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Title: Parzival (vol. 2 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. II


                               NEW YORK

                         G. E. STECHERT & CO.,




     X.  ORGELUSE                                                      1

    XI.  ARNIVE                                                       29

   XII.  EIDEGAST                                                     47

  XIII.  KLINGSOR                                                     71

   XIV.  GRAMOFLANZ                                                  101

    XV.  FEIREFIS                                                    133

   XVI.  LOHENGRIN                                                   163

         APPENDICES                                                  189

         NOTES                                                       201




Book X. relates how Gawain, after various adventures, fell in with a
maiden and a wounded knight, how he succoured the knight and rode to
Logrois. How he met with Orgelusé and wooed her, and how she repaid
him with scorn. How the squire Malcréature mocked Sir Gawain, and how
the knight Urian stole his charger. How Lischois Giwellius fought with
Gawain and was conquered, and of the tribute due to the Master Boatman.
How Gawain came to Terre de Merveil, and was well entreated by the
Boatman and his daughter Bené.

                                 BOOK X

    Now tell we of strange adventures thro' which joy shall be
        waxen low,
    And yet pride shall grow the greater, of the twain doth this
        story show.

    Now the year of truce was ended, when the strife must needs
        be fought
    Which the Landgrave unto King Arthur at Plimizöl had brought.
    At Schamfanzon he challenged Gawain to meet him at Barbigöl,       5
    Yet still unavenged was Kingrisein at the hand of
    In sooth, Vergulacht, he rode there, and thither had come
    And the whole world was 'ware of their kinship nor might
        strife be betwixt the twain;
    For the murder, Count Eckunât did it, and Gawain must they
        guiltless hold,
    At rest did they lay their quarrel and friends were those
        heroes bold.                                                  10

    Then they parted for both would ride thence, Vergulacht and
        the knight Gawain,
    Tho' both for the Grail were seeking yet apart would they
        ride, those twain.
    And many a joust must they ride now, for he who the Grail
        would see
    Sword in hand must he draw anigh it, and swift must his
        seeking be!

    Now all that befell to Gawain, the lot of that blameless
        knight                                                        15
    Since he rode forth from fair Schamfanzon, if he oft on his
        way must fight,
    Ye shall ask of those who there saw him, since naught may I
        tell ye here,
    Yet hearken, and heed the story and the venture that draweth
    One morning Gawain rode gaily o'er a grassy plain and green,
    When a shield, in the sun fair shining, with lance-thrust
        pierced thro' was seen,                                       20
    And a charger stood beside it that bare women's riding-gear,
    And the bridle and aye the housing were of costly stuff and
    And the charger and shield beside it were bound to a linden
    Then he thought, 'Who shall be this woman? for valiant I ween
        is she,
    Since she beareth a shield so knightly--If she thinketh with
        me to fight,                                                  25
    How, then, may I best withstand her? Were it better to here
    If too long she wrestle with me perchance I were overthrown,
    If hatred or love I shall win here I will fight her on foot
    Yea, e'en an she were Kamilla, who before Laurentium fought--
    Did she live still to battle with me, as awhile she for
        honour sought,                                                30
    I would face her, nor fear her prowess, if here she my foe
        would be,
    Tho' ne'er with a maid have I foughten and the chance seemeth
        ill to me!'

    Battle-hewn was the shield and dinted, as Gawain right well
    The nearer he rode unto it, and pierced with a lance-thrust
    Such token by joust is painted, little payment his skill
        should know                                                   35
    Whose hand erst the shield had fashioned an he thought him to
        paint it so!
    By the trunk of the mighty linden sat a maid on the grass so
    And sore did she weep and bewail her, and joyless, I wot, her
    Then around the tree rode Gawain, and lo! on her knee she
    A knight, and she wept above him, and grieved with a sorrow
        sore.                                                         40

    Fair greeting Sir Gawain proffered, she thanked him and bowed
        her low,
    And hoarse was her voice thro' weeping and weakened thro'
        force of woe.
    Then down to the ground sprang Gawain, for the knight he was
        like to choke,
    Since the blood welled within his body, and unto the maid he
    And he asked if the knight were living, or should now in the
        death-throe be?                                               45
    And she spake, 'He dieth surely, yet but now alive was he,
    God hath sent thee unto my succour, now help me with word and
    Such wounds shalt thou oft have looked on, give counsel in
        this my need!'

    'Yea, gladly I'll aid thee, Lady, from death shall thy knight
        be freed,
    And healing I well might win him an there were but at hand a
        reed.                                                         50
    Thou shalt see him, and hearken to him, nor his life shall be
        waxen less,
    The wound is not all too dangerous, but the blood on his
        heart doth press.'
    Then he stripped from a bough of the linden the bark, and did
        wind it round,
    (No fool he in art of healing,) and he set it unto the wound,
    And he bade the maiden suck it till the blood should toward
        her flow--                                                    55
    And strength came again and hearing, and the voice of the
        knight they know,
    And he looked on Gawain, and he thanked him, and said he
        should honoured be
    In that from his woe he had freed him, and he asked of him,
        whence came he?
    Rode he hither in search of knighthood? 'From far Punturtois
        I came
    In search of such knightly venture as should win for me meed
        of fame,                                                      60
    Yet sorely must I bewail me for the ill that I here have won,
    Sir Knight, an thy senses fail not, 'twere better this way to

    'Such evil I little looked for--'Twas Lischois Giwellius
    Who hath wounded me so sorely, and down from my charger
    Fair was the joust and knightly, and he pierced me thro'
        shield and side,                                              65
    On her steed this maiden helped me, and hither hath been my
    Then he prayed Gawain to abide there, but he spake, he the
        place would see
    Where such evil had chanced unto him, 'If Logrois thus near
        shall be,
    Perchance I shall yet o'ertake him, he shall answer to me, I
    For the deed he hath done, and his reason for vengeance on
        thee I'll know!'                                              70
    But the wounded knight spake, 'Not so, for true are the words
        I say,
    And no child's play shall be this journey, great perils beset
        the way.'

    With the band from the maiden's tresses Gawain the wound did
    And spake o'er it spells of healing, and he bade them their
        comfort find
    In God, since He cares for all men--With blood was their
        pathway red,                                                  75
    And crimson the grass besprinkled as a stag had its
        life-blood shed;
    Thus he rode not astray, and in short space did Logrois
        before him stand--
    A fortress so fair and stately, its praise was in every land.

