The Knight Whose Armour Didn't Squeak: A. A. Milne's poem
The Knight Whose Armour Didn't Squeak



Of all the Knights in Appledore,
the wisest was Sir Thomas Tom
He multiplied as far as four,
and knew what nine was taken from
To make eleven. He could write
a letter to another Knight

No other Knight in all the land
could do the things which he could do
Not only did he understand
the way to polish swords but knew
What remedy a Knight should seek
whose armour had begun to squeak

And if he didn’t fight too much,
it wasn’t that he did not care
For blips and buffetings and such,
but felt that it was hardly fair
To risk, by frequent injuries,
a brain as delicate as his

His castle (Castle Tom) was set
conveniently on a hill
And daily, when it wasn’t wet,
he paced the battlements until
Some smaller Knight who couldn’t swim
should reach the moat and challenge him
Or sometimes, feeling full of fight,
he hurried out to scour the plain
And seeing some approaching Knight,
he either hurried home again
Or hid; and, when the foe was past,
blew a triumphant trumpet-blast

One day when good Sir Thomas Tom
was resting in a handy ditch
The noises he was hiding from,
though very much the noises which
He’d always hidden from before,
seemed somehow less…Or was it more?

The trotting horse, the trumpet’s blast,
the whistling sword, the armour’s squeak
These, and especially the last,
had clattered by him all the week
Was this the same, or was it not?
Something was different. But what?

Sir Thomas raised a cautious ear
and listened as Sir Hugh went by
And suddenly he seemed to hear
(Or not to hear) the reason why
This stranger made a nicer sound
than other Knights who lived around

Sir Thomas watched the way he went,
his rage was such he couldn’t speak
For years they’ called him down in Kent
the Knight Whose Armour Didn’t Squeak
Yet here and now he looked upon
another Knight whose squeak had gone

He rushed to where his horse was tied,
he spurred it to a rapid trot
The only fear he felt inside
about his enemy was not
“How sharp his sword?”
“How stout his heart?”
But “Has he got too long a start?”

Sir Hugh was singing, hand on hip,
when something sudden came along
And caught him a terrific blip
right in the middle of his song
“A thunderstorm!” he thought. “Of course!”
And toppled gently off his horse

Then said the good Sir Thomas Tom,
dismounting with a friendly air
“Allow me to extract you from
the heavy armour that you wear
At times like these the bravest Knight
may find his armour much too tight.”

A hundred yards or so beyond
the scene of brave Sir Hugh’s defeat
Sir Thomas found a useful pond
and careful not to wet his feet
He brought the armour to the brink
and flung it in … and watched it sink

So ever after, more and more,
the men of Kent would proudly speak
Of Thomas Tom of Appledore,
“The Knight Whose Armour Didn’t Squeak”
Whilst Hugh, the Knight who gave him best
squeak just as badly as the rest