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Title: Parzival (vol. 1 of 2) - A Knightly Epic (volumes 1 & 2)
Author: Eschenback, Wolfram von
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                            A KNIGHTLY EPIC


                        WOLFRAM VON ESCHENBACH

                             TRANSLATED BY

                           JESSIE L. WESTON

                                VOL. I


                               NEW YORK
                         G. E. STECHERT & CO.,

                           TO THE MEMORY OF
                            RICHARD WAGNER
                          THIS TRANSLATION IS


  BOOK                                                              PAGE

         INTRODUCTION                                                 ix
     I.  GAMURET                                                       1
    II.  HERZELEIDE                                                   33
   III.  GURNEMANZ                                                    63
    IV.  KONDWIRAMUR                                                 101
     V.  ANFORTAS                                                    127
    VI.  ARTHUR                                                      157
   VII.  OBILOT                                                      193
  VIII.  ANTIKONIE                                                   227
    IX.  TREVREZENT                                                  249
         APPENDICES                                                  289
         NOTES                                                       299


In presenting, for the first time, to English readers the greatest
work of Germany's greatest mediæval poet, a few words of introduction,
alike for poem and writer, may not be out of place. The lapse of nearly
seven hundred years, and the changes which the centuries have worked,
alike in language and in thought, would have naturally operated to
render any work unfamiliar, still more so when that work was composed
in a foreign tongue; but, indeed, it is only within the present century
that the original text of the _Parzival_ has been collated from the
MSS. and made accessible, even in its own land, to the general reader.
But the interest which is now felt by many in the Arthurian romances,
quickened into life doubtless by the genius of the late Poet Laureate,
and the fact that the greatest composer of our time, Richard Wagner,
has selected this poem as the groundwork of that wonderful drama, which
a growing consensus of opinion has hailed as the grandest artistic
achievement of this century, seem to indicate that the time has come
when the work of Wolfram von Eschenbach may hope to receive, from a
wider public than that of his own day, the recognition which it so well

Of the poet himself we know but little, save from the personal
allusions scattered throughout his works; the dates of his birth
and death are alike unrecorded, but the frequent notices of
contemporary events to be found in his poems enable us to fix with
tolerable certainty the period of his literary activity, and to judge
approximately the outline of his life. Wolfram's greatest work, the
_Parzival_, was apparently written within the early years of the
thirteenth century; he makes constant allusions to events happening,
and to works produced, within the first decade of that period; and as
his latest work, the _Willehalm_, left unfinished, mentions as recent
the death of the Landgrave Herman of Thuringia, which occurred in 1216,
the probability seems to be that the _Parzival_ was written within the
first fifteen years of the thirteenth century. Inasmuch, too, as this
work bears no traces of immaturity in thought or style, it is probable
that the date of the poet's birth cannot be placed much later than 1170.

The name, Wolfram von Eschenbach, points to Eschenbach in Bavaria as
in all probability the place of his birth, as it certainly was of his
burial. So late as the end of the seventeenth century his tomb, with
inscription, was to be seen in the Frauen-kirche of Ober-Eschenbach,
and the fact that within a short distance of the town are to be
found localities mentioned in his poems, such as Wildberg, Abenberg,
Trühending, Wertheim, etc., seems to show that there, too, the life of
the poet-knight was spent.

By birth, as Wolfram himself tells us, he belonged to the knightly
order (Zum Schildesamt bin Ich geboren), though whether his family was
noble or not is a disputed point, in any case Wolfram was a poor man,
as the humorous allusions which he makes to his poverty abundantly
testify. Yet he does not seem to have led the life of a wandering
singer, as did his famous contemporary, Walther von der Vogelweide;
if Wolfram journeyed, as he probably did, it was rather in search of
knightly adventures, he tells us: 'Durchstreifen muss Der Lande viel,
Wer Schildesamt verwalten will,' and though fully conscious of his
gift of song, yet he systematically exalts his office of _knight_
above that of _poet_. The period when Wolfram lived and sang, we
cannot say _wrote_, for by his own confession he could neither read
nor write ('I'ne kan decheinen buochstap,' he says in _Parzival_; and
in _Willehalm_, 'Waz an den buochen steht geschrieben, Des bin Ich
kunstelos geblieben'), and his poems must, therefore, have been orally
dictated, was one peculiarly fitted to develop his special genius.
Under the rule of the Hohenstaufen the institution of knighthood had
reached its highest point of glory, and had not yet lapsed into the
extravagant absurdities and unrealities which characterised its period
of decadence; and the Arthurian romances which first found shape in
Northern France had just passed into Germany, there to be gladly
welcomed, and to receive at the hands of German poets the impress of an
ethical and philosophical interpretation foreign to their original form.

It was in these romances that Wolfram, in common with other of his
contemporaries, found his chief inspiration; in the _Parzival_,
his master-work, he has told again the story of the Quest for, and
winning of, the Grail; told it in connection with the Perceval legend,
through the medium of which, it must be remembered, the spiritualising
influence of the Grail myth first came into contact with the brilliant
chivalry and low morality of the original Arthurian romances; and
told it in a manner that is as truly mediæval in form as it is modern
in interpretation. The whole poem is instinct with the true knightly
spirit; it has been well called _Das Hohelied von Rittertum_, the
knightly song of songs, for Wolfram has seized not merely the external
but the very soul of knighthood, even as described in our own day by
another German poet; Wolfram's ideal knight, in his fidelity to his
plighted word, his noble charity towards his fellow-man, lord of the
Grail, with Its civilising, humanising influence, is a veritable 'true
knight of the Holy Ghost.' In a short introduction such as this it
is impossible to discuss with any fulness the fascinating problems
connected with this poem, one can do no more than indicate where the
principal difficulties lie. These may be briefly said to be chiefly
connected with the source from which Wolfram derived his poem, and
with the interpretation of its ethical meaning. That Wolfram drew
from a French source we know from his own statement, he quotes as his
authority a certain 'Kiot the Provençal,' who, in his turn, found his
information in an Arabian MS. at Toledo. Unfortunately no such poet,
and no such poem, are known to us, while we do possess a French version
of the story, _Li Conte del Graal_, by Chrêtien de Troyes, which,
so far as the greater part of the poem (_i.e._ Books III. to XIII.)
is concerned, shows a remarkable agreement not only in sequence of
incidents, but even in verbal correspondence, with Wolfram's work.
Chrêtien, however, does not give either the first two or the last
three books as we find them in Wolfram. The account of Perceval's
father, and of his death, is by another hand than Chrêtien's, and does
not agree with Wolfram's account; and the poem, left unfinished by
Chrêtien, has been continued and concluded at great length by at least
three other writers, who have evidently drawn from differing sources;
whereas Wolfram's conclusion agrees closely with his introduction, and
his whole poem forms the most harmonious and complete version of the
story we possess. Wolfram knew Chrêtien's poem, but refers to it with
contempt as being the wrong version of the tale, whereas 'Kiot' had
told the venture aright. The question then is, where did Wolfram really
find those portions of his poems which he _could not_ have drawn from
Chrêtien? Is 'Kiot' a real, or a feigned, source?

Some German critics have opined that Wolfram really knew no other poem
than Chrêtien's, and that he boldly invented all that he did not find
there, feigning another source in order to conceal the fact. Others
have maintained that whether 'Kiot' be the name of the writer or not,
Wolfram certainly had before him a French poem other than _Li Conte del

It certainly seems in the highest degree improbable that a _German_
poet should have introduced the Angevin element, lacking in Chrêtien;
Wolfram's presentment of the Grail, too, differs _in toto_ from any we
find elsewhere, with him it is not the cup of the Last Supper, but a
precious stone endowed with magical qualities. It is true that Chrêtien
does not say _what_ the Grail was, but simply that '_du fin or esmeree
estoit, pieres pressieuses avoit el graal de maintes manieres_,' yet it
seems scarcely likely that Wolfram should have interpreted this as a
precious stone, to say nothing of sundry Oriental features peculiar to
his description. But whence Wolfram derived his idea of the Grail is a
problem which it is to be feared will never now be completely solved.

The discussion as to the ethical meaning Wolfram attached to the story
seems more hopeful of results, as here we do possess the requisite
data, and can study the poem for ourselves. The question between
critics is whether Wolfram intended to teach a purely religious lesson
or not; whether the poem is an allegory of life, and Parzival a symbol
of the Soul of man, hovering between Faith and Doubt, perplexed by the
apparent injustice of God's dealings with men, and finally fighting
its way through the darkness of despair to the clear light of renewed
faith in God; or have we here a glorification of the knightly ideal? a
declaration of the poet-knight's belief that in loyal acceptance of,
and obedience to, the dictates of the knightly order, salvation is to
be won? Can the true knight, even though he lack faith in God, yet by
keeping intact his faith with man, by very loyalty and steadfastness
of purpose, win back the spiritual blessing forfeited by his youthful
folly? Is Parzival one of those at whose hands 'the Kingdom of Heaven
suffereth violence'? It may well be that _both_ these interpretations
are, in a measure, true, that Wolfram found the germ of the religious
idea already existing in his French source, but that to the genius of
the German poet we owe that _humanising_ of the ideal which has brought
the _Parzival_ into harmony with the best aspirations of men in all
ages. This, at least, may be said with truth, that of all the romances
of the Grail cycle, there is but one which can be presented, in its
entirety, to the world of to-day with the conviction that its morality
is as true, its human interest as real, its lesson as much needed now
as it was seven hundred years ago, and that romance is the _Parzival_
of Wolfram von Eschenbach.

Some words as to the form of the original poem, and the method
followed in translation, may be of interest to the reader. The
original _Parzival_ is a poem of some 25,000 lines, written in an
irregular metre, every two lines rhyming, _reim-paar_. Among modern
German translators considerable difference of opinion as to the
best method of rendering the original appears to exist. Simrock has
retained the original form, and adheres very closely to the text; his
version certainly gives the most accurate idea of Wolfram's style;
San Marte has allowed himself considerable freedom in versification,
and, unfortunately, also in translation; in fact, he too often gives
a paraphrase rather than a reproduction of the text. Dr. Bötticher's
translation omits the Gawain episodes, and, though close to the
original, has discarded rhyme. It must be admitted that Wolfram is
by no means easy to translate, his style is obscure and crabbed, and
it is often difficult to interpret his meanings with any certainty.
The translator felt that the two points chiefly to be aimed at in an
English version were, that it should be faithful to the original text,
and easy to read. The metre selected was chosen for several reasons,
principally on account of the length of the poem, which seemed to
render desirable a more flowing measure than the short lines of the
original; and because by selecting this metre it was possible to
retain the original form of _reim-paar_. As a general rule one line
of the English version represents two of the German poem, but the
difference of language has occasionally demanded expansion in order to
do full justice to the poet's meaning. Throughout, the translator's
aim has been to be as literal as possible, and where the differing
conventionalities of the thirteenth and nineteenth centuries have made
a change in the form of expression necessary, the _meaning_ of the poet
has been reproduced, and in no instance has a different _idea_ been
consciously suggested. That there must of necessity be many faults and
defects in the work the writer is fully conscious, but in the absence
of any previous English translation she can only hope that the present
may be accepted as a not altogether inadequate rendering of a great
original; if it should encourage others to study that original for
themselves, and learn to know Wolfram von Eschenbach, while at the same
time they learn better to understand Richard Wagner, she will feel
herself fully repaid.

       *       *       *       *       *

The translator feels that it may be well to mention here the works
which have been principally relied on in preparing the English
translation and the writers to whom she is mostly indebted.

For the Text Bartsch's edition of the original _Parzival_, published
in _Deutsche Classiker des Mittelalters_, has been used throughout, in
connection with the modern German translation by Simrock.

In preparing the Notes use has been made of Dr. Bötticher's
Introduction to his translation of the _Parzival_, and the same
writer's _Das Hohelied von Rittertum_; San Marte's translation has
also been occasionally referred to.

The Appendix on proper names has been mainly drawn up from Bartsch's
article on the subject in _Germanistische Studien_; and that on the
Angevin allusions from Miss Norgate's _England under the Angevin
Kings_, though the statements have been verified by reference to the
original chronicles.

For all questions connected with the Perceval legend in its varying
forms the authority consulted has been _Studies on the Legend of the
Holy Grail_, by Mr. Alfred Nutt, to whom, personally, the translator is
indebted for much valuable advice and assistance in preparing this book
for publication.




    In the Introduction the poet tells of the evil of doubt and
    unsteadfastness--against which he would warn both men and
    women; he will tell them a tale which shall speak of truth and
    steadfastness, and in which many strange marvels shall befall.

    Book I. tells how Gamuret of Anjou at the death of his father,
    King Gandein, refused to become his brother's vassal, and went
    forth to seek fame and love-guerdon for himself. How he fought
    under the Baruch before Alexandria, and came to Patelamunt.
    How Queen Belakané was accused of having caused the death of
    her lover Eisenhart, and was besieged by two armies, which
    Friedebrand, King of Scotland, Eisenhart's uncle, had brought
    against her. How Gamuret defeated her foemen, and married the
    Queen, and became King of Assagog and Zassamank. How he grew
    weary for lack of knightly deeds, and sailed away in secret
    from Queen Belakané, and left her a letter telling of his
    name and race. How Feirifis was born, and how Gamuret came to

                                 BOOK I


    If unfaith in the heart find dwelling, then the soul it shall
        reap but woe;
    And shaming alike and honour are his who such doubt shall
    For it standeth in evil contrast with a true man's dauntless
    As one seeth the magpie's plumage, which at one while is
        black and white.
    And yet he may win to blessing; since I wot well that in his
        heart,                                                         5
    Hell's darkness, and light of Heaven, alike have their lot
        and part
    But he who is false and unsteadfast, he is black as the
        darkest night,
    And the soul that hath never wavered stainless _its_ hue and

    This my parable so fleeting too swift for the dull shall be,
    Ere yet they may seize its meaning from before their face
        'twill flee,                                                  10
    As a hare that a sound hath startled: yea, metal behind the
    And a blind man's dream yield visions that as swift from the
        eye do pass,
    For naught shall they have that endureth! And at one while
        'tis bright and sad,
    And know of a truth that its glory but for short space shall
        make ye glad.
    And what man shall think to grip me, where no hair for his
        grasp shall grow,                                             15
    In the palm of mine hand? The mystery of a close clasp he
        sure doth know!

    If I cry aloud in such peril, it 'seemeth my wisdom well.
    Shall I look for truth where it fleeteth? In the fire that
        the stream doth quell,
    Or the dew that the sun doth banish? Ne'er knew I a man so
    But was fain to learn the wisdom my fable doth ill disguise,      20
    And the teaching that springeth from it: for so shall he
        ne'er delay
    To fly and to chase as shall fit him, to shun and to seek
    And to give fitting blame and honour. He who knoweth the
        twain to tell,
    In their changing ways, then wisdom has tutored that man
        right well.
    And he sits not o'er-long at leisure, nor his goal doth he
        overreach,                                                    25
    But in wisdom his ways discerning, he dealeth with all and
    But his comrade, of heart unfaithful, in hell-fire shall his
        portion be,
    Yea, a hailstorm that dims the glory of a knightly fame is
    As a short tail it is, his honour, that but for two bites
        holds good,
    When the steer by the gad-fly driven doth roam thro' the
        lonely wood.                                                  30

    And tho' manifold be my counsel not to _men_ alone I'ld
    For fain would I show to women the goal that their heart
        should seek.
    And they who shall mark my counsel, they shall learn where
        they may bestow
    Their praise and their maiden honour; and the manner of man
        shall know
    Whom they freely may love and honour, and never may fear to
        rue                                                           35
    Their maidenhood, and the true love they gave him of heart so
    In God's sight I pray all good women to keep them in wisdom's
    For true shame on all sides doth guard them: such bliss I for
        them would pray.
    But the false heart shall win false honour--How long doth the
        thin ice last,
    If the sun shineth hot as in August? So their praise shall be
        soon o'erpast.                                                40

    Many women are praised for beauty; if at heart they shall be
    Then I praise them as I would praise it, the glass of a
        sapphire hue
    That in gold shall be set as a jewel! Tho' I hold it an evil
    If a man take a costly ruby, with the virtue the stone doth
    And set it in worthless setting: I would liken such costly
        stone                                                         45
    To the heart of a faithful woman, who true womanhood doth
    I would look not upon her colour, nor the heart's roof all
        men can see,
    If the heart beateth true beneath it, true praise shall she
        win from me!

    Should I speak of both man and woman as I know, nor my skill
        should fail,
    O'er-long would it be my story. List ye now to my
        wonder-tale:                                                  50
    And this venture it telleth tidings of love, and anon of woe,
    Joy and sorrow it bringeth with it. 'Stead of _one_ man if
        _three_ ye know,
    And each one of the three hath wisdom and skill that outweigh
        my skill,
    Yet o'erstrange shall they find the labour, tho' they toil
        with a right good-will
    To tell ye this tale, which I think me to tell ye myself,
        alone,                                                        55
    And worn with their task and weary would they be ere the work
        was done.

    A tale I anew will tell ye, that speaks of a mighty love;
    Of the womanhood of true women; how a man did his manhood
    Of one that endured all hardness, whose heart never failed in
    Steel he in the face of conflict: with victorious hand of
        might                                                         60
    Did he win him fair meed of honour; a brave man yet slowly
    Is he whom I hail my hero! The delight he of woman's eyes,
    Yet of woman's heart the sorrow! 'Gainst all evil his face he
    Yet he whom I thus have chosen my song knoweth not as yet,
    For not yet is he born of whom men this wondrous tale shall
        tell,                                                         65
    And many and great the marvels that unto this knight befell.

    NOW they do to-day as of old time, where a foreign law holds
    (Yea, in part of our German kingdom, as ye oft shall have
        heard men say),
    Whoever might rule that country, 'twas the law, and none
        thought it shame
    ('Tis the truth and no lie I tell ye) that the elder son
        might claim                                                   70
    The whole of his father's heirdom--And the younger sons must
    What was theirs in their father's lifetime, they perforce at
        his death must leave.
    Before, all was theirs in common, now it fell unto one alone.
    So a wise man planned in his wisdom, that the eldest the
        lands should own,
    For youth it hath many a fair gift, but old age knoweth grief
        and pain,                                                     75
    And he who is poor in his old age an ill harvest alone doth
    Kings, Counts, Dukes (and no lie I tell ye) the law holdeth
        all as one,
    And no man of them all may inherit, save only the eldest son,
    And methinks 'tis an evil custom--So the knight in his
        youthful pride,
    Gamuret, the gallant hero, lost his Burg, and his fair lands
        wide,                                                         80
    Where his father had ruled with sceptre and crown as a mighty
    Till knighthood, and lust of battle, to his death did the
        monarch bring.

    And all men were sore for his sorrow, who truth and unbroken
    Bare ever throughout his lifetime, yea even unto his death.
    Then the elder son he summoned the princes from out his land,     85
    And knightly they came, who rightly might claim from their
        monarch's hand,
    To hold, as of yore, their fiefdoms. So came they unto his
    And the claim of each man he hearkened, and gave fiefs unto
        each and all.

    Now hear how they dealt--As their true heart it bade them,
        both great and small,
    They made to their king petition, with one voice from the
        people all,                                                   90
    That to Gamuret grace and favour he would show with true
        brother's hand,
    And honour himself in the doing. That he drive him not from
        the land
    But give him, within his kingdom, a fair Burg that all men
        might see,
    That he take from that Burg his title, and he held of all
        tribute free!--
    Nor the king was ill-pleased at their pleading, and he quoth,
        'A small grace, I trow,                                       95
    Have ye asked, I would e'en be better than your prayer, as ye
        straight shall know,
    Why name ye not this my brother as Gamuret Angevin?
    Since Anjou is my land, I think me the title we _both_ may

    Then further he spake, the monarch, 'My brother in sooth may
    Yet more from my hand of favour than my mouth may as swiftly
        speak,                                                       100
    With me shall he have his dwelling--I would that ye all
        should see
    How one mother alike hath borne us; his riches but small
        shall be,
    While I have enough; of free hand would I give him both lands
        and gold,
    That my bliss may be ne'er held forfeit by Him, Who can aye
    Or give, as He deemeth rightful!' Then the princes they heard
        alway,                                                       105
    How the king would deal well with his brother, and they
        deemed it a joyful day!

    And each one bowed him low before him. Nor Gamuret long
    But he spake as his heart would bid him, and friendly the
        words he said:
    'Now hearken, my lord and brother, if vassal I think to be
    To thee, or to any other, then a fair lot awaiteth me.           110
    But think thou upon mine honour, for faithful art thou and
    And give counsel as shall beseem thee, and help as thou shalt
    For naught have I now save mine armour, if within it I more
        had done,
    Then far lands should speak my praises, and remembrance from
        men were won!'
    Then further he spake, the hero: 'Full sixteen my squires
        shall be,                                                    115
    And six of them shall bear harness; four pages give thou to
    Of noble birth and breeding, and nothing to them I'll spare
    Of all that my hand may win them. Afar in the world I'ld
    (Somewhat I ere now have journeyed,) if Good Fortune on me
        shall smile,
    I may win from fair women favour. If a woman I serve awhile,     120
    And to serve her she hold me worthy, and my heart speaketh
        not amiss,
    True knight shall I be and faithful! God show me the way of
    As comrades we rode together (but then o'er thy land did
    The King Gandein, our father), and sorrow and bitter pain
    We bare for Love's sake! At one while I knew thee as _thief_
        and _knight_,                                                125
    Thou couldst serve, and thou couldst dissemble, for the sake
        of thy lady bright.
    Ah! could I steal love as thou couldst, if my skill were but
        like to thine,
    That women should show me favour, then a blissful lot were

    'Alas! that I ever saw thee,' spake, sighing, the king so
    'Who lightly, with words of mocking, my heart would in pieces
        hew                                                          130
    And would fain that we part asunder! One father hath left us
    A mighty store of riches, I would share with thee, nothing
    Right dear from my heart I hold thee; red gold and jewels
    Folk, weapons, horse, and raiment, take thou as shall seem
        thee right,
    That thou at thy will mayst journey, and thy free hand to all
        be known.                                                    135
    Elect do we deem thy manhood, didst thou Gylstram as
        birthplace own,
    Or thou camest here from Rankulat, yet still would that place
        be thine,
    Which thou boldest to-day in my favour; true brother art thou
        of mine!'

    'Sir King, thou of need must praise me, so great is thy
    So, courteous, thine aid be given, if thou and my mother free    140
    Will share with me now your riches, I mount upward, nor fear
        to fall,
    And my heart ever beateth higher--Yet I know not how I should
    This life, which my left breast swelleth! Ah! whither wouldst
        go mine heart?
    I would fain know where thou shalt guide me--'Tis time that
        we twain should part.'

    And all did the monarch give him, yea, more than the knight
        might crave,                                                 145
    Five chargers, picked and chosen, the best in his land he
    High-couraged, swift to battle; and many a cup of gold,
    And many a golden nugget, for naught would his hand withhold.
    Four chests for the road he gave him, with many a jewel rare
    Were they filled. Then the squires he took him who should for
        the treasure care,                                           150
    And well were they clad and mounted; and none might his grief
    When the knight gat him unto his mother, who her son in her
        arms did fold.

    Spake the woman, as woman grieving: 'Wilt thou tarry with me
        no more,
    King Gandein's son? Woe is me! yet my womb this burden bore
    And the son of my husband art thou. Is the eye of God waxed
        blind,                                                       155
    Or His ear grown deaf in the hearing, that my prayer doth no
        credence find?
    Is fresh sorrow to be my portion? I have buried my heart's
    And the light of mine eyes; will He rob me, who have suffered
        a grief so dire,
    Who judgeth with righteous judgment? Then the tale it hath
        told a lie,
    That spake of His help so mighty, Who doth help unto me
        deny!'                                                       160

    'God comfort thee,' quoth the hero, 'for the death of my
        father dear,
    For truly we both must mourn him--But I think from no lips to
    Such wailing for my departing! As valour shall show the way,
    I seek knighthood in distant countries--So it standeth with
        me to-day.'

    Quoth the queen, 'Since to high love's service thou turnest
        both hand and heart,                                         165
    Sweet son, let it not displease thee to take of my wealth a
    That may serve thee upon thy journey; let thy chamberlain
        take from me
    Four chests, each a pack-horse burden, and heavy their weight
        shall be.
    And within, uncut, there lieth rich silk of Orient rare,
    No man as yet hath cut it, and many a samite fair.               170
    Sweet son, I prithee tell me what time thou wilt come again,
    That my joy may wax the greater, and I look for thee not in

    'Nay, that I know not, Lady, nor the land that shall see my
    But wherever I take my journey, thou hast shown unto me such
    As befitteth knightly honour: and the king he hath dealt with
        me                                                           175
    In such wise that grateful service his rewarding shall ever
    And this trust have I, O Lady, that for this thou wilt love
        him more
    Henceforward, whate'er the future yet keepeth for me in
    And as the venture telleth, to the hand of this dauntless
    Thro' the favour he won from a woman, and the working of true
        love's might,                                                180
    Came a token fair, and its value was full thousand marks, I
    E'en to-day an a Jew were craving a pledge, he would deem
    Such jewel, and ne'er disdain it--'Twas sent by his lady
    And fame did he win in her service, and her love and her
        greeting knew,
    Yet seldom his pain found easing--Then the hero he took his
        leave                                                        185
    Of mother, brother, and brother's kingdom, and many I ween
        must grieve
    Since his eyes never more beheld them. And all who his
        friends had been,
    Ere he passed from the land of his fathers, tho' the grace
        were but small, I ween,
    He gave them of thanks full measure; he deemed they too much
        had done,
    And, courteous, little thought him, that of right he their
        love had won!                                                190
    Straighter his heart than straightness; did one of his
        praises speak
    In a full and fitting measure, then doubt were not far to
    But ask ye of those his neighbours, or of men who in distant
    Had seen his deeds, then the marvel ye were swifter to

    And Gamuret he trode ever where Temperance aye should guide,     195
    And naught else might rule his doings, nor he boasted him in
        his pride
    But bare great honour meekly; from loose ways he e'er had
    And he thought him, the gallant hero, that none bare on earth
        a crown,
    Were they King, or Queen, or Kaiser, whom he deemed of his
        service worth
    Were they not the mightiest reckoned of all monarchs that be
        on earth.                                                    200
    This will in his heart he cherished--Then men spake, at
        Bagdad did reign
    A monarch so strong and powerful, that homage he well might
    From two-thirds or more of earth's kingdoms. The heathen his
        name held great,
    And they spake of him as the Baruch, and kings did on his
        bidding wait,
    And crownèd heads were his servants; and his office it lasts
        to-day--                                                     205
    See how Christian men baptizèd to Rome wend their pilgrim
    So there was the heathen custom. At Bagdad was their papal
    And the Baruch as 'seemed his office purged their sins with
        his word of might.

    From Pompey and Ipomidon, two brothers of Babylon,
    Nineveh, the town of their fathers, the Baruch with force had
        won,                                                         210
    And bravely 'gainst him they battled. Then came the young
    And the Baruch he showed him favour, yea, he did to his
        service win
    Gamuret the gallant hero--And he deemed it were well he bore
    Other arms than Gandein his father had given to him of yore.
    Then the hero he well bethought him; on his charger's cloth
        they laid                                                    215
    An anchor of ermine fashioned, and the same at his will they
    For shield alike and vesture--And green as the emerald rare
    Was his riding-gear, and 'twas fashioned and wrought of
        Achmardi fair,
    ('Tis a silken stuff,) and he bade them to make of it at his
    Both blazoned coat and surcoat, (than velvet 'tis richer
        still;)                                                      220
    And he bade them to sew upon it the anchor of ermine white,
    And with golden threads inwoven was the badge of this gallant

    And his anchors they never tested or mainland or haven fair
    And found in that place abiding--But the hero must further
    Thro' many a land, a brave guest, the load of this heraldry,     225
    And behind the sign of this anchor but short space might his
        resting be,
    And nowhere he found abiding--The tale of the lands he saw,
    And the vessels in which he sailed him? If the truth unto ye
        I swore,
    On mine own oath must I swear it, and my knightly honour true
    In such wise as the venture told me; other witness I never
        knew!                                                        230

    And men say that his manly courage held the prize in far
    In Morocco's land, and in Persia, and elsewhere he high
        honour won,
    At Damascus and at Aleppo, and where knightly deeds should
    In Arabia and lands around it was he held of all conflict
    For no man might dare withstand him, he won him such crown of
        fame;                                                        235
    And his heart for honour lusted, and all deeds were brought
        to shame,
    And became as naught before him, as all men bare witness true
    Who a joust with him had ridden, and Bagdad of his glory

    And his heart never failed or faltered, but onward his course
        he bare
    To Zassamank's land and kingdom; there all men wept that hero
        fair,                                                        240
    Eisenhart, who in knightly service gave his life for a
        woman's smile;
    Belakané thereto constrained him, sweet maid she, and free
        from guile.
    (Since her love she never gave him, for love's sake did the
        hero die,)
    And his kinsmen would fain avenge him, and with force and
        with subtlety
    Their armies beset the maiden, but in sooth she could guard
        her well                                                     245
    Ere Gamuret came to her kingdom, and her wrath on her foemen
    For the Prince Friedebrand of Scotland, and his host that
        against her came
    By ship, ere he left her kingdom had she wasted with fire and

    Now hear what befell our hero; storm-driven he was that day,
    And scarce might he win to safety, and his boat in the haven
        lay                                                          250
    Beneath the royal palace; and the folk they beheld him there,
    And he looked around on the meadow, and he saw many tents
        stand fair
    Around the town, save the sea-coast, and two armies he
        thought to see.
    Then he bade them to tell the story, and whose that fair Burg
        should be?
    Since he knew it not, nor his shipmen--And an answer they
        straightway gave,                                            255
    'Twas Patelamunt; then the townsfolk a boon from the knight
        would crave,
    And their speech it was soft and friendly--In the name of
        their gods they'ld pray
    He should help them, so great their peril that in danger of
        death they lay.

    When the young Angevin had hearkened to the tale of their
        bitter pain,
    He proffered to them his service for such payment as knight
        may gain,                                                    260
    (As it oft shall befit a hero)--They should say for what
        goodly prize
    He should dare the hate of their foemen? And they answered
        him in this wise
    With one mouth the hale and the wounded--Naught would they
        from him withhold,
    But lord should he be of their treasure, of their jewels
        alike and gold,
    A fair life should he lead among them!--But such payment he
        little sought,                                               265
    For many a golden nugget from Araby had he brought.
    And dark as night were the people who in Zassamank dwelt
    And the time it seemed long unto him that he need in their
        midst must stay--
    But he bade them prepare a lodging, and methinks it became
        them well
    The best of their land to give him, since awhile he with them
        would dwell.                                                 270
    And the women they looked from the windows, and they gazed on
        the noble knight,
    And they looked on his squires, and his harness, how 'twas
        fashioned for deeds of might.
    Then they saw how the knight, free-handed, on his shield of
        ermine bare
    Full many a pelt of sable; the Queen's Marshal he read it
    The badge, for a mighty anchor, and little he rued the sight,    275
    If his eye spake the truth unto him ere this had he seen the
    Or one who bare his semblance--At Alexandria it needs must
    When the Baruch besieged the city--and unequalled in strife
        was he!

    So rode the gallant hero, in stately guise and meet;
    Ten pack-horses heavy-laden they led first adown the street,     280
    And twenty squires behind them; and his people they went
    And lackeys, cooks, and cook-boys, at the head of the train
        they saw.
    And stately I ween his household, twelve pages of lineage
    Rode next to the squires, well-mannered, and trained in all
    And Saracens were among them; and behind them in order fair      285
    Came chargers eight, and a covering of sendal did each one
    But the ninth it bore a saddle, and the shield ye have known
        ere now
    Was borne by a squire beside it, and joyful his mien, I trow.
    And trumpeters rode behind it, for in sooth they must needs
        be there,
    And a drummer he smote his tambour, and swung it aloft in
        air.                                                         290
    And as naught had the hero deemed it, this pomp, if there
        failed to ride
    Men who on the flute were skilful, and three fiddlers were at
        their side,
    And they hasted not nor hurried; and behind them the hero
    And his shipman he rode beside him, a wise man of goodly

    And much folk was within the city, and Moors were both man
        and maid.                                                    295
    Then the hero he looked around him, and, lo! many a shield
    Battle-hewn and with spear-thrust piercèd they hung on each
        wall and door.
    And wailing and woe was their portion; for the knight at each
        window saw
    Many men lie sorely wounded, who to breathe the air were
    And e'en tho' a leech might tend them no help might they
        think to gain                                                300
    Who were hurt too sore for healing--In the field had they
        faced the foe,
    And such shall be their rewarding who in conflict no flight
        will know--
    Many horses were led towards him, sword-hewn and with lance
        thrust through;
    And on each side stood dusky maidens, and black as the night
        their hue.

    Then his host gave him kindly greeting--and of joy did he
        reap his meed--                                              305
    A rich man was he and mighty, and many a knightly deed
    With thrust and blow had his hand wrought when his post at
        the gate he found;
    And many a knight was with him, and bandaged their heads and
    And their hands in slings were holden; yet tho' sorely
        wounded still
    They did many deeds of knighthood, nor were lacking in
        strength and skill.                                          310

    Then the Burg-grave of the city, with fair words did he pray
        his guest
    To deal with him and his household in such wise as should
        seem him best.
    And the host, he led the hero to his wife, and courteously
    Did Gamuret kiss the lady, small joy in the kiss had he!
    Then they sat them down to the table, and e'en as the feast
        was o'er,                                                    315
    The Marshal he gat him swiftly to the queen, and the tidings
    And craved from her goodly payment, as to messenger shall be
    And he spake, 'It shall end in gladness, the grief that
        erewhile we knew,
    We have welcomed here, O Lady, a knight of such gallant mien,
    We must thank the gods who have sent him, for our need they
        have surely seen.'                                           320

    'Now tell me upon thine honour who this gallant knight may
    'Lady, a dauntless hero, and the Baruch's man is he,
    An Angevin he, of high lineage; Ah me! little did he spare
    Himself, when his foemen seeking he forth to the field would
    How wisely, with skill and cunning, he avoided the
        threatening blow,                                            325
    And turned him again to the onslaught! Much sorrow he wrought
        his foe--
    Ere this have I seen him battle, when the princes of Babylon
    Their city of Alexandria had fain from the Baruch won,
    And with force from its walls would drive him, and many a man
        lay dead
    In the overthrow of their army, for their venture was but
        ill-sped.                                                    330
    And such deeds did he do, this hero, that no counsel was
        theirs but flight:
    And there did I hear his praises, for all spake of this
        gallant knight
    As one who, without denial, had won him, in many a land,
    The crown of true knightly honour, by the strength of his own
        right hand.

    'Now fain would I speak with the hero, see thou to the time
        and way;                                                     335
    E'en now might he ride to the castle, for peace shall be kept
    Were it better that I should seek him? He is other than we in
    Pray Heaven it not displease him, but our need with the
        knight find grace!
    I would that I first might know this, ere the rede from my
        folk I hear
    That I show to this stranger honour--If it pleaseth him to
        draw near,                                                   340
    Say, how shall I best receive him? Shall the knight be so
        nobly born
    That my kiss be not lost, if I kiss him?' 'Nay, hold me of
        life forsworn
    If he be not of kings the kinsman! Lady, this word I'll bear
    To thy princes, that they shall clothe them in raiment both
        fit and fair,
    And stand before thee, in due order, ere yet to thy court we
        ride,                                                        345
    And the same shalt thou say to thy ladies--In the city he
        doth abide;
    I will ride below, and will bring him to thy palace, a worthy
    For no fair or knightly virtue shall be lacking that noble

    But little space they delayed them, for the Marshal, with
        ready skill,
    Strove that all in such wise be ordered as should pleasure
        his lady's will.                                             350
    But soon did they bear to the hero rich garments, he did them
    And this hath the venture told me that their cost should be
        hardly won;
    And thereon lay the anchors, heavy, and wrought of Arabian
    For so had he willed. Then the hero, who fair payment for
        love had told
    A charger bestrode that 'fore Babylon a knight rode, for
        jousting fain,                                               355
    From the saddle did Gamuret smite him, and I wot it hath
        wrought him pain.

    If his host thought to ride beside him? He and his gallant
    Yea, in sooth they would do so, gladly--So wended they up the
    And dismounted before the palace; and many a knight stood
    And each, as was fit, had clothed him in raiment both rich
        and fair.                                                    360
    And his pages they ran before him, and each twain they went
        hand in hand,
    And in marvellous fair arraying he saw many ladies stand.
    And the queen, her eyes brought her sorrow as she looked on
        the Angevin,
    So lovely was he to look on that he needs must an entrance
    Thro' the gates of her heart, if 'twere anguish or joy that
        within he bore,                                              365
    Tho' her womanhood 'gainst all comers had held them fast
        closed before.

    Then a space did she step towards him, and a kiss from her
        guest she prayed;
    And, herself, by the hand she took him and they sat them,
        both man and maid
    In a window wide, that looked forth from the palace upon the
    And a covering of wadded samite was spread o'er the couch
        below.                                                       370
    Is there aught that than day is lighter? Then it likeneth not
        the queen!
    Yet else was she fair to look on, as a woman should be, I
    But unlike to the dew-dipped roses was her colour, yea, black
        as night.
    And her crown was a costly ruby, and thro' it ye saw aright
    Her raven head. Then as hostess she spake to her guest this
        word,                                                        375
    That greatly she joyed at his coming, 'Sir, Knight, I such
        tale have heard
    Of thy knightly strength and prowess--Of thy courtesy, hear
        me fair,
    For fain would I tell of my sorrow, and the woe that my heart
        doth bear!'

    'My help shall not fail thee, Lady! What hath grieved, or
        doth grieve thee now,
    I think me aside to turn it, to thy service my hand I vow!       380
    I am naught but one man only--Who hath wronged or now
        wrongeth thee
    My shield will I hold against him--Little wroth shall thy
        foeman be!'

    Then a prince he spake out courteous, 'The foe would we
        little spare,
    Did our host not lack a captain, since Friedebrand hence must
    He defendeth afar his kingdom--A king, one Hernant by name       385
    (Whom he slew for the sake of Herlindè) his kinsmen against
        him came,
    And evil enow have they wrought him, nor yet from their
        strife forbear--
    Yet he left here full many a hero, and among them, Duke
    With his gallant deeds of knighthood, and his army, hath
        pressed us sore,
    They have skill and strength for the conflict. And many a
        soldier more                                                 390
    With Gaschier of Normandy came here, and a hero wise is he.
    Many knights hath he brought to this country (and wrathful
        guests they be):
    Kailet of Hoscurast. All these hath he brought upon our fair
    With his comrades four, and his soldiers, the Scottish king
    And there, to the West, by the sea-coast doth Eisenhart's
        army lie,                                                    395
    And their eyes shall be fain for weeping; nor in secret, nor
    Hath one seen them, and failed to marvel at their grief and
        their sorrow sore,
    Since their lord hath been slain in battle with the heart's
        rain their eyes run o'er.'

    Then the guest courteous spake to his hostess, 'I would, an
        it seem thee right,
    Thou shouldst say why thy foeman threaten, why they seek thee
        with war-like might!                                         400
    Thou hast here many gallant heroes, it grieveth me sore to
    Thy land thus with hate o'erladen, for woe must it bring to

    'Wouldst thou know? Then, Sir Knight, I will tell thee--A
        knight did me service true,
    And the fruit of all manly virtue his life as its decking
    And gallant and wise was the hero, and his faith as a goodly
        tree                                                         405
    Was fast-rooted, and none so courteous but were shamed by his
    And modest was he as a woman, tho' dauntless and strong, I
    And a knight e'en as he free-handed ere his day never land
        might know.
    (But they that shall come hereafter, other folk shall their
        doings see.)
    A fool was he in false dealing, and a Moor, as myself shall
        be;                                                          410
    And his father's name was Tánkaneis, a king of a kingly
    And his son, he who was my lover, men knew him as Eisenhart.
    That for love's sake I took his service, as a woman I did not
    It hath brought me but lasting sorrow since no joy to his
        portion fell,
    They deem I to death betrayed him! Yet such treason were far
        from me,                                                     415
    Tho' his folk bring such charge against me; and dear to my
        heart was he,
    Far dearer than _they_ e'er held him. Nor witnesses here
        shall fail
    To speak to the truth of my saying, if it please them to tell
        the tale.
    His gods and mine, they know it, the truth--I must sorrow
    Since my womanly shame hath brought him a guerdon I needs
        must weep!                                                   420

    'Thus he won in my maiden service much honour by knighthood
    I thought thus to prove my lover; his deeds did his worth
    For my sake he put off his harness (that which like to a hall
        doth stand
    Is a lofty tent, the Scotch folk they brought it into this
    Then e'en tho' he bare no armour his body he little spared,      425
    For he held his life as worthless, many ventures unarmed he
    As the matter so stood between us, a prince who my man should
    Prothizilas did men call him, a bold knight, from all
        cowardice free,
    Rode forth in search of venture, and evil for him that day
    For there, in Assagog's forest, his death in waiting lay.        430
    In a knightly joust he met it, and there too he found his end
    The gallant knight who faced him--'Twas Prince Eisenhart my
    For both of the twain were piercèd with a spear thro' heart
        and shield,
    And I, alas! poor woman, must weep for that fatal field.
    And ever their death doth grieve me, and sorrow from love
        shall grow,                                                  435
    And never henceforth as my husband a man do I think to know.'

    Then e'en tho' she was a heathen Gamuret he bethought him
    That a heart more true and tender ne'er in woman's breast
        might dwell.
    Her purity was her baptism, and as water that washed her o'er
    Was the rain that streamed from her eyelids o'er her breast,
        and the robe she wore;                                       440
    All her joy did she find in sorrow, and grief o'er her life
        did reign--
    Then the queen she looked on the hero, and in this wise she
        spake again:

    'With his army the king of Scotland hath sought me across the
    For the knight was son to his uncle; yet no ill can he do to
    If here the truth be spoken, that is worse than the grief I
        knew                                                         445
    For Eisenhart's death!' and sorely she sighed that lady true;
    And many a glance thro' her tear-drops on Gamuret shyly fell,
    And her eyes to her heart gave counsel, and his beauty it
        pleased her well,
    (And she knew how to judge a fair face, since fair heathen
        she oft had seen,)
    And the root of true love and longing it sprang up the twain
        between.                                                     450
    She looked upon him, and his glances, they answering sought
        her own--
    Then she bade them to fill the wine-cup, had she dared, it
        were left undone,
    And she grieved she might not delay it, since to many a hero
    Who spake with the maids this wine-cup the signal of parting
    Yet her body was e'en as his body, and his look did such
        courage give                                                 455
    To the maid, that she thought henceforward in the life of the
        knight to live.

    Then he stood upright, and he spake thus, 'Lady, I weary
    Too long methinks do I sit here, I were lacking in courtesy!
    As befitting true knight and servant I mourn for thy woe so
    Lady, do thou command me, I will on thy bidding wait.            460
    Wherever thou wilt, there I wend me. I will serve thee in all
        I may!'
    And the lady she quoth in answer, 'I believe thee, Sir
        Knight, alway!'

    Then his kindly host the Burg-grave, of his labour would
        nothing spare
    Lest the hours of his stay be heavy; and he asked if he forth
        would fare,
    And ride round the walls of the city? 'The battle-field shalt
        thou see,                                                    465
    And how we would guard our portals!' then Gamuret courteously
    Made answer, he fain would see it, the field where they late
        had fought,
    And the place where brave deeds of knighthood had by gallant
        hands been wrought.

    And noble knights rode with him adown from the palace hall,
    Some were wise, some were young and foolish,--So rode they
        around the wall                                              470
    To sixteen gates, and they told him not one of them might
        they close
    Since Eisenhart's death called for vengeance--'So wrathful
        shall be our foes
    Our conflict it resteth never, but we fight both by night and
    Nor our portals since then we fasten, but open they stand
    At eight of our gates they beset us, true Eisenhart's gallant
        knights,                                                     475
    And evil shall they have wrought us; spurred by anger each
        man doth fight,
    The princes of lofty lineage, the king of Assagog's ban!'
    And there floated before each portal a banner, so pale and
    With a piercèd knight upon it. When Eisenhart lost his life
    His folk chose to them this symbol, as badge in the coming
        strife.                                                      480
    'But against these arms have we others, wherewith we their
        grief would still,
    And thus shalt thou know our banner; 'twas wrought at our
        lady's will,
    Two fingers in oath she stretcheth, that never such grief she
    As Eisenhart's death hath brought her (true sorrow for heart
        so true),
    And so doth it stand the semblance of our queen, on a samite
        white                                                        485
    Belakané in sable fashioned,--Since against us they came in
    (To avenge him for whom she sorrows) so she looks from our
        portals high.
    And proud Friedebrand's mighty army doth to eight of our
        gates stand nigh,
    Baptized men, from o'er the waters. A prince doth each portal
    And forth from the gate he sallies, with his banners and
        warriors bold.'                                              490

    'From the host of Gaschier the Norman, a count have we
        captive ta'en,
    And heavy methinks the ransom we may hope from that knight to
    He is sister's son to Kailet, and the harm _he_ to us hath
    His nephew I ween shall pay for! Yet such prize have we
        seldom won.
    Here have we no grassy meadow, but sand, thirty gallops wide     495
    Betwixt the tents and the trenches; here many a joust we

    And further his host would tell him, 'One knight, he doth
        never fail
    To ride forth, a fair joust seeking. (If his service shall
        nought avail
    With her who hath sent him hither, what boots it how well he
    Proud Heuteger is the hero, of him may I speak with right        500
    For since our besiegers threaten there dawneth never a day
    But before the gates 'neath the castle, that knight doth his
        charger stay.
    And oft from that dauntless hero many tokens we needs must
    That he smote through our shields at his spear-point, and
        costly their worth and rare
    When the squire from the shield doth break them. Many knights
        'fore his joust must fall;                                   505
    He would that all men may behold him, and our women they
        praise him all.
    And he who is praised of women, one knoweth that he doth hold
    The prize in his hand, and his heart's joy in full measure
        shall aye be told!'

    But now would the sun, grown weary, its wandering rays
    'Twas time that the ride was ended--Then he sought with his
        host the hall,                                               510
    And the evening meal was ready; and I needs of that feast
        must tell,
    'Twas laid in a fitting order, and knightly 'twas served, and
    And the queen with mien so stately she unto his table came,
    (Here stood the fish, there the heron) and she counted it not
        for shame
    To ride adown from her palace, that herself she might be
        aware                                                        515
    If they cared for the guest as 'twas fitting, and with her
        rode her maidens fair.
    Low she knelt (and but ill it pleased him) and cut as it
        seemed her best
    For the knight a fitting portion; she was glad in her goodly
    And she filled for him the wine-cup, and care for his needs
        would take,
    And well did he mark, the hero, her mien, and the words she
        spake.                                                       520
    And his fiddlers sat at the table, and over against the
    Was his chaplain: with shy looks shamefast, he spake to the
        lady bright:

    'I looked not to find such welcome as, Lady, thou gavest me,
    Too much must I deem the honour! If rede I might give to
    Then to-day I had claimed naught from thee save was due to my
        worth alone,                                                 525
    Nor adown the hill hadst thou ridden, nor such service to me
        hadst shown.
    And, Lady, if I may venture to make unto thee request,
    Let me live but as best befits me, thou dost honour o'ermuch
        thy guest!'

    Yet her kindly care she stayed not; for she stept to his
        page's seat
    And with gentle words and friendly she prayed them to freely
        eat,                                                         530
    This she did her guest to honour: and the noble lads, I trow,
    Bare goodwill to the royal lady. Nor the queen methinks was
    To pass where the host was seated and his lady, the
    And she raised the golden goblet, and she spake as should fit
        a queen:
    'Now unto your care I give him, our guest, and I rede ye both    535
    Since the honour is yours, to hearken, and do my will nothing
    And she bade them farewell, and she turned her, and passed to
        her guest once more,
    Whose heart for her sake was heavy; and such sorrow for him
        she bore,
    And her heart and her eyes they answered, and they spake to
        her sorrow yea!
    And courteous she spake, the lady, 'Sir Knight, thou the word
        shalt say,                                                   540
    And whate'er be thy will, I will do it, for I hold thee a
        worthy guest.
    Now give me, I pray, dismissal; if here thou in peace shalt
    Of that shall we all be joyful.' Her torch-holders were of
    And four tapers they bare before her, so she rode to her

    Nor long at the board they lingered--The hero was sad, and
        gay,                                                         545
    He was glad for the honour done him, yet a sorrow upon him
    And that was strong Love's compelling, that a proud heart and
        courage high
    Can bend to her will, and gladness shall oft at her bidding

    Then the hostess she passed to her chamber, yea, e'en as the
        meal was o'er;
    And a couch did they spread for the hero, and love to the
        labour bore.                                                 550
    And the host to his guest spake kindly, 'Now here shall thy
        sleep be sweet,
    Thou shalt rest thro' the night that cometh, to thy need
        shall such rest be meet.'
    Then he spake to his men, and he bade them they should hence
        from the hall away,
    And the noble youths his pages, their couches around his lay
    Each one with the head toward his master, for so was the
        custom good;                                                 555
    And tapers so tall and flaming alight round the chamber
    Yet ill did it please the hero that so long were the hours of
    For the Moorish queen so dusky, had vanquished his heart of
    And he turned as a willow wand bendeth, till his joints they
        were heard to crack,
    The strife and the love that he craved for he deemed he
        o'er-long did lack.                                          560
    And his heart-beats they echoed loudly, as it swelled high
        for knighthood fain,
    And he stretched himself as an archer who bendeth a bow
    And so eager his lust for battle that sleepless the hero lay
    Till he saw the grey light of morning, though as yet it
        should scarce be day.
    And his chaplain for Mass was ready, and to God and the
        knight they sing,                                            565
    For so did he give commandment. Then he bade them his harness

    And he rode where a joust should wait him, and that self-same
        hour would ride
    A horse that could charge the foeman, and turn swiftly to
        either side,
    And answer to bit and bridle if its rider would backward
    And the watchers, both man and woman, his helm in the gateway
        saw,                                                         570
    And the anchor shone fair upon it; and no man ere this might
    So wondrous fair a hero, for like to a god was he!

    And strong spears they bare for his using--How then was he
        decked, the knight?
    With iron was his charger covered, as should serve for a
        shield in fight,
    And above lay another covering, nor heavy methinks it
        weighed,                                                     575
    'Twas a samite green; and his surcoat and blazoned coat were
    Of Achmardi, green to look on, and in Araby fashioned fair,
    And no lie I tell, but the shield-thongs that the weight of
        the shield should bear
    Were of silk and gold untarnished, and jewel-bedecked their
    And the boss of the shield was covered with red gold, in the
        furnace tried.                                               580
    He served but for love's rewarding; sharp conflict he held it
    And the queen she looked from her window, with many a lady
    And see, there Heuteger held him, who the prize ne'er had
        failed to gain;
    When he saw the knight draw nearer, in swift gallop across
        the plain,
    He thought, 'Now whence came this Frenchman? Who hither this
        knight hath sent?                                            585
    If a _Moor_ I had thought this hero, my wit were to madness

    No whit they delayed the onslaught, from gallop to swifter
    Each man spurred amain his charger; and as fitting a valiant
    Nor one would evade the other, but would meet him in jousting
    From brave Heuteger's spear the splinters flew high thro' the
        summer air,                                                  590
    But his foeman so well withstood him that he thrust him from
        off his steed
    Adown on the grass; but seldom might he win for his joust
        such meed!
    And his foe in his course rode o'er him, and trode him unto
        the ground,
    Yet he sprang up again, and valiant, fresh lust for the
        strife he found,
    But Gamuret's lance had pierced him thro' the arm, and he
        bade him yield,                                              595
    And he knew he had found his master, and he spake from the
        foughten field,
    'Now who shall have o'erthrown me?' and the victor he swiftly
    'Gamuret Angevin do men call me!' then he quoth, 'Thou my
        pledge canst take!'

    Then his pledge the knight took, and straightway he sent him
        within the wall,
    And much praise did he win from the women who looked from the
        castle hall.                                                 600
    And swiftly there came towards him, Gaschier of Normandy,
    A proud and wealthy hero and mighty in strife was he.
    And Gamuret made him ready, for a second joust he'ld ride,
    And strong and new was his spear-shaft, and the iron was both
        sharp and wide,
    And the strangers they faced each other--But unequal their
        lot, I trow,                                                 605
    For Gaschier and his gallant charger full swiftly were they
        laid low,
    And the knight with his arms and harness he fell in the shock
        of strife;
    If he thought it for good or for evil, by his pledge must he
        win his life.

    Then Gamuret quoth, the hero, 'Thou hast pledged unto me
        thine hand,
    Yet the weapon it well hath wielded! Ride thou to the
        Scottish band,                                               610
    And bid them to cease from troubling; if they to thy will are
    Thou canst follow me to the city.' Then the knight hied him
        o'er the plain.
    If he prayed them, or gave commandment, they did at the last
        his will,
    And the Scottish host they rested, and from conflict they
        held them still.

    Then Kailet spurred swift towards him, but Gamuret turned his
        rein,                                                        615
    His cousin he was, and near kinsman, why then bring him grief
        and pain?
    And the Spaniard cried loudly on him; on his helm he an
        ostrich bare,
    And so far as I know to tell ye the knight he was decked so
    With silken raiment goodly, and long were his robes and wide,
    And the plain rang clear with the chiming of sweet bells as
        he o'er it hied.                                             620
    The flower he of manly beauty, and his fairness it held the
    Save for two who should come hereafter, and his fame unto
        theirs must yield;
    But Parzival and brave Beaucorps, King Lot's son, they are
        not here,
    Not yet were they born, but hereafter for their beauty men
        held them dear!

    Then Gaschier he grasped his bridle. 'Now checked will it be
        thy race,                                                    625
    So I tell thee upon mine honour, if the Angevin thou shalt
    Who there my pledge hath taken. Sir Knight, thou shalt list
        my prayer
    And hearken unto my counsel; in Gamuret's hand I sware
    From strife aside to turn thee: stay thy steed then for my
    For mighty is he in conflict!' Then aloud King Kailet spake,     630
    'Is he Gamuret my cousin, and son unto King Gandein?
    Then I care not with him to battle, no foe shall he be of
    Take thine hand from off my bridle'--'Nay, further thou shalt
        not fare
    Till mine eyes have first beheld thee, with thine head of the
        helmet bare,
    For _mine_ with blows is deafened!' Then his helmet the
        prince unbound.                                              635
    And yet, tho' with him he fought not, Gamuret other foemen

    And the day had grown to high morning--And the folk who the
        joust might see
    Were glad at heart, and they gat them to their bulwarks right
    For he was as a net before them, and none might escape his
    And he chose him another charger, so the tale unto me was
        told,                                                        640
    And it flew, and the earth it spurnèd, and its work could
        aright fulfil,
    Bold when the knight would battle, yet its speed could he
        check at will.
    And what would he do the rider? His valour I praise alway,
    For he rode where the Moorish army to the west by the
        sea-coast lay.

    Thence a prince, Rassalig men called him, forgat not each
        coming morn                                                  645
    (He was Assagog's richest hero, to riches and honour born
    Since he came of a royal lineage) to take from the camp his
    He would fain joust before the city--But his strength it was
        quelled that day
    By Anjou's dauntless hero; and a dusky maid made moan
    (Since 'twas she who sent him hither) that her knight should
        be thus o'erthrown.                                          650
    For a squire brought, without his bidding, to his master,
        brave Gamuret,
    A spear, with light reed-shaft fashioned, and its point
        'gainst the Moor he set,
    And with it he smote the paynim from his steed down upon the
    Nor longer he bade him lie there than as surety he pledged
        his hand.
    So the strife it had found its ending, and the hero had won
        him fame;                                                    655
    Then Gamuret saw eight banners toward the city that onward
    And he bade the conquered hero the force with his word to
    And follow him to the city. And that word must he needs obey.

    Nor Gaschier delayed his coming; and unto the Burg-grave told
    How his guest sought for further conflict nor his wrath might
        the host withhold.                                           660
    If he swallowed not iron as an ostrich, nor his wrath did on
        stones assuage
    'Twas but that he might not find them! Then he gnashed his
        teeth for rage,
    And he growled as a mighty lion, and the hair of his head he
    And he quoth, 'So the years of my lifetime a harvest of folly
    The gods they had sent to my keeping a valiant and worthy
        friend,                                                      665
    If with strife he shall be o'erladen, then mine honour hath
        found an end;
    Sword and shield they shall little profit--Yea, shame he
        would on me cast
    Who should bring this to my remembrance!' Then swift from his
        place he passed,
    And he gat him into the portal, and a squire towards him
    And he bare a shield that was painted with a knight by a
        spear pierced thro',                                         670
    In Eisenhart's land was it fashioned; and a helmet his hand
        must hold,
    And a sword that Rassalig carried in battle, that heathen
    But now was he parted from it whose fame was in every place;
    Were he slain unbaptized I think me, God had shown to this
        hero grace!

    And e'en as the Burg-grave saw it, ne'er of yore was his joy
        so great,                                                    675
    For the coat-of-arms he knew it--So he rode thro' the city
    And without, his guest had halted, young hero he, not yet
    As one of a joust desirous, and his bridle the Burg-grave
    Lahfilirost was his name, he grasped it, and he led him
        within the wall;
    And I wot well no other foeman that day 'neath his spear must
        fall.                                                        680

    Quoth Lahfilirost the Burg-grave, 'Sir Knight, thou shalt
        tell to me
    If thine hand Rassalig hath vanquished?' 'Then our land from
        all strife is free;
    For he of the Moors is chieftain, the men of true Eisenhart
    Who have brought unto us such sorrow--But now shall our woe
    'Twas a wrathful god who bade him thus seek us with all his
        host,                                                        685
    But his weapons to naught are smitten, and to folly is turned
        his boast!'
    Then he led him in (ill it pleased him) and there met then
        the royal maid,
    And she loosened the bands of his vizor, and her hand on his
        bridle laid,
    To her care must the Burg-grave yield it: nor his squires to
        their task were slack,
    For they turned them about, and swiftly they rode on their
        master's track.                                              690
    So men saw the queen so gracious lead her guest thro' the
        city street
    Who here should be hailed the victor--Then she lighted her on
        her feet,
    'Ah me! but thy squires are faithful! Fear ye lest your lord
        be lost?
    Without ye shall he be cared for; take his steed, here am I
        his host!'

    And above found he many a maiden: then her hands of dusky hue    695
    The queen set unto his harness, and disarmed the knight so
    And the bed-covering was of sable, and the couch it was
        spread so fair,
    And in secret a hidden honour they did for the knight
    For no one was there to witness--The maidens they might not
    And the door was fast closed behind them, and Frau Minne
        might have her way.                                          700
    So the queen in the arms of her true love found guerdon of
        sweet delight,
    Tho' unlike were the twain in their colour, Moorish princess
        and Christian knight!

    Then the townsfolk brought many an offering to the gods who
        had seen their woe.
    That which Rassalig needs must promise ere he from the field
        might go
    That he did, in all truth and honour, yet heavy was he at
        heart,                                                       705
    And afresh sprang the fount of his sorrow for his prince
        gallant Eisenhart.
    And the Burg-grave he heard of his coming; then loud rang the
        trumpet call,
    And no man of Zassamank's princes but came to the palace
    They gave Gamuret thanks for the honour he had won in the
        field that day,
    Four-and-twenty had fallen before him, and their chargers he
        bore away,                                                   710
    And three chieftains had he made captive. And there rode in
        the princes' train
    Many gallant knights, in the courtyard of the palace did they
        draw rein.
    And the hero had slept and eaten, and clad him in raiment
    Chief host was he, for his body fit garments would they
    And she who afore was a maiden but now was a wife would take     715
    Her lord by the hand, forth she led him, and unto her princes
    'My body and this my kingdom are vassals unto this knight,
    If so be that his foemen fearing, resist not his hand of

    Then Gamuret spake, and his bidding was courteous, for hero
    Sir Rassalig, go thou nearer, with a kiss thou my wife shalt
        greet;                                                       720
    And Sir Gaschier, thou shalt do likewise.' Then the Scotch
        knight proud Heuteger
    He bade on the lips to kiss her (and the wounds won in joust
        he bare).

    Then he bade them all be seated, and standing, he wisely
    'I were fain to behold my kinsman, if he who did captive take
    The knight shall have naught against it--As kinsman it
        seemeth me                                                   725
    That I find here no other counsel save straightway to set him
    Then the queen she smiled, and bade them go swiftly and seek
        the knight,
    And then thro' the throng he pressed him, that count so fair
        and bright,
    Yet bare he the wounds of knighthood, and bravely and well
        had fought;
    With the host of Gaschier the Norman the land of the Moors he
        sought.                                                      730
    He was courteous; his sire a Frenchman he was Kailet's
        sister's son,
    Killirjacac his name; in the service of fair women fair meed
        he won,

    And the fairest of men they deemed him. When Gamuret saw his
    (For like were they each to the other, as men of a kindred
    He bade his queen to kiss him and embrace him as kinsman
        true,                                                        735
    And he spake, 'Now come thou and greet me!' and the knight to
        his arms he drew,
    And he kissed him, and each was joyful that the other he here
        might meet:
    And Gamuret quoth unto him, 'Alas! cousin fair and sweet,
    What doth thy young strength in this conflict? Say, if woman
        hath sent thee here?'
    'Nay, never a woman sent me, with my cousin I came, Gaschier,    740
    He knoweth why he hath brought me--A thousand men have I,
    And I do to him loyal service--To Rouen in Normandy
    I came, where his force was gathered, and many a youthful
    I brought from Champagne in mine army; 'neath his banner we
        fain would fight.
    Now evil hath turned against him what of cunning is hers and
        skill,                                                       745
    Thou wilt honour thyself if thou free him for my sake, and
        cure his ill!'
    'Thyself shalt fulfil thy counsel! Go thou, take with thee
    I would fain see my kinsman Kailet, do thou bring him unto me
    So they wrought out the host's desiring, and brought him at
        his behest,
    And in loving wise and kindly did Gamuret greet his guest;       750
    And ofttimes the queen embraced him, and kissed him with
        kisses sweet:
    And nothing it wronged her honour in such wise the prince to
    He was cousin unto her husband, by birth was himself a king.
    Then smiling his host spake to him, 'God knows, 'twere an
        evil thing,
    Had I taken from thee Toledo, and thy goodly land of Spain       755
    For Gascony's king, who wrathful doth plague thee with strife
    'Twere faithless of me, Sir Kailet, since mine aunt's son
        thou sure shalt be;
    The bravest of knights shall be with thee; say, who forced
        this strife on thee?'

    Then out spake the proud young hero, 'My cousin Schiltung
    (Since his daughter Friedebrand wedded) that I lend to the
        king mine aid.                                               760
    For the sake of his wife hath he won him, yea even from me
    Six thousand chosen heroes, who valour and skill have shown.
    And other men did I bring him, but a part they shall hence
        have sailed,
    For the Scottish folk came they hither, brave bands who in
        strife ne'er failed.
    And there came to his aid from Greenland, strong heroes who
        bravely fought,                                              765
    Two mighty kings, and a torrent of knighthood with them they
    And many a goodly vessel: and they pleased me, those men of
    And here for his sake came Morhold, who hath cunning and
        skill in fight.'

    'But now have they turned them homewards, and that which the
        queen shall say
    Even that will I do with mine army, her servant am I alway!      770
    Thou shalt thank me not for this service, from kinsman 'twas
        due, I ween.
    Now _thine_ are these gallant heroes, if like mine they
        baptized had been
    And were even as they in colour, then never a monarch crowned
    But if they should fight against him, of conflict his fill
        had found!
    But I marvel what here hath brought thee? Say, how didst thou
        reach this strand?'                                          775
    'Yestreen I came, and this morning I am lord o'er this goodly
    The queen by the hand she took me, and with love I myself
        would shield,
    For so did my wit give counsel--' 'Yea, so hast thou won the
    Those sweet weapons two hosts have vanquished!' 'Thou wouldst
        say, since I fled from _thee_,
    So loudly on me thou calledst, say, what wouldst thou force
        from me?                                                     780
    Let us speak of the thing in friendship!' 'Thine anchor I
        failed to know,
    But seldom mine aunt's brave husband Gandein, did such token
    'But I, I knew well thine ostrich with the snake's head upon
        thy breast,
    Aloft stood thy bird so stately, nor hid it within a nest!'

    'And I saw in thy mien and bearing that that pledge would
        have 'seemed thee ill                                        785
    Which two heroes afore had given, tho' first had they fought
        their fill.'
    'E'en such fate as theirs were my portion--But this thing I
        needs must say,
    Tho' little I like a devil, were he victor as thou this day
    For love of his gallant doings the women had deemed him
    Yea, as sugar were fain to eat him!' 'Now thou praisest me
        more than meet!'                                             790
    'Nay, of flattery know I little, thou shalt see that I hold
        thee dear
    In other wise!' Then the hero bade Rassalig draw anear.

    And courteous he spake, King Kailet, 'My kinsman with valiant
    Hath made of thee here his captive?' 'Yea, Sire, so the thing
        doth stand,
    And I hold him for such a hero that Assagog's kingdom fair       795
    Should fail not to yield him homage, since the crown he may
        never wear,
    Our prince Eisenhart! In her service was he slain who shall
        now be wife
    To thy kinsman, as knight so faithful he gave for her love
        his life.
    With my kiss have I sealed forgiveness, yet my lord and my
        friend I lost!
    If thy cousin by knightly dealing will repay of his death the
        cost                                                         800
    I will fold my hands as his vassal: and wealth shall be his
        and fame,
    All that Eisenhart from Tánkaneis as his heritage thought to
    Embalmed here the hero lieth, and I gaze on his wounds each
    Since this spear thro' his true heart piercing, my lord and
        my king did slay!'

    Then he drew it forth from his bosom by a silken cord so
        fine,                                                        805
    And the heroes saw the spear-blade 'neath his robe on his
        bare chest shine.
    And he quoth, 'It is now high morning, if my lord Sir
    My token will bear to my princes, with him will the knights
        ride back.'
    And a finger-ring he sent them: dark as hell were those
        heroes all
    And they rode who were there of princes, thro' the town to
        the castle hall.                                             810
    As his vassals he gave with their banners to Assagog's lords
        their land,
    And each one rejoiced in the fiefdom he won from his ruler's
    But the better part was his portion, Gamuret's, as their lord
        and king.
    And these were the first--as they passed hence their homage
        they fain would bring
    The princes of Zassamank's kingdom, and they came in their
        order due,                                                   815
    And each as their queen had bade them, they took from his
        hand anew
    Their land, and the fruit it should bear them, as to each man
        was fit and right,
    And poverty fled from his presence. Now he who was slain in
    And in life was a prince by lineage, Prothizilas, he had left
    A Dukedom fair, and this country which was thus of its lord
        bereft                                                       820
    He gave unto him who much honour had won by his strong right
    The Burg-grave, in combat dauntless--With its banners he took
        the land.

    Then Assagog's noble princes took the Scotch Duke, proud
    And Gaschier, the Norman hero, to their lord did they lead
        them there,
    And he spake them free for their asking, and they thanked
        brave Gamuret.                                               825
    Then Heuteger of Scotland with prayers did these knights
    'Now give to our lord the armour, as prize for his deeds so
    That Eisenhart's life took from us, when to Friedebrand he
    That which was of our land the glory--Forfeit of joy the
    And dead on his bier he lieth, since no love might his love
        requite--'                                                   830
    And earth knoweth naught so goodly, the helm it was strong
        and hard,
    Yea even of diamond fashioned, in battle a goodly guard.
    Then Heuteger sware unto them, if the land of his lord he saw
    He would pray of his hand the armour, and send it to them
        once more.

    And this did he swear them freely--Then leave would the
        princes pray                                                 835
    Who stood in the royal presence, and they wend from the hall
        their way.
    And tho' sorely the land was wasted, yet Gamuret scattered
    Such royal gifts and goodly as if laden with gold each tree.
    And costly I ween the presents that vassal and friend must
    From the open hand of the hero; and the queen deemed it right
        and fair.                                                    840

    Full many a bitter conflict had been fought ere the bridal
    But peace had the foeman sealèd, and the land was from strife
    (Nor this song I myself have woven, but so was it told to me)
    And Eisenhart did they bury with honours right royally.
    To his grave did his kinsmen bear him, and the gold that his
        lands might bring                                            845
    In a whole year long, did they spend there, of their free
        will they did this thing.
    And Gamuret bade his kinsfolk his riches and lands to hold
    And use as they would; tho' they craved not such boon from
        the hero bold.

    At dawn from before the fortress the foe would their camp
    And those who were there departed; many litters with them
        they bore.                                                   850
    And the field was left unsheltered, save for one tent so
        great and fair,
    And the king he bade his servants that tent to his vessel
    And he said to his folk that to Assagog would he take it, and
        yet I wot
    He did with that speech deceive them, for Assagog saw him

    Now that proud and gallant hero, his heart gave him little
        rest                                                         855
    Since he found there no deeds of knighthood, and gladness
        forsook his breast;
    Yet his dusky wife was dearer than e'en his own life might
    Ne'er knew he a truer lady whose heart was from falsehood
    She forgat not what 'seemed a woman, and with her as comrades
    Went purity untarnished, and the ways of true womanhood.         860

    He was born in Seville's fair city whom the knight would
        hereafter pray,
    When he grew of his sojourn weary, to sail with him far away;
    For many a mile had he led him, and he brought him unto this
    And a Christian was he, the steersman, nor like to a Moor in
    And wisely he spake, 'Thou shalt hide it from them who a dark
        skin bear,                                                   865
    Too swift is my barque for pursuing, from hence shall we
        quickly fare!'

    Then his gold it was borne to the vessel. Now of parting I
        needs must tell,
    By night did he go, the hero, and his purpose he hid it well;
    But when from his wife he sailèd, in her womb did she bear
        his child:
    And fair blew the wind, and the breezes bare him hence o'er
        the waters wild.                                             870

    And the lady she found a letter, and 'twas writ by her
        husband's hand;
    And in French (for she well could read it) did the words of
        the writing stand:
    'Here one love to another speaketh--As a thief have I stolen
    That mine eyes might not see thy sorrow--But this thing I
        needs must say,
    Wert thou, e'en as I, a Christian I ever should weep for
        thee,                                                        875
    For e'en now I must sorely mourn thee. If it chance that our
        child shall be
    In face like unto one other, then his is a dowry fair,
    Of Anjou was _he_ born, and Frau Minne for his lady he did
    Yet was he in strife a hailstorm, ill neighbour unto his foe;
    That his grandsire hath been King Gandein, this I will that
        my son shall know.                                           880
    Dead he lay thro' his deeds of knighthood; and his father the
        same death won,
    Addanz was his name, and unsplintered his shield hath been
        seen of none;
    And by birth he hath been a Breton, and two brothers' sons
        were they,
    He and the brave Pendragon, and their sires' names I here
        will say;
    For Lassalies he hath been the elder, and Brickus was his
        brother's name,                                              885
    And Mazadan was their father whom a fay for her love did
    Terre-de-la-schoie did they call her, to Fay-Morgan she led
        the king,
    For he was her true heart's fetters; and my race from those
        twain did spring.
    And fair shall they be, and valiant, and as crownèd kings
        they reign--
    If lady, thou'lt be baptizèd thou mayst win me to thee
        again!'                                                      890

    Yet had she no thought of anger, but she spake, 'Ah! too soon
        'tis o'er,
    Of a sooth would I do his bidding, would it bring him to me
        once more.
    In whose charge hath my courteous hero left the fruit of his
        love so true?
    Alas! for the sweet communion that we twain for a short space
    Shall the strength of my bitter sorrow rule body and soul
        alway?                                                       895
    And she quoth, 'Now his God to honour, his will would I fain
    And gladly I'ld be baptizèd, and live as should please my
    And sorrow with her heart struggled, and e'en as the turtle
    Her joy sought the withered branches, for the same mind was
        hers, I ween,
    When the mate of the turtle dieth, she forsaketh the branches
        green.                                                       900

    Then the queen at the time appointed bare a son, who was dark
        and light,
    For in him had God wrought a wonder, at one while was he
        black and white.
    And a thousand times she kissed him where white as his sire's
        his skin.
    And she named the babe of her sorrows Feirefis Angevin.
    And he was a woodland-waster, many spears did he shatter
        fair,                                                        905
    And shields did he pierce--as a magpie the hue of his face
        and hair.
    Now a year and more was ended since Gamuret won such fame
    At Zassamank, and his right hand the victor's prize might
    And yet o'er the seas he drifted, for the winds vexed the
        hero bold.
    Then a silken sail red gleaming he saw, and the barque did
        hold                                                         910
    The men whom the King of Scotland, Friedebrand, sent upon
        their way
    At the bidding of Queen Belakané: from her would they pardon
    That ever he came against her, tho' in sooth he had lost the
    And with them the diamond helmet, the corslet and sword they
    And hosen e'en such as the harness, and a marvel it needs
        must be                                                      915
    That the barque was thus borne towards him, as the venture
        hath told to me!
    And they gave him the goodly armour, and an oath unto them he
    That his mouth it should speak their message, an he came to
        the queen once more.
    And they parted; and one hath told me that the sea bare him
        onward bound
    Till he came to a goodly haven, and in Seville his goal he
        found.                                                       920
    And with gold did he pay his steersman right well for his
        guidance true,
    And they parted, those twain, and sorrow the heart of that
        steersman knew!




This Book tells how Gamuret sought for King Kailet, and found him
before Kanvoleis. How the Queen of the Waleis ordered a Tourney
        to be
holden, and of the heroes there assembled. How Gamuret did
deeds, and was adjudged the victor; and how two queens laid claim
his love. Of the wedding of Gamuret and Queen Herzeleide and
love to each other. How Gamuret went to the aid of the Baruch,
        and was
treacherously slain before Alexandria. How the news was brought
        to the
land of the Waleis; of the sorrow of Herzeleide; and of the birth

                                BOOK II


    Now there in the Spanish country he thought him the king to
    His kinsman and cousin Kailet, and he followed with footsteps
    To Toledo, but thence had he ridden unto deeds of knighthood
    Where many a spear should be splintered, and men thought not
        their shields to spare.
    Then he thought him to make him ready (so the venture doth
        tell I ween)                                                   5
    With many a blazoned spear-shaft, and many a sendal green;
    For each spear it bare a pennon, with the anchor in ermine
    And well was it wrought, the symbol, and costly in all men's
    And long and broad were the pennons, and e'en to the hand
        hung low
    When men on the spear-blade bound them, a span-breadth the
        point below.                                                  10
    And a hundred spears were ready for that true and gallant
    And his cousin's folk they bare them, and with him went forth
        to fight;
    And honour and loyal service they showed him as fit and fair,
    Nor I think had their lord been wrathful that his kinsman
        their love should share.

    I know not how long he sought him, till shelter at length he
        found                                                         15
    In the Waleis land: 'fore Kanvoleis were pitched on the open
    Many tents so fair and knightly; (I speak not from fancy
    But sooth are the words I tell ye if the tale ye would hear
    Then he bade his folk to halt there, and he sent on before
        his face
    The chief of his squires, and he bade him to seek them a
        resting-place.                                                20
    He would fain do his master's bidding, and swift to the town
        he sped,
    And many a pack-horse laden his comrades behind him led.
    And never a house he saw there but its roof was a shield I
    And the walls were hung and circled with spears in a goodly
    For the queen of the Waleis country had ordered at Kanvoleis      25
    That a Tourney fair be holden, and they ordered it in such
    That a coward had little liked it--for whoever would seek
        such strife
    At his will doth it chance but seldom! She was maiden, not
        yet a wife,
    And herself and two lands she offered to him who the prize
        should hold;
    And many to earth had fallen in whose ear had this tale been
        told,                                                         30
    And he who such fall must suffer he held that his chance was
    And many a dauntless hero showed knighthood those walls
    And many a horse rushed onward as the knight spurred to
        onslaught fierce,
    And the sword-blades rang clear on each other, and spears did
        the shield rims pierce.

    A bridge from the plain was builded that crossed o'er the
        river's flow,                                                 35
    And 'twas closed by a tower-portal; nor the squire at his
        task was slow,
    But he opened the gates, unwearied, when one would an
        entrance win.
    And above it there stood the palace, and the queen sat the
        hall within,
    And she gazed from the high hall window with many a maiden
    And they looked on the squires beneath them to see what had
        brought them there.                                           40
    'Twixt themselves had they taken counsel, and a tent did they
        rear on high
    For the winning of love ungranted a king wrought it in days
        gone by,
    ('Twas in service of Queen Belakané). The squires laboured
        with might and main
    Till the burden of thirty pack-steeds they raised on the
        grassy plain,
    A pavilion rich to look on, and the meadow it was so wide         45
    That the silken ropes that held it might stretch forth on
        either side.
    And Gamuret, their master, ate without in the open air--
    And then for his courtly entrance with skill would the knight
    Nor longer might be delaying--His squires take the spears
    And they bind them fast together, and five in each band they
        lay,                                                          50
    And the sixth in their hand they carry, with its pennon and
        anchor white;
    So proudly into the city came riding this gallant knight.

    Then the queen she heard the tidings that a noble guest was
    From a far-off land and distant, and in sooth was he known to
    'And courteous his folk in bearing; both heathen and French I
        trow,                                                         55
    And Angevin, some among them if their speech I aright may
    And their courage is high, and their raiment both rich and
        well shaped shall be.
    But now was I with his people, and they seem me from
        falsehood free,
    And they say, 'Who hath lust for riches, if he to our lord
        shall seek
    He will free him from fear of scarceness!' The while I with
        them did speak,                                               60
    I asked them to tell of their master, and they thought not to
        hide the thing,
    But spake of a true heart freely, 'Of Zassamank is he king.'

    'Twas a page who brought the tidings--'Ah me! that pavilion
    Wouldst thou pledge thy crown and thy kingdom not half of its
        cost were there!'
    'Thou needst not to praise so highly, my mouth ne'er shall
        say thee nay,                                                 65
    A rich man shall be its owner, no lack doth he know alway.'
    And in this wise she spake, the lady, the fair and gracious
    'Why cometh he not to the castle? For fain I his face had

    This she bade her page to ask him--Then the hero was fain to
    Brave entry into the city, and the sleepers must needs awake.     70
    Many shields he saw fair shining--The blast of the trumpets
    Rang loud and long before him, and two drummers ye needs must
    As they tossed and smote their tambours, and the walls echoed
        back the sound,
    With the notes of the flutes 'twas mingled as the train
        through the city wound,
    'Twas a march that they played so gaily--Nor forget we how he
        must ride                                                     75
    Their master and lord, he followed with the fiddlers his rein

    Then he threw his leg o'er his charger, that hero so bold and
    And boots did he wear of leather, or else had his limbs been
    And his mouth it was e'en as a ruby, and red, as a fire doth
    And full, not too thin; fair his body wherever the eye might
        turn;                                                         80
    And fair was his hair and curling, and wherever one saw the
    I ween 'twas as costly cover as ever a head might win.
    And of samite green was his mantle, and the sable shone dark
    Tho' white was his vest, and the gazers they came in a goodly
    And many must ask the question, 'Who was he, the beardless
        knight                                                        85
    Who rode with such pomp of riches?' Then the tale it was
        spread aright,
    For they spake it as truth who knew it--So they drew to the
        bridge anear
    The folk of the town, and his people; and so bright was the
        radiance clear
    That shone from the queen that it thrilled him thro' his
        strong limbs, that goodly knight,
    And he braced himself as a falcon that plumeth its wings for
        flight,                                                       90
    And the lodging he deemed it goodly; so thought he that hero
    And his hostess with joy beheld him, the lady of fair Waleis!

    Then the king of Spain he heard it, how there stood on the
        open plain
    The tent that at Rassalig's bidding Gamuret as his prize did
    At Patelamunt, and the tidings a knight to his lord would
        bring--                                                       95
    Then he sped as a deer, joy's vassal I ween was the gallant
    And thus spake the knight, 'Thy kinsman, and the son of thine
        aunt I saw,
    And with pomp and in state as aforetime, so to-day doth he
        hither draw;
    There are floating a hundred pennons full fair by his
        knightly shield,
    And around his high pavilion they stand on the grassy field,     100
    And green as the grass the pennons, and the hero bold doth
    Three anchors of snow-white ermine on every sendal fair.'

    'Hath he come here arrayed for battle? Ah! then shall men see
    How he spurreth him swift to the onslaught, how he striveth
        in knightly fray!
    Long time hath the proud King Hardeiss his anger against me
        shown,                                                       105
    Here in joust shall Gamuret fell him, and good fortune shall
        be mine own!'

    Then straightway he sent a message to Gaschier, the Norman
    Where he lay with many a vassal; and Killirjacac the fair and
    For here had they come at his bidding--The twain at King
        Kailet's side
    Towards the fair pavilion with a goodly following hied.          110
    And Zassamank's king was joyful, for he held them dear at
    And the time over-long had seemed them since they must from
        each other part,
    This they spake of a true heart truly--And the king he was
        fain to know
    What knights should be here for the Tourney, who valour and
        skill should show.
    Then spake unto him his kinsmen, 'From distant lands they
        came,                                                        115
    The knights whom love's power hath brought here, many heroes
        of dauntless fame.'

    'Here Uther Pendragon fighteth, and with him his Breton host;
    One grief as a thorn doth vex him, his wife hath the hero
    The queen who was Arthur's mother; a clerk who all magic knew
    With him hath she fled, and Arthur doth after the twain
        pursue;                                                      120
    'Tis now the third year since he lost them, his son alike and
    And here is his daughter's husband, a hero well skilled in
    King Lot is his name, of Norway--swift seeketh he
        knighthood's prize,
    But slow are his feet to falsehood, the knight so bold and
    And here is his young son Gawain; as yet he too weak shall be    125
    For any deed of knighthood--but now was the boy with me,
    And he spake, were he not too feeble a spear-shaft as yet to
    He were fain to do deeds of knighthood, in the Tourney his
        part would take!
    His lust for strife waketh early! Here Patrigalt's king hath
    Of spears a goodly forest; yet their valour shall be as
        naught                                                       130
    When weighed against the gallant doings of the men of
    Yea, _bold_ we in truth may call them, and shields do they
        pierce right well.
    And here are the men of Provence, with many a blazoned
    And here the Waleis, to their onslaught the foemen perforce
        must yield,
    And they ride at their will thro' the combat, for men of the
        land are they.                                               135
    Many fight here for love's rewarding whose title I may not
    But all whom I here have named thee now lie, and the truth I
    At great cost here within the city, for so the queen deemed
        it well.'

    'And without on the plain they hold them who deem their prize
        lightly won,
    Proud Arragon's haughty monarch, and the brave king of
        Askalon.                                                     140
    Eidegast, he is there from Logrois, and the King
    (The monarch is he of Punturtois), there too is bold
    And Morhold is there of Ireland, many pledges that knight
        hath ta'en;
    And many a haughty German doth camp on that battle plain.
    To this country the Duke of Brabant hath come thro' the King
        Hardeiss;                                                    145
    The king of Gascony gave him his sister the fair Aleiss,
    (Yet his service ere that won payment) wrath against me those
        princes drew:
    Now I trust _thee_ to think of our kinship--For love's sake
        do me service true!'
    Quoth the king of Zassamank, 'Cousin, no thanks would I have
        from thee
    Whate'er I may do for thine honour, my will e'en as thine
        shall be.                                                    150
    Doth thine ostrich yet stand un-nested? Thou shalt carry its
        serpent's head
    'Gainst thy foeman's demi-gryphon, _my_ anchor shall swift be
    And find in his onslaught landing; himself shall a haven seek
    Behind his steed on the gravel! If our wrath we be fain to
    And ride one against the other, I fell him, or he felleth
        me--                                                         155
    On my knightly faith as a kinsman this word do I swear to

    Then Kailet he sought his lodging, and his heart it was gay
        and light.
    Then arose on the plain a war-cry, 'fore the face of two
        gallant knights,
    They were Schyolarz of Poitou, and Gurnemanz of Graharz,
    On the plain did they meet together; ere the eventide might
        pass                                                         160
    The knights in their troops they rode forth, here by six and
        there by three,
    And they did gallant deeds of knighthood--nor otherwise might
        it be.

    And now it was fully noontide, and the knight in his tent
    Then the king of Zassamank heard this, that o'er all the
        field they rode,
    'O'er the length and the breadth they gallop, and in knightly
        order fight.'                                                165
    And thither he rode, the hero, with many a banner bright;
    But he rode not in search of conflict, at his leisure he
        thought to see
    What was done by one side and the other of fair deeds of
    On the plain did they spread his carpet, where the knights in
        strife would close,
    And the shriek of the wounded horses o'er all the tumult
        rose.                                                        170
    The squires stood round in a circle mid the clash of the
        ringing steel,
    And the heroes for fair fame battled, and the swords sang for
        woe or weal.
    There was sound as of splintered spear-shafts, but none need
        to question, Where?
    And his walls were of meeting foemen, by knightly hands
        builded fair.

