted from a rock dropped on his head as he scaled a castle wall when fighting King Hoel's enemies. When he lay wounded, Tristram sent Kaherdin, his brotherin- law, or Gesnes a mariner, to England to fetch his true love, the first Isolde, who came at his command in a ship with white sails, a pre-arranged signal. Tristram's wife lied to him, saying that the ship was carrying black sails and he died in despair. The beloved Isolde died at the sight of her dead lover and both were carried back to Cornwall and buried side by side. Two yew trees (in some accounts, a rose and a vine) planted on their graves entwined their branches and could not be separated. In the Wagnerian version, Isolde had been betrothed to Morholt and wanted to avenge his death. She found a piece of a sword-blade embedded in Morholt's severed head and kept it hidden. Tristram had been wounded by a poisoned spear thrown by Morholt during their encounter and the wound refused to heal. He went to Ireland in the guise of Tantris, a minstrel, and Isolde ministered to his poisoned wound. When she saw his broken sword she realised that it was he who had killed Morholt. They fell in love but Tristram returned to Cornwall without her. Mark was so impressed by his description of Isolde that he sent Tristram back to Ireland to ask for her hand as his queen. Isolde, deeply unhappy that she was to be the wife of Mark, not Tristram, brewed a poisonous drink, intending to kill both herself and Tristram but Branwen, her maid, gave them instead a love-potion entrusted to her by Isolde's mother. They continued to meet after her marriage to Mark but were betrayed by Melot. Tristram was banished to France and when Isolde elected to go with him, Melot tried to prevent their departure and wounded Tristram who went off with Kurneval, who had killed Melot in the encounter, leaving Isolde in Cornwall. She came at his request when he was dying from the wound but arrived too late and died of a broken heart. On occassion, called Tristram, Drust, Drust, Drustan, Drustan, Drustran, Drustran, Drustranus, Drustranus, Drust, Drystan, Drystan, Drust, Tristram, Soul of Grief, Soul of Grief, Tristram, Tristan, Tristan, Tristrem, Tristrem or Tristram.
British - A poem by the American Edwin. Arlington Robinson. Sometimes known as Tristram, Drust, Drust, Drustan, Drustan, Drustran, Drustran, Drustranus, Drustranus, Drust, Drystan, Drystan, Drust, Tristram, Soul of Grief, Soul of Grief, Tristram, Tristan, Tristan, Tristrem, Tristrem or Tristram.

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