    'Twas a stately Burg well builded, and it wound the hillside
    From afar as a mighty circlet the fortress the summit
        crowned.                                                      80
    E'en to-day men this honour give it, its wall shall be
        stormed in vain,
    For it openeth its gates to no foeman, whose hatred soe'er it
    And a garden lay green around it, 'twas planted with trees so
    Olive, pomegranate, fig-tree, and the vine which its grapes
        doth bear,
    And gaily they grew and flourished--as Gawain rode that
        garden bright                                                 85
    He saw there what wrought him sorrow, yet filled him with all

    A streamlet gushed forth from the hillside, there he saw that
        which grieved him naught,
    A lady so fair to look on that gladly her face he sought.
    The flower was she of all women, save Kondwiramur alone
    No fairer form nor feature might ever on earth be known.          90
    So sweet and so bright to look on, so courteous and royal of
    Orgelusé, was she, of Logrois, and men say that in her was
    The charm that desire awakeneth, a balm for the eyes of care,
    For no heart but was drawn toward her, and no mouth but would
        speak her fair!

    Gawain gave her courteous greeting, and he spake, 'If such
        grace I gain                                                  95
    That thou willest I should alight here and awhile at thy side
    If I see that my presence please thee, then sorrow be far
        from me,
    And joy in its stead dwell with me, no knight e'er might
        gladder be!
    May I die if the truth I speak not, no woman e'er pleased me
    'It is well, yet methinks I knew that,' then the knight for a
        space she saw;                                               100

    And her sweet lips spake thus unto him, 'Now make of thy
        praise an end,
    For well might it work thee evil, and I care not that foe or
    Whoever he be that cometh, his judgment on me shall speak,
    For sure if all lips shall praise me my fame it but waxeth
    If the wise praise me e'en as the foolish, the false as the
        pure and true,                                               105
    Then my fame shall be e'en as another's, for the many shall
        drown the few.
    But my praise do I hold, and but wisdom shall speak that
        which she doth know--
    Who thou mayst be, Sir Knight, I know not, but 'tis time thou
        thy way shouldst go!'

    'Yet o'er thee will I speak my verdict, if thou dwellest
        anear my heart
    Then thy dwelling is not _within_ it, for _without_ shalt
        thou have thy part.                                          110
    And say thou my love desirest, how hast thou rewarding won?
    From the eyes swiftly shoot the glances, yet a sling, when
        the work is done,
    Smiteth gentler than looks which linger on that which doth
        sorrow wreak,
    Thy desire is but empty folly, thou shouldst other service
    If thine hand for love's sake shall battle, if adventure hath
        bidden thee                                                  115
    By knighthood win love's rewarding, yet thou winnest it not
        from _me_.
    Nor honour shall be thy portion, but shame shalt thou win
    Now the truth have I spoken unto thee, 'twere best thou
        shouldst get thee gone!'

    Then he quoth, 'Truth thou speakest, Lady, since mine eyes
        thus mine heart have brought
    In danger, for _they_ beheld thee, and thy fetters around me
        wrought.                                                     120
    But now, since I be thy captive, I prithee entreat me well,
    Without thine own will hast thou done this, in silence I
        owned thy spell:
    Thou shalt loose me, or thou shalt bind me, for my will it
        shall be as thine,
    And gladly all woes I'ld suffer if so I might call thee

    Then she quoth, 'Yea! so take me with thee, if thou countest
        upon thy gain,                                               125
    And the love that shall be thy guerdon, thou shalt mourn it
        in shame and pain.

    I would know if a man thou shalt be who bravely for me would
    And yet, if thou prize thine honour, thou wilt flee from this
        strife, Sir Knight!
    And should I yet further rede thee, and thou shouldst to my
        word say yea,
    Then seek thou elsewhere a lady--For, if thou my love dost
        pray,                                                        130
    Then joy and fair love's rewarding fall never unto thy share,
    But sorrow shall be thy portion if hence I with thee shall

    Then answered Gawain, 'Without service, who thinketh true
        love to win?
    An one did so, then here I tell thee, 'twere counted to him
        for sin,
    For true love ever asketh service, yea after as aye before!'     135
    Then she quoth, 'Wilt thou do me service? shame waiteth for
        thee in store,
    Tho' thy life be a life of conflict--No coward as my knight
        I'll own;
    See thou yonder path, 'tis no highway, o'er the bridge doth
        it wend adown
    To the garden, take thou the pathway, for there shalt thou
        find my steed--
    Many folk shalt thou see and shalt hearken, but take thou of
        their words no heed,                                         140
    Nor stay for their dance or singing, for tambour, or harp, or
    But go thou to my horse, and loose it, that I go not with
        thee afoot!'
    Gawain sprang from off his charger--Yet awhile he bethought
        him well
    Where his steed might abide his coming: by the waters that
        rippling fell
    Was no tree unto which to bind it, and he knew not if he this
        dame                                                         145
    Might pray, would she hold his charger till once more with
        her own he came.
    Then she quoth, 'I see well what doth vex thee, thine horse
        shalt thou leave with me,
    I will guard it until thy coming tho' small good shall that
        be to thee!'

    Then Gawain took his horse's bridle, 'Now hold this for me, I
    'Now indeed art thou dull and foolish,' spake the lady,
        'where _thou_ dost lay                                       150
    Thine hand, thinkest thou _I'll_ hold it? such deed would
        beseem me ill!'
    Then the love-lorn knight spake gently, for fain would he do
        her will,
    'Further forward I never hold it!' Then she quoth, '_I_ will
        hold it there,
    And do thou my bidding swiftly, bring my steed and with thee
        I'll fare;'
    Then he thought this a joyful hearing, and straightway he
        left her side,                                               155
    And over the bridge so narrow to the garden gate he hied;
    There saw he many a maiden, and knights so brave and young,
    And within that goodly garden so gaily they danced and sung.

    And Gawain he was clad so richly, with helmet and harness
    That all must bewail his coming for naught but true folk
        dwelt there.                                                 160
    They cared for that lovely garden, on the greensward they
        stood or lay,
    Or sat 'neath the tents whose shadow was cool 'gainst the
        sunlight's ray.
    Yet they ceased not to bemoan him, and to grieve for his
        sorrow sore,
    Yea, man alike and maiden, and in this wise their plaint they
    'Alas! that our lady's cunning will to danger this knight
        betray!                                                      165
    Alas! that he fain will follow, for she rideth an evil way.'

    And many stepped fair towards him, and their arms around him
    And bade him a friendly greeting--to an olive tree he drew,
    For the steed was fast beneath it, so rich was its gear, I
    That the cost of the goodly trappings full thousand marks had
        been.                                                        170
    And an old knight he stood beside it, well-trimmed was his
        beard and grey,
    And upon a staff he leant him, and salt tears he wept alway.
    And the tears, they were shed for Gawain, as he to the steed
        drew near,
    Yet his words of kindly greeting fell soft on the hero's ear.
    Then he spake, 'Wilt thou hearken counsel? Lay not on this
        steed thine hand,                                            175
    And herein shalt thou show thy wisdom--tho' none here thy
        will withstand,
    Yet, indeed, it were best to leave it! Accurst be our lady
    For of many a gallant hero, I wot, she the death hath been!'
    Yet Gawain he would do her bidding--'Then, alas! for woe
        draweth near,'
    Spake the knight, and he loosed the halter, ''Twere best not
        to linger here,                                              180
    The steed shalt thou take, and shalt leave us, and may He Who
        made salt the sea,
    In the hour of thy need, and thy peril, thy strength and thy
        counsel be:
    And see thou that our lady's beauty, it bringeth thee not to
    She is sour in the midst of sweetness, 'mid the sunlight a
        shower of rain.'