    And so near was I ween the jousting that the maids from the
        hall above                                                   175
    Might look on the toil of the heroes--But sorrow the queen
        did move
    Since the king of Zassamank did naught, nor mingled him in
        the fight,
    And she quoth, 'Ah! why came he hither? I had deemed him a
        gallant knight!'
    (Now the King of France, whose fair wife brought Gamuret
        sorrow sore
    When he fought for her sake, lay lifeless, and the queen
        sought the wide world o'er                                   180
    To know if from heathen countries he had come to his land
    'Twas love's power to the search that drove her, for love did
        her heart constrain.)

    And many brave deeds were done there of many a poor man bold,
    Who yet for the highest strove not, which the queen for their
        prize had told,
    Herself and her two fair kingdoms,--they thought not such
        prize to gain,                                               185
    But they battled for other booty, tho' their hearts were for
        payment fain.

    Now clad was Gamuret's body in the harness whereby his wife
    Might bring to her mind forgiveness, and the ending of bitter
    The Scotch King Friedebrand sent it, as a gift, to repay the
    That with conflict he heaped upon her, nor shall earth of its
        fellow know.                                                 190
    Then he looked well upon the diamond--'twas a helmet, thereon
        they bound
    An anchor, and jewels so precious were within its setting
    Nor small were the stones, but costly, and the weight it was
        none too light
    Of that helmet, and yet he bare it, and decked was the guest
        for fight

    And what was his shield's adorning? of gold of Araby fair,       195
    And the boss it was rich and costly, and heavy the weight he
    And the red gold shone so brightly that mirrored the face
    And an anchor beneath of sable--I were fain to myself to win
    That wherewith the knight was girded, full many a mark its
    And wide was the coat emblazoned, and it reached e'en unto
        the earth,                                                   200
    And I ween that few in battle such raiment shall think to
    And if I have skill to praise it, or its value aright
    It shone e'en as when there burneth thro' the night-time a
        living flame,
    And never a tint was faded, and its shimmer as lightning
    A feeble eye had feared it! And with gold was it all
        inwrought,                                                   205
    That in Kaukasus' distant mountains from out of the rock was
    By gryphon claws, for they guarded, and shall guard it unto
        this day.
    And from Araby came the people who stole it by craft away,--
    Elsewhere shall be none so precious,--and they bare it to
    Where they weave Achmardi and Pfellel, and no vesture like
        _that_ shall be!                                             210
    His shield, round his neck he hung it--There stood a charger
    Well-nigh to the hoof was it armed--and the squires cried the
        war-cry loud,
    And he sprang on his steed as he found it; and many a spear
        of might
    Did he break with strong hand in the Tourney, and where men
        did the closest fight
    There he brake a way thro' the mêlée, and came forth on the
        further side,                                                215
    And ever behind the Ostrich the Anchor did close abide.

    Gamuret smote from off his charger Poytewin of Prienlaskors
    And many another hero, their pledge must they yield perforce.
    But what knight bare the cross he rejoiced him in the hero's
        valiant deeds,
    And much did he win by his valour, since he gave him the
        captured steeds.                                             220

    Now four banners, with self-same bearing, were led 'gainst
        that gallant knight,
    (And bold riders they rode beneath them, and their lord was a
        man of might,)
    And on each was the tail of a gryphon; and that hinder part I
    Was e'en as a hailstorm smiting, so rode they in goodly row.
    And Gascony's king before them the fore part of that gryphon
        bare                                                         225
    On his shield; he was skilled in battle, and his body was
        armed full fair
    As women alone might arm him; and he rode forth his knights
    Where he saw on a helm the Ostrich, but the Anchor towards
        him bore,
    And he thrust him from off his charger, the brave king of
    And made of him there his captive. Here close thronged the
        knightly ranks,                                              230
    And the furrows were trodden level, and their locks must the
        sword-blade know,
    And many a wood was wasted, and many a knight laid low--
    And they who thus fell, 'twas told me, they turned their
        chargers round
    And hied to the back of the Tourney, where none but the
        cowards were found.

    And so near was I ween the combat that the women might see
        aright                                                       235
    Who there won the prize of valour; Rivalein that love-lorn
    With his spear hewed afresh a token, of Loheneis was he king,
    And the crash of the splintered spear-shaft did aye with his
        onslaught ring.
    Of a knight did Morhold rob them, for he drew him from off
        his steed
    And lifted him up before him (unseemly methinks such deed)       340
    And Killirjacac they called him,--and ere this King Lac had
    Such payment from him as in falling a knight from the earth
        may gain--
    So his deeds had been fair and knightly; then this valiant
        man he thought
    He would take him with never a sword-thrust, and the knight
        in his arms he caught.
    Then the hand of the valiant Kailet it smote from the
        saddle-bow                                                   245
    The Duke of Brabant, Prince Lambekein, and the hero was laid
    And what think ye they did, his soldiers? Their swords into
        shields they turned,
    And with them did they guard their monarch--And ever for
        strife they yearned.

    Then the King of Arragon smote him Uther Pendragon old,
    From his charger adown on the meadow fell the king of the
        Bretons bold,                                                250
    And the flowers stood fair around him--Ah! I courteous am I,
        I trow,
    Since the Breton before Kanvoleis I lay on such couch alow,
    Where never the foot of a peasant hath trodden unto this day,
    Nay, perchance they may never tread there--'tis the truth and
        no lie I say--
    No more might he keep his saddle as he sat on his steed of
        yore,                                                        255
    But his peril his friends forgat not, they fought fiercely
        the hero o'er.

    And many a course was ridden; and the king of Punturtois
    Fell prone in his horse's hoof-tracks on the field before
    And low did he lie behind it--'Twas Gamuret dealt the blow--
    'Ride on, on thy course, thou hero, and tread thy foemen
        low!'                                                        260
    Strife giveth whereon to trample! Then Kailet, his kinsman
    Made the Punturtois his captive, tho' he scarce pierced the
        mêlée thro'.
    Brandelidelein was prisoner, and his folk they had lost their
    In his stead another monarch to their host did they captive
    And hither and thither sped they, the heroes, in armour good,    265
    And by blows and by trampling kneaded, of alum I ween their
    And dark on their skin the swellings, and many a gallant
    Might speak, as he knew, of bruises he had won him in
        hard-fought fight.

    Now as simple truth I say it, little rest was their portion
    By love were they forced to conflict, many shields with their
        blazon clear,                                                270
    And many a goodly helmet whose covering the dust should be.
    And the meadow with flowers was sprinkled, and green turf ye
        there might see,
    And there fell on it many a hero, who of honour had won such
    More modest were my desiring! 'Twould content me to sit my

    Then the king of Zassamank rode forth a space from the
        knightly fray                                                275
    Where a rested steed did wait him, and the diamond he loosed
    With no thought of pride in the doing, but the breezes blew
        fresh and cool,
    And the squires unbound his vizor, and his lips shone so red
        and full.

    I have named unto ye a lady--Her chaplain did hither ride,
    And with him three noble pages, and strong squires were there
        beside;                                                      280
    And pack-horses twain they led there, and the will of their
        queen they'ld do,
    She was Lady of France, Anflisé--Her chaplain was wise and
    And straightway he knew the hero, and in French should his
        greeting be,
    'Soit le bien venu, mon beau sire' to my lady as e'en to me,
    As queen of France she reigneth whom the lance of thy love
        doth smite,                                                  285
    And he gave to his hand a letter, and therein read the
        gallant knight
    A greeting fair, and a token it held of a finger-ring--
    As pledge of the truth of his mission the chaplain the same
        must bring
    His lady of old received it from the hand of the Angevin--
    Then he bowed as he saw the letter. Would ye hear what was
        writ therein?                                                290

    'Here biddeth thee love and greeting a heart that hath ne'er
        been free
    From grief since it knew thy service--Thy love is both lock
        and key
    To my heart, and my heart's rejoicing! For thy love am I like
        to die,
    If thy love afar abideth, then all love from my heart shall
    Come thou, and take from my true hand crown, sceptre, and
        kingdom fair,                                                295
    It falleth to me as heirdom, and thy love well may claim a
    As payment for this thy service rich presents I send to thee,
    Four pack-horses' chests well laden--I would thou my knight
        shouldst be
    In this the land of the Waleis, 'fore the city of Kanvoleis.
    I care not if the queen shall see it, small harm may
        therefrom arise,                                             300
    For fairer am I, and richer, and I think me shall better know
    To take the love that is proffered, and love in return
    Wilt thou live in true love as shall 'seem thee? Then here do
        I bid thee take
    My crown as thy love's rewarding--This I pray for my true
        love's sake.'
    And no more did he find in the letter--Then his squires once
        more they drew                                               305
    O'er his head the under-helmet; from Gamuret sorrow flew,
    And he bound on the helm of diamond, 'twas harder than blade
        might pierce,
    For he thought again to prove him, and ride forth to conflict
    And the messengers did he bid them to lead to the tent for
    And he cleared a space around him wherever the conflict
        pressed.                                                     310

    This was vanquished, and that one victor--Did a knight
        o'er-long delay
    To win to him fame in battle, his chance might he find
    Here twain would joust together; in troops would these others
    And the customs of friendly combat for a space did they lay
    And sworn brotherhood nothing counted 'fore the strength of
        fierce anger's might,                                        315
    And the crooked was seldom straightened; nor spake they of
        knightly right,
    What they captured they kept, uncaring if another's hate they
    And from many lands had they ridden who with brave hands
        brave deeds had done,

    And their hurts but little grieved them. Here Gamuret heard
        her prayer,
    And e'en as Anflisé bade him, as her knight to the field
        would fare;                                                  320
    'Twas a letter had brought the tidings--Ah! he giveth his
        courage rein,
    Is it love or the lust of battle that driveth him on amain?
    Great love and strong faith they quicken his strength into
        life anew.
    Now see where his shield he beareth, King Lot, that hero
    His foemen to flight had forced him save for Gamuret's strong
        right hand,                                                  325
    His charger in gallant onslaught brake its way thro' the
        threatening band,
    And Arragon's king was smitten from his horse with a spear of
    'Schaffilor was his name, and the spear-point which thrust
        him from off his steed
    Bare never a waving pennon, from paynim lands 'twas brought,'
    And the knight made the king his captive, tho' his folk they
        had bravely fought.                                          330
    And the inner force drave the outer far back on the grassy
    'Twas a good vesper-play, yea, a Tourney; many spears did
        they smite in twain--

    Then Lähelein 'gain wax wrathful, 'Shall our honour be reft
    'Tis the fault of him of the Anchor! Now one of us twain
    Shall lay in short space the other on a couch that he liketh
        ill,                                                         335
    For here are they well-nigh victors!' Then they cleared them
        a space at will,
    And no child's play it was that combat--In such wise with
        their hands they wrought
    That a woodland was well-nigh wasted; and alike from their
        squires they sought
    'New spears! New spears! Bring them hither!' Yet Lähelein he
        must know
    Sorrow and shame, for his foeman thrust him down from his
        horse alow,                                                  340
    And he smote him the length of the spear-iron in a shaft of
        reed made fast,
    And one read of itself his surety, for the knight to the
        earth was cast.
    (Yet better I like to read them, sweet pears on the ground
        that lie
    As thick as the knights lay round him! for his was the

    And the cry arose from many who had fallen in joust before,      345
    'Fly! Fly! For the Anchor cometh!' Then a knight towards him
    (A prince of the Angevin country) and grief was his comrade
    For he bare a shield inverted, and sorrow it taught anew
    To the King, for the badge he knew it--Ah! why did he turn
    If ye will, I the truth will tell ye, 'twas given in royal
        pride                                                        350
    By Galoes the son of Gandein, Gamuret's brother true,
    Ere Love this guerdon gave him that the hero in joust she

    Then he loosed from his head the helmet: nor thro' grass, nor
        thro' dust and sand
    Did he make him a way to the conflict, but he yielded to
        grief's command;
    And his thoughts within him battled, that he sought not ere
        this to hear                                                 355
    From Kailet, his friend and kinsman, how it fared with his
        brother dear
    That he came not here to the Tourney--Alas! tho' he knew it
    He had fallen before Monthorie--Sore sorrow was there his
    For to anguish did love constrain him, the love of a noble
    For his loss had she grieved so sorely that death had her
        portion been.                                                360

    And tho' sorely Gamuret sorrowed, yet had he in half a day
    So many spear-shafts broken, were it Tourney indeed this fray
    Then had he a woodland wasted. Did I think me to count each
    One hundred in fight had he shattered, each blazoned with
        colours clear--
    But the heralds, they won his pennons, in sooth were they
        theirs of right--                                            365
    Then toward the fair pavilion he turned him, the gallant
    And the Waleis squire rode after; and his was the coat so
    All pierced and hewn with sword-thrust, which he did to his
        lady bear;
    And yet with gold was it precious, and it shone with a fiery
    And right well might ye see its richness. Then joy did the
        queen's heart know,                                          370
    And she spake, 'A fair woman sent thee, with this knight, to
        this distant land!
    Now, courteous, I must bethink me lest these heroes ashamed
        shall stand
    Who have risked their fate in this venture--goodwill unto all
        I bear,
    For all do I count my kinsmen, since Adam's flesh we share,
    Yet Gamuret's hand, I think me, the highest prize hath won.'     375
    But by wrath constrained they battled till the shadows of
        night drew on,
    And the inner host the outer by force to their tents had
    Save for Askalon's king and Morhold thro' the camp they their
        way had fought.

    Some were winners, and some were losers, and many sore shame
        had earned,
    While others won praise and honour. Then the foe from each
        other turned,                                                380
    Here no man might see--He who holdeth the stakes, if no light
        he show,
    Who would cast the dice in the darkness? To such sport were
        the weary slow!

    Men well might forget the darkness where Gamuret did abide,
    'Twas as day--That in sooth it was not, but light shone on
        every side
    From many small tapers clustered. There, laid on the olive
        wood,                                                        385
    Was many a costly cushion, and by each couch a carpet good.
    Then the queen, she rode to the doorway with many a maid of
    For fain would they see, those ladies, the brave king of

    Many wearied knights thronged after--The cloth had they borne
    Ere she came to the fair pavilion; then the host he uprose
        straightway,                                                 390
    And the monarchs four his captives (and many a prince was
    And she welcomed him with due honour, and she saw him, and
        deemed him fair.
    Then glad spake the queen of the Waleis, 'Thou art host where
        we twain do stand,
    And I, even so I think me, am hostess o'er all this land,
    If thou deem it well I should kiss thee, such kiss seemeth
        good to me!'                                                 395
    'Thy kiss shall be mine if these heroes, e'en as I, shall be
        kissed by thee,
    But if princes and kings must forego it, 'twere unfit I such
        boon should crave!'
    'Yea, e'en as thou wilt, so be it, tho' ne'er saw I these
        heroes brave!'
    Then she kissed, e'en as Gamuret prayed her, these princes of
        noble line,
    And he prayed her to sit, and beside her sat the King
        Brandelidelein!                                              400

    Then lightly they strewed, o'er the carpet, green rushes yet
        wet with dew,
    And he sat him down upon them whose presence brought joy anew
    To the gracious queen of the Waleis; and love did her soul
    And as Gamuret sat before her his hand did she clasp again,
    And she drew him once more towards her, and she set him her
        seat beside.                                                 405
    No wife was she, but a maiden, from whose hand did such grace
    Would ye know the name they called her? Herzeleide the queen
        was she,
    (And her cousin was hight Rischoydè, King Kailet should her
        husband be,
    And _he_ was Gamuret's cousin), and so radiant the queen, and
    That e'en though they quenched the tapers, in her presence
        'twould still be light!                                      410
    (Were it not that a mighty sorrow his joy which aloft would
    Had beaten to earth, I think me he had wooed her right

    And courteous they spake to each other: then cup-bearers drew
    And from Assagog the vessels, and their cost might no man
    And noble pages bare them, many costly bowls and fair,           415
    Of precious jewels wroughten, and wide, none too small, they
    And none of them all were golden--'twas the tribute of that
        fair land,
    Which Eisenhart oft had proffered, when love's need nerved
        his knightly hand.
    And the drink unto each they proffered in many a coloured
    And of emerald some, and of sardius, and of ruby some wrought
        alone.                                                       420

    Then there drew near to his pavilion two knights who their
        word must swear,
    (To the outer host were they captive and from thence to the
        town would fare.)
    And one of them was King Kailet; and he looked upon Gamuret,
    And he saw him sit heavy-hearted, and he spake, 'Dost thou
        sorrow yet
    For all men they own thy valour; Herzeleide and kingdoms
        twain                                                        425
    Hast thou won, and all tongues have said it, to thy praises
        all men are fain,
    Be they Britons or men of Ireland--Who speaketh with foreign
    If France be their land, or Brabant, with one voice they thy
        praise have sung,
    That none here both skill and wisdom in strife like to thine
        have shown.
    True letter it is I read thee! No slumber thy strength hath
        known,                                                       430
    When these knights thou hast put in peril who surety ne'er
        sware of old,
    Brandelidelein the monarch, and Lähelein, hero bold;
    And Hardeiss and King Schaffilor; yea, and Rassalig the Moor,
    Whom thine hand before Patelamunt o'erthrew and he surety
    Such lesson thou there didst teach him--Yea, this doth thy
        fame desire                                                  435
    That with every coming conflict it broader shall wax and

    'The queen sure will deem thou ravest, if in this wise thou
        praisest me,
    Yet I think not that thou shalt sell me, since the buyer the
        flaw shall see;
    Thy mouth is o'er-full of praises! Say, how hast thou come
    'The worthy folk of Punturtois, this knight from fair
        Champagne                                                    440
    And myself have loosed, and Morhold who this nephew hath
        stolen of mine
    Will set him free, if on thy part thou wilt free
    Otherwise are we captive to them, both I and my sister's son,
    But such grace thou wilt surely show us--Here such
        vesper-play was run
    That it cometh not to a Tourney this while before Kanvoleis,     445
    And in sooth do I know how it standeth! Here sit they before
        mine eyes,
    The strength of the outer army--now speak, tell me when and
    They could hold the field against us? Much fame hast thou
        won, I trow!'

    Then the queen she spake to the hero from a true heart full
    'Whate'er be my claim upon thee, I pray thee to let it be.       450
    I were fain of thy service worthy--If here I my right shall
    And thine honour thereby be tarnished, I will leave thee nor
        mar thy fame!'

    Then he sprang to his feet, the chaplain of Anflisé the wise
        and fair,
    And he quoth, 'Nay, my queen doth claim him, at her will to
        this land I fare.
    For his love hath she sent me hither, for his love she afar
        doth pine,                                                   455
    And her love layeth claim upon him and _hers_ shall he be,
        not _thine_.
    O'er all women I ween doth she love him: here as messengers
        hath she sent
    Three princes, lads free from falsehood; and the one is hight
    Of noble birth from Greenland, and in Kärlingen doth he
    And his own hath he made the language; and the second his
        name I'll tell,                                              460
    Liodarz he, a count his father, and Schyolarz was he hight.
    And who was the third? Will ye hearken, his kinship I'll tell
    Belleflur she hath been his mother, Pansamur was his father's
    Liahturteltart they called him, of the race of the fays he
    Then they ran all three before him, and they spake, 'Wouldst
        thy fortune prove?                                           465
    (The queen of France doth proffer the chance of a worthy
    Thou shalt play the game, and never a pledge shall be asked
        from thee,
    Nor thy joy be to sorrow forfeit, as it waxeth still fair and

    Then e'en while they spake their errand Kailet he had ta'en
        his seat
    'Neath a fold of the royal mantle, and she spake to him low
        and sweet,                                                   470
    'Now say, hath worse harm befallen? Methinks I the wounds
        have seen?'
    In that same hour his wounds and bruises she sought out, the
        gracious queen,
    With her white hands so small and shapely, which their wisdom
        from God must win,
    And sore was he cut and wounded on nose and on cheek and
    He had won for his wife the cousin of the queen who such
        honour fair                                                  475
    Would show him, herself would she tend him, and her hands for
        his hurts should care.

    Then e'en as courtesy bade her she spake unto Gamuret,
    'The fair queen of France, it seemeth, her heart upon thee
        hath set;
    Now honour in me all women, and give what I here may claim,
    Go not till men judge betwixt us, else thou leavest me here
        to shame.'                                                   480
    This he sware unto her, the hero, and leave she from him
        would crave,
    And she passed thence, and then King Kailet, that monarch so
        true and brave,
    He lifted her to her saddle; and he turned him about once
    And came into the pavilion, where his kinsman and friends he

    Then spake he unto King Hardeiss, 'Aleiss thy sister fair        485
    She proffered her love, I took it--Now wedded is she
    And a better than I is her husband! No longer thus wrathful
    Prince Lambekein, he hath won her--tho' in sooth she shall
        wear no crown,
    Yet honour enough is her portion--Brabant and Hennegau
    Do her service, and many a brave knight doth unto her bidding
        bow.                                                         490
    If thy mind it shall turn to greet me let thy favour be mine
        once more,
    And take thou again my service of a true heart as aye of

    Then the king of Gascony answered as befitted a hero brave,
    'Yea, soft is thy speech, yet if greeting I give thee as thou
        dost crave,
    Who hath offered to me such insult, men will deem _fear_ such
        grace hath won,                                              495
    For captive am I to thy cousin!' 'Yet ill shall he deal with
    Gamuret, he shall grant thy freedom, that boon my first
        prayer shall be:
    No man shall thereto constrain thee, yet my service the day
        shall see
    When thou as thy friend shalt claim me. For the shame, 'tis
        enow I wot,
    For whate'er _thou_ mayst do against me, thy sister, she
        slayeth me not!'                                             500

    Then all at his words laughed loudly. But their mirth it was
        soon o'erpast
    For his true heart the host constrainèd, and desire held him
        once more fast,
    And a sharp goad I ween is sorrow--Then the heroes they saw
        right well
    How he wrestled anew with sorrow and his joy in the conflict
    And his cousin he waxed right wrathful, and he spake, 'Now
        thou doest ill.'                                             505
    'Nay, nay, for I needs must sorrow, and naught may my
        yearning still
    For the queen I have left behind me, afar on a heathen shore,
    Pure wife and true is that lady, and my heart she hath
        wounded sore.'

    'And her purity doth constrain me to mourn for her love so
    Vassals and lands she gave me; yet joy for a true knight meet    510
    Belakané of that hath robbed me! yet shame for a wavering
    I think me is right and manly--With such fetters her love did
    That she held me afar from Tourney, nor in search of strife I
    Then I thought me that deeds of knighthood should free me
        from ill-content,
    And here have I somewhat striven--Now many a fool would say      515
    That I, for her colour, fled her, to my eyes was she light as
    For her womanhood true I sorrow; o'er all others her worth
        stood high
    As the boss from the shield outstandeth. And another grief
        have I,
    And here make I my moan unto ye, my brother's arms I saw,
    But the shield on which they were blazoned, with point
        up-turned they bore.'                                        520
    (Ah! woe for the words that are spoken, and the tidings of
        grief they bring!)
    His eyes they o'erflowed with water, that gallant Spanish
    'Alas! O queen for thy madness, thro' thy love is Galoes
    Whom every faithful woman from her heart shall mourn amain
    If she would that her dealing win her true honour in true
        man's thought.                                               525
    Ah! queen of Auvergne I think me, tho' small grief it to thee
        hath brought,
    Yet thro' thee have I lost my kinsman, tho' his ending was
        fit and fair,
    For a knightly joust hath slain him who thy token in strife
        would bear!
    And these princes here, his comrades, their heartfelt grief
        they show,
    As in funeral train their shield's-breadth do they turn to
        the earth below,                                             530
    For thus hath great sorrow taught them--In this guise do they
        knightly deeds,
    Heavy-hearted that he, my cousin, serveth no more for true
        love's meed!'

    He hath won him another heart-grief as his brother's death is
    And he spake aloud in his sorrow, 'Now mine anchor hath found
        its hold
    And its haven in bitter rueing,' and the badge did he lay
        aside,                                                       535
    And his grief taught him bitter anguish, and aloud the hero
    'Galoes of Anjou! henceforward shall never a man deny
    That on earth ne'er was born thine equal for manhood and
    And the fruit of a free hand knightly from thine heart did it
        bloom amain.
    Ah! woe is me for thy goodness!' then to Kailet he spake
        again,                                                       540
    'How goeth it with Schoettè, my mother, of joy bereft?'
    'So that God hath had pity on her! When Gandein this life had
    And dead was Galoes thy brother, and thou wert not by her
    And she saw thee no more, then death brake her heart, and she
        too hath died!'

    Then out quoth the Gascon Hardeiss, 'Turn thy will to a manly
        mien,                                                        545
    Thou shalt mourn but in fitting measure if true manhood thine
        own hath been!'
    But too great was the load of his sorrow, and the tears as a
        flood must flow
    From his eyes--Then all things he ordered that the knights a
        fair rest might know,
    And he went where he saw his chamber, of samite the little
    And in grief and sore lamentation the hours of the night he
        spent.                                                       550

    When there dawned another morning the knights together came,
    The inner host and the outer, all who thought there to win
        them fame;
    Were they young or old, were they cowardly or brave, they
        fought not that day.
    And the light grew to middle morning: yet so worn were they
        with the fray,
    And the horses so spent with spurring, that the knights in
        battle tried 555
    Were yet by weariness vanquished--Then the queen herself
        would ride,
    And the valiant men from the open would she bring to the town
    And the best of the knights within there she bade ride to the
    And straightway they did her bidding, and they rode in their
        knightly ranks,
    And they came ere the Mass was ended to the sad king of
        Zassamank. 560

    Then the benediction spoken, Herzeleide the queen she came,
    And e'en as the folk upheld her, so she laid to the knight
        her claim:
    Then he spake, 'A wife have I Lady, and than life shall she
        be more dear,
    Yea, and e'en if I were without her thou another tale
        shouldst hear
    That afar should drive me from thee, if men here shall list
        my right!' 565
    But the queen she looked upon him, and she spake to the
        gallant knight:

    'Thou shalt leave thy Moorish lady for my love; stronger far
        shall be
    The blessing that baptism giveth! From heathendom set thee
    And wed me in Christian marriage, since my heart for thy love
        doth yearn.
    Or say shall the French queen's message to my shame and my
        sorrow turn? 570
    Sweet words did they speak her people, and thou heardest them
        to the end!'
    'Yea, she is in truth my lady. When I back to Anjou must
    Then fair counsels and courteous customs with me from her
        land I brought;
    Yea, even to-day doth she help me whom from childhood to man
        she taught.
    She hath fled all that mars a woman--We were children then,
        she and I, 575
    Yet gladly we saw each other in the days that are long gone
    The noble queen Anflisé, in true womanhood hath she share,
    From her lands a goodly income she gave me, that lady fair,
    (In those days was I still a poor man), yet I took it right
    As a poor man thou still shalt count me, and Lady, shalt pity
        me, 580
    He is dead, my gallant brother--Of thy courtesy press me not,
    Turn thy love where thou findest gladness, for sorrow is aye
        my lot!'

    'Nay, let me not longer sorrow; how wilt thou deny my claim?'
    'Thy question I'll gladly answer, here a _Tourney_ thou didst
    That Tourney hath not been holden, as many shall witness
        bear'                                                        585
    'For the vesper-play hath marred it! The knights who had
        foughten there
    So well have they tamed their ardour that the Tourney hath
        come to naught,'
    'I did but defend thy city with others that bravely fought;
    Thou shouldst force me not to withstand thee, here have
        others done more than I,
    Mine the greeting that _all_ may claim here, other right
        would I still deny!'                                         590

    Then, so hath the venture told me, they chose them, both man
        and maid,
    A judge o'er the claim of the lady, and their cause they
        before him laid,
    And it drew near to middle morning, and thus did the verdict
    'What knight hath bound on his helmet, and hath hither for
        conflict come,
    And hath fought, and the prize hath holden, then that knight
        he shall wed the queen.'                                     595
    And unto the judgment spoken the knights gave consent I ween.
    Spake the queen, 'Mine thou art, and I'll yield thee fair
        service thy love to gain,
    And will give thee of joy such portion that thy life shall be
        free of pain!'

    And yet bare he grief and sorrow--Now the April sun was o'er,
    And had left behind a token in the garment the meadow bore,      600
    With short green grass was it covered, so that coward hearts
        waxed bold,
    And won afresh high courage; and the trees did their buds
    In the soft sweet air of the May-tide, and he came of the
        fairy race
    That aye loveth, or sweet love seeketh, and his friend she
        would show him grace.

    Then he looked on Queen Herzeleide, and he spake to her
        courteously,                                                 605
    'If in joy we would live, O Lady, then my warder thou shalt
        not be,
    When loosed from the bonds of sorrow, for knighthood my heart
        is fain;
    If thou holdest me back from Tourney I may practise such
        wiles again
    As of old when I fled from the lady whom I won with mine own
        right hand;
    When from strife she would fain have kept me I fled from her
        folk and land!'                                              610
    Then she spake, 'Set what bonds thou willest, by thy word
        will I still abide.'
    'Many spears would I break asunder, and each month would to
        Tourney ride,
    Thou shalt murmur not O Lady when such knightly joust I'ld
    This she sware, so the tale was told me, and the maid and her
        lands he won.
    The three pages of Queen Anflisé and her chaplain were nigh
        at hand,                                                     615
    As the judgment was sealed and spoken they must hearken and
    And he spake to the knight in secret, 'To my lady this tale
        was told
    How at Patelamunt thy valour did the guerdon of victory hold,
    And that there two kingdoms served thee--And she too hath
        lands I trow,
    And she thinketh _herself_ to give thee, and riches and gold
        enow!'                                                       620

    'As knighthood of old she taught me so must I hold fast alway
    By the strength of the knightly order, and the rule of the
        shield obey.
    Thro' her my shield have I won me, else perchance I had worn
        it not,
    Here doth knightly verdict bind me, be sorrow or joy my lot.
    Go ye homeward, and bear my service, her knight will I ever
        be,                                                          625
    And for her is my deepest sorrow tho' all crowns were
        awaiting me!'
    Then he proffered to them of his riches, but his gifts did
        they cast aside.
    Yet was she not shamed their lady, tho' homeward they needs
        must ride!
    And they craved not leave, but they rode thence, as in anger
        ye oft shall find,
    And the princes' sons, her pages, well-nigh did they weep
        them blind.                                                  630

    They who bare their shields inverted their friends spake to
        them this word,
    'The queen, fair Herzeleide, hath the Angevin for her lord.'
    'Say, who from Anjou hath fought here? Our lord is, alas,
    He seeketh him fame 'gainst the heathen, and grief for his
        sake we bear!'
    'He who shall be here the victor, who hath smitten full many
        a knight,                                                    635
    He who smote and pierced so fiercely, he who bare on his helm
        of light
    An anchor rare and costly, that knight is the knight we mean,
    And King Kailet he spake his title, Gamuret Angevin--I ween
    Good fortune doth here befall him!' Then swift to their
        steeds they sprung,
    And their raiment was wet with the tear-drops that grief from
        their eye-lids wrung,                                        640
    When they came where their lord was seated they gave him a
        welcome fair,
    And he in his turn would greet them, and sorrow and joy were

    Then he kissed his knights so faithful, and spake, 'Ye no
        more shall make
    Such measureless moan for my brother, his place I with ye
        will take.
    Turn your shields again as befits them, and as men who would
        joyful fare;                                                 645
    My anchor hath struck its haven; my father's arms I'll bear,
    For the anchor it is a symbol that befitteth a wandering
    He who willeth may take and wear it. I must rule my life
    As now shall become my station: I am rich now, when shall I
    The lord of this folk? For my sorrow it worketh but ill to
        me.                                                          650
    Queen Herzeleide, help me that thou and I may pray
    The kings that are here and princes for my service awhile to
    Till thou unto me hast yielded that which love from true love
        may crave!'
    Thus both of them made petition, and the heroes their promise

    Then each one went to his chamber, and the queen to her
        knight spake low,                                            655
    'Now yield thyself to my tending, and a hidden way I'll
    For his guests did they care as fitting tho' the host was no
        longer there,
    The folk they were all together, but the knight he alone must
    Save for two of his pages only--Then the queen and her
        maidens bright
    They led him where gladness waited, and his sorrow was put to
        flight,                                                      660
    And regret was o'erthrown and vanquished--And his heart it
        waxed high and brave
    As is ever the lot of lovers! and her maidenhood she gave
    The queen, fair Herzeleide: nor their lips did they think to
    But close did they cling in kisses; grief was conquered by
        joy so fair!

    Then courteous deeds were begun there; for free were his
        captives set,                                                665
    And the Kings Hardeiss and Kailet were made friends by
    And such marriage feast was holden that he who had proudly
    Hereafter to hold such another much riches thereto had
    For this did Gamuret purpose, his wealth he would little
    But Arabian gold did he scatter mid the poor knights; and
        jewels rare                                                  670
    Did he give to the kings and princes who were there with the
        host I ween;
    And glad were the wandering players, for rich gifts had their
        portion been.

    Let them ride whom he there had feasted, from the Angevin
        leave they prayed.
    Then the panther the badge of his father on his shield they
        in sable laid;
    And a small white silken garment, a shift that the queen did
        wear,                                                        675
    That had touched her naked body who now was his wife so fair,
    This should be his corslet's cover. And of foemen it saw
    Pierced thro' and hewn with sword-blade ere he parted from
        her his queen,
    And aye as her love came homeward on her body that shift she
    And many a shield had he shattered; and their love it waxed
        strong and true.                                             680

    And honour enow was his portion ere his manly courage bore
    The knight o'er the seas to conflict, for his journey I
        sorrow sore.
    For there came unto him true tidings, how the Baruch, his
        lord of old,
    Was beset by mighty foemen, by Babylon's princes bold:
    And the one he was called Ipomidon, and Pompey his brother's
        name                                                         685
    (For so hath the venture told me), a proud man of warlike
    ('Twas not he whom Julius Cæsar had driven from Rome of
    His uncle was Nebuchadnezzar, who in books found the lying
    That he himself should a god be, (o'er this would our folk
        make sport)
    And of noble race these brothers, nor of strength nor of gold
        spared aught.                                                690
    From Ninus they came who was ruler ere ever Bagdad might be,
    Nineveh did he found--Now an insult and a shame vexed them
    The Baruch as vassals claimed them--So the combat was won and
    And bravely the heroes battled, and on each side they paid
        the cost.
    Thus Gamuret sailed the water, and aid to the Baruch brought,    695
    And gladly he bade him welcome; tho' I weep that that land he

    How it chanced there, how went the conflict, gain or loss,
        how the thing might be
    Naught of that knew Queen Herzeleide; and bright as the sun
        was she,
    And her form it was fair to look on, and both riches had she
        and youth,
    And more than too much her gladness! I think me in very truth    700
    She had sped past the goal of all wishes--And on wisdom her
        heart was set,
    And she won from the whole world favour; her fair deeds with
        fair guerdon met,
    And all men praised Herzeleide, the queen, as both fair and
    And the queen of three kingdoms was she, of Waleis and fair
    Of these twain was she aye the ruler; and beside them in far
        Norgals                                                      705
    Did she bear the crown and sceptre, in the city of
    And so dear did she hold her husband, if never a maid might
    So gallant a man, what recked she? She counted it not for

    As for half a year he was absent she looked for his coming
    For but in the thought of that meeting might the life of the
        queen endure.                                                710
    Then brake the sword of her gladness thro' the midst of the
        hilt in twain,
    Ah me! and alas! for her mourning, that goodness should bear
        such pain
    And faith ever waken sorrow! Yea, so doth it run alway
    With the life of men, and to-morrow must they mourn who
        rejoice to-day!

    So it chanced that the queen one noontide in a restless
        slumber lay,                                                 715
    'Twas as if with a start she wakened and by lightning was
        borne away,
    And towards the clouds it bare her, and they smote her with
        mighty force,
    The fiery bolts of Heaven, as they sped on their downward
    And sparks sprang from her floating tresses mid the fire of
        the circling spheres,
    And the thunder crashed loud around her, and the rain-drops
        were burning tears.                                          720

    For a little space was she conscious, then a grip on her
        right hand fell,
    And, lo! it was changed, the vision, and wondrous things
    For then did she nurse a dragon, that forth from her body
    And its dragon life to nourish awhile at her breast it hung,
    Then it fled from her sight so swiftly she might look on it
        never more:                                                  725
    And her heart it brake for the anguish, and the terror and
        grief she bore.

    And never methinks a woman in slumber such woe hath seen,
    But now had she been so joyful, alas! all was changed I ween,
    And sorrow should be her portion, and her ill it waxed long
        and wide,
    And the shadow of coming sorrow did still on her heart abide.    730

    Then she did what afore she could not, for the terror that on
        her lay,
    She stretched her limbs in her slumber, and moaned in her
        grief alway,
    And she cried aloud on her people; and many a maid sat by
    And they sprang to her side at her summons, and wakened her

    Then Tampaneis he came riding, of her husband's squires the
        chief,                                                       735
    And many a page was with him, and joy's goal was o'erpassed
        in grief,
    And they cried, 'He was dead, their master!' And her senses
        forsook the queen,
    And she fell aback in her anguish--And the knights spake,
        'How hath this been?
    Hath our lord been slain in his harness, who ever was armed
        so well?'
    And tho' sorely the squire must sorrow, to the heroes the
        tale he'ld tell:                                             740
    'No long life should he have, my master! His helm he put off
    The heat thereto constrained him--'twas accursed heathen
    That stole him from us, our hero--A knight took a he-goats
    And from a long glass he poured it on the helmet of diamond
    And softer than sponge grew the diamond. May He Whom as Lamb
        they show                                                    745
    With the Cross in His hold, have mercy on the deeds that are
        wrought below!'

    'Then when one host met the other: Ah! that was indeed a
    And the knights who were with the Baruch they fought all as
        men of might,
    And there in the field by Bagdad full many a shield was
    As they flew each one on the other, and they mingled in
        charges fierce,                                              750
    And banner was mixed with banner, many fell who had bravely
    And my lord's hand it did such wonders that his foemen became
        as nought,
    But Ipomidon he came riding, and with death would reward the
    And he smote him down, and I think me many thousands they saw
        that sight.'

    'For my master, free from falsehood, rode against
        Alexandria's king,                                           755
    But, alas! for the guile of the heathen, this joust but his
        death should bring,
    For the spear cut sheer thro' the helmet, and it pierced
        thro' my master's brain
    (In his head did they find the splinters), yet the hero still
        held the rein,
    And dying he rode from the combat, o'er a wide plain his way
        he'ld take,
    And his chaplain he knelt above him, and in few words his
        shrift he spake.                                             760
    And he sent here the shift and the spear-blade that hath
        robbed us of our friend,
    He died free from sin--us his servants he did to the queen

    'At Bagdad was the hero buried, and the Baruch the cost would
    With gold is it fair to look on, and rich is the tomb alway;
    And many a costly jewel doth gleam where he lies at rest,        765
    And embalmed was the fair young body (sad was many a faithful
    And the grave-stone it is a ruby, and thro' it he shineth
    And they granted us as with martyrs, the cross o'er his tomb
        to rear,--
    For as Christ by His death hath freed us, and to comfort that
        soul so brave,
    And for shelter we raised the symbol--And the Baruch the cost
        he gave.                                                     770
    For the cross was of emerald wroughten: heathen counsel we
        asked it not,
    For they know not the Cross, nor the blessing that Christ's
        death won for us I wot!
    And the heathen they pray unto him as if he were a god in
    Nor they do it the Cross to honour, nor hath Baptism taught
        them ruth
    (Tho' it looseneth _us_ from Hell's fetters when the
        uttermost day shall dawn),                                   775
    But his knightly faith and honour, who leaveth us here
    Have wrought him a place in Heaven where he shineth with
        Heaven's light,
    And true penitence and confession--for falsehood e'er fled
        that knight.'

    'And there in his diamond helmet an epitaph did they grave,
    And fast to the cross they fixed it o'er the tomb of that
        hero brave,                                                  780
    And thus do they run the letters: '(_Through this helmet a
        joust hath slain)
    This hero who bare all manhood, and_ Gamuret _was his name,
    As king did he rule o'er three kingdoms, in each land the
        Crown he wore
    Whom mighty princes followed--Anjou's land this hero bore,
    And he lost his life for the Baruch at the city of Bagdad
        fair._                                                       785
    _And so high did it soar, his honour, that no knight may with
        him compare,
    Howe'er ye may test their dealings. Nor is he of woman born,
    (I mean of the knightly order) to whose hand he his strength
        had sworn.
    But help and true manly counsel to his friends did he
        steadfast give;
    And thro' women much grief he suffered, for he would in their
        favour live.                                                 790
    Baptized was he as a Christian tho' Saracens mourn him yet,
    (This is truth and no lie)--All his lifetime since his years
        were on wisdom set
    His strength strove for fame and honour, till he fell in his
        knightly pride,
    Wish him bliss who here lieth buried! 'Twas by treason's hand
        he died!_'

    So spake the squire, and the Waleis who heard it must weep
        full sore,                                                   795
    Cause hast they enow for sorrow! A living child she bore
    Who of men was left unaided, Herzeleide the gracious queen,
    With death the mother battled: her maidens were crazed I
    Since they thought not to help their lady, for within her
        womb she bare
    Him who should be flower of all knighthood, if death did not
        claim him there.                                             800
    Then there came a wise man ancient to weep with his lady's
    And he saw how with death she struggled, and he brought to
        her swift relief;
    For he forced her teeth asunder, and betwixt her lips they
    Water, and at their tending her senses they came once more.
    Then she spake, and aloud she mourned him, 'My heart's
        dearest, Ah! where is he?                                    805
    For in sooth my heart's deepest gladness was in Gamuret's
    Yet his valour of this hath robbed me--Now his _mother_ am I
        and _wife_,
    Tho' far younger was I, for within me do I carry his flesh
        and life;
    The love that we bore to each other hath been of such flower
        the root,
    And if God shall in truth be faithful, He withholdeth not
        here the fruit.                                              810
    Already too sore my sorrow for my husband so proud and brave,
    What ill death hath wrought upon me! Her love never woman
    But his heart it rejoiced in her gladness, and sad for her
        grief was he,
    Thus his true heart it gave him counsel who was aye from all
        falsehood free.'

    Now hearken yet more the story how the noble queen must
        mourn,                                                       815
    Within her arms would she hold him, her child who was yet
    And she spake, 'Now God send me safely the child of my hero
    For this is my heart's petition; God keep me from dark
    'Twere Gamuret's second slaying if I thought myself to slay
    While I bear of his love the token who was faithful to me
        alway!'                                                      820

    Then careless of who might see her, the robe from her neck
        she tore,
    And her fair white breasts she tended with the wisdom of
    To her rosy lips she pressed them, 'Ah, thou food that shall
        feed my son,
    He hath sent thee before his coming who life from my life
        hath won!'

    And the queen it nothing vexed her that above her heart it
        lay                                                          825
    The milk that her child should nourish, and softly she spake
    'Twas true love that brought thee hither, if I yet unbaptized
        should be
    From thee had I won my baptism, and the tears which shall
        flow so free,
    And openly and in secret will I mourn for my husband dear!'
    Then the shift with his life-blood crimsoned she bade them to
        bring anear,                                                 830
    (Thus clad in the Baruch's army had Gamuret lost his life,
    For he chose him a gallant ending in the turmoil and stress
        of strife),
    And then for the spear she prayed them wherewith was her
        husband slain,
    From Nineveh's Prince Ipomidon such guerdon he needs must
    And tho' tattered and hewn to pieces yet the queen fain the
        shift would wear,                                            835
    As aforetime had been her custom when her lord did from
        Tourney fare,
    But her maidens who stood around her they took it from out
        her hand,
    And they carried them to the Minster, the highest from out
        her land,
    And the spear and the blood they buried as men bury a hero
    And sorrow and bitter mourning thro' Gamuret's kingdom
        spread.                                                      840

    And when fourteen days were ended a babe lay the queen
    'Twas a son, and so great and goodly that the mother had
        well-nigh died.

    Now 'tis cast the die of the venture, and here doth my tale
    For now is he born who henceforward this song for his own
        shall win.
    And now have ye heard the story of his father, his love and
        grief,                                                       845
    Of his gallant life, and the treason that ended its span so
    And ye know whence he came, the hero of this tale, and how
        for long
    He was hidden from deeds of knighthood, till his youth it
        waxed bold and strong.

    When the queen found sight and hearing she was fain on her
        child to look,
    And her maidens they bare him to her and the babe in her arms
        she took;                                                    850
    And she saw his limbs soft rounded, and she knew she had born
        a son,
    And her maidens with her were joyful that the earth had a
        man-child won.
    (As he bare of a man the body, so manly was he of heart,
    As a smith did he wield the sword-blade till fire from the
        helm would start)
    And no joy did she know, the mother, save ever her babe to
        kiss,                                                        855
    And with soft words she spake to him ever, '_Bon fils, Cher
        fils, Beau fils._'

    And e'en as herself she bare him, so herself she his nurse
        would be,
    At his mother's breast was he nourished who was ever from
        falsehood free.
    And she thought she had won her husband by her prayers to her
        arms again,
    She all folly forsook, and meekness and truth in her heart
        did reign.                                                   860

    And musing spake Herzeleide, 'The queen of Heaven high
    Gave her breast to the dear Lord Jesu Who a bitter death
        would die
    As Man on the cross for man's sake, for thus did His love
    Who thinketh light of His anger his soul's peace shall hardly
    Tho' he else were brave man and worthy--and this tale do I
        know for true!'                                              865
    Then the queen of the land she bathed her in heart sorrow's
        bitter dew,
    And her eyes on the babe rained tear-drops as soft in her
        arms it lay,
    For hers was the way of women, where a true heart holdeth
    She could laugh and weep together, her heart joyed for her
        baby's birth,
    Yet the ford of her bitter sorrow had drowned in short space
        her mirth.                                                   870




In the Introduction the poet speaks of the honour in which he
all true women, though he be wroth with one who has wronged him.
though women shall count him their friend, he would fain that
should honour him for his knightly deeds, rather than for this
        his song.

In Book III. he tells of the sorrow and the faith of Queen
of Parzival's childhood; of his meeting with the knights; of his
faring forth to seek knighthood from King Arthur; and of the
of Herzeleide. How Parzival met with Jeschuté, and robbed her of
token, and of the wrath of her husband Orilus. Of the sorrow of
and how Parzival learnt his name and his lineage. How Parzival
        met with
the Red Knight and bare his challenge to the court of King
        Arthur, and
how he craved a boon of the king. Of the shaming of Kunnewaaré;
        and of
the death of the Red Knight. How Parzival came to Gurnemanz of
and was cured by him of his folly and taught all knightly wisdom,
how he rode forth from the land of Graharz.

                                BOOK III


    Is there ever a singer among you, who singeth a sweeter song
    Of the favour and love of women, I hold not he does me wrong!
    Full fain am I still to hearken to aught that may give them
    But to one alone among women my homage I still deny.
    Nay, ever the fire of my anger doth kindle and flame anew,         5
    And the sorrow her treason wrought me, it grieveth me still I
    I, whom men have named the singer, I, Wolfram of Eschenbach,
    The words that against a woman I spake, I may ne'er take
    Nay, I hold fast my wrath for ever, and clasp it closer
    As I think how in soul and body alike hath she wrought me
        ill!                                                          10
    How can I do aught but hate her, till death setteth seal on
    Yet it grieveth me sore that others should mingle in this our

    It grieveth me sore that maidens should say, as they name my
    'Forsooth he hath shamed all women, let it be unto him for
    Nay, then, an they reckon for evil the words that in grief I
        spake,                                                        15
    I will speak them no more for ever, though my heart should in
        silence break!
    But let them beware in their anger, these warlike maidens
    How they stir from his eyrie the eagle, rouse the lion from
        his lair!
    Full well I know how to defend me, full well know I what
    The maid of a knight's devotion, the maid of the poet's
        dreams!                                                       20
    Let a maiden be steadfast-hearted, pure and true in word and
    And her champion true she'll find me, comes there ever an
        hour of need.

    I hold his renown waxeth slowly, and halteth upon the road,
    Who, for wrong at the hand of one woman, shall slander all
    But if any will look upon me, and hearken to what I sing,         25
    Of a sooth I will not deceive them, though my tale
        over-strange may ring.
    Born was I unto the bearing of knightly shield and spear,
    And though sweet be the song of the singer, I hold it not all
        too dear:
    I had rather my love should love me for my deeds of high
    Than because in the hall of the Wartburg they should crown me
        with music's crown!                                           30
    With the shield and the spear of knighthood will I seek for a
        knight's reward,
    Nor charm, with the harp of the singer, what I failèd to win
        with the sword!

    Nor in praise of fair women only runs this tale that I have
        to tell,
    Full many strange deeds it holdeth, and marvels that once
    Ere the course of this wondrous venture be tracèd unto its
        end;                                                          35
    Yet he who heareth shall reckon, if he fain would account me
    That this is no book he readeth, for no maker of books am I!
    But a singer of strange adventures, and of knightly prowess
    Stripped bare will I be of all honour, naked and reft of
    Ere I trust my renown unto letters, and give to a book my
        name!                                                         40

    It vexes me, soul and body, that so many should bear the name
    And speak with the tongue of women, who reck not of woman's
    That those who have known no falsehood, and those who are
        swift to fall,
    Should carry one name in common, be counted as sisters all!
    A truth that has faltered never, a faith that has aye
        withstood,                                                    45
    Is the only glory of woman, the crown of her womanhood!

    Many will say, 'What good thing can come out of poverty?'
    She who for love endures it, she 'scapeth Hell thereby,
    And, in the kingdom of Heaven, receiveth a hundredfold
    For all she has borne for love's sake, new joys for her
        sorrows old!                                                  50
    Not one have I known in my lifetime, I count it a bitter
    Neither a man nor a maiden, who the joy and the pride of
    And all earth's riches and honour, will leave as a worthless
    If weighed with the glory of Heaven, and the service of
        Heaven's King!
    But Queen Herzeleide only, she left her fair estate,              55
    In her youth of all joy bereavèd, with sorrow afar to mate.
    So holy was she and gentle, so faithful and pure of mind,
    That no tongue spake a word against her, and no eye a fault
        could find.
    Sunlight or shadow, what recked she? the day was to her as
    For her heart was the home of sorrow, and dead was the
        world's delight.                                              60
    And in sorrow and grief she wandered, till she came to
        Soltanè's strand,
    A woodland wild and lonely afar from her native land:
    Fair flowers might bloom and blossom without, on the sunlit
    And be woven in rosy chaplets, but for her they would bloom
        in vain!
    And there, mid the woodland shadows, she hid with Gamuret's
        son,                                                          65
    For she willed that her life's last treasure be revealed unto
    So she called her folk around her, (who toiled in the upland
    With oxen and plough, that the furrows their daily bread
        might yield,)
    And she charged them all, by the service which she as their
        queen might claim,
    That they hide from the boy his birthright and the fame of
        his father's name.                                            70
    'For the knightly deeds ye vaunt of, and the glory and pride
        of war,
    Have wrought me but heart's affliction, and trouble and
        anguish sore,
    So, lest I yet more should suffer, I pray you, my servants
    That ye speak no word of knighthood, lest my son perchance
        should hear!'

    Then full sore were her people grievèd, for they held it an
        evil thing,                                                   75
    And a training that ill beseemèd the son of a mighty king.
    But his mother kept him hidden in the woodland valleys wild,
    Nor thought in her love and sorrow how she wronged the kingly
    No knightly weapon she gave him, save such as in childish
    He wrought himself from the bushes that grew on his lonely
        way,                                                          80
    A bow and arrows he made him, and with these, in thoughtless
    He shot at the birds as they carolled o'erhead in the leafy

    But when the feathered songster of the woods at his feet lay
    In wonder and dumb amazement he bowed down his golden head,
    And in childish wrath and sorrow tore the locks of his sunny
        hair;                                                         85
    (For I wot well of all earth's children was never a child so
    As this boy, who afar in the desert from the haunts of
        mankind did dwell,
    Who bathed in the mountain streamlet, and roamed o'er the
        rock-strewn fell!)
    Then he thought him well how the music, which his hand had
        for ever stilled,
    Had thrilled his soul with its sweetness, and his heart was
        with sorrow filled,                                           90
    And the ready tears of childhood flowed forth from their
        fountains free
    As he ran to his mother weeping, and bowed him beside her
    'What aileth thee child?' quoth the mother, 'but now wast
        thou gay and glad'--
    But, childlike, he gave no answer, scarce wist he what made
        him sad!

    But Queen Herzeleide watched him through the sunny summer
        days,                                                         95
    Till beneath a tree she saw him stand silent, with upturned
    And a look of joyful rapture in the radiant childish eyes,
    As he listed the bird, that, soaring, sang clear thro' the
        cloudless skies;
    And the mother's heart was troubled, and her wrath waxed to
        fever heat,
    She would brook in his love no rival--not even God's singers
        sweet!                                                       100
    So she sent forth in haste her servants, with many a cunning
    To capture the singers whose music made joyful the woodlands
    Then, alas! for the birds, who struggled in the cruel snare
        in vain,
    Yet some few burst their bonds, and joyful, brake forth into
        song again!

    Then the boy spake,'Now sweet my mother, why trouble the
        birds so sore?                                               105
    Forsooth they can ne'er have harmed thee, ah, leave them in
        peace once more!'
    And his mother kissed him gently, 'Perchance I have wrought a
    Of a truth, the dear God who made them, He gave unto them
        their song,
    And I would not that one of his creatures should sorrow
        because of me.'
    But the boy looked up in wonder, 'God, Mother? Who may God
        be?'                                                         110
    'My son, He is light beyond all light, brighter than summer's
    And He bare a Man's Face, that we men might look on His Face
    Art thou ever in need of succour? call on Him in thine hour
        of ill,
    And be sure He will fail thee never, but will hear thee, and
        help thee still.
    Yet one there is dwelleth in darkness, and I wot men may fear
        him well,                                                    115
    For his home is the house of falsehood, and his kingdom the
        realm of Hell!
    Turn thy mind away from him ever, nor waver betwixt the
    For he who doubteth, his labour shall ever be wrought in

    Thus his mother read him the riddle, the myst'ry of day and
    The dread and the doom of darkness, and the glory and grace
        of light!                                                    120
    Then javelin in hand he hastened thro' the forest pathways
    And the deer sprang up from their thickets, and fled from the
        dauntless child;
    But clear-eyed and eager-footed he hastened upon their track,
    And full oft with a hornèd trophy, at even he hied him back.
    Little cared he for rain or sunshine, summer's storm or
        winter's snow,                                               125
    And daily in strength and beauty all men might behold him
    Till at length no beast so mighty thro' the forest wild did
    If it fell 'neath his shaft, unaided, on his shoulder he bore
        it home!

    It chanced thro' a woodland thicket one morn as he took his
    And brake from o'erhanging bushes full many a leafy spray,       130
    That a pathway steep and winding rose sharply his track
    And the distant beat of horse-hoofs fell strange on his
        wondering ear.
    Then the boy grasped his javelin firmly and thought what the
        sound might be;
    'Perchance 'tis the devil cometh! Well, I care not if it be
    Methinks I can still withstand him, be he never so fierce and
        grim,                                                        135
    Of a truth my lady mother she is o'er-much afraid of _him_!

    As he stood there for combat ready, behold, in the morning
    Three knights rode into the clearing, in glittering armour
    From head to foot were they armèd, each one on his gallant
    And the lad as he saw their glory thought each one a god
        indeed!                                                      140
    No longer he stood defiant, but knelt low upon his knee,
    And cried, 'God, Who helpest all men, I pray Thee have
        thought for me!'

    Then wroth was the foremost rider as the lad barred his
        further way,
    And he spake out, 'This stupid _Waleis_ will hinder our work
    (Now here would I give to the Waleis the fame we Bavarians
        hold;                                                        145
    They are duller than e'en our people, yet manly in strife and
    And in sooth were one born in both countries such marvel of
        strength and skill
    Would he hide in himself that I think me their fame he might
        well fulfil!)

    Then there rode swift with hanging bridle, in costly harness
    With plumed and jewelled helmet another gallant knight;          150
    Swiftly he came as thirsting to challenge in mortal fight
    The foe who sped far before him, who had done him a sore
    For two knights from out his kingdom a maiden had borne away,
    And he held it a deed most shameful and one he must needs
    For the maiden's sorrow grieved him, and fain would he ease
        her pain:                                                    155
    (And the three knights who rode before him were part of his
        warlike train.)
    He rode a Spanish war-horse, and his shield had fierce
        conflict seen,
    And Karnachkarnanz did they call him (he was Ulterleg's count
        I ween).
    Then he cried to his knights, 'Why loiter? who barreth our
        onward way?'
    And straight on the lad did he ride there, who deemed him a
        god alway,                                                   160
    For ne'er had he seen such glory; his harness shone fair with
    And on either foot the stirrups with golden bells rang true.
    And their length was e'en as fitting, and with bells did each
        strong arm ring,
    As he stirred himself, or his sword-blade in battle aloft
        would swing.
    And the hero was swift in seeking the guerdon of knightly
        prize,                                                       165
    So he rode here, the prince, and had decked him in a fair and
        wondrous wise.

    Then spake this flower of all knighthood, 'Say, boy, did they
        pass thy way?
    Two knights who have shamed their knighthood, nay, _robbers_
        I ween are they,
    For they bear a maiden with them, and she rideth against her
    Yet the boy, tho' he spake with a man's tongue, as a god must
        account him still;                                           170
    For he thought how Queen Herzeleide had told him that God was
    And dwelleth in Light for ever; and so to his dazzled sight
    This knight, in his shining armour in the glow of the
        summer's day,
    Was the God of his mother's lesson, and he knelt him again to

    But the prince he spake full gently, 'Fain am I to do God's
        will,                                                        175
    And yet for no God I hold me, but a sinful mortal still.
    Nay, wert thou more clear of vision, thou wouldst see, an
        thou sawest aright,
    No Lord of the host of Heaven, but only a humble knight!'

    'Knight?' quoth the boy in answer, 'Nay! I wot not what that
        may be,
    Is thy strength not of God, but of knighthood, then I would
        such were given to me!'                                      180
    'Then wend thy way to King Arthur, an thou camest unto his
    A noble knight he would make thee, ashamed and afeared for
    For sure, now I look upon thee, thou com'st of a noble
    Then his knights they turned their bridles, and gazed at the
        boy again.
    Full well might they look and wonder, at the work that God's
        Hand had wrought,                                            185
    For they say, who tell this story, that never could human
    Have dreamed of aught so goodly, since ever the world began,
    For of all men beloved by women, was there never so fair a
    Loud they laughed as the boy spake further, 'Good knight,
        what may these be?
    These rings that so close around thee, above and below I
        see.'                                                        190
    Then he handled, with curious finger, the armour the knight
        did bear,
    His coat of mail close-linkèd as behovèd a knight to wear;
    And he spake as he looked on the harness, 'My mother's
        maidens string
    On their chains, and around their fingers, full many a
        shining ring,
    But they cling not so close to each other as these rings that
        here I see,                                                  195
    I cannot force them asunder, what good are they then to

    Then the prince drew forth from its scabbard his shining
        blade so keen,
    'Now see, he who fights against me, must withstand my sword I
    And lest he, on his part, should slay me, it is fit that with
        mail and shield,
    I ward me against his spear-thrusts, and the blows that his
        arm may wield.'                                              200
    Swiftly the lad made answer, 'Little good would it do the
    An their coats were e'en such as thine is, they would fall
        still beneath my spear.'

    Full wroth were the knights and scornful that their lord thus
        long had talked
    With this lad with the face of an angel, and the speech as of
        one distraught;
    Then the prince he spake full gently, 'God keep thee in His
        good grace,                                                  205
    I would that my shield's bright mirror might show me as fair
        a face!
    Nay, an the Giver of all gifts but gave thee wit enow
    To match with a mien so goodly, full rich wert thou then I
    May He keep all sorrow from thee, and thy life be a summer's
    And with that he turned his bridle, and wended once more his
        way.                                                         210
    Then adown the woodland pathway they rode, till they came
        full soon
    Where the carles of Queen Herzeleide toiled hard thro' the
        sultry noon:
    The fields must they plough and harrow, if a harvest they
        hoped to reap,
    So they goaded the patient oxen to their toil on the hillside

    Then the prince he gave them 'Good-morrow,' and asked if
        there passed that way                                        215
    A maiden in need and sorrow? and they dared not to say him
    But they answered him e'en as he prayed them, and they spake
        'Yea, at early morn
    Two knights and a maiden passed here, and the maiden, she
        wept forlorn,
    And the knights as they rode beside her, spurred ever her
        flying steed.'
    Then the prince knew his foe, Meljakanz, and his wrath waxed
        hot indeed,                                                  220
    On his tracks he followed swiftly, and they who this venture
    Say he won back in fight the maiden ere the shadows of
        evening fell.

    But sore were the queen's folk troubled that the heroes had
        chanced that way,
    And they spake, 'God forbid that our queen's son fall in with
        these knights to-day!
    An he chances to light upon them in the pride of their
        warlike gear,                                                225
    It will anger full sore our mistress if by hap she the tale
        should hear:
    And ill-luck will it bring upon us that, ere ever the dawn of
    With us while his mother slumbered, to the woods he stole
    Little recked the boy of their trouble as he chased the
        flying deer,
    And shouted in youthful gladness, as they fell before his
        spear                                                        230
    Then homeward he sped to his mother, but ere he his tale
        might tell
    She was smitten with deadly terror, and low at his feet she

    Then soon as Queen Herzeleide found hearing and speech once
    Her boy was she fain to question tho' her heart it misgave
        her sore;
    'Who spake to thee, son, of knighthood? What knowest thou of
        such-like rede?'                                             235
    'I met in the woods, sweet mother, four men I deemed gods
    So light were they all and shining, God Himself ne'er could
        brighter be,
    And of knighthood they spake and King Arthur, who might well
        make a knight of me!'
    Then her sorrow of old-time wakened, and the queen in her
        heart she sought
    For some cunning wile of woman, that her boy from his will be
        brought.                                                     240

    When the simple lad and gallant would crave from her hand a
    Tho' heavy her heart, she bethought her in naught to gainsay
        his need,
    'Yet not as he asks will I give him, no mother's gifts be
    But ever the worst and the meanest that my skill may aye
    And she thought her, Queen Herzeleide, 'Many folk thro' the
        world shall fare                                             245
    Who love mocking--On his fair body my son shall a Fool's
        dress wear,
    Then sure when the mockers see him, and to scoff at his garb
        are fain,
    An he at their hands be smitten, then he cometh to me again!'
    Alas! for a woman's cunning, and the cruelty of mother's
    She chose from her stores a sackcloth, the coarsest that
        might be wove,                                               250
    And a garment of this she made him that should reach e'en
        unto his knee;
    For his sunny hair such covering as on fools men are wont to
    And instead of hose she bound him on his limbs so strong and
    Leggings of undressed calf-skin--And all wept who beheld him

    Then his mother with forethought bade him to tarry till
        morning light,                                               255
    'Nor from hence would I have thee journey till my rede thou
        hast heard aright--
    _'Keep thou ever from paths untrodden and ford not the
        darkling stream,
    Where the waters flow clear and limpid, there safe is the
        ford I ween.
    And be ever fair and courteous, greet all men who pass thy
    If a wise man old and grey-headed would teach thee, as well
        he may,_                                                     260
    _All courteous ways and fitting, as his word so shall be thy
    Nor wax wroth if by whiles he chide thee, but give to my
        words good heed.
    And one thing, my son, would I tell thee, canst thou win from
        a maid her ring
    And her greeting fair, thou shalt take them, and sorrow hath
        lost her sting!
    If a kiss from her lips she will give thee, and thine arms
        shall the maid enfold,_                                      265
    _Be she pure and true thou art blessèd, and thy strength
        shall wax high and bold!'_

    'And hearken my son, a proud knight, Lähelein, do men call
        his name,
    From thy princes two lands hath wrested, else from them
        couldst thou tribute claim.
    And Waleis they are and Norgals--and one of thy princes
    Turkentals, hath he slain, and thy people he hath smitten and
        doth enslave.'                                               270
    'For such wrong will I vengeance, mother, if vengeance be
        here God's will,
    Be he never so strong with my javelin I think me to wound him

    Then e'en at the daylight's dawning the boy would no longer
    For the thought of King Arthur's glory yet heavy upon him
    Then Queen Herzeleide kissed him, and she sped swift his
        steed behind,                                                275
    And the sorrow of sorrows smote her when her boy she no more
        might find.
    (Hence he rode and what heart rejoiceth?) Then the queen from
        all falsehood free,
    Fell low on the earth, and grief tare her till death must her
        portion be!
    Yet I wot that her death so faithful it hath saved her from
        pains of Hell,
    And to be of such son the mother, it repayeth all anguish
        well!                                                        280
    Thus she, the root of all goodness whence humility's flower
        might blow,
    Herself on a pilgrimage wended that a goodly goal should
    Woe worth us! that none of their children should live still,
        to hand us down
    In these days when we look on falsehood their honour and fair
    And therefore shall faithful women wish well to this lad so
        bold,                                                        285
    Who rideth fair ventures seeking, whose journey ye now

    Then the gallant lad rode onward on his way toward
        Briziljan's wood,
    And he came to a rippling streamlet, and a cock well might
        wade that flood!
    And flowers in the grass were blooming, yet so darkling ran
        the wave
    That the lad he thought not to ford it; but as wit the
        counsel gave,                                                290
    So he followed its course thro' the daylight, and he passed
        as he could the night,
    Till he saw once more the morning, and he came to a fair ford
    On the further side was a meadow, and a tent decked the grass
        so green,
    And tall was the tent wide-spreading, and riches thereon were
    'Twas of samite of threefold colours, on the seams lay fair
        ribbons wide,                                                295
    And a leathern covering hung there, 'gainst the rain-cloud to
        guard its pride.

    ('Twas Duke Orilus of Lalande, whose wife he beneath it
    She lay there in peaceful slumber with riches happed fair
    A Duchess she was, well worthy the love of a gallant knight,
    And the venture it tells that Jeschuté was the name of that
        lady bright)                                                 300

    Softly the princess slumbered,--yet weapons of love she bore;
    A mouth so red and glowing, that a knight's heart had wounded
    And e'en as she slept they parted asunder, her lips so
    That the fire of love had kindled, (fit venture for gallant
    And even as ivory snow-white, and little, and close the row      305
    Of the teeth that gleamed white betwixt them--methinks that a
        man were slow
    To use himself to such kisses from a mouth that all men might
    I wot that so fair a guerdon but seldom hath crowned my days!

    A covering of richest sable over foot and knee was thrown,
    (For the heat she aside hath cast it, whom her lord had thus
        left alone)                                                  310
    And her form it was fairly fashioned, and wrought by a
        skilful hand,
    Since 'twas God Himself in His wisdom who so fair a work had
    And long was her arm and rounded: on her snow-white hand a
    Gleamed golden, and when he saw it the lad to her side did
    For had not his mother told him such jewels were the guerdon
        fair                                                         315
    That a knight well might crave? and he thought him he fain
        would such token bear!

    Then the lady awoke in terror as his clasp on her white arm
    And gazed in startled wonder and wrath as beseemed her well;
    'Who is it, who thus would shame me? Nay, sir, thou art all
        too free!
    Go, choose thee some fairer maiden, my favours are not for
        thee!'                                                       320

    In vain might she weep and bewail her; he asked not her yea,
        or nay,
    But took from her lips unwilling the kiss she would fain
    And the ring of gold from her finger with ungentle hand he'ld
    And the clasp that her shift had fastened from the garment he
        roughly brake:
    In vain were her tears and struggles, she was but a woman
        still,                                                       325
    And his strength was to hers as an army, perforce must she do
        his will.
    Then the lad spake aloud, he hungered, from his hand was the
        lady free,
    And she quoth, 'Of a truth 'twere better thou shouldst not
        make meal of me!
    If thou wert but a little wiser thou wouldst choose thee some
        other meat,
    There stand bread and wine, and two game-birds, of them mayst
        thou freely eat,                                             330
    Methinks when my maiden brought them, 'twas scarcely of thee
        she thought!'
    Then he asked not where sat the hostess, but he ate e'en as
        hunger taught,
    And he drank his fill; and the lady she deemed all too long
        his stay,
    For she thought him bereft of his senses, and she wished he
        were well away,
    And for fear and shame the sweat-drops stood thickly upon her
        brow--                                                       335
    And she spake, 'Thou my ring shalt give me, and the clasp
        thou didst take but now,
    And get thee away, if he cometh, my husband, then shalt thou
    The weight of his wrath, and I think me thou wouldst then
        wish thyself elsewhere!'

    Quoth the noble youth, 'What care I how fierce thy lord's
        wrath may be?
    If my presence doth shame thine honour, then from hence will
        I swiftly flee.'                                             340
    And he stepped to the bedside boldly, and kissed her as there
        she lay,
    Tho' little it pleased the Duchess, and without leave he rode
    And he spake a word of parting as he vaulted upon his steed,
    'God have thee in His safe keeping, so my mother she gave me

    Then the lad he was glad of his booty, and thus did he ride a
        while--                                                      345
    Methinks there was little lacking that from hence he had gone
        a mile,
    Ere he came of whom I would tell you: on the dew he the
        tracks might see
    Of one who had sought his lady--The tent-ropes displaced
        should be
    Where the lad thro' the grass had ridden; then the gallant
        Duke and proud
    Found his lady within in sorrow, and Orilus spake aloud,         350
    'Alas! for the service done thee--for smitten and put to
    Is the crown of my knightly honour, since another thy love
        can claim!'
    Then little, alas! might it profit that with streaming eyes
        she swore
    No lover had she save her husband,--he would hearken her tale
        no more.

    Then she spake in her fear and anguish, 'Twas a _fool_, he
        who came to me,                                              355
    And yet tho' a fool, of all men I wot he may fairest be!
    My ring and my clasp gold-gleaming, he took them against my
    'Nay, I doubt not so well he pleased thee, thou didst grant
        him more favours still,'
    'Now, God forbid! for his fool's garb and his javelin were
        e'en too near,
    It shameth us both, my husband, such words from thy lips to
        hear!                                                        360
    Are _queens_ wont to love thus lowly, that thou speakest such
        words of me?
    Thou wrongest our royal breeding, when thou deemest such
        things may be!'

    Then the Duke spake, 'This shame, O lady! alone hast thou won
        from me,
    Thou dost call thyself _Queen_ no longer; tho' thy title
        shall _Duchess_ be
    Little good hath that bargain brought me--So bold shall my
        manhood be,                                                  365
    That thy brother, King Lac's son Erec, for that cause beareth
        hate to thee:
    He is wise, and right well he knoweth that my fame so high
        shall stand
    That nothing shall stain mine honour, save at Prurein when
        his right hand
    In knightly joust once felled me, but that have I paid right
    In a joust at Karnant I smote him, and behind his steed he
        fell,                                                        370
    And his pledge did he yield unto me,--thro' his shield I thy
        token bare,
    I thought not, my wife Jeschuté, with _another_ thy love to
    'Thou mayst also well assure thee that the son of King
    Proud Galoes, once lay lifeless before this arm of mine;
    And thou thyself wast witness when the Knight Plihopleheri       375
    Rode swift in a joust against me, nor his strife it hath
        passed me by,
    My spear from the saddle thrust him that his charger he sat
        no more;
    Yea, great was the fame that I won me by my prowess in days
        of yore,
    Many knights have I borne from their chargers,--yet it
        profiteth not I ween,
    Nor outweigheth the bitter shaming that thro' thee hath my
        portion been!'                                               380

    And with reason good do they hate me, those knights of the
        Table Round,
    Since eight of their bravest champions have I borne unto the
    And many fair maidens saw it, when at Kanedig fierce we
    For the hawk; there was I the victor, and my hand fame to
        thee hath brought
    And that didst thou see with King Arthur--At his court doth
        she dwell to-day,                                            385
    My sister, sweet Kunnewaaré, and grave is her mien alway,
    For her lips may not move to laughter till the day that her
        eyes shall light
    On him who of all shall be reckoned the fairest and bravest
    Would he come unto me, that hero! Ah! then should a strife be
    As to-day in the early morning already my lot hath been.         390
    I have fought, and a prince hath suffered, for joust he
        toward me sped,
    But my spear-point so sorely smote him that he lay there
        before me, dead!'

    'Well I know that in righteous anger for a lesser sin than
    Full many had slain the sinner, but I would not such deed
        were mine!
    For the service of knightly honour that to thee I had offered
        fair,                                                        395
    Henceforth shalt thou know but lacking; nor thy need do I
        think to spare--
    No more with thy white arms circled in love and in peace I'll
    Those golden days of love's glory have faded and passed us
    But pale be thy mouth so rosy, and tear-dimmed thy shining
    For joy shall be put far from thee, and thy heart's songs be
        turned to sighs!'                                            400

    Then sadly she looked upon him, that princess so fair and
    'May it be for the honour of knighthood what seemeth thee
        best to do,
    Wise art thou indeed and loyal, and I in thy power may be,
    And I know well that heavy sorrow and pain thou canst bring
        on me:
    To the ordeal, I prithee, put me, and do this for all women's
        sake,                                                        405
    Thereafter, an I be guilty, for my sin do thou vengeance
    If another's hand shall slay me, (for _thee_ were such deed
    Then gladly I'll die--Dost thou scorn me? then welcome is
        death, and sweet!'

    Then he broke out in bitter anger, 'If thy pride be still so
    It is meet I should meekness teach thee, tho' the lesson be
        all too late--                                               410
    No more shall we be companions, together no more we'll eat;
    Be our marriage couch forgotten and the hours of communion
    This garment in which I found thee thy only robe shall be,
    And instead of jewelled bridle hempen twist will I give to
    Thy steed be the guest of hunger, and thy saddle once decked
        so fair                                                      415
    Shall be robbed of its goodly trappings!' and with hasty hand
        he tare
    The samite adown, and he brake it, the saddle she rode
    (Nor her gentle ways and seemly might his angry wrath
    With a hempen cord he bound it--Too soon had she won his
    As he did this he spake, 'Now Lady, 'tis best we no longer
        wait,                                                        420
    Could I reach him who shared thy favours, then fulfilled were
        my heart's desire,
    The venture I'ld face, though as dragon he were breathing
        forth flames and fire!'
    Then with weeping instead of laughter she passed from out the
    That lady so rich in sorrow, and sadly her way she went;
    Yet more than she mourned her shaming she wept her lord's
        grief, I ween,                                               425
    His sorrow so sorely moved her, e'en death would have lighter
    Now of true heart shall ye bemoan her who thus did sore
        anguish know,
    And tho' hatred I won from all women, still I'ld mourn for
        Jeschuté's woe!

    So rode they upon the traces of the lad who before them fled,
    And, dauntless, he little thought him how a foeman behind him
        sped,                                                        430
    But whoever his eyes might light on, as his pathway they drew
    He gave to him kindly greeting, 'Thus bade me my mother

    Thus rode he, our lad so foolish, adown a mountain side,
    When a woman's voice before him from amid the rocks loud
    'Twas a cry of heartfelt sorrow, for her joy was in ruins
        laid--                                                       435
    Then swift rode the lad towards her,--Now hear what she did,
        this maid:
    She tore, the maid Siguné, her plaits of long brown hair
    From out her head thro' sorrow; and the lad he beheld her
    And he saw Schionatulander, the prince, on her knee lie dead,
    And the maiden she wailed above him, and her joy had for ever
        fled.                                                        440

    ('If sad be their mien or joyful, my mother she bade me still
    Greet all men, whoe'er might meet me) God keep thee from
        greater ill,
    For in sooth a sorry treasure have I found on thy knee
    Who hath wounded this knight?' (For an answer the lad he
        would press alway)
    'Did one with a javelin slay him? For Lady, he sure is dead;     445
    Wilt thou tell me naught? Who hath slain him? If he none too
        far hath fled
    Methinks I might overtake him, for gladly with him I'ld
    Then the lad he laid hold on his quiver wherein lay the
        javelins bright,
    And still in his hand tight claspèd, the tokens twain he bore
    Which he in his thoughtless folly erewhile from Jeschuté
        tore.                                                        450
    Had he known the courtly customs with his father's life
    His shield were better smitten when the duchess alone he
    Who thro' him must suffer sorrow--for more than a whole year
    Her husband withheld his favour, tho' in sooth did he do her

    Now list to this maid Siguné who her grief would bemoan as
        meet,                                                        455
    She spake to the lad, 'Thou art courteous, all hail! to thy
        youth so sweet,
    And thy face so fair; yea blessèd thy lot shall hereafter be!
    No javelin pierced this hero, but slain in a joust was he--
    From truth wast thou born who truly for another's woe can
    Then his name she was fain to hearken, ere the lad her side
        might leave,                                                 460
    And she spake, God with skill had wrought him--But his answer
        was naught but this,
    'At home all who know me call me '_Bon fils, Cher fils, Beau

    Ere ever the word was spoken, the maiden she knew his name--
    Now hearken aright his title, that hereafter ye own his fame
    Who is hero of this my venture, who now standeth the maid
        beside--                                                     465
    And her red lips they spake unfaltering, 'Thou art
        _Parzival_,' she cried,
    And thy name it shall mean '_to pierce thro_',' for thy
        mother's faithful heart
    With furrow of grief was riven when she from her lord must
    And I speak not that those shouldst vaunt thee; thy mother my
        aunt shall be,
    And in truth, with no guile of falsehood, thy race will I
        tell to thee!'                                               470

    'An Angevin was thy father, thy mother of fair Waleis,
    And I know for a truth thy birthplace was the city of
    And thou art the King of Norgals, and there in the citadel
    As king shalt thou bear the sceptre and crown as beseems thee
    For thy sake was he slain, this hero, who thy kingdom for
        thee would guard,                                            475
    His truth it hath faltered never, tho' in death did he find
    Two brothers have wrought thee evil, two kingdoms from thee
        have reft,
    And Orilus this thy kinsman in a joust hath lifeless left.
    And me too hath he left in sorrow--He served me nor thought
        it shame,
    This prince of thy land, where my childhood did thy mother's
        tending claim.                                               480
    Now fair and sweet my cousin wouldst thou hear how he met his
    'Twas the fair wove leash of a brachet that brought sorrow
        unto my friend--
    He hath served us twain, in our service hath he won him but
        death alone,
    And I, I have won but sorrow, and henceforth for his death
        make moan,
    For scant of wit was I surely, that I gave not my love
        afore--                                                      485
    So God hath my gladness shattered, and the dead I love

    Then he spake, 'I must mourn, O cousin, thy grief, and my
        bitter wrong,
    Of a truth till I may avenge them the time seemeth
    Then straight would he ride to battle, but the way did she
        falsely show,
    For she feared were he slain then henceforward yet sorer
        should wax her woe.                                          490
    But a road he found that led him straightway to the Breton's
    And smooth and wide was that highway--An there met him on
        either hand
    Afoot or ahorse a merchant or knight, he would greet them
    For so was his mother's counsel; and she spake with no
        thought of ill.

    But great weariness o'ertook him, as darkened the eventide,      495
    And a house that was none too stately the youth in his folly
    'Twas a churl he who sat within it, discourteous by birth and
    (A fisherman he, little kindness might one at his hand e'er
    Then the lad drew rein for he hungered, and craved of him
        drink and meat.
    But the host quoth, 'Nay, not a half-loaf shalt thou have at
        mine hand to eat                                             500
    In thirty years; he who waiteth, in the gifts of mine hand to
    O'er-long shall delay his journey--For none but myself I
    Thereafter perchance for my children--Thou comest not here
    Hadst thou money or pledge 'twere other, then thine host
        would I be straightway!'                                     505

    Then Jeschuté's clasp all golden the lad he would bid him
    And soon as the peasant saw it, with smiling mouth he spake,
    'Wilt thou stay here, sweet lad? then due honour be thy
        portion from all within--'
    'Wilt thou feed me to-night and to-morrow wilt help me the
        way to win
    To King Arthur (for well I love him) then thyself mayst keep
        the gold!'                                                   510
    'Yea, that will I do,' quoth the peasant, 'for ne'er might
        mine eyes behold
    A face and form so comely--I will thee, as a marvel, bring
    To the court, and the good Round Table, and the face of the
        noble king!'

    So the lad thro' the night abode there, and ere ever the dawn
        of day
    He roused himself full eager to get on his onward way,           515
    And the fisher, he made him ready, and before the lad he ran,
    And the boy he rode behind him, and swift were both steed and

    (Herr Hartmann von Aue, and thy lady, the queenly Guinevere,
    And thy gallant lord, King Arthur, a guest do I bring ye
    No tool is he for your mocking, nay, never a harp or lute,       520
    Ye shall choose ye some other plaything, such as courtesy
        well doth suit;
    Else will I thy lady Enid, and her mother Karnafite
    Pass under the mill, and their honour with bitter scorn I'll
    Tho' I tune my song to mocking, and thy lips with mockery
    Yet here will I guard my hero lest thy scorn he perchance
        should feel!)                                                525

    When the lad with his guide so humble to the city walls drew
    And Nantes might be well discernèd in the morning light so
    'God keep thee, boy,' said the fisher, 'thou seest where thou
        must ride.'
    Quoth the lad yet scant in knowledge, 'Yet nearer must thou
        be guide!'
    'Nay, nay, so proud as these court-folk, such folly be far
        from me,                                                     530
    An' a peasant came nigh unto them, his welcome would sorry

    So alone the lad rode onward o'er a plain that was none too
    And the flowers stood fair around him and blossomed on every
    No Kurwenal was his teacher and of courtesy knew he naught--
    They know it not, the untravelled, till the world hath wisdom
        taught--                                                     535
    Of hempen twist his bridle, and feeble and faint his steed,
    And oft it fell, as stumbling it went o'er the flowery mead.
    And nowhere upon his saddle fair leather and new was seen;
    And of samite fair and ermine full great his lack had been.
    No mantle clasp he needed, nor knightly garb he wore,            540
    Of blazoned coat or surcoat; his javelin alone he bore.
    He whose deeds were praised of all men, his father so brave
        and wise,
    Was robed in far other fashion on the carpet 'fore Kanvoleis!

    He who ne'er felt the sweat of terror, to him did a knight
        draw near;
    Then he greeted him, 'May God keep thee! thus bade me my
        mother dear.'                                                545
    'God reward thee, lad, and thy mother,' swift answer the
        knight would bring,
    (Uther Pendragon reared him, he was cousin unto the king,
    And unto the land of Bretagne did the self-same knight lay
    He was Ither of Gaheviess, 'The Red Knight' they called his

    All dazzling red was his armour, the eye from its glow
        gleamed red;                                                 550
    Red was his horse swift-footed, and the plumes that should
        deck its head,
    Of samite red its covering; redder than flame his shield;
    Fair-fashioned and red his surcoat; and the spear that his
        hand would wield
    Was red, yea, the shaft and the iron; and red at the knight's
    Was his sword, yet the blade's fair keenness was not dimmed
        by the raging fire.                                          555
    And the King of Cumberland, stately, in his mailèd hand did
    A goblet, with skill engraven, and wrought of the good red
    From the Table Round had he reft it--All red was his shining
    Yet white was his skin, and kindly his speech to the lad and

    'Now hail to thy fair young body, that in sooth a true woman
        bare,                                                        560
    Yea, blessèd is she thy mother! Ne'er saw I a face so fair,
    And the light of thine eyes, I think me, is kindled by love
    And Love shall in thee be victor, as by thee Love is
    And in thee is the joy of woman, whose bliss finds in thee
        its goal,
    And for thee shall the load of sorrow weigh heavy upon the
        soul--                                                       565
    Now do me this grace I pray thee, an thou wend thee unto the
    Bear greeting from me to King Arthur, and his heroes of high
    And say that no fleeting vision am I who now speak with thee,
    But here I abide, and await him who thinketh to joust with

    'And never a man will wonder: to the Table Round I came          570
    And there, in the heroes' presence to my kingdom would I lay
    And with hasty hand I raised it, this cup, and the wine
    The robes of the queen besprinkled, as she sat there beside
        her lord.
    This I did as the custom olden of one who would claim his
    For better I thought the wine-cup, than the straw-wisp all
        alight,                                                      575
    For its smoke perchance had soiled me, thus I chose it not'
        spake the king,
    'Nor for robbery rode I hither, my crown doth forbid such
    Say thou to the queen that the wine-drops, they fell on her
        'gainst my will
    Where those heroes sit, nor remember, nor their knighthood as
        meet fulfil.
    Whether kings they shall be or princes o'er-long doth he
        thirst their king!                                           580
    This cup, why delay to fetch it? Their fame it hath taken

    Then the lad spake, 'I'll bear thy message, yea, e'en as thou
        biddest me.'
    And then unto Nantes fair city he gat him right speedily,
    And many a youth they followed to the court of the palace
    And 'twas filled with a motley gathering, and they thronged
        him and pressed him there.                                   585
    Then Iwanet sprang from out them, and this youth from
        falsehood free
    He gave him a kindly greeting, and he proffered him company.
    And the lad he quoth, 'God keep thee, (so my mother she bade
        me speak
    Ere yet from home I wended) King Arthur I fain would seek
    But here see I full many an Arthur! Who of all these shall
        make me knight?'                                             590
    Then Iwanet laughed loud 'I will show thee, not yet hast thou
        seen the right!'

    To the Table Round he led him where sat the heroes all
    And as best he could for the tumult cried the lad thro' the
        lofty hall,
    'God keep ye all ye heroes! I greet ye both queen and king,
    For thus did my mother bid me fair greeting to ye to bring.      595
    And all who have won by their valour at the Table Round a
    Ye gallant knights and heroes, ye too did she bid me greet!
    But in one thing my skill doth fail me, who is host here I
        may not know;
    To him do I bear a message from a knight who all red doth
    He waiteth without the portal (methinks he is fain to fight)     600
    That he spilt o'er the queen the wine-cup that sorely doth
        grieve the knight--
    Ah! if I his gear so goodly from the king's hand as gift
        might take,
    In sooth were I rich in gladness--so knightly and fair its

    Thus spake the youth gay and careless, and the courtiers they
        thronged around
    And hither and thither pressed him till scarce might he stand
        his ground:                                                  605
    And well did they look upon him, for each for himself might
    That never in man or maiden might the fruit of love fairer
    And in truth it was no ill working that in Parzival God had
    In whom never a sight of terror had wakened of fear a

    Thus they brought him before King Arthur, he whom God for a
        wonder chose,                                                610
    And no man might bear him hatred--Then the queen from her
        seat arose
    And she gazed for a space upon him ere she passed from out
        the hall
    Where the wine from the golden goblet perforce on her robes
        must fall.
    Then Arthur he looked upon him--To the simple youth he spake,
    'Now lad to thy kindly greeting a kindly answer take,            615
    For this would I do thee service, yea with body alike and
    This I speak of a true heart truly, so my will doth toward
        thee stand!'

    'Would to God that were true! Now I think me it well-nigh a
        year shall be
    That I fain would be knight, lacking knighthood all else
        seemeth ill to me!
    Now make thou no more delaying, be knighthood my lot
        straightway.'                                                620
    Quoth the king, 'I were fain to do so if worth fail me not
    So noble art thou to look on; and goodly gifts and rare
    Would I give thee; to do thee service I'll naught of my
        treasure spare.
    Yea, loath had I been to refuse thee, wait but for
        to-morrow's light,
    And I myself will dower thee with all that befits a knight.'     625

    The lad like a bird new cagèd, he shook himself to and fro,
    And he quoth, 'For naught do I ask thee! But that knight who
        as fire doth glow
    If thou givest me not his armour no gift will I take from
    My _mother_ will not withhold it--For a queen shall she
        surely be.'

    Then Arthur he quoth, 'That armour so gallant a knight doth
        wear                                                         630
    That to give thee a gift so goodly methinks I may hardly
    And guiltless I live in sorrow since his homage I must
    Ither he is of Gaheviess; thro' my joy hath he wrought me

    'Now my King sure it were ungracious to say to his pleading
    Thou shalt give him what he desireth, nor think it too
        great,' quoth Kay,                                           635
    'Let him forth to the plain; bid him bring thee the cup if it
        be thy will!
    Here hast thou the whip, there the top is, let the child have
        of sport his fill.
    The women, forsooth, will praise him, and it seemeth good to
    He should learn to take blows an he gives them, many such
        will his portion be.
    For the life of the twain what care I? Each of us needs must
        have his day,                                                640
    If thy dogs for the spoil shall hunger, thou must e'en give
        thy dogs their way.'
    'I were loath to refuse his pleading, yet I feared lest he
        here be slain,
    And to knighthood I fain had helped him.' Thus Arthur he
        spake again.

    Thus the lad won the gift he craved for, which many perforce
        must rue,
    And young and old they followed, as forth from the hall he
        flew.                                                        645
    By the hand would Iwanet lead him, 'fore a bower that was
        none too high,
    And backward and forward turning the lad gazed with eager
    And the bower was so low that within it the lad he both heard
        and saw,
    And therefrom did he win a sorrow that vexed him with torment

    The queen from her bower window to look on the sight was
        fain,                                                        650
    And her knights and maidens round her they gazed and they
        gazed again.
    And the maiden Kunnewaaré she sat there, the fair and proud,
    And never, that man might wot of, had she laughed or low or
    For never she vowed, an she died first, would she laugh ere
        her eyes might see
    That knight, who of knights the bravest or was, or henceforth
        should be.                                                   655
    As the lad rode beneath the window she brake into laughter
    And her back was sore from the guerdon--reward for a maid
    For Kay the Seneschal seized her, the maiden of fair Lalande,
    By her waving hair, and the tresses he wound fast around his
    Without a band he bound her--Tho' never an oath she sware        660
    His staff he laid unknightly on her maiden shoulders fair,
    And ere ever the sound of the smiting on the ear had died
    Thro' white skin and royal raiment had he wounded the maid
        that day.

    And thus did he speak in his folly, 'Now hast thou thine own
        fair fame
    Cast aside, and I wot thou hast done it to thine own mending
        shame!                                                       665
    Now see, e'en in flight have I caught it, and I bring it to
        thee once more
    In such wise thou mayst well remember, and be e'en in the
        memory sore:
    For I wot well unto King Arthur, to his court and his palace
    Many gallant men have ridden, yet hast thou despised them
    And ne'er hast thou smiled upon them--And now doth thy
        laughter ring                                                670
    For one knowing naught of knighthood! Unseemly I deem this

    Now whate'er might be done in anger I wot well no king's
    Had bid him thus smite the maiden; and her friends mourned
        her bitterly.
    (Might she bear knightly shield and armour it had helped not
        this sore disgrace,
    Discourteous the blows were smitten.) She came of a royal
        race,                                                        675
    Had her gallant brothers seen it, Lähelein and Orilus
    Far fewer blows had fallen; she ne'er had been smitten thus.

    Now Sir Antanor the Silent, who thro' silence a fool was
    (His speech and the maiden's laughter on a self-same thread
        were wrought)
    For never a word would he utter till she laughed whom Kay
        thus did smite,                                              680
    As clear rang the maiden's laughter, aloud spake the silent
    'Now here before God I tell thee, Kunnewaaré of fair Lalande
    Thou hast wronged for that lad, and thy guerdon awaiteth thee
        at his hand,
    Nor so weak shall he be, nor so foolish, but he turneth thy
        bliss to bale!'
    'And thy speech thou hast found but to threaten for joy shall
        it naught avail.'                                            685
    His food would he make full bitter.--Kay smote him upon the
    With his fist till naught but a singing and a whispering
        might he hear.
    And Parzival saw the sorrow of the maiden and Antanor,
    And his heart was hot for their shaming, and grief for their
        sake he bore,
    And he grasped his javelin tightly, but the throng pressed so
        close around                                                 690
    That perforce the dart must he lower, lest some other aim it

    Thus alone from the court of King Arthur rode the son of
    And he came to the plain where the Red Knight his foeman
        awaited yet;
    And he bare unto him the tidings how in Nantes was there
        never a knight
    Whose heart yet yearned for jousting, or who lusted with him
        to fight.                                                    695
    'But a gift King Arthur gave me--I spake as thou saidst
    That without thy will had it chanced thee the wine o'er the
        queen to pour,
    Thy discourtesy sorely vexed thee--They think not to fight
        with thee.
    Now give me the steed thou ridest, and thine harness give
        thou to me,
    They were given me in the palace, therein shall I be a
        knight,                                                      700
    Wouldst withhold them, I will not greet thee--Yield thou what
        is mine of right!'

    Then the King of Cumberland answered, 'If Arthur hath given
        to thee
    Mine armour, my _life_ he gave thee, if that life thou canst
        take from me,
    So well doth he love his kinsmen! Hath he known thee before
    That so swiftly the service done him with such guerdon he
        would repay?'                                                705

    'I may win what I will I trow me, of a sooth had he given me
    Now leave thou thy claim on his kingdom--'Tis time I a
        knight's shield bore
    For _squire_ will I be no longer!' He laid on the rein his
    'Thou art Lähelein, so I think me, who hath taken from me my

    Then the knight he turned his spear-shaft, and he struck with
        so true a blow                                               710
    That the lad and his sorry charger on the meadow he laid them
    And the hero was swift in his anger, and he smote with a will
        so good
    That there where the spear-shaft struck him there sprang
        forth bright drops of blood.
    Then Parzival sprang up swiftly and stood wrathful upon his
    And he grasped his javelin firmly--Where the helm and the
        visor meet                                                   715
    And betwixt the twain is an opening, there the javelin
        swiftly sped
    And thro' eye and neck it struck him, and the knight on the
        plain lay dead.
    Fierce foe had he been to falsehood; women's sighs, true
        hearts wounded sore,
    Were the fruit of his death, and with tear-drops must many an
        eye run o'er.
    And they whom his love made joyful their gladness asunder
        brake,                                                       720
    And their joy to the goal of sorrow o'er a rough road its way
        must take.

    Then Parzival in his folly turned the dead knight o'er and
    For fain would he loose his armour, yet was lacking the
        needful lore.
    He fingered both helm and corslet with his bare white hands
    Yet the fastening he failed to loosen, nor with force might
        they be undone                                               725
    Tho' oft and again he tried them, who in wisdom was all
    Then the horses they neighed so loudly that the sound on the
        breeze was brought
    To Iwanet's ear, and he heard them, by the city moat he
    (To Queen Guinevere was he kinsman, and he did to her service
    He heard the cry of the horses, but naught of the riders saw,    730
    As his true heart would give him counsel, Parzival did he
        seek once more.

    And Ither lay dead; and his slayer by his folly was vexed
    Then swiftly he sprang to aid him, and Parzival thanks must
    For the honour he here had won him o'er the hero of
    'God reward thee, but give me counsel for skill here doth
        fail mine hand,                                              735
    How best may I loose this armour which myself I were fain to
    'Such lore I right well may teach thee,' quoth Iwanet the
        proud and fair,
    So the armour was reft from the dead man, 'fore Nantes on the
        grassy plain,
    And they did it upon the living, o'er whose dealings did
        folly reign.

    Quoth Iwanet, 'These leather leggings fit not with the mailèd
        gear,                                                        740
    As a _knight_ shalt thou now be clothèd,' and the lad deemed
        it ill to hear;
    Quoth Parzival, 'What my mother aforetime hath given me
    That cometh not from my body, or for good or for ill it be!'
    And much did Iwanet marvel, for clever was he i' troth,
    Yet he followed perforce his bidding, nor waxed at his folly
        wroth.                                                       745
    And he drew above the leggings the hosen of shining mail,
    Nor the spurs with red gold in-wroughten should unto the
        harness fail,
    And of silk and gold the laces, nor leather might there be
    Ere he gave unto him the corslet he bound him with greaves
    And tho' o'er-long Parzival deemed it yet the time was
        swiftly sped,                                                750
    Ere in knightly armour shining he clad him from foot to head.
    Then the lad would have ta'en his quiver, but Iwanet he spake
        out free,
    'Nay, no javelin will I give thee, unknightly such arms shall
    Then he girt the sharp sword around him, and he showed how to
        draw the blade,
    And he bade him ne'er fly in battle, nor in conflict to be
        dismayed.                                                    755
    Then nearer he led unto him the charger the dead knight rode,
    And 'twas tall and strong, yet the saddle the youth with one
        spring bestrode,
    He recked not the weight of his armour, and of stirrups had
        little need--
    E'en to-day do men speak of his swiftness, and the fame of
        his mighty deeds.

    Nor o'er-much did Iwanet think it to teach him with fitting
        skill                                                        760
    To hold his shield and to guard him, while he wrought to his
        foeman ill;
    And a spear in his hand he gave him--But Parzival turned
    'Nay, nay, what good may that do me?' 'If a joust one with
        thee would ride
    Thou shalt on thy foeman break it, perchance drive it thro'
        his shield,
    If thou doest that oft, 'fore the maidens will they praise
        thee for well-fought field.'                                 765

    And this hath the venture told me,--Not in Maestricht, or
        e'en Cologne
    Might a painter so fair a picture as this lad and his steed
        have shown.
    Then straightway he spake to Iwanet, 'My friend and companion
    The boon that I asked have I won me, of that art thou witness
    My service bear thou to the city, to Arthur the noble king,      770
    And mourn unto him my shaming--This cup thou again shalt
    And tell him a knight hath wronged me, since he smote that
        maiden fair
    Who looked, and who laughed upon me, and grief for her grief
        I bear.
    Nor hath it but lightly touched me, it hath pierced to my
        inmost heart
    This maid's woe all undeservèd--Now do thou in her shame have
        part                                                         775
    Thro' the friendship that thou hast shown me! God keep thee
        in peace alway,
    And watch o'er us twain, for I think me no longer I here may

    And Ither the prince of Gaheviess on the plain had he
        lifeless left,
    E'en in death was he fair to look on who was thus of fair
        life bereft.
    If in joust by a spear-thrust pierced he thro' knighthood his
        death must gain                                              780
    Who had mourned for the grief and the marvel? By a javelin he
        here was slain.
    Then Iwanet he strewed above him a covering of blossoms
    And he smote the shaft of the javelin in the ground by the
        fallen knight,
    And that lad so true and faithful, he pierced with the
        crimson blade
    A bough of wood, and in this wise a cross o'er the dead man
        made.                                                        785
    Then he gat him again to the city, and the heavy tidings
    And from many a trembling woman, and from many a hero bold
    Rose the wail of love and of sorrow; and the dead would they
        fetch in state,
    And the Host they bare before her, as the queen passed the
        city gate.

    Then o'er Cumberland's prince and hero, who by Parzival's
        hand was slain,                                              790
    Queen Guinevere spake in sorrow while her tear-drops they
        flowed amain,
    'Alas! alas! for broken in twain is King Arthur's might,
    For he whom the good Round Table accounted its bravest knight
    Here slain before Nantes he lieth! His heritage did he claim
    Where men gave him death for his guerdon--For naught marred
        his knightly fame;                                           795
    Here long hath he dwelt among us in such wise that never an
    The tale of a deed unknightly, or wrong he had done, might
    He held him afar from falsehood, to guile was he aye a foe;
    The lock and the seal of knighthood all too soon must we bury
    His heart wise in courteous wisdom, and steadfast as seal and
        sign,                                                        800
    Taught him ever the fairest counsel that a man's heart might
        aye divine,
    Whereby with true love and courage a man woman's love may woo
    And show manhood's truth--Fruit-bearing it seedeth itself
    The plant of all woman's sorrow! From thy wounds grief shall
        ever grow--
    So red was thy hair that the blossoms that bloom here thy
        corse below                                                  805
    Scarce redder may be with thy life-blood--All laughter hast
        thou forbid
    To fair women, and joy and gladness by thy death are for ever

    Thus Ither, beloved of all men, as a king in the grave was
    With his life must he pay for his armour who taught sighing
        to many a maid,
    Since Parzival in his folly for the harness his death had
        sought,                                                      810
    Hereafter, when he won wisdom, he scarcely such deed had

    NOW this might ye mark in the charger, great labour it held
        as naught,
    Were it hot, were it cold, no journey the sweat on its coat
        had brought;
    It sped over stone or tree-trunk, and scarce was there need
        to draw
    The girth by one hole the tighter if the knight for two days
        it bore.                                                     815
    So fully armed, in his folly yet further he rode that day
    Than a wise man unarmed in two days if his steed he betimes
        would stay.
    And ever it onward galloped, and but seldom would walk or
    How to check its speed by the bridle as yet Parzival knew

    Then he saw the roof of a castle rise fair in the evening
        glow,                                                        820
    And the lad he thought in his folly that the towers from the
        earth must grow
    Since the one roof bare so many--And he thought Arthur sowed
        such seed,
    And he who could work such marvels were a holy man indeed!
    Then he said, 'While at home I tarried ne'er looked I on
        woodland field
    That a crop so rich and so stately in growth might ever
        yield;                                                       825
    I think me my mother's people their labour but little know,
    For never too dry, I think me, is the soil where their seed
        they sow!'--
    Now Gurnemanz of Graharz of this mighty Burg was lord:
    At his portal a spreading linden stood fair on the summer
    Nor too long nor too wide was the meadow, and the horse and
        the road they led                                            830
    To where Parzival found him seated who of castle and land was

    Now weariness sore constrained him, nor his shield might he
        rightly hold
    But it backward and forward wavered as beseemed not a rider
    And Prince Gurnemanz sat all lonely, and the boughs of the
        linden tree
    Gave shade as was meet to its master, the captain of
        courtesy--                                                   835
    And his life it fled from falsehood--Then e'en as should be
        his right
    He gave to the guest fair welcome, and with him stood nor
        squire nor knight.

    Then Parzival made him answer--In his folly he spake
    'My mother bade me seek counsel from an old man with locks of
    For thy rede will I do thee service, for so did my mother
        speak!'                                                      840
    'If here thou art come for counsel, and aid at my lips would
    Thy favour thou still shalt leave me whatever my counsel be,
    If thou will that thy prayer I hearken, and give rede as seem
        best to me!'

    Then the prince cast a yearling falcon from his hand and
        aloft it flew,
    And it winged its way to the castle, and its golden bells
        rang true,                                                   845
    'Twas a messenger; and the pages came swiftly in garments
    And he bade them to lead the guest in, and lodging as meet
    And the lad he spake in his folly, 'My mother she told me
    An thou follow an old man's counsel his rede shalt thou never

    And the pages they led him straightway where stood many a
        gallant knight,                                              850
    And there in the castle courtyard from his steed did they bid
        him light.
    Spake the youth, and he showed his folly, 'Tis a King who
        hath bidden me
    Be a knight, and whate'er befall me on this charger my seat
        shall be.
    My mother she bade me greet ye!' And mother they thanked and
    (Both horse and man were wearied) then, the words of greeting
        done,                                                        855
    Full many a time they urged him, but it cost them many a
    Ere the lad within the castle, and from off his steed they
    Then they led him to a chamber, and they prayed the stranger
    'Let us loose thine harness off thee, that thy wearied limbs
        find rest.'

    But scarce had they loosed his armour when lo! there came to
        view                                                         860
    A garment e'en such as Fools wear, and leggings of calf-skin
    Then startled and shamed they turned them, and they whispered
        each to all,
    And with bated breath the tidings ran swift through the
        castle hall,
    And the host for shame was speechless--But a knight spake in
    'Let that be as it may, one so noble mine eyes they might
        never see,                                                   865
    And Good Fortune hath looked upon him by his mien so high and
    Ah! he whom Love's light hath chosen, who bade him such garb
        to wear?
    And it grieveth me sore to find thus on the World's Joy such
        poor attire.
    Ah! well for the mother who bare him, she hath won her full
        heart's desire!
    And his helmet is decked so costly; ere his harness from him
        we took                                                      870
    It became him well, and knightly and noble I ween his look,
    And many a bruise and blood-stain the lad on his limbs doth
    Quoth the host, ''Tis perchance a woman who bade him such
        garb to wear!'
    'Nay, Sire, for so strange his bearing he would know not a
        maid to pray
    To take from him knightly homage,--Tho' his face is so fair
        alway                                                        875
    It had fitted him well for Love's service.' Then the host
        spake, ''Tis best we see
    This lad, in whose strange attiring a marvel for sure shall

    Then to Parzival they betook them, and they found that a
        wound he bare
    From a spear that was never shattered, and the host for his
        hurts would care,
    And so kindly I ween his tending that a father, whose
        heartfelt love                                               880
    To his children, found no denial, his faith might no better
    And he washed his wounds and bound them, the prince, with his
        own right hand,
    Ere forth to the hall he led him where the evening meal
        should stand.

    And food the guest sore needed, and hungry was he alway,
    From the house of the fisherman fasting had he ridden at
        break of day,                                                885
    And his wound and the heavy harness which he before Nantes
        had won
    Wrought him weariness sore and hunger ere ever the ride was
    For from Arthur the King of the Bretons the whole day he
        needs must ride,
    Nor his fast at the Court had broken, and now it was
    Then the host bade him eat at his table, and Parzival did his
        will,                                                        890
    And the food it swiftly vanished, as if one would a manger
    And Gurnemanz was well pleasèd, and ever the lad did pray
    To eat as he would, and his hunger and weariness put away.

    When 'twas time, and the meal was ended, 'Now weary art thou,
        I ween,'
    Quoth the host to his guest, 'If this morning betimes thou
        a-foot hast been?'                                           895
    'God knoweth my mother slumbered, so early she ne'er doth
    Then the host he laughed, and he led him where rest he right
        well might take,
    And he bade him disrobe, tho' unwilling, he needs must--An
        ermine fair
    They cast o'er his naked body,--fairer fruit never woman

    By weariness taught to slumber, but seldom throughout the
        night                                                        900
    On his other side did he turn him, he might well wait the
        morning light.
    Then the prince he bade his servants ere ever 'twas middle
    A bath, as was meet, make ready by the couch where the young
        knight lay,
    And roses they threw within it--And tho' he no call might
    The guest awoke from his slumbers, and he stepped in the
        waters clear.                                                905
    I know not who sent them hither, but maidens richly dressed,
    Lovely and sweet to look on, all courteous sought the guest,
    They washed his wounds and bound them with their hands so
        soft and white,
    (Nor should this o'er strange have seemed him who was reft of
        wisdom's might)
    And both ease he felt and gladness, nor his folly they made
        him rue--                                                    910
    Thus these fair and gentle maidens they tended the lad anew,
    And they spake 'twixt themselves, and he hearkened, yet never
        a word would say,
    Yet too early he might not deem it, for they shone as a
        second day,
    And their beauty it vied with the morning, yet his fairness
        outshone the twain,
    For naught to the youth was lacking that favour and praise
        might gain.                                                  915
    Then a linen cloth they proffered, but the lad he took it
    An he robed himself before them, their presence should shame
        him still.
    Perforce must the maidens leave him, nor longer might linger
    Tho' in sooth they would fain have questioned lest deeper the
        wounds he bare.
    (For such was the way of woman, and such is true woman's
        will,                                                        920
    Tho' scatheless themselves yet the sorrow of a friend it doth
        work them ill.)

    Then he strode to the bed, and he found there fresh raiment
        so fine and white,
    With a girdle he bound it round him, 'twas of silk and of
        gold so bright;
    And hosen of scarlet woollen they drew on the fearless
    In sooth they well became him who was comely in all men's
        sight.                                                       925
    And of ruddy brown well fashioned, (nor lining they thought
        to spare)
    Were robe alike and mantle, and within was the ermine fair,
    And without were they decked with sable, both black and grey
        in hue;
    Then the gallant youth the mantle around his shoulders threw,
    With a belt so rich and costly he girt him found the waist,      930
    And the fastening of the mantle with a golden clasp was

    And his mouth was red and glowing--Then his host he drew
    And many a proud knight followed, to greet him courteously,
    And e'en as 'twas done the heroes they spake with a great
    'Ne'er saw they a man so goodly!'--And all would the mother
        praise                                                       935
    Who such son to the world had given--And in truth and in
    They spake, 'Whatsoe'er he asketh for his service fulfilled
        shall be,
    And favour and love await him if his worth win its meed
    And of those who hereafter saw him none were there who said
        them nay.

    By his hand the host then took him, and forth from his
        chamber led,                                                 940
    And the prince fain would hear the story how the night hours
        with him had sped,
    'Were it otherwise, I think me that living I scarce might
    'Twas well that my mother bade me thus shelter with thee to
    Ere yet from her I had ridden--May God requite ye both,
    For mercy Sir Knight, and kindness, hast thou shown to me
        nothing loth.'                                               945
    So went our hero witless where to God and the host they'd
    And the prince by the Mass would teach him that which health
        to the soul shall bring.
    He would rede him well of the Offering--How to sign himself
        with the Cross,
    And thus work on the Devil vengeance, who seeketh for aye our

    Then again to the hall of the castle and the morning meal
        they came,                                                   950
    And the host set his guest beside him, and he ate without
        fear or shame.
    Then out spake the prince so courteous, 'An it seemeth not
        ill to thee,
    Fain am I to know thy dwelling, and from whence thou art come
        to me?'
    Then frankly he told the story how his mother's side he fled,
    Of the ring and the clasp so golden, and the winning the
        harness red.                                                 955
    And the prince he knew the Red Knight, and his fate it
        pleased him ill,
    And the name of his guest he asked not but 'The Red Knight'
        he called him still.

    Then e'en as the meal was over, were they tamed the ways so
    For the host to his guest he quoth thus 'Thou speakest as
        doth a child,
    Why hold not thy peace of thy mother, and otherwise turn thy
        speech?                                                      960
    An thou follow henceforth my counsel far wiser the ways I'll

    'And thus I begin, do thou hearken--From true shame shalt
        thou never flee,
    A shameless man, bethink thee, what place in the world hath
    As a bird that moulteth ever so his honour doth fall away,
    And hereafter he hath his portion in the fires of Hell for
        aye.'                                                        965

    'So noble methinks thy bearing, a folk's Lord thou well mayst
    If high be thy birth, and yet higher the lot that awaiteth
    Then see that thy heart hath pity for the poor and needy man
    And fight thou against his sorrow with free gifts as best
        thou can,
    For a true knight must aye be humble--A brave man who need
        doth know                                                    970
    Full often with shame he battles, and sore is that strife I
    For him shall thy help be ready--(Who lighteneth his
        brother's need
    From Heaven he winneth favour as rewarding for righteous
    For in sooth his case is harder than theirs who as beggars
    'Neath the window, and succour seeking, for bread shall
        stretch forth the hand.'                                     975
    'Thou shalt learn in a fitting measure both rich and poor to
    Who spendeth as lord at all times no lordly soul hath he--
    Yet who heapeth o'er-much his treasure he winneth methinks
        but shame,
    But give thou unto each their honour, so best shalt thou
        guard thy fame.'

    'I saw well as thou earnest hither that thou hadst of my
        counsel need--                                               980
    Yield not unto ways discourteous but give to thy bearing
    _Nor be thou so swift to question_--Yet I would not that thou
    An answer good and fitting to the speech one with thee would
    Thou canst hear and see, I wot well full five shalt thy
        senses be,
    An thou use them aright, then wisdom it draweth anear to
        thee.'                                                       985

    'In thy wrath remember mercy, and slay not a conquered foe,
    He who to thine arms shall yield him take his pledge and let
        him go;
    Unless he such ill have wrought thee as sorrow of heart doth
    An my counsel thou fain wouldst follow, then in sooth shalt
        thou let him live.'

    'Full oft shalt thou bear thy harness--When thy knightly task
        is sped                                                      990
    Thy hands and face thou shalt cleanse them from the rust and
        the iron red,
    For such is in truth thy duty, so thy face shall be fair and
    And when maiden's eyes behold thee they shall deem thee a
        goodly sight.'

    'Be manly and of good courage, so shalt thou deserve thy
    Hold women in love and honour, it shall be to thine own good
        name;                                                        995
    And be ever steadfast-minded as befitteth good man and true,
    An with lies thou wouldst fain deceive them much harm can thy
        dealings do.
    If true love be repaid with falsehood then swift shalt the
        judgment be,
    And a speedy end to all honour and renown shall it bring to
    As beneath the stealthy footsteps of the thief the dry stick
        breaks,                                                     1000
    And the slumbering watcher, startled, to his danger swiftly
    So false ways and dealings crooked in their wake bring but
        strife and woe;
    Prove this by true love, for true women have skill 'gainst
        the hidden foe,
    And their wiles can outweigh his cunning--An thou winnest
        from women hate,
    Then for ever art thou dishonoured, and shame on thy life
        shall wait.'                                                1005

    'So take thou to heart my counsel--And more would I tell to
    Husband and wife united as one shall they ever be,
    As the sun that this morning shineth, and this morn that we
        call to-day,
    So the twain may be sundered never but _one_ shall be held
    As twin blossoms from one root springing e'en so shall they
        bloom and grow;                                             1010
    With wisdom receive my counsel that its truth thou hereafter

    Then he thanked his host for his teaching, nor spake of his
        mother more,
    But as true man and son so loving in his heart her memory

    Then the prince spake as did him honour, 'Yet more will I
        teach to thee,
    Thou shalt learn knightly skill and bearing--In such wise
        didst thou come to me,                                      1015
    Full many a wall have I looked on that the shields might
        better deck
    Than that shield erewhile became thee, as it hung there
        around thy neck.
    None too late shall be the morning, we'll hence to the open
    And fitting skill I'll teach thee that thine arms thou mayst
        rightly wield.
    So bring to my guest his charger, and mine shalt thou hither
        lead,                                                       1020
    And each knight shall make him ready, and mount, e'en as I,
        his steed.
    And pages shall thither follow, and each one shall bear a
    And the shaft shall be strong and untested, and blazoned with
        colours clear.'

    So the prince and his guest together they rode to the grassy
    And many a feat so skilful was shown by that knightly train.    1025
    And the lad he learned how to check him his charger in
        seeming flight
    With touch of spur, and turn him once more 'gainst the
        foeman's might;
    His spear to sink as needed, and before him hold his shield
    As he rode a joust; 'Thus shalt thou thine arms in future

    Thus of lack of skill he cured him better than by the bough     1030
    That smiteth unruly children and breaketh their skin I trow.
    Then he bade swift knights come hither, and a joust with the
        stranger ride,
    And himself to the ring he led him, and against the foe would
    And the lad in his first joust carried his spear through the
        foeman's shield,
    And tho' strong was the knight yet he smote him from his
        steed on the open field.                                    1035

    And they marvelled much who beheld it--Then another to joust
        rode near,
    And Parzival took unto him a fresh and unbroken spear,
    And his youth had strength and courage--The beardless lad and
    Was spurred by his inborn manhood, and to Gamuret's skill was
    Then he urged his charger onward full swiftly against the
        foe,                                                        1040
    And his spear rang true on the four nails, and struck nor too
        high nor low,
    Nor the host's knight might keep his saddle, but prone on the
        sward he fell,
    Of the spear-shaft full many a splinter the force of the blow
        might tell.
    Thus five of the knights were smitten ere the host to the
        Burg would ride,
    And the victory was his, and hereafter fierce strife might he
        well abide.                                                 1045

    Then they who his deeds had witnessed, the wise men, they
        needs must say
    That great was the skill and valour he had shown in the joust
        that day,
    'Our lord may be free of sorrow, and his youth it may bloom
    If he give him to wife his daughter, our lady so fair and
    If we see him wax in wisdom then the sorrow shall be
        o'erpast--                                                  1050
    The death of his sons a shadow o'erlong o'er his life hath
    But now to his door hath ridden one who maketh amends for
    And gladness no more shall fly him, but it seeketh his palace

    Then homeward they turned at even when the board for the
        feast was spread,
    And the prince bade his daughter hither (for so I the tale
        have read)                                                  1055
    As he saw the maid draw near him the host to Liassé spake,
    'To this knight shalt thou do all honour, and a kiss from his
        lips shalt take,
    With Good Fortune for guide he fareth! And of _thee_ would I
        pray this thing,
    If token perchance she beareth, thou wilt leave to the maid
        her ring--
    Yet none hath she, nor clasp--Who should give her what that
        forest princess wore?                                       1060
    For _she_ won from the hand of her husband what thine hand
        from her raiment tore,
    From _Liassé_ canst thou take little'--Then the lad he must
        blush for shame,
    On her lips did kiss the maiden, and her mouth it was red as
    And Liassé was fair to look on, and gentle of heart and pure,
    And a hero might well have loved her with a love that should
        aye endure.                                                 1065

    Full long and low was the table, nor many might sit thereat,
    At its head was the prince so kindly, and his guest by his
        side he set
    Betwixt him and his daughter, and the maiden with snow-white
    Must carve, as he willed, for the Red Knight, so her father
        would give command,
    And courteous, she did his bidding, and none did the twain
        prevent                                                     1070
    As shy glances rosy-blushing, they each to the other sent!

    The feast over, the maiden left them, but she bade not the
        guest 'Farewell,'
    For twice seven days in honour Parzival with his host did
    But within his heart lay a sorrow, 'twas no other I ween than
    He would he enough had striven to be worthy of wedded bliss,    1075
    And he thought him a goal so worthy must lead to a guerdon
    Both in this life and e'en in the other--And these words they
        shall be no lie.

    One morning for leave he prayed him, from Graharz he fain
        would ride,
    And his host, sore loth to lose him, awhile rode his steed
    Fresh sprang of grief the fountain as the prince spake, 'I
        lose once more                                              1080
    A son, Death of _three_ hath robbed me, thy loss now shall
        make them _four_.
    And threefold it was, my sorrow--Who my heart would in pieces
    Fourfold and from hence would bear them, in the pain should I
        find delight.
    _One_ for thee, since thou ridest from me, and _three_ for my
        three sons slain--
    Bravely they fell in battle, such guerdon doth knighthood
        gain!'                                                      1085

    'And its end is of sorrow woven--One death all my joy doth
    The death of my son so gallant, Schenteflur did they call his
    When Kondwiramur her kingdom and herself would withhold with
    From Klamidé the king, and Kingron, in her aid did he lose
        his life,
    And my heart with the thrust of sorrow, as a hedge is it
        piercèd thro'.                                              1090
    Now all too soon dost thou leave me since no comfort from
        thee I drew,
    Ah! would Death were here my portion since Liassé, that
        maiden bright,
    And the land I had deemed so goodly find no favour in this
        thy sight!'

    'My other son, Count Laskoit, by Idêr son of Noit was slain
    Anent a hawk--Little gladness from his death I methinks might
        gain--                                                      1095
    Gurzgrei did they call my third son, to whom Mahaut gave her
    As his wife did he win the maiden from her brother proud
    'Gainst Brandigan on a venture for Schoie-de-la-kurt he'ld
    And the Prince Mabonagrein smote him, and there by his hand
        he died.
    And Mahaut she lost her beauty, and his mother, my wife, lay
        dead,                                                       2000
    For thro' sorrow and bitter yearning the days of her life
        were sped.'

    Then the guest saw his host's deep sorrow as he told unto him
        his woe,
    And he quoth, 'Little wisdom have I, yet if ever the day I
    When I win knightly fame and honour, so that maiden I well
        may woo,
    Thou shalt give unto me Liassé, thy daughter so fair and
        true.                                                       2005
    Thou hast told me of o'er-much sorrow; if thy grief I may
        lift from thee
    From the load of so sore a burden I gladly will set thee

    Then leave from the prince so kindly the young knight that
        morn would pray,
    And from all his gallant vassals; and he rode from their land
    And the prince, in the game of sorrow, tho' heavy before his
        throw,                                                      2010
    Had lost yet more, for from threefold to fourfold his grief
        must grow.




BOOK IV. tells how Parzival came to Pelrapär, and found it
by sea and land, and the folk wasted by famine. How Queen
besought his aid; how he overthrew Kingron, and sent him to the
of King Arthur. How Parzival wedded the Queen; and of the wrath
        of King
Klamidé when he heard the tidings. How the Burgers defended
against their foemen; how Klamidé challenged Parzival to single
and was overthrown; and how he came to the court of King Arthur
Dianasdron. Of the love of Parzival and Kondwiramur; and how the
parted from his wife, and went in search of knightly venture.

                                BOOK IV


    Thus Parzival parted from them, and courteous he now might
    His knightly garb, and he knew them, the customs of
        knighthood fair.
    But alas! he full sore was troubled with many a bitter pain,
    And the world was too close, and too narrow the width of the
        spreading plain,
    And the greensward he thought was faded, and his harness had
        paled to white;                                                5
    So the heart the eye constraineth and dimmeth awhile the

    For since he had waxed less simple somewhat of his father's
    The desire of the man for the maiden, in his wakening heart
        he bore;
    And he thought but of fair Liassé, that maiden so true and
    How never her love she proffered, yet with honour the guest
        would greet.                                                  10
    And wherever his horse might turn it he took in his grief no
    And if slowly it paced or swiftly he thought not to guide its

    Nor many a field well-fencèd nor wayside cross he found;
    Nor chariot-wheel nor horse-hoof had furrowed with tracks the
    Untrodden the woodland pathway, nor wide was I ween the way,      15
    And he knew not the hills and the valleys--Full oft shall ye
        hear men say,
    'Who rideth astray, in his wandering the lost axe may often
    They lay here unnumbered round him, if for _axe_ ye have
        _trees_ in mind.
    Yet tho' far was the road he journeyed yet he went in no wise
    And thus from the land of Graharz he rode through the
        livelong day,                                                 20
    Till he came to the kingdom of Brobarz thro' mountains wild
        and high--
    When the shadows of evening lengthened, and red flushed the
        western sky,
    Then he came to a mountain torrent, and the voice of the
        raging flood
    Rang clear as its waves rushed foaming round the crags that
        amid them stood.
    So he rode adown by the waters till he came to the city fair      25
    Which a king had bequeathed to his daughter; 'twas the city
        of Pelrapär,
    And I wot that tho' fair the maiden who bare of that land the
    Great grief and small gladness had they who dwelt in that
        noble town!

    Like an arrow that swiftly speedeth from the bow by a strong
        arm bent,
    The waters onward rushing on their downward pathway went;         30
    And a bridge hung high above them with woven work so fair,
    And the stream it flowed swift to the ocean--Well-guarded was
    As children in swings delight them, and swing themselves to
        and fro,
    So swung the bridge, yet ropeless, youthful gladness it
        scarce might know!

    And on either side were standing, with helmets for battle
        bound,                                                        35
    Of knights e'en more than thirty, and they bade him to turn
        him round,
    And with lifted swords, tho' feeble, the strife would they
        gladly wait,
    They thought 'twas the King Klamidé whom they oft had seen of
    So royally rode the hero to the bridge o'er the field so
    As thus to the youth they shouted, and with one voice his
        arms defied,                                                  40
    Tho' he spurred his steed full sharply it shrank from the
        bridge in fright,
    But ne'er knew he a thought of terror--To the ground sprang
        the gallant knight.
    And he led his horse by the bridle where the bridge hung high
        in air,
    Too faint were a coward's courage so bitter a strife to dare!
    And well must he watch his footsteps for he feared lest his
        steed should fall--                                           45
    From the other side of the water the knights had ceased their
    And with shield and sword-blade gleaming within the town they
    For they feared lest an army followed, and they closed their
        portals fast.

    So Parzival crossed the river, and he rode o'er a grassy
    Where many in search of knighthood must death for their
        guerdon gain;                                                 50
    And he came to the palace portal, and stately the Burg and
    And there hung there a ring of iron, and he gripped it right
    But none to his call made answer, save only a maiden bright
    Who looked forth from out her window, and was 'ware of the
        gallant knight.
    Spake the maiden so fair and courteous, 'An thou comest, Sir
        Knight, as foe,                                               55
    Little need have we of thine hatred, for heavy enough our
    A wrathful host doth threaten already by sea and land!'
    Then he quoth, 'Nay, gentle lady, at thy portals a man doth
    Who will, if he can, do thee service! For thy service my hand
        is fain,
    And never reward save thy greeting as payment I think to
        gain.'                                                        60
    Then the maiden she went in her wisdom to the queen and an
        entrance prayed
    For the knight, and in sooth his coming it brought to their
        sorrow aid.

    So Parzival came to the city; down the roadway on either hand
    The folk who would fain defend them in close groups he saw
        them stand,
    Soldiers on foot, and slingers, and they who the dart could
        throw,                                                        65
    He saw as he came towards them, in many a goodly row.
    And many a squire so valiant, the bravest from out the land,
    Long, sharp, and strong were the lances they bare in each
        strong right hand.
    There too, so the story telleth, was many a merchant grave,
    And the javelin and axe were their weapons, so their lady
        commandment gave.                                             70

    And their skins, they were loose for hunger--Then the Marshal
        of the queen
    Made his way thro' their ranks to the castle, and heavy his
        task I ween.
    And well was that castle guarded, with towers o'er the
        chambers high;
    And barbican, keep, and oriel in such numbers they met his
    That buildings so strong and so many in his lifetime he never
        saw,                                                          75
    And on horse or afoot from all sides the knights to his
        welcome draw.
    'Twas a sorry host, for as ashes some were grey, some were
        pale as clay,
    (My lord the Count of Wertheim sure had starved on such
        scanty pay!)

    Thro' want full sore they hungered, nor cheese, nor bread,
        nor meat
    Had they, and their teeth were idle since naught might they
        find to eat.                                                  80
    And their palate knew naught of the flavour of the wine-cup,
        or red or white,
    And their doublet hung loosely on them, and wasted each limb
        of might,
    And their skin like wrinkled leather on each rib hung gaunt
        and grim,
    For hunger their flesh had wasted and driven from every limb.
    Thro' want must they sorely suffer, little grease in their
        fuel ran--                                                    85
    (A hero to this had forced them, the proud King of Brandigan,
    Thus they paid for Klamidé's wooing)--The mead might they
        seldom spill,
    For small was their store, I think me, the vessel or cup to
    In Trühending oft shall ye hearken the hiss of the frying
    In such music, methinks, but seldom the folk might their
        pleasure take!                                                90

    (And if for such want I'ld mock them, then in truth must I
        share their shame,
    For there where I oft dismount me, where men do me '_Master_'
    At home in mine house, with trouble e'en the mice shall their
        portion steal,
    Nor oft for their food be joyful! Nor need they the bread
    Unhidden, I scarce may find it--Yea, oft doth it happen so,       95
    And I, Wolfram of Eschenbach, ofttimes such pleasure and ease
        may know.)

    But enough of my lamentation, once more ye the tale shall
    How the city was full of sorrow, and for gladness they paid
        full dear.
    How these heroes, so rich in courage, must in need and in
        scarceness live,
    For so did the manhood bid them, to their need shall ye pity
        give--                                                       100
    For their life stood in pledge, might He free it in Whose
        Hand all power shall be!--
    Yet more of their grief would I tell ye that ye mourn for
        them bitterly,
    With shame their guest did they welcome, for they deemed him
        so rich and great
    That he craved not thro' need their shelter; he knew naught
        of their poor estate.

    On the grass did they spread a carpet, where a linden was
        walled around,                                               105
    And trained to a welcome shadow--'Neath its boughs they his
        arms unbound,
    And the vassals they took his harness; but other than theirs
        his face
    When he in the streamlet washed it, and cleansed it from red
        rust trace;
    Nay, the sunlight's rays were shamèd 'neath the glow of his
        beauty bright,
    And a worthy guest they thought him as they gazed on the
        gallant knight.                                              110
    Then a mantle rich they brought him e'en like to the robe he
    And new was the smell of the sable wherewith it was garnished

    Then they spake, 'Wilt thou look upon her, the queen, our
        lady true?'
    And the knight made answer straightway, that thing would he
        gladly do.
    To the palace they came, and the stairway steep and high to
        the portal led,                                              115
    And the light of a fair face met him when his footsteps so
        far were sped.
    Of his eyes should she be the sweetness--There shone from
        that lady bright
    A radiant glow and dazzling, ere she welcomed the stranger
    Now Kiot of Katelangen and Manfilot, Dukes the twain,
    Led hither their brother's daughter who as queen o'er this
        land did reign:                                              120
    (For the love of God their harness, shield, and sword, had
        they put away
    These princes true and stalwart, fair of face tho' their hair
        was grey.)
    Midway adown the staircase all courteous the maid they led,
    And she kissed the gallant hero, and the lips of the twain
        were red;
    And she gave him her hand, and she led him, Sir Parzival, to
        the hall,                                                    125
    And they sat them adown together in the midst of the
        courtiers all.

    And feeble and faint the maidens, and the knights who stood
        there around,
    And vassal alike and hostess, small joy in their life they
    Yet Kondwiramur, her beauty did high o'er all others stand,
    Were it Enid, or fair Jeschuté or Kunnewaaré of far Lalande,     130
    Whoe'er men had deemed the fairest when they women's beauty
    Their fame to the earth was smitten by the glance of this
        royal maid.
    Yea, even the twain Isoldé, tho' men praise them evermore,
    They must yield the crown of beauty to the lady Kondwiramur.
    (And her name in our tongue betokens her shapely form and
        fair)                                                        135
    And well had they done, the mothers, who had borne such a
        goodly pair
    As these twain who sat here together, naught did they who
        stood around
    But gaze on the one and the other--Many friends had our hero

    And the thoughts of the knight will I tell ye, _'There_
        Liassé, Liassé _here_,--
    God will free me from care since I see here Liassé that
        maiden dear                                                  140
    The child of a gallant father!'--Yet her fairness was naught
        I wot,
    'Gainst her beauty who sat beside him, in whom God no wish
    (The maiden was queen of the country) Yea, e'en as by morning
    Refreshed, the rose from its calyx forth buddeth in beauty
    And is white and red together--And grief to her guest it
        wrought,                                                     145
    To whose courtesy naught was lacking since Gurnemanz' side he
    And his words had from folly freed him; and had bidden him
        questions spare
    Save only where they were needful--So he sat by that lady
    And never a word his lips spake, tho' he sat close the maid
    Yet to those who know more of woman such silence doth oft
        betide.                                                      150

    Then the queen to herself said softly, 'This man disdaineth
    He deemeth my fairness faded. Nay, perchance it yet may be
    That in this thing he doeth wisely, his hostess in sooth am
    And he is my guest, the first speech should be mine
    Gently he looks upon me tho' never a word we speak,              155
    And courteous hath been his bearing, 'twere well I the
        silence break;
    Too long have I yet delayed me since here side by side we
    To her guest did she turn, the maiden, and she spake as it
        seemed her fit:

    'Sir Knight, it were well as hostess that the first words
        came from me,
    Since I wot well my kiss as hostess a greeting hath won from
        thee,                                                        160
    And thou offeredst me thy service, so my maiden hath borne me
    Our guests scarce are wont to do so, tho' the tidings I fain
        had heard.
    Now tell me, my guest, I prithee, since the tale I am fain to
    From whence art thou come to my kingdom, and whither thou yet
        wouldst go?'
    'Lady, at early morning I rode from my host away,                165
    A brave knight is he and faithful, yet he sorroweth sore
    And Prince Gurnemanz do men call him, in Graharz he holds
    From thence I to-day have ridden, thence came I unto this

    Then the noble maiden answered, 'Sir Knight, had another told
    This tale, methinks that scarcely for truth I the words might
        hold,                                                        170
    That thou in one day hadst ridden a journey that scarce in
    My swiftest squire could compass, tho' his charger he spurred
    Thy host was my mother's brother; his daughter's youthful
    It hath paled before the sorrow which she, e'en as I, must
    For many sad days and mournful, with sad eyes we've wept our
        fill                                                         175
    I, and the maid Liassé--Wouldst thou show to thy host
    Then thou shalt with us, man and woman, this night-tide our
        sorrow share,
    Thou shalt serve him thereby; and I'll tell thee the want we
        perforce must bear.'

    Then out spake her uncle Kiot, 'Lady, I send to thee
    Twelve loaves of bread, and of shoulders and hams do I give
        thee three,                                                  180
    And eight cheeses too are with them, and two casks of wine I
    And my brother, he too shall aid thee, of such aid hast thou
        need enow!'
    And Manfilot spake, 'Yea, Lady, I send thee the self-same
    And the maiden she sat in gladness, and of thanks she no word
        would spare.
    Then leave they craved from their lady, and forth would the
        old men ride                                                 185
    To their hunting-house that was nigh there--But the cell
        where they would abide,
    Was in Alpine wilds so lonely, there unarmed did they dwell
    And never a foeman vexed them with tumult or strife of war.

    And the messenger sped full swiftly, and the fainting folk
        were fed,
    No Burger within the city but was lacking for other bread,       190
    And many were dead of hunger ere food for their need was
    Then the queen she bade them share it to the feeble folk
    With the cheese, the flesh, and the red wine, as Parzival
        counsel gave,
    Scarce a morsel was left, yet they shared it, the queen and
        her guest so brave.

    And swiftly the store had vanished, tho' to many who yet
        might live,                                                  195
    Nor were slain by cruel hunger this succour fresh life might
    Then they bade them a couch make ready for the guest, and
        'twas soft his bed,
    (Had the Burgers been hawks for the hunting methinks they
        were not o'er-fed
    As their scanty board bare witness) yea, the folk there, one
        and all,
    Bare the marks of bitter hunger, save the gallant Parzival.      200

    Then leave he prayed of his hostess, he would lay him down to
    Do ye think that for tapers straw-wisps must light so brave a
    Nay, better were they I think me; he betook him, the hero
    To a bed so rich and stately a king well might slumber there,
    Nor of poverty bare it token, and a carpet before it lay.        205
    Then he prayed the knights to go hence, nor longer there
    And noble lads un-shod him, and straightway he fell asleep,
    Till the cry of heart-sorrow woke him, and tears that bright
        eyes should weep.

    This chanced e'en as I will tell ye; no woman's law she
    For pure was she aye, the maiden of whom this venture spake.     210
    Long stress of war constrained her, and the death of her
        champion true,
    So heavy her heart with sorrow that sleep from her eyelids
    So she went, this royal lady, (but never such love to claim
    As urgeth a gentle maiden to crave of a _wife_ the name)
    But she sought help and friendly counsel, tho' clad in a
        warlike gear,                                                215
    A silken shift, (strife she wakeneth who doth thus to a man
        draw near.)
    And the maiden she wrapped around her a mantle of samite
    And she went as her steps were guided by sorrow and bitter

    Her maidens and waiting women who lay there around her bed
    She left them slumbering softly, and with noiseless footsteps
        sped                                                         220
    To a chamber, there, e'en as she bade them, Parzival all
        lonely lay,
    And around his couch the tapers burnt bright as the light of
    To his bed she turned her footsteps, and she knelt low his
        couch before,
    But no thought of love unlawful the heart of either bore.
    Of joy bereft was the maiden, his help she was fain to claim,    225
    If awhile they lay there together it brought unto neither

    So bitter the maiden's sorrow that there fell full many a
    On Parzival, and her weeping thro' his slumbers the knight
        might hear,
    And waking, he looked upon her, and sorrow and joy he felt,
    And he rose up, the youthful hero, as the maiden before him
        knelt,                                                       230
    And he spake to the queen, 'Say, Lady, wilt thou now make a
        mock of me?
    To God only, and never to mortal methinks shouldst thou bow
        the knee.
    But rise thou and sit beside me, or grant me I pray this
    Lay thyself down where I was lying, I will seek me some other
    But she spake, '_Thyself_ wilt thou honour, and show honour
        alike to me,                                                 235
    And by never a touch wilt shame me, I will e'en lay me down
        by thee.'
    Then the knight he spake by his knighthood he would e'en do
        as he should say,
    So down on the bed beside him in peace the maiden lay.

    Tho' well sped were the hours of the night-time no cock did
        they hear to crow,
    Empty and bare the perches, for the famine had left them so.     240
    Then the maiden, grieving sorely, prayed him courteous her
        plaint to hear,
    ''Twill rob thee of sleep an I tell thee, and work to thee
        ill I fear.
    My foeman the King Klamidé, and Kingron his seneschal,
    My castles and lands have wasted, yea, all but this citadel.
    My father, King Tampentäre, by his death me, poor orphan,
        left                                                         245
    In peril and need so deadly, of all hope am I well-nigh reft.
    Kinsmen and princes many, and vassals, both rich and poor,
    Yea, a mighty army served me, but they serve me now no more.
    One half, nay, far more I think me, in defence of my land are
    Alas! whence shall I, poor maiden, or gladness or succour
        gain?                                                        250
    In such sore strait do I find me, I am ready myself to kill
    Ere my maidenhood and this body I yield to Klamidé's will.
    His wife he is fain to make me, yet his was the hand that
    My Knight Schenteflur, the hero, whose heart was both brave
        and true,
    And the flower was he of all manhood, falsehood he ne'er
        might know,                                                  255
    Who was brother unto Liassé, and she too shall share my woe.'

    But e'en as she named Liassé then sorrow awoke anew
    In his heart who would fain do service, and his spirit, so
        high and true,
    Sank, as sinketh a hill to the valley, at the thought of that
        maiden dear;
    Yet he spake to the queen, 'Say, Lady, how best may I serve
        thee here?'                                                  260
    'Sir Knight an thou couldst but rid me of Kingron the
    In knightly joust of my warriors full many before him fell.
    With the morning again he cometh, and he thinketh that free
        from harm
    His lord soon shall lie, my husband, in the clasp of my
        circling arm.
    My Burg hast thou seen, and thou knowest how lofty its towers
        and high,                                                    265
    Yet down to the moat below them will I fling myself joyfully,
    Ere of maidenhood King Klamidé shall rob me against my will,
    If no better may be, then by dying, his boasting I yet may

    Then he quoth, 'Lady, French or Breton, of what country
        soe'er he be,
    From Kingron my hand shall shield thee, with what power may
        be given to me.'                                             270
    The night was spent, with the dawning the queen she arose
    Lowly she bent before him, nor from thanks would her lips
    Then she passed from the chamber softly, and no man might be
    Tho' wise were he else, of her errand, save only the knight
        so fair.

    Nor Parzival longer slumbered, for the sun was swift to rise,    275
    And it pierced thro' the clouds of morning, and smote on his
        wakened eyes;
    And he heard the sweet bells chiming, as the folk church and
        minster sought,
    For Klamidé their joy had banished, and their land in sore
        peril brought.

    Then up rose the young knight also; the chaplain was in his
    And he sang to God and his lady; and the guest saw the
        maiden's face,                                               280
    And he gazed till the Mass was ended, and the benediction
    Then he bade them to bring his harness, and soon was he armed
        once more,
    A good knight and strong they deemed him, in gallant armour
    Then on came Klamidé's army with banners borne high in air.
    And Kingron, he came full swiftly, he sped far before the
        force,                                                       285
    And, so hath the story told me, of Iserterre's land his
    And there waited before the portal the son of King Gamuret,
    And the prayers and the hopes of the townsfolk on the
        youthful knight were set.

    Nor with sword he ere this had striven--From afar did he aim
        his stroke,
    And so swift his joust, in the meeting the gear of both
        chargers broke,                                              290
    And their girths were burst asunder, and each steed to its
        knees was brought,
    And the heroes who yet bestrode them of their swords must
        they needs take thought;
    In their scabbards did they find them--And already did
        Kingron bear
    Wounds in arm and breast, and I wot me that loss was his
        portion there.
    For this joust brought him loss of the glory that methinks
        had been his alway                                           295
    Till he met with this knight, and their meeting, of his pride
        was the dying day.
    And valiant did men account him, six knights had he prostrate
    Who rode in one field against him, yet here was he well
    By Parzival's right hand valiant, and Kingron the seneschal
    Thought strange was indeed his peril, for _stones_ surely on
        him fell                                                     300
    Cast forth from a mighty engine--Other arms wrought his
    For a sword clave clean thro' his helmet, and Parzival laid
        him low,
    And he knelt with one knee upon him, and he bade him
        forthwith to give
    What he ne'er to a foe had given, his pledge, an he fain
        would live.
    But he thought not to be his captor who had vanquished him
        here in field,                                               305
    But he bade him ride hence to Graharz and his pledge to its
        lord to yield.

    'Nay, Sir Knight, thou hadst better slay me, 'twas I who slew
        his son,
    'Twas my hand of life that robbed him, Schenteflur--Thou from
        God hast won
    Great honour, yea, men shall praise thee for the strength
        that thou here hast shown,
    Of a sooth art thou here the victor, and Good Fortune shall
        be thine own.'                                               310
    Quoth Parzival, 'Yet another is the choice I will give to
    Yield thou to the queen whom thy master in his wrath wronged
        so grievously!'
    'Nay! Then were I lost of a surety, for I wot with their
        sword-blades keen
    My body they'ld hew in pieces, small as dust in the sun is
    Such sorrow of heart, I think me, and grief thro' my hand
        they win,                                                    315
    Full many a gallant hero who dwelleth those walls within.'

    'Then hence from this plain shalt thou journey to the kingdom
        of Brittany,
    And bear to a gentle maiden thy pledge and thy fealty.
    For she for my sake hath suffered a sorrow she ne'er had
    Had not Kay been of knightly customs, and of courtesy fair
        forsworn.                                                    320
    Say to her how with me it fareth, that I come not in joy
    Till my spear, thro' his shield sharp-piercing, hath wiped
        out her honour's stain.
    To King Arthur and to his lady, and the knights of the Table
    Bear my greeting, and say in their presence shall I never
        again be found
    Till the day I from shame have freed me; from the shame which
        _I_ too must share                                           325
    With the maiden who smiled upon me, and great grief for that
        greeting bare.
    Say to _her_ I am aye her servant, to serve her with service
    So Kingron must swear unto him ere they parted, those heroes

    Thus he came afoot to the city, for thither had fled his
    The Burgers' help in battle, from their anguish the folk he
        freed.                                                       330
    But the outer host was troubled that Kingron, their chosen
    In this wise had been dishonoured, and broken his dauntless
    Then they led Parzival in triumph to their queen so fair and
    And the maiden was fain to greet him, and her white arms
        around him clung,
    And in close embrace she held him as she spake, 'The wide
        earth doth hold                                              335
    No man I will have for my husband save him whom these arms
    And as here they disarmed the hero her part would the maiden
    With ready hand and skilful, nor her service she thought to

    But tho' heavy had been his labour, yet scanty, I ween, the
    And the Burgers they came before him, and they sware him with
        one accord                                                   340
    They would have him for lord and master; and the queen in her
        turn she spake,
    And she said that this knight so valiant for her love and her
        lord she'ld take
    Who had won him a fame so mighty o'er Kingron the seneschal--
    But now from the castle bulwarks two sails might be seen by
    A strong wind to the haven brought them, and their lading
        must needs make glad                                         345
    The folk, they bare naught but victuals,--God's guidance they
        surely had!

    Then they rushed adown from the ramparts, and swift to the
        ships they fled,
    The hungry crowd, for the booty, as leaves by the wind are
    With flesh they were not o'erweighted, so wasted and thin
        were they,
    Nor they strutted with well-filled belly, but bending they
        went their way.                                              350
    The queen's marshal he sware the shipmen, by the doom of the
        hempen cord,
    Safe conduct for life and lading, none should touch that
        which lay aboard.
    Then he bade them to lead these merchants straightway into
        the town,
    And Parzival for their lading the double he paid them down,
    And gladly the merchants took it, for princely they deemed
        such pay;                                                    355
    And the Burgers these welcome viands to their fires did they
        bear straightway.

    Now fain would I there take service, no man of them all drank
    Wine and food had they there in plenty--Then he did as you
        now shall hear,
    Parzival, the gallant hero, for first in portions small,
    With his own right hand he shared out the viands among them
        all,                                                         360
    Yea, even unto the nobles; so long had they lacked for bread,
    He feared it had wrought them evil if perchance they were
    But to each one he gave his portion, and his counsel they
        deemed it right,
    And more should they win ere nightfall from the hand of this
        gallant knight.

    To their marriage couch they bade them, 'twas the will both
        of king and queen--                                          365
    Yet throughout the night so courteous he bare him, in truth I
    He little had pleased those ladies who now, in these latter
    In passion's heat forget all that should win for a woman
    Tho' modest they seem to strangers, yet their heart gives
        their mien the lie,
    And their tenderness worketh sorrow to their friend, tho' in
        secrecy.                                                     370
    But the steadfast knight and faithful guards himself at every
    And well knoweth to spare a woman an she chanceth within his
    For he thinketh, and thinketh truly, 'For many a lonely year
    For her favours I served this lady; now, behold, the day is
    When her will is to reward me, and here we twain do lie--        375
    Had I touched with bare hand her vesture I were blest to
    An I vantage take of her slumbers to myself untrue I seem,
    Methinks we were both dishonoured did I waken her from her
    For a woman's sleep is holy, and all men shall own its sway.'
    Thus the Waleis, who ne'er had feared him, lay still till the
        dawn of day.                                                 380

    Thus he whom men called the Red Knight, a maiden he left the
    Yet surely she deemed in the morning his wife she o'er night
        had been,
    And for love of her lord her tresses she bound with the
        morning light
    As matrons are wont to bind them. And he won him, the gallant
    Castles and lands around them from the hand of his maiden
        bride,                                                       385
    But her _heart_ was ere this his guerdon, and in peace did
        the twain abide.

    Thus glad in their love they held them two days till the
        third night fell,
    And often he thought might he take her to himself it would
        please him well.
    Then he thought of his mother's counsel, and how Gurnemanz
        spake of yore,
    That man and wife should as _one_ be, and the doubt vexed his
        soul no more,                                                390
    And his wife did he take unto him--Love's custom ever old,
    Yet ever new to lovers, to these twain brought joy untold.

    'Twas well, not evil, with them--Now hear how the king, their
    As he rode in his might to battle, must tidings of evil know.
    'Twas a squire who fain had told them, all crimson his spurs
        with blood;                                                  395
    'Before Pelrapär on the meadow have they foughten those
        heroes good,
    'Twas a bitter strife and knightly; thy seneschal fell that
    Kingron, who led thine army, to King Arthur must take his
    As he in departing bade them lies the army upon the plain.
    Pelrapär shalt thou find well guarded 'gainst thyself and
        thine armies twain,                                          400
    There within is a gallant hero, and naught doth he crave but
    In the camp of thy hired soldiers is many a rumour rife,
    They say from the good Round Table cometh Ither of Cumberland
    To the help of the queen, and knightly and valiant methinks
        his hand!
    'Twas his arms that rode forth for jousting, and no man his
        deeds shall blame,                                           405
    In such wise hath he borne his armour as winneth him meed of

    Quoth the king to the squire, 'My lady, the queen, she
        desireth me,
    And she and her land so goodly I trow shall my portion be.
    And Kingron the seneschal told me, and surely the truth he
    That famine doth plague the city, and peace they ere long
        must make,                                                   410
    And the queen she her love shall proffer'--His wrath must the
        squire abide.
    Then the king and his host passed onward, and a knight did
        toward them ride,
    And he spared not his horse but spurred it, and told them the
        self-same tale,
    And the king deemed the loss o'er-heavy, and courage and joy
        must fail.

    Then a prince spake from out the army, 'Tho' Kingron hath
        valour shown,                                                415
    Yet never he fought for _our_ manhood, he fought for himself
    Now let him to death be stricken--Why then should they be
        cast down,
    Two hosts, this one, and the army that lieth before the
    Then he bade his lord take courage, 'Once more will we try
        our fate,
    Let them look to their arms, the conflict shall be for their
        strength too great,                                          420
    We will make an end of their gladness! Bid thy vassals and
        kinsmen hear,
    With banners twain before them to the town shall they draw
    Down the hill will we ride upon them, but afoot must we storm
        the gate,
    For so shall we work them evil, and victory shall on us
    Galogandres, the Duke of Gippones, it was who this counsel
        gave,                                                        425
    And sorrow he brought on the Burgers--but slain was this hero
    And slain, too, the brave Count Narant, a prince from
        Uckerland's shore,
    And many another hero whom dead from the field they bore.

    Now hear ye another story, how the Burgers would guard their
    Strong stakes of wood sharp-pointed they made fast in
        tree-trunks tall;                                            430
    (Sore pain thus was wrought the besiegers) and the trunks
        were made fast that day
    To a rope that by wheel was guided, so they guarded their
        walls alway.
    And all this had they done and tested ere Klamidé would storm
        the gate
    To avenge the fall of Kingron--There had come to their land
        of late
    Greek fire, for the ships had brought it that of food brought
        a goodly store,                                              435
    And it burnt of the foe the weapons, and the engines of
        deadly war;
    And battering-ram or tortoise in vain 'gainst the walls were
    No weapon had they for onslaught but was forced to the flame
        to yield!

    Now Kingron the seneschal journeyed till he came on to Breton
    In his hunting-house in Briziljan King Arthur at last he
        found,                                                       440
    And Karminöl did they call it--As 'fore Pelrapär he fought,
    So at Parzival's word his surety to the maid of Lalande he
    And glad was fair Kunnewaaré that, faithful, he mourned her
    Whom men there knew as the Red Knight, and this knight at his
        bidding came.

    And soon were the wondrous tidings amid the courtiers spread,    445
    And he stood there before King Arthur, a gallant knight
    Then he spake unto him and his vassals in such wise as he
        needs must speak,
    And Kay was with terror smitten, and crimson it grew, his
    And he spake, 'Is it thou, O Kingron? Ah! many a Breton
    Thou seneschal of Klamidé, thy hand hath o'erthrown in fight!    450
    If thy captor ne'er look upon me with favour, thine office
    Shall turn to thy good; we are rulers of the caldron, both
        thou and I,
    Of thy wisdom and skill do thou aid me, to win me the favour
    Of this maiden Kunnewaaré, and sweet cates for her board

    Nor they asked from him other ransom--Now leave we that tale
        and hear                                                     455
    What had passed since we left the story--So the host to the
        town drew near,
    To Pelrapär came the King Klamidé, and a bitter strife arose.
    The inner host strove with the outer, and in sooth were they
        gallant foes,
    Fresh strength had they won and courage, and bravely they
        held the field;
    And Parzival, lord of the country, in the vanguard he bare
        his shield.                                                  460
    And he swung aloft his weapon, thro' the helm clave the blade
        so keen,
    And the knights he o'erthrew before him found a bitter death
        I ween,
    For there, where the corslet opened, the Burgers they pierced
        them thro',
    In such wise would they take their vengeance--this wrought
        grief to the hero true,
    And Parzival, he forbade them, and they ceased at their
        lord's command,                                              465
    But of living knights full twenty were captive unto their

    Yet Parzival well had marked it how the king and his bravest
    Sought not fame before the portals, but far out in the plain
        would fight;
    Then forth by a path untrodden the hero a circuit made,
    And swiftly he charged where the monarch his banner aloft
        displayed.                                                   470
    And, see! there a mighty slaughter the guard of the king
    And the shields they were hewn in pieces, the Burgers they
        fought so well.
    And Parzival's shield had vanished 'fore the blows and the
        sword-blades keen;
    And tho' little his skill rejoiced them, yet all who the
        strife had seen,
    They spoke but to praise his valour--Galogandres the standard
        bare,                                                        475
    (Well he knew how to wake their courage!) but dead lay the
        hero there.
    And Klamidé himself stood in peril, and great stress on his
        army lay;
    Then he bade them withdraw, for the valour of the Burgers had
        won the day.

    But Parzival, gallant hero, bade them treat their captives
    Till the dawn of the third day's morning, and fear on his
        foemen fell.                                                 480
    Then the young host, proud and joyful, bade the knights on
        their oath go free--
    'Good friends, when the word I send ye, then wend your way
        back to me!'
    Their swords and their goodly harness as prisoners they needs
        must yield;
    Unarmed did they fare from the city to the host on the outer

    'For sooth,' spake their comrades mocking, 'from _wine_ must
        ye needs be red,                                             485
    Poor souls, since within the city ye have hungered for lack
        of bread!'
    'Nay! nay! ye may spare your pity,' so spake they, the heroes
    'If ye lie here a whole year longer, within is such store of
    That by them might ye well be nourished! And the queen hath
        the fairest knight
    For her husband, that e'er won knighthood, or carried a
        shield in fight,                                             490
    He may well be of lofty lineage, for he lacketh no knightly
    And the king needs must hear the tidings, and in sooth did
        they please him ill,
    And heralds he sent to the city, and he bade them this
        challenge bear
    To him whom the queen had wedded, 'If this knight the strife
        shall dare,
    And the queen doth hold him worthy herself, and her lands so
        wide,                                                        495
    To defend in single combat, then in peace may our hosts

    And Parzival he was joyful at the message the heralds bare,
    And his heart was fain for the combat; and out spake the hero
    'Now I pledge me upon mine honour that no man within this
    Shall lift his hand for my peril, _alone_ will I stand or
        fall!'                                                       500
    So betwixt the moat and the meadow a truce did they swear
        that day,
    And those smiths of battle armed them as meet for the coming

    On a gallant war-horse armèd sat the King of Brandigan,
    'Twas hight Guverjorz--This charger with many a gallant man,
    And many a goodly present, from Gringorz his nephew, king        505
    Of Ipotente did Count Narant from the north o'er the deep
        seas bring.
    And therewith were a thousand footmen, well armed save no
        shield had they;
    (If the tale speaketh true to the third year the king had
        made good their pay.)
    And Gringorz sent him knights five hundred, each one with his
        helm on head,
    And skilled were they all in battle; with Klamidé they hither
        sped.                                                        510
    And thus had the mighty army, alike both by sea and land,
    Encircled the town of Pelrapär, and great need must its folk

    Forth rode Parzival from the city to the field that should
        aye declare
    If 'twas God's will his wife to leave him, the child of King
    Proudly he rode, yet he spurred not his steed to its swiftest
        flight,                                                      515
    And 'twas armed for need, and its covering was a samite of
        red so bright,
    And the iron lay beneath it--And the hero himself shone fair
    In his harness red, red his corslet, and the shield that he
        proudly bare.
    And Klamidé began the conflict--A short spear of wood
    With that would he fell his foeman, and the joust from afar
        he sought;                                                   520
    And Guverjorz sprang forth swiftly, and the joust it was
        ridden well
    By those heroes young and beardless, nor one from his saddle
    And never a horse or a rider had foughten a better fight;
    And the steam rose in clouds from the chargers on which sat
        each gallant knight,

    And so fierce was the fight that the horses, out-wearied with
        conflict sore,                                               525
    Stumbled and fell together, in sooth could they do no more.
    And joyful they smote, the heroes, till fire from the helm
        must spring,
    Small time had they there for leisure, but zeal to their task
        must bring;
    And the shields were hewn in pieces, and the splinters were
        tossed on high,
    As shuttlecocks gaily smitten to the winds of heaven fly.        530
    Yet Gamuret's son was unwearied, and never a limb did ache,
    Tho' Klamidé deemed that the foemen from the city the truce
        would break.
    Then he bade his fellow-foeman to look to his honour well,
    And stay the hand of the slingers, for the blows heavy on him
    As of stones shot forth from an engine--But Parzival made
        reply,                                                       535
    'Nay, safe art thou from the slingers, my word is thy surety,
    Thou hast peace from mine hand, and I swear thee that never a
        sling shall break
    Head, or breast, or thigh, thou art safe here, were it but
        for mine honour's sake!'

    All too soon was Klamidé wearied and spent with the deadly
    Who was victor, and who was vanquished, ere long might be
        seen aright,                                                 540
    And they looked on the King Klamidé, on the grass was he laid
    And Parzival's right hand gripped him till forth streamed the
        crimson flow
    Of blood from the ears and nostrils, and the green turf was
        dyed with red;
    And his foeman unbound the helmet and visor, and bared his
    The vanquished would face the death-blow, and the victor
        spake, 'Here I free                                          545
    My wife for aye from thy wooing! Learn thou what Death may

    'Nay! nay! thou gallant hero, thirty-fold doth thy glory grow
    Thro' the valour thine hand hath shown here, since in strife
        thou hast laid me low.
    What higher fame dost thou look for? Kondwiramur sure shall
    That Good Fortune hath smiled upon thee, whilst _I_ am
        Misfortune's prey;                                           550
    Thy land hast thou now delivered--As when one a leaking boat
    Doth free from the load of water, that it light o'er the
        waves may float,
    So lightened am I of honour! Manly honour and joy I trow
    Are waxen thin and faded, what profit to slay me _now_?
    From children and children's children mine heritage shall be
        shame,                                                       555
    To do more here methinks were needless--For joy thou hast won
        and fame,
    And a living death is my portion, since for ever from her I
    Who fast in love's magic fetters hath held me both mind and
    Little good it forsooth hath brought me, ah! most wretched
        henceforth am I,
    And this land and its lovely lady for aye in thy power shall
        lie!'                                                        560

    Now he who was here the victor on Gurnemanz' counsel thought,
    How mercy should well beseem him who with manhood had valiant
    And he thought him the rede to follow; and thus to the king
        he spake,
    'I free thee not, to the father of Liassé submission make!'
    'Nay, Sir Knight, I have wrought him evil, 'twas thro' me
        that his son was slain,                                      565
    An ill-fate wouldst thou bring upon me! The hand of thy queen
        to gain,
    With Schenteflur I battled, and in sooth had I died that day,
    Save that Kingron came to my succour, and his hand did the
        hero slay.
    For Gurnemanz of Graharz had sent him to Brobarz' land
    At the head of a gallant army; 'twas a fair and knightly
        band,                                                        570
    Nine hundred knights who fought well, and rode upon mail-clad
    And fifteen hundred footmen all armed for valiant deeds,
    For naught but shields should fail them--Too great their
        might I thought,
    But the seed of such goodly harvest once more their country
    Yet now hath my loss been greater! Of my heroes but few are
        left,                                                        575
    What more would thine hand take from me, who of gladness am
        now bereft?'

    'An easier way I'll show thee, to Brittany shalt thou ride,
    Kingron has gone before thee, there King Arthur he doth
    To _him_ shalt thou bear my greeting, and bid him to mourn
    The shame I bare as my portion when I rode from his court
        away.                                                        580
    A maiden who smiled upon me for my sake was smitten sore--
    Of all that in life e'er grieved me naught ever hath grieved
        me more!
    And that maid shalt thou tell of my sorrow; and thy pledge to
        her hand shalt yield,
    And do even as she shall bid thee--Or die here on this
        foughten field!'

    'So, if here I must choose betwixt them, not long shall my
        choice delay,'                                               585
    Spake the King of Brandigan swiftly, 'From hence will I ride
    But his oath did he swear ere he parted whom pride had in
        peril brought.
    Then Parzival, the hero, for his wearied charger sought,
    And his foot touched nor horse nor stirrup as he light to the
        saddle sprung,
    And his steed the hewn shields' splinters around him in
        circles flung.                                               590

    And the Burgers I ween were joyful--but their foemen were sad
        and sore,
    For flesh and bone were wearied, and sorrow of heart they
    And they brought King Klamidé wounded to those who might give
        him aid,
    And the dead on the bier they bare them, and to rest in the
        grave they laid.
    From many a guest unwelcome the land at last was freed,          595
    And the gallant King Klamidé to Löver he rode with speed.

    Now it fell at this time King Arthur and the knights of the
        Table Round,
    And many another hero, at Dianasdron were found.
    And in sooth no lie I tell ye when I say that this plain so
    Bare of tent-poles a greater number than the trees in
        Spessart's wood.                                             600
    For 'twas ever the wont of King Arthur the high feast of
    To keep with his knights and vassals, and of maidens a goodly
    There were many a noble banner, and many a warlike shield
    With coat of arms emblazoned, and fair tents stood adown the
    'Twould be thought of the world a marvel, who should make all
        the travelling gear                                          605
    For such wondrous host of ladies as those that were gathered
    And I think me that never a maiden but had counted it to her
    If no knight mid the knights around her she might as her
        lover claim!
    Came I myself to such gathering, an such youthful knights
        were there,
    I were loth if my wife beside me thro' such tumult were fain
        to fare--                                                    610
    (Nay, when folk thus come together far liefer were I away)
    May be one might speak unto her, and some such words would
    'With love of her was he smitten, and ne'er might he healing
    Save that she herself should heal him. Yea, an but her will
        were so,
    Her knight would he be for ever, to serve her his whole life
        long'                                                        615
    I were swift, with my wife beside me, to flee from such
        foolish throng!

    Yet enough of myself have I spoken--Now hear how King
        Arthur's tent
    Might be known apart from the others; before it on gladness
    He feasted, the king, with his vassals whose hearts never
        falsehood knew,
    And with many a stately maiden, whose thoughts aye to
        jousting flew,                                               620
    As if with darts they sported, and their friend 'gainst the
        foe would aim,
    And if ill befell their hero with sweet words to his aid they

    Then the youthful King Klamidé in the ring would he bridle
    His steel-clad limbs and charger the wife of King Arthur saw,
    His helmet and good shield cloven her maidens they saw right
        well--                                                       625
    So he came to the court, (who had sent him small need have I
        here to tell.)
    So sprang he adown from his charger, and they thronged him on
        either hand
    Ere he came where she sat whom he sought for, Kunnewaaré of
        fair Lalande.

    And he spake, 'Art thou she, O Lady, to whom I owe service
    (Yet need doth in part constrain me) from the Red Knight I
        greeting bear,                                               630
    He willeth to take upon him the shame that thy lot hath been;
    He prays that King Arthur mourn it--Thou wast smitten for him
        I ween,
    Here, Lady, my pledge I bring thee, so my victor hath bidden
    Else my body to death were forfeit--I will do here as
        pleaseth thee!'

    Then the maiden Kunnewaaré by his hand led the gallant knight    635
    Where Queen Guinevere was seated, she ate with her maidens
    And Kay uprose from the table as the tidings he needs must
    They brought gladness to Kunnewaaré, but to Kay had they
        wrought but fear.

    And he quoth, 'What he speaketh, Lady, who thus unto thee
        hath sped
    He speaketh perforce, yet I think me he greatly hath been
        misled!                                                      640
    I thought but to teach thee better, yet for this cause thou
        hatest me!
    Now bid thou this knight disarm him, for his standing
        o'er-long shall be.'

    Then she bade him put off his helmet and visor, the maiden
    And e'en as the bands were loosened Klamidé the king they
    And Kingron he looked upon him, and he saw his lord again,       645
    And he wrung his hands in his anguish till as dry twigs they
        cracked amain.

    Then the seneschal of Klamidé, from the table he sprung
    And he asked of his lord the tidings; and joyless was he that
    For he spake, 'I am born to sorrow; I have lost such a
        gallant host,
    No man that was born of woman, I think me shall more have
        lost.                                                        650
    And the load of such bitter sorrow lieth heavy upon my
    And joy is to me a stranger, and gladness a fleeting guest!
    And grey am I grown for the anguish she hath wrought me,
    Yea, the sorrow of Pontius Pilate, and false Judas who
    Must grieve for his faithless dealings, who did Christ unto
        death betray,                                                655
    What of punishment God layeth on them that woe would I bear
    If so be that the Lady of Brobarz were my wife of goodwill
        and free,
    And mine arms held her fast, I had recked not what hereafter
        should chance to me.
    But, alas! for her love is withholden from the ruler of
    And my land and my folk henceforward for her sake shall
        sorrow bear.                                                 660
    Mine uncle's son, Mabonagrein, for her love long hath
        suffered pain;
    And by knightly hand constrainèd in thy court I, O king, draw
    And well dost thou know in my kingdom much harm have I done
        to thee,
    Forget that, true knight and faithful, from thy hate do thou
        set me free
    Since here I abide, a captive--And this maiden my life shall
        shield,                                                      665
    Since I stand in her sight, her servant, and my pledge to her
        hand would yield!'
    Then of knightly heart King Arthur forgave him as he would
    And with faithful words, and kindly, showed favour to him
        that day.

    Far and wide did they tell the tidings how the King of
    Rode hither, and man and maiden in thronging crowds they ran.    670
    Then the king he would crave a comrade, and he spake out with
        joyless mien,
    'Commend me unto Sir Gawain, if thou deemest me worth, O
    Well I know that he would desire it, and if he thy word obey,
    Then he honoureth thee, and the Red Knight shall win praise
        at his hand to-day.'
    Then King Arthur he bade his nephew deal well with the
        captive king,                                                675
    (Tho' I wot well, without his bidding, Sir Gawain had done
        this thing.)
    And the conquered knight, in whose dealings no falsehood had
        part or share,
    From the vassals and gallant heroes won a welcome both fit
        and fair.

    Then Kingron he spake in sorrow, 'Alas! that I needs must see
    The day when in Breton dwellings my king shall a captive be!     680
    For richer wert thou than Arthur, and of vassals a greater
    Hath served thee, nor strength was lacking, and of youth
        canst thou make thy boast.
    Shall men count it to _Arthur's_ honour that Kay in his wrath
        did smite
    A princess whose heart hath shown her the wisdom to choose
    And smile upon one whom henceforward all men may with truth
        proclaim                                                     685
    Elect to the highest honour and crown of true knightly fame?
    The tree of their fame these Bretons may deem to have waxen
    Dead lay Cumberland's king, but I wot well be by no deed of
        theirs must die!
    Nor the fame shall be theirs that, my master, thou didst
        yield to that self-same knight,
    Or that I myself have been vanquished in fair and open fight;    690
    And the sparks sprang bright from our helmets, and our swords
        clave the whistling air
    As for life and death we battled, and men looked on our
        combat fair.'

    Then all at the good Round Table, both rich and poor alike,
    With one voice spake that Kay did evil when a maiden he
        thought to strike.
    But now will we leave their story, and fare back unto
        Pelrapär                                                     695
    Where Parzival reigned as monarch; the waste lands were
        builded fair,
    And joy was their lot and singing, (and red gold and jewels
    King Tampentäre left in the city where awhile he had reigned
        in might)
    Then rich gifts he gave till men loved him for his knightly
        hand and free;
    New shields and costly banners the pride of his land should
        be,                                                          700
    And many a joust and Tourney did he and his heroes ride.
    And e'en on the distant borders in gallant deeds he vied,
    That hero young and dauntless, and no foeman might e'er deny
    That on battle-field or in Tourney his hand won the victory.

    And now of the queen would I tell ye--What lot might ye hold
        so fair                                                      705
    As hers, that gentle lady? In earth's joys had she fullest
    Her love it might bud and blossom, nor weakness nor wavering
    For the worth of her lord and husband her heart scarce might
        fail to know.
    And each found their life in the other, and each was the
        other's love.
    If, as saith the tale, they were parted, what grief must each
        true heart move!                                             710
    And I mourn for that gentle lady, her body, her folk, her
    (So he won of her love the guerdon) had he freed with his
        strong right hand.

    Thus courteous he spake one morning (and the knights stood
        their lord beside),
    'Lady, an it so please thee, give me leave that I hence may
    And see how my mother fareth, if weal be her lot, or woe,        715
    For naught of all that befalls her methinks I for long may
    For a short space would I go thither; and if ventures my
        skill approve
    Therewith would I do thee service, and be worthy my lady's
    Thus he spake, and the story telleth she thought not to say
        him 'Nay,'
    For she deemed it well; from his vassals all lonely he took
        his way.                                                     720




Book V. tells of the wonderful adventure of the Grail Castle; how
Parzival met with the Fisher King, and became his guest; and of
great feast in the hall of Monsalväsch. How Parzival saw the
spear, and all the marvels of the Grail, and how be asked no
How he in the morning found the palace deserted, and was mocked
        by the
squire as he rode away. Of Parzival meeting with Siguné, and how
reproached him for his silence. Of Orilus and Jeschuté; of the
between the heroes; and of Parzival's oath. How Orilus and his
were made friends again, and of their welcome at the court of

                                 BOOK V


    Now he who would hear what befell him who thus for ventures
    Shall hearken many a marvel ere the tale to an end be wrought
    Let the son of Gamuret ride forth, and all ye good folk and
    Wish him well, for bitter sorrow this hero hereafter knew,
    Tho' honour and joy should crown him--And sorely his heart
        did grieve                                                     5
    That the wife he loved so dearly he now for a space must
    For the mouth never read of woman, and never hath tale been
    Of a fairer wife and truer, and his heart did she captive
    And his spirit so high was troubled by thoughts of his wife
        and queen--
    Had courage not been his birthright he had lost it ere this,
        I ween!                                                       10

    O'er rock and marshy moorland, with loosened reins the steed
    Dashed free, the rider thought not to guide or check its
    Of a truth the venture telleth, so far did he ride that day
    E'en a bird had been outwearied, and its flight were fain to
    An the tale hath not betrayed me, no further the knight did
        fare                                                          15
    When Ither he slew, or from Graharz rode swift unto Pelrapär.

    Now hear ye what chanced unto him; he came at the close of
    To a water fair, and upon it many boats at anchor lay,
    And the fishers were lords of the water; to the shore did
        they lie so near
    That e'en as they saw him riding his question they well might
        hear.                                                         20
    And one he saw in a vessel all clad in such royal pride
    Scarce richer had been his vesture were he lord of the world
        so wide;
    Of peacock's plumes his head-gear--Then the knight to the
        Fisher spake
    And he prayed him for knighthood's bidding, and he prayed him
        for God's dear sake,
    To help him unto a shelter where he might thro' the night
        hours rest.                                                   25
    And the Fisher sad he answered in this wise the stranger

    And he quoth, 'Nay, Sir Knight, I know not for full thirty
        miles around,
    By land alike or water, where dwelling may yet be found
    Save one house, I would bid thee seek it, for it lieth in
        sooth anear,
    Thro' the livelong day wert thou riding none other thou
        findest here.                                                 30
    Ride there to the high cliff's ending, then turn thee to thy
        right hand
    Until to the moat thou comest, and thy charger perforce must
    Then bid thou the castle warder to let the drawbridge fall
    And open to thee the portals, then ride thou unto the hall.'

    Then he did as the Fisher bade him, and leave would he
        courteous pray,                                               35
    But he quoth, 'I myself will thine host be, an thou fail not
        to find the way,
    Be thy thanks then as is our tendance--As thou ridest around
        the hill
    Have a care lest the wood mislead thee, such mischance would
        but please me ill.'

    Then Parzival turned his bridle, and gaily he took his way,
    Nor missed he the path till before him the moat of the castle
        lay;                                                          40
    And the drawbridge was raised, and the fortress it lacked not
        for strength I trow,
    As a turner with skill had wrought them stood the turrets in
        goodly row.
    But with wings, or on winds of heaven uplifted, might ye have
    To that Burg, an a foeman stormed it little harm he methinks
        had done.
    And so strong were the towers and the palace that its folk
        they had held the hall                                        45
    And mocked at the foe, if all armies thirty years long beset
        the wall.

    Then a squire looked forth from the castle, of the knight was
        he well aware,
    And he asked whence he came? and wherefore he thought to
        their Burg to fare?
    And Parzival spake, ''Tis the Fisher who hath bidden me ride
        to thee,
    With all courtesy have I thanked him for the shelter he
        proffered free,                                               50
    'Tis his will that the bridge be lowered, and I ride here the
        Burg within.'
    'Sir Knight thou shalt here be welcome, and thy way to the
        Burg shalt win
    Since the Fisher so spake--And honour would we shew unto thee
        his guest!'
    Then the squire he let fall the drawbridge, for so was their
        lord's behest.