    'God grant it,' then quoth Sir Gawain, and straightway he
        took his leave                                               185
    Of the old knight and of his comrades and sorely the folk did
    And the horse went a narrow pathway, and it passed thro' the
        garden gate,
    And it crossed o'er the bridge, and he found her who there
        did his coming wait,
    The queen of his heart, and the ruler was she of that land so
    Yet altho' his heart fled towards her yet grief thro' her
        deed it bare.                                                190

    Her hand 'neath her chin soft-rounded had loosened the
        wimple's fold,
    And flung it aback on her head-gear,--(if a woman ye thus
    Know ye that for strife she longeth and mischief she hath in
    Would ye know how else she had robed her ye naught in my song
        shall find,
    For how might I tell her raiment and name ye her robes
        aright,                                                      195
    When mine eyes, on her fair face gazing, saw naught but her
        beauty bright?

    As Gawain drew near the lady, she hailed him with scornful
    'Now welcome, thou goose! for of all men most foolish art
        thou, I ween,
    All too bent shalt thou be on my service, wert thou wise thou
        wouldst let it be--'
    Then he quoth, 'Yet shalt thou be gracious who now art so
        wroth with me,                                               200
    For so harshly thou dost chastise me thou in honour must make
        it good,
    And my hand shall be fain to serve thee till thou winnest a
        milder mood;
    Ask thou what of me thou willest--Shall I lift thee upon thy
    But she quoth, 'I will no such service, for methinks all too
        great such meed
    For a hand that is yet unproven--Ask thou for a lesser
        grace!'                                                      205
    On the flowery sward she turned her, and she looked not on
        Gawain's face,
    But she laid her hand on the bridle, and she light to the
        saddle sprung,
    And she bade him to ride before her, and she spake with a
        mocking tongue,
    'Now indeed would it be great pity did I stray from so brave
        a knight,
    By God's grace will we keep together, so ride thou within my
        sight!'                                                      210

    Now he who my rede would follow his peace shall he hold
    Lest he speak but the word of folly, till he know if she
        wrought of guile,
    For as yet the truth ye know not, nor the thing that was in
        her heart.
    And were it the time for vengeance, then I too might bear my
    And take from this lady payment for the wrong she hath done
        Gawain;                                                      215
    Nor of that she shall do hereafter shall aught unavenged

    But Orgelusé, that lovely lady, bare herself in no friendly
    For she rode in the track of Gawain, and so wrathful, I ween,
        her guise
    That were I in the stead of Gawain little comfort my soul
        might take
    That she from my care would free me, and with fair love
        atonement make.                                              220
    Then they rode on an open moorland, and a herb did Sir Gawain
    Whose root had the power of healing, and down to the ground
        sprang he,
    And dug up the root, and swiftly he sprang on his steed
    And the lady she looked upon him, and she spake in a mocking
    'Now in sooth if this my companion can at one-while be leech
        and knight,                                                  225
    For starvation he need not fear him if his salve-box he bear
    Quoth Gawain, ''Neath a mighty linden a wounded knight I saw,
    Methinks, if again I find him, this herb shall the poison
    From his wounds, and new strength may give him!' She spake,
        'Now I well were fain
    To look on thy skill, for who knoweth what knowledge I thence
        may gain!'                                                   230

    Now a squire he rode swift behind them, 'twas the lady's
    Fain was he to do her bidding--As the horse-hoofs they drew
    Gawain would await his coming, and his steed for a space he
    Yet he deemed him he saw a monster when first he the squire
    For Malcréature did they call him, and Kondrie was his sister
        fair,                                                        235
    And e'en such a face as the sister, I ween, did the brother
    From his mouth, as the tusks of a wild-boar, stood the teeth
        out to left and right,
    Unlike was his face to a man's face, and fearful in all men's
    And the locks of his hair were shorter than those which from
        Kondrie hung
    Adown on her mule, stiff as bristles, and sharp, from his
        head they sprung.                                            240
    And beside the river Ganges, in the land of Tribalibot,
    Dwell such folk, if awhile ye hearken ye shall learn how
        befell their lot.

    Now Adam, of all men father, from God did he learn such
    All beasts, wild and tame, he knew them, and he namèd them at
        his will.
    And he knew the stars and their pathway, as they circle the
        silent sky,                                                  245
    And the power of the seven planets, how they rule men from
        heaven high,
    And he knew of all roots the virtue, and the ill that was
        theirs of yore--
    When his children were grown to manhood, and daughters and
        sons they bore,
    From evil desires he warned them; and his daughters he oft
        did rede
    Of certain roots to beware them, that wrought ill with the
        human seed,                                                  250
    And would change their face, and their aspect, and
        dishonoured the race should be;
    And he spake, 'Then shall we be other than erst God did
        fashion me,
    And therefore do ye, my children, give heed to the words I
    Nor be blind to your bliss, lest _your_ children they wander
        too far astray.'

    But the women, they did as women, in forbidden ways they
        went,                                                        255
    And they wrought out the lust and the evil on which their
        desire was bent,
    And the shape of men was changèd, such rewarding their fault
        must win,
    And tho' firm stood the will of Adam yet sorely he mourned
        their sin--
    Now the fair Queen Sekundillé, her body, her crown, and land,
    Feirefis had won as his guerdon by the power of his knightly
        hand,                                                        260
    And there, in her far-off kingdom (no lie is the tale I tell)
    Full many of this strange people since the days that are gone
        do dwell,
    And their faces are ill to look on, and the birth-marks are
        strange they bear.
    And once of the Grail men told her, and Anfortas' kingdom
    That on earth was naught like to his riches, and a marvel she
        thought his land--                                           265
    (And the waters within her kingdom bare jewels instead of
    And many a golden mountain shall rear its crest on high.)
    And the queen she thought, 'How may I win speech of his
    Who ruleth the Grail?' she bethought her, and rich presents
        she sent the king,
    Of jewels fair, and beside them, they should to his kingdom
        bring                                                        270
    Of this folk, so strange to look on, the twain of whom now I
    Kondrie and the squire, her brother--and in this wise the
        chance befell
    (Much treasure beside she sent him whose cost might of none
        be told,)
    That Anfortas, the gentle monarch, who was courteous as he
        was bold,
    For the love he bare Orgelusé sent this squire unto her
        grace,                                                       275
    By the sin and the lust of women set apart from the human