    So the hero came to the fortress, to a courtyard so broad and
        wide,                                                         55
    By knightly sports untrodden--Nor oft would they Tourneys
    (By short green turf was it covered) and but seldom with
        banners bright
    As on Abenberg's field did they ride there, as fitting for
        gallant knight.
    'Twas long since they might disport them in such pastimes of
        warlike skill,
    For sorrow lay heavy on them, and mirth it beseemed them ill.     60

    But little the guest should rue that, for knights both old
        and young,
    They welcomed him with all honour, and swift to his bridle
    And pages of noble breeding laid their hands on his bridle
    And others would hold his stirrup as the knight to dismount
        was fain.
    And the knights they prayed him enter, and they led him where
        he might rest,                                                65
    And with ready hands and skilful of his armour they freed the
    And they looked on the beardless hero, and they saw his face
        so fair,
    And they spake, of a truth Good Fortune and blessing should
        be his share.

    Then he bade them to bring him water, and the rust-stains he
        washed away
    From face and hands, and they saw him as the light of a
        second day,                                                   70
    So he sat in all eyes lovely--Then a mantle rich they brought
    Of silk of Araby fashioned, and flaw therein was there
    And he laid it around his shoulder, that hero so fair and
    But the clasp did he leave unfastened, and with one voice
        they praised the knight.

    'Repanse de Schoie, our lady and queen, did this mantle
        bear,'                                                        75
    Quoth the chamberlain, 'She hath lent it while fit robes they
        for thee prepare.
    And I feared not this boon to ask her since it seemeth sure
        to me
    That a gallant man and faithful, Sir Knight, thou shalt prove
        to be!'
    'God reward thee who lookest on me with such true and
        trusting heart,
    Methinks, an thou seest rightly, Good Fortune shall be my
        part,                                                         80
    Yet I wot well such gifts come only from the power of God on
    Then gladly they pledged the hero, and in honour and loyalty
    They who sorrowed with him were joyful; far more had they
        there, I ween,
    Than at Pelrapär, when his right hand their shelter from
        grief had been!
    Then sadly he thought, as his harness the squires on one side
        would bear,                                                   85
    That in knightly joust and Tourney he here might find little
    Then one to the host would call him, and fast came his words
        and free,
    And boldly he spake to the stranger, yea, e'en as in wrath
        might be.
    With his life had he nigh paid forfeit to Parzival's youthful
    For he laid his hand to his sword-hilt--When he found it not
        by his side                                                   90
    Then he clenched his fist so tightly that the clasp rung the
        blood-drops red
    From beneath his nails, and crimson to the sleeve of his robe
        they spread.

    'Nay, nay,' quoth the knights, 'be not wrathful, for fain
        would he make us smile,
    He hath licence to jest, and with jesting our sadness would
        he beguile.
    Show thy courtesy here towards him, nor be wroth for a
        foolish word,                                                 95
    That the Fisher hath come to the castle, naught else shalt
        thou here have heard.
    Now do thou to our lord betake thee, here art thou an
        honoured guest,
    And the load of thy heavy anger be banished from off thy

    To the palace hall they gat them, where a hundred crowns hung
    With many a taper laden; round the walls shone the tapers'
        glow.                                                        100
    And beneath stood a hundred couches, with a hundred cushions
    And each of these goodly couches four knights should between
        them share.
    And betwixt each twain of the couches an open space was
    And before each there lay a carpet of cunning work fashioned
    Thereto had he wealth in plenty, King Frimutel's son and
        heir:                                                        105
    And one thing had they not forgotten, nor their gold did they
        think to spare,
    For within the hall were builded three hearths of marble
    With skill and wisdom fashioned, and each hearth stood
    And the wood was Lignum aloe, and so great a fire, I ween,
    Ne'er hath burnt on the hearth at Wildberg--Such things have
        aye costly been.                                             110

    And the host had bid them lay him on a costly folding bed
    'Fore the central hearth; and gladness from before his face
        had fled,
    And his life was but a dying--Parzival the hero fair
    In the hall found kindly welcome from him who had sent him
    Then his host bade him stand no longer, but be seated his
        couch anear,                                                 115
    'Yea, here by my side, didst thou seat thee yet further from
        me, I fear
    'Twere treating thee as a stranger'--In this wise to his
        gallant guest
    Spake the host thus rich in sorrow, whose heart was by grief

    And the host he craved thro' his sickness great fires, and
        warm robes would wear
    Both wide and long, and with sable were they lined and
        garnished fair.                                              120
    And the poorest skin was costly, and black was its hue and
    And a cap of the self-same fashioned he wore on his head that
    'Twas within and without of sable, with bands of Arabian gold
    Wrought around, and a flashing ruby in the centre might all

    Now many brave knights they sat there, and grief passed their
        face before,                                                 125
    For a squire sprang swift thro' the doorway, and a lance in
        his hand he bore,
    (And thus did he wake their weeping) from the point did the
        blood run fast
    Adown to the hand of the holder till 'twas lost in his sleeve
        at last.
    And then thro' the lofty palace was weeping and wailing sore,
    The folk of thirty kingdoms could scarce have bemoaned them
        more.                                                        130
    And thus to each of the four walls with the lance in his hand
        he drew,
    Till he reached once again the doorway, and passed him the
        portal thro'.
    And stilled was the lamentation, and the grief that this folk
        must know
    When the squire bare the lance before them, and thus bade
        them to think on woe.

    (An here ye be not outwearied I gladly would tell the tale,      135
    How the feast in this Burg was ordered, for in courtesy
        naught did fail.)

    At the end of the hall a doorway of steel did they open fair,
    And two noble children entered--Now hearken what guise they
    An a knight for love would serve them, with love they his
        task might pay,
    Two fair and gracious maidens as e'er man might woo were
        they.                                                        140
    And each wore on her hair loose flowing, a chaplet of
        blossoms bound
    With silken band, beneath it their tresses sought the ground.
    And the hand of each maiden carried a candlestick all of
    And every golden socket did a burning taper hold.
    Nor would I forget the raiment these gentle maidens ware,        145
    For one was Tenabroc's countess, ruddy-brown was her robe so
    And the self-same garb wore the maiden who beside the
        countess paced,
    And with girdles rich and costly were they girt round each
        slender waist.
    And behind them there came a Duchess and her fellow; of ivory
    Two stools they bare, and glowing their lips e'en as fire is
        bright.                                                      150
    Then they bowed, the four, and bending, the stools 'fore the
        host they laid,
    Nor was aught to their service lacking, but fitly their part
        they played.
    Then they stood all four together, and their faces were fair
        to see,
    And the vesture of each fair maiden was like to the other

    Now see how they followed swiftly, fair maidens twice told
        four,                                                        155
    And this was I ween their office, four tapers tall they bore;
    Nor the others deemed too heavy the weight of a precious
    And by day the sun shone thro' it, and as Jacinth its name is
    'Twas long and broad, and for lightness had they fashioned it
        fair and meet
    To serve at will for a table where a wealthy host might eat.     160
    And straight to the host they stepped them, and they bowed
        their fair heads low,
    And four laid the costly table on the ivory white as snow,
    The stools they had placed aforetime--and courteous they
        turned aside,
    And there by their four companions stood the eight in their
        maiden pride.

    And green were the robes of these maidens, green as grass in
        the month of May,                                            165
    Of Samite in Assagog woven, and long and wide were they.
    At the waist were they girt with a girdle, narrow, and long,
        and fair,
    And each of these gentle maidens ware a wreath on her shining

    Now Iwan, the Count of Nonel, and Jernis, the lord of Reil,
    To the Grail were their daughters summoned from many a
        distant mile.                                                170
    And they came, these two princesses, in raiment wondrous
    And two keen-edged knives, a marvel, on cloths did those
        maidens bear.
    Of silver white and shining were they wrought with such
        cunning skill,
    And so sharp, that methinks their edges e'en steel might they
        cut at will.
    And maidens four went before them, for this should their
        office be                                                    175
    To bear lights before the silver; four children from
        falsehood free.
    Six maidens in all they entered and took thro' the hall their
    Now hearken, and I will tell ye the service they did that

    They bowed, and the twain who carried the silver they laid it
    On the Jacinth, and courteous turning to the first twelve in
        order go.                                                    180
    And now, have I counted rightly, here shall eighteen maidens
    And lo! see six more come hither in vesture from distant
    Half their robes were of silk, gold inwoven, half of silk of
        Nineveh bright,
    For both they and the six before them, parti-coloured their
        robes of light.

    And last of those maids a maiden, o'er the others was she the
        queen,                                                       185
    So fair her face that they thought them 'twas the morning's
        dawn, I ween!
    And they saw her clad in raiment of Pfellel of Araby,
    And she bare aloft on a cushion of verdant Achmardi
    Root and blossom of Paradise garden, that thing which men
        call 'The Grail,'
    The crown of all earthly wishes, fair fulness that ne'er
        shall fail!                                                  190
    Repanse de Schoie did they call her, in whose hands the Grail
        might lie,
    By the Grail Itself elected was she to this office high.
    And they who would here do service, those maids must be pure
        of heart,
    And true in life, nor falsehood shall have in their dealings

    And lights both rare and costly before the Grail they bore       195
    Six glasses tall, transparent--and wondrous balsam's store
    Burnt within with a strange sweet perfume; with measured
        steps they came,
    And the queen bowed low with the maidens who bare the
        balsam's flame.
    Then this maiden free from falsehood, the Grail on the
        Jacinth laid,
    And Parzival looked upon her, and thought of the royal maid      200
    Elect to such high office, whose mantle he needs must wear.
    Then the seven courteous turned them to the eighteen maidens
    And the noblest they placed in the centre, and twelve on
        either side
    They stood, but the crownèd maiden no beauty with hers had

    And as many knights as were seated around that palace hall,      205
    So to each four was there a server, with golden beaker tall,
    And a page so fair to look on who bare a napkin white--
    Riches enow, I trow me, had ye seen in the hall that night!
    And they bare there a hundred tables, at each table four
        knights would eat,
    And swiftly they spread them over with coverings fair and
        meet.                                                        210

    The host himself took water, and heavy at heart was he,
    And Parzival, too, he washed him, for so should the custom
    A silken towel, bright coloured, a count's son would proffer
    Swift to the guest he gat him, and knelt low before him
    And wherever there stood a table there four squires were
        ready dight                                                  215
    To serve the four who sat there, and their service they knew
    For twain would carve, low kneeling, and twain to the knights
        would bear
    Of food and drink as needful, and thus for their wants would

    Now hearken ye greater riches--on wheelèd cars were rolled
    To every knight in order, fair vessels of wroughten gold,        220
    And four knights set them on the tables, and with each ye a
        steward might see
    To aid them, and claim the vessels when the feast at an end
        should be.

    Now hearken another marvel--to a hundred squires they spake,
    And they bade them in fair white napkins the bread from the
        Grail to take.
    And straightway they went, and to each knight at each table
        the bread they bare;                                         225
    As I heard so I tell unto ye, and the truth ye, each one,
        shall swear,
    'Twas the Grail Itself that fed them, and before the Grail
        did stand
    What of food or drink desiring, each one might stretch forth
        his hand.
    (Would I here betray another then in sooth ye shall lie with
    Food warm or cold, or dishes that known or unknown shall be,     230
    Food wild or tame--Such riches ye never on earth shall find,
    So many have said, yet I think me that folly doth rule their
    For the Grail was the crown of blessing, the fulness of
        earth's delight,
    And Its joys I right well may liken to the glories of
        Heaven's height!

    Then they brought in small golden vessels that which every
        man should need                                              235
    Of sauces, or salt, or pepper--would one sparely or fully
    Yet each found enough--and courteous they bare to each noble
    And red wine and sweet drinks luscious, each one as he liked
        him best
    Might speak the word, and proffer the cup, and behold! 'twas
    By the power of the Grail--Thus the hunger of that gallant
        host was stilled,                                            240
    And the Grail Itself sustained them, and Parzival wondering
    The riches and mighty marvels, yet to question his host

    And he thought, 'Gurnemanz he bade me, in truth, without
        thought of guile,
    To withhold my lips from question--If here I abide awhile
    Methinks it will then befall me as aforetime in Graharz land,    245
    They will tell me, without my question, how here with this
        folk it stands.'
    Then e'en as he sat thus musing came a squire who a sword did
    And its sheath was a thousand marks' worth, and its hilt was
        a ruby rare,
    And the blade, it might well work wonders--Then the host gave
        it to the knight,
    And he spake, 'I full oft have borne it in many a deadly
        fight                                                        250
    Ere God's Hand thus sorely smote me; now with this shalt thou
        be repaid
    If aught hath in care been lacking--Henceforth shalt thou
        bear this blade
    Whatever chance befall thee, and when thou its power hast
    Thou wilt know thou art fully armèd, whatever strife betide.'

    Ah! woe to the guest that asked not, I am sorrowful for his
        sake,                                                        255
    When his hand clasped the sword 'twas a token that his
        silence he well might break.
    For the host too my heart is heavy, thus tortured by nameless
    And a question therefrom had freed him, yet to question his
        guest was slow.

    But now the feast was ended, who the vessels hither bore
    Again to their task they turn them, and they bear them forth
        once more.                                                   260
    The cars again they circle; each maid to her task was fain
    From last to first; the noblest she turned to the Grail
    To host and guest all-courteous the queen and her maidens
    What they brought they once more would bear forth thro' the
        door at the high hall's end.

    And Parzival he gazed after, and lo! thro' the open door         265
    Within an outer chamber, on a folding couch he saw
    The fairest of old men ancient whom ever his eyes had seen,
    Grey was he as mists of morning--Nor o'er rash is the tale, I
    Who he was shalt thou know hereafter, when a fitting time
        shall be,
    The host, his Burg, and his kingdom, yea, all will I name to
        ye,                                                          270
    And all shall be clear and in order, no halting my tale shall
    Methinks that I then shall show ye the bowstring without the

    'Tis a symbol good, the bowstring, for swift as ye deem the
    Yet the shaft that the bowstring speedeth findeth swifter its
        aim, I trow!
    And not without thought I said it, for the string, it seemeth
        me,                                                          275
    Is like to the simple story wherewith men well-pleased shall
    For it goeth straight to its ending, while he who aside shall
    Tho' his goal at last he reacheth findeth all too long his
    When unbent the bow thou sawest, then straight was, I ween,
        the string,
    From the straight line thou erst must draw it, ere the shaft
        to its goal may wing.                                        280
    But he who his story aimeth at the ear of a fool shall find
    His shaft go astray, for no dwelling it findeth within his
    Too wide is the road, I think me, and that which he chance to
    Ere yet he may know the meaning flies out at the other ear.
    Far rather at home I 'ld bide me than in such ears my story
        tell,                                                        285
    A beast, or a stock, I think me, as a hearer would serve as

    But further I fain would tell ye of this people so full of
    To whom he had come, our hero, glad song might they seldom
    Or sound of dance or of Tourney; so heavy were they at heart
    That never a thought of gladness might find in their life a
        part,                                                        290
    And oft shall the folk be fewer yet of joy shall have fuller
    But here every nook was crowded, nor space in the court to

    The host to his guest spake kindly, 'Methinks they thy couch
        have spread,
    Art thou weary? then list my counsel, and get thee, my guest,
        to bed.'
    (Now here might I raise my war-cry at the parting betwixt the
        twain,                                                       295
    For I wot well that bitter sorrow each must from the venture

    To the side of his host he stepped him, Parzival the fair of
    And the Fisher a fair night wished him--Then the knights
        stepped each from his place,
    And a part drew near towards him, and they led the stranger
    Straightway to a sleeping chamber, and goodly should be his
        rest.                                                        300
    'Twas richly decked for his honour, and the couch it was
        spread so fair
    That my poverty sorely grieves me since the earth doth such
        riches bear.

    And that bed knew, I ween, no lacking, and a rich silk above
        it lay,
    Bright-coloured its hue, and glowing as tho' fire-light did
        on it play;
    Then Parzival prayed the heroes to get them again to rest,       305
    For he saw there but one couch only, and they passed hence at
        his behest.

    But he lacked not for other service--His fair face and tapers
    Gave challenge unto each other--What day e'er might shine so
    And before his couch was another, thereon would he take his
    While pages drew them nearer, and proffered him service meet.    310
    And they bared his white feet comely, and they laid his robes
    And of noble birth were these children, and fair in their
        youthful pride.
    Then there passed thro' the open doorway four maidens fair
        and bright,
    They would know if they well had served him, and if soft lay
        the stranger knight.
    And so the venture telleth, a squire a taper bare                315
    Before each gentle maiden--Parzival, that hero fair,
    Sprang swift to his couch; then the maidens with gentle voice
        they spake,
    'Sir Knight, we fain would pray thee for our sake awhile to
    Yet as children sport with each other had he hidden him from
        their sight
    Ere yet they might hear his greeting, yet their eyes had
        found swift delight,                                         320
    And their heart's desire was quickened at the sight of his
        red lips' glow
    That for youth were as yet unhidden, for no hair did upon
        them grow.

    Now hear what they bare, these maidens, three in their hands
        so white
    Brought syrups sweet, and red wine, and the fourth, that
        maiden bright,
    Bare fruit that e'erwhile had ripened in the garden of
        Paradise                                                     325
    On a cloth fair and white, and she knelt low before him that
        maiden wise,
    And he bade her sit, but she answered, 'Nay, Sir Knight, so
        is it best
    For else were I sure unworthy to serve such a gallant guest.'
    Then he drank and would eat a little, and he spake to them
        soft and sweet,
    And he laid him adown, and the maidens craved leave of him as
        was meet.                                                    330
    Then down on the costly carpet the squires set the tapers
    When they saw that he slept, and swiftly they gat from the
        gallant knight.

    Yet Parzival lay not lonely, for until the dawn of day
    Heart-sorrow would lie beside him, nor passed with the dawn
    And every coming anguish its heralds before would speed,         335
    E'en so that the fair youth's vision out-weighed e'en his
        mother's need
    When she dreamed ere the death of her husband. As a carpet
        unrolled his dream,
    The centre of fair jousts woven, while the edge was with
        swords agleam.
    And in slumber his foemen pressed him, and would swiftly upon
        him ride;
    So fearful his dream that, wakened, thirty times had he
        rather died.                                                 340
    Thus fear and unrest awoke him, and the sweat streamed from
        every limb;
    The daylight shone fair thro' the windows, yet no voice had
        called on him.
    Then he spake, 'Where are now the pages, who stood before me
        of late?
    Who shall hand unto me my garments?' Then awhile would he
        patient wait
    Till slumber again o'ercame him; none spake, none aloud would
        cry,                                                         345
    Vanished the folk--When he wakened the noon-tide sun was

    Then he sprang up, and lo! before him on the carpet his
        harness lay,
    And two swords, his host's gift, and the other from Prince
        Ither he bare away.
    Then he spake to himself, 'Now wherefore was this done? I
        these arms will take,
    In sleep I such anguish suffered, methinks that I surely wake    350
    To-day to some task of knighthood--If mine host doth some
        foeman fear
    Then his will will I do right gladly, and faithful her prayer
        will hear
    Who of true heart this mantle lent me--If my service she
        think to take
    Then I were for such service joyful; yet not for her sweet
        love's sake,
    For my wife hath a face as lovely as ever this castle's
        queen,                                                       355
    Nay more, an the truth be spoken she is fairer far I ween!'

    Then he did e'en as seemed him fitting, and he armed himself
        for fight
    From foot to head, and beside him he girded those swords of
    Then forth went the gallant hero, and his steed to the palace
    Was bound, shield and spear stood by it, and he joyed as he
        found them there.                                            360

    Then ere Parzival, the hero, his charger would mount again,
    He sought thro' many a chamber, and he called on the folk
    But none might he see or hearken, and it vexed the knight
        full sore,
    And wrathful he grew--Yet seeking, the hero he came once more
    To where he at eve dismounted when first he the castle found,    365
    And the earth and grass were trampled, and the dew brushed
        from off the ground.

    Then, shouting, he turned, the young knight, once more to his
        charger good,
    And with bitter words he mounted--Wide open the gateway
    And the track led across the threshold; nor longer he thought
        to stay
    But he turned his rein, and swiftly to the drawbridge he made
        his way,                                                     370
    But a hidden hand drew the rope taut, and the forepart it
        rose on high
    And well-nigh had his charger fallen, then he turned him
        right speedily
    For fain would he ask the meaning, but the squire cried aloud
        in scorn,
    'Goose that thou art, ride onward, to the sun's hate hast
        thou been born!
    Thy mouth hadst thou thought to open, of these wonders hadst
        asked thine host,                                            375
    Great fame had been thine--But I tell thee now hast thou this
        fair chance lost!'

    Then the guest cried aloud for his meaning, but answer he
        ne'er might win,
    For the squire made as if he slumbered, and the portal he
        barred within.
    Too early for peace his parting, and the hour it hath brought
        him woe,
    And he payeth in joy the tribute, nor longer may gladness
        know;                                                        380
    And doubled the throw of sorrow since here he had found the
    With his eyes, not his hand, had he cast it, and dice to the
        throw should fail.
    If by grief he be now awakened such was never his wont of
    For naught had he known but gladness, nor sorrow of heart he

    On the track that he saw before him would Parzival ride
        apace,                                                       385
    And he thought, 'They who go before me to-day will a foeman
    And fight for their master's honour; an they knew it, their
        ring of might
    Methinks would be little weakened if I in their ranks should
    I would waver not, but would aid them whate'er be their need
    Thus my bread would I earn, and this fair sword, the gift of
        my host, repay,                                              390
    Undeserved as yet do I bear it--Sure they hold me for coward
    Then he turned him, the free from falsehood, where the
        hoof-tracks still met his sight,
    (And sorely I rue his parting--Now the venture doth grow
    They had parted who rode before him, and their track he might
        scarcely trace,
    What aforetime was broad waxed narrow till he lost it nor
        found it more                                                395
    And tidings he heard, the hero, that wrought to him sorrow

    For the young knight, rich in courage, heard a woman's voice
        make moan.
    (On the grass lay the dew of morning.) On a linden there sat
    A maiden, whose truth wrought her sorrow, for between her
        arms so white
    Embalmed did she lifeless hold him who living had been her
        knight.                                                      400
    Were there one who saw her sorrow and mourned not for her
        bitter woe
    Then false of heart must I hold him, one who true love might
        never know!
    Then he turned his steed towards her, tho' as yet unknown was
    (Tho' the child of his mother's sister)--As the wind that
        fleeteth free
    Is all earthly faith to her true love--Then Parzival greeting
        spake,                                                       405
    'Lady, methinks that sorrow I must bear for thy sorrow's
    An thou needst in aught my service, would it free thee from
        further ill,
    Then look thou on me as thy servant, thy grief were I fain to

    Then sadly her thanks she bade him, and asked him, 'Whence
        camest thou here?
    He were ill-advised who his journey should take thro' this
        woodland drear.                                              410
    To them who know not its pathways great evil might here
    Yea, oft have I seen and hearkened how men in this wood have
    For death was in strife their portion--Turn hence then, thou
        gallant knight,
    An thou lovest life--Yet tell me in what shelter didst pass
        the night?'
    'But a mile from here stands a castle, there I thro' the
        night abode,                                                 415
    And naught have I seen like its riches, from thence in short
        space I rode.'
    Then the maiden she looked upon him, and she spake, 'Now,
        methinks, 'twere ill
    With falsehood to thus betray them who trust thee with right
    From thy shield art thou here a stranger, and canst naught
        but woods have found,
    An here thou hast ta'en thy journey from planted and builded
        ground,                                                      420
    For thirty miles round have they never, for a dwelling, hewn
        wood or stone,
    Save but for one Burg, in this region that Burg it doth stand
    'Tis rich in all earthly riches, yet he who that castle fair
    Would seek, he may never find it, tho' many that quest shall
    Unawares must they chance upon it, for I wot in no other wise    425
    Shall that Burg and all that it holdeth be looked on by
        mortal eyes.
    Sir Knight, _thou_ hast never seen it; Monsalväsch I ween its
    Terre de Salväsch the kingdom where its lord the crown may
    And Titurel once bequeathed it to his son King Frimutel,
    So they called him, the dauntless hero; much fame to his
        portion fell,                                                430
    In a joust was he slain at Love's bidding, and four children
        fair he left,
    And three, they have store of riches, yet are they of joy
    And poor is the fourth, for penance hath he chosen this lot I
    Trevrezent is his name--Anfortas, his brother, hath grief
    He can neither stand, nor be seated, nor walk, but must aye
        recline,                                                     435
    At Monsalväsch he hath his dwelling, the head of that noble
    Then she spake, 'If indeed thou camest to that folk who so
        sore doth mourn
    Then perchance is their king releasèd from the burden he long
        hath borne?'
    Out spake the Waleis, 'I saw truly great marvels, and many a
    Of beauty rare'--she knew him by his voice ere the words were
        said.                                                        440

    And she quoth, 'Now indeed I know thee, for in sooth art thou
    Didst thou see the mournful monarch? Didst thou see the
        wondrous Grail?
    Ah! tell me the joyful tidings, may his woe at last be
    Well is thee that the blessèd journey thou hast ta'en, now
        shall earth be filled,
    As far as the winds of heaven may blow, with thy fair renown;    445
    Naught on earth but shall do thee service, fulfilment each
        wish shall crown!'

    Then Parzival spake in wonder, 'Say, Lady, whence knowest
        thou me?'
    And she answered, 'I am that maiden who erewhile made her
        plaint to thee,
    I am she who thy name first told thee, near of kin to that
        gracious queen
    Thy mother, of all earth's blossoms the fairest flower, I
        ween,                                                        450
    Tho' a flower that the dew ne'er nourished! May God reward
        thee well
    Who didst truly mourn my hero who in knightly combat fell.
    See, here in my arms I hold him, now think thou upon the woe
    God hath laid for his sake upon me who too short a life must
    Rich was he in all manly virtues, his death it has wrought me
        pain,                                                        455
    And day by day as it dawneth reneweth my plaint again!

    'Alas! is it thou, Siguné? Say, where are thy lips so red
    That gave me to wit so truly who I was? From thy youthful
    Have thy locks so brown and waving been shorn since I saw
        thee last;
    Then wert thou still fair to look on, tho' sorrow might hold
        thee fast,                                                   460
    Now pale art thou waxed and feeble, such friendship, methinks
        with woe
    Had vexed me too much, hear my counsel, and bury this dead
        knight low!'

    Great tears bedewed her garments, for ne'er to that maiden
    Had any given such counsel as Lunete to her lady bare.
    (This rede did she give to her lady, 'Let him live who thy
        lord hath slain,                                             465
    Thou shalt in his love hereafter amends for thy sorrow
    Not such was the will of Siguné, as maidens of wavering mind,
    (On their names I had best keep silence) here the tale of
        true love ye'll find.
    Then she spake, 'If joy e'er befall me that shall be when I
        know relief
    Is his, who so long hath suffered, when is lightened his load
        of grief.                                                    470
    If thro' _thee_ he hath found this succour then in truth
        shall all praise be thine;
    Methinketh e'en now at thy girdle do I see his sword to
    If its magic spell thou knowest then to strife mayest thou
        fearless fare,
    For its edge is keen--Its maker a noble name doth bear,
    Trebuchet's hand hath wrought it; by Karnant there flows a
        spring,                                                      475
    And '_Lac_' from the name of that streamlet methinks is he
        named, the king.
    The sword will withstand the first blow, at the next it will
        break in twain,
    An thou to these waters bring it from their flow 'twill be
        whole again.
    Yet where at its source the streamlet flows forth from its
        rocky bed,
    Shalt thou seek those healing waters ere the sun stand high
        overhead.                                                    480
    _Lac_ is the name of that fountain--If unsplintered shall be
        the blade
    Then press thou its halves together, from the waters shall it
        be made,
    Not whole alone, but stronger the blade and the edge shall
    Nor their brightness and fair adorning be dimmed by the
        water's flow.
    Yet a spell thou first must master, ere thou draw that sword
        of might,                                                    485
    Thou hast left it behind, I fear me! Hast thou learnt its
        words aright,
    Then in truth all earthly blessings shall blossom and bear
        for thee--
    Believe me, dear my cousin, what of marvels thou there
        couldst see,
    To thine hand shall they all do service; the crown of
        blessings fair
    Uplifted o'er all earth's noblest henceforward thine head
        shall bear.                                                  490
    And thine is desire's fulfilment, and none with thy wealth
        and might
    May measure himself, if the question hath won at thy lips its

    Then he quoth, 'Nay, I asked no question!' 'Alas I' cried the
        mournful maid,
    'That ever mine eyes have seen thee, who to question wast
        sore afraid!
    Such marvels they there have shown thee, yet no word might
        they win from thee,                                          495
    When thou sawest the Grail, and those maidens who serve It,
        from falsehood free,
    Fair Garschiloie, and yet fairer Repanse de Schoie the queen.
    Thou hast seen the knives of silver, thou the bleeding spear
        hast seen--
    Alas! wherefore hast thou sought me? Dishonoured, accurst art
    Who bearest wolf's fang empoisoned! And deep in thine heart I
        trow                                                         500
    Is it rooted, the plant of falsehood, and afresh doth it ever
    Thou shouldst have had pity on him, Anfortas, their host and
    And have asked of his bitter sorrow, on whom God hath a
        wonder sped,
    Now thou livest, and yet I tell thee to bliss art thou
        henceforth dead!'

    Then he spake, 'Nay, gentle cousin, show kindness to me I
        pray,                                                        505
    If in aught I have sinned, repentance my sin sure shall put
    'Little good may repentance do thee,' quoth the maiden, 'for
        well I know
    That thy knightly fame and honour at Monsalväsch were laid
    And never a further answer or word shalt thou win from me.'
    Then Parzival turned his bridle and left her right
        mournfully.                                                  510

    That his lips were so slow to question when he sat by the
        mournful king,
    To the heart of the gallant hero must sorrow and rueing
    And thus thro' his heavy trouble, and the heat of the
        summer's day,
    Great sweat-drops stood on his forehead as he rode on his
        lonely way.
    For the sake of the air he loosened his helmet and visor
        band,                                                        515
    And his face shone fair thro' the iron-rust as he carried
        them in his hand.

    Then he saw a fresh track, and before him short space did two
        horses fare,
    A war-horse was one, well harnessed, but unshod was, I ween,
        the mare,
    And it bare on its back a woman--Behind her he took his way,
    And he looked on her steed, to hunger o'er-long had it been a
        prey;                                                        520
    Thro' its skin might its ribs be counted, a halter of hemp
        its rein,
    Its colour was white as an ermine, to the hoofs hung the
        untrimmed mane;
    The eyeballs were sunk in the sockets, the hollows were deep
        and wide,
    And I ween that this lady's palfrey by famine had oft been
    'Twas lean and dry as touchwood, 'twas a marvel it yet could
        go,                                                          525
    For little should she who rode it of the care of a charger

    Narrow and poor the trappings that lay on that charger's
    The saddle and bells were shattered, and much did the harness
    And the lady was sad, not joyful, and her girth was a hempen
    Yet, I ween, was her birth too noble in such guise to ride
        abroad.                                                      530
    By twigs and thorny branches tattered her shift and torn,
    And the rags had she knit together where'er it had been
    But beneath her skin gleamed spotless, white as the swan's
        white wing;
    And naught but rags was her clothing--where they might some
        shelter bring
    There her skin was fair to look on, but elsewhere 'twas by
        sunburn dyed.                                                535
    Yet her lips were red, tho' sorrow and want she must long
    And so glowing and bright their colour a fire had ye kindled
    And where-e'er one would ride beside her on that side had ye
        found her bare.
    Yet of base degree to hold her were to do her a wrong, I
    Tho' little had she upon her, yet guiltless she aye had
        been--                                                       540
    (Of your courtesy shall ye heed me, she forgot not her
    Of her poverty have I told ye, yet wherefore? If ye deem good
    Then this will I say, that ragged and bare I this dame would
    O'er many a well-clad maiden, were it fitting my choice to

    As Parzival bade her greeting, she saw him, and red she grew,    545
    Of all men was he the fairest, small marvel his face she
    Then she quoth, 'Once before have I seen thee, great grief
        have I won thro' thee:
    God grant to thee greater honour than thou hast deserved from
    Far other hath been my raiment when thou sawest me last, I
    Hadst thou ne'er in that hour come near me then honour were
        still my lot!'                                               550

    Then he spake, 'Now bethink thee, Lady, who thus should thy
        hatred claim,
    For never my hand, I think me, hath brought to a woman shame,
    (So had I _myself_ dishonoured) since ever I bare a shield,
    Or thought upon deeds of knighthood, or hath striven in
    Yet else am I sad for thy sorrow!' Then forth brake the
        tear-drops bright,                                           555
    And ran fast adown her bosom, and over her breasts so white,
    So fair, and so softly moulded, that never might turner's
    Tho' swiftly he wrought and rounded, his task in such wise
    And so lovely was she in her sorrow his heart was to pity
    And with hands and arms a cover from his glance did she
        strive to gain.                                              560

    Then Parzival spake, 'Now, Lady, of true service from mocking
    In God's Name take thou here my surcoat, a covering 'twill be
        for thee.'
    'Nay, Sir Knight, I may never take it, e'en tho' bliss I
        thereby should gain,
    Ride swift on thy way, I pray thee, an thou wouldst not we
        both were slain;
    Tho' my death it would little grieve me, if I fear me, 'tis
        for thy sake!'                                               565
    'Say, Lady, who thus would wrong us? Who thinketh our life to
    'Twas God's hand that gave it to us--Nay, were they an armèd
    Who here for our life were thirsting, I would face them nor
        fear the cost!'

    Then she spake, ''Tis a dauntless hero, so gallant in strife
        is he
    That heavy would be their labour if _six_ should his foemen
        be;                                                          570
    (I would thou wert not beside me) I aforetime his wife had
    Yet so poor am I now and wretched, for his slave were I all
        too mean,
    Thus his wrath doth he wreak upon me.' To that lady he spake
    'Say, who rideth here with thy husband? For if I to fly were
    As here thou dost give me counsel, thyself sure wouldst deem
        it ill,                                                      575
    Ere of flight I have learnt the lesson I would die with a
        right good will!'

    Then out spake the Duchess sadly, 'Alone with my lord I fare,
    But yet that may little serve thee, nor shall victory be here
        thy share.'
    And in rags was all her vesture, and naught but the hem
    Yet the crown of woman's honour in her poverty had she worn,     580
    And her ways were ways of goodness, and falsehood afar had
    Then he bound afresh his visor and the helmet upon his head
    As one who to battle rideth--Then his charger aloft would
    It was 'ware of the steed beside it, and its neigh rang out
        loud and clear;
    And he who a space before them on the woodland way would
        ride,                                                        585
    He hearkened the sound, and would see him who rode there by
        his lady's side.
    Then he turned his bridle wrathful by the side of the narrow
    And with lance in rest for jousting Duke Orilus rode that
    And manly, I ween, his bearing, from Gaheviess came his
    And weapon alike and harness of one colour were blazoned
        clear.                                                       590

    His helmet, Trebuchet wrought it; the shield in distant Spain
    Was welded fair for the hero, King Kailet in that land doth
    And strong were the rim and the centre--In Alexandria's city
    Was the costly pfellel woven that for surcoat and coat he
    The covering of his charger at Tenabroc was it made              595
    Of rings of steel close welded--And thus he his pride
    For over the iron cover lay a pfellel so fair to see,
    And all men who saw bare witness that costly its worth must
    And gorget, and greaves, and headgear, tho' rich, yet their
        weight was light,
    And many a plate of iron it guarded this gallant knight;         600
    In Beàlzenan was it fashioned, chief city of fair Anjou.
    (But she who rode bare behind him far other her garb to view,
    For in sooth might she find none better) from Soissons his
        breastplate came,
    But he won his gallant charger from the far-off lake
    In the mountains of Monsalväsch--Lähelein, his brother bold,     605
    In a joust o'erthrew the rider, and the steed as his prize
        would hold.

    And Parzival too was ready--his charger in onward flight
    'Gainst Orilus of Lalande bare swiftly the gallant knight;
    And he saw on his shield a dragon, yea, e'en as it were
    And another upon the helmet fast bounden did upward strive.      610
    And many small golden dragons on surcoat and robe he bare,
    Enriched with many a jewel, and with red eyes of ruby fair.
    From afar would they make their onslaught, these dauntless
        heroes twain,
    No need to renounce their friendship, nor thro' kinship from
        strife refrain,
    Aloft flew the spears in splinters--Methinks I might vaunt me
        well                                                         615
    If I such a joust had witnessed as here in this wood befell!

    Thus they rode at swiftest gallop not one joust alone, I
    And Jeschuté at heart bare witness fairer jousting she ne'er
        had seen;
    So she stood, and her hands she wrung them, this lady of joy
    Nor harm did she wish to either, that one should be lifeless
        left.                                                        620
    In sweat were they bathed, the chargers, and the knights they
        strove for fame,
    And sparks sprang bright from the sword-blades, and forth
        from the helm flashed flame,
    And the blows fell fierce and mighty, and far flashed the
        light of strife,
    None were better than they in battle, and they met here for
        death or life,
    And tho' willing and swift the chargers that the heroes would
        here bestride,                                               625
    They forgot not their spurs, and their sword-blades
        bright-glancing they deftly plied.
    And Parzival won him honour, for here hath he rightly shown
    How before a hundred dragons one man well might hold his own.

    And ill did it fare with one dragon, and sore were its wounds
        that day,
    'Twas the crest that aloft in glory on Orilus' helmet lay,       630
    And so clear that the light shone thro' them were the costly
        jewels bright
    That fell when the helm was smitten by Parzival's sword of
    'Twas on horse, not afoot, that they fought thus--The love of
        her angry lord
    Was won back again for Jeschuté by the play of the glittering
    Then they dashed again on each other so close that they smote
        away,                                                        635
    With their knees, the rings of iron--So valiant in strife
        were they!
    I will tell ye why one was wrathful; that his lady of royal
    Ere this had been shamed; her guardian, from him might she
        look for grace;
    Yet he deemed that with wandering fancy her heart from her
        lord had strayed,
    And that she, in the love of another, her honour had lowly
        laid.                                                        640
    And he would for such wrong have vengeance, and his judgment
        on her was done
    In such wise, save were _death_ her portion no woman such woe
        had won,
    And yet she in naught had wronged him--If his favour he would
    What man e'er might think to hinder? For ever from days of
    The man hath power o'er the woman, the husband shall rule the
        wife.                                                        645
    Yet Parzival the hero, he thought him to win with strife
    For Jeschuté her husband's favour--Methinks one should pray
        such grace
    In courteous wise, but flattery it here found but little
    And both they were right, I think me--He who ruleth the ways
        of life,
    Or straight they may be or crooked, 'twas His so to rule
        their strife                                                 650
    That never to one nor the other the joust death for guerdon
    Harm enow had they done to each other the while they so
        fiercely fought.

    Now hotter it waxed, the conflict, each hero would fain
    His knightly fame 'gainst the other; Duke Orilus of Lalande,
    He fought with the skill and cunning his hand had learnt of
        yore,                                                        655
    For I ween none like him had battled--he had courage and
        strength in war,
    And therefore had he been victor on many a foughten field,
    Tho' other were here the ending--His foe would he force to
    And he threw his arms around him, the hero so proud and bold,
    But Parzival, little daunted, on his foeman made good his
        hold,                                                        660
    And he drew him from off his saddle; as a sheaf from the
        field ye reap
    So beneath his arm he swung him, and light from his horse did
    O'er a fallen tree he held him, for here was he overthrown
    Who never of need or peril such fortune before had known.
    'Now do penance for this thine anger that hath wrought to thy
        lady woe,                                                    665
    An thy favour be yet withholden, then death shalt thou surely
    'Nay, nay, not so swift,' quoth his foeman, Duke Orilus of
    'Tho' o'erthrown, I am not so vanquished that I may not thy
        will withstand!'

    Then Parzival, strong and valiant, his foeman he gripped
    And forth thro' the visor gushing streamed the blood in a
        crimson rain,                                                670
    And the prince, I ween, was vanquished, he could win from him
        what he would,
    To die was he all unwilling, and he spake to the hero good,
    'Alas! thou bold knight dauntless, who evil on me hath sped,
    Say how have I earned this peril, to lie here before thee,

    Then Parzival quoth, 'Right gladly, Sir Knight, will I let
        thee live,                                                   675
    If favour and love to thy lady thou swearest again to give!'
    'That I will not! Her sin against me I trow all too great
        shall be.
    Rich in honour she was; she hath injured herself, and she
        plungeth me,
    Her lord, in yet deeper sorrow. In all else thy will I'll
    An thou thinkest my life to leave me--'Twas God gave it me
        indeed,                                                      680
    Now thine hand is become His servant, to give it to me anew,
    And I to thy valour owe it'--In this wise spake the hero

    'For my life will I give fair ransom, for kingdoms twain, I
    My brother with might hath won him, of riches he hath enow.
    Thou shalt ask as it best may please thee: if from death thou
        wilt set me free,                                            685
    He loveth me, and will loose me whatever the cost may be.
    And my Dukedom again as thy vassal will I take from thy
        valiant hand,
    Thy fame it shall gain new lustre, since I might not thy
        power withstand.
    Now release me, thou hero dauntless, from forgiveness of her,
        my wife;
    Whatever shall be for thine honour, by that will I buy my
        life,                                                        690
    But with her, my dishonoured Duchess, at peace will I never
    Nay, not for all pain or sorrow that shall otherwise fall to

    Quoth Parzival, 'Folk or kingdoms, or riches or jewels rare,
    All these they shall nothing profit--Thy pledge thou to me
        shalt swear
    In naught to delay thy journey, but to haste thee to Brittany    695
    Where dwelleth a gentle maiden--One hath smitten her sore for
    And I will on that man have vengeance, an his safety she
        shall not pray--
    Thy pledge and my loyal service bear thou to that maid
    Or here, without fail, I slay thee--To King Arthur and to his
    To both shalt thou bear my greeting; well paid hath my
        service been,                                                700
    If they for that blow ill-smitten the maiden do well entreat.
    But first will I see that thou givest to this lady thine
        homage meet,
    And that without guile--Dost withstand me, and thinkest my
        will to dare,
    On a bier, and no more on a charger, from hence shalt thou
        lifeless fare!
    Now mark thou my words, for their doing a pledge shalt thou
        straightway give,                                            705
    And thy surety swear unto me, if longer thou fain wouldst
    To King Parzival spake his foeman, Duke Orilus, 'Helpeth
    'Gainst this thy will, I will do it, for fain I my life had

    In the fear for the life of her husband Jeschuté, that lady
    Mourned sore for his woe, yet the foemen to part might she
        little dare.                                                 710
    Then Parzival bade him rise up, and speak to his lady bright
    The words of peace and of pardon; and thus quoth the
        vanquished knight,
    'Lady, since this my shaming in strife hath been for thy
    So be it, the kiss of forgiveness from my lips shalt thou
        herewith take.
    Thro' thee have I lost much honour--What boots it? I pardon
        sware!'                                                      715
    Then swift from her steed on the meadow sprang the lady with
        white limbs bare,
    Tho' the blood that ran from his nostrils had dyed his mouth
        with red,
    Yet she kissed him e'en as he bade her, so was Parzival's
        bidding sped.

    Then the three rode on together till a hermit's cell they saw
    In the rocky wall, and our hero his bridle was fain to draw;     720
    For he saw there a shrine so holy, and a spear with fair
        colours blent
    Stood beside the shrine; 'twas the dwelling of the hermit

    There Parzival dealt with honour--On the relic an oath he
    Himself laid the oath upon him, and he spake and they
        hearkened fair;
    'If I have worth or valour, as 'seemeth a gallant knight--       725
    If I have it or not let those witness who have looked on my
        shield in fight;
    Yea, let them approve my knighthood, for knighthood's power
        may claim,
    As the shield-bearer oft shall tell us, high guerdon of
        praise and fame,
    And the name of knight is honoured--My body to shame for aye
    Will I give, and my fame and honour henceforth shall be put
        away;                                                        730
    (With these words I my bliss would pledge here in the Hand
        that shall highest be,
    And that Hand is God's Hand, I think me)--All loss, bitter
    In this life and the next be my portion from His power, if
        this lady fair
    E'er did thee wrong when it chanced her that the clasp from
        her robe _I_ tare--
    (Of a token of gold I robbed her)--A _fool_ and no man was I,    735
    Not yet had I waxed to wisdom--And sore did she weep thereby,
    And anguish and grief she suffered; yea, guiltless was she
        that day--
    And forfeit my bliss and mine honour if the words be not
        truth I say!
    Now see, dost thou hold her guiltless thou shalt give her her
        ring again,
    From the clasp I in such wise parted that my folly must bear
        the blame!'                                                  740

    Then the Duke took the ring, and the blood-stains he wiped
        from his lips away,
    And he kissed her, his heart's best treasure--And a covering
        she won straightway;
    The ring he placed on her finger, with his surcoat her shame
        would hide,
    Tho' hewn by the hand of hero, of rich silk was it fashioned
    But seldom in coat emblazoned mine eyes have a woman seen,       745
    And this one was marred in combat. No war-cry was hers, I
    That should summon the knights to Tourney, and never a spear
        she brake
    Whatever her garb--In Tourney far better the part they'ld
    Lambekein, methinks, and the good squire, if together they
        thought to fight--
    But now was the lady pardoned, and her sorrow had taken
        flight.                                                      750

    Quoth Orilus, 'Now, thou hero, the oath thou didst freely
    Great joy and small grief hath brought me; tho' shaming I
        needs must bear,
    Yet gladness therefrom I win me--In all honour I will repay
    This lady true for her sorrow when I put her in shame away.
    And since all alone I left her she was guiltless did aught
        betide;                                                      755
    Yet so did she speak of thy beauty, methought there was more
    But now may God reward thee, thou hast shown her from
        falsehood free,
    I have done her a wrong--Thro' the young wood have I ridden
        in search of thee
    Afar from Briziljan's forest.' Then Parzival took the spear,
    Wild Taurian, Dodine's brother, erewhile had he left it here.    760
    Now say where the heroes rested, or how they would pass the
    Helmet and shield had suffered, they were shattered and hewn
        in fight.
    Then Parzival to the lady, and her husband, a farewell bade;
    The Duke to his hearth would bid him, 'twas in vain howsoe'er
        he prayed.

    So here, as the venture telleth, they parted, those heroes
        twain,                                                       765
    And the Prince Orilus he sought him his pavilion and folk
    And glad were his faithful people with one mind when at last
        they saw
    Their lord and his gracious lady dwell in peace and in love
        once more.
    Nor longer was there delaying, the Duke he aside would lay
    His arms, and the rust and blood-stains from his face did he
        wash away;                                                   770
    By her hand he led the Duchess where atonement he fain would
    Weeping she lay beside him for joy, not for sorrow's sake.
    For such is the way of women, know ye not the saying well?
    'Tearful eyes make sweet lips,' of such lore methinks I yet
        more might tell!
    For Love knoweth joy as sorrow, and he who the twain would
        weigh                                                        775
    In a balance shall find them equal an he testeth the scales

    At peace were they now, full surely, forthwith to the bath
        they went,
    Twelve fair maidens they waited on her, with them had she
        shared her tent,
    They had tended her since, all guiltless, the wrath of her
        love she bare;
    (At night might she lie well covered, tho' by day she
        ill-clad must fare)                                          780
    And joyful they bathed their lady--But now are ye fain to
    How Orilus won him tidings that King Arthur would now draw

    For thus spake a knight to his master, 'On a grassy plain I
    In fair and knightly order a thousand tents, yea, more,
    For Arthur the noble monarch, the King of the Breton's land      785
    With a wondrous fair host of maidens his court holdeth nigh
        at hand;
    Methinks scarce a mile are they distant, nor shout of knights
        shall fail,
    On either side Plimizöl's waters their camp lies adown the

    Then the Duke in haste and gladness forth from his bath he
    Would ye know how she fared, Jeschuté? No longer the lady
        wept,                                                        790
    But she went, the fair and gentle, from her bath to her couch
    And far fairer, I ween, her garments than she ware for many a
    And closely they clung together, the prince and the princess
    And Love came to the aid of gladness, and joy here hath won
        the prize.
    Then the maidens they clad their lady, but the knights their
        lord's armour brought,                                       795
    And much had ye praised the vesture of Jeschuté, 'twas fairly
    And birds caught in snares they brought them, on their couch
        did they sit the twain,
    And joyful they ate; many kisses from her lord did Jeschuté

    Then they brought to the lovely lady a palfrey, so strong and
    'Twas bridled, and richly saddled, and a lady right well
        might bear,                                                  800
    And they lifted her to the saddle, with her brave lord she
        hence would ride;
    But his charger was armed, as for battle the knight would his
        steed bestride,
    And the sword he that morn had wielded hung the saddle-bow
    Then from foot to head well armèd he came forth to his steed
        once more,
    And there, where his lady waited, to the saddle he sprung,
        the knight,                                                  805
    He would ride forth without delaying, with Jeschuté his lady
    But his folk should fare back to Lalande, save one knight who
        should show the way
    To the camp and the court of King Arthur, so he counselled
        his folk that day.

    Soon came they anear King Arthur, and his tents they right
        well espied,
    For the space of a mile they stretched them adown by the
        water's side.                                                810
    The knight who had led him hither he bade to his folk repair,
    No comrade he'ld have save Jeschuté, his lady so true and
    And Arthur, the brave and humble, he sat where at eve he'ld
    On a plain with his vassals round him, in order due and meet.
    Duke Orilus rode to their circle, and none might his blazon
        know,                                                        815
    So hewn were both shield and helmet--'twas Parzival dealt
        such blow!

    From his horse sprang the gallant hero, Jeschuté she held his
    Swift sprang the squires to aid them, and thronged close
        around the twain,
    And they spake, 'We will care for the horses,'--Orilus, on
        the grass he laid
    His shield so marred and splintered, and he asked of the
        gracious maid                                                820
    For whose sake he had ridden thither, and they showed him the
        lady's seat,
    Kunnewaaré she was of Lalande, and her mien for a maid was

    Then, armed, he drew near unto them--King and queen bade him
        welcome fair,
    He thanked them, and to his sister his pledge was he fain to
    But the maiden, right well she knew him by the golden
        dragon's shine,                                              825
    And she spake, 'Thou art sure my brother, Orilus, or
    And pledge will I take from neither, for both of ye aye were
    To render to me such service as I from your hands would gain.
    I were dead to all truth and honour if I dealt with thee as a
    My courtesy sure were shamèd by my own hand, and laid alow.'     830

    Then the prince knelt before the maiden and he spake, 'Thou
        the truth hath said,
    I am Orilus thy brother; the Red Knight this oath hath laid
    On me that my pledge I yield thee, for so must I buy my life,
    Wilt thou take it, then have I done that which I sware after
        bitter strife.'
    Then his pledge, who had borne the dragon, in her white hand
        the maid must take,                                          835
    And she set him free, and he rose up, and thus to his sister

    'Now to sorrow shall faith constrain me, alas! who hath
        smitten thee?
    The blows perforce must wound me--He who lusted thereto might
    If this were the hour for vengeance, that grief I with thee
        must share;
    And the bravest of men mourneth with me that ever a woman
        bare,                                                        840
    He calleth himself the Red Knight--O king! he doth bid me
    Both thee and the queen thy lady, he doth offer ye service
    As he fain would serve this my sister--His service ye will
    If ye kindly entreat this maiden that her shaming be put
    And I, too, had fared far better at the hand of this
        dauntless knight,                                            845
    Had he known the maid for my sister, and her blows on my
        heart must light.'

    Now Kay, he hath earned fresh hatred from all who would there
    Both knights and gentle ladies, by Plimizöl's flowing tide,
    From Iofreit the son of Idöl, from Gawain, and the vanquished
    Klamidé, of whose sore peril I of yore unto ye would sing.       850
    And from many another hero whose names I right well had told,
    But o'er-long would it be my story--So they thronged round
        the hero bold,
    And, courteous, he took their service--his wife would they
        nearer bring,
    She sat as yet on her palfrey, and they welcomed her, queen
        and king.

    Then the women they kissed each other, and thus spake the
        king so true,                                                855
    'Thy father, King Lac of Karnant, for a gallant man I knew,
    For his sake I mourned thy sorrow when first men the tale did
    Methinks that thy lord should have spared thee for the sake
        of thy face so fair!
    For the prize was thine at Kanedig thro' the light of thy
        beauty's ray,
    And the hawk didst thou win for thy fairness, on thine hand
        did it ride away.                                            860
    If Orilus wrong hath done me, yet I wished unto thee no ill,
    And never I liked his judgment; and so doth it please me
    To see thee restored to favour, and clad in these garments
    As fitting thy state, O Lady! since woe thou o'er-long didst
    And she quoth, 'Now may God reward thee, O Sire! for these
        words so true,                                               865
    That thy fame may wax the higher, and may blossom and bloom

    Then Jeschuté and her husband, the twain, she took by the
    And forth from the circle led them, the maiden of fair
    And near to the royal pavilion, where a stream from the
        meadow sprung,
    Stood her tent on the plain, and above it a wingèd dragon
        hung;                                                        870
    Half an apple it held in its clutches, and four ropes did it
        draw on high,
    E'en as if the tent it lifted, and aloft to the clouds would
    And Orilus thereby knew it, for the self-same arms he bare,
    And beneath it would they disarm him--Then his sister so true
        and fair,
    She gave him due care and honour, and the vassals, each one
        they spake,                                                  875
    How the Red Knight's valour dauntless would Fame for its
        comrade take.

    As thus aloud men praised him, in Kingron's ear spake Kay,
    And he bade him do Orilus service--(Well he might, whom he
        thus did pray,
    For oft had he done such service for Klamidé in Brandigan.)
    And for this Kay would give his office to the hand of another
        man,                                                         880
    His ill-star had bid him smite her, the prince's sister fair,
    So hard with his staff, 'twas fitting from their service he
        should forbear.
    Nor pardon she found for his trespass, this maiden of royal
    But viands he sent, and Kingron, he set them before their

    Kunnewaaré, the wise and gentle, with her slender hands and
        white,                                                       885
    Would cut the food for her brother, at his side sat his lady
    And Jeschuté of Karnant bare her with courteous and comely
    And Arthur the King forgat not, for fain he the twain had
    And he came where they sat together, and ate with right
        friendly will,
    And he spake, 'Be good service lacking, then for sure it
        shall please me ill,                                         890
    For ne'er hath a host received ye, I trow, with a will so
    And a heart so free from falsehood!' And he spake in kindly
    'My Lady Kunnewaaré, see thou well to this gallant knight,
    And the blessing of God be on ye, and keep ye till morning
    Then Arthur to rest betook him, and a couch for the twain
        they spread,                                                 895
    And till daylight in peace they slumbered, and sorrow afar
        had fled.




BOOK VI. tells how King Arthur sought for the Red Knight; and how
he took an oath of his heroes to refrain from fighting. Of the
blood-stained snow, and the love-trance of Parzival; and how,
unknowing, he overthrew Segramor, and took vengeance on Kay. How
led Parzival to the court of King Arthur; and how he was made a
of the Round Table. Of the coming of Kondrie, and Kingrimursel,
        and the
shaming of Parzival and Gawain. Of Parzival's wrath and despair,
how he rode forth to seek the Grail. How the knights went forth
        to the
venture of Château Merveil; and how Gawain rode to Askalon; and
        of the
scattering of this goodly company.

                                BOOK VI


    Now perchance it were well I should tell ye, how, as this his
        folk did pray,
    From Karidöl and his kingdom, King Arthur had ridden away.
    And now the venture telleth, on his own and on stranger
    For eight days long had they ridden, nor yet had the Red
        Knight found.
    For in truth 'twas for him they were seeking, to honour his
        hand were fain,                                                5
    From sorrow had he released them, who had erst Prince Ither
    And Klamidé the king, and Kingron, in a welcome hour had sent
    To the court of the Breton Monarch: for on this was King
        Arthur bent,
    He would make him one of his circle, a knight of the Table
    No labour too great he counted, so the hero at last he found!     10

    Thus o'er mountain and vale they sought him--All who knightly
        shield might bear,
    King Arthur now called around him, and in this wise he bade
        them swear:
    What deeds so e'er of knighthood they should see, by this
        their oath,
    They should on no conflict venture, but faithful still keep
        their troth,
    As they sware unto him, their monarch, and fight but as he
        thereto                                                       15
    Should give them leave--He spake thus, 'Now, 'tis well! Since
        we needs must go
    Thro' many a stranger country, where many a stranger spear,
    And many a gallant hero are waiting us, I fear,
    If ye, like hounds untrainèd whose leash shall have slipped
        the hand
    Of him who was late their master, shall roam free o'er all
        the land,                                                     20
    Much evil might there befall ye, and such chance should but
        please me ill,
    And by this your oath, I think me, such rashness I best may
    Be ye sure and need ariseth, your king ne'er will say you
    Till then, as I here command ye, ride peaceful upon your

    Now the oath, ye shall well have heard it--Now hear ye how
        Parzival,                                                     25
    The Waleis, rode near unto them: thro' the night did the
        snow-flakes fall,
    Light they fell, yet lay thickly on him, yet if well I the
        tale may know,
    And the singer aright hath sung it, it was never the time of
    For whate'er men have sung or spoken of King Arthur, at
    Or when May-blossoms deck the meadow, these marvels did aye
        betide.                                                       30
    For sweetly the springtide bloometh, and many a garb, I ween,
    Shall it bear this song of my singing, tho' snow-clad it now
        be seen.

    The falconers from Karidöl, as the shadows of evening fell,
    Rode, hawking, by Plimizöl's waters, when an evil chance
    For the best of their hawks flew from them, nor stooped to
        the lure again,                                               35
    But all night in the dusky shadows of the woodland it did

    With Parzival it sheltered; to the twain was the woodland way
    A road unknown, sharp the frost stung, in the far east uprose
        the day,
    And, lo! all around the hero, the snow-flakes lay thick and
    Thro' the forest paths untrodden, in ever waxing light,           40
    Rode our hero by hedge or thicket, by rock and by fallen
    Till clear grew the shadowy woodland, and its depths he well
        might see,
    And a mighty tree of the forest had fallen where he would
    (The falcon yet followed after) 'mid its clustering boughs he
    A flock of wild-geese from the Northland, their hissing he
        first had heard,                                              45
    Swift swooped the falcon upon them and struck to the earth a
    And scarce might it fly the clutches of its foe, and fresh
        shelter take
    'Neath the shade of the fallen branches; in its flight from
        the wounds there brake
    Three blood-drops, all glowing crimson, and fell on the
        spotless snow,
    As Parzival's eyes beheld them, swift sorrow his heart must
        know!                                                         50

    Now hear ye his love so loyal--As he looked on these
        blood-drops bright,
    That stained with a stain of crimson the snow-flakes that lay
        so white,
    He thought, 'Say what hand hath painted these colours that
        here I see?
    Kondwiramur, I think well, these tints sure shall liken thee!
    And white snow and blood-drops crimson, do ever thy likeness
        share,                                                        55
    For this favour I praise God's working, and the world he hath
        wrought so fair!
    For in this wise I read the vision,--in this snow that so
        spotless lies,
    'Gainst the blood-drops, that ruddy-gleaming, glow crimson
        beneath mine eyes,
    I find ever thy face so gracious, my lady, Kondwiramur,
    Red as blood-drops and white as the snowdrift, it rejoiceth
        me evermore!'                                                 60
    Then her sweet face arose before him, in that night she first
        sought his side,
    When on each cheek a tear-drop glistened, and a third to her
        chin did glide.
    And so true was his love and steadfast, little recked he of
        aught around,
    But wrapped round in love and longing, saw naught but the
        blood-stained ground.
    Frau Minne with force constrained him, as here on his wife he
        thought,                                                      65
    And by magic of colours mystic, a spell on his senses

    So held he him still, as sleeping--Would ye know who found
        him there?
    The squire of fair Kunnewaaré would forth unto Lalande fare,
    And as on his way he journeyed, by the woodland green he saw
    A helmet all battle-dinted, and a shield which yet traces
        bore                                                          70
    Of many a bitter conflict that was foughten for lady fair;
    And a knight there abode in armour, and his lance he aloft
        did bear
    As one who here patient waited the joust that he fain would
    The squire swiftly turned his bridle and back to the camp he
    Yet in sooth had he seen the stranger, and his lady's
        champion known,                                               75
    He had ne'er been so swift to decry him, nor had wished he
        were overthrown,
    Nor e'en as he were an outlaw, set the heroes upon his track:
    The squire he of queen unfaithful, small wonder he knighthood

    And in this wise he called upon them, 'Fie! Fie! on ye,
        coward knights!
    Hold ye not Gawain for a marvel? Have ye not in a hundred
        fights                                                        80
    Won honour and fame as heroes, who fight for a hero king?
    Know now that ye stand dishonoured, and broken your goodly
    Ah! then there arose a clamour, and none but was fain to know
    Of the deed of knightly prowess, that should shame their
        honour so.
    When they heard how but one knight dared them, that but one
        knight a foe did wait,                                        85
    Then sorely they mourned the promise that they sware to their
        king of late.
    Then Knight Segramor sprang swiftly from amid the angry
    He ran, for in sooth he walked not, and ever his heart did
    To be in the midst of conflict, where conflict might chance
        to be,
    An they failèd with cords to bind him, in the thick of the
        fight was he!                                                 90
    And nowhere the Rhine's swift waters may flow so strong and
    Tho' the stream should run swift between them, an men fought
        on the further side,
    He stayed not to test the waters, if the current be hot or
    But straightway the stream he breasted, as fitted a swimmer

    Swift-foot to the tent of the monarch, the eager youth he
        sped,                                                         95
    For the day was but yet in its dawning, and the king he lay
        yet abed.
    Then straight thro' the lists he hied him, and he gat him
        thro' the door,
    And the covering all of sable, with hasty hand he tore
    From the twain who lay warm beneath it, and slumbered a
        slumber deep,
    Yet his haste moved them but to laughter, tho' he waked them
        from out their sleep!                                        100
    And loudly he cried on his cousin--'Queen, Lady, Guinevere,
    Since the world knoweth well our kinship, thou must do me
        this service here,
    Speak thou for me to thine husband, and pray thou of him this
    Since a knightly venture nears us, my lot _first_ the foe to

    Yet Arthur spake, 'Now bethink thee of the oath thou didst
        swear to me,                                                 105
    In all things my will to follow, nor rashly to venture thee;
    For if thou a joust now ridest, hereafter shall many a knight
    Crave leave at mine hand to ride forth, and seek for fame in
    And 'twere ill thus our force to weaken, for know thou that
        near at hand,
    Anfortas of Monsalväsch with a mighty host doth stand.           110
    This wood of his he guardeth, and since we but little know
    Where he and his force shall hold them, such chance well
        might work us woe!'

    Yet Guinevere wrought so wisely Segramor was well-nigh fain
    To die of joy, from King Arthur, his lady this grace did
    And on fame and honour only was the gallant youth intent,        115
    Nor for gold had he sold the venture on which his heart was

    Now the hero young and beardless, well armed his steed
    And over the fresh young greensward his charger at full speed
    And the bushes were bent beneath him, and the golden bells
        rang clear
    On trapping alike and armour; and I deem well an need were
        here                                                         120
    To seek for the magic pheasant mid thicket and thorny brake,
    He who fain this knight had followed, the bells for his guide
        might take!
    Thus rashly rode the hero, to him whom Frau Minne's spell
    Fast fettered in magic fetters, and no blow at the first
        there fell,
    For the peace by his word was broken--There held fast by
        threefold might,                                             125
    And the power of red blood-drops threefold stood ever the
        stranger knight.

    (Yea, well I myself have known this, how Frau Minne with
        power may hold,
    And holding, the senses scatter, and with passion of grief
    Shall fill the heart to o'erflowing--'Twas a woman who
        wrought this ill,
    And vanquished, she doth condemn me, and refuseth me comfort
        still.                                                       130
    Thus draweth she guilt upon her, for the sin shall be hers, I
    And afar must I fly from the presence, that of old time my
        joy hath been.)

    Thus Segramor quoth unto him, 'Now it seemeth but ill to me
    That thus near our army lieth, and our presence rejoiceth
    And thou holdest his fame too lightly, whom with pride we may
        hail our king,                                               135
    And 'tis meet thou for this do penance,--or the death-chime
        for me shall ring!
    Thus armed, all too near thou ridest; yet first would I
        courteous pray
    That thou yield thee at this my bidding, or my wrong will I
        here repay,
    And my blow shall be swift, and thy falling shall scatter
        these snow-flakes white!
    And I call on thee here to yield thee, ere I put thee to
        shame, Sir Knight!'                                          140

    Yet Parzival still kept silence--for Frau Minne, so fair and
    In a sorer conflict held him--Then his steed Segramor swung
    Aside, as for jousting ready, round wheeled him the war-horse
    On whose back the gallant hero yet sate in mystic mood,
    And ever he gazed on the blood-drops; as his charger turned
        him round                                                    145
    Awhile from his eyes they vanished, and fame in their stead
        he found!
    For swift as the blood-drops crimson thus passed from his
        dazzled sight,
    He hearkened the voice of the foeman, and braced him anew for

    Then as Segramor rode against him, Parzival sought afresh the
    That he found by the woodland chapel, with blazon of colours
        clear;                                                       150
    For tough was the shaft, and he gripped it, and he held the
        point full low,
    As his foeman dashed fair against him, his shield rang with
        the ringing blow.
    Then he spurred him anew to the onslaught, and the joust he
        so well repaid,
    That the knight in his golden armour was low in the snowdrift
    Yet still was the spear unsplintered, tho' it bare him from
        off his horse;                                               155
    And Parzival still kept silence, and he wheeled him upon his
    And his eyes sought once more the blood-drops, and e'en as
        they met his sight
    Frau Minne with fetters bound him, and held him in cords of
    And he spake never word, nor question, but gazed ever upon
        the ground,
    And, dreaming, he lost the knowledge which he for a space had
        found!                                                       160

    But affrighted, the gallant charger had fled back into its
    And its rider arose, little comfort might he find, though he
        soft might fall!
    Outstretched had he lain in the snowdrift, in such wise e'en
        as men shall go
    To rest, yet but ill he sleepeth, who sleepeth on couch of
    And such bed had sorrow brought me! for he to whom ill
        betides                                                      165
    Hath but mocking for his bedfellow, but the lucky doth God's
        hand guide.

    So near was King Arthur's army, that right well might
    Be seen of all men, and the wonders, and the conflict that
        then befell.
    The victor by Love was vanquished, by Love that in days of
    Did the king of all kings the wisest, King Solomon, captive
        hold!                                                        170
    Short space, then, ere back to the army once more Knight
        Segramor came,
    An with praise or with blame they should greet him, he
        counted it still the same.
    And sharp words he flung among them, with mocking tongue and
    Tho' vanquished, yet not dishonoured, must they ever the hero

    And he quoth, 'Have ye never heard this, that strife bringeth
        loss as gain?                                                175
    And never a joust, I wot me, but the victor doth one remain,
    While one aye shall be the vanquished: The best ship in storm
        may sink,
    And I wot that ye ne'er have heard me to speak, for I ne'er
        did think,
    An he knew of my shield the blazon, he had faced me not as a
    Much evil, in sooth, hath he wrought me, and yet doth he wait
        below                                                        180
    All those who would ride against him, for he seemeth for
        conflict fain,
    An a knight should in joust o'erthrow him, such chance might
        he count for gain.'

    Then straightway unto King Arthur Sir Kay did the tidings
    How his knight, Segramor, had fallen, and his victor, without
        their ring,
    A young knight, for jousting ready, yet waited with ill
        intent--                                                     185
    'Nay, I think an this stranger warrior of so many unpunished
    A burden both sore and shameful on our honour such lack would
    Now, my king, an thou hold me worthy, do thou grant me this
        grace, I pray,
    I would ride hence to ask his meaning, who thus in the
        presence fair
    Of our Queen Guinevere and her maidens his lance-point aloft
        doth bear;                                                   190
    But if thou shouldst this boon refuse me, then know, not
        another hour
    I abide here as this thy servant; for I hold that the
        knightly power
    And the fair fame of thy Round Table are stainèd if we delay
    To arm ourselves 'gainst the stranger who dareth our strength
    Now, I prithee, give leave to fight him--For tho' blind and
        deaf were we,                                                195
    Yet 'tis time that we should defend us'--'As thou willest, so
        let it be!'

    Then swift did the seneschal arm him, and I ween in fierce
        anger's fire
    A woodland he fain had wasted 'gainst the foe, who with
        strong desire
    And love was thus sorely burdened; for Frau Minne a magic
    Had wrought with the snow-flakes spotless, and the
        blood-drops that crimson fell.                               200
    And his knighthood he sorely shamèd, who thought here to work
        him harm,
    Since he faileth true Love to honour, who denieth of Love the

    Frau Minne, say, why dost thou make glad the souls that mourn
    With bliss that too swiftly fleeting, but leaveth them more
    And how canst thou, Frau Minne, true worth and knightly fame,    205
    And manly strength and courage, thus vanquish and put to
    For the least is to thee as the greatest, and the earth shall
        no hero boast,
    Who thinketh to scorn thine empire, but he learneth unto his
    That thou canst, an thou wilt, o'erthrow him; yea, all men
        thy power obey,
    For thy sceptre we own as mighty, and wide as the world its
        sway.                                                        210

    Yet this one thing it doth thee honour, tho' thou rulest all
        else but ill,
    Joy maketh her dwelling with thee, and for this would I
        praise thee still!

    Frau Minne, alas! of old time full false were thy ways, I
    Nor hast thou thy dealings mended, nor to-day hast thou truer
    Thou hast many a maiden shamèd, who love forbidden sought;       215
    Thro' thy dealings, upon the vassal, his lord hath sorrow
    And the friend shall false and faithless to the friend of his
        bosom prove,
    And the servant betray his master; such deeds do but shame
        thee, Love!
    And I would that it were far from thee, the body to yield to
    In such wise that the soul ashamèd is stricken with sorrow's
        thrust,                                                      220
    And that with force compelling, the young thou makest old,
    Though their years but few be counted, this must we for
        treason hold!

    Such speech, I ween, beseems not the man who in serving thee
    Hath comfort found! If succour thine hand ever brought to me,
    I had been less slow to praise thee, but sorrow and loss
        alone                                                        225
    Hast thou counted to me as guerdon, and such glamour thine
        art hath thrown
    O'er mine eyes, that, methinks, henceforward I trust thee
        never more,
    Though small profit it brought unto thee, the bitter grief I
    And yet too high above me art thou, that whate'er my wrong,
    I should e'en as a fool upbraid thee with bitter words and
        strong:                                                      230
    For thy spear too sharply pierces, and scarce may we bear the
    Thou layest at will upon us--Methinks he who sang of late,
    'Neath a tree, of thy mystic dealings, and thy wondrous ways
        of old,
    Had better done had he told us how we thy grace might hold!
    (Heinrich of Veldeck was he, and he taught us, I ween, right
        well                                                         235
    Of the winning of Love, of its guarding, alas! he failed to
    For oft one thro' folly loses the prize that he late did win;
    Yea, to me hath such fate befallen, yet Frau Minne, _thine_
        was the sin!
    Since all wisdom shall be thy portion, since against thee nor
        spear, nor shield,
    Nor charger, nor guarded fortress their vaunted power can
        wield,                                                       240
    I know not what shall withstand thee, nor on earth, nor on
        the sea!
    He who feareth to face thy conflict, say whither shall he
    'Twas thy mystic power, Frau Minne, that dealt thus with
    And reft him awhile of knowledge, and wrought with him as a
    For fair was the queen and gracious who reigned in far
        Pelrapär,                                                    245
    And she thought on her lord and husband, and she made thee
        her message bear.
    And for this cause Kardeiss her brother, hast thou for thy
        payment slair,
    And since thou such tribute askest, 'tis well that I ne'er
        have ta'en
    From thine hand aught of good, since in such wise thou dost
        for thy debtors care--
    This I spake for the sake of all men--List ye now how Sir Kay
        did fare:                                                    250

    Now he rode forth in knightly armour to the strife that he
        sore did crave,
    And Gamuret's son, right willing, to his wish fulfilment
    And wherever fair maids compelling, their voices uplift in
    And the grace they shall ask be granted, let them pray here
        for his welfare,
    Since it was thro' a woman's beauty, that the spell of a
        woman wrought                                                255
    Love's magic, of senses robbed him--Then his charger to halt
        Kay brought;
    And he spake to the gallant Waleis, 'Sir Knight, since thou
        thus our king
    Hast shamed, thou shalt hear my counsel, for wisdom perchance
        'twill bring;
    Thou shalt hang thee a hempen halter around thy neck
    For so may I lightly lead thee, and take thou with me thy
        way.                                                         260
    Nor think thou, thou canst escape me, but with me unto my
    Shalt thou go, as befits a captive, else worse may be thy

    By love constrained, the Waleis nor word nor answer spoke,
    Kay gripped his spear-shaft tightly and he smote with a
        mighty stroke
    On the hero's head, till the helmet rang loudly beneath his
        hand;                                                        265
    And he quoth, 'Now will I awake thee! Dost think here to take
        thy stand,
    And standing sleep unsheeted? Nay, other shalt thou fare,
    Low on the snow I'll lay thee! The ass that is wont to bear
    The sack from the mill would rue it, did one smite him in
        such wise,
    As here I think now to smite thee, and thy sloth and thy
        sleep chastise!'                                             270

    Frau Minne, now bethink thee, for sore this shameth thee,
    For an one should wrong a peasant, in this wise his speech
        will be,
    'My lord will sure repay thee!' Vengeance from thee he'ld
    Methinks, this gallant Waleis, an thou wouldst let him speak!
    Now let him from out thy circle, and loose him from thy ban,     275
    This stranger guest shalt prove him, a true and valiant man!

    Swift rode Sir Kay unto him, and he turned his bridle round,
    And no more his longing glances their joy and their sorrow
    The white snow and blood-drops crimson, that mystic likeness
    To the queen of his love and his longing, the Lady of
        Pelrapär;                                                    280
    He knew all that passed around him--His charger Sir Kay
    To jousting, he spurred him onward, and his spear he laid in

    In the joust, that which Kay had aimed at he smote, for his
        spear did pierce
    The Waleis' shield, yet swift payment was his, for in
        onslaught fierce
    The seneschal of King Arthur fell prone on the fallen tree,      285
    Where the geese erewhile had hid them, and hurt full sore was
    And dead lay his gallant charger--''Twixt a stone and the
    Right arm, and left leg had he broken--so mighty his
    That all that had decked his charger, girths, saddle, bells
        of gold,
    By the force of the fall were shattered, thus the stranger
        his payment told,                                            290
    And with one blow, for twain repaid him--the one that erst
        for his sake,
    A maiden had borne and the other, which he from Kay's hand
        must take.

    Thus he who knew naught of falsehood was guided of truth to
    Her message in blood-drops threefold, on the white of the
        drifted snow.
    'Twas tear-drops, not blood, that he saw there, and well
        might his senses fail,                                       295
    And the thoughts of his heart wax heavy, as he mused on the
        wondrous Grail,
    And sorely the semblance grieved him that spake of his wife
        and queen.
    Yet tho' o'er the twain he sorrowed, the greater woe, I ween,
    Was the woe that Frau Minne wrought him, for there liveth not
        heart so strong,
    But longing and love united break its power, ere the time be
        long.                                                        300
    Count we here those twain as ventures? Nay, 'twere better
        methinks to hold,
    That they were naught but pain and sorrow, that vanquished
        the hero bold.

    Now ye unto whom I tell this, I rede ye to mourn Kay's woe,
    For full oft as his manhood bade him, he many a strife did
    And in many a land they speak thus, that Kay, Arthur's
        seneschal,                                                   305
    Was a firebrand, hell-born, yet I wot well far other the tale
        I'ld tell.
    From reproach would I gladly free him, tho' few but should
        say me nay,
    Yet a gallant man and a worthy, I swear was this knight, Sir
    And my mouth to this truth beareth witness, and more would I
        tell to thee;
    Unto Arthur's Court came strangers in many a company,            310
    And their manners and ways were diverse, nor all there might
        honour claim,
    But Kay an he saw false dealing, he counted such ways as
    And his face he turned from the sinner, yet he who dealt
    And true man with true men would hold him, Kay served him
        right heartily.

    And one who fall well discernèd the manner of men was Kay,       315
    Thus he did to his lord good service, for his harsh words
        drave far away
    The men who would falsely vaunt them good knights and true to
    Ill was he to them as a hailstorm, sharp as sting of an angry
    Small wonder that these deny him his honour and knightly
    True servant and wise they found him, and for this cause upon
        his name                                                     320
    Their hatred doth still heap slander--Prince Herman,
        Thuringia's lord,
    Thou with vassals that crowd around thee, and strangers who
        seek thy board,
    Good service might Kay have done thee, since so free art thou
        aye of hand,
    That true men and men dishonoured, side by side in thine hall
        they stand;
    And therefore Knight Walter singeth, 'Now greeting to all I
        bring,                                                       325
    Men evil and good!' And I trow well, where a singer such song
        may sing,
    There the false are too highly honoured--Nay, far other Sir
        Kay had taught,
    (Yea, and Heinrich of Rispach also)--Now hearken ye in what
    On Plimizöl's plain men bare them; from the field Sir Kay was
    To the tent of his king, and around him, o'er his ill-fate
        his friends did mourn;                                       330
    And maiden and knight they stood there; to the tent where his
        comrade lay
    Came Gawain, and he quoth in sadness, 'Alas! for the woeful
    That so ill a joust was ridden that hath robbed me of a
    Then out spake Kay in his anger, 'Now make of thy moan an
    If comfort thou here wouldst bring me, do not as the women
        do,                                                          335
    Since thou art my monarch's nephew! I would do to thee
        service true,
    As of free heart I ever did it, in the day that God gave me
    Nor long for my aid hadst thou prayed me! There cometh,
        perchance, an hour
    When I, as of old, may serve thee: now cease thou thy moan I
    For tho' mine be the pain, yet my monarch shall ne'er find
        another Kay,                                                 340
    And I wot that for mine avenger art thou all too nobly born;
    An yet hadst _thou_ lost a finger I had counted myself
    An I risked not mine head to pay it! Let that be as it may,
    Believe me or not, as shall please thee, yet sooth are the
        words I say!'

    'No joust shalt thou ride at my urging, for roughly he greets
        his foe,                                                     345
    Who holdeth without his station, and rideth nor swift nor
    And I think me, of maidens' tresses, tho' frail be such cord
        and fair,
    Enough from such strife to bind thee, the chain of a single
    And the man who shall show such meekness, he well doth his
        _mother_ love,
    Since his _sire_ would fain in the conflict his knightly
        mettle prove.                                                350
    But follow thou aye thy mother, Sir Gawain, list well her
    Turn thou pale at the glancing sword-blade, and shrink from
        the manly deed!'

    And thus on the gallant hero the bitter words he spake
    Fell sharply, he looked not for them, nor on Kay might he
        vengeance take,
    Full seldom a knight may do so, since shame on his lips
        setteth seal,                                                355
    But they who thus speak discourteous, such shame shall they
        never feel.

    Then Gawain he quoth in answer, 'Where men knightly sword
        might bear,
    And have foughten, and I fought with them, then no man beheld
        me there,
    And saw that my cheek waxed paler at sight of wound or blow.
    I was ever thy friend--'twas needless that thou shouldst
        reproach me so!'                                             360
    Then he strode from the tent, and he bade them bring hither
        his charger good,
    Nor spur on his heel he buckled, unarmed he his steed

    So came he unto the Waleis (whose sense was of love held
    And his shield to all eyes bare witness of three spears thro'
        its circle passed,
    For three jousts of late had he ridden, and he rode them with
        heroes twain,                                                365
    Of Orilus too was he smitten--Then gently uprode Gawain,
    And he spurred not his steed to gallop, nor conflict nor
        strife he sought,
    For he rode but in love and in kindness, to seek him who here
        had fought.
    Fair spake Gawain the stranger, to greeting deaf was he,
    Frau Minne yet held him captive, how other might it be?          370
    True son of Herzeleide, to this lot was he born,
    To lose himself for love's sake; such passion as had torn
    The hearts of these his parents, afresh in his heart awoke,
    And but little his ear might hearken what the mouth of Gawain

    Quoth King Lot's son unto the Waleis,' Sir Knight, here thou
        doest ill                                                    375
    In that thou withholdest greeting--tho' patient I wait thy
    Far otherwise can I bear me! Know thou that to friend and
    Yea, to all whom I count my fellows, thy deed doth dishonour
    And our shame ever waxeth greater; yet prayed I for thee this
    The king of free heart forgives thee, if now thou shalt seek
        his face.                                                    380
    So hearken, I pray, my counsel, and do thou as I shall say,
    And ride thou with me to King Arthur, nor too long shalt thou
        find the way.'

    Nor threatening nor prayer might move him, this fair son of
    Then the pride of King Arthur's knighthood his memory
        backward set,
    And he thought of Frau Minne's dealings, and the time when
        the knife's sharp blade                                      385
    He drave thro' his hand unwitting, thro' the love of a
        gracious maid.
    And that time when from death's cold clutches, a queen's hand
        had set him free,
    When of Lähelein was he vanquished, and captive in joust was
    And a queen in the day of his danger must pledge her fair
        life for his,
    And her name shall of men be praisèd, Queen Ingus of
        Bachtarliess.                                                390
    Thought Gawain, 'It may be Frau Minne dealeth so with this
        goodly man,
    As she dealt with me of old time, so claspeth him in the ban
    Of her magic spells fair-woven, that his spirit within the
    She holdeth fast entangled'--Then his eyes on the snow-flakes
    He cast, and he knew the token, and swift from the
        spell-bound sight                                            395
    With cloth of fair silk and sendal, he covered the
        blood-drops bright.

    The blood-stained snow was hidden, nor longer its spell was
    And his sight and his sense unclouded she gave him, his wife
        and queen;
    Yet his heart did she hold in her keeping, and its dwelling
        was Pelrapär,
    And he cried aloud in his sorrow thro' the silent summer air;    400
    'Alas! who of thee hath robbed me, who erewhile wast my queen
        and wife,
    For thy love, thy crown, and thy kingdom my right hand hath
        won in strife.
    Say, say, am I he who saved thee from Klamidé the warrior
    Yea, sorrow and bitter sighing, and grief that the heart doth
    Are the guerdons I won in thy service, and now from mine eyes
        be-dazed                                                     405
    Art thou reft, and thy place I know not, tho' but now on thy
        face I gazed.'

    Then he quoth, 'Now, where shall my spear be, since I wot
        well I brought it here?'
    Quoth Gawain, 'A joust hast thou ridden, and splintered shall
        be thy spear.'
    'With whom should I joust?' quoth the Waleis, 'thou bearest
        nor sword nor shield,
    And little had been mine honour, an thou to my hand didst
        yield!                                                       410
    Yet bear I awhile thy mocking, nor will I thy friendship
    Tho' many a joust have I ridden, yet my saddle I kept alway.
    An thou be not for jousting minded, and I find not in thee a
    Yet the world lieth wide before me, and hence on my way I go;
    For labour and strife am I seeking and fain would I win me
        praise,                                                      415
    Be anguish or joy my portion; nor unfruitful shall be my

    Quoth Gawain, 'What I spake aforetime I spake of true heart
        and free,
    Nor my thoughts were the thoughts of evil, for well would I
        deal with thee;
    And the boon that I crave will I win me, my monarch with many
        a knight
    Lieth here at hand with his army, and with many a lady
        bright,                                                      420
    An it please thee, Sir Knight, to betake thee to our goodly
    From all strife shall this right hand guard thee, and gladly
        I'll ride with thee.'
    'I thank thee, Sir Knight, fair thou speakest, yet say ere
        with thee I ride,
    Who the monarch may be whom thou servest? and who rideth here
        at my side?'

    'A man do I hail as master, thro' whose fame much fame I won,    425
    Nor here shall my mouth keep silence on the things he for me
        hath done.
    For dear hath he ever held me, and as true knight did me
    (His sister King Lot hath wedded, and the twain I as parents
    And the good gifts God gave unto me, to his service I yield
        them all,
    For my hand and my heart he ruleth, whom men do King Arthur
        call.                                                        430
    Nor mine own name need here be hidden, nor a secret shall
        long remain,
    For the folk and the lands that know me, they call on me as
    And fain would I do thee service, alike with my hand and
    If thou turnest here at my bidding, nor bringest upon me

    Then he quoth, 'Is it thou, O Gawain? too little I yet have
        done                                                         435
    That thou shouldst as a friend entreat me; yet hast thou this
        honour won
    That all men thou gently treatest--and thy friendship I here
        will take,
    Yet not for mine own deserving, but repayment I fain would
    Now say where thine army lieth, since so many tents I see
    That stand fair by the brink of the river? If King Arthur in
        truth shall be                                               440
    So near, then must I bemoan me, that in honour I may not dare
    To enter his royal presence, or look on his queen so fair.
    Since 'tis meet that I first avenge me of a foul and
        discourteous blow,
    For which, since the day I left them, I sorrow and shame must
    For a maiden as she beheld me, laughed sweetly, the seneschal    445
    For my sake smote the maid so sorely, 'twas a wood that upon
        her fell.'

    'Rough vengeance thou here hast taken! (Gawain to the Waleis
    Since thou in a joust hast felled him, and right arm and left
        leg he brake.
    Ride here, see his charger lifeless, that lieth the stone
    On the snowdrift behold the splinters of the spear that hath
        dealt the blow!                                              450
    'Tis the spear thou but now wast seeking!' Then the truth
        knew Sir Parzival,
    And straightway he spake unto Gawain, 'Now, if this be the
    And the man who so sorely shamed me, if thou swear me that
        this was he,
    Thou mayst ride where thou wilt, and gladly will I ride in
        thy company!'
    'Nay, never a lie do I tell thee,' quoth Gawain, 'thou hast
        overthrown                                                   455
    Segramor, who ere now in battle was ever as victor known,
    He fell ere yet Kay had met thee: great deeds hast thou done
    Since o'er two of our bravest heroes the prize thou hast
        borne away.'

    So rode they, the one with the other, the Waleis and Knight
    And the folk, both afoot and on horseback, with honour would
        greet the twain,                                             460
    Gawain and his guest the Red Knight, this did they of
    And the twain to his fair pavilion they gat them right
    And the lady, fair Kunnewaaré, whose tent by Gawain's did
    Rejoiced, and she joyful greeted the hero, whose strong right
    Had failed not to wreak stern vengeance for the ill that Kay
        wrought that day;                                            465
    Then her brother and fair Jeschuté she led by the hand
    And Parzival looked upon them as the three to his tent drew
    And his face, thro' the rust of his armour, it shone ever
        fair and clear,
    As roses dew-dipped had flown there: his harness aside he
    And he stood before Kunnewaaré, and thus spake the gentle
        maid:                                                        470

    'To God shalt thou first be welcome, as welcome thou art to
    Since thy manhood thou well hast proven, and the faith that I
        had in thee!
    Ere the day that my heart beheld thee, nor laughter nor
        smiles I knew,
    And Kay, who in that hour smote me, with stern hand my
        gladness slew.
    But now hast thou well avenged me! With a kiss I thy deed
        would pay,                                                   475
    If I of thy kiss were worthy!' 'Nay, so had I thought to-day
    To crave of thy lips my payment,' quoth Parzival, 'if thou
    Wilt give me such gracious greeting, right gladly I'll do thy

    Then she kissed him, and down they sate them, and the
        princess a maiden sent
    And bade her to bring rich raiment; so sped she unto the
        tent;                                                        480
    And the garments they lay there ready, of rich silk of
    For her prisoner, King Klamidé, had she fashioned them
    Then the maiden who bare the garments, full sorely must she
    That the mantle was yet unfinished, since the silken cord did
    Then the lady, Kunnewaaré, from her side drew a silken band      485
    From the folds of her robe, in the mantle she wove it with
        skilful hand.

    Then courteous her leave he prayed him, the rust would he
        wash away,
    And fair shone his face, and youthful, and his lips they were
        red that day.
    And robed was the gallant hero, and so bright and so fair was
    That all men who there beheld him, they sware he for sure
        must be                                                      490
    The flower and the crown of manhood, a knight without shame
        or fear;
    And they looked upon him, and they praised him and his colour
        waxed bright and clear,
    And right well did his garb become him; an emerald green and
    The gift of fair Kunnewaaré, as clasp at his neck he bare;
    And a girdle beside she gave him, all wrought in a cunning
        row                                                          495
    With mystic beasts, bejewelled, that burnt with a fiery glow,
    And its clasp was a red-fire ruby--How think ye the beardless
    Was seen when thus richly girded? Fair was he in very sooth,
    For so the story runneth--the folk bare him right goodwill,
    Men and women who looked upon him, they counted him worthy
        still.                                                       500

    Forthwith, as the Mass was ended, came Arthur the noble king,
    And the knights of his Table with him, a goodly following.
    No man there whose lips spake falsehood. Yea, all heard the
        word that day,
    'With Gawain the Red Knight dwelleth!' the king thither took
        his way.

    Then the knight who so sore was beaten came swiftly, Sir
        Antanor,                                                     505
    For, fain to behold the Waleis, his feet sped the king
    And he asked, 'Art thou he who avenged me, and the lady of
        fair Lalande?
    Now vanished shall be Kay's honour, for it falleth unto thine
    And an end hast thou made of his threatening, and the days of
        his strife are o'er,
    For his arm it is weak, and his vengeance I fear for it never
        more!'                                                       510

    And so fair was the knight and radiant, that all men beheld
        his face
    As an angel from heaven, that wingless, abideth on earth a
    And well did King Arthur greet him, and his knights were no
        whit behind,
    And all they who looked upon him, naught but love in their
        hearts might find,
    And their lips to their heart made answer, and all spake to
        his praises, 'Yea,'                                          515
    And no man gainsaid the other, so lovely his mien that day!

    Then Arthur spake fair unto him, 'Thou hast wrought me both
        joy and pain,
    Yet ne'er from the hand of a hero such honour I thought to
    As the honour that thou hast brought me! yet no service I did
        to thee,
    An I did, then thy fame had repaid it, tho' no other thy
        deeds should be                                              520
    Than the deed thou hast done in the winning for Jeschuté her
        husband's grace!
    Nor Kay's guilt had been unavengèd, if ere this I had seen
        thy face
    Myself had, unasked, chastised him.' Then Arthur in this wise
    'Since so far they had come, and their journey had they taken
        but for his sake,
    They all with one voice did pray him, to swear to them
        brotherhood,                                                 525
    And be one of the gallant Table, a comrade both true and
    And their prayer it seemed good unto him, and joyful at heart
        was he,
    And he sware them the oath that they asked for, and their
        knight would he gladly be.

    Now hear ye, and speak the verdict, if on this day the Table
    Its right, and its due observance had here, as aforetime
        found;                                                       530
    Since for many a day King Arthur in this wise had ruled his
    No knight should break bread before him, if there came of
        fair venture naught.
    But enough should have chanced this morning, and to Table
        they well might go,
    Though from Nantes might they never bear it, yet they here
        would its semblance show.
    Wide enow was the flowery meadow, nor hindered them tree or
        tent,                                                        535
    As they did here their monarch's bidding--for this was his
        heart's intent,
    Fair honour to give the Red Knight, and his valour, as meet,
    Then a silk in Acraton woven, they laid on the grassy sward,
    'Twas brought from far lands of paynim, and 'twas shapen both
        wide and round;
    For ever this courteous custom mid these gallant knights was
        found,                                                       540
    No high seat had they of honour, but all men were equal
    And thus had King Arthur willed it, both the knights and
        their ladies fair
    At the Table Round were welcome, yea, an they might honour
    Knight, lady, or gentle maiden, at his court all should fare
        the same!

    And there, with her maiden following, came fair Guinevere the
        queen,                                                       545
    And many a noble princess amid her train was seen,
    And none but was fair to look on, and the ring it was spread
        so wide
    That within, without strife or crowding, each maid sat her
        knight beside.
    And Arthur, who ne'er knew falsehood, led the Waleis by the
    And Kunnewaaré she walked beside him, the lady of fair
        Lalande,                                                     550
    From sorrow the knight had freed her--Then, with kind and
        friendly eyes,
    Looked Arthur upon the hero, and he spake to him in this

    'My queen will I bid to kiss thee, who art fair both of form
        and face,
    For ne'er, in this court, of lady I ween wouldst thou crave
        this grace,
    Since from Pelrapär thou hast ridden, and wert thou on
        kissing bent                                                 555
    From lips of all lips the fairest, hast thou there thy full
        heart's content!
    Yet this one grace will I pray thee, if ever there dawn the
    That I find 'neath thy roof abiding, this kiss I may then
    'In sooth, will I do thy bidding,' quoth the Waleis, 'both
        there and here!'
    Then unto the gallant hero stepped the Lady Guinevere,           560
    And fair on the lips she kissed him, and she quoth, 'Here I
        pardon thee
    The ill thou aforetime didst me, and the sorrow thou gavest
    Thou didst leave me sorely grieving, when from hence thou
        didst ride away.
    By thy hand and thy dart my kinsman Prince Ither was slain
        that day!'

    And all tear-bedewed were the eyelids of the Lady Guinevere,     565
    For Prince Ither's death wrought sorrow unto many a woman
    Now must King Klamidé seat him, on the bank by Plimizöl,
    And beside him sate Iofreit, who was son unto King Idöl;
    And 'twixt Klamidé and Gawain must the Waleis have his
    And they know who tell the venture, none sate here of royal
        grace,                                                       570
    None who woman's breast had suckled, whose fame stood so high
        and fair,
    For courage and youthful beauty did the Waleis, as jewels,
    And they owned, who there looked upon him, that many a maiden
    Saw herself in a darker mirror than the lips of this fair
        young knight.
    And on cheek and on chin his colour might well as fetters be     575
    For those who should need such fetters, whose fancy flitteth
    Here might there be naught of changing--(of women my rede I
    For some they are ever wavering, and ever new friendships
    But his look ever constant held them, till I wot well that
        thro' their eyes
    His entry he gained triumphant, and made of their hearts his
        prize!                                                       580

    Thus maiden and man beheld him, and his honour all men did
    Till he found here the goal of sighing, and the end of his
        joyous days.
    For hither came one I must tell of, and faithful was she in
    Tho' discourteous her ways, and for sorrow, I ween, had she
        little ruth!
    And the folk for her message sorrowed--Now hear how the maid
        must ride,                                                   585
    Her mule it was tall as a war-horse, and branded on either
    And its nostrils were slit as is custom in the far land of
    Yet her harness and bridle were costly, with rich work
        broidered cunningly.
    Soft and slow paced her mule, yet the maiden was not as a
        maid, I trow.
    What sought she? She came as 'twas fated, and sorrow must
        Arthur know.                                                 590
    And of wisdom forsooth this maiden might boast her a wondrous
    No tongue but she spake, French, Latin, and Paynim: in all
        such lore
    As men read in the highest heavens, Dialectics, Geometry,
    In all was she courteous trainèd, and her name it was called
    'The sorceress' did men name her, nor her speech halted on
        its way,                                                     595
    Too ready her tongue, since rejoicing she smote into grief
        that day.

    This maiden, so rich in wisdom, bare little of maiden grace,
    No lover e'er praised her beauty, no tongue spake her fair of
    A tempest she, joy destroying, yet of bridal cloth from Ghent
    Did she wear a mantle, bluer than azure the soft tints blent.    600
    As a cap was it fairly fashioned, such as maidens in France
        shall wear,
    And beneath it, around her body, a silken robe she bare.
    And a hat of the English peacock, with silk of orient lined,
    And new was the hat, and the fastening, and it hung low the
        maid behind.
    And like to a bridge her message, that sorrow o'er joy had
        crossed,                                                     605
    And shame enough did she bring them, till laughter in tears
        was lost.

    In a thick plait above her headgear had she flung her tresses
    And adown on the mule were they hanging, so long, and so
        coarse, and black,
    Nor softer to touch than the bristles, which swine on their
        backs shall show.
    And her nose as a dog's was shapen, and from out her mouth
        did grow                                                     610
    Two tusks as had 'seemed a wild boar, a hand's-breadth long
        were they;
    And above her eyes the eyebrows as thick as plaits they lay.
    And I speak but the truth, as I needs must, tho' my words
        lack in courtesy
    Since I speak of a maid, yet, for such cause, none other
        reproacheth me.

    And ears as a bear had Kondrie, and never the eye might trace    615
    A shy glance of love, or of longing, I ween in that wondrous
    And a scourge did she bear, and the handle was a ruby, of
        silk the cord;
    And the hands of this winsome maiden like a lion's were
        sharply clawed,
    And the skin as an ape's was dusky, and the nails they were
        not too light,
    And I ween, for her maiden favours, but seldom would heroes
        fight!                                                       620

    So rode she unto the circle, and her coming did sorrow bring,
    And fair joy did she put in peril--Then turned she unto the
    (And Kunnewaaré sat beside him, his table-mate was she,
    And fair Guinevere, his consort, a queen bare her company.)
    Thus in royal state King Arthur as monarch sat that day--        625
    To the Breton king rode Kondrie, and in French did she speak
    And tho' I in another language than hers shall the venture
    Yet I rede ye to wit that the telling it pleaseth me none too

    'Thou son of high Pendragon, thyself, and thy Breton host,
    By thy deed hast thou shamed--From all lands the noblest that
        they might boast                                             630
    Once sat here a gallant circle, but poisoned is now their
    And thy Table Round dishonoured by traitor, and brought to
    King Arthur, o'er all thy fellows, thy praises of old stood
    But it sinketh now, thy glory, and thy fame, that did swiftly
    Henceforward goeth halting; thine honour doth seek the ground    635
    Since it showeth stain of falsehood--The fame of thy Table
    It suffered for the friendship ye with Parzival did swear,
    Tho' I wot well the outward token of a spotless knight he
    "The Red Knight" ye here do call him, the name of one who lay
    Dead before Nantes, yet I tell thee unlike in their life are
        they!                                                        640
    For no mouth hath read of a hero whose fame knew nor fault
        nor flaw,
    As his!' From the king she turned her, and did rein by the
        Waleis draw,

    And she quoth, 'Now sore shalt thou rue it, since I, for thy
        sake deny
    My greeting unto King Arthur, and the knights of his company.
    May thy fair face be dishonoured, and thy manhood I look on
        here.                                                        645
    Of forgiveness and joy were I merchant, in sooth shouldst
        thou buy them dear!
    And I deem thou art but a monster, and myself shall far
        fairer be!
    Speak, Sir Parzival, as I bid thee, and this riddle read thou
        to me,
    When thou sawest the fisher sit there, joyless, of comfort
    Why didst thou not loose his sighing? Why was he in bondage
        left?'                                                       650

    'For he showed thee of his sorrow--Oh! thou false and
        faithless guest,
    For hadst thou had pity on him, his anguish had gotten rest.
    I would that thy mouth might perish, yea, the tongue thy
        mouth within,
    For e'en as the heart the tongue is, in thine _heart_ is the
        root of sin.
    To Hell shalt thou be predestined, by the Ruler of Heaven
        high,                                                        655
    And this be on earth thy portion, that true men thy face
        shall fly.
    And ban hast thou won for blessing, and for bliss shalt thou
        find but bale,
    For too late dost thou strive for honour, and thy striving
        shall naught avail.
    And so feeble shall wax thy manhood, and thy fame it shall be
        so weak,
    That never shall soul's physician the promise of healing
        speak.                                                       660
    An one to the oath should drive me, on thine head were I fain
        to swear,
    That never a darker treason was wrought by a man so fair.
    Thou hook in fair feathers hidden, bright serpent with
        poisoned fang,
    Who ne'er of the sword was worthy, which thine host at thy
        side did hang!
    The goal of thy sins, this thy silence, of Hell's horde art
        thou now the sport,                                          665
    And dishonour upon thy body, Sir Parzival, hast thou wrought.
    Saw'st thou not how they bare before thee the Grail, and the
        bleeding spear,
    And sharp silver? Thy joy's destruction, and thy shelter from
        grief were here!'

    'Yea, hadst thou but asked at Monsalväsch; afar, in a heathen
    Rich o'er all earthly riches, doth the town of Tabronit
        stand;                                                       670
    Yet the riches thy speech had won thee had been greater far,
        I ween--
    And with gallant strife of knighthood the hand of that
        country's queen
    Feirefis Angevin hath won him: no fear doth his manhood
    One father, I ween, hath borne ye, yet unlike shall ye be, ye
    And thy brother is strange to look on, for both white and
        black his face,                                              675
    And at Zassamank he reigneth o'er the folk of his mother's

    'And my thoughts to thy sire are turning; his country was
        fair Anjou,
    And he left thee far other heirdom (for his heart never
        falsehood knew,)
    Than the heritage thou hast won thee, and the crown of an
        evil fame!
    And could I but think thy mother had wrought here a deed of
        shame                                                        680
    I had said that _his_ child thou wert not! Yet her faith it
        but wrought her woe,
    And of her naught but good be spoken! And thy father, as all
        men know,
    In his manhood was true and steadfast, and in many a distant
    He won for him meed of honour, and his praise o'er all men
        did stand.
    For great heart and little falsehood as a roof did defend his
        breast,                                                      685
    A dam 'gainst the flood of evil, and a home for his love to
    And in manly strength and courage was his honour for aye held
    But _thy_ truth it is turned to falsehood, and thine honour
        to earth is cast!
    Alas! for the day I heard it, alas! for the mournful tale,
    That the child of fair Herzeleide in knighthood and faith
        should fail.'                                                690
    She herself was the prey of sorrow, and her hands did she
        wring amain,
    While the teardrops they chased each other down her cheeks
        like a shower of rain.
    And her eyes they gave faithful witness to the grief that her
        bosom filled,
    For of true heart she spake, the maiden, nor e'en then was
        the sorrow stilled.

    Then unto the king she turned her, and she spake 'Is there
        here a knight                                                695
    Who yearneth for love's rewarding, and for honour and fame
        would fight?
    For I know of four queens, and maidens four hundred, and all
        are fair,
    In Château Merveil is their dwelling; and like to the empty
    Shall be all knightly ventures to the venture that Burg
    Yet he who shall face its peril, from true love shall his
        guerdon win.                                                 700
    And tho' far be that Burg and distant, and weary and rough
        the way,
    Its walls must I seek if haply I reach them ere close of
    And sad was the maid, not joyful, nor courteous she bade
    But weeping she gazed around her, and she cried as the
        teardrops fell,
    'Ah! woe unto thee, Monsalväsch, thou dwelling and goal of
        grief,                                                       705
    Since no man hath pity on thee, or bringeth thy woe relief!'

    Thus had the sorceress Kondrie, that maiden fierce and proud,
    Wrought evil upon the Waleis, and his fame to the earth had
    Naught they helped him, his bold heart's counsel, his manhood
        and knightly fame,
    And high o'er all other virtues, the virtue of knightly
        shame.                                                       710
    (For falsehood he ne'er had hearkened,) and true shame doth
        rewarding bring,
    And it crowneth the soul with honour as the circlet doth
        crown a king.
    And he who true shame doth cherish his work shall for ever
    Then she lifted her voice o'er the maidens, the maiden of
        fair Lalande,
    And she wept for the words of Kondrie, and the sorrow of
        Parzival,                                                    715
    For the fairest of men did she deem him; and swiftly the
        teardrops fell
    From the eyes of many a woman, for the sake of that hero
    And they sorrowed at heart, and their weeping must many a
        knight behold!

    Now sorrow had Kondrie brought them; and e'en as her way she
    Another must ride towards them on a warlike errand bent;         720
    A knight of a haughty bearing, and his harness was fair to
    From his foot to the goodly helmet, and royal its cost must
    And richly plumed was the helmet; and, e'en as the man, the
    Was clad in such glittering armour as serveth for knightly
    And he found them, both man and maiden, heavy and sad at
        heart,                                                       725
    As he rode nigh unto the circle; hear ye how he bare his
    Tho' his mien it was high and haughty, yet his heart it was
        full of woe,
    Of the twain shall ye learn the reason; thro' his manhood he
        pride must know,
    Yet grief to his heart taught mourning--Thus rode he unto the
    Were it well he should come within it? Then squires to his
        aid did spring,                                              730
    And the gallant knight they greeted, yet were he and his
        shield unknown,
    Nor he doffed from his head the helmet, and sorrow was his
    And his hand bare a sword unsheathèd, and he asked for those
        heroes twain,
    'Where are they whom I fain would speak with, King Arthur and
        Knight Gawain?'

    Then straight thro' the ring he passed him, and a costly coat
        he bare,                                                     735
    And 'twas wrought of silk all shining, in Orient woven fair;
    And before the host he halted as he sate there within the
    And he spake aloud, 'God's favour be on thee, thou gracious
    And upon these knights and ladies--To all whom mine eyes here
    I offer, in greeting, service, yet be _one_ from my greeting
        free;                                                        740
    For ne'er will I do him service, nay, rather I choose his
    If ill-will he beareth to me, mine ill-will with his may

    'And 'twere well that I name him to ye. Alas! alas! woe is
    My heart he so sore hath wounded, mine anguish o'er-great
        shall be!
    And here doth he sit, Sir Gawain, whom all men were wont to
        praise,                                                      745
    High standeth his fame, yet dishonour it ruleth, methinks,
        his ways;
    Since avarice to this betrayed him, in greeting my lord he
    The kiss once by Judas given, it taught him such guile anew.
    Many thousand hearts hath he wounded--'Twas murder base,
    And he, upon whom he wrought it, erewhile was my dearest
        lord.                                                        750
    An Sir Gawain would here deny it, true answer our strife
        shall yield,
    Forty days from to-day shall he meet me, and face me on
    Before Askalon's king and ruler, in the city of Schamfanzon;
    Thus I bid him in honour face me, and for conflict his armour

    'And this grace shall he not refuse me, but thither his
        shield shall bear;                                           755
    And yet further shall he bethink him, by the helmet he
        weareth fair,
    And the life that a knight beseemeth, who two treasures in
        pledge doth hold,
    True shame, and a faith unwavering, and their fame shall be
        new, as old.
    But from shame may Gawain ne'er free him, if a knight of the
        Table Round,
    Whose heroes stand here before me, he thinketh he may be
        found.                                                       760
    For its honour and fame are vanished, if false knight sit its
        board beside--
    Methinks ye have heard mine errand, and ye know I came not to
    For here would I not blame, but battle, and death shall my
        guerdon be,
    An it be not a life of honour, that Good Fortune shall hold
        for me!'

    Then sad was the king and silent, yet answer at last he gave,    765
    'Know, Sir Knight, that Gawain is my nephew, and myself would
        the conflict brave
    Ere his bones should lie dishonoured--If Good Fortune by
        Gawain stand
    In strife shalt thou well acknowledge, 'neath the might of
        his strong right hand
    That his body in faith he keepeth, and falsehood afar doth
    If another hath done thee evil methinks art thou over-bold,      770
    His shame dost thou speak too loudly, who never hath done
        thee ill--
    If he winneth, perchance, thine homage, and thou ownest him
        guiltless still,
    Yet hast thou in short space spoken such words of a blameless
    As have shamèd for aye thine honour, if this folk read the
        thing aright!'

    Then upsprang the proud Knight Beaucorps, brother to Gawain
        he,                                                          775
    And he spake in his wrath, 'Wouldst thou fight him? Then
        myself his pledge will be,
    For thou speakest false of Gawain; and know that thy words of
    Have kindled anew within me fierce wrath's devouring flame.
    An thou speakest not Gawain guiltless of all dishonour, I
    Stand here to fight his battle, and to be his surety.            780
    Think not by thy words of scorning to lower his lofty fame,
    Unstainèd is Gawain's honour, and thy words are but words of

    Then he turned him to his brother, and he spake of true heart
        and free,
    'Bethink thee now, my brother, of all thou hast done for me,
    Thou hast helped me unto the winning of fame, for thy toil's
        reward                                                       785
    Bid me here to be hostage for thee, and bid me thine honour
    If Good Fortune be here my portion, and I win here my meed of
    Then _thine_ be the crown of honour, and thy foeman hath
        naught but shame.'
    By his knighthood and love as a brother he besought him right
    Quoth Gawain, 'Now in sooth, my brother, too wise shall I
        surely be                                                    790
    To hearken to thee, and to grant thee what thou askest of
        right good-will;
    What meaneth this strife, I wot not, and of fighting have had
        my fill,
    Of good-will would I ne'er deny thee what boon thou from me
        shouldst crave,
    Yet shame must I bear for ever if this conflict I fail to

    Yet Beaucorps he prayed him straitly--then out spake the
        stranger knight,                                             795
    'A man whom I ne'er have heard of now lusteth with me to
    I spake not of _him_, and no evil, methinks, hath he done to
    Strong, gallant, and fair to look on, and faithful and rich
        is he,
    And well might he be my hostage, yet against _him_ no wrath I
    My lord and my kinsman was he for whose death I this strife
        declare,                                                     800
    And brothers twain were our fathers, as comrades and kinsmen
    And were he a crownèd monarch against whom my sword I drew,
    By my birth might I give him battle, and vengeance of right
    Of a royal race, and a princely, was I born in a distant
    And Askalon is my country, I am Landgrave of Schamfanzon,        805
    Kingrimursel do they call me; if Gawain's fame be not outrun
    No otherwise may he free him, but conflict with me must dare.
    Yet safe-conduct throughout my kingdom, from all save my
        hand, I swear,
    In peace may he ride, and safety, to the field where I
        vengeance claim;
    God keep in His grace those I leave here, save one, and ye
        know _his_ name!'                                            810

    So passed he, the gallant hero, from the plain of Plimizöl,
    And e'en as his name was namèd, all men knew Kingrimursel,
    For the fame of this knight so valiant was known thro' the
        far lands wide,
    And it seemèd them well that to Gawain might ill thro' this
        strife betide
    When they thought of the strength and the manhood of this
        knight who rode swift away.                                  815
    And many must sorely vex them that no honour he won that day;
    Yet full often a message cometh, I myself shall such venture
    Of such wise, that the guest who bears it, of his host must
        ungreeted go!

    From Kondrie they heard the tidings of Parzival's name and
    How a queen, she had been his mother, and his sire was an
        Angevin.                                                     820
    And they spake--''Twas at fair Kanvoleis, and the story we
        know full well,
    He served her with deeds of knighthood, and many a joust
    And there by his dauntless manhood he won him that lady
    And the noble Queen Anflisé, she taught him, that gallant
    Such courtesy as befitted a hero of lineage high;                825
    And no Breton but shall rejoice him, that his son now draweth
    For of him, e'en as of his father, may this tale of a truth
        be told
    That honour is his yoke-fellow, as she was of his sire of

    Thus joy alike and sorrow came to Arthur's host that day,
    And mingled, the life of the heroes, since the twain they
        must have their way.                                         830
    Upstood they all as one man, and all with one voice they
    And the bravest knights among them within the circle stept,
    And they looked on Gawain and the Waleis where each by the
        other stood,
    And they wove them fair words of comfort to pleasure the
        heroes good.

    But Klamidé the king bethought him that the loss which should
        be his share                                                 835
    Was greater than that of another, and too sharp was his pain
        to bear,
    And to Parzival he quoth thus, 'If the Grail thee for lord
        must own,
    Yet still would I mourn my sorrow, and of true heart my woe
        make known.
    For the kingdom of Tribalibot, and Kaucasus' golden strand,
    Whatsoe'er shall be writ of riches in Christian or paynim
        land,                                                        840
    Yea, even the Grail and its glory, they had failèd the hurt
        to cure
    Which at Pelrapär was my portion, or the grief that I here
    Ah me! Of all men most wretched am I since thy valiant hand
    Of joy and of blessing robbed me!--See the princess of fair
    Know thou that this noble lady she keepeth such faith with
        thee,                                                        845
    That no service else she craveth, and none other knight will
    Yet well might she crown his service who served her for love
    And that I am so long her captive, methinks may she well
    If my joy thou to life wouldst quicken, then give me thine
        aid, I pray,
    And teach her herself to honour in such wise that her love
        repay                                                        850
    In a measure the ill thou didst me, and that which thro' thee
        I lost,
    When the goal of my joy fled from me and my pathway by thee
        was crossed,
    But for thee, I, methinks, had reached it, and if thou art
        foeman true
    Thou wilt help me with this fair maiden, and my gladness
        shall wax anew!'

    'Right gladly will I,' quoth the Waleis, 'if so be she will
        grant my prayer,                                             855
    For fain would I bring thee comfort, since _mine_ is that
        maiden fair
    For whose sake thou sore didst sorrow, my wife and my queen
        is she,
    Kondwiramur, the fairest of all women on earth that be!'
    Then the heathen Queen of Ianfus, King Arthur, and Guinevere,
    Kunnewaaré of Lalande, and Jeschuté of Karnant, who these
        words must hear,                                             860
    Came near with sweet words of comfort--what would ye they
        should do more?
    Kunnewaaré they gave to Klamidé, who yearned for her love so
    And he gave her, as her rewarding, himself, his body fair,
    And a queenly crown and golden henceforth on her head she

    Quoth the heathen unto the Waleis, 'Kondrie a man hath named,    865
    Whom thou as in truth thy brother, rejoicing, might well have
    For far and wide he ruleth in the power of a double crown,
    And alike by land and water men in fear to his hand bow down.
    And Assagog is one kingdom, Zassamank shall the other be,
    Two mighty lands and powerful from fear and from weakness
        free.                                                        870
    And naught shall be like his riches save those the Baruch
        doth own,
    Or those of far Tribalibot, he is worshipped as God alone!
    A marvel his skin to look on, and like unto none his face,
    For 'tis black, and 'tis white, as his parents, who sprang of
        a diverse race.
    Thro' one of his lands I journeyed as hither I took my way,      875
    And full fain had he been my wanderings in a far-off land to
    Yet but little his will prevailèd, tho' I am his near of kin,
    The cousin unto his mother, and _he_ is a mighty king!
    Yet hear thou more of his prowess; his saddle no man may keep
    Who rideth a joust against him, and fame doth he richly reap.    880
    And no gentler knight or truer e'er lay on a mother's breast,
    And falsehood it fleeth from him, and truth in his heart doth
    Yea, true and fair in his dealings is Feirefis Angevin,
    And women he serveth duly, tho' he pain thro' his service

    'Tho' all men to me were strangers, yet hither I came to know    885
    What ventures of gallant knighthood a Christian land might
    And of all Heaven's gifts the highest, I ween, shall thy
        portion be,
    And Christendom winneth honour thro' the praise it doth give
        to thee.
    And thine is a noble bearing, and fair is thy form and face,
    And in thee beauty mates with manhood, and strength doth thy
        youth embrace!'                                              890
    (Both rich and wise was the heathen, and of wisdom she token
    In the French tongue her speech was holden.) Then out spake
        the hero brave,
    And he quoth, 'God reward thee, Lady, who thinkest to comfort
    Yet sorrow it fast doth bind me, and the cause would I tell
        to thee,
    For the shame that has here befallen think not I shall
        lightly bear,                                                895
    And here many sin against me, who give to my plaint no ear,
    The while I must list their mocking!--No joy shall my portion
    Or long or short be my wanderings, till the Grail once again
        I see!
    For my soul's unrest constrains me, and it driveth me on my
    Nor so long as my life endureth shall my feet from their
        wanderings stay!'                                            900

    'If a courteous and knightly bearing but bringeth rewarding
    In shame, and in this world's mocking, then methinks I was
        counselled ill!
    For 'twas Gurnemanz who bade me of questions rash beware,
    And from words and ways unfitting a courteous knight forbear.
    Here standeth full many a hero, I pray ye give counsel true,     905
    By your courtesy and knighthood, that your grace I may win
    Here hath judgment been passed upon me with bitter words and
    Who withholdeth from me his favour, I deem not he doth me
    If perchance, in the days hereafter, fame and honour my lot
        shall be
    Then according to those my dealings, I pray ye to deal with
        me;                                                          910
    But now must I haste far from ye--An oath have ye sworn me
    While I stood in the strength of mine honour; of that oath do
        I hold ye clear
    Till the day I have won me payment for my fresh joy waxed wan
        and pale;
    And my heart shall be home of sorrow, nor tears to mine eyes
        shall fail,
    For the day that at far Monsalväsch my labour I left undone,     915
    And myself from all joy I severed, and woe for my guerdon
    Ah God! they were fair, those maidens! and ne'er was there
        wonder tale
    That men told, but as naught its marvels to those of the
        wondrous Grail!
    Yet torment so sore, and sighing, are the lot of Its king,
    Small good hath my coming done thee, thou hapless Anfortas!'     920

    Nor longer the knight might linger, but part they must alway,
    So turned he unto King Arthur, and leave he fain would pray
    Of him, his knights, and ladies, with their favour would he
    And none, I ween, but sorrowed that he rode hence sad at

    Hand in hand King Arthur sware him, if henceforth his land
        should bear                                                  925
    Such woe as Klamidé brought him, then the shame he with him
        would share,
    And he spake that full sore it grieved him that crowns and
        kingdoms twain,
    With the riches that were their portion, Lähelein from the
        knight had ta'en.
    And service both true and faithful many sware unto him that
    Ere yet from the court of King Arthur, sorrow-driven, he
        passed away.                                                 930

    Then the fair maid Kunnewaaré, she took the hero bold,
    And hence by the hand she led him, and in this wise the tale
        is told,
    Sir Gawain he turned and kissed him, and he spake out in
        manly wise
    To the hero strong and gallant: 'Now thou ridest in warlike
    And thy feet shall be swift to battle--God guide thee upon
        thy way,                                                     935
    And give me such strength to serve thee as my heart shall be
        fain alway.'

    But Parzival cried, 'Woe is me! Who is He, this mighty God?
    Had He power, then methinks our portion had ne'er been this
        shame abhorred!
    Small power shall be His! I served Him from the day I first
        knew His grace,
    Henceforth I renounce His service; doth He hate me, His hate
        I'll face!                                                   940
    And, friend, in thine hour of peril, as thy shield may a
        _wife's_ love stand,
    Dost thou know her for pure and holy, then the thought of her
        guide thine hand,
    And her love from all evil guard thee,--as I wish, may it be
        to thee,
    For little I wot of the future, if thy face I again may see!'

    And their parting it brought them sorrow, for comrades in ill
        were they.                                                   945
    With the maiden Kunnewaaré, to her tent must he take his way.
    And she bade them bring his harness; with her hands so soft
        and white,
    She bound the armour on him who had served her as faithful
    And she spake, ''Tis my right to do this, since it is thro'
        thy deed alone
    That Brandigan's gallant monarch now claimeth me as his own.     950
    For otherwise thy valour but bringeth me grief and pain,
    Art thou not against sorrow armèd, then thy loss shall
        outweigh my gain!'

    For battle decked was his charger, and his sorrow must wake
        to life,
    And fair was the knight to look on; and the harness he bare
        for strife
    Knew never a flaw, but was costly, and as sunshine 'twas
        white and fair,                                              955
    And radiant with gold and jewels the corslet and coat he
    But the helmet alone was lacking--ere he bound it upon his
    In the self-same hour he kissed her, Kunnewaaré, the gracious
    And this of the twain was told me, that the parting was sore
        to see
    'Twixt those two who loved each other in all honour and
        loyalty.                                                     960

    So hence let him ride, our hero, and what ventures a man may
    He shall measure them not with the ventures that to Gamuret's
        son befell.
    Yet hear ye awhile of his doings, where he journeyed and
        whence would ride--
    He who loveth not deeds of knighthood, if counsel he take of
    For awhile will forget his doings--On thee, Kondwiramur,         965
    On thy fair face and lovely body, thy lover thought evermore.
    What ventures he dared in thy service as knightly the Grail
        he sought!
    Nor tarried he in the seeking but onward his way he fought,
    The child of fair Herzeleide, and knew not that he was heir
    To the glories that he rode seeking, to the Grail and Its
        palace fair!                                                 970

    Then forth went full many a vassal on a toilsome and weary
    To gaze on the wondrous castle where in magic fetters lay
    Four hundred gracious maidens, and four queens, right fair to
    Château Merveil was the castle; and no hate shall they earn
        from me,
    I grudge them naught they may win there! No woman rewardeth
        me,                                                          975
    For she to whom I do service, from payment hath set me free!

    Then out spake the Greek, Sir Klias, 'Yea, there was I
    (And thus in the ears of all men did he frankly the truth
        make known)
    'For the Turkowit he thrust me from my charger unto my shame;
    And four queens who there lie captive the knight unto me did
        name;                                                        980
    And old are the twain, and the others as yet they shall
        children be,
    And the first maid is called Itonjè, and the second shall be
    And the third she is named Arnivè, and Sangivè the fourth is
    Then fain to behold the wonders of that castle was many a
    Yet their journey brought little profit, for sorrow o'ertook
        them there.                                                  985
    Yet I mourn not o'ermuch for their sorrow; for he who would
        labour bear,
    And strife, for the sake of a woman, for guerdon shall
        gladness know,
    Tho' grief shall be mixed with his gladness, and his joy
        shall be crossed with woe.
    And I know not the which shall be stronger, or if sorrow
        shall joy outweigh,
    But so runneth the world for ever, where Frau Minne she
        holdeth sway!                                                990
    Now Gawain he must make him ready, and he girded his armour
    For the strife that afar should wait him, in the kingdom of
    And sad was many a Breton, and ladies and maidens fair
    Of a true heart did they bemoan them that Gawain must to
        conflict fare.
    And orphaned and reft of glory henceforth was the Table
        Round.                                                       995
    Then Sir Gawain he well bethought him, since victor he would
        be found,
    And he bade the merchants bring him good shields both hard
        and light,
    And little he recked their colour so they served his need in
    On laden mules they brought them, and methinks that they sold
        them dear;
    And three did he take as his portion--and the hero he chose
        him here                                                    1000
    Seven chargers well fit for battle, and he chose him as
        friends so good
    Twelve spears of sharp steel of Angram, and the hilts were of
        hollow wood.
    They were reeds grown in heathen marshlands, Oraste Gentesein
        their name.
    Then Gawain he prayed leave, and rode forth, dauntless, to
        seek him fame,
    And with royal hand, for his journey, King Arthur he gave the
        knight                                                      1005
    Red gold, and rich store of silver, and jewels gleaming
    And heavy the weight of his treasure--Then the hero rode
        swift away,
    And I ween 'twas towards sore peril that his pathway must
        lead that day.

    Then she sailed to her distant kingdom, the young Queen
    I speak of the heathen princess; and they scattered to lands
        afar                                                        1010
    The folk who awhile abode there, on the fair plain of
    And King Arthur and all his courtiers they gat them to
    Yet first they prayed leave, Klamidé and Kunnewaaré of fair
    And Duke Orilus and his lady, Jeschuté of Karnant.
    Yet till the third day with Klamidé in the plain did the
        twain abide,                                                1015
    And the marriage-feast was holden ere yet from the place they
    Yet small was the pomp; in his kingdom, I ween, should it
        greater be.
    And free was his hand and knightly, and he dealt right
    For many a knight at his bidding henceforth must his man
    And many a wandering minstrel did he gather within his train,   1020
    And he led them into his kingdom, and in honour, rich gifts,
        and land
    He gave unto them, nor churlish would any refuse his hand.

    Now Duke Orilus and Jeschuté, to Brandigan the twain would
    For the love that unto Klamidé and Kunnewaaré they bare.
    For they thought them that fitting honour to their sister
        they scarce had done                                        1025
    Till as queen they had seen her crownèd, and set on the royal
    Now I know well if wise the woman, and true of heart she be,
    Who seeth this story written, of a sooth will she own to me
    That better I speak of women than I spake of _one_ erewhile;
    For true was fair Belakané, and free from all thought of
        guile,                                                      1030
    For dead was her love, yet lifeless he still o'er her heart
        did reign.
    And a dream filled fair Herzeleide with torment of fear and
    And Queen Guinevere bewailed her full sorely for Ither's
    (And little I grudge her mourning, for no truer knight e'er
        drew breath).
    And I wot when King Lac's fair daughter rode forth such a
        shameful ride                                               1035
    Then sorely I mourned the sorrow that, guiltless, she must
    Sore smitten was Kunnewaaré, and torn was her golden hair;
    Now the twain they are well avengèd, and glory for shame they

    And he who doth tell this story, he weaveth his ventures
    And he knoweth right well to rhyme them, in lines that break
        and pair.                                                   1040
    And fain were I more to tell ye, an she give to my words good
    Who treadeth with feet far smaller than the feet that shall
        spur my steed!




The poet will now for a while recount the adventures of Gawain;
many have held to be as valiant a knight as Parzival.

Book VII. tells how Gawain fell in with the army of King Meljanz
Lys, who would fain avenge himself on Duke Lippaut, whose
        daughter had
scorned his love. How Gawain came to the beleaguered city of
how Obie scorned him; and how Obilot besought him to be her
        knight. How
the heroes fought before the walls of Beaurosch, and of the
deeds of Gawain and the Red Knight. How Gawain took Meljanz of
captive; how Obilot made peace betwixt Obie and Meljanz, and how
rode forth from Beaurosch.

                                BOOK VII


    Awhile shall this venture follow the knight, who to fly was
    From shame, nor with guile had dealings, that hero bold,
    For many a one hath held him for as brave, yea, for braver
    Than Parzival, who the hero of this wonder-tale is hight.
    Yet he who his friend would ever with his words to the
        heavens upraise                                                5
    Is slow to speak well of another, or to yield him his meed of
    But him shall the people follow whose praises with truth are
    Else whatever he speak, or hath spoken, shall ne'er under
        roof be brought.
    Who shall shelter the word of wisdom if wise men their aid
    But a song that is woven of falsehood is best left in the
        outer cold,                                                   10
    Homeless, upon the snowdrift, that the mouth may wax chill
        and sore
    That hath spread for truth the story--such rewarding hath God
        in store
    As all true folk must wish him whose guerdon in toil is
    Who is swift to such deeds, I wot me, but blame for reward
        shall hold,
    And if good men and true shall praise him, then folly doth
        rule their mind;                                              15
    He will flee such who true shame knoweth, and in knighthood
        his rule would find.

    And true of heart was Sir Gawain, for courage as sentinel
    Had guarded his fame, nor shadow of cowardice across it fell.
    But his heart in the field of battle was strong as a mighty
    Steadfast in sharpest conflict, yet foremost in danger's
        hour.                                                         20
    And friend and foe bare witness to the fame of his
    Fain was Kingrimursel to rob him of his glory thus waxen
    Now far from the court of King Arthur for many a weary day,
    I know not their tale to tell ye, did the valiant Gawain
    So rode he, the gallant hero, from out of a woodland shade,       25
    And his folk they were close behind him as he wended adown
        the glade,
    And there on a hill before him he was 'ware of a goodly sight
    That would teach him fear, yet fresh courage it brought to
        the gallant knight.

    For the hero he saw full clearly how a host on their way
        would fare
    With pomp of warlike pageant, and banners borne high in air.      30
    Then he thought, 'I too far have journeyed this host in the
        wood to wait'--
    And he bade them prepare the charger that was Orilus' gift of
    And red were its ears, and Gringuljet, I think me, they
        called its name,
    Without a prayer he won it--The steed from Monsalväsch came,
    Lähelein, in a joust he took it, when lifeless its rider fell     35
    By the Lake of Brimbane--Hereafter Trevrezent would the story

    Thought Gawain, 'He who cowardly flieth ere the foe on his
        track shall be
    Flieth all too soon for his honour--this host would I nearer
    Whatever may then befall me; they have seen me ere this I
    And, for aught that may chance unto me, wit shall counsel me
        well enow.'                                                   40
    Then down he sprang from his charger as one who his goal hath
    Countless I ween the army that in troops was toward him
    And he saw many robes fair fashioned, and shields with their
        blazon bright,
    But he knew them not, nor the banners that danced on the
        breezes light.

    'Strange shall I be to this army,' quoth Gawain, 'strange are
        they to me,                                                   45
    If they count this to me for evil then a joust shall they
        surely see,
    And a spear will I break with these heroes ere yet on my way
        I ride!'
    Gringuljet too was ready when his master would strife abide,
    In many an hour of peril he the hero to joust had borne,
    As Gawain had well bethought him when the steed he would ride
        that morn.                                                    50

    There Gawain saw many a helmet, costly and decked full fair,
    And new spears white, unsplintered, in sheaves to their goal
        they bare;
    To the pages hands were given those blazoned with colours
    And the badge might ye read on the pennons that floated from
        every spear.

    And the son of King Lot, Sir Gawain, he saw there a crowded
        throng,                                                       55
    There were mules with harness laden; heavy wagons with horses
    And they hasted them, fain for shelter; and behind them a
        wondrous store
    Of goods, borne by travelling merchants as was ever the way
        of yore.
    And women were there in plenty, and of knightly girdle bright
    The twelfth might some wear, the payment and pledge of love
        holden light.                                                 60
    Not _queens_ were they hight, I think me, _Vivandierès_ was
        their name--
    And young and old behind them a rabble onward came,
    And they ran till their limbs were weary; and a rope had fit
        guerdon been
    For many who swelled this army, and dishonoured true folk I

    So they rode, and they ran, that army, and Gawain stood
        beside the way,                                               65
    So it chanced they who saw the hero deemed him part of their
        host that day.
    And never this side of the water, or in lands that beyond it
    So gallant a host had journeyed, great their strength and
        their courage high.

    And close on their track there followed, spurring his steed
    A squire of noble bearing, with a led horse beside his rein;      70
    And a fair new shield he carried, and ever his spurs he
    Nor thought to spare his charger, but swift to the strife
        would ride,
    And his raiment was fairly fashioned--Then Gawain his pathway
    And, greeting, he asked him tidings, who was lord of this
        goodly host?

    Quoth the squire, 'Sir Knight thou mockest, were I lacking in
        courtesy,                                                     75
    And have chastisement earned, then I pray thee that my
        penance shall other be
    That shall wound not so sore mine honour--For God's sake lay
        thine hate aside,
    Methinks thou right well shalt know them, these knights that
        before us ride,
    Why askest thou me? Of a surety to each other shall ye be
    As well, nay, a thousand times better, than I unto thee had
        shown!'                                                       80

    Then many an oath he sware him, he knew not the race or name
    Of the folk who went there before him, 'My journey hath won
        but shame,
    Since in truth must I make confession that never before
    Mine eyes have beheld these heroes, tho' mine aid men right
        oft would pray!
    Then the squire he quoth unto Gawain, 'Sir Knight, _mine_ the
        wrong hath been,                                              85
    Thy question I should have answered, here my wisdom hath
        failed I ween!
    Now pass judgment on me, I pray thee, of thy friendly heart
        and true,
    Hereafter I'll gladly tell thee, first must I my folly rue.'
    'Then, lad, by thy words of repentance, sure token of
    The name of this gallant army I prithee to tell to me!'           90

    'Sir Knight, he who rides before us, and no man his way doth
    Is King Poidikonjonz; and beside him Duke Astor he rides to
    Of Lanveronz is he ruler--and there rideth beside the twain
    One whose roughness and ways discourteous Love's payment have
        sought in vain.
    He beareth the brand unknightly, Meljakanz that prince is
        hight,                                                        95
    He wooeth nor wife nor maiden, but their love will he take
        with might,
    And, methinks, men for that should slay him--Poidikonjonz'
        son is he,
    And here will he fight with his army, and he fighteth right
    And dauntless his heart; but such manhood it profiteth
        naught, I trow--
    An ye threaten, perchance, her sucklings, she fighteth, the
        mother sow!                                                  100
    And never a voice shall praise him whose strength lacketh
        knighthood fair,
    And methinks to the truth of my speaking many men will their
        witness bear.'

    'Now hearken to greater marvels, and mark thou the words I
    One with a mighty army doth follow upon our way
    Whom folly doth drive to battle--The young King Meljanz of
        Lys,                                                         105
    Scorned love wrought in him fierce anger, and pride vexed him

    And courteous he spake to Sir Gawain. 'What I saw, I Sir
        Knight will say:
    The sire of the young King Meljanz, as he on his death-bed
    He bade them draw near unto him, the princes from out his
    For his gallant life lay forfeit, a pledge in stern Death's
        cold hand,                                                   110
    And to Death he needs must yield him--In grief o'er his
        coming end
    To the faith of the princes round him his son would the king
    And he chose out one from among them, the chief of his
        vassals true,
    And his faith was proved and steadfast, and from false ways
        afar he flew.
    And he gave the lad to his keeping, and he quoth, 'Now, with
        hand and heart,                                              115
    True service henceforward show him, bid him aye act a kingly
    To vassal alike and stranger; bid him list to the poor man's
    And freely give of his substance.' Thus he left him unto his

    'And Prince Lippaut did as his monarch, dying, of him did
    Nor failed in aught, but true service he did to his lord
        alway.                                                       120
    And he took the lad to his castle, and the prince had two
        children fair,
    He loved them well, and I think me, e'en to-day they his love
        shall share.
    One maiden in naught was lacking, save in age, that a knight
        might crave
    Her love for his love's rewarding; Obie was the name they
    To this maid; Obilot, her sister; and the elder maid, I ween,    125
    Hath wrought ill, for she, and none other, the cause of this
        strife hath been.'

    'It so fell that one day the young king for his service
        reward would pray,
    'Twas an ill thought, she quoth, and she asked him why his
        wits he had cast away?
    And she spake unto him, 'I think me, e'en if thou so old
        shouldst be,
    That 'neath shield thou the hours hadst counted that in
        worthy strife might flee;                                    130
    With helmet on head hadst mingled in knightly venture bold,
    Till the tale of thy days, if reckoned, full five years more
        had told;
    If there thou hadst won thee honour, and hither hadst come
    And bowed thyself to my bidding, if a _yea_ I to speak were
    To that which thou now desirest, all too soon should I grant
        thy prayer--                                                 135
    Thou art dear, I will ne'er deny it, as Galoes to Annora
    For death did she seek, and I think me that her seeking was
        not in vain,
    When she lost him, her well belovèd, and her knight in a
        joust was slain.'

    'Now sore doth it grieve me, Lady, that love worketh so in
    That thine anger with words of scorning thus venteth itself
        on me.                                                       140
    For true service,' quoth he, 'winneth favour, an love thus be
        well approved;
    O'er-weening thy pride thus to taunt me that madness my
        speech had moved!
    Small wisdom in this thou showest, 'twere better thou hadst
    How thy father is but my vassal, and save of my grace hath

    'For that which he holds can he serve thee,' she spake,
        'higher is my aim,                                           145
    For fief will I hold of no man, none shall me as vassal
    And so high do I prize my freedom that no crown it shall be
        too high,
    That an earthly head e'er weareth!' Then he spake out
    'Methinks thou hast been well tutored, that thy pride shall
        have waxed so great,
    An thy father such counsel gave thee, then penance on wrong
        shall wait--                                                 150
    'Tis meet that for this I arm me, some wounded shall be, some
    An they call it or war, or Tourney, many spears shall they
        break in twain!'

    'Thus in anger he left the maiden, and all did his wrath
    Yea, full sore it grieved the lady--Her father must well
    Tho' he sware as his lord reproached him, guiltless of wrong
        was he,                                                      155
    (Or straight were his ways or crooked, his peers should his
        judges be,
    All the princes in court assembled)--that he to this strait
        was brought
    Thro' no sin of his own--And eager the prince from his lord
    His favour and love as of old time, but in vain he for peace
        might pray,
    For anger it ruled the monarch, and his gladness was reft
        away.'                                                       160

    'Tho' hasty the prince they counselled a prisoner to make his
    His host had he been, and such treason of a true knight were
        aye abhorred.
    Farewell, the king ne'er bade him, but he rode forth in wrath
        and pride,
    And his pages, the sons of princes, aloud in their sorrow
    Long time with the king they dwelt there, and goodwill they
        to Lippaut bare,                                             165
    For in truth did he aye entreat them, nor failed them in
        knighthood fair.
    'Tis my master alone who is wrathful, tho' he, too, Lippaut's
        care might claim,
    A Frenchman, the lord of Beauvais, Lisavander they call his
    And the one alike and the other, ere a knight's shield they
        thought to bear,
    Must renounce the prince's service, and war against Lippaut
        swear;                                                       170
    And some shall be prince's children, and some not so highly
    Whom the king to the ranks of knighthood hath lifted, I ween,
        this morn.'

    'And one who in strife is skilful and bold doth the vanguard
    Poidikonjonz of Gros, and with him hath he many an armed
    And Meljanz is son to his brother; and haughty of heart the
        twain,                                                       175
    The young as the old, I think me discourtesy here doth

    'Thus these two kings, moved by anger, will forth unto
        Beaurosch ride,
    Where with toil he would win the favour that the maid to his
        love denied.
    And there with thrust and onslaught shall be broken many a
    Yet so well is Beaurosch guarded that, tho' twenty hosts were
        here,                                                        180
    Each one than our army greater, it ne'er to our force would
    The rear-guard knoweth naught of my journey, from the others
        I stole this shield,
    Lest perchance my lord should find here a joust, and with
        onslaught fierce
    And clash of the meeting chargers the spear thro' his shield
        might pierce.'

    Then the squire he looked behind him, and his lord on his
        track did ride,                                              185
    Three steeds and twelve spears unsplintered sped onward his
        rein beside.
    And I ween that his haste betrayed him, he would fain in the
        foremost flight
    The first joust for his own have challenged, so read I the
        tale aright.

    Then the squire he spake unto Gawain, 'Thy leave I, Sir
        Knight, would pray,'
    And he turned him again to his master--What should Gawain do
        alway                                                        190
    Save see how this venture ended? Yet awhile he doubted sore,
    And he thought, 'If I look on conflict, and fight not as aye
        of yore,
    Then methinks shall my fame be tarnished; and yet if I here
    E'en tho' it may be for battle, then in sooth is it reft
    My meed of worldly honour--To fight not, methinks, were best,    195
    First must I fulfil my challenge.' But afresh doubt vexed his
    For he deemed that his warlike errand but little might brook
    Yet how could he take his journey thro' this army that barred
        his way?
    And he quoth, 'Now God give me counsel, and strengthen my
        manhood's might,'
    And on to the town of Beaurosch rode Gawain as gallant
        knight.                                                      200

    So before him lay Burg and city; fairer dwelling no man might
    Already it shone before him with its turrets in goodly row,
    The crown of all other castles--Before it the army lay
    On the plain 'neath the walls of the city; thro' the lines
        must he take his way,
    And right well he marked, Sir Gawain, many tents in a goodly
        ring,                                                        205
    And strange banners waved beside them, which strange folk to
        the fight would bring;
    And doubt in his heart found dwelling, by eagerness cleft in
    Then straight thro' the host encamped there rode the gallant
        knight Gawain.

    One tent-rope it touched the other, tho' the camp it was long
        and wide,
    And he saw how they lay, and he noted the task which each one
        there plied.                                                 210
    Quoth they, '_Soit bien venu_' then '_Gramercy_' the knight
        for an answer gave--
    And troops from Semblidag lay there, hired soldiers both
        strong and brave;
    And closely they camped beside them, the archers from
    And strangers are oft unfriendly; As King Lot's son he passed
        them by
    No man of them all bade him tarry, so he rode o'er the grassy
        plain,                                                       215
    And toward the beleaguered city Sir Gawain he turned his

    Then he thought,'Must I e'en as a smuggler, in hiding-place
    My goods, then the town is safer, methinks, than the plain
    Nor on gain shall my thoughts be turnèd, for this be my care
    An Fate will so far befriend me, to guard that which is mine
        own!'                                                        220
    To the city gate he rode thus, and he found that which worked
        him woe,
    None too costly the Burgers deemed it, but their portals
        against the foe
    Had they walled up; well armed the watch-towers, and he saw
        on each rampart high
    Archers, with cross-bow bended that their bolts 'gainst the
        foe might fly.
    For defence and defiance ready on the battlements they stood.    225
    Up the hillside toward the castle he turned him, that hero

    Tho' little he knew the pathway to the Burg came the gallant
    And straightway his eyes beheld them, full many a lady
    For the prince's wife had come there, from the hall abroad to
    And daughters twain stood by her, bright as the sunlight's
        rays.                                                        230

    Then they spake in such wise as Gawain right well their words
        might hear--
    'Now, who is this,' quoth the mother, 'who doth to our aid
        draw near?
    Where goes he with pack-horse laden?' Spake the elder
        daughter fair,
    'Nay, mother, 'tis but a merchant!' 'Yet he many a shield
        doth bear.'
    'Such shall oft be the wont of merchants!' Then the younger
        sister spake,                                                235
    'Thou sayest the thing that is not, and shame to thyself
        shouldst take,
    For surely he is no merchant! My knight shall he be
    If his service here craveth guerdon, such debt I were fain to

    Now the squires they saw how a linden and olive-trees stood
    Beneath the walls, and they thought them how a welcome shade
        were there.                                                  240
    What would ye more? Then King Lot's son he straight to the
        ground did spring
    Where the shade was best, and his servants, they swift to
        their lord would bring
    A cushion fair and a mattress, and the proud knight he sat
    From on high gazed a crowd of ladies--Then, as he his rest
        had won,
    They lift adown from the pack-steeds the chests, and the
        harness bright,                                              245
    And beneath the trees they laid them who rode here with the
        gallant knight.

    Spake the elder duchess, 'Daughter, what merchant think thou
        would fare
    In such royal guise? Thou wrongest his rank who now sitteth
    Then out quoth the younger sister, 'Discourteous she aye
        shall be,
    With pride and scorn did she treat him, our king, Meljanz of
        Lys,                                                         250
    When her love he besought--unseemly such words and ways I
    Then spake Obie, for anger moved her, 'I see naught in that
        man below!
    There sitteth, methinks, a merchant, and he driveth a goodly
    He would that they well were guarded, the chests that his
        steeds do lade,
    And like to a brooding dragon, O foolish sister mine,            255
    O'er his treasure-chest he watcheth, this gallant _knight_ of

    And each word that they spake, the maidens, fell clear on
        Gawain's ear--
    Leave we their speech, of the city and its peril ye now must

    A water that ships had sailed on 'neath a bridge of stone
        flowed past,
    And the land here was clear of foemen, nor its flood held
        their armies fast.                                           260
    A marshal came swiftly riding 'fore the bridge on the plain
        so wide,
    And a goodly camp had he marked out ere his lord to the field
        should ride.
    And he came e'en as they were ready, and with him came many
    I will tell ye their names who, for truth's sake, and the
        love they to Lippaut bore,
    Here rode to his aid--His brother, men called him Duke
        Marangliess,                                                 265
    And two swift knights came with him from the land of
    King Schirniel, the gallant monarch who ware crown in
    And with him there rode his brother, the monarch of

    Now when the Burgers saw well that help drew anigh their wall
    They deemed that an evil counsel which aforetime seemed good
        to all--                                                     270
    Then out spake their lord, Duke Lippaut, 'Alas! for the
        woeful hour
    That Beaurosch must seal its portals against the foeman's
    Yet if I against my master in open field had fought,
    Then mine honour, methinks, were smitten, and my courtesy
        brought to naught.
    His grace would beseem me better, and gladden me more, I
        ween,                                                        275
    Than the hatred which now he showeth, of such hate have I
        guiltless been.
    A joust that his hand had smitten but little would grace _my_
    Or if _his_ of the sword bare token that I 'gainst my king
        would wield.
    Methinketh, tho' wise the woman, she were shamed an she
        praised such deed--
    Yea, say that my king were captive in my tower, I my lord had
        freed,                                                       280
    And myself had become his prisoner--what had pleased him best
        to do
    Of evil, I'ld gladly bear it, as befitted a vassal true,
    And I thank my God of a true heart that I here, a free man,
    Tho' spurred by love and anger my king doth invade my land!'
    Then he quoth again to the Burgers, 'Now may wisdom with ye
        be found                                                     285
    To counsel me in the perils that compass my path around.'

    Then many a wise man answered, 'Thou hast wrought in no wise
    Might innocence win its guerdon, then thou never hadst come
        to this.'
    Then all with one voice they counselled that the gates be
        opened wide,
    And that he should bid their bravest forthwith unto jousting
        ride.                                                        290
    And they quoth, 'So to fight were better than thus our
        ramparts high
    To defend 'gainst our king, and the armies twofold that
        around us lie,
    For the most part they are but children who ride with their
        king to-day,
    And 'twere easy to take a hostage, so wrath oft is turned
    And the king he shall be so minded, that if here knightly
        deeds be done,                                               295
    He shall free us perchance from our peril, and the ending of
        wrath be won.
    Far better in field to seek them than forth from our walls be
    As their captives--Nay, e'en to their tent-ropes, methinks,
        we with ease had fought
    Were it not for the King Poidikonjonz, 'neath his banner the
        bravest fight;
    And there is our greatest peril, the captive Breton knights,     300
    Duke Astor it is who leads them, and foremost in strife are
    And the king's son is there, Meljakanz; higher his fame
    Had Gurnemanz been his teacher! Yet never he feareth fight;
    But help have we found against them,'--Now their rede have ye
        heard aright.

    Then the prince he did as they counselled, the portals he
        open brake,                                                  305
    And the Burgers who ne'er lacked courage their way to the
        field would take.
    Here one jousted, and there another; and the armies they made
        their way
    With high courage towards the city, right good was their
    On both sides the troops were countless; manifold was their
    And Scotch and Welsh might ye hearken, for in sooth here I
        tell no lie.                                                 310
    And stern were their deeds of knighthood as fitting so stern
        a fight,
    And bravely those heroes battled, till weary each gallant

    And they were little more than children who with the king's
        army came,
    And they took them as pledge in a corn-field, who thought
        there to win them fame,
    And he who had ne'er won token of love from a lady fair,         315
    Might never more costly raiment on his youthful body bear;
    Of Meljanz the venture telleth that in harness bright he
    On high flamed his youthful courage--A charger the king
    That Meljakanz won when in jousting his foe from his steed he
    'Twas Kay, and so high he smote him that aloft from a bough
        he hung;                                                     320
    There Meljakanz won the charger that Meljanz would ride that
    And foremost of all the heroes he strove in the knightly
    And Obie beheld his jousting, and watched him with eager eye,
    As she stood there among her maidens, and gazed from the
        palace high.

    So quoth she unto her sister, 'See, sister mine, thy knight      325
    And _mine_, unlike do they bear them, for thine hath no will
        to fight,
    He thinketh for sure this city and castle we needs must lose.
    An here we would seek defenders, other champion we needs must
    And the younger must bear her mocking--then she spake, 'Yet I
        trust my knight,
    He hath time yet to show his courage, and thy mockery put to
        flight.                                                      330
    For here shall he do me service, and his gladness shall be my
    An thou holdest him for a merchant, with me shall he trade
        full fair!'

    As with words they strove, the maidens, he hearkened, the
        Knight Gawain,
    Yet he made as tho' he heard not as he sat on the grassy
    And if knightly soul should hearken, nor feel in the hearing
        shame,                                                       335
    'Twould but be that death had freed him from burden of praise
        or blame.

    Now still lay the mighty army that Poidikonjonz had led,
    Save one gallant youth with his vassals, who swift to the
        combat sped,
    And Lanveronz was his dukedom--Here came Poidikonjonz the
    And the old man wise one and other again to the camp would
        bring,                                                       340
    For the vesper-play was ended--In sooth had they fought right
    And for love of many a maiden full many a deed befell.

    Then out spake the King Poidikonjonz to Lanveronz' gallant
    ''Twere fitting to wait for thy leader, an thou lusted for
        fame to fight.
    Dost think thou hast borne thee bravely? See the brave Knight
        Lahduman,                                                    345
    And here is my son Meljakanz,--Came these two in the van,
    And I myself, then, I think me, that a fair fight thou sure
        shouldst see
    Wert thou learnèd enow in combat to know what a fight should
    I come not again from this city till of strife we have had
        our fill,
    Or man and woman yield them as prisoners to my will!'            350

    Quoth Duke Astor, 'The king, thy nephew, O sire fought before
        the gate
    With his army of Lys--Should thine army here slumber
        o'er-long and late
    The while these others battled? Say when didst thou teach
        such lore?
    Must I slumber while others battle then I'll slumber as ne'er
        of yore!
    Yet believe me, had I not been there then the Burgers had won
        them fame,                                                   355
    And a fair prize their hand had taken--I have guarded thee
        here from shame;
    In God's Name be no longer wrathful! Such valour thy folk
        have shown,
    They won more than they lost,--I think me fair Obie the same
        will own!'

    Yet Poidikonjonz was wrathful with his nephew, Meljanz the
    Tho' of many a joust the token the young knight from the
        field must bring,                                            360
    And youthful fame ne'er mourneth such pledge of strife, I
    Now hear ye again of the maiden who the cause of this strife
        had been.

    Hate enow did she bear to Gawain who was guiltless of ill
    And shame would she bring upon him--A servant the maiden sent
    Below, to Gawain as he sat there, 'Now ask thou, without
        delay,                                                       365
    If his steeds be for sale--In his coffers, perchance, he doth
        bear alway
    Goodly raiment that we may purchase; say thou if it so shall
    Then we ladies above in the castle will buy of him readily.'

    So the serving man went, and his greeting was wrath, for Sir
        Gawain's eye
    Taught fear to his heart, and in terror the lad from his face
        would fly,                                                   370
    And he asked not, nor gave the message his lady had bid him
    Nor Gawain held his peace, 'Thou rascal, from hence shalt
        thou swiftly fare,
    For many a blow will I give thee if again thou dost dare draw
    Then the lad hied him back to his lady; what she did shall ye
        straightway hear:

    For she bade one speak to the Burg-grave, Scherules they
        called his name,                                             375
    Saying, 'This shall he do at my bidding for the sake of his
        manly fame;
    'Neath the olive-trees by the Burg-moat stand seven steeds, I
    In them shall he find his guerdon, and riches beside enow.
    A merchant will here deal falsely--I pray he prevent such
    I trust in his hand; none shall blame him, if the goods he
        doth hold for meed.'                                         380

    The squire went below as she bade him, and his lady's plaint
        he bare;
    'From knavery must we guard us,' quoth Scherules, 'I forth
        will fare.'
    So he rode where Gawain was seated whose courage might never
    And he found there all weakness lacking, high heart that for
        naught would quail,
    And a face so fair to look on--Scherules he saw him well,        385
    And his arms and hands so skilful that a knightly tale might
    And he spake, 'Thou art here a stranger, Sir Knight, sure
        good wit we need
    Since here thou hast found no lodging; as sin shalt thou
        count such deed.
    I will now myself be marshal, folk and goods, all I call mine
    That freely shall do thee service; nor host to his guest hath
        shown                                                        390
    Such favour as I would show thee.' 'Thy favour,' quoth Knight
    'As yet shall be undeservèd, yet to follow thee am I fain.'

    Then Scherules, of honour worthy, he spake of a true heart
    'Since the office hath fallen to me, thy guardian 'gainst
        loss I'll be,
    If the outer host would rob thee, thou shalt call to thine
        aid mine hand,'                                              395
    Then, smiling, he spake to the servants whom he saw round
        their master stand,
    'Now load ye again your harness that never a piece shall
    For hence must we ride, and shelter shall ye find in the
        lower vale.'

    With the Burg-grave he rode, Sir Gawain, nor Obie her wrong
        would own,
    But she sent a minstrel maiden whom her father right well had
        known,                                                       400
    And she bade her bear the tidings, a false coiner had passed
        that way,
    'And goodly and rich is his lading; by his knighthood my
        father pray,
    Since many a hireling serves him for steed, and garb, and
    That he here let them take their payment, 'twere enow, were
        they sevenfold.'

    To the prince did she tell, the minstrel, all that his
        daughter said--                                              405
    Now to win so rich a booty that his hirelings may be well
    The need right well he knoweth who hath ridden forth to war,
    And Lippaut, the prince so faithful, by his soldiers was
        pressed full sore--
    Then he thought, 'I must win this treasure or by love or by
        force to-day.'
    And swiftly he rode; but Scherules, he met him upon his way,     410
    'Now whither dost ride so swiftly?' 'A knave would I here
    A false coiner is he, I think me, if the tale I have heard be
    Now guiltless in sooth was Gawain, 'twas but thro' his steeds
        and gold
    That suspicion on him had lighted--Then loud laughed the
        Burg-grave bold,
    And he quoth, 'Nay, sire, they misled thee, they lied who
        thus told the tale                                           415
    Were it wife, or man, or maiden--Nor knighthood my guest
        shall fail,
    Far otherwise shalt thou judge him, no die he methinks shall
    Ne'er bare he the purse of the changer, if the tale shall
        aright be told.
    Look thou on his mien, and hearken his word, in my house is
    An knighthood aright thou readest then thou knighthood in him
        shalt see,                                                   420
    And ne'er was he bold in falsehood--Whoever hath done him
    An my child it were, or my father; whose wrath waxeth fierce
        and strong,
    An my kinsman it be, or my brother, then the rudder of strife
        shall turn
    'Gainst myself, for I will defend him from the wrong that he
        ne'er did earn,
    If I with thy will may do so. The knight's garb would I
        gladly change                                                425
    For the hermit's robe of sackcloth, and afar thro' the wide
        world range
    In a land where none may know me, than here thou shouldst
        reap thee shame!
    Methinks it would better fit thee to welcome such guests as
    Who have heard the tale of thy sorrow, than to rob them of
        goods and gold;
    'Twould better beseem my master as treason such deed to
        hold!'                                                       430

    The prince spake, 'I fain would see him.' 'Methinks 'twill
        not harm my guest.'
    So he rode where he looked on Gawain, and two eyes and a
        heart confessed
    (The eyes and the heart of Lippaut) that the stranger was
        fair to see,
    And knighthood and manly virtue the mate to his mien should

    Whosoe'er, by true love constrainèd, hath felt of true love
        the pain,                                                    435
    Then his heart, as right well ye know it, doth forfeit to
        Love remain,
    And so doth she change and rule it that no mouth can the
        wonder speak,
    Be it heart of man or of maiden on which she her will would
    And the wise doth she bend to folly. Now the twain they were
        lovers true,
    King Meljanz and maiden Obie--His anger ye needs must rue,       440
    Since in wrath he had ridden from her; of sorrow such load
        she bare
    That her spirit was moved to anger unfitting a maiden fair.
    And, guiltless, must Gawain suffer, and others must feel her
    She had womanly ways forsaken when she gave to her wrath the
    Whene'er she beheld the hero as a thorn was he to her sight,     445
    For her heart was fain that Meljanz be held for the bravest
    And she thought, 'Doth he bring me sorrow, then sorrow I'll
        gladly bear,
    O'er all the world do I love him, my hero, so young and fair,
    And my heart for his love aye yearneth.' Oft anger from love
        doth grow,
    Nor blame ye o'er-much the maiden if her love she by wrath
        would show.                                                  450

    Now list how he spake, her father, as he looked on the Knight
    And bade him a kindly welcome--In this wise he spake again,
    'Sir Knight, it may be that thy coming the dawn of our bliss
        hath been;
    Thro' many a land have I journeyed, but no face have I ever
    So fair to mine eyes as thy face. In this our day of grief       455
    Thy coming shall bring us comfort, thro' thee may we find
    Then he prayed him take part in the conflict--'If harness
        shall lack to thee
    All thou needest will I prepare thee, so here thou wilt fight
        for me.'

    Then out quoth the gallant Gawain, 'That would I of right
    I am strong, and well armed for battle, yet from strife must
        I hold me still,                                             460
    Nor fight till the hour appointed; or else would I gladly
    As thou farest, the fate of battle with thee were I fain to
    But now must I needs forego it, for 'tis fitting I first
        should fight
    With the foeman to whom I pledged me on mine honour as
        faithful knight.
    By the favour I claim from all true knights my fame must I
        there defend                                                 465
    Or die on the field--To this conflict, Sir Knight, I my way
        would wend!'

    Then a grief were his words to Lippaut, and he quoth, 'By thy
        knightly fame,
    And thy courtesy, do thou hear me, for free shall I be from
    Two daughters have I, and I love them, and dear to my heart
        are they,
    In the joy God in them hath given would I live to my dying
        day.                                                         470
    Yea, well is me for my children, tho' sorrow thro' them I
    And the one of my two fair daughters methinks hath her share
    And unlike, tho' alike, we share it--for thro' Love doth my
        lord and king
    Work sorrow to her, and thro' Hatred his forces 'gainst me
        would bring.
    And thus do I read the riddle, my lord worketh ill to me,        475
    Since a _son_ I lack, but I wot well that my _daughters_
        shall dearer be.
    What, then, if for them I suffer? Then my woe do I count for
    Who hath never an heir save his daughter, tho' the sword
        ne'er her grip may feel,
    Yet other defence may she bring him, she may win him a son
        and heir;
    And such is my hope!'--Quoth Gawain, 'God grant thee this
        favour fair!'                                                480

    Then Lippaut he sorely pressed him, 'In God's name give thy
        pleading o'er,'
    Spake the son of King Lot, 'I pray thee, of thy courtesy ask
        no more,
    Nor let me betray mine honour--Yet this will I do, Sir
    I will think the thing o'er, and my answer shalt thou have
        ere it draw to night.'

    Then he thanked him, the prince, and he rode forth; in the
        courtyard he found alway                                     485
    His child with the Burg-grave's daughter; with rings did the
        maidens play.
    'Now, daughter mine, whence camest thou?' thus to Obilot he
    'Father, I came from the castle, to the strange knight my way
        I'ld take,
    I would pray him as knight to serve me, methinks he will hear
        my prayer,
    And do for my sake such service as winneth rewarding fair!'      490
    'Nay, I fear me, my little daughter, for he saith me nor yea,
        nor nay,
    But plead thou as I have pleaded.' To the guest did she run

    So came she to Gawain's chamber, he greeted her courteously,
    At her fairy feet he sat him, and thanked her that, maidenly,
    She spake for him to her sister; and he quoth, 'Now if ever a
        knight                                                       495
    Had fought for so small a maiden, I were ready for thee to

    Then the little maiden tender spake out so frank and free,
    'Sir Knight, as God is witness, the first man thou aye shalt
    With whom I have held free converse; if in this my maiden
    And my courtesy I wrong not, then joy as reward I claim!         500
    For ever my mistress taught me how speech is the crown of
    And I pray thee, Sir Knight, to help us--Thro' sorrow thine
        aid I sought;
    An thou wilt, all our need I'll tell thee, nor do thou be
        wroth with me,
    For I do as befits a maiden, and my prayer to _myself_ shall
    For altho' our name be diverse, yet methinks that _thou_ art
        _I_,                                                         505
    Take thou my name, and maiden and knight art thou verily.
    This grace from us both do I pray here, and if I from hence
        must go
    Ashamed, and my prayer unanswered, then, Sir Knight, I would
        have thee know
    That thy knightly fame must answer to thy knightly courtesy,
    Since my maidenhood sought for shelter in vain in thy
        chivalry.                                                    510
    But if thou indeed wilt hearken, and do me this thing I ask,
    With a true heart true love I'll give thee as rewarding for
        knightly task.'

    'And art thou true man and courteous, then surely thou'lt do
        my will,
    For see, wilt thou serve a maiden, I am worthy thy service
    'Tis true that my father kinsman and cousin for help hath
        prayed,                                                      515
    But for that shalt thou not refuse us, for my love shalt thou
        give thine aid!'

    Then he quoth, 'Thy lips, sweet maiden, would bid me my word
    Wouldst have me my pledge to forfeit? On my knightly honour
    I pledged my word--An I fail me, 'twere better methinks to
    Yet, e'en an I did thee service for thy love, still long
        years must fly                                               590
    Ere yet thou shalt be a woman, and my service might well
    Then he thought how Parzival trusted less in God than in
        woman's love,
    And the words he spake bare the message of the maid unto
        Gawain's heart;
    And he vowed to the little lady to bear arms on her father's
    And, laughing, he spake, 'My sword-blade thy little hand must
        guide,                                                       525
    If my foeman a fair joust seeketh, then thou must against him
    And for me shalt thou strive in conflict, for tho' men think
        they see _me_ fight
    Yet _thou_ in my stead shalt have battled,--so keep I my
        pledge aright.'

    Then she spake, 'That will I, right gladly, thy shelter and
        shield I'll be,
    Thine heart, and thine heart's best comfort, since from grief
        thou hast set me free.                                       530
    Thy friend will I be and comrade, and whatever chance betide,
    A roof 'gainst misfortune's stormcloud, safe dwelling wherein
        to hide.
    True peace this my love shall give thee, Good Fortune to thee
        I'll bring;
    That-thy strength may by naught be vanquished, I'll guard
        thee 'gainst host and king.
    Host am I alike and hostess--To combat I'll ride with thee,      535
    An thou keepest my words in remembrance strength and bliss
        shall thy portion be.'

    Then out quoth the gallant Gawain, 'Yea, maiden, the twain
        I'll share,
    Since my life I vow to thy service, thy love and thy comfort
    And the hand of the little maiden the while in his strong
        clasp lay--
    Then she quoth, 'To fulfil mine office I must hence to the
        Burg away,                                                   540
    Wouldst thou fare forth without my aiding, and without my
        token fight?
    Nay, for that all too dear I hold thee--My part will I play
    And my token I will prepare thee, and if thou my pledge shalt
    Then I wot well that o'er all others thy glory shall blossom

    Then they went forth, the little maidens, and Gawain, the
        stranger guest,                                              545
    They thanked with sweet words and kindly, and thus he his
        speech addrest,
    'When older ye twain shall be waxen, were they spears, every
        woodland bough,
    And the forest bare naught but spear-shafts, then too poor
        were the crop, I trow!
    If your childhood shall thus be powerful, what then of your
    For your favour brave knights shall shatter both strong
        shield and spear-shaft good!'                                550

    Then forth sped the little maidens, and their hearts they
        were glad and gay;
    And she spake, the Burg-grave's daughter, 'Lady, I prithee
    What wilt give to thy knight for a token, since naught but
        our dolls have we?
    An mine were but somewhat fairer I would give it right
    Nor be wroth with thee for the taking, we should strive not
        o'er that I ween!'                                           555
    Then Lippaut the prince o'ertook them half-way on the
        hillside green,
    And he saw Obilot and Clauditté, as up towards the Burg they
    And he bade them stand still, and await him, and his daughter
        towards him fled.

    'Father, I never needed thy help as I do to-day,
    Now give me I pray thy counsel, for the knight he hath said
        me yea.'                                                     560
    'Whate'er be thy will, little daughter, an I may, I will give
        it thee,
    For happy the day whose dawning brought thee, a fair gift to
    Then Good Fortune smiled sweetly on me.' 'I will tell thee,
        my father dear,
    But the thing that so sore doth vex me thou must it in secret
    So hearken, and do as I pray thee!' Then he bade them to lift
        the maid                                                     565
    On his charger, 'But what of my playmate?' Many knights round
        their leader stayed,
    And they strove which of them should take her, for each one
        well pleased would be,
    Then one as his prize he claimed her, for Clauditté was fair
        to see.
    Then riding, he spake, her father, 'Now Obilot tell to me
    How dost thou need my counsel? What is it that vexeth thee?'     570
    'I have promised my knight a token, and my wits were I ween
    If nothing I find to give him then worthless my life to-day;
    Since he vowed unto me his service then in sooth must I blush
        for shame,
    If I give him naught--Never hero truer love from a maid might

    Then he quoth, 'Trust to me, little daughter, and thy token I
        will prepare,                                                575
    If service from him thou winnest thou shalt give him his
        payment fair,
    If thy mother she too be willing--God grant he may bring us
    That gallant knight and worthy; what trust I on him have
    Tho' never a word to the hero had I spoken before to-day,
    Yet last night in a dream I saw him, as asleep on my couch I
        lay.'                                                        580

    Then Lippaut he sought the Duchess, and with him he led the
    And he quoth, 'Now lady, help us, for we twain sorely need
        thine aid;
    And my heart would shout for gladness that God gave me this
        maiden fair,
    And parted me from the sorrow that I all guiltless bare.'
    Then out spake the Duchess, 'Tell me, what wilt thou of my
        grace?'                                                      585
    'Lady, since thou wilt hearken, this maid craves a better
    And she deems she of right may ask it, since a knight will
        her token bear,
    And he asketh her love, and he offers to do for her service
    Then out spake the maiden's mother, 'Ah, good and gallant
    Of the stranger I ween thou speakest, as May-tide his glance
        of light.'                                                   590

    Then samite of Ethnisé the wise mistress she bade them bear
    And rich stuffs as yet unsevered, and silk of Tabronit fair
    From far Tribalibot's kingdom--Red the gold on Kaucasus'
    And fair is I ween the raiment which the heathen, with
        cunning hand,
    Wrought from silk, with the gold inwoven--And Lippaut, the
        prince, he bade                                              595
    That therefrom for his little daughter fitting garments
        should straight be made.
    Nor the best would he grudge to the maiden, and they shaped
        her a garment fair,
    Of silk that with gold was heavy; but one white arm they left
        yet bare,
    And a sleeve that the arm had covered from the vesture they
        cut away,
    This should Gawain win for his token and badge in the coming
        fray.                                                        600
    So this was the gift that she gave him, a rich silk of Orient
    That was brought from the land of the paynim, and had covered
        her arm so white.
    But they sewed it not to the garment, nor wrought it at all
        with thread,
    And Clauditté to Gawain bare it, when home from the Burg she

    And free from all care was the hero; and three were his
        shields so bright,                                           605
    And on one straightway he bound it, and glad was the gallant
    And fairest thanks he gave her, and oft would he praise the
    On which the maid had trodden when she sought him in his
    And so gently bade him welcome, and with sweet words and
        maiden wile
    Had made him rich in gladness, and made joy on his path to
        smile.                                                       610

    Now the daylight had waned, and the night fell,--many valiant
        knights and good,
    A mighty force, lay on each side,--the besiegers were e'en a
    Were they less, for the folk of the city their army enow
        should be.
    And now by the light of the moonbeams they would fain to
        their outworks see;
    Nor terror nor cowardice moved them, they were ready ere
        break of day,                                                615
    Twelve breast-works wide, and a deep moat before every
        earth-work lay.
    Thus they shielded them well from onslaught, and to every
        earth-work wide
    Were barbicans three, that the army might forth to the
        conflict ride.

    And at four of the gates the Marshal, Kardefablet of Jamore,
    With his army bravely battled, as men well at the dawning
        saw.                                                         620
    And the rich Duke fought full knightly; he was brother to
        Lippaut's wife,
    And stronger in heart than others who yet bear them well in
    And for men of war are reckoned--In conflict he grief would
    With nightfall his host drew nearer, from far land would he
        hither fare,
    For but seldom from stress of battle or conflict he turned
        aside,                                                       625
    And four of their gates he guarded right well in his warlike

    The force from beyond the river passed o'er it ere morning
    And entered the walls of Beaurosch, as Lippaut should deem it
    But they of Jamore had ridden o'er the bridge before the
    And every door was guarded, and warlike their foes they wait,    630
    Ere ever the day had dawnèd--Scherules one door would ward,
    Which he and the brave Knight Gawain would let not from out
        their guard.
    And there had ye heard lamentation from the lips of many a
    And the best they were who mourned thus, they had failed here
        to see the fight,
    For the vesper-play was ended ere yet they a joust might
        share.                                                       635
    Yet needless their lamentation, for countless they proffered
    To all who had lust for battle, and to joust in the field
        would ride.
    In the streets saw ye many a hoof-track, and there drew in on
        every side
    Full many a tossing banner by the light of the moonbeam's
    And many a costly helmet would they wear in the joust that
        day,                                                         640
    And spears with bright colours blazoned--A Regensburg silk, I
    Had been held of little value 'fore Beaurosch on the meadow
    For many a coat emblazoned had ye looked upon that day,
    Whose goal had methinks been higher in the cost that its lord
        would pay.

    And the night, as of old her custom, had yielded her place to
        day,                                                         645
    Nor by song of the lark might they know it, for they
        hearkened far other lay,
    Whose voice was the voice of warfare with the crash of the
        splintered spear,
    As a cloud that is cleft and riven when the thunderbolt
        falleth near.
    And the King of Lys' young army sought the host of Lirivoin,
    And there, with his warriors, battled the monarch of
        Avendroin;                                                   650
    And many a joust rang loudly, e'en as when one is wont to
    Chestnuts within the furnace that burst in the fiery glow.
    Ah, me! how they strove together that morn on the grassy
    How the knights spurred their steeds to jousting, and the
        Burgers they fought amain.

    Now Gawain, and his host the Burg-grave, since it health to
        their souls might bring,                                     655
    And yield them a meed of blessing, bade a priest a Mass to
    And he sang unto God and the heroes--And the prize of their
        fame waxed fair,
    For this was their pious bidding--Then they would to their
        post repair,
    But their rampart ere this was guarded by many a gallant
    The followers they of Scherules, and well would those heroes
        fight.                                                       660

    And what should I tell ye further? Poidikonjonz was proud I
    And he came with such host, if in Schwarzwald each bough had
        a spearshaft been
    I had looked on no greater forest than here on this field ye
    And six banners they bare, and early to battle would nearer
    With ringing blasts of trumpet e'en as thunder that wakeneth
        fear,                                                        665
    And drums strove amain with the trumpets, and smote on the
        listening ear.
    If a grass blade were left untrampled by the conflict I knew
        it not--
    E'en now shall the Erfurt vineyards show such tokens of
        strife, I wot!

    Then hither he came, Duke Astor, and he fought with the men
        of Jamore,
    And for sharp joust the spears they whetted, and many a
        knight they bore                                             670
    From his saddle down on the meadow, and for combat they aye
        were fain;
    And clear rang the stranger war-cries--And masterless o'er
        the plain
    Sped many a gallant charger, and afoot went the fallen
    For I ween he had learnt the lesson how one oft is o'erthrown
        in fight.

    Then he saw, the gallant Gawain, how out on the plain afar       675
    The host of both friend and foeman were mingled in deadly
    And he spurred him swift towards them; nor 'twas light in his
        steps to tread,
    Tho' little they spared their chargers, those knights who
        behind him sped,
    Scherules and his vassals--Gawain gave them pain, I trow,
    Ah, me! for the spears he shivered and the knights that he
        laid alow.                                                   680

    Had God given him not such valour, this knight of the Table
    Then in sooth had one made petition for the fame that he
        there had found.
    'Twas all as one, both armies, 'gainst the twain did he set
        his hand,
    That of Gros as of Lys--Many chargers did he win from each
        knightly band,
    And straightway the hero brought them where his host's banner
        waved on high,                                               685
    And he asked who was there who should need them? And many
        swift reply;
    Then he gave them e'en as they answered, and rich were they
        all, I trow,
    Thro' this brother-in-arms whose friendship they here for a
        space should know.