    Now this son of the herbs and the planets loud mocked at the
        gallant knight,
    Who, courteous, would wait his coming; no charger he rode of
    But a mare so feint and feeble and halting in every limb,
    And oft to the ground it stumbled 'neath its rider so harsh
        and grim.                                                    280
    I wot well e'en Dame Jeschuté rode a better steed that day
    When Parzival's hand avenged her, and her shaming was put

    The squire he looked well upon Gawain, and thus in his wrath
        he spake,
    'If thou be a _knight_, I think me, and my lady with thee
        wilt take
    Thou shalt sorely repent the journey--A fool thou in truth
        must be,                                                     285
    And such peril shall be thy guerdon as winneth great praise
        to thee,
    If so be that thou canst withstand it--Yet, if but a
        _servant_ thou,
    Of buffets and blows, I think me, full soon wilt thou have

    Then out quoth Gawain, 'My knighthood such chastisement ne'er
        might feel,
    'Tis good but for worthless youngsters who shrink from the
        touch of steel;                                              290
    But _I_ hold me free of such insults, and e'en if it so shall
    That thou and this lovely lady your mock'ry shall pour on me,
    Then _one_ sure shall taste my vengeance, nor think thou that
        I wax wroth
    For ill tho' thou be to look on I hold thee but light in
    With that by the hair he gripped him, and he swung him from
        off his horse,                                               295
    The squire glared wrathful on him, and his bristles, so sharp
        and coarse,
    Took vengeance sore on Gawain, his hand did they cut and tear
    Till the blood dripped crimson from it--then loud laughed the
        lady fair,
    'Now in sooth this is good to look on, to see ye twain in
    So rode the twain, the squire's horse came halting upon their
        path.                                                        300

    So came they unto the linden where the wounded knight they
    On his side the herb of healing the hand of Gawain bound;
    Quoth the knight, 'Now, how went it with thee since first
        thou didst find me here?
    Thou leadest with thee a lady who plotteth thine ill, I fear!
    'Tis thro' her I so sore am wounded; at the Perilous Ford, I
        ween,                                                        305
    Did she force such a joust upon me as well-nigh my death had
    So, if thou thy life now lovest, I warn thee to let her be,
    And turn thee aside, nor ride with her, but warning to take
        by me--
    And yet may my wounds be healèd, if rest for awhile I gain,
    And, Sir Knight, thereto canst thou help me!' 'That will I,'
        quoth knight Gawain.                                         310
    Then the wounded knight spake further, 'A spital shall stand
        near by,
    And if I but now might reach it for awhile I in peace might
    Thou seest my lady's palfrey, it can carry, methinks, the
    If she rideth afore, I behind her, so help me its back to

    From the bough of the mighty linden Sir Gawain he loosed the
        steed,                                                       315
    And the bridle he took that the palfrey he might to the lady
    'Away from me!' cried the sick man, 'thou treadest on me I
    Then he led it apart, and the lady she followed so soft and
    For she knew what her lord did purpose; as the maid to her
        horse he swung,
    Up started the knight, and swiftly on the charger of Gawain
        sprung!                                                      320
    And, methinks, an ill deed he did there--With his lady he
        rode away,
    And I ween that with sin was tainted the prize that he won
        that day!

    Then sore did Gawain bemoan him, but the lady laughed loud
        and clear;
    (And, were it a jest, he thought him such mirth were
        unfitting here,)
    As his charger was taken from him her sweet lips in this wise
        spake,                                                       325
    'First wert thou a _knight_, then, in short space, I thee for
        a _leech_ must take,
    Now art thou become my _footman_! yet thou shouldst in no
        wise despair,
    Such skill sure should bring thee comfort! Wouldst thou
        _still_ in my favours share?'

    'Yea, Lady,' then quoth Sir Gawain, 'an I might thy favor
    The whole earth hath nothing fairer were the tale of its
        riches told;                                                 330
    And of crownèd heads, and uncrownèd, of all who may joyful
    The highest meed of glory, did they bid me to share therein,
    Yet still my heart would rede me to count all such gain as
    If thy love were but weighed against it, such bliss had thy
        favour brought!
    If thy love may not be my guerdon then a swift sad death I'll
        die,                                                         335
    'Tis thine own this thing that thou scornest when thou
        dealest thus mockingly.
    Tho' a free man born thou shalt hold me thy vassal, if such
        thy will,
    Call me knight, or slave, or servant, the _name_ it shall
        please me still!
    Yet, I think me, thou doest not rightly--When my service thou
        thus wilt shame
    Thou drawest down sin upon thee, and thou shamest thine own
        fair fame.                                                   340
    If my service doth bring me honour thou hast naught withal to
    And such words shall but ill beseem thee tho' they lightly by
        me be borne!'

    Then back rode the knight, sore wounded, and he quoth, 'Is it
        thou, Gawain?
    For that which erewhile I owed thee here dost thou full
        payment gain,
    Since thine hand in bitter conflict, me, thy foeman, did
        prisoner make                                                345
    And unto thine uncle Arthur thou didst me thy captive take,
    And four weeks long must I dwell there, and four weeks long I
    With the dogs--I shall ne'er forget it till the days of my
        life be sped!'

    Then he quoth, 'Is it thou, O Urian? If now thou art wroth
        with me,
    Yet guiltless am I, the king's favour at that time I won for
        thee,                                                        350
    For thy folly so far betrayed thee that men spake thee an
        outcast knight,
    And thy shield it was taken from thee, and forfeit thy name
        and right;
    Since thou ill didst entreat a maiden, and the peace of the
        land didst break,
    With a rope had the king repaid thee, but to him for thy life
        I spake!'

    'Howe'er that might be, here thou standest, and the proverb
        thou well mayst know,                                        355
    "Who saveth the life of another, that other shall have for
    And I do as a wise man doeth--'Tis better a child should weep
    Than a full-grown man, and bearded,--this charger mine hand
        shall keep!'
    Then he spurred him amain, and he rode thence, as fast as his
        steed might fly,
    And wroth was Gawain at his dealing, and he spake out right
        angrily;                                                     360

    'Now it fell out in this wise, Lady, King Arthur his court
        did hold
    At Dianasdron, and with him rode many a Breton bold.
    Then as messenger to his kingdom a maiden must take her way,
    And this fool, for venture seeking, he crossed her path that
    And both to the land were strangers--He burnt with unholy
        fire,                                                        365
    And fierce with the maid he wrestled till he bent her to his
    As she cried for help we heard her--then the king "To arms"
        did call,
    In a wood the thing had chanced thus, thither rode we one and
    And I rode of all the foremost, and I saw the sinner's track,
    And I made him perforce my captive, and to Arthur I brought
        him back.'                                                   370