    Then there came a knight fast spurring, nor spears did he
        think to spare
    The Lord of Beauvais and Gawain they rode 'gainst each other
        there,                                                       690
    And the young knight, Lisavander, midst the flowers of the
        field he lay,
    From his saddle behind his charger did Gawain thrust the
        prince that day.
    For the sake of his squire shall this grieve me, who yestreen
        so courteous spake,
    And told to Gawain the tidings, and whence all this woe did
    He dismounted, and bent o'er his master, and Gawain he knew
        his face,                                                    695
    And he gave him the steed he had won there, and the squire
        thanked his hand of grace.

    Now see ye how Kardefablet himself on the ground doth stand
    From a joust that was ridden against him, and aimed by young
        Meljanz' hand;
    From the ground his warriors lift him, and loud rings the
    'Jamore!' and the clashing sword-blades to the challenge make
        swift reply.                                                 700
    And closer the fight draws round him, onslaught on onslaught
    And the blows ring loud and deafening that fall on each
        knightly crest.
    Then Gawain called his men around him, and swift to his aid
        he sped,
    And he covered the knight with the banner of his host that
        flew high o'erhead,
    And many brave knights had been felled there--Tho' witness I
        never knew,                                                  705
    Yet in sooth ye may well believe me for the venture it
        telleth true!

    Then the Count of Montane rode 'gainst Gawain, and a goodly
        joust they ran,
    And behind his horse, on the meadow, lay the brave Knight
    And the hero, proud and gallant, his pledge unto Gawain gave.
    And nearest of all to the ramparts fought Duke Astor with
        heroes brave,                                                710
    And many a joust was ridden, and many a spear was crossed;
    'Nantes! Nantes!' came the war-cry pealing, the cry of King
        Arthur's host,
    Firm they stood, and no whit they yielded, the captive Breton
    And hirelings from Erec's kingdom and men spake of their
        deeds of might--
    The Duke of Lanveronz led them--So well did they fight that
        day                                                          715
    That Poidikonjonz well might free them, since his captives
        they were alway;
    At the mountain Cluse from King Arthur, in the days that were
        long gone by,
    As his prisoners did he win them, when they stormed him right
    And here, as was aye their custom, where'er they might chance
        to fight,
    They shouted 'Nantes' as their war-cry, 'twas the way of
        these men of might;                                          720
    And many had waxed grey-bearded, and on every Breton breast
    Or high on their helmet gleaming stood a Gampilon for their
    For as Ilinot's arms they bare it, who was Arthur's gallant
    And Gawain he sighed as he saw it (small fame he 'gainst
        these had won).
    And his heart awoke to sorrow for the blazon right well he
        knew,                                                        725
    And it filled him again with anguish for the death of his
        kinsman true.
    And his eyes ran o'er with tear-drops, and he passed them
        upon the field,
    Nor with them would he fight--Thus to friendship a hero full
        oft shall yield!

    Then he rode on to Meljanz' army, whom the Burgers with might
    And their rightful meed of honour they won from the warriors
        good;                                                        730
    Tho' perforce 'gainst o'ermastering numbers they had failed
        to hold the field,
    And backward within their trenches awhile to the foe must

    And he who the Burgers challenged his harness glowed red as
    'The Nameless Knight' they called him for none knew from
        whence he came;
    And I tell it to ye as I heard it, to Meljanz he rode, this
        knight,                                                      735
    But three days back, and the Burgers must mourn it in coming
    That he swore his aid to their foeman--Twelve squires unto
        him he gave,
    To serve him as meet in the jousting, and to follow to
        onslaught brave.
    And the spears their hand might proffer those spears he right
        swiftly brake,
    And clear rang his joust o'er the tumult, when he did as his
        captives take                                                740
    King Schirniel and his brother; nor he would from his pledge
    The knight whom he here had vanquished, the Duke of
    And bravely they fought mid the foremost, and he vanquished
        them as they stood,
    Yet their folk still held them valiant tho' reft of their
        leaders good.

    And there fought the young King Meljanz, and all were they
        friend or foe,                                               745
    They owned greater deeds of valour a young knight might
        seldom show;
    By his hand were the strong shields cloven--Ah! the spears
        that he brake in twain
    As the forces together mingling dashed swift o'er the
    And his young heart for conflict lusted, and none gave him of
        strife his fill.
    And it vexed him sore, till Gawain would joust with him at
        his will.                                                    750

    Then Gawain took a spear of Angram, that he won him at
    And twelve were those spears--The war-cry of Meljanz was
    Of his kingdom of Lys 'twas chief city--Gawain aimed his
        joust so true,
    And Oraste Gentesein taught sorrow to the king since it
        pierced him thro'
    That strong shaft of reed; his shield piercing, it brake in
        his arm of might--                                           755
    And a fair joust again was ridden, and Gawain smote the King
        in flight;
    And the hinder bow of the saddle it brake, and those heroes
    They stood on their feet, and valiant, they battled with
        swords amain.
    'Twere more than enough such labour for two churls on the
    And each one bare the sheaf of the other, and each smote the
        other sore.                                                  760

    And a spear must Meljanz carry that had smitten him thro' the
    And thro' conflict fierce the hero in blood and sweat waxed
    Then Gawain by force he drave him within a portal wide,
    And he bade him his pledge to swear him, nor the young king
        his will defied;
    Were he not so sorely wounded then so swiftly he ne'er were
        known,                                                       765
    To yield himself to a foeman, but his prowess had longer

    Then Lippaut the prince, the land's host, his valour might
        not restrain
    With the monarch of Gros he battled; and alike must they
        suffer pain,
    Both man and steed from the bow-shots, for their skill they
        were fain to show,
    They of Semblidag, and Kahetines, for they fled as they bent
        the bow.                                                     770
    And the Burgers must well bethink them the foe from their
        lines to hold,
    But foot-soldiers had they, and sheltered by their ramparts
        they battled bold.
    And he who of life was forfeit for the wrath of a maid must
    For her folly and scorn on her people brought sorrow enow
        that day.
    But what part therein had Lippaut? I think me his lord of
        old,                                                         775
    King Schaut, ne'er had thus beset him! Now faint waxed those
        heroes bold.

    But Meljakanz still fought bravely--Do ye think it was whole,
        his shield?
    Not a hand's-breadth wide was the fragment--Then he bare him
        across the field
    Duke Kardefablet, and I think me the Tourney it came to stand
    On the meadow fair and flowery, for fast locked was either
        band.                                                        780
    Then Gawain he rode swiftly to them, and he pressed Meljakanz
        so sore,
    E'en Launcelot, gallant hero, ne'er wrought him such grief
    When the sword bridge he crossed to battle--Her captivity
        pleased him ill,
    The Queen Guinevere, and he thought him by the sword-blade to
        free her still.
    King Lot's son he rode full gallop--Meljakanz, what could he
        do                                                           785
    But spur his steed towards him? And many that joust must
    Who lay there behind his charger? He whom the gallant knight
    Of Norroway had smitten to earth with his spear of might.
    And many a knight and lady they looked on this joust so fair,
    And they spake in praise of Gawain, and his fame would aloud
        declare.                                                     790
    And the maidens right well might see it as they looked from
        the hall on high.
    Underfoot was Meljakanz trampled; many steeds did o'er him
    And tare with their hoofs his surcoat, who fodder might taste
        no more,
    And they covered the prostrate hero with rain of sweat and
    'Twas a day of doom for the chargers, but the vultures at
        will might feast;                                            795
    And Duke Astor he came to the rescue, and from them of Jamore
    Meljakanz, or else was he captive, and he raised him from off
        the ground--
    And the Tourney was o'er, and the combat methinks had its
        ending found.

    Now who had as knight best ridden, or best for a maiden
    Nay, I know not, an I would name them small leisure such task
        had brought.                                                 800
    For Maid Obilot's sake with the townsfolk a knight valiant
        deeds had dared;
    Without, a Red Knight fought bravely, and the fame 'twixt
        those two was shared.

    When the guest of the outer army had learnt he no thanks
        might win
    From the king he had served, since Meljanz was captive the
        town within,
    He rode where his squires were waiting, and thus to his
        prisoners spake,                                             805
    'Sir Knights, ye your word have pledged me; ill-chance doth
        me here o'ertake,
    For King Meljanz of Lys is captive--Now if ye such grace can
    With his captors, that for _your_ freedom _his_ fetters they
        will unbind,
    Such service I'ld gladly do him!' To the King of Avendroin
    He spake, and to Duke Marangliess, and King Schirniel of
        Lirivoin.                                                    810
    And this oath must they swear unto him, ere they rode the
        walls within,
    To loose Meljanz, or if they failed here, to help him the
        Grail to win.
    But never a word could they tell him of where It was hid, the
    Save 'twas guarded by King Anfortas, but further, their lore
        must fail.

    When thus they spake, quoth the Red Knight, 'Then if it shall
        still betide
    That my wish find not here fulfilment, ye to Pelrapär shall
    And unto the fair queen yielding say, "He who in days of yore
    Faced Kingron for her and Klamidé, for the Grail now
        sorroweth sore,
    As he yearneth for her, his lady, and after the twain in
    And deed is he ever striving." To her be this message brought    820
    And ye heroes bear it truly, and as on your way ye ride
    God have ye in His safe keeping, for the world and its ways
        are wide.'

    Then they prayed his leave, and they rode hence--And the
        knight to his squires he spake,
    'Here is booty none may gainsay us, of these steeds ye at
        will may take;
    But leave me one for my riding, since sore wounded mine own
        shall be.'                                                   825
    Spake the Squires, 'Sir Knight, we must thank thee for the
        grace thou hast shown us free,
    For our lifetime hast thou enriched us.' Then he chose in his
        charger's stead,
    With the close-cropped ears, Ingliart, the same that from
        Gawain fled,
    When Meljanz he made his captive, and the twain they must
        fall in field,
    And the Red Knight's hand had caught it, when hewn was many a
        shield.                                                      830

    Then Farewell the hero bade them--Full fifteen steeds they
    To the squires he left, unwounded, in sooth might they thank
        him well.
    And they prayed him to linger with them, and abide with them
        yet a space,
    But far hence lay the goal he was seeking, and the road he
        was fain to trace.
    So he turned him about, the hero, to where ease should be
        bought full dear                                             835
    For naught but strife was he seeking--In the days that ye
        read of here
    No knight e'en as he had battled--Then the outer host would
    To where they might find a lodging, and in peace for a space

    And within, Lippaut spake, and asked them how matters had
        gone that day?
    That Meljanz was taken captive, that tale did he know alway.     840
    And all was as he would have it, and comfort the hour would
    And Gawain loosed the sleeve full gently from his shield,
        lest perchance it tear,
    For he deemed it o'er good for tearing, and Clauditté she
        held it fast,
    And 'twas slashed in the sides and the centre with the spears
        that had thro' it passed;
    And he bade her to Obilot bear it, and glad was the little
        maid,                                                        845
    On her bare white arm soft-rounded the tattered sleeve she
    And spake, 'Who hath done this for me?' whene'er she her
        sister saw,
    And wrathful her elder sister her maiden mischief bore.

    Then, as weariness it bade them, the knights they craved for
    Then Scherules took Count Lahduman, and Gawain his gallant
        guest                                                        850
    And many a knight whom he found there, whom Gawain with
        valiant hand
    Had o'erthrown on the field of battle tho' strife they might
        well withstand.
    And the Burg-grave rich he bade them to sit them in order
    And he and his wearied vassals would stand 'fore their
        monarch there
    Till Meljanz his fill had eaten--And they treated him
        courteously,                                                 855
    But Gawain, o'er-much he deemed it, and he spake out, frank
        and free,

    'Methinks an the king allow thee, Sir Host, thou shouldst
        take a seat.'
    Thus spake Gawain in his wisdom, as his courtesy found it
    But the host gave his prayer denial, 'The king's man is that
        gallant knight
    My master, this were his office if the king had but deemed it
        right                                                        860
    To take, as of old, his service--My lord thro' his courtesy
    Will not see the face of his monarch while exiled from grace
        is he.
    An it pleaseth God of friendship to sow here the seed once
    Then joyful we'll do his bidding with one will, as in days of

    Then spake the youthful Meljanz, 'Yea, courteous knights and
        true                                                         865
    Were ye, when I dwelt among ye, nor your rede did I ever rue.
    An I now had thy counsel followed, this even had seen me
    Now give me thine aid Count Scherules, for the trust that I
        ever had
    In thy faith, with this knight my captor, and with him my
        second sire
    Duke Lippaut--for well I think me they will do as thou shalt
        require--                                                    870
    Yea, pray them to show me favour, for friends had we been
    Had not Obie such jest played on me as no maiden I ween
        should play!'

    Then out spake the gallant Gawain, 'Afresh shall be knit a
    That naught but death can sever'--Then they came whom the Red
        Knight's hand
    Without had taken captive, on the height would they seek
        their king,                                                  875
    And they told him all that befell them; and Gawain must list
        the thing,
    And they told of the arms of the hero, how their strength
        before his must fail,
    And how he their pledge had taken, and had bidden them seek
        the Grail;
    And he thought how the knight of this venture was none other
        than Parzival,
    And his thanks uprose to high Heaven that no evil did there
        befall,                                                      880
    But that God apart had held them, and they met not in strife
        that day.
    And courteous I ween were those heroes that they tore not the
        veil away,
    But both of them there were nameless, and none knew from
        whence they came,
    Yet I wot well the world around them rang fair with their
        warlike fame.

    To Meljanz he spake, Scherules, 'Now, Sire, wilt thou list to
        me?                                                          885
    Look thou again on my master, and such rede as is given to
    By friends on both sides shalt thou hearken, and thine anger
        shalt thou recall;'
    And all deemed it good, the counsel, so they rode to the
        royal hall,
    The inner force of the city, as the Marshal was fain to pray.
    Then Gawain took the Count Lahduman, and the captives he made
        that day,                                                    890
    And he gathered them all around him, and the pledge that to
        him they gave
    When he erst on the field o'erthrew them, must they yield to
        the Burg-grave brave,
    And gladly they did his bidding--To the palace the heroes
    And rich garments as fit for a monarch did the wife of the
        Burg-grave bear;
    And a veil did she give unto Meljanz that should serve him
        for a sling                                                  895
    For the arm that Gawain had wounded, when his spear smote the
        youthful king.

    And Gawain by the mouth of Scherules, Obilot his lady prayed;
    Fain would the hero see her, his life in her hand he laid,
    And would crave from her lips dismissal--and further the hero
    'I leave the king here, her captive, and I pray her such
        thought to take                                              900
    That she may in such wise entreat him, that her honour shall
        wax apace!'
    And Meljanz spake, 'Well I know this, Obilot is of maiden
    And maiden worth the glory; and joyful am I at heart
    If her captive I be, for in gladness methinks shall I have my
    Then out quoth the gallant Gawain, 'Her prisoner art thou
        alone,                                                       905
    'Tis _she_ who hath captive made thee, and _my_ glory is here
        her own.'

    Before them rode Scherules--As was fitting for royal court,
    Nor man was there nor maiden but had robed them in such sort
    That one, in poor guise and scanty, might scarce have been
        seen that day--
    They who sware their pledge to the Red Knight with Meljanz
        must take their way.                                         910
    And there in the hall of the castle they sat in their order
    Lippaut, his wife, and his daughters, as the guests passed
        within the door.

    Up sprang the host and hastened his lord and king to greet,
    And close pressed the crowd around them as friend with foe
        did meet;
    By Gawain's side stood Meljanz. 'Now, an it were here thy
        will,                                                        915
    Thy friend of old, the Duchess, with kiss would she greet
        thee still.'
    And Meljanz to his host made answer, '_Two_ ladies I think to
    From whom I'll take kiss and greeting--but the _third_ naught
        shall win from me.'

    And the parents wept; but the maiden, Obilot, was glad and
    And they greeted their king with kisses; and two beardless
        kings that day                                               920
    They kissed, with the Duke of Marangliess, and the gallant
        Knight Gawain.
    And they brought him his little lady, and the fair child he
        clasped again,
    And e'en as a doll he held her so close to his manly breast,
    As joy and delight constrained him, and to Meljanz his speech
    'Thine hand hath surety pledged me, of that shall thou now be
        free,                                                        925
    In my right arm I hold my lady, _her_ captive thou now shalt

    Then Meljanz he stept him nearer, and she held fast to
        Gawain's hand,
    And she took the pledge of her monarch mid the knights who
        did round them stand.
    'Sir King, 'twas ill-done I think me, if a _merchant_ he be
        my knight
    As my sister hath said, to yield thee as his captive on field
        of might!'                                                   930
    Thus spake Obilot, the maiden; then to Meljanz she gave
    He should yield his pledge to her sister, and swear it hand
        clasped in hand;
    'Thou shalt have her for Love, for thy knighthood, as her
        Love and her Lord art thou
    Henceforward, of true heart gladly, and ye twain to my will
        shall bow!'

    God spake by the lips of the maiden, her will it was done
        straightway,                                                 935
    And Frau Minne with power and wisdom again o'er their hearts
        held sway,
    And knit afresh the meshes, and fettered the twain anew;
    From the folds of her flowing mantle her small hand Obie
    And she touched the arm of her lover, and weeping, her lips
        so red
    Kissed the wound he had won in jousting, since it was for her
        sake he bled.                                                940
    And his arm was bathed in the tear-drops that flowed from her
        eyes so bright--
    How waxed she thus bold 'fore the people? 'Twas Love bade her
        claim her right;
    And fulfilled was the wish of Lippaut, and naught of his
        bliss should fail,
    Since God had willed that his daughter henceforth as his
        queen he hail!

    How the wedding feast was holden, ask them who took their
        share                                                        945
    Of wedding gifts, or wandering, to Beaurosch had thought to
    If they fought, or were fain to rest them, of that I no word
        may tell,
    But they say in the hall of the palace Sir Gawain would bid
    To her for whose leave he came there, and sore wept the
        little maid
    And spake, 'Now take me with thee,' but Gawain her wish
        gainsaid,                                                    950
    And scarce might her mother tear her from the knight--leave
        he prayed them there,
    And Lippaut he proffered service for the good-will he towards
        him bare.
    And his gallant host, Scherules, with his folk he would not
    To ride awhile with the hero; and he wended a woodland way,
    And they gave him guides for his journey, and food lest he
        ill should fare,                                             955
    And he bade them farewell, and sorrow Gawain for the parting




Book VIII. tells how Gawain came to Schamfanzon, and how King
Vergulacht committed him to the care of his sister Antikonie. How
Gawain wooed the maiden, and of the wrath of her people. Of the
adventure of the chess-board, and how Kingrimursel came to the
        help of
Gawain. How Antikonie reproached King Vergulacht, and how the
counselled their monarch. Of the oath Gawain sware to the King,
        and how
he rode forth to seek the Grail.

                               BOOK VIII


    Whosoe'er at Beaurosch had battled, methinks that Gawain had
    The highest fame in both armies, save but for one knight
    And none knew his red harness glowing, and none knew from
        whence he came,
    But high as a banner waveth, so high did it rise, his fame.
    Yet of honour alike and good fortune had Gawain in full his
        share--                                                        5
    Now hence must he ride, for the moment of strife which he
        sought drew near,
    And far and wide stretched the woodland thro' which he must
        wend his way--
    No conflict he shunned, tho' all guiltless of the sin men on
        him would lay.
    But, alas! his charger failed him, Ingliart, with the
        close-cropped ear,
    In the land of the Moors at Tabronit no better the steeds
        they rear.                                                    10
    And diverse the wood around him, here a bush and there a
    And so narrow at whiles, that pathway, it scarcely a space
        might yield
    For tent, or for knight's pavilion. Then fair dwellings met
        his eye,
    'Twas Askalon, and he prayed them if Schamfanzon at hand did
    But many a marsh and moorland and many a steep hillside           15
    Must he traverse, ere fair before him in the setting sun he
    A fortress stand so stately, it gleamed in the sunlight's
    And he turned his steed towards it who rode here on unknown

    Now list ye awhile the venture, and mourn ye awhile with me
    The sorrow that fell on Gawain--And if old ye shall chance to
        be                                                            20
    Or young, yet of this your friendship I pray you his grief to
    Alas! were it best to tell ye, or silence a space to keep?
    Nay, better to tell the story, how he whom Good Luck did call
    Her friend, was by her forsaken, and how grief to his lot
        must fall.

    So proudly uprose the fortress that never did Carthage seem       25
    So fair to the eyes of Æneas, when Dido, as failed her dream
    Of love, turned to death and, seeking, found rest in his cold
    Would ye know what countless turrets those stately halls did
    Scarce more had Akraton boasted, that city whose walls so
    An man may believe the heathen, with Babylon only vied;           30
    So high rose the circling ramparts, and where to the sea they
    No storm might they fear, but defiance could they bid to
        their foes right well.

    'Fore the city a plain outstretching lay fair for a mile or
    As Sir Gawain rode across it, five hundred knights he saw,
    Yet one, o'er all the others, gallant and fair to sight;          35
    Gaily they rode towards him all clad in raiment bright,
    For so the venture telleth--With their falcons soaring high
    Would they chase the crane, or other fair game that should
        wingèd fly.
    A tall steed from Spain's far kingdom, King Vergulacht
    And his glance was as day in the night-time--Aforetime his
        race abode                                                    40
    Where Mazadan reigned as monarch, by Fay Morgan's mystic
    And amid the roll of his fathers he many a fay might count--
    And even as in the spring-tide the May blossom bloometh fair
    So rode the king in his beauty, and Gawain he bethought him
    As he saw him ride so stately, 'twas another Parzival,            45
    Or Gamuret, as he came to Kanvoleis, as this venture erewhile
        did tell.

    Now into a pond so marshy a heron had taken flight
    As it fled from before the falcon, and the king, as beseemed
        a knight,
    Sought not for the ford but followed as he saw his falcon's
    And wet he won in the aiding, and lost was his gallant steed,     50
    And lost too his royal raiment, tho' safe was I ween the
    The falconers took his garments, for this, so the tale I've
    Was their right, and they needs must have them, and no man
        might say them nay.
    Another horse they brought him, for lost was his own for aye,
    And fresh garments they put upon him, since such was the
        chance of fate                                                55
    That his falconers won the vesture that had decked their king
        of late.

    Then Sir Gawain, he rode towards them, and knightly and
    The greeting they gave unto him, not such as in Karidöl
    Once fell to the lot of Erec, when after his well-fought
    He had fain drawn near to King Arthur, and with him his lady
        bright,                                                       60
    Fair Enid, who graced his coming--But the dwarf Maliklisier
    With a scourge full hardly smote him, 'neath the eyes of
        Queen Guinevere.
    At Tulmein he took his vengeance, where, within the ring so
    To win the hawk, the heroes in deeds of valour vied.
    'Twas Idêr, the son of Noit, a hero true and bold                 65
    Whom he else had slain, whom Erec did there in surety hold.

    But leave we all other venture, and hearken awhile to me,
    For in sooth never fairer welcome shall it fall to your lot
        to see.
    Yet, alas! for ill it wrought him, Gawain, King Lot's brave
    An ye will I will cease my story ere the tale to its end be
        run,                                                          70
    And for pity's sake keep silence--Yet perchance it were best
        to tell
    The ill that thro' others' treason on a gallant spirit fell.
    And if I yet further pray ye this story strange to heed
    Then in sooth, e'en as I, right truly will ye mourn for its
        hero's need.

    Quoth the king, 'Sir Knight, thus I think me, thou shalt to
        the castle ride,                                              75
    Thine _host_ will I be right gladly, tho' scarce may I be thy
    Yet if this on my part shall vex thee the chase will I gladly
    Quoth Gawain, 'As it best may please thee, that do, nor for
        my sake grieve,
    Whate'er thou shalt do shall be well done--No grudge do I
        bear thee, Sire,
    But of right good-will I gladly will do as thou shalt
        require.'                                                     80

    Quoth the king of Askalon further, 'Schamfanzon thou well
        mayst see
    Sir Knight, there my sister dwelleth, who as yet but a maid
        shall be;
    And she hath in fullest measure such beauty as poets sing--
    An thou as a grace shalt hold it, my knights unto her shall
    Such word she shall well entreat thee in my stead, till I
        come again.                                                   85
    And whenever I come, I think me, 'twill be sooner than thou
        art fain
    To look on my face, for gladly wilt thou spare me when thou
        shalt see
    My sweet sister, nor e'er bemoan thee, tho' my coming o'er
        late shall be!'

    'Nay, gladly again I'll see thee, and gladly thy sister
    Tho' as host never queen has done me such service as host
        finds meet'                                                   90
    Thus spake the gallant Gawain--Then a knight bare the king's
    To his sister, that she, as fitting, should so care for the
        stranger guest
    That however long his absence the hours should as minutes
    (An ye will, I will cease my story that now runneth but

    Nay, further I'll tell the venture,--Steed and pathway the
        hero bore                                                     95
    Where as one were both Burg and palace, and he held him
        before the door.
    And he who shall e'er have builded a house, he shall better
    To tell of this mighty castle, and the strength of its walls
        to show.
    Yea, indeed 'twas a Burg, none better might this earth on its
        bosom bear
    And around it, far outstretching, the ramparts towered high
        in air.                                                      100

    Leave we the praise of the castle, and speak of the castle's
    A maiden fair, for of women I shall better speak I ween,
    And as fitting I'll sing her praises--Was she fair to the
        eye? 'Twas well;
    Was she true of heart? Then gladly will men of her praises
    And so both in mind and manner might she vie with that lady
        true,                                                        105
    The Margravine, who from Heitstein afar o'er her marches
    A light,--Well for him who dwelleth as friend in her presence
    Such pastime as there his portion he findeth not other-where!
    For I praise but a woman's virtue, as I see, and shall surely
    True and pure must she be, the maiden, on whom I shall praise
        bestow.                                                      110
    And he whom this venture singeth is a gallant man and true,
    For no dealing have I with falsehood, or with one who his
        deeds shall rue,
    As repentance, slowly piercing, but turneth his bliss to
    And his soul knoweth wrath and sorrow, or ever his life-days

    To the castle court rode Gawain, and the goodly company          115
    To whom the king had sent him, who shamed for his sake should
    Then the knight to his lady led him, as she sat in her
        beauty's glow,
    Queen Antikonie--Could the merchants a woman's fame bestow,
    Of such goods had she made rich purchase; 'gainst falsehood
        she set her face,
    And hers was the crown of honour, and a maiden's maiden
        grace.                                                       120
    Ah! woe's me for him of Veldeck, that death thus cut short
        his days,
    None is there of all men living who so well could have sung
        her praise.

    Then Gawain, he looked on the maiden, and the messenger spake
        the word
    E'en as the king had bade him, and the queen his message
    Then gently she spake to the hero, 'Come thou near unto me,
        Sir Knight,                                                  125
    Thyself shalt be my master in courtesy, as is right;
    And gladly I'll do thy bidding--If well it shall please thee
    'Twill be even as thou shalt order--Yea, since my brother
    Hath bid me well entreat thee, I'll kiss thee, if so I may.
    I'll do, or leave it undone, e'en as thou the word shalt
        say!'                                                        130

    Courteous she stood before him, quoth Gawain, 'Thy lips so
    In sooth were made for kissing, be kiss and greeting sped!'
    So full and warm and rosy were the lips that Gawain pressed,
    No stranger sure had kissed her as kissed this stranger
    Unchecked he sat him by her, and sweet words passed between,     135
    Soft spake they to each other; and oft renewed, I ween,
    His prayers and her denials, yea, sorely grieved was he,
    And fain to win her favour--Then she spake as I tell to ye:

    'Bethink thee, Sir Knight, thou art wise else, with this I
        enough have done,
    For I ween at my brother's bidding mine uncle Gamuret won        140
    Less welcome from Queen Anflisé than the welcome _I_ gave to
    An our tending were weighed together methinks hers would
        lighter be.
    Nor know I, Sir Knight, whence thou comest, nor e'en what
        shall be thy name,
    That, after such short approving, thou shouldst to my love
        lay claim!'

    Then out spake the gallant Gawain, 'Then know here assuredly     145
    O! queen, of my father's sister the brother's son am I;
    Wilt thou give me sweet love's rewarding, for my birth shalt
        thou not delay,
    Hand in hand, and to equal measure, it paceth with thine
    The maiden who filled the wine-cup she had passed from out
        the hall,
    And the women who sat beside them must now to their mind
        recall                                                       150
    The task that elsewhere did wait them; nor longer the knight
        stood there
    Who erst to the queen had brought him--As Gawain was now
    That no man was here beside them, he thought how a mighty
    Is oft trapped by a little falcon--nor further he spake a
    But he passed his arm around her beneath her mantle's fold,      155
    And love laid such stress upon them, the maid and the hero
    That belike a thing had chanced there, an no eye had been
        there to see,
    Of one mind were the twain--yet heart-sorrow drew near to
        them speedily.

    For straight stepped within the doorway an old and
        grey-haired knight,
    And loudly he called on Gawain, and shouted a shout of might,    160
    For well did he know the hero, and fiercely his cry did ring,
    'Alas! alas! woe upon us, since the hand that hath slain our
    Is fain now to force his daughter!' At the sound of his
    The folk that within the castle abode to the hall did hie,
    So it fell out--Then quoth Sir Gawain to the queen, 'Now,
        Lady mine,                                                   165
    Say thou how we best may ward us 'gainst this wrathful folk
        of thine,
    For sure they will come against us--An I had but my sword at
    Then out spake the gentle maiden, 'Their might shall we best
    An we to yon tower betake us that riseth my bower beside,
    Perchance they will then bethink them, and the storm shall we
        override.'                                                   170

    Here a knight, and there a merchant, already the maid must
    With the cry of the angry townsfolk, as the twain to the
        tower drew near;
    And sore was her friend beset there, tho' she prayed them
        from strife to cease,
    So loud rose the angry tumult none hearkened her words of

    'Gainst the portal the foe pressed onward, Gawain stood
        within the door,                                             175
    And held off the angry rabble; an iron bolt he tore
    From its fastenings wherewith to arm him, and before his
        strong right hand
    Full oft fled his evil neighbours, they durst not his blows
    While the queen, with flying footsteps, hither and thither
    To find, perchance, some weapon 'gainst the foe that so
        fiercely fought.                                             180
    At length did she chance on some chess-men, and a
        chess-board, wide and fair,
    That hung by a ring of iron; to Gawain she brought it there,
    As a shield four-square it served him; yea, many a game was
    On that board ere 'twas hewn in battle--Now hear of the royal

    Were it king, or queen, or castle, she hurled them against
        the foe,                                                     185
    Heavy and large the chess-men, and in sooth I would have ye
    They who by her shaft were stricken must ever a fall abide.
    Right bravely the queen so gracious now fought by her hero's
    And she bare herself so knightly, that never the Burger maids
    Of Tollenstein at Shrove-tide such dauntless skill displayed.    190
    And yet they but fight for folly, and weary themselves for
    An a woman bear trace of battle, on her womanhood shame is
    (For I know what befits a woman,) unless love shall have bid
        her fight
    To prove her faith--Now faithful and true was that lady
    As Schamfanzon might bear witness--Yet, tho' high of heart
        was she,                                                     195
    Many tears that conflict cost her; for in sooth shall it ever
    That Love is brave as steadfast, yet tender and true of
    Would ye know how in such fierce conflict Sir Gawain would
        bear his part?

    When the strife but leisure gave him to gaze on the maid
    Her lips so red and glowing, her eyes so soft and bright--       200
    More slender was she and shapely than ever a lowland hare
    That ye truss on the spit, so graceful her limbs, and her
        form so fair;
    Full well might her charms awaken desire in the heart of man.
    And smaller, I ween, the maiden, where her golden girdle ran
    Around her waist, than ants are, and their slender shape ye
        know--                                                       205
    The sight wrought in Gawain courage his foemen to overthrow,
    For she shared his need; his chastising none other than death
        should be,
    And help was there none--Then his anger flamed high and wroth
        was he
    As he looked on that gentle maiden, and no fear was his but
    And sorely his foemen rued it who met at his hand their fate.    210

    Came King Vergulacht, and he saw well how his folk 'gainst
        Gawain did fight;
    Nor do I in this deceive ye, nor can I account him right
    That not as a host he bare him, when he saw his gallant guest
    Thus stand, as one man against many--But straight thro' the
        throng he pressed,
    In such wise, I must mourn for Gandein, the monarch of Anjou
        fair,                                                        215
    That his daughter, so true a lady, so faithless a son must
    From the strife his folk he called not, short space must they
        stay their hand
    While the king would don his armour, he lusted to lead the

    Too mighty the force for Gawain, nor I ween shall ye count it
    That he closed the door upon them--Then in wrath and haste
        there came                                                   220
    The knight who to battle bade him 'fore Arthur at Plimizöl
    But short time back--They called him the Landgrave
    And sore did Gawain's need vex him, he wrung his hands amain,
    For in sooth had he pledged his honour his foe should in
        peace remain
    Till _one_ man alone o'ercame him--Old and young from the
        tower he drave,                                              225
    Yet the portal would they force open, as their king
        commandment gave.

    Then the Landgrave he cried on Gawain, 'Sir Knight, I would
        in to thee
    As a friend, that this bitter conflict I may share, if it so
        must be,
    For then must my monarch slay me, or leave thee in life
    Peace Gawain would swear unto him, and he made to the tower
        his way--                                                    230
    Then doubtful, the foemen thronging, their hand for a space
        must hold,
    For their Burg-grave he was, and his bidding had they
        hearkened both young and old.
    Then, as ceased the noise of battle, thro' the doorway he
        sprang, Gawain,
    And the Landgrave, he stood beside him, swift and bold were
        those heroes twain.

    Quoth King Vergulacht, 'Why tarry? Why stand we here as on
        guard,                                                       235
    When of foemen but _two_ shall dare us, and none other the
        tower gates ward?
    Much my cousin doth take upon him, when he dareth to shield
        my foe,
    Yea, _himself_ should wreak vengeance on him, if his faith he
        were fain to show!'

    Of true heart then they chose a true man, and unto the king
        he spake,
    'Now, Sire, upon our Landgrave no vengeance we think to take,    240
    Nor shall harm at _our_ hand befall him--May God so turn thy
    That, instead of shaming, honour thou shalt from this venture
    For shame shall it bring upon thee, and an ending to thy fair
    If he who as host doth hail thee shall here at thine hand be
    And thy kinsman is he, this other who hath brought him into
        this land;                                                   245
    So, lest cursing and shame be thy portion, we pray thee to
        stay thine hand,
    And grant thou a truce thro' the daylight, and the fleeting
        hours of night,
    Then bethink thee for shame or honour, and do as shall seem
        thee right!'

    'And our queen who hath ne'er known falsehood, thy sister,
    See there as she standeth by him and weepeth full bitterly.      250
    Canst thou see such sight without rueing, since one mother
        bare ye both?
    And bethink thee, sire, thou art wise else, thou didst send
        him, nothing loth,
    Alone to this gentle maiden, nor further a guardian gave;
    For _her_ sake it were well to spare him!' Then the king bade
        those warriors brave
    To call a truce--He'ld bethink him how vengeance he best
        might take                                                   255
    For his father's death--Yet all guiltless Gawain, for
        another's sake,
    Must he bear the shame; with a lance-thrust by Ekunât was he
    As to Barbigöl Prince Iofreit, a prisoner, he would have
    Who had ridden erewhile with Gawain--In such wise the chance
    That they deemed that _Gawain_ had slain him--So men do the
        venture tell.                                                260

    And scarce was the truce bespoken ere of men was the field
    Each betook him unto his lodging, nor one on the ground was
    Then the queen threw her arms around him, and with many a
        kiss so sweet
    She gave to her gallant cousin such rewarding as seemed her
    Since so bravely he stood by Gawain, and sheltered the twain
        from wrong,                                                  265
    And she spake, 'Now art thou my cousin, nor unfaith shall to
        thee belong.'

    Now hearken and I will read ye that word which I spake of
    How a true heart sore was darkened--I ween 'twas an evil fate
    That led Vergulacht to Schamfanzon; such deed he ne'er did
    From sire or aye from mother, with shame did the young knight
        burn,                                                        270
    And torment sore and suffering his better self must know
    As his sister 'gan upbraid him, small mercy the maid would

    And thus spake the noble maiden, 'Now had it but been God's
    That I, a man born, might sword bear, and knightly tasks
    To strive with me hadst thou come here, methinks thou hadst
        come too late,--                                             275
    But now am I all defenceless, a maiden, and no man's mate.
    And yet a shield I carry, and fair its device shall be,
    And honoured of all--Its blazon would I read here, Sir King,
        to thee,
    That thou henceforth mayst know it--Pure heart and upright
    That true man beneath its cover a shelter may ever find.         280
    And that, o'er the gallant hero whom thou sentest unto my
    Did I hold, and 'gainst thee, his foeman, I did, as beseemed
        me, bear,
    For none other armour had I--And if thou repent the ill
    Thou hast done to thy guest, me, thy sister, hast thou
        wronged more deeply still;
    For this is the right of woman, so ever 'twas told to me,        285
    That if ever unto the shelter of a maiden a knight shall
    Then they who as foemen follow shall straightway leave their
    In such wise they ever bear them who would not their shield
    Now, Sir Vergulacht, that thy guest fled to _me_ as his hope
        of life,
    Hath loaded with shame thine honour, since thou aided, nor
        checked, thestrife!'                                         290

    Then Kingrimursel quoth sternly, 'Yea, Sire, 'twas at _thy_
    That on Plimizöl's plain I bade him, Sir Gawain, to seek this
    On thy royal word safe conduct I sware him, that should he
    Hither we twain were pledged him no evil should here betide,
    Save but from _one_ foeman only--Now, Sire, thou hast here
        done ill                                                     295
    In that, spite of thine oath so knightly, thy word thou didst
        not fulfil.
    And here shall my fellows hearing give judgment betwixt us
    If thus thou wrongest _princes_, what as _king_ mayst thou
        hope to gain
    From us of faith and honour?--If honoured thou fain wouldst
    Then, courteous, make confession that near of kin are we;        300
    True cousin am I, no bastard, and e'en if such chance had
    Even then, in this thy dealing, thou hadst done me a wrong, I
    A knight am I in whom no man hath found a taint of shame,
    And I think me that free from falsehood, yea, to death will I
        guard my fame,
    For in God have I ever trusted, and, methinks, He holds not
        in store                                                     305
    Such fate for the days of the future as I knew not in days of
    Yet they who shall hear the story, how the nephew of Arthur
    To Schamfanzon 'neath my safe-conduct, where'er shall be his
    An he come from the land of the Breton, or from France, or
        from Provence fair,
    Burgundian he, or Gallician, or the arms of Punturtois bear--    310
    When he hear of the grief of Gawain then _my_ fame shall be
        swiftly sped,
    And shame be my meed for the danger that threatened that
        knightly head.
    At the tale of this strife shall my glory wax narrow, and
        blame grow wide;
    And, as joy in the past dwelt with me, so henceforward shall
        shame abide.'

    As he made an end of speaking stood a vassal the king before,    315
    And, as Kiot himself hath told us, Liddamus was the name he
    And I speak here of Kiot the singer, and so sweet was I ween
        his song
    That none wax of the hearing weary, tho' the days of their
        life be long.
    And I rede ye to wit that Kiot of old was a Provençal,
    Who found writ in a book of the heathen this story of
        Parzival.                                                    320
    And in French again he sang it, and I, if no wit shall fail,
    Would fain in his footsteps follow, and in German would tell
        the tale.

    Quoth the Prince Liddamus in his anger, 'Now say, what doth
        he do here
    In the house of my lord, who his father hath slain, and hath
        brought anear
    The brand of shame? My king's courage is known thro' many a
        land,                                                        325
    'Twould better beseem his honour to avenge him with his own
    One death for the other payeth--and the need waxeth here as
    And Gawain he stood in sore peril, and fear for his life must

    Quoth Kingrimursel, 'Who to threaten is swift, he as swift
        should be
    To mingle in strife, yet but lightly thy foeman he holdeth
        thee!                                                        330
    An wide were the field or narrow, yet Sir Liddamus, I know
    This man were safe from thine onslaught e'en tho' shame at
        his hand befell,
    For ne'er wouldst thou dare to avenge it, who yet dost so
        loudly boast--
    And swifter were we to hearken if ever in battle host
    We had seen thee ride the foremost! But strife ever wrought
        thee pain,                                                   335
    And afar from the field of battle to linger thou aye wast
    Yea, _more_ hast thou learnt--The beginning of strife didst
        thou ever see,
    Then hence wouldst thou fly as swiftly as a maiden is wont to
    And the prince who thy counsel hearkens, and doeth as thou
        shalt say,
    Shall find that the crown he weareth but loosely shall sit
        alway!'                                                      340

    'And fain, in a joust so knightly, were I to have faced
    Nor feared me aught, for such combat had we sworn fast
        betwixt us twain.
    And here had we fought, as fitting, 'neath the eye of the
        king my lord,
    And wroth am I now, for dearer, methought, had he held his
    Now swear thou to me, Sir Gawain, when a year from this day
        be past,                                                     345
    To meet me again in combat--If thou 'scape my lord's wrath at
    And thy life for a prey he leave thee, yet we twain must
        fight our fight.
    At Plimizöl first I bade thee; at Barbigöl, if it seem thee
    Before Meljanz, the youthful monarch, the strife shall
        methinks be fought;
    And around my heart till the day come shall sorrow's wreath
        be wrought,                                                  350
    And gladly I'll hail that dawning, and face thee, thou hero
    Tho' the guerdon be but of sorrow, that shall there by thine
        hand be told.'

    So there, as the Landgrave bade him, the hero Gawain swore,
    And his oath, and his pledge so knightly, he plighted as erst
        of yore.
    But Duke Liddamus, he bethought him of words that he fain
        would say,                                                   355
    And with cunning skill and wisdom his speech did he weave
        that day.

    Thus he spake for all men to hear him, for the time of speech
        was come,
    'Now if strife ever call upon me, if the battle be lost or
    If I fight as beseems a hero, or fly as a coward flies,
    If the meed of my warlike bearing be honour in all men's
        eyes,                                                        360
    Then reward me I pray, Sir Landgrave, with rewarding as I
        shall win;
    But if honour or praise be withholden I count it not me for

    Nor here did his speech find ending. 'If _Turnus_ thou fain
        wouldst be,
    Then good, thou shalt find me _Tranzes_; thou mayst well
        wreak thy will on me,
    If so be thou hast aught against me, but 'tis _thou_ who dost
        boast too loud,                                              365
    Yea, e'en an thou wert the highest of my peers, these princes
    For Prince am I too, and Landgrave, and I have in Galicia's
    Many Burgs so fair and stately that e'en far as Vedrun stand.
    And tho' thou and this Breton stranger were minded to work me
    Yet not even a fowl for thy threatening would fly, but abide
        thee still!'                                                 370

    'He came from the land of the Breton whom thou hither for
        strife didst hale.
    Take _thou_ vengeance for king and kinsman, if such vengeance
        may aught avail;
    With _him_, not with _me_, thy quarrel, avenge thou thine
        uncle's life
    On him who of life hath robbed him, it toucheth me not, this
    For I wot well in naught I wronged him, and none for such
        wrong makes moan.                                            375

    What need to bewail thine uncle? His son sitteth on his
    And I ask for no higher ruler, since Fleurdamur, the queen,
    Was his mother, his sire Kingrisein, and his grandsire
        Gandein hath been.
    And still in my mind it dwelleth how Galoes and Gamuret,
    Those heroes twain, were his uncles, nor lie I, nor truth
        forget.                                                      380
    And I think me that in all honour my castles and lands so
    I may take from his hand, with their banners, and serve him
        whate'er betide!'

    'Let him fight who hath lust for fighting, for weary of
        strife am I,
    Tho' I know well who fame in battle doth win, for his victory
    Hath reward from the lips of women, yet for never a maiden's
        sake                                                         385
    Will I evil entreat this body, or bid it such ill-road take.
    Nay, why should I be a Wolfhart? Since barred is the battle
    And no lust of strife hath beguiled me that I know not the
        thing I say.
    If thou shouldst for aye despise me, yet Rumolt I'll take as
    Who gave counsel unto King Gunther, ere yet to the Huns he
        hied.                                                        390
    For he bade him in Worms abide still, where was plenty and
        e'en to spare,
    And content his soul with the flesh-pots and the riches of
        Rhineland fare!'

    But ready of wit was the Landgrave, and he spake, 'Yea, the
        tale be told
    E'en to day, and no man shall marvel, for we know well thy
        ways of old.
    Thou wouldst urge me to strife, yet thy counsel is e'en what
        a cook once gave                                             395
    To the Nibelung lord, little recked he such counsel, the hero
    For he and his, little doubting, went boldly to meet their
    And avenged was the death of Siegfried, and sated was
        Kriemhild's hate!
    And Sir Gawain, I ween, must give me my death, or himself
        must feel
    The weight of my bitter vengeance as we battle for woe or
        weal!'                                                       400

    'Thou dost well,' Liddamus made answer, 'yet I think me of
        treasure fair,
    All that Arthur might hold, or India, if one such to my feet
        should bear,
    And say 'twas mine own, he might have it ere I fought e'en
        for such a prize.
    An thou wilt, win thee fame and honour, I, I think me, am all
        too wise.
    God knoweth, no Segramor am I, whom men must with fetters
        bind                                                         405
    So keenly for strife he lusted, far other was aye my mind.
    Yet mine be my monarch's favour, for Sibech ne'er drew a
    But ever he fled with the flying, yet men hearkened well his
    And many for counsel prayed him, and great gifts and lands
    The hand of Ermenrich gave him, tho' no helmet e'er felt his
        blow.                                                        410
    And Sir Kingrimursel, I rede thee, thou shalt mark me with
        never a scar!'
    Then out spake King Vergulacht sternly, as he ended their
        wordy war:

    'Peace, peace, nor so loudly wrangle, Sir Knights, all too
        bold are ye,
    For too near is your monarch's presence, and of speech are ye
        both too free;
    And that thus ye should strive before me, tho' your strife be
        of _word_, not _deed_,                                       415
    Ill beseemeth both king and vassal, so hearken my word, and

    This befell in the hall of the palace, 'neath the eyes of his
        sister fair,
    And Gawain stood beside the maiden, and heroes and knights
        were there.
    Quoth the king to his gentle sister, 'Now take thou with thee
        thy guest
    And the Landgrave, while I bethink me the word that shall
        'seem me best.                                               420
    And all ye who wish well unto me, shall follow and give me
    Quoth the maid, 'Of good faith seek counsel, for better
        'twill serve thy need!'
    Gat the king to his council-chamber; the king's daughter had
        comrades three,
    Cousin, and guest, and beside them black care bare them
    Gawain, as right well beseemed her, by the hand to her bower
        she led.                                                     425
    And she quoth, 'Now shall all lands rue it if here thou shalt
        be ill-sped!'
    And the son of King Lot, Sir Gawain, with the maiden went
        hand in hand,
    And none thought them shame, for so gracious was the custom
        of that fair land.

    So passed they unto her chamber, the queen and those heroes
    And that none 'gainst her will should enter was the care of
        her chamberlain.                                             430
    Only her bower maidens as befitted them there might be,
    And the queen, in all love and honour, her guest tended
    And the Landgrave in naught gainsaid her, for belike did he
        bear a part
    In the fear for her guest's well-doing that lay dark on the
        maiden's heart.
    So the twain with the queen abode there till the strife of
        the day was o'er,                                            435
    And the night and the hour of feasting had come in their
        course once more.
    Then the slender maidens bare them sweet drinks, and the wine
        so red,
    And with fish and fowl in plenty, I ween, was the table
    Fair and white was the bread to look on, and the Landgrave
        and Knight Gawain,
    Who had passed thro' such deadly peril, to taste of the food
        were fain.                                                   440
    And each as the queen might bid him ate that which should
        please him best,
    And no lack did they find, for right queenly the maid did
        entreat her guest,
    And vainly the heroes prayed her to cease from her kindly
    Of the many who knelt before them no maid but was young and
    Yea, fair with the opening beauty of the rose that is yet
        unblown,                                                     445
    And soft lay their locks as the feathers of a falcon the
        knight hath flown.

    Now list, ere they close the council, to the rede they would
        rede the king
    And wise were the men who, wisely, good counsel in need
        should bring;
    And each spake as his mind should bid him, and that which his
        heart deemed best,
    And they turned the thing hither and thither, till the king
        thus his speech addrest:                                     450

    And he spake, 'One of late fought with me, as on venture bent
        I rode
    In the wood Læhtamreis--too proudly, perchance, I my steed
    For a knight, who o'er great my fame deemed, in joust smote
        me such a blow
    That, behind my gallant charger, on the greensward he laid me
    And this oath must I swear unto him, in search of the Grail
        to ride,                                                     455
    And my knightly pledge I gave him, were it other, I there had
    Now give me, I pray, your counsel, for 'gainst death was no
        other shield
    But to swear as my victor bade me, and, as knight, to a
        knight to yield!'

    'Yea, mighty and strong that hero,--nor sware I that oath
    But he bade me, as true man truly, when a year should have
        come and gone,                                               460
    And the Grail I still were seeking, to ride unto Pelrapär
    To the queen who the crown there weareth, the child of King
    And there, as I looked upon her, I should yield me unto her
    And from him should I bear this message in the day that I
        sought her face.
    He would say, "An she thought upon him 'twas his joy and his
        labour's meed,                                               465
    His hand from the King Klamidé aforetime her land had

    Then the speech to the end they hearkened; and Liddamus spake
        this word,
    'Give me leave to speak, ye shall follow, Sir Knights, when
        my rede is heard,
    For the oath that perforce thou swarest, its fulfiller shall
        be Gawain,
    And he, captive, his wings shall flutter in the snare wherein
        _thou_ wast ta'en.                                           470
    For here, where we stand to hearken, shall he swear us the
        Grail to win,
    And then of free will let him ride hence; for I deem men
        would count it sin
    Were he slain in thine house--Nay, me-seemeth 'twere better
        to let him live,
    For but ill would it please thy sister an thou didst not her
        knight forgive!
    Sore stress at our hands hath he suffered, and he now to his
        death shall ride;                                            475
    For far as the far sea's water shall circle the earth so wide
    There standeth no Burg so mighty as Monsalväsch, its towers
        shall fear
    No foeman, and strait the pathway that wendeth its walls
    And sore dangers that road encompass--Let him slumber in
        peace this night,
    And the word that we deem the wisest shall be told him with
        morning light!'                                              480
    Right well did the counsel please them, and ended, I ween,
        the strife,
    And Gawain, so the venture telleth, thus won at their hands
        his life.

    So they tended the dauntless hero right well thro' the hours
        of night;
    From the Mass came the folk on the morrow when the noontide
        hour waxed bright,
    And the hall was thronged and crowded with townsfolk and
        warriors good,                                               485
    When before the king, as they counselled, his foeman, Sir
        Gawain, stood.
    To naught other would he compel him than to that which ye
        late did hear.
    Now see ye the gentle maiden as she drew with her knight
    And her uncle's son came with her, and many a hero brave
    Of the king's men were fain to follow, and thus fair escort
        gave.                                                        490
    Then the queen led Gawain to her brother with slender hand
        and white,
    And a chaplet of fair flowers woven she bare on her locks of
    Fair the flowers, yet the maid was fairer, and no blossom
        around her head
    But waxed pale and dim, if 'twas mated with her lips of
        glowing red.
    And he whom of true heart gently she kissed, as beseemed a
        maid,                                                        495
    Such lances for her had broken as had wasted a woodland

    Now hearken to me and heed me, as with gracious words I'ld
    Antikonie, free from falsehood, a maiden pure and sweet.
    In such wise did she ever bear her that never a doubting
    Were one fain to sing her praises, from the lips of men was
        heard;                                                       500
    For no heart but wished her gladness, and no mouth but spake
        her free
    From all thought of guile--Far-reaching, as a falcon's eye
        can see,
    Shone the light of her gracious presence, as the light of a
        balsam rare
    That burneth, and sheddeth perfume, and sweeteneth the
        scented air.
    And her will was ever gracious, as the will of a maid should
        be,                                                          505
    And she spake to her royal brother of a true heart right

    'I bring here to thee, my brother, the guest thou didst bid
        me tend,
    And I would thou shouldst well entreat him, as befitting my
        knight and friend--
    For better shall that become thee, to bear thee as brother
    Than to feel the world's hate, or to teach me to hate thee,
        who hate ne'er knew.'                                        510

    Quoth the king, 'Nay then, my sister, an I may, so stands my
    Thou shalt give me here thy counsel, for I think me I did but
    And stained thereby mine honour, and dimmed my knightly fame;
    And I deem me but little worthy that thou shouldst me as
        brother claim.
    E'en if all lands should do my bidding at thy prayer would I
        yield them all,                                              515
    Lest that sorrow of sorrows greatest, thine hatred, on me
        should fall!
    And honour and joy were ended an I said to thy pleading,
    Sir Gawain, I here entreat thee, since for fame thou didst
        ride this way,
    An thou knightly fame wouldst honour, so help me, that I may
    Anew from my sister favour, and forgiveness for this my sin.     520
    Far liefer were I to pardon the wrong thou hast done to me
    Than to lose her, my sweetest sister--Now list what thy task
        shall be,
    Do thou swear to me here that truly thou wilt strive, as I
        erst was fain
    To strive, for the Grail's fair kingdom, and the honour thou
        there shalt gain.'

    In such wise the strife was ended, Sir Gawain far hence must
        ride,                                                        525
    And with sword and spear do battle, and woe for the Grail
    And the Landgrave forgave his monarch the wrong that he did
        his word
    When he brake his pledge unto Gawain--and no prince of the
        land but heard.

    Then their swords they ungirt, and they hung them in their
        place on the castle wall--
    And the squires of Gawain came swiftly, and, joyful, he
        hailed them all,                                             530
    For not one in strife was wounded--for a man of the Burger
    Ere the battle waxed hot, had claimed them, and wise were the
        words he spoke,
    And their peace he prayed from the foemen, and he held them
        awhile in ward,
    Were they French, or from land of the Breton, till again to
        their rightful lord
    He might send them in peace--Some were children, and some
        were lads strong and young--                                 535
    And glad were their hearts when they saw him, and awhile on
        his neck they hung,
    And weeping they kissed Sir Gawain, yet no sorrow I ween was
    But from joy sprang the crystal tear-drops that ran o'er
        their faces fair.

    And one came from the land of Cornwall, Count Laiz he, and
        Tinal's son;
    And a noble lad was with him whose father his death had won      540
    At Schoie-de-la-Kurt, Gandelus, the son, and Gurzgrei, the
    (Thro' that venture full many a maiden must weep for her
        heart's desire)
    And his aunt was the maid Liassé, and fair was the lad of
    And of feature, for Love had touched them, and had wrought
        them with hand of grace,
    And fain were all men to see him--Six were there those twain
        beside,                                                      545
    Eight lads, all of noble bearing and birth, with Gawain did
    And as kinsmen right well they loved him, and they served him
        for payment fair;
    What payment gave he? Meed of honour their guerdon, and
        tender care!
    Then Gawain quoth unto the children, ''Tis well, for I now
        have seen,
    Fair kinsmen, that ye had mourned me, if slain I perchance
        had been,                                                    550
    (And well might he see their sorrow, for as yet they mourned
        full sore,)
    Where were ye in hour of battle? Much sorrow for ye I bore.'
    Then they answered, and none spake falsely, 'As thou sat'st
        in the high hall place
    A hawk flew astray, and we ran thence, and joined for awhile
        the chase.'

    Then all they who sat or stood there, nor ceased for awhile
        their gaze,                                                  555
    Saw well that Gawain was a true knight, and a man whom all
        men might praise;
    Then the king gave the leave he prayed for, and he spake unto
        all farewell,
    Save the queen alone, and the Landgrave, he whom men called
    For the queen took the twain, and the children who followed
        as Gawain's squires,
    And she led them where gentle maidens should serve as she
        should require,                                              560
    And in peace, as became fair maidens, each maid did her
        lady's will,
    And fair were the hands and gracious that did gracious tasks

    Straightway when the meal was ended Gawain from the feast
    Thus Kiot hath told the story--and as blossom from root
    So afresh from a true heart's true faith did sorrow spring
        forth amain--                                                565
    Quoth the hero unto the maiden, 'Now, Lady, an God be fain
    To leave to me life and wisdom, wherever my way I take
    True service, true knight befitting, will I do for thy gentle
    The rede did I hear and hearken that spake thee of falsehood
    And thy fame o'er the fame of all maidens shall high as the
        heavens be.                                                  570
    And Heaven Itself shall bless thee, and thy gifts all be
        gifts of God!
    Now, Lady, thy leave I crave here, since 'tis time on my way
        I rode.
    Give me leave, then, and let me ride hence, for I ween for
        the future days
    Shalt thou be thine own best defender, and thy virtue shall
        crown thy praise!'

    Then sorrow of heart was her portion that the knight thus her
        side must leave,                                             575
    Sore she wept, and her gentle maidens awhile with her grief
        must grieve.
    And the queen she spake out freely, 'An more I had done for
    Then my joy had o'ercome my sorrow, yet better it might not
    Little peace for thee here might blossom--but, believe me, be
        ill thy share,
    Or should deeds of knighthood lead thee where sorrow thou
        needs must bear,                                             580
    Then, Sir Gawain, my heart findeth portion in thy lot, be it
        loss or gain!'
    On his mouth, with her red lips glowing, the maiden she
        kissed Gawain.
    Then joy fled afar from the hero, and sorrow hath pierced his
    Too early the twain they deemed it, from each other for aye
        to part.

    Meantime had his squires bethought them, and his steed to the
        palace brought,                                              585
    Where the boughs of a mighty linden might shadow the outer
    And the Landgrave's folk they sought him, and together they
        took their way
    Without the walls; ere they parted this grace would Sir
        Gawain pray,
    Since his squires might no more fare with him, that the
        Landgrave with them in ward
    Should ride forthwith unto Beaurosch, 'There Scherules the
        Burg doth guard,                                             590
    Thou shalt pray him that these fair children to Dianasdron he
    Where many a Breton dwelleth, and shall yield them unto the
    Or to Guinevere, his Lady'--So sware him Kingrimursel,
    And, with kindly words and courteous, to Sir Gawain he bade
    Short the space ere both steed and rider were clad in their
        mail of might,                                               595
    Kinsmen and squires, he kissed them, and alone rode that
        gallant knight,
    For, as this his oath had bade him, to the Grail must his
        pathway wend,
    And many a pain and peril must he know ere his task should




Book IX. In the opening the spirit of adventure craves admission
        to the
heart of the poet, who would fain learn from her tidings of
The venture telleth how the hero had ridden long in doubt and
and knew not the days of his wanderings. How he met again with
and came to the forest of Monsalväsch, where he fought with a
        Knight of
the Grail. How, on Good Friday, Parzival met with a pilgrim
        knight who
reproached him for bearing arms at that Holy Tide, and bade him
the hermit Trevrezent.

How Parzival came to the hermit's cell, and spake of his wrath
God, of his sorrow for his wife, and of his search for the Grail.
Trevrezent told him wherein he had sinned, and showed him the way

How the hermit farther revealed to him the mysteries of the
        Grail, of
the Bleeding Lance, and the knives of silver; how he told him of
wound of Anfortas, of the race of the Grail Kings, and how
himself was nephew to Anfortas and Trevrezent. How Parzival
that it was he who came to the Grail Castle and failed to ask the
question; how Trevrezent spake to him words of comfort and
        counsel, and
absolved him from his sin; and how the two parted in sorrow.

                                BOOK IX


    'Ope the portal!' 'To whom? Who art thou?' 'In thine heart
        would I find a place!'
    'Nay! if such be thy prayer, methinketh, too narrow shall be
        the space!'
    'What of that? If it do but hold me, none too close shall my
        presence be,
    Nor shalt thou bewail my coming, such marvels I'll tell to
    Is it thou, then, O Dame Adventure? Ah! tell me of Parzival,       5
    What doeth he now my hero? whom Kondrie, to find the Grail
    Hath driven, with words sharp-pointed, and sore wept the
        maidens fair
    That the path of his far wayfarings the knight from their
        side must bear.
    So he passed from the court of King Arthur, where shall he
        abide to-day?
    Ah! hasten the tale to tell us, where now shall his footsteps
        stray?                                                        10
    Say, if fame to himself he winneth, or be ever of joy bereft,
    Shall his honour as fair and spotless as of old so to-day be
    His renown is it broad as aforetime, or waxeth it small and
    Ah! tell us, nor stay the story, of the deeds that his hand
        shall win.
    Hath he seen once again Monsalväsch, and Anfortas, the
        mournful king,                                                15
    Whose heart was with sorrow laden? Of thy pity swift comfort
    And say if his woe be ended--Speak, speak for we tidings pray
    Of him whom alike we serve here, dwells Parzival there
    Declare unto me his doings, how fares it with Gamuret's son,
    And the child of fair Herzeleide, is the tale of his
        wanderings done?                                              20
    Since he rode from the court of King Arthur has joy been his
        lot, or woe?
    He hath striven, but rides he ever thro' the wide world nor
        rest doth know?
    Or loveth he now, outwearied, to linger o'er-long at ease?
    I were fain to know all his doings, so speak thou, as thou
        shalt please!
    And this hath the venture told me--He hath ridden many a
        land,                                                         25
    And hath sailèd many a water; and ever, before his hand,
    Were he man of the land or kinsman who would joust with him,
        he fell,
    Nor abode his mighty onslaught, and all men of his praises
    And ever when in the balance the fame of his foe must lie,
    'Twas outweighed by his fame, and his glory uprose to the
        stars on high,                                                30
    And all others paled before it--In many a mighty strife
    With sword and lance was he victor, and guarded full well his
    And they who would fame win from him, for such thinking they
        paid full dear--
    The sword that Anfortas gave him, as ye once in this tale did
    Sprang asunder onewhile, yet 'twas welded afresh in the
        mystic spring                                                 35
    By Karnant, and much fame and honour the blade to its lord
        did bring!

    Who believeth me not, he sinneth, for now doth the venture
    How adown a woodland pathway, on his way rode Sir Parzival,
    (But the hour of his riding I wot not, if in waxing or waning
    When a hermitage, newly builded, uprose to his wondering
        sight,                                                        40
    And a stream flowed swift beneath it, for 'twas built o'er
        the brooklet's wave
    Then in search of some worthy venture to its door rode the
        hero brave,
    Nor knew that of grace 'twas the portal, and his footsteps of
        God were led.
    But the dweller therein was a maiden, and the days of her joy
        were sped,
    For the love of God had she offered her youth, and the joys
        of earth,                                                     45
    And the root of her old-time sorrow brought ever fresh grief
        to birth.

    For he found here Schionatulander, and Siguné, his faithful
    Dead and buried he lay, the hero, and the maid wept his tomb
    Tho' but seldom Siguné the Duchess might hearken the Holy
    All her life was a prayer, in God's service her nights as her
        days she'ld pass.                                             50
    And her lips, erst so red and glowing, had faded as life-joys
    And alone would she mourn such sorrow as never had mourned a

    Thus denial of love's fulfilling made Love, with her love, to
    And dead, as she living loved him, did she cherish him
    And in sooth had she once his wife been, then ne'er had
        Lunete braved                                                 55
    Her wrath, and had given such counsel, as she once to her
        lady gave.
    And today may we look upon women, who never a willing ear
    Had turned to Lunete, and such wisdom but little had brooked
        to hear.
    For this do I know, that a woman who, for love of her lord
    And thro' virtue of gentle breeding, doth never strange
        service own,                                                  60
    But aye, while her husband liveth, shall be to him wife as
    Heaven giveth in her such blessing as bloometh for ever new!
    And never shall prayer or fasting robe her with a robe as
    And I, if the time were fitting, this word naught but truth
        would swear.
    Be he dead, she may do as best please her, but if faithful
        she still abide,                                              65
    Then far fairer such faith than the circlet she beareth at
        feasting tide!

    Shall I joy compare with the sorrow that her faith to Siguné
    Nay, 'twere better I speak not of it--O'er rough stones, and
        a road unwrought
    Rode Parzival to the window (he deemed well he rode too
    He would ask of the woodland pathway, and the goal of its
        windings hear.                                                70
    And he thought him, perchance, the hermit might tell of the
        unknown way,
    'Doth one dwell here?' the voice of a maiden it was that made
    As he knew 'twas the voice of a woman, swift turned he his
        steed aside
    On the greensward beside the pathway, for he deemed he too
        near did ride,
    And sooner had he dismounted had he known that a maiden dwelt     75
    Within such a lowly dwelling, and shame, as was meet, he

    Then his horse and his shield, all splintered, he bound to a
        fallen tree,
    And he loosed his sword from beside him, for a courteous
        knight was he.
    Then he stepped him unto the window, and asked of the place
        and road,
    And the cell of all joy was empty, and bare, as 'seemed
        grief's abode.                                                80
    He spake, would she come to the window? and the maiden from
        prayer arose,
    She was tall as a virgin lily, and pale as a faded rose,
    And he deemed not as yet that he knew her--A shirt woven
        rough of hair,
    Next her skin, 'neath a flowing garment of grey, did the
        maiden wear,
    And sorrow was her heart's treasure, and fallen her courage
        high,                                                         85
    And the guerdon she won for her service must be paid her in
        many a sigh!

    Then the maiden she stepped to the window and the knight did
        she courteous greet,
    In her hand did she hold her psalter, and her voice it was
        low and sweet.
    And Parzival saw on her white hand the gleam of a ring of
    For truly she bare the token she won from true love of old.       90
    And the stone set within the circlet was a garnet, whose
        slumbering light
    Flashed red mid the dusky shadows, as mid ashes the sparks
        glow bright.
    And the band that her head encircled was black as a mourning
    Then she spake, 'Sir Knight, 'neath the window a bench shalt
        thou see to stand,
    Thou canst sit there, an it so please thee, and thy journey
        will brook delay,                                             95
    God reward thee for this thy greeting Who hath led thee to me
        this day!'

    Then the hero did as she bade him, and he sat 'neath the
        window small,
    And he prayed her, 'Sit thou within there!' 'Nay! ne'er did
        such chance befall
    That here by a man I sat me!' Then he asked her, what did she
    That, so far from the home of men-folk, thou dost dwell in
        this desert drear                                            100
    Seemeth me all too great a wonder, say, Lady, how shalt thou
    Since no man abideth by thee who succour or food can give?'

    Then she quoth, ''Tis the Grail that doth feed me, and It
        feedeth me well I ween,
    From Its marvels the sorceress Kondrie, (of her own will the
        task hath been,)
    Doth bring me each Sabbath vigil what serveth me for the
        week.'                                                       105
    A little space she kept silence, then further the maid did
    'An it otherwise were with me as I would, I need little care
    For the food, since the Grail doth feed me I never too ill
        shall fare!'

    But he deemed that she lied unto him, and with false words
        would speak him
    fair, And, mocking, he spake,'Now, who gave thee that ring
        which I see thee wear?                                       110
    For ever 'twas told unto me that hermit, or man, or maid,
    Must forswear all love!'--'Now I think me, if in truth thou
        these words hast said,
    For false maiden thou sure dost hold me! Yet if falsehood I
        ever learn,
    And thou shalt be near to witness, 'twere time _then_ with
        wrath to burn!
    God knoweth, ill ways I hated, and falsehood I never knew;       115
    This troth plight that here thou seest I had from a lover
    Tho' never was love's fulfilment our portion while he might
    'Twas the heart of maiden bade me the love of a maiden give.
    And he lieth in death beside me, and his token I ever wear
    Since the day that Duke Orilus slew him--and grief for his
        sake I bear--'                                               120

    'And true love will I truly give him, thro' my sorrow-laden
    Such love as I sware unto him, when he, whom, all knights
        must praise,
    With sword, and shield, and helmet, and prowess of knightly
    Sought my love, and in true love's service won death for his
        glory's meed!
    Yet tho' ever a spotless maiden, my husband he, in God's
        sight,                                                       125
    Shall be, and if thoughts God counteth as deeds then is woven
    The bond that shall ever bind us, true husband and wife as
    For his death wrought my life such sorrow as waxeth for ever
    And this ring shall, I ween, be my witness when I stand in
        the sight of God
    Of a marriage vow and the tear-drops that bedew it are tears
        of blood.'                                                   130

    'Yea, 'tis I indeed, and none other, and the hero who here
        doth lie
    Is my knight, Schionatulander, and the maid of his love am
    Then he knew 'twas the maid Siguné, and her sorrow it wrought
        him pain,
    And he lifted his helmet's visor ere he spake to the maid
    And she saw his head uncovered, and she saw his face gleam
        white                                                        135
    Thro' the rust of the iron harness, and she spake to the
        gallant knight:
    'Is it thou, Parzival, my kinsman? Dost thou seek for the
        Grail to-day?
    Or its mighty power hast thou proven? Say, whither dost wend
        thy way?'

    Then he spake to the noble maiden, 'Alas! for my joy is fled,
    And the Grail hath but wrought me sorrow, and mischance in
        fair fortune's stead.                                        140
    For the land that as king had crowned me must I leave, and
        yet more, I ween,
    The fairest of wives, and the sweetest, that ever a man hath
    For no lovelier form I think me on earth of mankind was born,
    And I yearn for her tender greeting, and full sore for her
        love I mourn!
    And yet know I a deeper sorrow and I strive for a higher
        prize,                                                       145
    For the day when the Burg of Monsalväsch, and the Grail shall
        rejoice my eyes!
    Now, Siguné, dear my cousin, thou wast all too wroth with me,
    For heavy indeed my sorrow, yet thou fain wouldst my foeman

    And she quoth,'From henceforth, my cousin, mine anger will I
    For too much of thy joy lieth forfeit since the question thou
        didst forbear!                                               150
    And I would not too sorely grieve thee--Alas I that thou
        didst withhold
    The word that had brought thee honour, and the tale of his
        griefs had told
    Who sat there as thine host beside thee--nor thine host alone
        was he,
    Anfortas, for joy and blessing his presence had brought to
    And thy question great bliss had brought thee, and thy
        silence had wrought thee woe,                                155
    And thy spirit shall fail, and heart-sorrow as thy comrade
        thou well shalt know.
    And yet had it been far from thee, nor, a stranger, had
        sought thy side,
    Hadst thou asked of that Burg the marvels, and what ill did
        its host betide!'

    'Yea, I did there as one who wrongeth himself; yet my cousin
    I prithee here give me counsel, since in sooth are we kinsmen
        near.                                                        160
    And tell me, how fares it with thee? I would sorrow for this
        thy woe
    Were my sorrow not all too heavy! Greater grief man may never

    Then she quoth, 'May His Mercy help thee, Who knoweth of all
        men's woe,
    Perchance it may yet befall thee that His finger a way shall
    That shall lead thee once more to Monsalväsch, and thine
        heart's bliss afresh shall spring.                           165
    'Tis but short space since Kondrie left me, and I would I
        could tidings bring
    Of whither she went, but I asked not if she rode to the Burg
    Or passed elsewhere; but when she cometh by that streamlet
        she draweth rein,
    Where, from cleft in the high rock riven, the waters flow
        fresh and clear.
    It may be, if thou follow swiftly, that she rideth as yet
        anear,                                                       170
    And, perchance, thou shalt overtake her.' Then the knight he
        made no delay
    But farewell did he bid to the maiden; and he followed the
        woodland way,
    And fresh were the tracks before him, but such pathway the
        mule must choose
    Thro' the depths of the dusky thicket that its traces he soon
        must lose.
    As the Grail he had lost of aforetime, so he lost It again
        to-day,                                                      175
    And joy and delight fled with It--Yea, had he but found the
    And reached once again Monsalväsch, for better than erst of
    Had he known how to ask the question--thus in sooth is the
        venture told.

    So now let him ride, but whither? Lo, a knight with uncovered
    And blazoned coat o'er his shining harness, full swiftly
        towards him sped!                                            180
    And to Parzival thus quoth he, 'Sir Knight, I must deem it
    That thus thro' the woods of my monarch thou takest thy way
        at will!
    Begone! or receive such token thou shalt wish thyself far
        from here!
    Monsalväsch doth never brook it that men ride thus its walls
    And here must thou strive in battle, and win here a victor's
        fame,                                                        185
    Or such penance be thine, as without there, in the open, men
        _Death_ shall name!'
    And he bare in his hand a helmet, and its bands were of
        silken sheen,
    Sharp-pointed his spear, and the spear-shaft was of wood new
        and strong I ween!
    And wrathful he bound his helmet on his head, not in vain
        should be
    His threat, for his blows should enforce it! Now ready for
        joust was he;                                                190
    But many a spear as goodly had splintered 'fore Parzival,
    And he thought, 'Now, it well had chanced me, that death to
        my lot should fall
    If I rode thro' the corn upstanding--_then_ reason had he for
    But _now_ hath he none, since I ride here on naught but a
        woodland path,
    And I tread here but fern and heather! An mine hand shall not
        lose its skill                                               195
    I will leave him such pledge for my journey as, I think me,
        shall please him ill!'

    Then they rode at full speed their chargers, and they urged
        them with spur and rein,
    As the bolt from the bow of the archer so swift flew those
        heroes twain,
    And the first joust they rode unwounded; but many a knightly
    Unscathed had Parzival ridden, and e'en so should it chance
        to-day.                                                      200
    (Unto skill and the lust of battle must his father's son be
    His lance-point upon the fastening of his foeman's helm
        struck fair,
    And it smote him where men in jousting their shield are wont
        to hold,
    And down from his gallant charger did he bear him, the
        Templar bold.
    And the knight of the Grail fell headlong down the side of a
        rocky dell,                                                  205
    Tho' couch he had found, I think me, he slumbered not over

    But the victor's steed sped onward, and in vain would he
        check its flight
    Ere it fell, and well-nigh in falling had borne to his death
        the knight.
    A cedar o'erhung the chasm, its bough Parzival gripped fast,
    (Nor think ye scorn of my hero, that, as chanceth a thief at
        last,                                                        210
    He hung, for none spake his judgment, he hung there by his
        own hand)
    His feet, for a foothold seeking, on the rock found at last
        their stand:
    Far out of his reach, beneath him, his gallant steed lay
    Up the further side of the valley the Templar for safety
    Think ye that he much might pride him on his token from
        Parzival?                                                    215
    Far better at home in Monsalväsch had he fared with the
        wondrous Grail!
    To the plain once more climbed our hero, there the steed of
        the Templar stood,
    For down to the ground hung the bridle and fettered the
        war-horse good.
    As the knight in his flight forgat it so it stood where its
        master fell,
    Swift Parzival sprang to the saddle, such booty might please
        him well.                                                    220
    Of a truth his spear had he shattered, yet more than he lost
        he won--
    Nor Lähelein, nor Kingrisein a better joust e'er had run!
    Nor King Gramoflanz nor Count Laskoit (the son he of
    Onward he rode, yet wandering, nor further befell mischance,
    Nor strife, from the knights of Monsalväsch, yet one grief
        must vex his soul,                                           235
    He found not the Grail--Ever further he rode, further fled
        the goal!

    Now he who my song will hearken, he shall hear that which yet
    Tho' the tale of the weeks I know not, that had flown since
        Sir Parzival
    Had met with the maid, and had ridden on venture as aye
    One morning the ground was snow-clad, and tho' thin was the
        cloak it bore                                                230
    Yet so thick it was that men, seeing, had deemed it the time
        of frost;
    As he rode thro' the depths of a woodland by a knight was his
        pathway crossed,
    And old was the knight, and grey bearded, yet his face it was
        bright and fair,
    And his lady who walked beside him like mien to her lord did
    And each on their naked body wore a garment of horse-hair
        grey,                                                        235
    For penance and pilgrimage minded they wended afoot their
    And their children, two gentle maidens, such as men's eyes
        are fain to see,
    In like garments they followed barefoot, e'en as pilgrims are
        wont to be.

    Then our hero the old knight greeted as he passed on his
        lowly way,
    And good was the rede, and holy, that he heard from his lips
        that day.                                                    240
    And a prince of the land he seemed him--By each maiden a
        brachet ran,
    And with humble mien and reverent paced master alike and man.
    For both knight and squire they followed on this holy
    And some, they were young and beardless, and some were bent
        low with age.

    But Parzival, our hero, he was clad in far other wise,           245
    In fair raiment, rich and costly, he rode in right knightly
    And proudly he ware his harness, and unlike were the twain I
    The old man in his robe of penance and the knight in his
        armour's sheen!
    Then swiftly he turned his bridle and held by the pathway
    For fain would he know of their journey, and friendly the
        knight replied.                                              250
    But a sorrow the old man deemed it that one to this Holy Tide
    Should have failèd to give due honour, but in warlike gear
        should ride.
    For better would it befit him unarmèd this day to greet,
    Or like them to walk barefooted, and in garb for a sinner

    Quoth Parzival, 'Nay, I know not what the time of the year
        may be,                                                      255
    Or how men the tale may reckon of the weeks as they swiftly
    How the days shall be named I know not, long have I forgot
        such lore!
    Of old time I served a master, and _God_ was the name He
    But He bare unto me no favour, and for guerdon He mocking
    Tho' ne'er had my heart turned from Him--Men said, 'If from
        God ye crave                                                 260
    For succour, He sure will give it;' but I deem well they
        spake a lie,
    For He who they said would help me, did help unto me deny!'

    Quoth the grey-haired knight, 'Dost thou mean Him who was
        once of a Maiden born?
    Dost believe that a Man for men's sake He died on the cross
        this morn,
    And this day for His sake we hallow? Then such garb becomes
        thee ill!                                                    265
    For to-day all men call Good Friday, and the world it
        rejoiceth still
    O'er the day that her chains were riven; tho' she mourneth
        her Saviour's pain.
    Speak, knowest thou of faith more faithful than the faith God
        hath kept with men,
    Since He hung on the cross for men's sake? Such woe as He
        bare for thee,
    Sir Knight, sure must work thee sorrow, since baptized thou
        shalt surely be!                                             270
    For _our_ sin His life was forfeit, or else had mankind been
    And Hell as his prey had held us, and Hell's torments had
        paid sin's cost.
    Sir Knight, if thou be not heathen, thou shalt honour this
        Holy Day--
    So do thou as here I counsel, ride thou on this woodland way,
    For near here a hermit dwelleth, as thy speech, so his rede
        shall be,                                                    275
    And if ruth for ill deed thou showest of thy sin will he
        speak thee free!'

    Then out quoth the old man's daughter, 'Nay, father, but
        speak not so,
    For too chill and cold is the morning, thou shalt bid him no
        further go.
    Far better to bid him warm him his steel-clad limbs, for
    And fair shall he be to look on, and the way is both cold and
        long.                                                        280
    Methinks were he thrice as mighty he would freeze ere his
        goal he reach,
    And here hast thou tent for shelter, and viands for all and
    Came King Arthur and all his vassals thou wouldst still have
        enough I trow,
    So do thou as host so kindly, and good-will to this young
        knight show!'
    Quoth the grey-haired sire, 'My daughters, Sir Knight, here
        give counsel good,                                           285
    Each year, with tent of pilgrim, I wend thro' this lonely
    If warm or cold be the season I care not, as year by year
    The time of our dear Lord's Passion draweth once more anear,
    He rewardeth His servant's service--Sir Knight, what I, for
        His sake,
    Brought here, as my guest, right willing, I pray thee from me
        to take!'                                                    290

    And kindly they spake, the maidens, and they bade the knight
        to stay,
    And with gracious mien they prayed naught might drive him
        from them away.
    And tho' cold was the frost and bitter, and it wrought not as
        summer's heat,
    Yet Parzival saw their lips glow so red, and soft, and sweet.
    (Tho' they wept for the death of the Saviour, such sorrow
        became them well.)                                           295
    And here, had I cause for vengeance, an such happy chance
    I never would speak them guiltless, but a kiss should their
        penance be,
    Nor against their will would I take it, of good-will should
        they give it me!
    For women shall aye be women, and tho' brave be the knight,
        and strong,
    Yet I ween is he oft the vanquished, nor the strife it
        endureth long!                                               300

    With sweet words, and ways so gentle, they ever the knight
        would pray,
    Children alike and parents, and fain would they have him
    Yet he thought, 'It were best I leave them, for e'en if I
        turn aside
    All too fair methinks are these maidens, 'twere unfitting
        that _I_ should ride
    While _they_ by my side walk barefoot--And 'tis better that
        we should part,                                              305
    Since ever I bear Him hatred Whom they worship with lowly
    And they look for His aid, Who ever hath turnèd His face from
    Nor from sorrow hath He withheld me, but hath wrought with me
    'Knight and Lady,' he quoth, 'I think me 'twere better I
        leave should pray,
    May good fortune be yours, and blessing, and fulness of joy
        alway,                                                       310
    And may you, ye gentle maidens, find reward in your courtesy,
    Since so well ye had thought to serve me, fair leave would I
        pray from ye!'
    He greeted them, low they bowed them, and greeted the knight
    Nor might they withhold their sorrow, for parting aye
        bringeth pain!

    So the son of Herzeleide rode onward, well taught was he         315
    In all manly skill and courage, in mercy and purity;
    And his mother had aye bequeathed him her faithful heart and
    Yet ever his soul waxed sadder, and there sprang up thoughts
    Of the might of the Maker of all things, Who hath made this
        earth of naught,
    How He dealeth with all creation, and still on His power he
        thought                                                      320
    'How might it yet be if God sent me that which brought to an
        end my woe?
    If ever a knight He favoured, if ever a knight might know
    His payment for service done Him--if He thinketh His aid they
    Who dauntless shall wield their weapons, and ne'er from a
        foeman turn,
    Let Him aid me, who bear unstainèd shield and sword as befits
        a man,                                                       325
    If to-day be His Day of Redemption, let Him help me, if help
        He _can_.'

    Backward he turned his bridle on the road he had ridden
    And the knight and his children stood there, and mourned for
        the parting sore.
    And the maidens, true and gentle, gazed after the passing
    And his heart spake, he fain had seen them once more those
        maidens bright.                                              330

    Then he spake, 'Is God's power so mighty that He guideth upon
        their way
    The steed alike and the rider, then His hand may I praise
    If God sendeth help from heaven, then let Him my charger show
    The goal which shall bless my journey, so shall I the token
    Now, go thou as God shall lead thee!' and bridle and bit he
        laid                                                         335
    Free on the neck of his charger and spurred it adown the

    Towards Fontaine-Sauvage the road led, and the chapel where
        once he sware
    The oath that should clear Jeschuté--A holy man dwelt there,
    And Trevrezent men called him, and ever on Monday morn
    Poor was his fare, and no richer it waxed as the week wore
        on.                                                          340
    Nor wine nor bread he tasted, nor food that with blood was
    Fish nor flesh, but his life so holy on the herb of the
        ground was fed.
    And ever his thoughts, God-guided, were turning to Heaven's
    And by fasting the wiles of the Devil he deemed he might best

    And to Parzival the mystery of the Grail should he now
        reveal--                                                     345
    And he, who of this hath asked me, and since silence my lips
        must seal
    Was wroth with me as his foeman, his anger might naught
    Since I did but as Kiot bade me, for he would I should hide
        the tale,
    And tell unto none the secret, till the venture so far were
    That the hidden should be made open, and the marvel of men be
        read.                                                        350

    For Kiot of old, the master whom men spake of in days of
    Far off in Toledo's city, found in Arabic writ the lore
    By men cast aside and forgotten, the tale of the wondrous
    But first must he learn the letters, nor black art might
        there avail.
    By the grace of baptismal waters, by the light of our Holy
        Faith,                                                       355
    He read the tale, else 'twere hidden; for never, the story
    Might heathen skill have shown us the virtue that hidden lies
    In this mighty Grail, or Its marvels have opened to Christian

    'Twas a heathen, Flegetanis, who had won for his wisdom fame,
    And saw many a wondrous vision, (from Israel's race he came,     360
    And the blood of the kings of old-time, of Solomon did he
    He wrote in the days long vanished, ere we as a shield might
    The cross of our Holy Baptism 'gainst the craft and the wiles
        of Hell,
    And he was the first of earth's children the lore of the
        Grail to tell.
    By his father's side a heathen, a calf he for God did hold,      365
    How wrought the devil such folly, on a folk so wise, of old?
    And the Highest Who knoweth all wonders, why stretched He not
        forth His Hand
    To the light of His truth to turn them? For who may His power

    And the heathen, Flegetanis, could read in the heavens high
    How the stars roll on their courses, how they circle the
        silent sky,                                                  370
    And the time when their wandering endeth--and the life and
        the lot of men
    He read in the stars, and strange secrets he saw, and he
        spake again
    Low, with bated breath and fearful, of the thing that is
        called the Grail,
    In a cluster of stars was it written, the name, nor their
        lore shall fail.
    And he quoth thus, 'A host of angels this marvel to earth
        once bore,                                                   375
    But too pure for earth's sin and sorrow the heaven they
        sought once more,
    And the sons of baptized men hold It, and guard It with
        humble heart,
    And the best of mankind shall those knights be who have in
        such service part'

    Then Kiot my master read this, the tale Flegetanis told,
    And he sought for the name of the people, in Latin books of
        old,                                                         380
    Who of God were accounted worthy for this wondrous Grail to
    Who were true and pure in their dealings and a lowly heart
        might bear.
    And in Britain, and France, and Ireland thro' the chronicles
        he sought
    Till at length, in the land of Anjou, the story to light was
    There, in true and faithful record, was it written of
        Mazadan,                                                     385
    And the heroes, the sons of his body, and further the story
    How Titurel, the grandsire, left his kingdom to Frimutel,
    And at length to his son, Anfortas, the Grail and Its heirdom
    That his sister was Herzeleide, and with Gamuret she wed
    And bare him for son the hero whose wanderings ye now have
        read.                                                        390
    For he rideth upon a journey that shall lead him a road
    Tho' the grey knight but now had wended his way from the
        fountain lone.

    And he knew again the meadow, tho' now the snow lay white
    On the ground that erst was blooming with flowers of
        springtide bright.
    'Twas before the rocky hillside where his hand must wipe away    395
    The stain from Jeschuté's honour, and her husband's wrath
    Yet still the road led onward, to Fontaine-Sauvage, the name
    Of the goal that should end his journey and his hermit host
        he came.

    Then out spake the holy hermit, 'Alas, why doest thou so,
    Sir Knight? at this Holy Season 'tis ill thus armed to go.       400
    Dost thou bear perchance this harness thro' strife and danger
    Or hast thou unharmèd ridden, and in peace on thy way hast
    Other robe had beseemed thee better! List not to the voice of
    But draw thy rein here beside me, and with me for a space
    Not all too ill shalt thou fare here, thou canst warm thee
        beside my fire.                                              405
    Dost thou seek here for knightly venture, and dost guerdon of
        love desire,
    If the power of true Love constrain thee, then love Him who
        Love may claim!
    As this day to His Love beareth witness, be His service
        to-day thine aim,
    And serve for the love of fair women, if it please thee,
        another day;
    But now get thee from off thy charger, and awhile from thy
        wanderings stay.'                                            410

    Then Parzival, e'en as he bade him, sprang lightly unto the
    Humbly he stood before him, as he told how he folk had found
    Who had told of the hermit's dwelling, and the counsel he
        wisely gave,
    And he spake, 'I am one who hath sinnèd, and rede at thy lips
        I crave!'
    As he spake the hermit answered,'Right gladly I'll counsel
        thee,                                                        415
    But, say, what folk hast thou met with? Who showed thee thy
        way to me?
    'In the wood I met with an old man grey-headed, and fair he
    And kindly, I ween, were his people, he bade me this road to
    On his track my steed came hither.' Then answered the hermit
    ''Twas Kahenis, and his praises shall ever by men be told.       420
    A prince of the land of Punturtois, and his sister Kareis'
    Hath taken to wife--Fairer maidens no mother to earth did
    Than those maidens twain, his daughters, who met thee upon
        thy road,
    Of a royal house, yet yearly he seeketh this poor abode!'

    Then Parzival spake to the hermit, 'Now say, when thou saw'st
        me here,                                                     425
    Didst thou shrink from my warlike coming, didst thou feel no
        touch of fear?'
    Quoth the hermit,'Sir Knight, believe me, far oftener for
        stag or bear
    Have I feared than I feared a man's face, in sooth shalt thou
        be aware
    I fear me for no man living! Both cunning and skill have I,
    And tho' I were loath to vaunt me, yet I ne'er to this life
        did fly                                                      430
    For fear, as beseems a maiden! For never my heart did quail
    When I faced as a knight my foeman, and ne'er did my courage
    In the days when such things became me, in the days when I
        too might fight,
    I was armèd as thou art armèd, like thee did I ride, a
    And I strove for high love's rewarding, and many an evil
        thought                                                      435
    With the pure mind within me battled, and ever my way I
    To win from a woman favour! All that was in time of yore,
    And my body, by fasting wasted, remembereth those days no

    'Now give to mine hand the bridle, for there 'neath the rocky
    Thy steed shall abide in safety, and we, ere the night shall
        fall,                                                        440
    Will gather of bough and herbage, since no better food may
    Yet I trust that both thou and thy charger fare not all too
        ill with me!'
    But Parzival deemed that surely 'twas unfitting a hermit old
    Should thus lead his steed, and the bridle he would fain from
        his hand withhold,
    'Now courtesy sure forbids thee to strive 'gainst thine
        host's good-will,                                            445
    Let not haste from the right path lead thee, but follow my
        counsel still.'
    In this wise spake the old man kindly, as he bade him, so did
        the knight,
    And the charger he led 'neath the hillside where but seldom
        did sun-rays light.
    In sooth 'twas a wondrous stable where the hermit the steed
        would stall,
    And thro' it, from heights o'erhanging, foamed ever a
        water-fall.                                                  450

    The snow lay beneath our hero, no weakling was he, I ween,
    Else the frost and the cold of his harness o'er-much for his
        strength had been.
    To a cavern the hermit led him where no breath of wind might
    And a fire of coals had warmed it, and burned with a ruddy
    And here might the guest refresh him by the fire and a
        taper's light,                                               455
    (Well strewn was the ground with fuel,) then swiftly the
        gallant knight
    Laid from off him his heavy armour, and warmed his limbs so
    And his skin in the light glowed ruddy, and his face might
        the host behold.
    He might well be of wandering weary, for never a trodden way
    Nor a roof save the stars of heaven had he known for many a
        day.                                                         460
    In the daylight the wood had he ridden, and his couch, it had
        been the ground:
    'Twas well that he here a shelter, and a kindly host had

    Then his host cast a robe around him, and he took him by his
        right hand,
    And he led him into a cavern where his Missal did open stand.
    And as fitted the Holy Season the Altar was stripped and
        bare;                                                        465
    And the shrine--Parzival must know it, 'twas the spot where
        he once did swear
    With true hand, true oath and faithful, that ended Jeschuté's
    And turnèd her tears to laughter, and taught her fresh joy to

    Quoth Parzival, 'Well I know it this chapel and shrine! Of
    As hither my wanderings led me, an oath on that shrine I
        swore;                                                       470
    And a spear, with fair colours blazoned, that did here by the
        altar stand
    I bare hence, and in sooth, I think me, right well did it
        serve my hand!
    Men say it much honour brought me, yet I wot not if it be so,
    For in thoughts of my wife had I lost me, and naught of the
        thing I know.
    Yet, unwitting, two jousts had I ridden, and two foemen I
        overthrew,                                                   475
    In those days all men gave me honour, nor sorrow nor shame I
    Now, alas! is my sorrow greater than ever to man befell!
    Say, when did I bear the spear hence? The days of my
        wanderings tell!'

    'It was Taurian,' quoth the hermit, 'who his spear in my care
        did leave,
    And much did he mourn its losing, and I with the knight must
        grieve.                                                      480
    And four years and a half and three days shall have passed
        since we lost the spear,
    Sir Knight, an my word thou doubtest, behold! it is written
    Then he showed unto him in the Psalter how the time it had
        come and gone,
    And the weeks and the years he read him that silent and swift
        had flown.
    And he spake, 'Now first do I learn them, the days that I
        aimless stray,                                               485
    And the weeks and the years that have vanished, since my joy
        hath been reft away.'
    And he spake, 'Now indeed me-seemeth that my bliss it was but
        a dream,
    For heavy the load of sorrow that so long hath my portion

    'And, Sir Host, I yet more would tell thee, where cloister or
        church shall be
    And men unto God give honour, there no eye hath looked on me,    490
    And naught but strife have I sought me, tho' the time as thou
        sayst be long,
    For I against God bear hatred, and my wrath ever waxeth
    For my sorrow and shame hath He cherished, and He watched
        them greater grow
    Till too high they waxed, and my gladness, yet living, He
        buried low!
    And I think were God fain to help me other anchor my joy had
        found                                                        495
    Than this, which so deep hath sunk it, and with sorrow hath
        closed it round.
    A man's heart is mine, and sore wounded, it acheth, and
        acheth still,
    Yet once was it glad and joyous, and free from all thought of
    Ere sorrow her crown of sorrow, thorn-woven, with stern hand
    On the honour my hand had won me o'er many a foeman's crest!     500
    And I do well to lay it on Him, the burden of this my shame,
    Who can help if He will, nor withholdeth the aid that men
        fain would claim,
    But me alone, hath He helped not, whate'er men of Him may
    But ever He turneth from me, and His wrath on my head doth

    Then the hermit beheld him sighing, 'Sir Knight, thou shalt
        put away                                                     505
    Such madness, and trust God better, for His help will He
        never stay.
    And His aid to us here be given, yea, alike unto me and thee.
    But' twere best thou shouldst sit beside me, and tell here
        thy tale to me,
    And make to me free confession--How first did this woe begin?
    What foe shall have worked such folly that God should thine
        hatred win?                                                  510
    Yet first would I pray thee, courteous, to hearken the word I
    For fain would I speak Him guiltless, ere yet thou thy plaint
        shall lay
    'Gainst Him, Who denieth never unto sinful man His aid,
    But ever hath answered truly, who truly to Him hath prayed.'

    'Tho' a layman I was yet ever in books might I read and learn    515
    How men, for His help so faithful, should ne'er from His
        service turn.
    Since aid He begrudged us never, lest our soul unto Hell
        should fall,
    And as God Himself shall be faithful, be _thou_ faithful
        whate'er befall;
    For false ways He ever hateth--and thankful we aye should be
    When we think of the deed, so gracious, once wrought of His
        love so free!                                                520
    For _our_ sake the Lord of Heaven in the likeness of man was
    And Truth is His name, and His nature, nor from Truth shall
        He e'er have strayed.
    And this shalt thou know most surely, God breaketh His faith
        with _none_.
    Teach thy thoughts ne'er from Him to waver, since Himself and
        His ways are One!'

    'Wouldst thou force thy God with thine anger? He who heareth
        that thou hast sworn                                         525
    Hatred against thy Maker, he shall hold thee of wit forlorn!
    Of Lucifer now bethink thee, and of those who must share his
    Bethink thee, the angel nature was free from all taint of
    Say, whence sprang that root of evil which spurred them to
        endless strife,
    And won its reward in Hell's torments, and the death of an
        outcast life?                                                530
    Ashtaroth, Belcimon, and Belat, Rhadamant, yea, and many
    Pride and anger the host of Heaven with Hell's colours have
        painted o'er!'

    'When Lucifer and his angels thus sped on their downward way,
    To fill their place, a wonder God wrought from the earth and
    The son of His hands was Adam, and from flesh of Adam, Eve       535
    He brought, and for Eve's transgression, I ween, all the
        world doth grieve.
    For she hearkened not her Creator, and she robbed us of our
    And two sons sprang forth from her body, and the elder he
        wrought amiss,
    Since envy so worked upon him that from wrath there sprang
    And of maidenhood did he rob her who was mother of all his
        race!                                                        540
    Here many a one doth question, an the tale be to him unknown,
    How might such a thing have chancèd? It came but by sin

    Quoth Parzival, 'Now, I think me that never such thing might
    And 'twere better thou shouldst keep silence, than tell such
        a tale to me!
    For who should have borne the father, whose son, as thou
        sayest, reft                                                 545
    Maidenhood from his father's mother? Such riddle were better
    But the hermit again made answer, 'Now thy doubt will I put
    O'er my falsehood thou canst bemoan thee if the thing be not
        truth I say,
    For the _Earth_ was Adam's mother, of the _Earth_ was Adam
    And I ween, tho' a man she bare here, yet still was the Earth
        a maid.                                                      550
    And here will I read the riddle, he who robbed her of
    Was Cain the son of Adam, who in wrath shed his brother's
    For as on the Earth, so stainless, the blood of the guiltless
    Her maidenhood fled for ever! And true is the tale I tell.
    For wrath of man and envy, thro' Cain did they wake to life,     555
    And ever from that day forward thro' his sin there ariseth

    'Nor on earth shall aught be purer than a maiden undefiled,
    Think how pure must be a maiden, since God was a Maiden's
    Two men have been born of maidens, and God hath the likeness
    Of the son of the first Earth-Maiden, since to help us He aye
        was fain.                                                    560
    Thus grief alike and gladness from the seed of Adam spring,
    Since He willed to be Son of Adam, Whose praises the angels
    And yet have we sin as our birthright, and sin's pain must we
        ever bear,
    Nor its power may we flee! Yet pity He feeleth for our
    Whose Strength is aye linked with Mercy, and with Mercy goes
        hand in hand,                                                565
    And for man, as a Man, He suffered, and did falsehood by
        truth withstand.'

    'No longer be wroth with thy Maker! If thou wouldst not thy
        soul were lost--
    And here for thy sin do penance, nor longer thus rashly
    For he who, with words untamèd, is fain to avenge his wrong,
    His own mouth shall, I ween, speak his judgment ere ever the
        time be long.                                                570
    Learn faith from the men of old-time, whose rede ever waxeth
    For Plato alike and the Sibyls in their day spake words so
    And long years ere the time had ripened His coming they did
    Who made for our sin's Atonement, and drew us from depths of
    God's Hand from those torments took us, and God's Love lifted
        us on high,                                                  575
    But they who His love disdainèd, they yet in Hell's clutches

    'From the lips of the whole world's Lover came a message of
        love and peace,
    (For He is a Light all-lightening, and never His faith doth
    And he to whom love He showeth, findeth aye in that Love his
    Yet twofold I ween is the message, and His token some read
        amiss;                                                       580
    For the world may buy, as it pleaseth, God's Wrath or His
        Love so great.
    Say, which of the twain wilt thou choose here, shall thy
        guerdon be Love or Hate?
    For the sinner without repentance, he flieth God's faith and
    But he who his sin confesseth, doth find in His presence

    'From the shrine of his heart, who shall keep Him? Tho'
        hidden the thought within,                                   585
    And secret, and thro' its darkness no sunbeam its way may
    (For thought is a secret chamber, fast locked, tho' no lock
        it bear,)
    Yet, tho' against man it be closèd, God's light ever shineth
    He pierceth the wall of darkness, and silent and swift His
    As no sound betrayed His coming, as no footstep was heard to
        ring,                                                        590
    So silent His way He goeth--And swift as our thoughts have
    Ere God passed of our heart the threshold, our thoughts unto
        Him were known!
    And the pure in heart He chooseth; he who doth an ill deed
    Since God knoweth the thoughts of all men, full sorely shall
        rue his sin.
    And the man who by deeds God's favour doth forfeit, what
        shall he gain?                                               595
    Tho' the world count him honour-worthy, his soul seeketh rest
        in vain.
    And where wilt thou seek for shelter if _God_ as thy foeman
    Who of wrath or of love giveth payment, as men serve Him,
        with equal hand?
    Thou art lost if thy God be against thee--If thou wouldst His
        favour earn,
    Then away from thy wrath and thy folly thy thoughts to His
        goodness turn!'                                              600

    Quoth Parzival, 'Here I thank thee, from my heart, that such
        faithful rede
    Thou hast given of him who withholdeth from no man his
        rightful meed,
    But evil, as good, requiteth--Yet my youth hath been full of
    And my faith hath but brought me sorrow, and ill to this day
        I fare!'

    Then the hermit he looked on the Waleis, 'If a secret be not
        thy grief,                                                   605
    Right willing thy woe I'll hearken, I may bring thee
        perchance relief;
    Of some counsel may I bethink me such as yet to thyself dost
    Quoth Parzival, 'Of my sorrows the chiefest is for the Grail,
    And then for my wife--none fairer e'er hung on a mother's
    For the twain is my heart yet yearning, with desire that
        ne'er findeth rest.'                                         610
    Quoth his host, 'Well, Sir Knight, thou speakest, such sorrow
        is good to bear;
    If thus for the wife of thy bosom thy heart knoweth grief and
    And Death find thee a faithful husband, tho' Hell vex thee
        with torments dire
    Yet thy pains shall be swiftly ended, God will draw thee from
        out Hell-fire.
    But if for the _Grail_ thou grievest, then much must I mourn
        thy woe,                                                     615
    O! foolish man, since fruitless thy labours, for thou shalt
    That none win the Grail save those only whose names are in
        Heaven known,
    They who to the Grail do service, they are chosen of God
    And mine eyes have surely seen this, and sooth is the word I
    Quoth Parzival, 'Thou hast been there?' 'Sir Knight,' quoth
        the hermit, 'Yea!'                                           620
    But never a word spake our hero of the marvels himself had
    But he asked of his host the story, and what men by 'The
        Grail' should mean?
    Spake the hermit, 'Full well do I know this, that many a
        knightly hand
    Serveth the Grail at Monsalväsch, and from thence, throughout
        all the land,
    On many a distant journey these gallant Templars fare,           625
    Whether sorrow or joy befall them, for their sins they this
        penance bear!'

    'And this brotherhood so gallant, dost thou know what to them
        shall give
    Their life, and their strength and their valour--then know,
        by a _stone_ they live,
    And that stone is both pure and precious--Its name hast thou
        never heard?
    Men call it _Lapis Exilis_--by its magic the wondrous bird,      630
    The Phoenix, becometh ashes, and yet doth such virtue flow
    From the stone, that afresh it riseth renewed from the ashes
    And the plumes that erewhile it moulted spring forth yet more
        fair and bright--
    And tho' faint be the man and feeble, yet the day that his
        failing sight
    Beholdeth the stone, he dies not, nor can, till eight days be
        gone,                                                        635
    Nor his countenance wax less youthful--If one daily behold
        that stone,
    (If a man it shall be, or a maiden 'tis the same,) for a
        hundred years,
    If they look on its power, their hair groweth not grey, and
        their face appears
    The same as when first they saw it, nor their flesh nor their
        bone shall fail
    But young they abide for ever--And this stone all men call
        the Grail.'                                                  640
    'And Its holiest power, and the highest shall I ween be
        renewed to-day,
    For ever upon Good Friday a messenger takes her way.
    From the height of the highest Heaven a Dove on her flight
        doth wing,
    And a Host, so white and holy, she unto the stone doth bring.
    And she layeth It down upon It; and white as the Host the
        Dove                                                         645
    That, her errand done, swift wingeth her way to the Heaven
    Thus ever upon Good Friday doth it chance as I tell to thee:
    And the stone from the Host receiveth all good that on earth
        may be
    Of food or of drink, the earth beareth as the fulness of
    All wild things in wood or in water, and all that 'neath
        Heaven flies,                                                650
    To that brotherhood are they given, a pledge of God's favour
    For His servants He ever feedeth and the Grail for their
        needs doth care!'

    'Now hearken, the Grail's elect ones, say who doth their
        service claim?
    On the Grail, in a mystic writing, appeareth each chosen
    If a man it shall be, or a maiden, whom God calls to this
        journey blest.                                               655
    And the message no man effaceth, till all know the high
    But when all shall the name have read there, as it came, doth
        the writing go:
    As children the Grail doth call them, 'neath its shadow they
        wax and grow.
    And blessèd shall be the mother whose child doth the summons
    Rich and poor alike rejoiceth when the messenger draweth
        near,                                                        660
    And the Grail son or daughter claimeth! They are gathered
        from every land,
    And ever from shame and sorrow are they sheltered, that holy
    In Heaven is their rewarding, if so be that they needs must
    Then bliss and desire's fulfilment are waiting them all on

    'They who took no part in the conflict, when Lucifer would
        fight                                                        665
    With the Three-in-One, those angels were cast forth from
        Heaven's height.
    To the earth they came at God's bidding, and that wondrous
        stone did tend,
    Nor was It less pure for their service, yet their task found
        at last an end.
    I know not if God forgave them, or if they yet deeper fell,
    This one thing I know of a surety, what God doeth, He doeth
        well!                                                        670
    But ever since then to this service nor maiden nor knight
        shall fail,
    For God calleth them all as shall please Him!--and so
        standeth it with the Grail!'
    Quoth Parzival, 'So, since knighthood may conquer, with spear
        and shield,
    Both the fame of _this_ life, and the blessing which Paradise
        shall yield,
    Since my soul ever longed for knighthood, and I fought
        where'er strife might be,                                    675
    And my right hand hath neared full often the guerdon of
    If God be the God of battles, if He know how a man should
    Let Him name me as one of His servants, of the Grail let Him
        make me knight!
    They shall own that I fear no danger, nor from strife would I
        turn aside!'
    But the hermit made answer gently, 'First must thou beware of
        pride,                                                       680
    For lightly may youth mislead thee; and the grace of humility
    Mayst thou lose, and the proud God doth punish, as full
        surely is known to me!'
    And tears filled his eyes to o'erflowing, and his sad
        thoughts awhile did turn
    To a story of old, and our hero he bade from its lesson

    And he quoth, 'Sir Knight, at Monsalväsch a king reigned in
        days of yore,                                                685
    His name all men know as Anfortas, and I weep for him
    Yea, and thou too shalt mourn his sorrow, for bitter the woe,
        I ween,
    And the torment of heart and body that his guerdon from pride
        hath been.
    For his youth and his worldly riches they led him an evil
    And he sought for Frau Minne's favour in paths where no peace
        abode.'                                                      690

    'But the Grail all such ways forbiddeth, and both knight
        alike and squire
    Who serve the Grail must guard them from the lust of untamed
    By meekness their pride must be conquered, if they look for a
        heavenly prize,
    And the brotherhood holdeth hidden the Grail from all
        stranger eyes:
    By their warlike skill and prowess the folk from the lands
        around,                                                      695
    They keep afar, and none knoweth where the Grail and Its Burg
        are found
    Save those whom the Grail shall summon within Monsalväsch'
    Yet _one_, uncalled, rode thither and evil did then befall,
    For foolish he was, and witless, and sin-laden from thence
        did fare,
    Since he asked not his host of his sorrow and the woe that he
        saw him bear.                                                700
    No man would I blame, yet _this_ man, I ween, for his sins
        must pay,
    Since he asked not the longed-for question which all sorrow
        had put away.
    (Sore laden his host with suffering, earth knoweth no greater
    And before him King Lähelein came there, and rode to the Lake
    Libbèals, the gallant hero, a joust there was fain to ride,      705
    And Lähelein lifeless left him, on the grass by the
    (Prienlaskors, methinks, was his birthplace) and his slayer
        then led away
    His charger, so men knew the evil thus wrought by his hand
        that day.'

    'And I think me, Sir Knight, _thou_ art Lähelein? For thou
        gavest unto my care
    A steed that such token showeth as the steeds of the Grail
        Knights bear!                                                710
    For the white dove I see on its housing, from Monsalväsch it
        surely came?
    Such arms did Anfortas give them while joy yet was his and
    Their shields bare of old the token, Titurel gave it to his
    Frimutel, and such shield bare that hero when his death in a
        joust he won.
    For his wife did he love so dearly no woman was loved so well    715
    By man, yet in truth and honour,--and the same men of thee
        shall tell
    If thou wakenest anew old customs, and thy wife from thine
        heart dost love--
    Hold thou fast to such fair example lest thy steps from the
        right path rove!
    And in sooth thou art wondrous like him who once o'er the
        Grail did reign,
    Say, what is thy race? whence art thou? and tell me I pray
        thy name!'                                                   720

    Each gazed for a space on the other, and thus quoth Parzival,
    'Son am I to a king and hero who through knightly courage
    In a joust was he slain--Now I pray thee, Sir Hermit, of this
        thy grace,
    That thou, in thy prayers henceforward, wilt give to his name
        a place.
    Know, Gamuret, did they call him, and he came from fair
        Anjou--                                                      725
    Sir Host I am not Lähelein; if ever such sin I knew
    'Twas in my days of folly, yet in truth have I done the same,
    Here I make of my guilt confession, and my sin unto thee I
    For the prince who once fell a victim unto my sinful hand
    Was he whom men called 'the Red Knight,' Prince Ither of
        Cumberland.                                                  730
    On the greensward I lifeless stretched him, and as at my feet
        he lay,
    Harness, and horse, and weapons, as my booty I bare away!'

    Spake the host as his words were ended, (the tale he ill
        pleased must hear,)
    'Ah! world, wherefore deal thus with us? since sorrow and
        grief and fear
    Far more than delight dost thou give us! Say, is this thy
        reward alone?                                                735
    For ever the song that thou singest doth end in a mournful
    And he spake, 'O thou son of my sister, what rede may I give
        to thee?
    Since the knight thou hast slain in thy folly, thy flesh and
        thy blood was he!
    If thou, blood-guiltiness bearing, shalt dare before God to
    For one blood were ye twain, to God's justice thy life shall
        repay thine hand.                                            740
    Say, for Ither of Gaheviess fallen, what payment dost think
        to give?
    The crown he of knightly honour! God gave him, while he might
    All that decketh man's life; for all evil his true heart did
        truly mourn,
    True balsam was he of the faithful, to honour and glory born.
    And shame fled before his coming, and truth in his heart did
        dwell,                                                       745
    And for love of his lovely body many women shall hate thee
    For well did they love his coming, and to serve them he aye
        was fain,
    But their eyes that shone fair for his fairness he ne'er
        shall rejoice again!
    Now, may God show His mercy to thee whose hand hath such evil
    Herzeleide the queen, thy mother, thou too to her death hast
        brought--'                                                   750
    'Nay! Nay! not so, holy father! What sayest thou?' quoth
    'Of what dost thou here accuse me? Were I king o'er the
        wondrous Grail
    Not all Its countless riches would repay me if this be sooth,
    These words that thy lips have spoken! And yet if I, in very
    Be son unto thy sister, then show that thou mean'st me well,     755
    And say, without fear or falsehood, are these things true
        that thou dost tell?'

    Then the hermit he spake in answer, 'Ne'er learnt I to
    Thy mother she died of sorrow in the day thou her side didst
    Such rewarding her love won for her! _Thou_ wast the beast
        that hung
    On her breast, the wingèd dragon that forth from her body
        sprung,                                                      760
    That spread its wings and left her: in a dream was it all
    Ere yet the sorrowing mother the babe to her breast did

    'And two other sisters had I, Schoisianè she was one;
    She bare a child--Woe is me, her death thro' this birth she
    Duke Kiot of Katelangen was her husband, and since that day      765
    All wordly joy and honour he putteth from him away.
    Siguné, their little daughter, was left to thy mother's care:
    And sorrow for Schoisianè in my heart do I ever bear!
    So true was her heart and faithful, an ark 'gainst the flood
        of sin.
    A maiden, my other sister, her pure life doth honour win,        770
    For the Grail she ever tendeth--Repanse de Schoie, her name,
    Tho' none from Its place may move It whose heart showeth
        taint of shame,
    In _her_ hands is It light as a feather--And brother unto us
    Is Anfortas, by right of heirship he king o'er the Grail doth
    And he knoweth not joy, but sorrow, yet one hope I ween is
        his,                                                         775
    That his pain shall at last be turnèd to delight and to
        endless bliss.
    And wondrous the tale of his sorrow, as, nephew, I'll tell to
    And if true be thine heart and faithful his grief shall thy
        sorrow be!'

    'When he died, Frimutel, our father, they chose them his
        eldest son
    As Lord of the Grail and Its knighthood, thus Anfortas his
        kingdom won,                                                 780
    And of riches and crown was he worthy, and we were but
        children still--
    When he came to the years of manhood, when love joyeth to
        work her will
    On the heart, and his lips were fringèd with the down of
        early youth,
    Frau Minne laid stress upon him who for torment hath little
    But if love the Grail King seeketh other than he find writ,      785
    'Tis a sin, and in sorrow and sighing full sore shall he pay
        for it!'

    'And my lord and brother chose him a lady for service fair,
    Noble and true he deemed her, I say not what name she bare;
    Well he fought in that lady's honour, and cowardice from him
    And his hand many a shield-rim shattered, by love's fire was
        he venture led.                                              790
    So high stood his fame that no hero in knightly lands afar
    Could he brook to be thought his equal, so mighty his deeds
        of war,
    And his battle-cry was "Amor," yet it seemeth unto me
    Not all too well such cry suiteth with a life of humility.'

    'One day as the king rode lonely, in search of some venture
        high                                                         795
    (Sore trouble it brought upon us,) with love's payment for
    For love's burden lay heavy on him, in a joust was he wounded
    With a poisoned spear, so that healing may be wrought on him
    For thine uncle, the King Anfortas, he was smitten thro' the
    By a heathen who with him battled, for he jousted right
        skilfully.                                                   800
    He came from the land of Ethnisé, where forth from fair
    Flow the streams of the River Tigris, and he thought him,
        that heathen wise,
    He should win the Grail, and should hold It--On his spear had
        he graven his name,
    From afar sought he deeds of knighthood, over sea and land he
    The fame of the Grail drew him thither, and evil for us his
        strife,                                                      805
    His hand joy hath driven from us and clouded with grief our

    'But thine uncle had battled bravely and men praised his name
        that day--
    With the spear-shaft yet fast in his body he wended his
        homeward way.
    And weeping arose and wailing as he came once again to his
    And dead on the field lay his foeman, nor did we for his
        death make moan!'                                            810

    'When the king came, all pale and bloodless, and feeble of
        strength and limb,
    Then a leech stretched his hand to the spear-wound, and the
        iron he found fast within,
    With the hilt, wrought of reed, and hollow, and the twain
        from the wound he drew.
    Then I fell on my knees, and I vowed me to God, with a heart
        so true,
    That henceforward the pride of knighthood, and its fame,
        would I know no more,                                        815
    If but God would behold my brother and would succour his need
        so sore.
    Then flesh, wine, and bread I forswore there, and all food
        that by blood might live,
    That lust might no longer move me my life I to God would
    And I tell thee, O son of my sister, that the wailing arose
    When my weapons I put from off me and ungirded my sword so
        true,                                                        820
    And they spake, 'Who shall guard our mysteries? who shall
        watch o'er the wondrous Grail?'
    And tears fell from the eyes of the maidens, but their
        weeping might naught avail!

    'To the Grail, then, they bare Anfortas, if Its virtue might
        bring relief;
    But, alas! when his eyes beheld It yet heavier waxed his
    As the life sprang afresh within him, and he knew that he
        might not die;                                               825
    And he liveth, while here I hide me in this life of humility,
    And the power of the Grail, and Its glory, with their monarch
        have waxen weak.
    For the venom, his wound that poisoned, tho' the leeches
        their books did seek
    Yet found they nor help nor healing--Yea, all that their
        skill might learn
    'Gainst the poison of Aspis, Elkontius, of Liseis, and
        Ecidemon,                                                    830
    All spells 'gainst the worm empoisoned, 'gainst Jecis or
    Or all that a wise man knoweth of roots or of herbs; I wis
    Naught was there in all might help him; nor rede I a longer
    Since _God_ willeth not his healing what man's skill may
        aught avail?'

    'Then we sent to the mystic waters, in a far-off land they
        rise,                                                        835
    Pison, Gihon, Tigris, Euphrates, the rivers of Paradise,
    And so near they flow that the perfumes which breathe from
        its scented air
    Shall yet to their streams be wafted--If their waters
        perchance might bear
    Some plant from the wondrous garden that might succour us in
        our woe,
    But vain thought, and fruitless labour, fresh sorrow our
        heart did know!'                                             840

    'Nor here did we end our labour, for again for the bough we
    Which the Sibyl unto Æneas as a shield 'gainst Hell's dangers
    'Gainst the smoke and the fire of Phlegethon, and the rivers
        that flow in Hell
    Would it guard, and for long we sought it, for we thought, if
        such chance befell
    That the spear in Hell-fire was welded, and the poison from
        Hell did spring                                              845
    That thus of our joy had robbed us, then this bough might
        salvation bring!'

    'But Hell, it knew naught of the poison! There liveth a
        wondrous bird
    Who loveth too well her fledglings--Of the Pelican's love we
    How she teareth her breast and feedeth her young with the
        quickening food
    Of her own life-blood, and then dieth--So we took of that
        bird the blood,                                              850
    Since we thought that her love might help us, and we laid it
        upon the sore
    As best we could--Yet, I wot well, no virtue for us it bore!'

    'A strange beast, the Unicorn, liveth, and it doth in such
        honour keep
    The heart of a spotless maiden that it oft at her knee will
    And the heart of that beast we took us, and we took us the
        red-fire stone                                               855
    That lies 'neath its horn, if the king's wound might its
        healing virtue own.
    And we laid on the wound the carbuncle, and we put it the
        wound within,
    Yet still was the sore empoisoned nor aid from the stone
        might win!'

    'And sore with the king we sorrowed--Then a magic herb we
    (Men say, from the blood of a dragon it springeth from out
        the ground,)                                                 860
    With the stars, and the wind, and the heaven, close-bound,
        doth it win its power,
    Lest perchance, by the flight of the dragon, when the stars
        bring the circling hour,
    And the moon draweth near to her changing, (for sorer then
        grows the pain,)
    The herb might our grief have aided--Yet its magic we sought
        in vain!'

    'Then the knights of the Grail knelt lowly, and for help to
        the Grail they prayed,                                       865
    And, behold! the mystic writing, and a promise it brought of
    For a knight should come to the castle, and so soon as he
        asked the king
    Of the woe that so sorely pained him his question should
        healing bring.
    But let them beware, man or maiden, or child, should they
        warn the knight
    Of his task, he no healing bringeth, greater waxeth the
        sorrow's might.                                              870
    And the writing it ran, 'Ye shall mark this, forewarning
        shall bring but ill,
    And in the first night of his coming must the healer his task
    Or the question shall lose its virtue; but if at the chosen
    He shall speak, _his_ shall be the kingdom, and the evil hath
        lost its power.
    So the hand of the Highest sendeth to Anfortas the end of
        woe,                                                         875
    Yet _King_ shall he be no longer tho' healing and bliss he

    'Thus we read in the Grail that our sorrow should come to an
        end that day
    That the knight should come who the meaning of the grief that
        he saw should pray--
    Then salve of Nard we took us, and Teriak, and the wound we
    And we burnt wood of Lignum Aloe for so might the king find
        rest.                                                        880
    Yet ever he suffereth sorely--Then fled I unto this place,
    And my life little gladness knoweth till my brother hath
        gotten grace.
    And the knight, he hath come, and hath left us, and ill for
        us all that day,
    (But now did I speak of his coming,) sorrow-laden he rode
    For he saw his host's woe and asked not, 'What aileth thee
        here, mine host?'                                            885
    Since his folly such words forbade him great bliss shall he
        there have lost!'

    Then awhile did they mourn together till the mid-day hour
        drew near,
    And the host spake, 'We must be seeking for food, and thine
        horse, I fear,
    As yet shall be lacking fodder; nor know I how we shall feed
    If not God in His goodness show us the herbs that shall serve
        our need,                                                    890
    My kitchen but seldom smoketh! Forgive thou the lack to-day,
    And abide here, so long as shall please thee, if thy journey
        shall brook delay.
    Of plants and of herbs would I teach thee much lore, if so be
        the grass
    Were not hidden by snow--God grant us that this cold may be
        soon o'erpast--
    Now break we yew-boughs for thy charger, far better its fare
        hath been                                                    895
    Erewhile 'neath the roof of Monsalväsch than shall here be
        its lot I ween!
    Yet never a host shall ye meet with who rider alike and steed
    Would as gladly bid share of his substance as I, had I all ye
    Then the twain they went forth on their errand--Parzival for
        his steed had care,
    While the hermit for roots was seeking since no better might
        be their fare;                                               900
    And the host his rule forgat not, he ate naught, whate'er he
    Till the ninth hour, but ever hung them, as he drew them from
        out the ground,
    On the nearest shrub, and there left them; many days he but
        ill might fare
    For God's honour, since oft he lost them, the shrubs which
        his roots did bear.

    Nor grudged they aught of their labour: then they knelt by
        the streamlet's flow,                                        905
    And the roots and the herbs they washed there, and no
        laughter their lips might know.
    Then their hands they washed, and the yew-boughs Parzival
        together bound
    And bare them unto his charger ere the cavern again he found;
    Then the twain by the fireside sat them, nor further might
        food be brought,
    Nor on roast nor on boiled they fed them, nor found in their
        kitchen aught.                                               910
    Yet so true was the love and the honour Parzival to the
        hermit bare
    That he deemed he enough had eaten, and no better had been
        his fare
    With Gurnemanz of Graharz, or e'en in Monsalväsch hall,
    When the maidens passed fair before him and the Grail fed
        them each and all.

    Then his kindly host quoth, 'Nephew, despise not this food,
        for know                                                     915
    Lightly thou shalt not find one who shall favour and kindness
    Of true heart, without fear of evil, as fain would I show to
    And Parzival quoth, 'May God's favour henceforward ne'er
        light on me
    If food ever better pleased me, or I ate with a better will
    What a host ever set before me, such fare doth content me
        still.'                                                      920

    Their hands they need not wash them for such food as before
        them lay,
    'Twas no fish, that their eyes had harmèd as men oft are wont
        to say.
    And were I or hawk or falcon I had lent me to the chase,
    Nor stooped to the lure unwilling, nor fled from my master's
    But an they no better fed me than at noontide they fed, these
        twain,                                                       925
    I had spread my wings right swiftly, nor come to their call
    Why mock at this folk so faithful? 'Twas ever my way of old--
    Yet ye know why, forsaking riches, they chose to them want
        and cold,
    And the lack of all things joyful, such sorrow and grief of
    They bare of true heart, God-fearing, nor had they in
        falsehood part;
    And thus from the hand of the Highest they won payment for
        grief and woe,                                               930
    And alike should the twain God's favour, as of old, so
        hereafter know.

    Then up stood they again, and they gat them, Parzival and the
        holy man,
    To the steed in its rocky stable, and full sadly the host
    As he spake to the noble charger, 'Woe is me for thy scanty
        fare,                                                        935
    For the sake of the saddle upon thee and the token I see thee

    When their care for the horse was ended, then sorrow sprang
        forth anew,
    Quoth Parzival, 'Host and uncle, my folly I needs must rue,
    And fain would I tell the story if for shame I the word may
    Forgive me, I pray, of thy kindness, since in thee do I
        comfort seek,                                                940
    For sorely, I ween, have I sinnèd; if thou canst no comfort
    No peace may be mine, but for ever the chains of remorse
        shall bind.
    Of true heart shalt thou mourn my folly--He who to
        Monsalväsch rode,
    He who saw Anfortas' sorrow, he who spake not the healing
    'Twas I, child and heir of misfortune, 'twas I, Parzival,
        alone,                                                       945
    Ill have I wrought, and I know not how I may for such ill

    Spake the hermit, 'Alas! my nephew, thou speakest the words
        of woe,
    Vanished our joy, and sorrow henceforth must we grasp and
    Since folly of bliss betrayed thee: senses five did God give
        to thee,
    And methinks, in the hour of thy testing, their counsel
        should better be.                                            950
    Why guarded they not thine honour, and thy love as a man to
    In the hour that thou satst by Anfortas? Of a truth hadst
        thou spoken then!'

    'Nor would I deny thee counsel; mourn not for thy fault too
    Thou shalt, in a fitting measure, bewail thee, and grief give
    For strange are the ways, and fitful, of mankind, oft is
        youth too wise                                               955
    And old age turneth back to folly, and darkened are wisdom's
    And the fruit of a life lieth forfeit, while green youth doth
        wax old and fade--
    Not in this wise true worth shall be rooted, and payment in
        praise be paid.
    Thine youth would I see fresh blooming, and thine heart
        waxing strong and bold,
    While thou winnest anew thine honour, nor dost homage from
        God withhold.                                                960
    For thus might it chance unto thee to win for thyself such
    As shall make amends for thy sorrow, and God thee, as His
        knight, shall claim!'

    'Thro' my mouth would God teach thee wisdom; now say, didst
        thou see the spear,
    In that wondrous Burg of Monsalväsch? As ever the time draws
    When Saturn his journey endeth--(that time by the wound we
        know,                                                        965
    And yet by another token, by the fall of the summer snow)
    Then sorely the frost doth pain him, thy king and uncle dear,
    And deep in the wound empoisoned once more do they plunge the
    One woe shall help the other, the spear cure the frost's
        sharp pain,
    And crimson it grows with his life-blood ere men draw it
        forth again!'                                                970

    'When the stars return in their orbit, then the wailing it
        waxeth sore,
    When they stand in opposition, or each to the other draw.
    And the moon, in its waxing and waning, it causeth him bitter
    In the time that I erst have told thee then the king little
        rest may gain;
    His flesh thro' the frost it groweth colder than e'en the
        snow,                                                        975
    But men know that the spear sharp-pointed doth with fiery
        venom glow,
    And upon the wound they lay it, and the frost from his flesh
        so cold
    It draweth, and lo! as crystals of glass to the spear doth
    And as ice to the iron it clingeth, and none looseth it from
        the blade.
    Then Trebuchet the smith bethought him, in his wisdom two
        knives he made,                                              980
    Of silver fair he wrought them, and sharp was the edge and
    (A spell on the king's sword written had taught him such
        skill I ween,)
    Tho' no flame on earth can kindle Asbestos, as men do tell,
    And never a fire may harm it, if these crystals upon it fell
    Then the flame would leap and kindle and burn with a fiery
        glow                                                         985
    Till th' Asbestos lay in ashes, such power doth this poison

    'The king, he rideth never, nor yet may he walk, or lie,
    And he sitteth not, but, reclining, in tears his sad days
        pass by.
    And the moon's changes work him evil--To a lake they call
    They bear him full oft for fishing that the breezes may
        soothe his pain.                                             990
    This he calleth his day for hunting, tho' what booty shall be
        his share,
    And he vex himself to gain it, for his host 'twould be meagre
    And from this there sprang the story that he should but a
        Fisher be,
    Tho little he recked the fable, no merchant I ween was he
    Of salmon or aye of lamprey, he had chosen far other game        995
    Were he freed from the load of sorrow and the burden of
        bitter pain.'

    Quoth Parzival, 'So I found him; the king's skiff at anchor
    And for pastime, e'en as a fisher, the even he wore away;
    And many a mile had I ridden that day, since from Pelrapär
    When the sun stood high in the heaven, at noontide I forth
        must fare;                                                  1000
    And at even I much bethought me where my shelter that night
        might be,
    Then my uncle did fair entreat me, and my host for a space
        was he.'

    'A perilous way didst thou ride there,' spake the host, 'one
        that well they guard
    Those Templars, nor strength nor cunning brings a traveller
        thro' their ward,
    For danger full oft besets him, and oft he his life shall
        lose,                                                       1005
    Life against life is their penance, all quarter these knights

    'Yet scatheless I passed that woodland in the day that I
        found the king
    By the lake,' quoth the knight, 'and at even his palace with
        grief did ring,
    And sure, as they mourned, I think me, no folk ever mourned
    In the hall rose the voice of wailing as a squire sprang
        within the door,                                            1010
    And a spear in his hand he carried, and to each of the walls
        he stept,
    Red with blood was the spear, as they saw it, the people they
        mourned and wept.'

    Then answered the host, 'Far sorer than before was the
        monarch's pain,
    In this wise did he learn the tidings that Saturn drew near
    And the star with a sharp frost cometh, and it helpeth no
        whit to lay                                                 1015
    The spear on the sore as aforetime, in the wound must it
        plunge alway!
    When that star standeth high in heaven the wound shall its
        coming know
    Afore, tho' the earth shall heed not, nor token of frost
        shall show.
    But the cold it came, and the snow-flakes fell thick in the
        following night
    Tho' the season was spring, and the winter was vanquished by
        summer's might.                                             1020
    As the frost to the king brought sorrow and pain, so his
        people true
    Were of joy bereft, as the moment of his anguish thus nearer

    And Trevrezent quoth, 'In sorrow that folk hath both lot and
    When the spear thro' the king's wound pierceth, it pierceth
        each faithful heart.
    And their love to their lord, and their sorrow, such tears
        from their eyelids drew                                     1025
    That, methinks, in those bitter waters had they been baptized

    Spake Parzival unto the hermit, 'Five-and-twenty they were,
        the maids
    I saw stand before the monarch, and courteous their part they
    And the host spake, 'By God's high counsel such maidens alone
    For the care of this wondrous mystery, and do service before
        the Grail.                                                  1030
    And the Grail, It chooseth strictly, and Its knights must be
        chaste and pure,--
    When the star standeth high in the heaven then grief must
        that folk endure,
    And the young they mourn as the aged, and God's wrath it
        lasts for aýe,
    And ne'er to their supplication doth He hearken and answer

    'And, nephew, this thing would I tell thee, and my word shalt
        thou well believe,                                          1035
    They who to the Grail do service, they take, and again they
    For they take to them tittle children, noble of birth and
    If a land be without a ruler, and its people shall seek God's
    And crave of His Hand a monarch, then He hearkeneth to their
    And a knight, from the Grail host chosen, as king to that
        land doth fare.                                             1040
    And well shall he rule that people, and happy shall be that
    For the blessing of God goeth with him and God's wisdom doth
        guide his hand.'

    'God sendeth the _men_ in secret, but the _maidens_ in light
        of day
    Are given unto their husbands; thus none spake to his wooing,
    When King Kastis wooed Herzeleide, but joyful our sister
        gave,                                                       1045
    Yet ne'er might her love rejoice him for Death dug at his
        feet a grave.
    But in life had he given thy mother both Norgals and fair
    Those kingdoms twain and their cities, Kingrivals and
    'Twas a fair gift, and known of all men--Then they rode on
        their homeward way,
    But Death met them upon their journey, and he made of the
        king his prey,                                              1050
    And over both Waleis and Norgals Herzeleide, as queen, did
    Till Gamuret's right hand valiant won the maid, and her
        kingdoms twain.'

    'Thus the Grail Its maidens giveth, in the day, and the sight
        of men,
    But It sendeth Its knights in the silence and their children
        It claims again,--
    To the host of the Grail are they counted, Grail servants
        they all shall be,                                          1055
    So the will of God standeth written on the Grail for all men
        to see.'

    'He who would to the Grail do service, he shall women's love
    A wife shall none have save the Grail king, and his wife a
        pure heart must bear,
    And those others whom God's Hand sendeth, as king, to a
        kingless land--
    But little I recked such counsel, to love's service I vowed
        my hand,                                                    1060
    As the pride of my youth constrained me, and the beauty of
        woman's eyes,
    And I rode full oft in her service, and I battled for
        knighthood's prize.
    Fain was I for wild adventure, on jousting no more I thought,
    So fair shone the love-light on me ever fiercer the strife I
    And thro' far-off lands and distant, in the service of love I
        fared,                                                      1065
    And to win sweet love's rewarding right valiant the deeds I
    If heathen my foe or Christian, what mattered it unto me?
    The fiercer the strife that beset me, the fairer my prize
        should be!'

    'And thus, for the love of woman, in three parts of the earth
        I fought,
    In Europe, and far-off Asia, and in Afric' I honour sought.     1070
    If for gallant jousting I lusted I fought before Gaurivon;
    By the mystic Mount of Fay-Morgan I many a joust have run.
    And I fought by the Mount Agremontin, where are fiery men and
    Yet the other side they burn not tho' their spears thro' the
        shield can pierce.
    In Rohas I sought for ventures, and Slavs were my foemen
        then,                                                       1075
    With lances they came against me and I trow they were gallant

    'From Seville I took my journey, and I sailed o'er the
        tideless sea
    Unto Sicily, since thro' Friant and Aquilea should my journey
    Alas! alas! woe is me, for I met with thy father there,
    I found him, and looked upon him, ere I from Seville must
        fare.                                                       1080
    For e'en as I came to the city he there for a space abode,
    And my heart shall be sore for his journey, since thence to
        Bagdad he rode,
    And there, as thyself hast spoken, in a knightly joust he
    And for ever my heart must mourn him, and my tongue of his
        praises tell!'
    'A rich man shall be my brother, nor silver nor gold would
        spare                                                       1085
    When in secret I forth from Monsalväsch at his will and his
        word did fare;
    For I took me his royal signet, and to Karkobra I came,
    Where Plimizöl to the wide sea floweth, and the land,
        Barbigöl, they name.
    And the Burg-grave he knew the token, ere I rode from the
        town again
    Of horses and squires, as failed me, he raised me a gallant
        train,                                                      1090
    And we rode thence to wild adventures, and to many a knightly
    For nothing had he begrudged me of aught that might serve my
    Alone came I unto the city, and there at my journey's end
    Did I leave those who had fared thence with me, and alone to
        Monsalväsch wend.'

    'Now hearken to me, my nephew, when thy father first saw my
        face                                                        1095
    Of old in Seville's fair city, there did he such likeness
    To his wife, fair Herzeleide, that he would me as brother
    Tho' never before had he seen me, and secret I held my name.
    And in sooth was I fair to look on, as ever a man might be,
    And my face by no beard was hidden; and sweetly he spake to
        me,                                                         1100
    When he sought me within my dwelling--Yet many an oath I
    And many a word of denial, yet ever he pressed me more
    Till in secret at last I told him, his kinsman was I in
    And greatly did he rejoice him when he knew that his words
        were sooth!'

    'A jewel he gave unto me, and I gave to him at his will;        1105
    Thou sawest my shrine, green shall grass be, yet that shineth
        greener still,
    'Twas wrought from the stone he gave me--and a better gift he
    For his nephew as squire he left me, Prince Ither, the true
        and brave.
    His heart such lore had taught him that falsehood his face
        did flee,
    The King of Cumberland was he, who, thou sayest, was slain by
        thee.                                                       1110
    Then no longer might we delay us, but we parted, alas! for
    He rode to the land of Baruch, unto Rohas I took my way.

    'In Celli three weeks I battled, and I deemed 'twas enough
        for fame,
    From Rohas I took my journey and unto Gandein I came,
    ('Twas that town from which first thy grandsire, his name of
        Gandein did take,)                                          1115
    And many a deed did Ither, and men of his prowess spake.
    And the town lieth near the river, where Graien and Drave
        they meet,
    And the waters I ween are golden,--there Ither found guerdon
    For thine aunt, Lamire, she loved him, she was queen of that
        fair land,
    Gandein of Anjou, her father, he gave it unto her hand.         1120
    And Lamire was her name, but her country shall be Styria to
        this day--
    And many a land must he traverse who seeketh for knightly

    'It grieveth me sore for my red squire, men honoured me for
        his sake,
    And Ither was thy near kinsman tho' of _that_ thou small heed
        didst take!
    Yet God _He_ hath not forgotten, and thy deed shall He count
        for sin,                                                    1125
    And I wot thou shalt first do penance ere thou to His peace
        shalt win.
    And, weeping, this truth I tell thee, two mortal sins shall
    On thine heart, thou hast slain thy kinsman, and thy mother,
        thro' thee, must die.
    And in sooth shalt thou sore bewail her; in the day thou
        didst leave her side,
    So great was her love, and faithful, that for grief at thy
        loss she died.                                              1130
    Now do thou as here I rede thee, repent thee and pay sin's
    That thy conflict on earth well ended thy soul be not ever

    Then the host he quoth full kindly, 'Nephew, now say the
    Whence hast thou yon gallant charger? Not yet I the tale have
    'In a joust, Sir Host, did I win it, when I rode from
        Siguné's cell                                               1135
    In a gallop I smote the rider and he from the saddle fell,
    And the steed was mine, I rode hence,--from Monsalväsch he
        came, the knight.'
    Quoth the host, 'Is the man yet living who thus with thee did
    'Yea, I saw him fly before me, and beside me stood his
    'Nay, if thou in such wise dost bear thee thou art scant of
        wit indeed!                                                 1140
    The Grail-knights dost thou rob, and thinkest their
        friendship thereby to win?'
    'Nay, my uncle, in strife I won it, and he who shall count it
    Let him ask how the thing hath chanced thus, 'twas a fair
        fight we fought, we twain,
    Nor was it for naught that I took it, for first had my steed
        been slain!'

    Quoth Parzival, 'Who was the maiden who the Grail in her
        hands did bear,                                             1145
    Her mantle, that eve, she lent me?'--Quoth the hermit, 'That
        lady fair
    Is thine aunt, if her robe she lent thee of the loan shalt
        thou not be vain,
    For surely she deemed that hereafter thou shouldst there as
        monarch reign.
    And the Grail, and herself, yea and I too, should honour thee
        as our lord:
    And a gift didst thou take from thine uncle, for he gave
        thee, I ween, a sword,                                      1150
    And sin hast thou won in the wearing, since thy lips, which
        to speak are fain,
    There spake not the mystic question which had loosened his
        sorrow's chain,
    And that sin shalt thou count to the other, for 'tis time
        that we lay us down.
    Nor couches nor cushions had they, but they laid them upon
        the ground,
    And for bedding the rushes served them--too humble, I ween,
        such bed                                                    1155
    For men of a race so noble, yet they deemed they were not

    Then twice seven days he abode there, with the hermit his lot
        did share,
    And the herb of the ground was his portion--yet he sought not
        for better fare,
    Right gladly he bare such hardness that should bring to him
        food so sweet,
    For as priest did his host absolve him, and as knight gave
        him counsel meet!                                           1160

    Quoth Parzival to the hermit, 'Say who shall he be, who lay
    Before the Grail? grey was he, yet his face it was as the
    Spake the host, 'Titurel thou sawest, and he shall grandsire
    To thy mother, first king and ruler of the Grail and Its
        knights was he.
    But a sickness hath fallen on him, and he lieth, nor findeth
        cure,                                                       1165
    Yet his face on the Grail yet looketh, by Its power shall his
        life endure!
    Nor his countenance changeth colour, and his counsel shall
        aye be wise--
    In his youth he rode far and jousted, and won to him valour's

    'An thou wouldst that thy life be adornèd with true worth as
        thy crown of fame,
    Then ne'er mayst thou hate a woman, but shall honour, as
        knight, her name,                                           1170
    For women and priests, thou knowest, unarmèd shall be their
    Yet the blessing of God watcheth o'er them, and as shield
        round the priest doth stand;
    For the priest, he careth for thee, that thine end may be
        free from ill,
    So treat thou no priest as a foeman, but serve him with right
        good will.
    For naught on the earth thou seest that is like to his office
        high,                                                       1175
    For he speaketh that word unto us which our peace and our
        life did buy;
    And his hand hath been blest for the holding of the pledge on
        the altar laid,
    To assure us of sin's forgiveness, and the price for our
        pardon paid.
    And a priest who from sin doth guard him, and who to his Lord
        shall give
    Pure heart and pure hand for His service, say, what man shall
        holier live?'                                               1180

    Now this day was their day of parting--Trevrezent to our hero
    'Leave thou here thy sins behind thee, God shall me for thy
        surety take,
    And do thou as I have shown thee, be steadfast and true of
    Think ye with what grief and sorrow the twain did asunder




One of the most striking peculiarities of this version of the Perceval
legend consists in the fact that the writer closely connects his
hero with a contemporary princely house, and exercises considerable
ingenuity in constructing a genealogy which shall establish a
relationship alike with the legendary British race of Pendragon, and
with the hereditary House of Anjou. Now, that Parzival should be
represented as connected with Arthur is not surprising, taking into
consideration the great popularity of the Arthurian legends; the
English 'Sir Percyvelle' makes the relationship even closer; there,
Percyvelle is Arthur's nephew, his sister's son; but it is far more
difficult to account for the Angevin connection. It has been suggested
that the writer of Wolfram's French source was Walter Mapes, to whom
another of the Grail romances the _Queste_ is generally ascribed; and
who, as is well known, was closely attached to the Court of Henry
Fitz-Empress, Count of Anjou, and King of England. Setting on one side
the great difference, in style and treatment, between the _Parzival_
and the _Queste_, which render it impossible to believe that the same
man could have treated the same legend from two such practically
opposite points of view, a close examination of the Angevin allusions
found in the _Parzival_ reveals a correspondence between the characters
and incidents of the poem, and the facts, real and traditional, of
Angevin history, which seems to point to a familiarity with the subject
scarcely likely to be possessed by a foreigner.

The following parallels will show that this Angevin element, though
strongest in the first two books (those peculiar to Wolfram's version),
is to be clearly traced even in the presentment of what we know to be
traditional features of the story.


  WOLFRAM                            ANGEVIN TRADITION

  In Book I. the origin of the       Ascribes their origin to the
  Angevin family is traced to the    marriage of one of the early
  marriage of Mazadan with the fairy Counts with a lady of surpassing
  Terre-de-la-schoie. The fairy      beauty, whose _demon_ origin was
  origin of the race is referred to  discovered by her inability to
  again in Books II. and VIII., the  remain in church during Mass.
  later allusion being in connection It was to the influence of this
  with Vergulacht, son of Gamuret's  ancestress that the uncontrollable
  sister, and cousin to hero.        temper of the Angevin princes was
                                     ascribed. Richard Coeur-de-lion is
                                     reported to have frequently said,
                                     'We came from the Devil, and we
                                     go back to the Devil.' (In each
                                     instance it will be noted that the
                                     supernatural element is introduced
                                     by the wife.)

  GAMURET                            FULK V. OF ANJOU

  Younger son of the King of Anjou;  Son of Fulk IV. (_Rechin_), and
  brought up at the court of French  Bertalda de Montfort. His mother
  queen; goes to the East where      eloped with, and married, Philip,
  he marries a Moorish queen, and    king of France. She remained
  becomes king of an Eastern kingdom.on good terms with her former
                                     husband, and, Fulk, having already
                                     an heir by a previous wife, was
                                     allowed to bring up her son at
                                     her own court. The elder brother
                                     dying, Fulk became his father's
                                     heir, and finally succeeded him.
                                     In 1129, after the marriage of his
                                     son, Geoffrey, with the Empress
                                     Maud, Fulk was invited by Baldwin,
                                     king of Jerusalem, to become
                                     his son-in-law and successor.
                                     Accordingly he resigned Anjou to
                                     Geoffrey, went to Jerusalem, where
                                     he married Melesinda, daughter and
                                     heiress to Baldwin, and, after the
                                     death of the latter, succeeded
                                     him as king, and reigned till his
                                     death in 1142. (Here again we
                                     note that, in each instance, the
                                     Eastern kingdom is won through the

  Gamuret's first recorded deed      A similar incident is recorded of
  of valour is the conquest, in      Geoffrey I. (_Grisegonelle_) who,
  single combat, of Heuteger, the    during the siege of Paris by the
  Scotchman, who appears every       Danes in 978, overthrew a gigantic
  morning before the gates of        Northman named Ethelwulf, who
  Patelamunt, to challenge the       daily challenged the besieged in
  besieged knights.                  the manner recounted in the poem.
                                     Later historians cast doubts on
                                     the truth of this story, but it
                                     appears in all the old chronicles,
                                     and was undoubtedly firmly
                                     believed in by the writers of the
                                     twelfth century.

  HERZELEIDE                         THE EMPRESS MAUDE

  Widow, queen of two kingdoms, and  Widow, Empress, Lady of two Lands,
  marries Prince of Anjou.           England and Normandy, marries
                                     Count of Anjou.

  Her son is subsequently deprived   Her son is deprived of these two
  of these kingdoms by the action    kingdoms by the action of two
  of _one knight_, Book III. p. 73,  brothers Theobald and Stephen of
  two _brothers_, _Ibid._ p. 80.     Blois. Though Stephen was the
  This loss of two kingdoms by the   principal aggressor, it must not
  action of Lähelein is insisted     be forgotten that Theobald, the
  on throughout the poem, and the    elder brother, was invited by
  reader should note the manner      the Normans to become their Duke
  in which Lähelein, though only     on the death of Henry I.; but on
  appearing in the Second Book, is   arriving in Normandy, and finding
  constantly referred to; which      that Stephen had already seized
  seems to indicate that the writer  the crown of England, Theobald
  attached a special importance to   resigned his claim to the Duchy
  this character, cf. Book III. pp.  and threw in his lot with that
  86 and 87; V. pp. 150, 154; VI.    of Stephen. An _English_ writer
  pp. 171, 188; VII. p. 196; IX. p.  (such as Mapes) would probably
  272. (It may be noted that in no   have overlooked the part played by
  other version of the legend is a   Theobald. An _Angevin_, knowing
  previous marriage of the hero's    the Counts of Blois to be the
  mother recorded.)                  hereditary foes of the House of
                                     Anjou, would hardly fail to record
                                     the fact that both brothers were
                                     concerned in the usurpation of the
                                     rights of Henry Fitz-Empress.

  THE RED KNIGHT                     THE RED KNIGHT

  The Red Knight as represented in   This character is of course
  the poem, mounted before the gates traditional, but the special
  of Nantes, in red armour, with red presentment of it in the
  hair.                              _Parzival_ seems to be owing
                                     to Angevin influence. In 1048
                                     William of Normandy, being at war
                                     with, Geoffrey II. of Anjou and
                                     besieging Domfront, sent him the
                                     following curious challenge: 'If
                                     the Count of Anjou attempts to
                                     bring victuals into Domfront he
                                     will find me awaiting him without
                                     the gates armed and mounted,
                                     bearing a red shield, and having
                                     a pennon on my spear wherewith to
                                     wipe his face.'

                                     _Red hair_ was a distinguishing
                                     characteristic of the Angevin
                                     Counts. Fulk I. derived his name
                                     of Rufus from this peculiarity,
                                     which was inherited by many of his
                                     descendants, among them Fulk V.,
                                     his son Geoffrey Plantagenet, and
                                     his grandson Henry Fitz-Empress.
                                     The writer of the _Parzival_
                                     strongly insists on Ither's red

  NANTES                             NANTES

  Nantes, throughout the poem, is    The possession of the city of
  always treated as Arthur's chief   Nantes was a constant source of
  city. Karidöl is scarcely referred quarrel between the Counts of
  to, the Round Table is kept at     Anjou and their neighbours of
  Nantes, and in Book X. we are told Brittany. Time after time the
  that Arthur's palace was there.    former claimed the over-lordship
  This is not the case in other      of Nantes, which stood just beyond
  versions of the story.             their frontier, and more than
                                     once they succeeded in making
                                     themselves masters of the coveted
                                     territory. To represent Nantes
                                     as Arthur's chief city, and
                                     Ither as claiming it, would be
                                     an alteration of the legend most
                                     natural in an Angevin writer.

  Book IX. relates that Kiot sought  Britain, France, and Ireland were
  for records of the Grail race in   all brought into close connection
  the chronicles of Britain, France, under Henry Fitz-Empress, Count of
  and Ireland, and found the history Anjou, Duke of Normandy, and King
  at last in the chronicle of Anjou. of England, the husband of Eleanor
                                     of Provence and Aquitaine, who
                                     conquered Ireland in 1172.

The peculiar presentment of the Knights of the Grail as Templars
(Templeisen), having their residence in a castle surrounded by a
forest, recalls the fact that a close connection between the Order of
Templars and the House of Anjou had existed for some time previous
to the date of this poem, a tax for the benefit of the Order having
been imposed on all his dominions by Fulk V. on his return from his
first pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1120. A community of Knights Templars
was founded by Henry Fitz-Empress fifty years later at Vaubourg, in
the forest of Roumare which became very famous. (The location of
Monsalväsch in the Pyrenees hardly seems to accord with the indications
of the poem, which make it only thirty-six hours' ride from Nantes.)

Finally, the name of the poet claimed by Wolfram as his authority,
Kiot=Guiot=Guy, is distinctly Angevin, the hereditary Angevin princely
names being Fulk, Geoffrey, and Guy.



        Gandein m. Schoettè.
          Gamuret m. (1) Belakané.
          Gamuret m. (2) Herzeleide.
          Fleurdamur m. Kingrisein.
          Lamire m. Ither of Gaheviess.
      Daughter unnamed.
        Ither of Gaheviess.
      Uther Pendragon m. Arnivè.
        Arthur m. Guinevere.
        Sangivè m. Lot of Norway.
          Gawain m. Orgeluse.
          Surdamour m. Alexander.
          Kondrie m. Lischois.
          Itonjè m. Gramoflanz.

    Gurnemanz, wife unnamed.
      Count Laskoit.
      Gurzgrei m. Mahaut.
    Daughter unnamed, m. King Tampentaire.
      Kondwiramur m. PARZIVAL.


      Schoysiane m. [A]Kiot of Katelangen.
      Herzeleide m. (1) Kastis.
      Herzeleide m. (2) Gamuret.
        PARZIVAL m. Kondwiramur.
          Lohengrin m. Duchess of Brabant.
      Repanse de Schoie m. Feirefis.
        Prester John.

[A] Kiot is brother to King Tampentaire, cf. Book IV. p. 107, therefore
Siguné is cousin to Kondwiramur as well as to Parzival.



One of the marked peculiarities of Wolfram's poem is the number of
proper names with which it abounds, there being scarcely a character,
however insignificant the rôle assigned, that is left unnamed. In
the other versions of the Perceval legend this is not the case,
consequently there are a vast number of names occurring in the
_Parzival_ to which no parallel can be found elsewhere, and which
are no unimportant factor in determining the problem of the source
from which Wolfram drew his poem. It would be impossible in a short
Appendix to discuss the question in all its bearings, but the following
classification, based on Herr Bartsch's article on _Die Eigen-namen
in Wolfram's Parzival_, will give some idea of the wide ground they

I. Names belonging to the original legend, and met with, with but
little variation, in all versions. To this class belong the names of
Pendragon, Arthur, Guinivere, Perceval, Gawain, Kay, Segramor; and the
names of such places as Karidöl=Carduel=Carlisle, Cumberland, Waleis,
Norgals, Dianasdron.

II. Names derived from a French version of the story, which may be
divided into two classes:

    (_a_) Names of which we find an equivalent in existing French
        sources, notably Chrêtien, whose poem offers so close a
        parallel to the _Parzival_; examples of this class are
        Gurnemanz=French, _Gornemant_; Peirapär=_Beau-repaire_;
        Klamidé=_Clamadex_; Kingron=_Aguigrenon_; Trebuchet;
        Meljanz de Lys; Lippaut=_Tiebaut_; Gramoflanz=_Guiromelans_
        or _Guiremelanz_.

    (b) Names formed by a misunderstanding of a French original:
        such are Soltane, from forest _soutaine_=solitary; Orilus
        de Lalande, from _Li orgueillous de la lande_; and
        similarly, Orgeluse of Logrois, from _La orguelleuse de
        Logres_; Gringuljet, the name of Gawain's horse, from _Li
        gringalet_, which is explained as meaning _cheval maigre
        et alerte_. Ligweiz-prelljus, is _Li guez perellous_, the
        Ford Perilous; and a notable instance of this class is the
        curious name Schionatulander, which is either '_Li joenet
        de la lande_,' 'The youth of the meadow,' or '_Li joenet
        à l'alant_,' 'The youth with the dog,' in allusion to the
        cause of the knight's death. Whence Wolfram took this name
        is unknown.

III. Names borrowed or quoted from other romances of the time, of
those to which Wolfram alludes most frequently we know the _Erec_
and _Iwein_ of Hartmann von Aue; Eilhart's _Tristan_; Heinrich von
Veldeck's _Æneid_, Chrêtien de Troye's _Cligès_, and _Le Chevalier
de la Charrette_; and the _Niebelungenlied_ and _Dietrich Sage_. He
also refers to other romances which have not come down to us, such are
the allusions to adventures connected with Gawain in Book VI.; and
to the death of Ilinot, son of King Arthur, of whom we know nothing.
(The names derived from these romances are all noted, and their source
given as they occur in the text.) Book I. contains some distinctly
German names, such as Eisenhart, Hernant, and Herlindè, Friedebrand of
Scotland and Heuteger, the source of these is doubtful, some occur in
the Gudrun cycle, but it seems probable that in both instances they
were derived from a common source, and, belonging as they do to a North
Sea cycle, they may have reached the poem either through a French or a
German medium.

IV. Names of places and people connected with Wolfram himself, such as
Abenberg, Wildberg, Erfurt, the Count of Wertheim, Herman of Thuringia,
etc. These were, of course, introduced by Wolfram, and could not have
existed in his French source.

V. Classical and mythological names such as Antikonie=Antigone, Ekuba,
Secundilla, Plato and the Sibyls, Pythagoras, etc., Jupiter, Juno,
Venus, Amor, Cupid, Lucifer, Ashtaroth, and other of the fallen angels.

VI. Oriental names. In Book IV. we have the Arabic names of the seven
planets, a curious coincidence, in view of the alleged Arabic source
of the Grail-myth as given in Books VIII. and IX. Names of cities such
as Alexandria, Bagdad, Askalon. This latter is of course equivalent
to _Escavalon_ in the French versions, and the real name is doubtless
Avalon, but it is by no means improbable that the change was made not
by a misunderstanding, but by one who knew the Eastern city, and it
falls in with the various other indications of crusading influence
to be traced throughout the poem. We may add to these the names of
Oriental materials such as Pfellel and Sendal. But when all these have
been classified, there still remains a vast number of names undoubtedly
French in origin, yet which cannot be referred to any known source, and
many of which bear distinct traces of Romance or Provençal influence.
Such names are Anfortas, French, _enfertez_=the sick man, with Prov.
ending _as_; Trevrezent, Prov. _Treu_=peace, _rezems_=redeemed.
Schoysiane, Prov. _Jauziana_, her husband is Kiot of Katelangen,
_Guiot_=_Guy_ of _Catalonia_. The son of Gurnemanz, Schenteflur,
is Prov. _gente-flors_, fair flower. The name of Parzival's wife,
Kondwiramur, Bartsch derives from _Coin de voire amour_, Ideal of true
love; an interpretation which admirably expresses the union between the
two. Itonjè, Gawain's sister, is the French _Idonie_, in Chrêtien she
is Clarissant. The knight slain by Lähelein at Brimbane is Libbèals
of Prienlaskors, Libbèals being simply the old French _Li-beals_--_le
bel_, and probably no more a proper name than Orilus, whilst his
country seems derived from Prov. _priendre las cortz_, to seek the
court. The long lists of conquered kings given in Book XV. contain many
names of Greek or Latin origin, which have passed through a French
source, and many others of distinctly Romance form. It is impossible
to suppose that a German poet _invented_ these names, and the only
reasonable explanation seems to be that Wolfram drew largely, if not
exclusively, from a French poem now lost, and that the language in
which that poem was written partook strongly of a Provençal character,
the term Provençal being applied, as Bartsch points out, not only to
Provençal proper, but to the varying forms of the Langue-d'oc.



        (_A few Notes signed A. N. are due to Mr. Alfred Nutt._)


Introduction, lines 1-66. This introduction, which is confessedly
obscure, both in style and thought, appears to have been written
_after_ the completion of the poem, and to have been intended by the
writer to serve both as a key to the meaning of the poem, and as a
defence of his method of treatment. That Wolfram was blamed by his
contemporaries, notably by Gottfried von Strassbourg, for his lack of a
polished style, and obscurity of thought, we know; and in _Willehalm_
he speaks, in the following words, of the varying judgment passed upon
his _Parzival_:--

    'Swaz ich von Parzivâl gesprach,
    des sîn aventiur mich wîste,
    etzlich man daz prîste:
    ir was ouch vil, diez smoethen
    Und baz ir rede wæhten.

and it is evidently to these critics that the first part of the
Introduction is addressed.

Lines 1-8 give the key to the whole poem: the contrast between doubt
or unsteadfastness, and steadfast faith and truth, as imaged in the
contrast between darkness and light, black and white. This idea runs
throughout the poem, is worked out symbolically in the character and
experiences of the hero, and is shown in a concrete form in the person
of his brother Feirefis. The poet notes that many readers have failed,
through lack of intelligence, to grasp the meaning of this parable,
which is too swift and subtle for their comprehension. A parallel
passage will be found in Book V. pp. 137, 138, where the figure
employed is different.

The curious lines 15, 16 are explained by Bötticher as allusions to
_personal_ assaults made on the poet, which, by reason of the folly of
the assailants, missed their mark, and are therefore to be treated with

Lines 29, 30 contain one of the quaint and homely similes which
abound throughout the poem, and refer to the faithless man, _valsch
geselleclîcher muot_, whose honour and steadfastness are not
sufficiently strong to meet the demands made upon them.

There are three distinct divisions of the Introduction: the first,
lines 1-30, is addressed to _men_ only, and draws the contrast between
the false and true knight; 31-49 does the same for _women_; while from
49 onwards the poet shows how the tale he is about to tell affects both
sexes alike, and gives a slight sketch of the character of the hero.
For the rightful understanding of this the lines 61, 62 are of great
importance: 'a brave man, yet slowly wise Is he whom I hail my hero'
(_er küene, trâctîche wîs, den helt ich alsus grüene_), and should be
borne in mind by the student of the poem.

A full and minute discussion of this discussion of this Introduction
will be found in Dr. Bötticher's _Das Hohelied von Rittertum_.

Page 5, line 67--'_Now they do to-day as of old-time_.' The word
employed here _wälsch_ simply means 'foreign,' but it is evident from
the context that France is the country referred to. The _fact_ was
probably in the French source, the remarks upon it due to the German

Page 5. line 80--'_Gamuret_.' The origin of this name is doubtful;
in Chrêtien we find a King Ban de Gomeret mentioned, and Wolfram may
have derived the name from a French source, Heinmel suggests that
it comes from Gamor, the son of Anguis, a Saracen prince ruling in
Denmark, according to 'Arthur and Merlin;' and that the fact of his
being of the race of Anguis suggested to Kiot the possibility of
making him an Angevin. In the absence of any definite knowledge as to
Wolfram's source it is not possible to do more than _suggest_ possible

Page 7, lines 136, 137--'_Gylstram and Rankulat_.' With regard to the
first-named place, Simrock says it has been identified with 'Gustrate'
in the _Gudrun_, and, according to Grimm, this latter is to be coupled
with Gailate, 'where the sun hath its setting.' _i.e._ the West. In
Book XI. the patriarch of Rankulat is referred to, in company with
the Baruch of Bagdad and the Emperor of Constantinople, and in all
probability Armenia is meant. The king's speech therefore implies,
'Didst thou come from the furthest bounds of the earth, East or West.'

Page 8, line 154--'_King Gandein's son_.' Cf. Book IX. p. 285, where
the origin of the name Gandein is given.

Page 8, lines 159, 160.--'_Then the tale it hath told a lie_.' Cf. Book
IX. p. 259.

Page 8, lines 169, 170--'_Rich silk of Orient_' Eastern materials are
referred to frequently throughout the poem; the principal seem to have
been, Samite, Sendal, Achmardi, Pfellel, Plialt, and Saranthasme. Of
these, some were of silk only, others, notably Saranthasme of silk
inwoven with gold, Achmardi, in this poem, is always _green_. Samite
and Sendal are the two generally named in our English romances.

Page 9, line 209--'_Two brothers of Babylon_.' This is Babylon in
Egypt, now Cairo, as is evident from its close connection with
Alexandria, cf. p. 12, line 277, and Book II. p. 57, line 684, and p.
59, line 754. Though, from the passage on p. 57, it seems as if the
poet confused it with Babylon in Assyria; it is possible that he was
unaware of the fact that there were _two_ cities of the name.

Page 15, line 384--'_Friedebrand_.' The introduction of names of
distinctly northern origin such as Friedebrand, Hernant, and Herlindè,
Heuteger, and Eisenhart, has been already noted in Appendix B as one
of the problems of the _Parzival_. Two solutions have been suggested,
either that they were introduced by Wolfram, or that they reached the
_French_ source through the medium of Normandy. The form in which the
names occur in the _Gudrun_ cycle seems to indicate quotation from a
source known also to the writer of the _Parzival_, but they are not
derived directly from the North Sea saga in its present form.

Page 16, line 403--'_Wouldst thou know?_' _etc._ It may be interesting
to note here that beyond the _colour_, which the poet insists on, he
apparently recognises no difference between the heathen and Christian
knights and ladies. Both acknowledge the same chivalrous ideals; both
are equally familiar with the eccentricities of 'Minne-dienst' (cf.
line 423); and the speeches put into the mouth of Belakané, or of
Rassalig, would be quite as suitable if spoken by Orgeluse, or by one
of King Arthur's knights. This incident of a Christian knight marrying
a Moorish princess is of frequent occurrence in Mediæval romance.

Page 16, lines 423, 424--'_That which like to a hall doth stand_.'
The tents of the Mediæval period were constructed of far more costly
fabrics than is usual now, cf. Book III. p. 74. and Book XI., and
their size was very great, this special tent we find, from Book II. p.
36, was 'thirty pack-steeds' burden.' San Marte quotes the description
of a tent captured by the Crusaders at Antioch which was adorned with
walls, towers, and ramparts, contained halls and galleries, and could
lodge as many as 2000 men.

Page 22, line 620--'_The chiming of sweet bells_.' Bells were at one
time freely used not only as ornaments to the trappings of the horses
but also on the armour of the knights, cf. Book III. p. 70, and Book
VI. p. 163. Gradually they disappeared from use, and the bells on the
Fool's dress are the last trace left of the practice, which from this
poem was evidently very general at the beginning of the thirteenth

Page 23, line 623--'_Brave Beaucorps_.' This brother of Gawain appears
in Book VI. p. 183, he is the only one of Gawain's brothers mentioned
in this poem. In Malory, we find _Gareth_ called 'Beau-mains,' and it
is possible that the two are identical. Beaucorps is evidently much
younger than Gawain, and Gareth was the youngest of King Lot's sons.

Page 24, line 679--'_Lahfilirost_.' This seems to be a misunderstanding
for '_Le fils du Rost_,' and may be classed with the misinterpretations
of a French source.

Page 25, line 700--'_Frau Minne_.' The word _Minne_ is etymologically
derivable from a root 'man,' and is connected with the Latin _mens_,
English 'mind' (cf. 'to have a mind to.') The original signification
was that of tender care, or thought for; in Old High German it has
already taken the meaning of love in its passionate aspects; finally,
in Middle High German (the original language of the _Parzival_), it
has become the standing expression for love betwixt man and woman.
We have it in various forms as a verb, _Minnen_; as an adjective,
_Minniglich_. The personification of the passion of Love as 'Frau
Minne' is the work of the courtly poets of the twelfth century, and
seems rather to have been derived from classical analogy than to be
due to a reminiscence of an early German goddess of Love. Also, with
Wolfram and his contemporaries, 'Frau Minne' must be regarded less as
the personification of Love in the abstract than as the embodiment of
the special love-ideal of the day. This new ideal had its rise, and
assumed definite shape in twelfth century France, from whence it spread
throughout the knightly society of Christendom, finding its fullest
literary expression in the Arthurian romances. The historic causes
which led to what was at the time an entirely novel mode of considering
the relations between the sexes, and the true nature and ethical import
of the chivalric conception of that relation will be briefly discussed
in an Appendix to vol. II. The significance of the term is fully
apparent from such passages as the present, also cf. Book VI. pp. 161,
163, 165, 171; VII. 208, 224; XII. etc.--[A. N.]

Page 27, line 768.--'_Morhold_,' also in Book II. p. 39. This is, of
course, the well-known hero in _Tristan_. The allusion may have been in
the original French source, or introduced by Wolfram, who would know
Morhold from the Tristan of Eilhart von Oberge, composed before 1180.
The most famous German poem on the subject, the Tristan of Gottfried
von Strassbourg, was somewhat later in date.

Page 31, lines 886, 887--Cf. Book VIII. p. 230 and note.

Page 31, line 904--'_Feirefis_.' Bartsch interprets the name as _vair
fils_, 'parti-coloured son.' Other critics have suggested 'Fairy's
son.' The name distinctly indicates a French origin.

Page 31, line 905--'_A woodland-waster_,' 'wald-verschwender,' a
hyperbolical term constantly employed throughout this poem to denote
one who shatters many spears in fight.


Page 35, line 16, and page 57, line 705--'_Waleis and Norgals_.' These,
the two kingdoms of Queen Herzeleide, are located by Wolfram in Spain,
but they are undoubtedly Wales and North Wales (the North galis of
Malory), the Northern border-land. Parzival's title throughout the poem
is _der Waleis_, in French versions _le Gallois_, an evident indication
of the Celtic origin of the story.

Page 39, lines 117-160. Of the heroes taking part in the Tourney, Uther
Pendragon has been mentioned, in Book I. p. 31, in the genealogy of
Gamuret. The poet carefully connects his hero with the traditional
royal race of Briton as well as with the princely House of Anjou.
Arthur's mother, Arnivè (not Igraine as in most versions), plays a
somewhat important rôle in the later part of the poem, her imprisonment
in the castle of the Magician Klingsor is fully treated of, cf. from
Book XI. onwards. King Lot of Norway (not of Orkney as in the English
legend) is frequently alluded to as Gawain's father, but both he and
Uther Pendragon are dead before the real action of the poem commences.
This is the first appearance of Gawain, who, from Book VI. onward,
plays a part in the poem scarcely inferior to that of the hero,
Parzival. The Kings of Arragon and Gascony do not appear again, nor are
they alluded to, but Brandelidelein of Punturtois we meet with in Book
XV. as the uncle of King Gramoflanz. The King of Askalon must not be
confused with Vergulacht, in Book VIII., this is evidently one of his
predecessors. Eidegast of Logrois is frequently alluded to later on,
his murder by Gramoflanz and the desire of his lady-love, Orgeluse,
to avenge him, form the _motif_ of the later Gawain episodes. This is
the only occasion on which Lähelein appears personally in the poem,
but he is constantly alluded to throughout the course of the story
(some remarks on the manner in which he is introduced will be found in
Appendix A, p. 293). Morhold, cf. note to Book I. Lambekein, cf. Book
V. p. 152. Gurnemanz of Graharz plays an important rôle in the Parzival
legend, he is here introduced for the first time, cf. Book III.

_The Tourney._ In this poem we find knightly skill in horsemanship and
the use of arms displayed under three distinct forms: the Buhurd, Books
XII. and XV., The Tourney, Book II., and serious Warfare as in the
siege of Pelrapär, Book IV., and of Beaurosch, Book VII. The two first
were simply intended as displays of knightly skill, and took their rise
in the knightly sports of the ninth century. The Buhurd seems to have
been the original German form, and at first was of a somewhat rough
and uncivilised character, the knights riding in bodies at full gallop
against each other, and the whole being a display of force rather than
of skill.

The Tourney, or Tournament, took its rise in France, and here we find
the knights, in full armour, singly displaying their prowess. Gradually
the Buhurd changed its character, and throughout this poem we find
Wolfram treating it as a formal display of skill in horsemanship,
generally to do honour to some favoured guest, as in the reception
of Gawain and Orgeluse by the knights of the Château Merveil, Book
XII.; in honour of Feirefis, Book XV. Still the idea of force was not
entirely eliminated, and we find Gawain, in Book VII. when he promises
the child Obilot that he will fight for her father, telling her that
_she_ must ride the Buhurd for him, and, as noted above, the fighting
here is in earnest. In the later form of Buhurd the knights wear no
armour, and it is thus distinguished from the Tourney, where they were
always fully armed.

The Tourney was much more complicated in its rules, and is not
always easy to distinguish from the real warfare into which it not
unfrequently passed. Feirefis, in Book XV., mentions _five_ modes of
attack which seem to have answered to the regular stages of a Tourney.
Niedner explains them as follows: (1) An attack by one troop on
another, with lance in rest; (2) An attack from the side, also with
lance; (3) The onslaught of _one_ rider on a troop of horsemen, in
which the aim was to strike the one selected opponent while avoiding
the blows of the others; (4) The joust proper, or single combat; (5)
The _Damenstick_, a stroke for the honour of the knight's chosen lady,
which followed on the joust, and was specially challenged by knights
of exceptional valour. In the Tourney at Kanvoleis (the only Tourney
proper in the poem), it is the two first stages in which Gamuret takes
no part, he only mingles in the fray when the time arrives to display
the valour of the single champions. The joust, or single combat, was a
feature of earnest, as of mimic, warfare, and it is not always easy to
distinguish between the two.

In each case the great point was the display of skill in horsemanship,
and the use of the lance or spear. The knights rode at full speed
towards each other, and the aim of each was to strike his opponent in
the centre of the shield, 'The four nails,' Book III. p. 98, or at the
fastening of the helmet, Book IX. p. 257, and Book XII. In either event
if the blow was well aimed, and delivered with sufficient force, the
knight was thrown backward off his steed. It might happen that both
knights were struck, and succeeded in keeping their seat, while their
spears were shivered, then a second joust must be ridden. If either
knight were thrown from his saddle, or his steed fell with him, then he
was held to be vanquished, but if, as not unfrequently happened, the
girth of the saddle broke, and the rider were thrown, _then_ the joust
was held to be undecided, and, in the case of real warfare, the issue
was fought out with swords on foot. Cf. the combat between Parzival and
Klamidé, Book IV. pp. 119, 120. In Book V. we find Parzival and Orilus
fighting with swords on horseback: this is unusual. In real warfare
the knights would fight till one was slain, or till the issue was
indisputably decided by one being felled to the ground. We occasionally
find the combat decided by sheer strength of arm, one knight clasping
the other and throwing him to the ground; so Parzival conquers Orilus,
Book V. p. 149, and Gawain, Lischois, Book X. Both in Tourney and real
warfare the fight was generally closed by the vanquished giving his
pledge or surety to the victor, who not unfrequently sent him to yield
himself prisoner to some favoured lady, so Parzival sends Kingron,
Klamidé, and Orilus to Kunnewaaré. If the vanquished knight refused to
yield he would be slain, but this did not often happen. The death of
Ither of Gaheviess is due to a mischance. Armour and horse were the
prize of the victor, though in the case of the foe being slain it seems
to have been thought an unknightly deed to take them, such 'robbery
of the dead' was termed _rêroup_, and Trevrezent, Book IX. p. 273,
strongly blames both Lähelein and Parzival for such action.