    'And the maiden she rode beside us, and sorely did she bemoan
    That to _force_ she must yield the guerdon that to _service_
        was due alone.
    Of her maidenhood had he robbed her--Yet but lowly his fame
        shall stand
    Who vaunteth himself the victor o'er a woman's unarmèd hand--
    And wrathful, I ween, was King Arthur, and he spake, 'Ye my
        servants true,                                               375
    Ye shall hold this deed for accursèd, and the day of its
        doing rue.
    Alas! for the woful dawning and the light that this thing
        hath seen,
    Alas! that I here am ruler, for the judgment is mine, I
    And he spake to the weeping maiden, 'Hast thou wisdom, thy
        cause then plead.'
    She spake fearless, e'en as he bade her, and the knights they
        must list her rede.                                          380

    'Then Prince Urian of Punturtois stood before the Breton
    And against his life and his honour, her plaint did the
        maiden bring,
    And she spake so that all might hear her, and with weeping
        words did pray
    The king, for the sake of women, her shaming to put away.
    And she prayed by the honour of women, and by the Round
        Table's fame,                                                385
    And the right which as message-bearer she thought of all men
        to claim,
    If he sat there that day for judgment he should judge her
        with judgment true,
    And avenge her of this dishonour which her soul must for ever
    And she prayed they would do her justice, those knights of
        the Table Round,
    Since in sooth she had lost a treasure which might never
        again be found,                                              390
    Her maidenhood fair and unstainèd! Then all men, with one
    Spake him guilty, and for his judgment called loudly upon
        their lord!'

    'Then an advocate spake for the captive, (Small honour was
        his I trow.)
    And he spake as he might in his favour, yet it went with him
        ill enow,
    For of life and of honour forfeit did they judge him, the
        headsman's sword                                             395
    Should ne'er be his death, but a halter should they twine him
        of hempen cord.
    Then loud in his woe he prayed me, since he yielded him to
        mine hand,
    For mine honour should sure be stainèd if wrought were the
        king's command.
    Then I prayed of the weeping maiden, since she saw how that I
        in fight
    Had avenged upon him her shaming, to pardon the traitor
        knight.                                                      400
    For sure 'twas the spell of her beauty that had wrought upon
        him for sin,
    And the love of her form so shapely--"For aye if a knight
        doth win
    Sore peril for love of a woman, she should aid him, and hear
        his prayer,
    So I prithee to cease thine anger, and have pity on his

    'Then the king and his men I prayed them, by what service I
        e'er had done,                                               405
    They should loose me from stain of dishonour which I by his
        death had won,
    And the knight should live, as I sware him.--Then the lady,
        his gracious queen,
    I prayed by the bond of kinship, since my friend she hath
        ever been,
    (From my childhood, King Arthur reared me and my love doth
        toward them flow,)
    That she of her kindness help me--as I asked, it was even so,    410
    For she drew on one side the maiden, and she spake to her
        soft and kind,
    And it was thro' the queen, I wot me, that the knight did his
        pardon find.
    Thus free from his guilt they spake him, yet his sin must he
        sorely rue,
    For the life that was granted to him stern penance he needs
        must do.
    With the hounds of the chase and the house-dogs from one
        trough he needs must eat                                     415
    For the space of four weeks, thus the maiden found avenging
        as it was meet!'

    'For this cause is he wroth with me, Lady'--'Yet his judgment
        it went astray,
    If my love ne'er shall be thy guerdon, in such wise I'll his
        deed repay
    That ere he shall leave my kingdom he shall count it to him
        for shame!
    Since King Arthur avenged not the evil that was wrought on
        that maid's fair fame                                        420
    It falleth unto mine office, and judge am I o'er ye twain,
    Tho' who ye may be I know not, yet I to this task am fain!
    And well shall he be chastisèd for the wrong that he did the
    Not for _thine_, for I ween such evil is better by blows

    To the mare now Sir Gawain turned him, and lightly he caught
        the rein,                                                    425
    And the squire he followed after, and the lady she spake
    And in Arabic spake she to him, and she gave him to know her
    Now hearken unto my story, how Sir Gawain he fared but ill:
    Then Malcréature, he left them--and Gawain his horse beheld,
    Too feeble it was for battle, the squire, as his way he held     430
    Down the hill, from the peasant-owner had taken the sorry
    And Gawain for his charger must have it, tho' but ill it
        might serve his need.

    In mocking and hatred spake she, 'Wilt still ride upon thy
    Quoth Gawain, 'I will take my journey e'en in such wise as
        thou shalt say.'
    She quoth, 'Wilt abide my counsel? It shall reach thee I ween
        too late!'                                                   435
    Quoth he, 'Yet for that will I serve thee, tho' o'er-long I
        thy rede shall wait!'
    Quoth she, 'Then a fool I think thee, for unless thou shalt
        leave this mind,
    Then sorrow instead of gladness and repentance for joy
        thou'lt find!'
    Then he quoth, of her love desirous, 'Yet thy servant I still
    If joy be my lot or sorrow, be thy love and thy will my
        guide.                                                       440
    Since thy love laid its spell upon me in thy bidding my law I
    And ahorse or afoot I'll follow, I care not where'er it be!'

    So stood he beside the lady, and awhile he beheld the mare,
    Who to joust with such steed had ridden his gold were
        o'er-keen to spare!
    For the stirrups of hemp were twisted, and ne'er had this
        gallant knight                                               445
    Such saddle, I ween, bestridden, it would serve him but ill
        for fight.
    For e'en as he looked upon it, he thought, 'If on _that_ I
    The girths sure will break asunder, nor the saddle my weight
    And so weak was the steed and ill-shapen, had one dared on
        its back to leap
    Of a sooth would the back have broken--On foot he the road
        must keep!                                                   450

    And in this guise he took his journey: the horse by the rein
        he held,
    And his spear and his shield he carried; and the lady his
        grief beheld,
    And she mocked him with ringing laughter, fain was she to
        work him woe--
    Then his shield on the mare he fastened, and she spake, 'In
        such guise wouldst go,
    And carry thy wares thro' my kingdom? A strange lot is mine,
        I ween,                                                      455
    Since _footman_, and _leech_, and _merchant_ in turn hath my
        comrade been!
    Of the toll hadst thou best beware thee, or else, as thou
        goest thy way,
    It may chance they who take the toll here on thy merchandise
        hands may lay!

    And tho' sharp, I ween, was her mocking yet her words was he
        fain to hear,
    Nor rued he the bitter speeches that rang sweet to his
        longing ear.                                                 460
    And as ever his eyes beheld her his sorrow it fled away,
    For fair was she to his thinking as blossoms in month of May!
    A delight of the eyes, and heart-sorrow, his gain and his
        loss was she,
    And languishing joy did she quicken--Her freeman and captive

    This hath many a master taught me, that Amor, and Cupid too,     465
    And Venus, of both the mother, make all men their deeds to
    For with darts and with fire they kindle desire in the
        longing heart,
    But such love seemeth me but evil that is lighted by torch or
    And the true heart it loveth ever, be its guerdon or joy or
    And in honour the love is rooted which alone shall abiding
        know!                                                        470

    'Gainst me have thy darts, O Cupid! I ween ever missed their
    Nor Amor with spear hath smote me, nor fell on my heart a
    From the torch of thy mother Venus--Tho' love 'neath your
        rule shall be,
    If love be my lot, not from _passion_ but from _faith_ shall
        it bloom for me!