The Tourney would often be held simply for honour, the prize being
something comparatively trifling, such as a hawk, cf. Tourney at
Kanedig, alluded to in Book III. p. 77, and again in Book V. p. 155,
but occasionally the guerdon was far higher, as at Kanvoleis where the
band and kingdoms of Queen Herzeleide were the prize of the victor.
Any disputes would be referred to a court of judges from whose verdict
there was no appeal. In such Tourneys it was customary not to retain
the horse and armour, but to accept a ransom fixed by the _owner_.
This is evidently alluded to in Book II. 45, where we find these rules
disregarded in the heat of conflict.

Opposed to this Tourney 'for honour' was the Tourney 'for booty,' when
the aim of the knights was to capture as many steeds and make as many
prisoners as possible, the ransom being fixed by the _captor_. Wolfram
does not mention such a Tourney, but with the decay of knighthood such
conflicts appear to have almost entirely displaced the nobler strife.
It will be understood, of course, that though a joust or single combat
might either be settled beforehand, as in the case of Kingrimursel's
and Gramoflanz' challenge to Gawain, or be brought about by a chance
meeting, as when Vergulacht and the knight of Monsalväsch fight
with Parzival, a Tourney was carefully arranged beforehand, and the
knights summoned by invitation. The knights generally assembled on the
Saturday, and the Tourney would be held on the Monday, the interval
being employed in careful inquiry as to the claim of those present
to take a part in such knightly sport. The knights were divided into
two bodies of equal strength, headed by the most experienced warriors
present, and single champions would not unfrequently try their skill
against each other on the eve of the Tourney proper. Not unfrequently
the passions of the knights were roused to such a pitch that this
_Vesper-spiel_ became a serious encounter, and the combatants were
so exhausted that the Tourney could not be held, as was the case at
Kanvoleis. From the abuses connected with these meetings, which not
unfrequently lapsed into serious warfare, and caused wanton loss of
life, they were looked upon with disfavour by the Church, and in some
cases were positively forbidden.

Page 42, line 236--'_Rivalein_,' according to Eilhart, the father of

Page 44, line 279--'_I have named unto ye a lady_.' This is the queen
of France, Anflisé, whose connection with Gamuret is alluded to in
Book I. p. 9. This episode was probably suggested by facts in Angevin
history, cf. Appendix. A reference to their connection will be found in
Book VIII. p. 233.

Page 46, lines 351-60. Galoes the king of Anjou has not been named
before. The name occurs in Hartmann's _Erec_, and may have been
borrowed from there. The name of his lady-love is given in Book VII. p.
199. The slayer of Galoes was Orilus, Book III. p. 77.

Page 48, line 406--'_No wife was she but a maiden_.' Book IX. p.
283, where a full account of Herzeleide's marriage will be found,
'_Herzeleide_.' The modern German rendering of this name carries
with it its own interpretation in the play of words familiar through
Wagner's _Parsifal_, 'Ihr brach das Leid das Herz und Herzeleide
starb.' But the original form, Herzeloyde, indicates, in Bartsch's
opinion, a Southern French modification, _loyde_ being a variant
of _hildis_, _oildis_. The name Rischoydè, we know in its form of
Richilda, and Herzeloyde seems to come from the same root. Professor
Rhys (_Arthurian Romance_, p. 180) has suggested derivation from the
Welsh _argelwythes_ = 'the lady,' but the suggestion has not won
general acceptance.

Page 54, line 614--'_The maid and her lands he won_.' Readers will
doubtless remark the fact that though we meet with numerous allusions
to marriages and marriage festivities throughout the poem, yet in no
single instance is the marriage attended by a religious ceremony. This
is an indication of the original date of the story, which testifies
to a very early stage of social development. The original idea of
marriage was that of a contract made by mutual consent publicly before
witnesses, as we find here in the marriages of Gamuret with Belakané
and Herzeleide, or later on in Book IV., the marriage of Parzival
and Kondwiramur. The mutual promise being given and witnessed, the
contract was complete, and the marriage might be consummated at once.
The office of the Church seems at first to have been confined to
conferring a benediction on a union already completed, and therefore
we find that, even so late as the thirteenth century, the religious
ceremony followed, and did not precede, the marriage night. San Marte,
in his note on the subject, quotes more than one romance of this date
where this is the case, and it was not till the idea of marriage as a
sacrament had displaced that of marriage as a civil contract that the
religious ceremony became essential to a valid union. The fact that
Wolfram, with his high ideas of the binding nature of the marriage-vow,
never once mentions the religious ceremony is a strong argument in
favour of the presumption that the subject-matter of the _Parzival_
is considerably older than his treatment of it. Marriage between a
Christian and a heathen was held to be null and void, and, according
to the ideas of the age, Herzeleide was fully within her rights in
claiming Gamuret as her husband and in regarding his previous marriage
as non-existent. The costly presents made by the bridegroom, as for
instance the gift of Waleis and Norgals to Herzeleide by her first
husband, seem to have been a survival of the idea that the woman was
property, to be bought by the intending husband. The bride, on her
part, gave equally rich gifts, so we find Kondwiramur bestowing castles
and lands on Parzival, and the mutual interchange of these gifts was an
essential part of the marriage contract.

Page 56, line 674--'_The panther_.' The badge of the House of Anjou was
a leopard.

Page 59, lines 744, 745. The idea that a diamond might be softened by
the application of a he-goat's blood is very old. San Marte says it is
mentioned by Pliny. Hartmann refers to it in his _Erec_, and it seems
to have been a general belief in the Middle Ages.


The first two books of this poem are peculiar to Wolfram. Among the
different versions of the Perceval legend which we possess there is a
curious diversity of statement as to the parentage of the hero; though,
as a rule, they agree in the main facts of the death of his father,
either before, or shortly after, Perceval's birth, and his being
brought up in the desert by his widowed mother.

With the Third Book we find ourselves on ground common to most
transcribers of the legend; and in this and the following books a
table of the traditional events contained in the book, with the other
versions of the story in which they occur, will be given. The following
are the Romances of the Grail-cycle which deal more particularly with
the Perceval legend.--

_Li Conte del Graal_, poem by Chrêtien de Troyes; left unfinished at
Chrêtien's death; it was continued by three other writers; the poem as
we have it, is the work of at least four different hands.

_Peredur_: Welsh tale found in the Red Book of Hergest.

_Perceval_: A French prose romance, ascribed by many critics to Robert
de Borron.

_Sir Percyvelle of Galles_: English metrical romance--author unknown.

_Perceval li Gallois_: French prose romance, also by an unknown writer.


  The son of a widowed mother;       Chrêtien: Peredur; Sir Percyvelle.
  Brought up in the desert; Meeting
  with knights and departure for
  Arthur's court.

  Meeting with Jeschuté. 'The Lady   _Ibid._
  of the Tent.'

  Meeting with Siguné.               In this place only in _Perceval_,
                                     later meeting in the other

  Arrives at Arthur's court and      All the versions.
  demands knighthood.

  Meeting with the Red Knight; slays Chrêtien: Peredur, and Sir
  him; and takes his armour.         Percyvelle closely agree as to
                                     the meeting. All agree as to the
                                     wearing of the red armour. In
                                     Perceval, alone, hero does not
                                     kill the knight who originally
                                     owns it.

  Laughter of Kunnewaaré; speech of  Chrêtien: maiden and fool;
  Antanor and their smiting by Kay.  Peredur; dwarf and companion.

  Arrival at castle of old knight,   Chrêtien: Sir Percyvelle.
  who counsels hero.

(It will be found that, from Books III. to XIII. inclusive, there is a
very close parallelism between Wolfram's poem and Chrêtien's share of
_Li Conte del Graal_.)

Introduction, lines 1-45. This introduction, like that to Book I.,
appears to have been written _after_ the completion of the poem, and
to have been intended by the poet as a defence of his attitude towards
women; certainly the lines 12-15 presuppose certain statements which
had aroused the wrath of the lady hearers of the poet. The whole
passage is interesting on account of its strongly personal character.
In Book VI. Wolfram refers more than once to the lady who has wronged
him (pp. 163, 166, 191), and in terms that show, as here, that he
bitterly resented her treatment. The line 'Born was I unto the bearing
of knightly shield and spear,' is the only definite statement as to the
poet's rank in life which we possess, and in the light of his lasting
fame as a poet it is curious to find him holding his gift of song as of
less account than his knightly deeds, which do not seem to have been
more remarkable than those of his fellows.

From Book IV. p. 122, we learn that Wolfram was married, and, from the
concluding lines of Books VI. and XVI., it is clear that the _Parzival_
was composed with a view to winning, or retaining, the favour of a
lady, but the only direct personal allusion throughout the entire poem
is that to the Margravine of Heitstein in Book VIII. p. 232, and the
passage is too vague to allow of our identifying the lady named either
with Wolfram's faithless love, or with her for whose sake he composed
his poem; certainly the Margravine was not his wife.

Page 67, line 61--'_Soltanè's strand_.' This is one of the many
instances in the poem in which an adjective has been taken as a proper
name. In the French source it was undoubtedly an adjective meaning
'solitary,' 'waste.' In Chrêtien we find _la gaste forest soltaine_;
other versions speak of the woods, or the desert, none but this gives a
proper name.

Page 69, line 158--'_Ulterleg's Count_.' _Oultre-lac_, 'beyond the
lake,' cf. Louis D'outremer. This is again an instance of a qualifying
term used as a proper name.

Page 72, line 220--'_Meljakanz_.' This exploit is quite in keeping with
the character of the knight, cf. Book VII. p. 198. In Malory we meet
with the same character, as Sir Meliagraunce; and the story of his
abduction of Guinevere, and her rescue by Launcelot is there given in

Page 72, line 240--'_For some cunning wile of woman_.' It is curious
to note that nothing comes of these elaborate precautions on the part
of Herzeleide. Parzival's fool's dress seems to excite very little
attention, nothing is said of it on his appearance at Arthur's court,
nor do we hear of any one mocking him for it. The effect produced by
his personal beauty is much more strongly insisted upon. There is also
a decided discrepancy between the mother's anxiety to keep her son from
danger and her suggestions to him to avenge the wrong Lähelein has done

Page 73, line 267--'_Lähelein_,' Cf. Appendix A, and remarks on this
character. Heinzel suggests that Lähelein=Llewellwyn, a prince of South
Wales who conquered North Wales in 1015. But if a parallel between
the boyhood of Parzival and that of Henry Fitz-Empress be intended,
as seems probable, the Welsh connection is of too early a date.
The remarks in Heinzel's pamphlet, 'Ueber Wolfram von Eschenbach's
_Parzival_,' as to Lähelein being undoubtedly an historical personage,
are worthy of note. It is remarkable that we find no equivalent to this
character in other versions of the story.

Page 74, line 287--'_Briziljan's wood_.' Most probably Broceliande,
where so many of the adventures of King Arthur and his knights take
place. Undoubtedly this wood was in Brittany, but the localities in the
poem are much confused.

Page 74, line 297--'_Duke Orilus of Lalande_.' This name is again a
misconception of a French original, '_Li Orgueillous de-la-lande_,'
which Wolfram has taken as a proper name. In other versions the lady
is unnamed. (It may be noted that Wolfram almost invariably names his
characters; and often goes to some trouble to connect them with each
other, and the main thread of his story. This tendency to account for
everything, _sum motiviren_, is a marked feature in Wolfram's writings.)

Page 76, line 365--'_Thy brother, King Lac's son Erec_.' An allusion to
the Erec of Hartmann von Aue (founded upon Chrêtien's Erec and dealing
with the same subject as found in the Welsh tale of _Geraint_ and the
late Laureate's Enid) where the tournament at Prurein is described.

Page 77, line 374--'_Proud Galoes_.' The slaying alike of Parzival's
uncle Galoes, and of his kinsman Schionatulander (p. 80) by Orilus,
Lähelein's brother, is also peculiar to Wolfram, but it is curious
that the _Rache-motif_ thus introduced is not followed up, and when
Parzival overthrows Orilus it is to avenge the shaming of Jeschuté,
nor, though Orilus mentions his brother as having won _two_ kingdoms,
Book V. p. 150, does Parzival connect the mention with the loss of his
own heritage. This seems to indicate that the special rôle assigned in
this poem to the two brothers was not a part of the original story, and
has not been perfectly fitted into the framework.

The name of Orilus' wife, Jeschuté, is supposed to be derived from a
misunderstanding, Wolfram having interpreted the verb _gisoit_, lay, as
a proper name.

Page 77, line 375--'_The knight Plihopleheri_.' A knight of the Round
Table mentioned in Hartmann's _Iwein_ (founded on Chrêtien's _Chevalier
au Lyon_, the subject-matter of which is the same as that of the Welsh
_Lady of the Fountain_).

Page 78, line 409--This shaming of Jeschuté will strongly recall to
English readers the story of _Enid and Geraint_.

Page 79, line 437--'_Siguné and Schionatulander_.' The loves of these
two are related in Wolfram's unfinished poem of _Titurel_, where the
full account of Schionatulander's fatal chase of the hound, or brachet,
is given. The adventure with the weeping damsel occurs in other
versions of the Perceval legend, but in none does she play so important
a part as in the _Parzival_, _vide_ Book V. p. 141; Book IX. p. 252;
and Book XVI. Her parentage is given in Book IX. p. 274.

Page 79, line 466--'_Thou art Parzival_.' The interpretation here given
of the hero's name betrays clearly its French origin, _Perce-val_.
In the Krône of Heinrich von Türlin the writer explains _Val_ as
_Thal_=valley, or _Furch_=furrow. Wolfram seems to have understood
it in this second sense, and has given the name a symbolic meaning
peculiar to himself. In Chrêtien's poem no derivation or interpretation
of the name is given, and the hero himself guesses his name; nor do the
special terms of endearment, evidently quoted by Wolfram from a French
source, occur in Chrêtien's version of the story.

Page 80, line 497--'_'Twas a churl_.' Wolfram's aristocratic contempt
for peasants may be noted in other passages, cf. Book II. p. 43, and
VII. p. 219.

Page 81, line 517--'_Herr Hartmann von Aue_.' Hartmann von Aue was a
famous German poet of the twelfth century. If not absolutely the first
to introduce the Arthurian legends into Germany (Eilhart's _Tristan_ is
earlier than Hartmann's works), he was the writer who first rendered
them popular in that country. His principal poems are _Erec_, written
about 1191; and _Iwein_ 1202, both of which are frequently referred
to by Wolfram. They were founded on two poems by Chrêtien de Troyes,
_Erec_ and _Le Chevalier au Lyon_, but Hartmann was not a mere
translator; he handled his materials with considerable skill, and with
an insight into the characters and motives of his _dramatis personæ_
which is distinctly a feature of the German presentment of these
legends. Enid and her mother Karnafite are characters in the _Erec_.
The story of another of Hartmann's poems, _Der arme Heinrich_, is well
known to English readers through Longfellow's version of it in _The
Golden Legend_.

Page 82, line 534--'_No Kurwenal was his teacher_.' Kurwenal is the
friend and tutor of Tristan. In Malory we find the name 'Gouvernail,'
and it seems probable that here again we have a term denoting an office
converted into a proper name.

Page 82, line 549--'_Ither of Gaheviess_.' Ither = Welsh _Idêr_;
Gaheviess = _gas-vies_, old wood. Chrêtien calls him '_de la forêt de

Page 82, line 544--'_The Red Knight_.' This character is evidently one
of the traditional features of the story; though the circumstances of
the meeting differ, there is no version without its 'Red Knight.' In
those romances of the Grail-cycle in which Perceval has been deposed
from his original position as hero in favour of Galahad, we find the
latter wearing the armour, and bearing the title, of the Red Knight.
Here again Wolfram is the only writer who names him, but it is somewhat
startling to find the king of _Cumberland_ claiming _Brittany_. From
Book IX. pp. 273 and 285, we learn that he was Parzival's kinsman.
It may be interesting here, and may help to the better understanding
of the poem, if we describe the armour of a knight at the end of the
twelfth century. The principal piece of defensive armour was the
Hauberk (Halsberg), a coat formed of rings of steel which reached to
the knee, and had sleeves ending in iron gauntlets. Attached to this,
and forming one piece with the Halsberg, was the Härsenier, a cap of
chain mail which was drawn over the head below the helmet. The upper
part of the face was protected by the 'Nasen-band,' a band of iron
provided with eye-holes; and the lower part by the 'Fintäle,' a part of
the 'Härsenier' which passed round and over the chin; above this the
helmet was fastened. (The use of the word 'visor' in the translation
is an anachronism, as the visor proper was not introduced till later,
but there was no other word which would express what was meant with
equal brevity and clearness.) Foot and leg were clad in hose of iron,
and the knee and elbow were specially protected by plates of iron or
_schinnelier_. Over this harness many knights wore the _Waffen-rock_,
a long sleeveless garment of silk on which the badge of the knight was
embroidered in gold and jewels. The sword was girt above this garment.
The knight would also bear his distinguishing badge on helmet, shield,
and the truncheon of his spear. The shield was of wood, strengthened
with bands of metal, and often decorated with precious stones, cf. the
description of Feirefis' shield in Book XV. The shield was long-shaped,
three-cornered, and was held in the left hand close to the body, the
spear was carried in the right, so that the horse was guided by the
_knee_, not by the _hand_, of the rider. The spear was a blade of
steel, set into a long heft of wood, or reed, _Röhr_, probably Bamboo,
sometimes even the rough trunk of a young tree, as in Book IV. p.
519. Shield and spear were alike painted in the same colours as the
robe of the knight, and the horse had a like covering of silk beneath
the saddle and over the coat of mail with which it was protected. The
description given by Wolfram of the arms and accoutrement of the Red
Knight of Parzival, Book IV. p. 19, and Orilus, Book V. pp. 147-148,
_seq._, will give a very clear idea of the appearance of a knight in
full battle-array.

Page 83, line 570--'_To the Table Round I came_.' Here we find an
allusion to two methods of laying claim to a property. There seems a
difference of opinion as to the first; Simrock holds that the pouring
out of the wine constituted the claim; Bartsch, that the point of
the action lay in carrying off some part of the property claimed.
This seems the more probable interpretation, the pouring out of the
wine then, as well as the sprinkling the queen, would be accidental.
In Chrêtien the indignation of king and queen at the insult is far
more strongly emphasised. The burning of a wisp of straw, as a
declaration of rights claimed, is mentioned by Grimm in his _Deutsche

Page 83, line 586--'_Iwanet_.' The diminutive of Iwein, the well-known
hero of Hartmann's poem (the Owain, son of Urien of Rheged, of Welsh

Page 83--'_Parzival at the court of King Arthur_.' There are some
distinctive features in Wolfram's version of this incident. Parzival's
behaviour towards the King, though unconventional, is far less
discourteous than that ascribed to him either by Chrêtien or by the
English 'Sir Percyvelle.' In Chrêtien's poem, Perceval rides into the
hall, where he finds the king and courtiers plunged in grief at the
insult offered to them by the Red Knight. The king does not reply to
Perceval's greeting, and the lad rides so close to him that his horse's
head knocks off the king's cap. A reason for the failure of the Knights
of the Round Table to avenge the insult offered by the Red Knight
is suggested in the fact that they are already wounded in battle.
[The student of Irish heroic saga cannot fail to recall the strange
disability under which the knights of Conchobor's court suffered at
times and which completely prostrated them. The province of Ulster
would have lain defenceless were it not that the Cuchulainn alone was
free from the disability, and single-handed defied the men of the rest
of Ireland. There are many points of contrast between the _enfances_ of
Cuchulainn and those of Perceval--A.N.] The kindly feeling shown both
by Arthur and Guinevere towards Ither is not paralleled in Chrêtien,
where the Red Knight is represented as Arthur's deadliest foe, and
Guinevere is like to die of shame and wrath at the insult offered to
her. Chrêtien also places Perceval's refusal to dismount here, whereas
Wolfram places it on his arrival at Gurnemanz' castle. In Chrêtien the
hero tells the Red Knight of his intention to demand his armour from
Arthur, and there is no trace of the courteous and poetical greeting
which Ither here addresses to Parzival. The confusion of the Red Knight
with the hero's own personal foe is of course due to the introduction
of the Lähelein episode which is peculiar to Wolfram; but Chrêtien has
a most curious passage connected with Perceval's inability to disarm
his dead antagonist:

    'Ains auroie par carbonées
    Trestout escarbelliè le mort,
    Que nule des armes enport;'

which as it stands is decidedly difficult of interpretation; while in
the English Sir Percyvelle we find the hero saying:

        'My moder bad me,
    Whenne my dart solde brokene be
    Owte of the irene brenne the tree,'

which evidently indicates the source of Chrêtien's curious remark. An
examination of the different versions seems to show that, while the
German is the fuller and more poetical, the French is here closer to
the original form of the story.

Pages 85 and 86, lines 635, 658--'_Kay the Seneschal_.' The character
of Kay is one of the problems of the Arthurian legends. In all the
tales he is represented as filling the office of Seneschal, and in
all he is represented as a man of rough manners, violent temper, and
bitter tongue. The Seneschal (_Senes-schalh_), the oldest servant,
was master of the ceremonies, one of the chief personages of a
royal household, and not unfrequently the trusted confidant of the
king; but such a chastisement as Kay here, and in other versions,
inflicts upon Kunnewaaré, was distinctly _outside_ his office, and,
taking into consideration the standing of Kunnewaaré and Antanor,
quite inconceivable. Here, as in other instances, we have traces of
an original tradition dating from a time when a far rougher code of
manners and customs obtained. Wolfram, while adhering closely to his
source, and to the traditional representation of Kay's character, was
evidently extremely puzzled by the undignified and discourteous part
allotted to him, and in Book VI. (p. 169) he diverges from the story in
order to explain what he feels to be a difficulty, and to defend Kay at
some length. The Northern French poets apparently felt the same, and as
Kay is generally represented as Arthur's foster-brother they invented
the fable that the unknightly traits in his character were due to his
having been committed to the care of a peasant nurse when his mother
took charge of the infant Arthur.

Page 85, line 652--'_The maiden Kunnewaaré_.' The 'laughing damsel'
seems to be an archaic and misunderstood element in the Grail romances.
A common incident of folk-tales is for the hero, fool, lout, or
tatterdemalion, to win to wife a princess who has not laughed or spoken
for years by inducing her to do either of these things. Some such
incident has apparently been woven into an heroic romance, the main
outlines of which were already fixed, so that the actual conclusion,
marriage of the hero with the laughing damsel, has been disturbed.
Note, however, the homage paid by Parzival to Kunnewaaré, and her
evident affection for him (Book VI. pp. 181-185). Her name too is
suggestive, it has been derived from _la pucele a la gonne vaire_
(the maiden with the coloured robe), but in its present form it is
suspiciously like Kondwiramur, and it should be noted that it is the
rejected lover of this queen whom Kunnewaaré eventually marries. Is it
possible that the Perceval romance from which both Chrêtien and 'Kiot'
drew contained doublets of this personage? In the one case in her
original, in the other in a modified form. An instructive parallel may
be adduced from the saga of Cuchulainn. He is the hero of an Andromeda
episode and should by rights wed the delivered heroine, but the story
being already fixed before the episode was assimilated, the heroine is
passed on to a companion of the hero.--[A. N.]

Page 89, line 766--'_Maestricht, or e'en Cologne_.' German art, in the
early Middle Ages, reached its highest level in the Rhenish provinces,
especially at Cologne.

Page 91, line 828--'_Gurnemanz of Graharz_.' The old knight who
instructs the hero in knightly duties is a traditional part of
the story, and belongs to most of the versions. In Peredur, he is
identified with the Fisher King, Perceval's uncle. In Chrêtien his name
is given as Gonemans of Gelbort; in Gerbert, Chrêtien's continuator, he
is, _Gornemant_ (one of several points of contact between Gerbert and
Wolfram's source).

Page 91, line 847--'_He bade them lead the guest in_.' This is one of
the many passages which afford an interesting glimpse of the manners
and customs of a bygone age. It may be well to summarise here what we
know of the reception and treatment of a guest in the Middle Ages. If a
strange knight rode into the courtyard of a castle he was received by
squires and pages, who held his bridle and assisted him to dismount.
The guest was then conducted to a chamber where he was disarmed and
provided with suitable robes. In every important household there was a
_Kleider-kammer_, or wardrobe, presided over by a chamberlain, whose
office it was to see that all guests were provided with garments fitted
to their station. The preparation of these dresses was the work of the
women of the household, and it can have been no light task, as even
if a whole company arrived they would all expect to be provided with
the requisite dress. The guest, being robed, was then conducted to the
great Hall, which was in the upper story of the castle. Half-way on
the staircase leading to it, he would be met, and welcomed with the
kiss of greeting, by both host and hostess (cf. Book IV. p. 107),
and led by them into the Hall where he would receive the greeting of
the assembled company. When all were seated the guest would say who
he was, and whence he came, but, if he kept silence on this point, it
was not etiquette to ask him till the next morning (cf. Book III. p.
95). The evening meal then followed, after which, on occasions of great
festivity, such as that recounted in Book XIII. (marriage feast of
Gawain and Orgeluse) there would be dancing, otherwise the time seems
to have been spent in conversation till the appearance of the wine-cup,
_Nacht Trunk_, gave the signal for separation. Then knights conducted
the guest to his chamber, where pages disrobed him, and apparently
waited with lighted tapers till he fell asleep. The account given
here of Parzival's visit to Gurnemanz gives a very good idea of how
the following day would be spent, indeed Wolfram's love for detailed
description, and accuracy of statement render this poem peculiarly
valuable to a student of the manners and customs of the Middle Ages.

From various hints in the Gawain episodes, notably Books X. and XI.,
it seems as if the privilege extended to a guest might on occasion be
construed with a freedom decidedly repellent to modern ideas.

Page 96, lines 984, 985--'_Full five shall thy senses be_.' Cf. Book
IX. p. 200.

Page 98, line 1055--'_The prince bade his daughter hither_.' The
introduction of Gurnemanz' daughter, and her incipient love affair with
Parzival is peculiar to this version. There is a curious discrepancy
to be noted between the apparent susceptibility of the hero here
and in Book IX. pp. 260, 261, and his indifference to feminine
charms displayed elsewhere, notably in his rejection of Orgeluse's
advances and neglect of the Château Merveil adventure. The latter
presentment seems most in accordance with Parzival's character; is the
susceptibility to be ascribed to the _poet_?

Page 99, line 1080--'_I lose once more a son_.' The sons of the old
knight are mentioned in other versions, but Wolfram alone names them.
The circumstances of Schenteflur's death are recounted in Book IV. p.
121; the account given of the other two sons is largely borrowed from
Hartmann's _Erec_, where the strife for the hawk at Kanedig, and the
venture, Schoie-de-la-kurt (which is not a person, but an expedition),
is fully recounted. Brandigan is Klamidé's kingdom, cf. Book IV.;
Mabonagrein, his cousin, Book IV. p. 123. Mahaut is another form of the
name Matilda. From _Titurel_ we learn that Gurzgrei and Mahaut were the
parents of Schionatulander, Siguné's lover, cf. also Book VIII. p. 245
and note.



  Arrival at besieged city; maiden   Chrêtien and his continuator
  of the castle beseeches the hero's Gerbert; Peredur; Sir Percyvelle.
  aid; overthrowal of her enemies
  and final marriage with maiden.

Name of the maiden; Chrêtien, Blanche-fleur; Sir Percyvelle Lufamour;
Peredur unnamed.

Page 103, line 17--'_Who rideth astray, etc_.' According to Simrock
this passage in the original contains a play upon words which cannot
be reproduced in translation: Slegel--schlegel, the word employed for
_axe_ here, signifying, in some parts of Germany, 'a fallen tree.'

Page 104, line 26--'_The city of Pelrapär_.' In Chrêtien the name of
the city is 'Beau-repaire,' of which this is evidently the German
rendering. The substitution of _p_ for _b_ is still a distinguishing
mark of German pronunciation of French. In _Sir Percyvelle_ it is 'the
maiden land.'

Page 104, line 38--'_The King Klamidé_.' This character is named
by Wolfram and Chrêtien only; in _Peredur_ he is the Earl; in Sir
Percyvelle, 'Sowdane.' Chrêtien calls him 'Clamadex,' and it is worthy
of note that in _Perceval li Gallois_ the son of the Red Knight slain
by Perceval is called 'Clamadas,' evidently a variant of the same name.

Page 105, line 78--'_My lord the Count of Wertheim_.' Wertheim is in
Lower Franconia. Bartsch thinks either Poppo I. or his son Poppo II. is
referred to here. From the expression used, 'my lord,' it seems as if
Wolfram had at one time been in his service.

Page 106, line 89--'_Trühending_.' There are three places of
this name in the neighbourhood of Eschenbach: Hohen, Alten, and
Wasser-Trühending. The latter is still famous for its _krapfen_, a kind
of pancake.

Page 107, line 119--'_Kiot of Katelangen_ (_i.e._ Catalonia) _and
Manfilot_.' Kiot is the father of Siguné, and appears again in Book
XVI. The account of his marriage with Schoisianè, her death, and his
subsequent adoption of the life of a hermit will be found in Book IX.
p. 274. From Wolfram's unfinished poem of _Titurel_ we learn that
Manfilot was his companion.

Page 107, line 133--'_The twain Isoldé_.' An allusion to Isoldé la
Belle, the wife of King Mark of Cornwall, and mistress of Sir Tristan;
and Isoldé of the white hand, Tristan's wife.

Page 109, line 208, _seq._--'_Till the cry of heart-sorrow woke him_.'
This nocturnal visit of the Lady of the castle to the hero's chamber
seems to be part of the original tradition, and it is evident by the
apologetic manner in which Wolfram tells the story that he is somewhat
puzzled by Kondwiramur's conduct. From the Introduction to Book VII.,
and also from the blame he bestows on Chrêtien for having done a wrong
to the story, _Diese Märe unrecht gethan_, we gather that Wolfram set a
high value on fidelity to his source, and these and similar apologetic
passages must be explained by the unwillingness of the poet to depart
from the traditional form of the legend, while, at the same time, the
story, representing as it did the manners and customs of an earlier and
ruder period, was somewhat distasteful to him.

Page 110, line 243--'_Kingron the Seneschal_.' This character is
Aguigrenons in Chrêtien, elsewhere he is unnamed. Mr. York Powell
points out that Wolfram's form presupposes an Aguigrenons, which
would either indicate that the existing MSS. of Chrêtien, or Chrêtien
himself, misread _u_ for _n_, or that Wolfram did _not_ get his version
by ear as he maintains (or that Wolfram was following a source other
than Chrêtien).

Page 114, line 365, seq.--'_The marriage night_.' A similar account
is given by Gerbert, one of the continuators of Chrêtien. (Chrêtien
himself does not record the marriage, which takes place on a later
visit of the hero to Beau-repaire.) In Gerbert's version we have an
indication of later influence, as the motive-power is the recognition
by both Perceval and his bride of the superiority of virginity to the
married state. Wolfram's version seems far more in accordance with the
character of the hero, and is probably closer to the original form of
the story.

Page 116, line 420--'_Galogandres, Duke of Gippones_.' This character
and Count Narant only appear here. Uckerland is probably a corruption
of Oultreland, as noted in Book III.

Page 118, line 505--'_Gringorz_.' The French _Gringoire_--Gregory. All
this account of Klamidé's arms, charger, etc., is peculiar to Wolfram;
whose fondness for minute and descriptive detail is a noticeable

Page 121, line 598--'_Dianasdron_.' Dinaderon en Gales in Chrêtien, who
does not mention Karminöl. In the roll of King Arthur's knights we find
such names as Sir Dinas, Sir Dinant, Sir Dinadan; all of which seem to
come from the same root. The name is probably Keltic, and belongs to
the original version of the story.

Page 123, line 660--'_Mabonagrein_.' Cf. Book III. p. 108 and note.



  Hero meets with the Fisher King;   Chrêtien and continuators:
  visits the Grail Castle, sees      Peredur; Perceval; Perceval li
  the Grail, lance, etc., but asks   Gallois. (Sir Percyvelle omits
  no question, and is therefore      everything connected with the
  reproached by maiden with dead     Grail.)

(The reader will find all this part of the legend, the varying forms
of the visit to the Grail Castle, the Fisher King, the Grail, etc.,
fully discussed in Mr. Alfred Nutt's _Studies on the Legend of the Holy

Page 131, line 58--'_Abenberg's field_.' Castle and town of Abenberg,
in the neighbourhood of Eschenbach.

Page 131, line 75--'_Repanse de Schoie_.' This name appears to signify
'Thought of joy.' The Grail maidens are not named in other versions.

Page 132, line 87--'_Then one to the host would call him_.' This was
evidently the Court Jester, always a privileged person.

Page 132, lines 109, 110--'_Lignum Aloe_.' Bartsch holds this to be a
mistake of the poet, who has misunderstood the old French word _Aloer_.
Chrêtien has simply _seces boises_. 'Wildberg' was the home of the
poet, who is here making allusion to his poverty, as in Book IV. p. 106.

Page 132, line 111--'_And the host had bid them lay him_.' 'The Maimed
King' invariably figures in the Grail Romances, whether they deal
only with the Quest, as here, or with the early history of the Grail.
He is generally wounded through the thighs, either with a lance, or
with a sword, but the circumstances under which he receives the wound
vary greatly. In most of the versions he is met with while engaged in
fishing, and is known as the Fisher King, or the 'Rich Fisher.'

Page 132, line 125--'_The bleeding lance_.' This is a feature in most
of the Grail Romances, and seems to have been an original feature of
the story, though it had not the close connection with the _Grail_,
which the fully developed Christian legend has given to it. In the
earlier versions of the story it is the weapon with which the Maimed
King was wounded; finally, it became the spear with which our Lord's
side was pierced on the cross. Wolfram, who never appears to connect
the Grail with the Passion, gives it the first meaning. The visit to
the Grail Castle is told in varying forms, but the King, the Grail,
Sword, and Lance almost invariably appear, and the hero is either
Perceval or his companion Gawain, but Perceval is, undoubtedly, the
original hero of the Quest.

Page 133, line 137 and _seq._--'_The Grail Procession_.' In Chrêtien
this is much more simply treated. There are two squires bearing
candlesticks, and two maidens, one of whom carries the Grail, the other
a silver dish, _tailleor_. Wolfram has evidently seized the opportunity
to give play to his love of detailed description, and his account of
the Grail Feast and the Grail Maidens is far more elaborate than any
given elsewhere.

Page 136, line 223--'_The food-supplying powers of the Grail_.' In
other romances of the cycle we find similar powers attributed to the
Grail. Malory, who borrowed largely from the _Queste_ and _Grand S.
Graal_, gives a like account. There is evidently a connection between
this feature of the Grail, and the food-supplying talismans which
figure largely in the legendary lore of most countries.

Page 137, line 247--'_A squire who a sword did bear_.' Cf. p. 144,
lines 472 and _seq._ This incident also occurs in Chrêtien, and in
varying form in most of the versions. In this poem the meaning and use
of the sword are somewhat inexplicable. In Chrêtien that sword will
break in _one_ peril, known only to its maker, and then can be made
whole by dipping it in a _lake_. Wolfram's account seems to be based on
a misunderstanding of a French original. In some of the other versions
the sword is already broken, and can only be made whole by the achiever
of the Quest. In Wolfram the sword is a very puzzling feature of the
story, with which indeed it seems to have little or no connection.
The sword, which breaks in Parzival's deadly combat with his unknown
brother, is not _this_ sword, but the one taken from Ither of Gaheviess.

Page 137, line 267--'_The fairest of old men ancient_.' Titurel, cf.
Book IX. p. 287.

Page 137, line 273--'_'Tis a symbol good, the bowstring_.' Introduction
to Book I., line 9, and note.

Page 139, line 325--'_The garden of Paradise_.' This is one of the
allusions which seem to connect the Grail in Wolfram's version with an
Oriental source, cf. p. 135.

Page 141, line 371--'_A hidden hand drew the rope taut_.' Chrêtien has
the incident of the drawbridge rising, but in no other version are the
reproaches addressed to the hero immediately on his leaving the castle,
they are invariably put into the mouth of the maiden with the dead
knight. In the _Perceval_ the maiden's words, 'The Lord hates thee,'
recall Wolfram's _Ihr sult varen der sunnen has_, which Bartsch says is
an ancient formula of declaring a person accurst, and unworthy of the
light of day.

Page 141, line 381--'_Doubled the throw of sorrow_.' Cf. Book III. p.
100; Book II. p. 47. Similes borrowed from games of chance are not
unusual in this poem.

Page 141, line 397--'_A woman's voice make moan_.' This meeting with
the maiden _after_ the visit to the Grail Castle is in most versions
the only one. In Chrêtien she now tells the hero his name which he
learns or guesses for the first time. It was not improbably this
incident which led either Wolfram, or his source, to place a first
meeting earlier in the story while still retaining one in the original
position. Wolfram, with characteristic love for detail, follows up the
history of Siguné far more fully than other writers of the cycle.

Page 142, line 427--'_Monsalväsch_.' Probably 'Mont Sauvage,' in
allusion to its wild and lonely position. A full account of the Grail
and its keepers is given in Book IX. pp. 270, 271.

Page 143, line 463--'_Lunete_.' A character in Hartmann's _Iwein_, from
which the episode is quoted. Cf. Book IX. p. 252, and opening of Book

Page 144, line 475--'_Trebuchet_.' This name is also given in Chrêtien;
he is alluded to again p. 147, and in Book IX. p. 281, in connection
with the knives of silver mentioned in line 498 of this book.

Page 147, line 595--'_Tenabroc_.' Also p. 133, line 146. This name is
borrowed from Hartmann's Erec. Chrêtien has 'Danebroc.'

Page 147, line 601--'_Beàlzenan_.' According to Bartsch this name
is combined from Provençal, _beal_, fair; _enan_, height='the fair
height,' which would suit very well with the position of Angers, the
capital of Anjou.

Page 152, line 760--'_Wild Taurian, Dodine's brother_.' Cf. Book IX.
p. 265. Taurian does not seem to have been identified, but _Dodine_
appears, in many of the Arthurian romances, always with the title of
'Le Sauvage.' So we find him named in Malory. Wolfram seemed to have
transferred the characteristic from one brother to the other.

Page 155, line 849--'_Iofreit the son of Idöl_.' This is the French
name Geoffrey. Mentioned again in Book VI. line 168. Most critics
identify this character with Chrêtien's _Giflès li feus Do_.



  Blood drops on the snow and        Chrêtien: Peredur.
  love-trance of hero.

  Overthrows Kay and Segramor.       (Perceval Li Gallois relates a
                                     similar incident of Gawain.)

  Hero is cursed by Grail messenger  Chrêtien: Peredur. (In Perceval
  for his failure to ask the         there is a cursing by Merlin.)

Page 159, line 2--'_From Karidöl and his kingdom_.' Karidöl=Carduel
or Cardoile, the Anglo-Norman form of Carlisle. This is undoubtedly
Arthur's original capital, but throughout this poem Nantes seems to
be regarded as the royal city. Curiously enough we find the two names
combined in Gautier de Doulens, one of the continuators of _Li Conte
del Graal_, who introduces, as one of his _dramatis personæ_, Carduel
of Nantes.

Page 160, line 29--'_Whitsuntide_.' An examination of the Romances will
show this statement to be correct; Pentecost and Christmas seem to have
been the two feasts held in especial honour at King Arthur's court.

Page 160, line 49--'_Blood-drops on the snow_.' Both Wolfram and
Chrêtien insist only on the _two_ colours, red and white, and the
fact that they are puzzled by, and think it necessary to explain, the
presence of snow at Whitsuntide shows that they are taking over the
incident from an older source. As a matter of fact it is to be found in
tales unconnected with the Arthurian cycle, and of varying nationality.
In Peredur (Welsh) a raven has settled upon the body of a wild goose
killed by a falcon, and the hero thinks of _three_ colours (black, for
hair; white, for skin; red, for cheeks); in the _Fate of the Sons of
Usnech_, an Irish tale written down before the middle of the twelfth
century, and probably centuries older, these three colours are likewise
present, but it is a calf instead of a wild goose that is slain, and
it is the heroine, not the hero, who is fascinated by the colours. The
incident has always been a favourite one with Celtic story-tellers (cf.
_Argyll Tales_, M'Innes and Nutt, pp. 431-34), and curiously it is the
slain-_bird_, instead of the slain-_calf_ version which predominates,
although the _Fate of the Sons of Usnech_ is probably the most famous
of all Irish stories, and no traceable literary influence of the Welsh
tale upon Irish romance is known. Those familiar with Grimm's fairy
tales will remember a similar incident in the story of _Snowdrop_,
where the queen pricks her finger, and wishes for a daughter with hair
as black as the ebony window-frame, skin as white as the snow, and
cheeks as red as the blood; but here, of course, the 'fascination'
element is absent. I have attempted to show ('the _lai_ of Eliduc and
the mürchen of Schneewittchen,'_Folk Lore_. iii. I), that the Gaelic
version of the Schneewittchen type of story represents the earliest
attainable form of the story.--[A. N.]

Page 162, line 87--'_Segramor_,' or Saigremors. This knight is a
familiar figure in the Arthurian Romances, and the episode is quite in
accordance with his general character. Chrêtien calls him 'Le Desreè'
(uncurbed, impetuous). In Malory he is 'Le Desirous.' Cf. also Book
VIII. p. 241.

Page 163, line 121--'_To seek for the magic pheasant_.' Simrock thinks
this an allusion to a popular folk-tale, in which a magician, condemned
to death, contrives to escape by setting his judges and executioner to
seek for the fallen bird, by the irresistible strains of his magic pipe.

Page 166, line 235--'_Heinrich of Veldeck_.' A German poet who lived
towards the end of the twelfth century. His translation of the _Æneid_,
founded on a French version of the poem, was extremely popular, and
Wolfram frequently refers to it in his _Parzival_.

Page 169, line 321--'_Herman of Thuringia_.' This Landgrave of
Thuringia is well known to history as a generous patron of the
literature of his day. His court at the Wartburg was the resort of all
the leading poets, and it filled a place in the literary life of the
twelfth century only comparable to that taken by the neighbouring court
of Weimar six hundred years later. The terms in which Wolfram speaks of
the guests at the Wartburg is quite in keeping with what is known of
the Landgrave's lavish hospitality.

Simrock renders a passage from Walther von der Vogelweide which
describes the tumultuous life of the court as follows:

    'Wer in den Ohren siech ist oder krank im Haupt,
    Der meide ja Thuringen's Hof, wenn er mir glaubt.
    Käm er dahin, er würde ganz bethöret;
    Ich drang so lange zu, dass ich nicht mehr vermag,
    Ein Zug fährt ein, ein andrer aus, so Nacht als Tag,
    Ein wunder ists, dass da noch Jemand höret.'

The _Wartburg-krieg_, a poem of the end of the thirteenth century,
in which the principal poets of the age are represented as competing
in song before the Landgrave, supposes this contest to take place in
1207, and is doubtless an echo of what was no unusual incident at that
date. Wolfram's poem of _Willehalm_ was composed at the wish of the
Landgrave, and in it he speaks of the death of his patron. Herman died
in 1216, and the brilliant life at the Wartburg came to an end; his
successor Ludwig, the husband of S. Elizabeth, having little taste for

Page 169, line 325--'_And so Knight Walter singeth_.' Walther von
der Vogelweide, one of the most famous of German lyric poets, was of
knightly birth but small means; he seems to have supported himself by
his art, leading a wandering life at the principal courts of his day.
Of his connection with Wolfram nothing is known, save the fact of their
being together at the court of the Landgrave Herman in the early years
of the thirteenth century. The line here quoted does not occur in any
of Walther's extant poems.

Page 169, line 328--'_Heinrich of Rispach_.' Nothing seems to be known
of the character here referred to. From the fact that there is a
Rispach in the neighbourhood of Eschenbach, Bartsch conjectures that it
was some one personally known to Wolfram.

Page 171, line 385--'_The time when the knife's sharp blade_.' Wolfram
is here quoting from an unknown source. No such adventures are recorded
in any Romance that has come down to us; but they are quite in keeping
with Gawain's character.

Page 176, line 529--'_The right of the Round Table_.' This custom is
alluded to in other Arthurian Romances, and we meet with it again in
Book XIII. Here Wolfram seems to imply merely that the king did not eat
in public with his knights, _i.e._ at the Round Table, before they had
heard of some knightly venture; in Book XIII. he speaks as if no meal
might be partaken of by any of the courtiers till this came to pass.
The first rendering seems to be the correct one. [The whole incident
is thoroughly in keeping with the conventions of early Irish romance,
in which the personages are invariably subject to strict rules and
obligations, _geasa_, to use the Irish word.--A.N.]

Page 177, line 585--'_The Grail Messenger_.' This incident occurs
in both Chrêtien and Peredur, but the messenger is unnamed, or
simply termed 'The Loathly Damsel.' Such a damsel is met with in the
_Perceval_, but when she reaches King Arthur's Court she is transformed
into a maiden of surpassing beauty. It will be noted that one of the
queens imprisoned in Château Merveil also bears the name of Kondrie
(p. 189). Mr. Nutt, in his _Studies on the Legend of the Holy Grail_,
suggests this was originally the Loathly Damsel released from the
transforming spell. (It may be noted that Wagner has kept this idea,
and in the first act his Kundrie is the Loathly Messenger; in the
second, 'Kondrie la Belle.') Chrêtien's description of Kondrie's
appearance is even more repulsive than Wolfram's. In Book X. we have a
curious account of the origin of these strange people.

[The 'Loathly Damsel' is one of those personages that most clearly
testify to the reliance of the romance-writers upon a traditional
popular basis, and also in this instance to the specific Celtic origin
of that popular basis. A commonplace of folk-tales of the 'task' class
is that the hero is helped by a personage having private ends of his
or her own to serve, as, until the hero achieves the Quest (which
he never does unaided), the helper cannot be released from a spell,
generally of transformation into an animal, but sometimes into a shape
of surpassingly hideous ugliness. The oldest European variant of this
latter type with which I am acquainted is to be found in an Irish
folk-tale imbedded in the so-called Cormac's Glossary, a compilation
of the tenth century. I have given this in full (_Argyllshire Tales_,
M'Innes and Nutt, pp. 467, 468). In its _outré_ horror the description
of the bespelled king's son strikingly recalls that of Kundrie. Such
a task story, in which the hero is helped by a transformed personage,
who cannot be delivered until the Quest is achieved, is one of the
main staples of the Perceval cycle, but it is only in the Welsh tale
of _Peredur_ that the incident appears in a straightforward and
intelligible form. The sudden transformation from foulness to radiant
beauty is met with in another connection earlier in Ireland than
elsewhere in Europe: the incident of the Perilous Kiss, in which the
embrace of a courteous knight frees a bespelled damsel from loathly
disguise, an incident frequently associated with Gawain, is, as I have
shown (_Academy_, April 30, 1892), of early occurrence in Ireland.
Another element which goes to the complex individuality of Kundrie
can be paralleled from early Irish romance. As the female messenger
of the fairy dynasty of Mazadan, she corresponds to Leborcham, the
female messenger of the semi-mythic King Conchobor, the head and centre
of the oldest Irish cycle of heroic romance. Like Kundrie, Leborcham
was of startling and unnatural hideousness, and she is brought into
special connection with Cuchulainn the chief hero of the Ulster cycle,
as Kundrie is with Perceval the chief hero of one group of the Arthur

Page 181, line 697--'_Château Merveil_.' The adventure of this magic
castle, achieved by Gawain, is related at length in Book XI.

Page 184, line 806--'_Kingrimursel_.' The name of this character
in Chrêtien is Guigambresil, of which this is evidently the German
rendering. Here, again, Wolfram either heard or read Gingambresil.

Page 185, line 839--'_Tribalibot_.' This is India.

Page 186, line 859--'_The heathen queen of Ianfus_.' The name of this
queen, we find from line 1009, was Ekuba; one of the few classical
names we find in this poem.

Page 189, line 977--'_The Greek, Sir Klias_.' This is Cligès, the hero
of Chrêtien's poem of that name, son of the Greek Emperor Alexander
and Surdamour, sister to Gawain, cf. Book XII. Malory has Sir Clegis,
probably the same name.

Page 190, line 1002--'_Twelve spears of Angram_.' Angram was probably
in India, and noted for its steel. Oraste-Gentesein seems to be the
name of the country from which the reed, or bamboo, was brought. Cf.
Book VII. pp. 218, 219.



  Meeting with army of Meljanz of     Chrêtien: Perceval relates
  Lys; Gawain takes part in the       the same incident, with the
  tournament, and overthrows Meljanz. difference that Perceval
                                      overcomes both Gawain and Melians.

Introduction, line 1-16--This passage is somewhat obscure, but the
meaning appears to be that the poet thinks he may possibly be blamed
for leaving the history of Parzival, his chief hero, to follow the
fortunes of Gawain; and would excuse himself for so doing by the plea
of fidelity to his source. Very few of the romances of this date can
be considered _original_ works in the sense in which we would now
employ that term; they were mostly a re-statement, or re-combining of
traditional material, and it was a point of honour to adhere closely,
in the march of incident, to the original form, though the poet was
free to do as Wolfram has done, and introduce personal and contemporary
allusions, or give his own interpretation of the meaning of the tale.
The fact that Wolfram here so strongly blames those who depart from the
traditional form of the story, and at the end of his poem specially
accuses Chrêtien of having sinned in this way, seems a strong argument
against the theory that Chrêtien, and Chrêtien alone, was Wolfram's
source of information.

Page 195, line 2--'_Gawain_.' _Gauvain_ (French), _Gwchlmai_ (Welsh).
In all the earlier versions of the Grail story this knight plays a part
only secondary to that of the chief hero Perceval. Certain episodes
of which he is sole hero, in Chrêtien as in Wolfram, break the course
of the Perceval story, though Wolfram, with considerable skill, has
brought them into close connection with the main thread of the legend.
With Chrêtien's continuators, too, Gawain is an important character,
he also visits the Grail Castle and fails to ask the question; and
a German version of the Grail legend, _Diu Krône_, by Heinrich von
Türlin, makes him the chief hero, it is he who achieves the Quest and
heals Anfortas. It is noticeable that none of the earlier versions know
anything of either Lancelot or Galahad as Grail-seekers; Wolfram does
mention the former, but only incidentally, and throughout his poem he
evidently looks upon Gawain as the typical Arthurian knight, the pride
and glory of the Round Table. It is curious that, though he feels
himself compelled to apologise for some of the characters, to make an
elaborate defence for Kay, and find excuses for Kondwiramur, Wolfram
never has a word of blame for Gawain, and strong as the contrast is
between his morality and that of Parzival, he certainly never draws a
comparison to the disadvantage of the former; as husband of Orgeluse
and lord of the Château Merveil, Gawain's lot in life is brilliant
enough to awaken the envy of Kay who is jealous for King Arthur's
honour. The whole presentment of Gawain in the poem is an eloquent
commentary on the moral teaching of the original Arthurian legend, of
which he is the oldest representative. Later compilers seem to have
felt this, and as the legend gradually became ecclesiasticised, and
assumed the form of a religious romance, so the original heroes of
the story were gradually supplanted by others, whose characters, in
the opinion of monkish compilers lent themselves more to purposes of
moral edification. Thus Perceval the married man was forced to yield to
Galahad the celibate, and, though he was never driven out of the story,
was relegated to a secondary position; and Gawain, whose character in
the early romances defied any attempt at converting him into a moral
example, became merely a foil to the superior virtue of his companions,
while the adventures originally ascribed to him were passed over to
the repentant sinner Lancelot. The order of Grail heroes seems to have
been as follows: Perceval, Gawain; Perceval, Gawain, Lancelot; Galahad,
Perceval, and Lancelot. It is in this last order that they have come
down to us through Malory's redaction of the legends.

Page 196, line 34--'_The steed from Monsalväsch came_.' Cf. Book IX. p.
273, where Parzival's possession of a Grail-steed leads to his being
mistaken for Lähelein.

Page 198, line 96--'_Meljakanz_.' Cf. Book III. p. 72 and note.

Page 198, line 105--'_Meljanz of Lys_.' It will be seen, from the list
of traditional events given above, that this character appears in other
versions of the Perceval legends. Though the context is different, the
name with but little variation appears in other of the Grail romances,
Malory has Melias de Lile, in every instance the name indicates a
French origin.

Page 198, line 119--'_Lippaut_.' The name of this character in Chrêtien
is Tiebaut of Tintaguel, the German is evidently a rendering of this
French name. Tintaguel seems to point to a Keltic original.

Page 199, line 124--'_Obie and Obilot_.' Bartsch considers that both
these names are derived from a French source, Obie, from the verb
_obier_, signifying excitable, passionate; Obilot, from the French
_belot_, a fair child. In Chrêtien the sisters are unnamed, but the
younger is called _La pucièle as mances petites_.

Page 199, line 136--'_Galoes and Annora_.' Here we learn, for the first
time, the name of Galoes' love, cf. Book II. p. 46 and note. Annora is
the same name as Eleanor.

Page 200, line 168--'_Lisavander_.' The French has several variations
of this name, Teudaves, Travezdates, Trahedavet.

Page 205, line 318, and p. 219, line 781--'_A charger the king
bestrode_.' This is an allusion to the captivity of Queen Guinevere
and her rescue by Lancelot. Kay was among her would-be liberators, and
was smitten by Meljakanz: 'enbor ûs dem satele hin, daz in ein ast der
helm gevienc, und bi der gurgelen hienc.' This incident is related
in Hartmann's _Iwein_; but the subsequent freeing of the queen by
Lancelot, referred to on p. 219, is taken from Chrêtien's _Chevalier de
la Charrette_. The adventure is again alluded to in Book XII.

Page 210, line 493--'_Gawain and Obilot_.' Though Chrêtien and Wolfram
agree here in the main outline of the story, yet the details differ
completely, and the episode as related by the German poet is far more
graceful and poetical in treatment. In Chrêtien the elder sister
strikes the younger in the face, and it is in order to avenge this
insult that the child begs Gawain to fight for her. It is the father,
and not the child herself, who suggests presenting the knight with
a token; he bids Gawain at first pay no attention to her request,
and there is no trace of the pride and affection with which Lippaut
evidently regards both his daughters, or of the confidence between
father and child which is so charming a feature in Wolfram's poem.
Gawain, according to Chrêtien, does not present his little lady
with the captured monarch, but only with his steed, a compliment
she shares too with his hostess and her daughters. In the French
poet we have nothing of the amusing assumption of maiden dignity by
the child Obilot, or of the graceful courtesy, half serious, half
laughing, with which Gawain falls in with her whim, and sustains his
part in the pretty play. Critics have bestowed much praise on this
book, and on the character of the child Obilot, and some have thought
that, in the picture of father and child, and in the words put into
Lippaut's mouth, we have a glimpse of the home life of the poet, and
an expression of personal feeling. In _Willehalm_, Wolfram refers to
his daughter's dolls, and throughout his poems he frequently alludes
to children, their ways, and their amusements. However that may be,
nowhere else in the poem does _Gawain_ appear to so much advantage as
in this episode.

Page 211, line 522--'_Parzival_.' Cf. Book VI. p. 188, line 941.

Page 216, line 668--'_Even now shall the Erfurt vineyards_.' _etc._ An
allusion to the siege of Erfurt by the Landgrave Herman in 1203. As the
poet speaks of the traces of strife as being yet visible, this book of
the Parzival must have been written not long after that date.

Page 217, line 715, and _seq._--'_The captive Breton knights_.' It is
doubtful to what romance Wolfram here makes allusion. Chrêtien, in
his _Chevalier la Charrette_, relates the capture of some of Arthur's
knights by King Bagdemagus-Poidikonjonz, when Meljakanz carried off
Guinevere, but they were released by Lancelot. Wolfram seems to
have known another version of the story, as he evidently did know a
romance dealing with the fate of Arthur's son, Ilinot, of whom we
know nothing. He refers to this at length in Book XII. Cluse seems to
betoken an enclosed space, a ravine, Chrêtien calls it _Le passage des
pierres_--The Gampilon was a fabulous beast of the dragon type, also
mentioned in the _Gudrun_.

Page 218, line 733--'_The Red Knight_.' It is worth noticing that,
throughout the Gawain episodes, Wolfram never loses sight of his
principal hero; if Parzival does not appear personally, as he does
in this book, he is always alluded to in direct connection with the
development of the story, _e.g._, Book VIII. pp. 242, 243. This is
not the case in Chrêtien, where the Gawain episodes are entirely
independent. Some critics have evolved an elaborate theory to account
for the importance assigned to Gawain in this and following books, and
maintain that Wolfram felt that while Parzival was a prey to spiritual
doubt and despair, it was more artistic to keep him in the background
than to make him the hero of a series of chivalrous adventures. The
more probable solution seems to be exactly the opposite, viz., that
the Gawain episodes were already introduced into the legend, that
Wolfram, or his source, felt it a flaw that they should have so little
connection with the main thread of the story, and therefore conceived
the idea of introducing the principal hero, and, by keeping him always
more or less _en évidence_, making it possible to weave the Gawain
adventures into the fabric of the legend, instead of leaving them an
excrescence on its surface--a conception which was finally perfected by
the connection of Orgeluse, Gawain's lady-love, with both Parzival and
Anfortas, thereby bringing all the different elements of the tale into
touch each with the other.



  Arrival of Gawain at castle; committed to   Chrêtien: Peredur.
  care of lady to whom he makes love; is
  attacked by her people and defends himself
  with a chess-board.

The _Perceval_ gives an account of an adventure with a lady and a
chess-board of which Perceval is the hero, but the circumstances differ
entirely, being similar to those of an episode found in _Gautier de
Doulens_ and also in _Peredur_.

Page 229, line 14--'_Askalon_.' The name of this city in Chrêtien is
Escavalon, apparently a variant of Avalon. The name in Wolfram may
be either a misunderstanding of the French original, or it is not
impossible that Askalon, being well known to the Crusaders of that
time, was purposely substituted for a similar sounding-title.

Page 230, line 26--'_Æneas and Dido_.' An allusion to the _Æneid_ of
Heinrich von Veldeck, to which Wolfram often refers. We learn from line
121 that the writer was already dead. Cf. note, Book VI.

Page 230, line 41--'_Where Mazadan reigned as Monarch_.' Cf. Book I. p.
31, and Book IX. p. 263. There is evidently a confusion here between
the fairy and her kingdom. Fay-Morgan is, of course, the fairy-queen,
and the name seems later to have been transferred to Arthur's sister,
who is called Morgan le Fay in Malory. Terre-de-la-schoie, given in
Book I. as the name of the lady, is her kingdom; the confusion probably
arises from a misunderstanding of the French source. We find, on p.
240, that the mother of King Vergulacht, Fleurdamur, was sister to
Gamuret, consequently Parzival and Vergulacht are first cousins, and we
are meant to understand that Gawain, who, as a lad, had seen Gamuret
at Kanvoleis (Book II. p. 39), was struck by the king's likeness
to his uncle and cousin, though he evidently knows nothing of the
relationship; cf. Appendix A for notes on the supposed origin of the
Angevin race.

Page 231, line 58--'_Not such as in Karidöl_.' This is the longest of
the many allusions to the _Erec_ of Hartmann von Aue, and refers to the
same incident as Book III. p. 81, cf. note on passage.

Page 232, line 106--'_The Margravine of Heitstein_.' This name varies
greatly in the MSS., but both Lachmann and Bartsch give the reading
in the text. The Margravine mentioned is identified with the wife of
Berchtold von Chamm and Vohburg, who died in 1204.

Page 233, line 146--'_Of my father's sister_,' _etc._ This line is
curious as giving a very early instance of a play upon words familiar
to us in modern puzzles. Gawain, of course, simply states that he is
'his father's son,' and gives the queen no information whatever as to
his birth.

Page 234, line 181, and _seq._--'_At length did she chance on some
chess-men_,' _etc._ It should be noted that chess-men, in the Middle
Ages, were often of a very large size, and would form no despicable
weapons. In Chrêtien's version of the incident he specially speaks of
these as ten times larger than other chess-men, and of very hard ivory.
Adventures in which a chess-board plays a part are of not infrequent
occurrence in the Grail romances.

Page 234, line 190--'_The Burger maids of Tollenstein_.' Tollenstein is
a town in the neighbourhood of Eschenbach; the allusion is evidently
to some kind of Carnival sports held there. Mock Tournaments, in which
women took part, are often alluded to in old French and German poems.
The point of the allusion evidently is that they fought for mere sport,
while Antikonie fought in defence of her guest, and her action is
therefore held the more praiseworthy.

Page 235, line 221--'_The knight who to battle bade him_.' Cf. Book VI.
p. 184 and note.

Page 236, line 257--'_With a lance-thrust by Ekunât_.' Ekunât has been
already named in Book III. p. 99. It seems doubtful whence Wolfram
derived this incident.

Page 238, line 316--'_As Kiot himself hath told us_.' This is the
first time Wolfram names the source whence he drew his poem. It has
already been noted in the Introduction that the existence of this Kiot
is a matter of debate, as no poem of his has come down to us, and
apparently no other writer mentions his name. This passage should be
compared with Book IX. p. 262, where the nature of the MS. in which
Kiot found the story of Parzival and the Grail is stated. It certainly
seems clear that Wolfram _had_ a source of information other than the
poem of Chrêtien de Troyes; his other statements as to contemporary
events and contemporary literature are perfectly accurate, and we do
not find him inventing feigned names for other writers of the day; it
therefore seems somewhat unreasonable to conclude, simply because we
know nothing of Kiot's work, that Wolfram here, and in other passages,
is, to put it mildly, inventing an elaborate fiction. The fact of the
great popularity obtained by Chrêtien's version of the Grail legend is
quite enough to account for the disappearance of a version which, for
some reason or other (very probably its curious account of the Grail),
had failed to attract the popular fancy.

Page 240, line 363--'_If Turnus thou fain wouldst be_.' An allusion to
the _Æneid_ of Heinrich von Veldeck, where Turnus reproaches Tranzes
for cowardice, and is answered in much the same strain as Liddamus
answers Kingrimursel.

Page 240, line 387--'_Nay, why should I be a Wolfhart?_' This
passage to line 398 is an allusion to the great German epic, the
_Niebelungenlied_, the various lays composing which seem to have been
brought into order and welded into a literary whole about this time.
Wolfram's version of the cook's appeal to Gunther varies slightly from
the received text and probably represents an older form.

Page 241, line 407--'_Sibech ne'er drew a sword_.' This is an allusion
to the story of Dietrich von Berne, parts of which were incorporated in
the _Niebelungenlied_, where, however, this special incident is not to
be found. Ermenrich was uncle to Dietrich and Emperor of Rome; Sibech,
who seems to have been as faithless as he was cowardly, to avenge a
personal injury, counselled the Emperor to a course which brought about
the ruin of himself and his people.

Page 242, line 452--'_The wood Læhtamreis_.' Tamreis, as we find from
Book XII., is the name of a tree, this proper name seems to be combined
from _Læh_, old French _les_ = near, and _tamreis_ (tamarisk?). The
knight is, of course, Parzival. Chrêtien has not this incident; which
is a proof of Wolfram's superior skill in controlling the thread of his

Page 245, line 541--'_At Schoie-de-la-Kurt_.' Cf. note to Book III.,
where we find the account of this venture, and of the death of
Gurzgrei, son of Gurnemanz. Gandelus is the brother of Schionatulander,
Siguné's love.

Page 247, line 597--'_To the Grail must his pathway wend_.' It is
a very curious feature, both in this poem and in that of Chrêtien,
that the Grail Quest, undertaken by Gawain, is allowed to drop into
oblivion. Wolfram only makes one more allusion to it, Book XI., and
Chrêtien apparently ignores it altogether. In other versions of the
story, and notably in Chrêtien's continuators, the achievement of
the Grail Quest by Gawain is an important feature. It is true that
Chrêtien's portion of the _Conte_ breaks off short before the end of
the Gawain episode, and that those who maintain that Wolfram had no
other source than Chrêtien point to this as a proof of their theory,
urging that had Chrêtien finished the poem he would undoubtedly have
brought Gawain to Monsalväsch, and that Wolfram, deserted by his
source at this point, carried the Gawain Quest no further. But it must
be noted that Wolfram, who, according to this theory, has hitherto
followed Chrêtien with remarkable fidelity, shows no embarrassment at
the loss of his guide, but, by bringing Gawain promptly into touch with
Parzival, finishes his poem in a thoroughly coherent and harmonious
manner, his conclusion agreeing, in certain peculiar features, with
his Introduction, which, also, is unknown to Chrêtien. The simplest
solution appears to be that _both_ Chrêtien and Wolfram were in
possession of a common source, wherein the Gawain episodes were
presented in an incomplete and abbreviated form. Mr. Nutt points out
that the Gawain Quest, as related by Chrêtien's continuators, not only
fails to agree with Chrêtien's commencement, but also presents features
more archaic than those of the Perceval Quest.



  Hero meets with pilgrims who reproach      Chrêtien: Peredur: Perceval
  him for bearing arms on Good Friday, and
  direct him to a hermit, who points out his
  sins and gives him absolution.

Introduction to line 25. This spirited opening, with its invocation
of the embodied 'Frau Aventiure,' is peculiar to Wolfram. The entire
episode is much more briefly treated by Chrêtien, who brings his hero
at once in contact with the pilgrims, and has neither the meeting with
Siguné nor the combat with the Grail knight.

Page 251, line 5--'_Frau Aventiure_.' This is a personification of the
'story' and of the spirit of romantic story-telling. Grimm (_Kl. Sr._
i. 83-112) claims that we have here a survival of the personifying
instinct which led the northern poets to make 'Saga' a daughter
of Odin. The word itself is simply taken over from French romance
where _or dist l'Aventure_ is a standing initial formula, in which
_Aventure_ exactly renders the _maere_ of the opening quatrain of the
_Niebelungenlied_.--[A. N.]

Page 251, line 6--'_Whom Kondrie, to find the Grail_.' Cf. Book VI. p.

Page 252, line 34--'_The sword that Anfortas gave him_.' Cf. Book V.
pp. 137 and 144, and note.

Page 252, line 47--'_Schionatulander and Siguné_.' This is Parzival's
third interview with his cousin, who has a much more important rôle
assigned to her in this poem than in the other romances. The hero meets
her at every important crisis in his life; on his first entrance into
the world, Book III. p. 79; after his visit to the Grail Castle, Book
V. p. 141; now, previous to his interview with the hermit; and finally,
in Book XVI. after he has won the Grail kingdom and been reunited to
his wife, he finds her dead, and buries her with her lover. Siguné's
parentage is fully given on p. 274 of this book.

Page 257, line 204--'_The Templar bold_.' This identification of
the knights of the Grail with the Templars (Templeisen) is a marked
peculiarity of Wolfram's poem. Nothing at all answering to the Grail
kingdom and its organisation, as described in the Parzival, is to be
found elsewhere. The introduction of this spiritual knighthood, chosen
by Heaven, and, with special exceptions, vowed to celibacy, seems
intended as a contrast with, and protest against, the ideal of worldly
chivalry and lax morality portrayed in Arthur's court. Are we to
attribute this feature of the poem to Wolfram himself or to his source?
Judging from the value Wolfram placed upon fidelity to tradition it
seems scarcely probable that he would have departed so far from his
model as to introduce such an entirely new and striking element into
the story; nor have we any trace of the poet-knight's connection with
the order of Templars; but if the writer of the admitted French source
was an Angevin, who had been in the East during the Angevin rule in
Jerusalem, the connection is easily explained. Certainly, to judge from
the freedom with which the introduction to the story has been handled,
'Kiot' does not seem to have been hampered with an undue respect for
the traditional form of the legend.

Page 258, line 223--'_Nor Lähelein, nor Kingrisein, etc_.' Kingrisein
is the father of Vergulacht, supposed to have been slain by Gawain, cf.
Book VIII. p. 240. King Gramoflanz plays an important part in the poem
from Book XII. onward. Count Laskoit, cf. Book III. p. 99.

Page 258, line 230, and _seq._--'_One turning the ground was
snow-clad_.' Cf. reference to spring snow in Book VI. p. 160. The
pilgrim train met by Parzival differs in the versions. The Montpellier
MS. of Chrêtien has three knights and ten ladies; other MSS. one knight
and twenty ladies. Wolfram's account is more natural and more poetical.

Page 259, line 263--'_Dost thou mean Him, etc_.' The address of the
knight in Chrêtien is longer and conceived in quite a different spirit.
It contains one remarkable passage; speaking of the Crucifixion
the knight says: '_Li fol Juis--c'on devroit tuer comme ciens_,' a
speech entirely out of keeping with the spirit of love and charity
characterising Wolfram's Old Knight, and Hermit. The German poem is,
throughout, remarkable for the wide spirit of tolerance displayed
towards those outside the Christian pale; note, _e.g._, Book I. and
especially the character of Feirefis as depicted in the two closing
books of the work. The religious teaching in this ninth book is not
only fuller than in Chrêtien, but seems based on a much clearer
realisation of the position of the _individual_ soul towards its
Creator. The elementary truths of Christianity are much more fully
stated, and display a familiarity with the theological speculations
of the day which renders them peculiarly interesting. There is no
parallel, either, in Chrêtien to the fine speeches which Wolfram puts
into the mouth of his hero. The whole episode in the French poem
lacks the dignity and impressiveness which stamp it in the German
version; it is in this book, and in the account of Parzival's boyhood,
that Wolfram's poetical genius touches its highest point, and his
superiority to Chrêtien is most clearly seen.

Page 261, line 337--_'Towards Fontaine Sauvage_,' _etc._ Cf. Book V. p.

Page 261, line 348--'_Kiot_.' Cf. note to Book VIII. It is noticeable
that there is no corresponding passage to this in Chrêtien; the
explanation of the Grail mystery given in the _Conte du Graal_ is due
to Chrêtien's continuators, and occurs in the later part of the poem.

Page 262, line 359--'_Flegetanis_.' A curious contradiction will be
noted here. A few lines above we read that no heathen skill could
have revealed the mysteries of the Grail, and yet apparently it was a
heathen who first wrote of them. The whole account of the Grail reads
like a not-too-successful attempt to Christianise a purely pagan legend.

Page 263, line 383--'_And in Britain, France, and Ireland, etc_.' Cf.
Appendix A and note on Mazadan, Book VIII. Nevertheless, the connection
of the Grail race with the House of Anjou, save through Herzeleide's
marriage with Gamuret, is nowhere stated, nor how Titurel was descended
from Mazadan, the ancestor alike of Arthur and of Gamuret.

Page 265, line 465--'_The altar and shrine_.' Wolfram appears to
be absolutely correct here; during the Middle Ages, a shrine, or
reliquary, was generally placed on the altar, the use of a cross was
of comparatively late date. It is curious that Chrêtien, otherwise
more ecclesiastical in his details than Wolfram, has missed the
characteristic feature of the stripped altar; on the other hand, he
notes that Perceval spends _Easter_ with the Hermit, and receives the
Sacrament, while Wolfram passes Easter over without mention. (It is
rather odd to find Chrêtien's Hermit saying _Mass_ on Good Friday!)

Page 267, line 531--'_Ashtaroth_.' Bartsch says that these names are
derived from Talmudic tradition; Belcimon being Baal-Schemen, a god of
the Syrians; Belat, the Baal of the Chaldeans. Rhadamant is, of course,
the Greek ruler of the under-world.

Page 267, line 533, and _seq._--'_When Lucifer and his angels_.' The
belief that the creation of man was directly connected with the fall of
the rebel angels was very widespread, though the relation of the two as
cause and effect was sometimes the reverse of that stated here. None
of the editions of the Parzival give a direct reference to the source
of the curious 'riddling' passage which follows, but the theory of the
maidenhood of the earth was a favourite one with Mediæval writers.

Page 268, line 572--'_Plato and the Sibyls_.' A curious proof of the
belief of the Mediæval Church in the Christian nature of the Sibylline
prophecies is found in the first line of the _Dies Iræ_:

    'Dies Iræ, Dies Illa,
    Solvet sæclum in favilla
    Teste David cum Sibylla.'

Page 270, line 615, and _seq._--'_The Grail_.' The account of the
Grail given by Wolfram is most startling, differing as it does from
every other account which has come down to us. Wolfram evidently knows
nothing whatever of the traditional 'vessel of the Last Supper,' though
the fact that the virtue of the stone is renewed every _Good Friday_ by
a _Host_ brought from Heaven seems to indicate that he had some idea
of a connection between the Grail and the Passion of our Lord. Various
theories have been suggested to account for the choice of a precious
stone as the sacred talisman; Birch Hirschfeld maintains that it arose
entirely from a misunderstanding of Chrêtien's text, the French poet
describing the Grail as follows:

    'De fin or esmeree estoit;
    Pieres pressieuses avoit
    El graal, de maintes manieres,
    Des plus rices et des plus cieres
    Qui el mont u en tiere soient.'

But how Wolfram, who, in other instances appears to have understood
his French source correctly, here came to represent an object of
gold, adorned with _many_ precious stones, as _a_ precious stone,
does not appear. And it must be noted that this importance assigned
to a jewel is not out of keeping with the rest of the poem. From the
jewel of Anflisé, the ruby crown of Belakané, and the diamond helmet
of Eisenhart in the first book, to the long list of precious stones
adorning the couch of Anfortas in the last, the constant mention of
jewels is a distinct feature of Wolfram's version, and cannot be
paralleled by anything in Chrêtien. Moreover, in two other instances,
viz. the armour of Feirefis in Book XV., and the couch of Anfortas
already mentioned, mystical and strengthening powers are attributed to
them. The MSS. vary in their spelling of the stone, giving _Lapis_,
_Lapsit_, _Jaspis_, _exillis_, _exilix_ or _erillis_; and it is
impossible to identify the stone of the Grail with any known jewel. The
fact that Wolfram alone of all the writers of this cycle gives this
version of the legend, seems to point rather to a peculiarity in his
source than to a genuine tradition of the origin of the Grail-myth. In
any case it is most probable that the responsibility for the statement
rests with the author of Wolfram's French source rather than with
Wolfram himself.

Page 271, line 665--'_They who took no part in the conflict_.' This
account of the neutral angels is partially contradicted by Trevrezent
in Book XVI. during his last interview with Parzival, when he openly
admits that he had spoken untruly in order to induce Parzival to give
up his Quest for the Grail. This contradiction introduces a good deal
of uncertainty as to what really is the moral aim of the poem.

Page 273, line 711--'_The white dove I see on its housing_.' This,
the badge of the Grail knights, is peculiar to the German poem. Those
familiar with Wagner's _Parsifal_ will not need to be reminded that the
dove and the swan are represented by him as the sacred birds of the
Grail. The connection with the swan will be found in Book XVI.

Page 273, line 737--'_O thou son of my sister_.' The relationship of
uncle and nephew between the hermit and the hero of the Quest obtains
in most of the versions. The relationship with the wounded king varies,
sometimes he is the hero's grandfather.

Page 274, line 759--'_Thou wast the beast that hung_,' _etc._ Cf. Book
II. p. 58. This incident of the mother's dream is peculiar to Wolfram.

Page 274, line 771--'_Repanse de Schoie_.' Cf. Book V. p. 135 and Book
XVI. She finally marries Feirefis, Parzival's half-brother.

Page 375, line 785--'_But if love the Grail King seeketh_.' This
explanation of the wound of Anfortas as the punishment of unlawful love
is peculiar to Wolfram, and is in accordance with the superior depth
and spirituality of his treatment of the legend. In the other versions
the king is wounded in battle or accidentally. The various remedies
tried for the wound, related on pp. 276,277, give a curious idea of
the surgical skill of the Middle Ages, and seem drawn from a mixture
of Oriental and classical sources. The names in line 830 are derived
from the Greek, and signify various serpents, with the exception of
Ecidemon, which we learn in Book XV. was an animal greatly feared by
snakes, perhaps the Ichneumon. The reference to Æneas and the Sibyl is
from the _Æneid_ of Heinrich von Veldeck.

The legend of the pelican is well known, and the first part of the
passage referring to the unicorn, its love for a spotless maiden, was
a widespread fiction of the Mediæval times, but the assertion that the
carbuncle is found under the unicorn's horn seems peculiar to Wolfram,
and illustrates what has been said above as to his employment of
precious stones.

On p. 281 we find a full account of the influence of the planets upon
the wound.

Page 278, line 867--'_A knight should come to the castle_.' This
promised healing of the king by means of a question put by the hero is
a marked 'folklore' feature of the tale. Mr. Nutt points out in his
_Studies_ that in the Grail legend we have a version of the well-known
visit to a magic castle influenced by two distinct formulas familiar
to folklore students, (_a_) where the object of the hero is to avenge
the death, or wounding, of a relative--the Feud-quest; (_b_) to release
the inhabitants of the castle from an enchantment--the un-spelling
quest. The bleeding lance seems to be connected with the first (perhaps
also the sword, but its employment both in Wolfram and Chrêtien is so
enigmatic that it is difficult to know what import to attach to it),
the question with the second. The form of the question differs here;
in all the other versions it is connected with the Grail: 'Whom serve
they with the Grail?' Here, directly with the wounded king, 'What
aileth thee, mine uncle?' Birch Hirschfeld maintains, first, that the
question was a 'harmless invention' of a predecessor of Chrêtien's
(thus ignoring the archaic character of the incident); secondly, that
Wolfram, having misunderstood Chrêtien's account of the Grail, was
naturally compelled to invent a fresh question. Of the two, Wolfram's
question seems distinctly the more natural, and the more likely to
occur to the mind of a simple youth like Parzival; and he has also
made much better use of the incident. It is Parzival's failure in the
spirit of charity, in the love due 'as a man to men,' that constitutes
the sin of the omitted question. Mr. Nutt well remarks that 'It is the
insistence upon charity as the herald and token of spiritual perfection
that makes the grandeur of Wolfram's poem.'

Page 283, line 1038--'_If a land be without a ruler_.' Here we have
the germ of the well-known story of Lohengrin, related in Book XVI.
We learn from this passage that Lohengrin's mission was no isolated
instance, but a part of the office of the Grail knights. Wolfram's
whole presentment of the Grail kingdom, as won by an act of love to
a fellow-man, and used for the benefit of others, offers an ideal,
not only curiously modern in tone, but in striking contrast to the
glorification of spiritual selfishness which we find in other Grail
romances. Elsewhere, the aim of the achiever of the Quest is purely to
save his _own_ soul, and, the task accomplished, he passes away leaving
the world none the better for his work. If we look at the concluding
lines of the poem, Book XVI., we shall find that Wolfram had quite a
different idea of a man's duty to the world of his day.

Page 283, line 1045--'_King Kastis wooed Herzeleide_.' Cf. Book II. p.

Page 284, line 1070--The account of Trevrezent's wanderings is
curious, as it mixes up fabulous places such as Agremontin, the home
of the Salamanders, and Fay-Morgan, with such well-known names as
Seville, Sicily, and Aquilea. Rohas has been identified with a range
of mountains in Styria; Celli is also in Styria. The derivation of
'Gandein' from a Styrian town is very curious. Whether the name was in
Wolfram's source or not, we cannot decide, but the connection can only
have been introduced by the German poet.

Page 286, line 1127--'_Two mortal sins_.' It is curious that in no
other version of the story is the slaying of the Red Knight regarded
as a sin. Here, however, it is quite in keeping with the pronounced
knightly character of the poem. Ither is Parzival's near kinsman,
apparently both cousin, and uncle by marriage (lines 1108 and 1119),
and to fight with one connected either by the tie of blood or of
friendship is regarded throughout as a breach of knightly faith, cf
Books XIV. and XV. where Parzival fights, unwittingly, with Gawain and
Feirefis. In Chrêtien the hermit tells Perceval that it is his sin
in causing the death of his mother which has sealed his lips before
the Grail; Wolfram seems to regard his silence independently, and, as
noted above, the sin, there, seems to be failure in charity and in
recognising the bond of universal brotherhood; which failure, indeed,
is at the root of the 'two mortal sins.'

Page 287, line 1159--'_Titurel_.' The father of the Fisher King is not
named in Chrêtien, and indeed is only alluded to in an obscure and
enigmatical passage as being nourished by the Grail. This statement is
peculiar to these two writers, and seems to indicate that they were in
possession of a common source.

Page 287, line 1169--'_An thou wouldst that thy life be adornèd_.' The
passage which follows here to line 1180 should be noted, as it seems to
be an interpolation; it has no connection whatever with the context,
and is in quite a different tone from the knightly and unecclesiastical
character of the rest of Trevrezent's teaching.

        Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to Her Majesty
                   at the Edinburgh University Press


                         PUBLISHED OR SOLD BY

                        DAVID NUTT, 270 STRAND.


       Series initiated and directed by LORD ARCHIBALD CAMPBELL.

                           Demy 8vo, cloth.

                     ARGYLLSHIRE SERIES. VOLUME I.

                           CRAIGNISH TALES.

Collected by the Rev. J. MACDOUGALL; and Notes on the War Dress of the
Celts by LORD ARCHIBALD CAMPBELL. xvi, 98 pages. 20 plates. 1889. 5s.

                               VOLUME II.

                          FOLK AND HERO TALES.

Collected, Edited (in Gaelic), and Translated by the Rev. D. MACINNES:
with a Study on the Development of the Ossianic Saga, and copious Notes
by ALFRED NUTT. xxiv, 497 pages. Portrait of Campbell of Islay, and Two
Illustrations by E. GRISET. 1890. 15s.

                              VOLUME III.

                          FOLK AND HERO TALES.

Collected, Edited (in Gaelic), Translated, and Annotated by the
Rev. J. MACDOUGALL; with an Introduction by ALFRED NUTT, and Three
Illustrations by E. GRISET. 330 pages. Cloth. 10s. 6d.

                               VOLUME IV.

                               THE FIANS:

West Highland Traditions of Fionn MacCumhail and the Fians.

Collected during the past forty years. Edited (in Gaelic) and
Translated by the Rev. J. G. CAMPBELL of Tiree; with Introduction and
Bibliographical Notes by ALFRED NUTT. 8vo. 300 pages. Cloth. 10s. 6d.

       *       *       *       *       *

                            BESIDE THE FIRE.

                       IRISH GAELIC FOLK STORIES.

Collected, Edited, Translated, and Annotated by DOUGLAS HYDE, M.A.;
with Additional Notes by ALFRED NUTT. 8vo. lviii, 203 pages. Cloth. 7s.



    =ON THE CALENDAR OF OENGUS.= Comprising Text, Translation,
        Glossarial Index, Notes. 4to. 1880. xxxi, 552 pp. 18s.

    =SALTAIR NA RANN= (Psalter of the Staves or Quatrains). A
        Collection of early Middle-Irish Poems. With Glossary. 4to.
        1883. vi, 153 pp. 7s. 6d.

    =THE BODLEY DINNSHENCHAS.= Edited, Translated, and Annotated.
        8vo 1892. 2s. 6d.

    =THE EDINBURGH DINNSHENCHAS.= Edited, Translated, and
        Annotated. 8vo 1893. 2s. 6d.

    *** The Dinnshenchas is an eleventh-century collection of
    topographical legends, and one of the most valuable and
    authentic memorials of Irish mythology and legend. These two
    publications give nearly three-fourths of the collection as
    preserved in Irish MSS. The bulk of the Dinnshenchas has never
    been published before, either in Irish or in English.


    =CATH FINNTRAGA.= Edited, with English Translation. Small 4to.
        1885. xxii, 115 pp. 6s.

    =MERUGUD UILIX MAICC LEIRTIN.= The Irish Odyssey. Edited, with
        Notes, Translation, and a Glossary. 8vo. 1886. xii, 36 pp.
        Cloth. Printed on handmade paper, with wide margins. 3s.

    =THE VISION OF MAC CONGLINNE.= Irish Text, English Translation
        (revision of Hennessy's), Notes and Literary Introduction.
        Crown 8vo. 1892. liv, 212 pp. Cloth, 10s. 6d.

    *** One of the curious and interesting remains of mediæval
    Irish story-telling. A most vigorous and spirited Rabelaisian
    tale, of equal value to the student of literature or Irish


        Reference to the Hypothesis of its Celtic Origin. Demy 8vo.
        xv, 281pp. Cloth. 10s. 6d. net.

    'Une des contributions les plus précieuses et les plus
    méritoires qu'on ait encore apportées à l'éclaircissement de
    ces questions difficiles et compliquées.'--Mons. Gaston Paris
    in _Romania_.

    'These charming studies of the Grail legend.'--_The Athenæum._

    'An achievement of profound erudition and masterly argument,
        and may be hailed as redeeming English scholarship from a
        long-standing reproach.'--_The Scots Observer._

    =CELTIC MYTH AND SAGA.= Report upon the Literature connected
        with this subject 1887-1888. (_Archæological Review_,
        October 1888.) 2s. 6d.

        (_Archæological Review_, June 1889.) 2s. 6d.

    =CELTIC MYTH AND SAGA.= Report upon the Literature connected
        with these subjects, 1888-1890. (Extract from _Folk-Lore_,
        June 1890.) 1s. 6d.

        library at Edinburgh. (Extract from _Folk-Lore_, September
        1890) 1s.

        Review_, May 1889.) 1s. 6d.

        (_Celtic Magazine_, August to October, 1887.) 5s.

Transcriber's Notes:

    Simple spelling, grammar, and typographical errors were
    silently corrected.

    Anachronistic and non-standard spellings retained as printed.

    Italics markup is enclosed in _underscores_.

    Bold markup is enclosed in =equals=.

    Asterisms are denoted by ***.

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