    And if I with wit and wisdom 'gainst love's spells might a
        hero aid,                                                    475
    Gawain had I gladly aided, nor asked that I be repaid.
    And yet no shame need he think it if love's fetters him
        captive hold,
    And if he of love be vanquished, for her captives are aye the
    And yet so strong was he ever, and so knightly, to face the
    That 'tis pity so brave a hero by a _woman_ should be laid
        low!                                                         480

    Now well let us gaze upon thee, thou power which true love
        doth wield,
    Such joy hast thou taken from us that barren and reft the
    And thou makest a road of sorrow across it, both long and
    And if thy goal had been other than the high heart I would
        not chide.
    For folly methinks and lightness love all too old shall be,      485
    Or shall we to childhood reckon the evil love worketh free?
    For better are ways unseemly in youth, than if age forget
    Its wisdom--much ill love worketh, unto which shall the blame
        be set?
    For the mind of youth ever wavers, and changeth as changing
    And if love shall be thus unsteadfast, little praise may she
        hope to find.                                                490
    Nay, better shall be my counsel, for the _wise_ praise true
        love alone;
    Yea, and maiden and man shall join me, and all who love's
        power have known.

    When true love unto true love answereth, undarkened by
        thought of guile,
    And it vexeth them not that love turneth the key on their
        heart awhile,
    For they fear not nor think of wavering, then high as the
        heaven above                                                 495
    O'er the earth, o'er the love that changeth, is such true and
        steadfast love.

    Yet, gladly as I would free him, to Frau Minne Gawain must
    And his joy shall awhile be darkened--Small profit my words,
        I trow,
    And the wisdom I fain had taught him, for no man may love
    And love alone giveth wisdom, and nerveth with strength the
        hand!                                                        500

    And to Gawain she gave this penance, afoot must he wend his
    While his lady she rode beside him--To a woodland they came
    And he led the steed to a tree-trunk, and the shield that
        awhile it bare
    He hung round his neck as befitting, and lightly bestrode the
    And scarcely the steed might bear him--Then they came to a
        builded land,                                                505
    And a castle so fair and stately he saw there before him
    And his heart and his eyes bare witness no fortress was like
        this hall,
    So knightly and fair the palace, and so countless its turrets
    And many a maiden looked forth from its casements, he thought
        to see
    Four hundred and more, o'er all others, I ween, _four_ might
        fairest be.                                                  510

    Then the lady and her companion they rode a well-trodden road
    To a water whose waves ran swiftly, and ships sailed the
        flood so broad.
    By the landing there lay a meadow, where men jousts were wont
        to ride,
    And the towers of that stately castle rose fair on the
        further side.
    Then Gawain, that gallant hero, saw a knight who rode swift
        and near,                                                    515
    As one who for combat lusted, and he spared not or shield or

    Quoth the lady, fair Orgelusé, and haughty her tone and
    'In what else thou mayst gainsay me in this be my truth
    For other I ne'er have told thee save that shame shall thy
        portion be,
    Now here, if thou canst, defend thee, since no better is left
        to thee.                                                     520
    Methinks he who cometh hither shall fell thee beneath his
    If thy garments perchance be riven, and thou bitest, ashamed,
        the dust,
    Then those women above shall mourn thee, who look for some
        deed of fame,
    Seest thou how they gaze from the lattice? How, then, if they
        see thy shame?'
    Then the boatman across the water he came at the lady's will,    525
    From the shore to the boat she stepped there, and Gawain it
        but pleased him ill;
    For, mocking, fair Orgelusé spake thus to the gallant knight,
    'Thou com'st not with me, I leave thee on this shore as a
        pledge for fight!'
    Then sadly his voice rang after, 'Say, Lady, wilt leave me
    Shall I never again behold thee?' Then she spake, 'I would
        have thee know                                               530
    If victory be thy portion thou shalt look on my face again,
    Yet but small is the chance I think me.' So sailed she from
        knight Gawain.

    Then up rode Lischois Giwellius, 'twere a lie if I said he
    And yet little other did he for the earth scarce his
        footprints knew.
    And for this must I praise the charger, who the greensward
        with such swift feet                                         535
    Had trodden--Gawain bethought him how he best might his
        foeman meet;
    He thought, 'Should I here await him afoot, or this steed
    If his horse's speed he check not he surely o'er me will
    And this fate must o'ertake his charger, to fall o'er my
        fallen steed;
    But, if he for combat lusteth, afoot on this flowery mead        540
    Will I face him and give him battle, since battle he doth
    Tho' never I win her favour who hath brought on me need so

    Fight they must, and they fought as heroes, he who came and
        he who did wait,
    For jousting he made him ready, and the lance-point Gawain
        held straight,
    And he rested it on the saddle, (for thus did he counsel
        take,)                                                       545
    Then e'en as the joust was ridden the spears did in splinters
    And the knights, the one as the other, they fell in that
        goodly fray,
    For the better charger stumbled and by Gawain its rider lay.
    Then the twain to their feet upspringing their swords from
        the scabbard drew,
    Since alike they were keen for combat, and their shields in
        pieces flew,                                                 550
    For each hewed at the shield of the other till a hand's
        breadth alone, I ween,
    They held, for the pledge of conflict the shield it hath ever

    Flashed the sword-blades, fire sprang from the helmets, a
        venture brave I trow
    Was his who should here be victor, tho' stern conflict he
        first must know.
    Long space did they fight, those heroes, on the flowery
        meadow wide,                                                 555
    And as smiths, who all day have laboured, as it weareth to
    Grow faint with their toil and weary with the mighty blows
        they smite,
    So weary and faint were those heroes who here did for honour

    But for this none methinks shall praise them, unwise do I
        hold the twain,
    No cause had they here for battle, 'twas fame that they
        thought to gain;                                             560
    And strangers unto each other, each other's life they sought,
    And yet, had they made confession, each owed to the other

    Now Gawain was a gallant wrestler, and his foe to the ground
        would bring
    If in spite of the sword he might grip him, and let but the
        mighty ring
    Of his arms his foeman circle, he forced him where'er he
        would.                                                       565
    Now must he with force defend him, and he fought as a hero
    And his courage waxed ever higher, and the youth in his arms
        he caught,
    And he bare him to earth beneath him tho' e'en as a man he
    And he quoth, 'Wilt thou live, thou hero, thou must yield
        thee unto mine hand!'
    Yet Lischois, he was all unready to follow so stern command;     570
    For never his pledge had he given, and he deemed it a
        wondrous thing
    That the hand of a knight should o'erthrow him, and him in
        such peril bring
    That against his will he must yield him, who had ever the
        victor been,
    For in sooth full many a combat his foeman o'erthrown had
    Full oft he from them had taken what he cared not to give
        again,                                                       575
    Nay, rather his life would he forfeit; and he spake unto
        knight Gawain,
    And he said, 'Let what would befall him, his pledge to no man
        he'd give;'
    Nay, death would he rather suffer, since no longer he cared
        to live!

    Then sadly, he spake, the vanquished, 'Thou hero, is victory
    So long as God bare me favour such honour was ever mine;         580
    But now hath my fame an ending, and thy right hand hath laid
        me low,
    And if maiden and man must hearken to the tale of my
    Whose glory once rose to the heaven, then death shall my
        portion be
    Ere my kinsmen shall hear the story, and shall sorrow and
        mourn for me!
    Yet Gawain still prayed him yield him, but his will and his
        mind were so                                                 585
    That he prayed God would rather take him, or slay him by this
        his foe.
    Thought Gawain, 'I am loth to kill him, if he swear but to do
        my will
    Unharmed he may go'--yet the young knight withheld him his
        promise still.

    Then, ere he his hand had given, the hero he bade him rise,
    On the flowery mead they sat them: then Gawain he bethought
        him wise,                                                    590
    (For his sorry steed it vexed him) the horse of his
        vanquished foe
    With spur and with rein would he test there, if 'twere good
        for his need or no.
    ('Twas armed as beseemed a warhorse, and the covering was
        fair to see,
    Of velvet and silk was it fashioned, what trapping might
        better be?)
    Since the venture such prize had brought him, who should
        hinder him in his need                                       595
    If for his own use he took it? so he vaulted upon the steed:

    And he joyed in the free, swift movement, and he cried, 'Now,
        how shall this be?
    Of a sooth it is thou, Gringuljet, that false Urian stole
        from me.
    _He_ knoweth best how he took it, and shameful I count his
    Now, who thus for battle armed thee, since thou art of a
        truth my steed?                                              600
    Sure 'tis God who hath sent thee to me, and this fair gift
        shall end my woe.'
    Then he sprang to the ground, and he sought him the token he
        well might know,
    On its shoulder the Grail-Dove branded--In a joust did
        Lähelein slay
    Its rider, the knight of Prienlaskors, and the charger he
        bare away.
    Then Orilus was its master, and he gave it to knight Gawain      605
    On Plimizöl's shore--greatly joyed he when the charger he won

    Blithe was he, and high of courage, who awhile was sad and
    Yet love unto ruth constrained him, and the service so true
        he bore
    To the lady who yet would shame him, and his thoughts ever
        toward her flew.
    Then up sprang proud Lischois lightly, and his good sword he
        gripped anew,                                                610
    For it lay where Gawain had cast it when he wrested it from
        his hand:
    And the ladies look down on the heroes, as for combat once
        more they stand.

    The shields were so hacked and riven that the knights they
        must cast them by,
    And, shieldless, to strife betake them, and they bare them
        right gallantly.
    And a crowd of fair maidens o'er them from the palace window
        saw                                                          615
    The strife that below was foughten: and fierce anger awoke
        once more,
    For too nobly born I wot me was each man that he might brook
    That his fame should be lightly yielded, and maids on his
        shaming look.
    And helmet and sword were smitten, for shields 'gainst cold
        death were they,
    He who saw the heroes strive there had mourned for their toil
        that day.                                                    620
    Lischois Giwellius bare him, that fair youth, as knight so
    True courage, and deeds undaunted, the counsel his high heart
    And many a swift blow dealt he, as quick on Gawain he sprung,
    And lightly avoided from him, and his blade round his head he
    But Gawain stood firm and undaunted, and he thought him,
        'Now, let me hold                                            625
    Thee once in mine arms, I'll repay thee thy dealings, thou
        hero bold!'

    And fiery sparks might ye look on, and the flash of the
        glittering blade
    Well wielded by hand of hero--Nor one in his station stayed,
    For they pressed each one on the other, backward, forward, to
        either side,
    Yet this conflict so fierce, I wot me, did ne'er of revenge
        betide,                                                      630
    And no hatred they bare to each other--Then the arms of
        Gawain at last
    He clasped round his gallant foeman, and the knight to the
        ground he cast.
    And I think, an I friendship sware here, I would shrink from
        such fond embrace,
    E'en tho' brotherhood it were sealing--Nor with ye would such
        clasp find grace!

    Then Gawain he bade him yield him, yet Lischois, who against
        his will                                                     635
    Had striven when first he felled him, was all unready still.
    And he quoth, 'Wherefore thus delay thee, 'tis needless, take
        thou my life,
    For better to die than to yield me--Since I wot well that in
        this strife
    The fame that was mine aforetime hath vanished beneath thy
    Of God must I be accursèd, since my glory such goal doth
        know!                                                        640
    For the love of fair Orgelusé have I served her with knightly
    And many a knight have I felled here, for none might my arm
    Now shalt thou be heir to my glory, for it falleth to thee of
    If thou, who my fame hath ended, here endeth my life, Sir

    But King Lot's son he thought in this wise, 'To this deed
        have I little mind,                                          645
    My name, it shall gain small honour if this man here his
        death shall find,
    If for no sin of his I slay him, who is true and valiant
    'Twas _her_ love that spurred him 'gainst me, for whose
        favour I too would fight;
    'Tis her beauty that doth constrain me, 'tis she that doth
        work me woe,
    Then why not, for the sake of my lady, show mercy to this my
        foe?                                                         650
    If perchance for mine own I win her, if mine own such bliss
        may be,
    Then _he_ cannot take her from me since stronger am I than
    And if o'er our strife she watcheth, then she must of a
        surety own
    That I, who for love would serve her, true service and good
        have shown!'
    Then out spake the gallant Gawain, 'I were loth thy life to
        take,                                                        655
    But hence will I let thee, scatheless, for fair Orgelusé's

    Weary were they, small wonder, then the fallen knight arose,
    And down on the grassy meadow apart sat those gallant foes.
    Then the master boatman stepped forth from the water unto the
    And a grey and yearling falcon he carried upon his hand.         660
    This right was his o'er the meadow, who jousted upon the
    The charger of him who was vanquished he did as his tribute
    From his hand, who was there the victor, should he take, as a
        gift, the steed,
    And bowing, thank him fairly, nor stint of his praise the
    And such payment he oft had taken on the flowery meadow
        green,                                                       665
    Nor otherwise had his living; save at whiles, when such
        chance had been,
    That a bird in his falcon's clutches had fluttered in grief
        and pain.
    Nor plough drave he thro' those furrows, for enough did he
        deem his gain.
    And son of a folk so knightly was he born to a knight's
    And courteous, I ween, his bearing who there on Gawain did
        wait.                                                        670

    So came he unto the hero, and with courteous word and fair
    He prayed of his hand the tribute, and the steed that should
        be his share.
    Quoth Gawain, the gallant hero, 'No merchant methinks I be
    To pay here or toll or tribute, from such tax do I hold me
    Then he spake out, the master boatman, 'Sir Knight, since
        full many a maid                                             675
    Hath seen thee stand here the victor, by _thee_ be my tribute
    My right o'er the plain must thou own here, in knightly joust
        thine hand
    Hath won for mine own this charger; nor thy fame shall the
        lower stand,
    For he, whom thine hand o'erthrew here, the world with his
        praises rung,
    And with truth, unto this day's dawning, have men of his
        glory sung;                                                  680
    But now he of God is stricken, and his joy hath an ending
    But _thou_, in his stead, I think me, with honour and fame
        art crowned!'

    Quoth Gawain, 'He first o'erthrew me, and I but that deed
    If tribute for joust be due here, by _him_ be that tribute
    Look well on this mare, he won it, thou canst take it if such
        thy will.                                                    685
    The charger that standeth by me, as mine own will I claim it
    Tho' never a steed be thy portion, on _that_ steed I hence
        will go,
    Thou speakest of _right_, wouldst thou take it, then first I
        would have thee know
    (Yea, thou thyself wilt own it) 'tis unfitting I take my way
    Afoot, and right sore 'twould grieve me if that charger were
        thine alway!                                                 690
    For to-day in the early morning it was _mine_ without doubt
        or fear,
    And childish thou art if thou thinkest thus lightly to win it
    'Twas Duke Orilus, the Burgundian, who gave me the steed of
    Which Urian stole this morning, and the tale thou for truth
        shalt hold.
    And the foal of a mule shalt thou win thee ere thy prize be
        this steed of mine--                                         695
    Yet a fair gift in sooth will I give thee, for the _steed_
        shall the _knight_ be thine,
    Thou accountest him honour-worthy--if he say thee or yea or
    And if well or ill it doth please him I abide by my word

    Then joyful I ween was the boatman, and with smiling lips he
    'Now methinks that a gift so costly it hath ne'er been my lot
        to take,                                                     700
    And I deem myself all unworthy--Yet, Sir Knight, be he mine
    Then the guerdon is more than I asked for and o'er my deserts
        my meed.
    For his praises they rang so clearly that five hundred steeds
        all told,
    Swift-footed and strong for battle, too low for his price
        I'ld hold!
    If a rich man thou thus wilt make me, then this thing shalt
        thou do for me,                                              705
    To my boat shalt thou captive bring him, that I hold him as
        pledge from thee.'
    King Lot's son he spake in answer, 'Yea this will I do, and
    To thy boat first, and then from out it will I lead him
        within thy door,
    And there will I yield him captive'--'And there will I
        welcome thee!'
    Spake the boatman, and low he bowed him, and thanks spake he
        fair and free.                                               710
    And he quoth, 'Dear my lord and master, if it please thee to
        be my guest,
    And abide in my house till the morning, then softly I'll bid
        thee rest.
    Nor won boatman e'er higher honour, and blest be the eventide
    That seeth a knight so gallant 'neath the shade of my
        roof-tree bide.'

    Then out quoth Gawain, 'That will I, for in truth I had
        prayed this grace,                                           715
    For weary am I with battle, and fain would I rest a space.
    She who to this sorrow led me, her sweetness she maketh sour,
    And heart's joy shall be dear to purchase, and sorrow doth
        crown each hour,
    And the guerdon for this her service unlike to herself shall
    Alas! I had found a treasure, yet but loss hath it brought to
        me!                                                          720
    And one breast thro' that loss now sinketh that awhile
        swelled so proud and high,
    When joy was from God my portion, for a heart did beneath it
    Now I think me that heart hath vanished, and where shall I
        comfort seek?
    Shall I helpless abide that Frau Minne her wrath upon me
        shall wreak?
    Yea, had she the heart of a woman she would give me my joy
        again                                                        725
    Who maketh her sweetness bitter, and turneth my bliss to

    Then the boatman he heard how he wrestled with sorrow, by
        love constrained,
    And he quoth, 'So is here the custom, in the forest as on the
    As far as Klingsor ruleth, be he coward or valiant knight,
    "Sad to day, to-morrow joyful," So it goeth for peace or
        fight.                                                       730
    Perchance the truth thou knowst not? This land is a
    And ever by day and by night-time if good luck shall not aid
        thine hand
    Little good may thy manhood do thee! See thou how the sun
        sinks low,
    I think me, Sir Knight, it were better that we should to my
        vessel go!'
    Then Lischois he was led by Gawain, and never a word he
        spake,                                                       735
    And the boatman he followed after and the steed by its rein
        did take.

    So sailed they across the water, and they came to the further
    And the boatman he prayed Sir Gawain, 'Be thou in mine house
        the host.'
    And so rich was the house and stately, that scarce in King
        Arthur's land,
    E'en in Nantes that noble city, did a fairer dwelling stand.     740
    And he led Lischois thro' the doorway, and he gave him unto
        the care
    Of the host and his folk--Then the boatman spake thus to his
        daughter fair,
    'Fair times and a goodly lodging be the lot of this noble
    Who standeth here, go thou with him, for I deem me it shall
        be right,
    And tend him as best shall seem thee, nor stint thou in aught
        thy care,                                                    745
    For great good hath he brought unto us, and 'tis meet he thy
        grace should share!'

    To his son's care he gave the charger---Then the maiden her
        sire's behest
    Fulfilled as right well became her, for she led the noble
    To a chamber fair, where the flooring was hid 'neath a carpet
    Of rushes and fresh-plucked blossoms, as the way of the land
        had been.                                                    750
    There the gentle maid unarmed him--quoth Gawain, 'God show
        grace to thee,
    For had not thy sire thus bade thee too great were thy care
        for me!'
    And she quoth, 'For my father's bidding I do not this deed,
        Sir Knight,
    But rather that this my service may find favour before thy

    Then a squire, the host's son, must bear there soft cushions,
        a goodly store,                                              755
    And along the wall he laid them, and over against the door.
    And a carpet he spread before them that Gawain he might seat
        him there;
    And as one who knew well his office a cushion so rich he
    With a covering of crimson sendal, that down on the couch he
    And a seat like unto the other for the host he beside it
        made.                                                        760
    Came another squire and he carried fresh linen the board to
    (For thus gave the host commandment,) and he bare with the
        linen bread.
    And the hostess she followed after, and she looked well upon
    And she gave him a heartfelt greeting, and she spake, 'Now
        such grace we gain
    From thine hand we are rich henceforward as we never have
        been before,                                                 765
    Sir Knight, sure our good luck waketh since such fortune it
        hither bore!'

    Then when they had brought him water, and the host sat beside
        his guest,
    With courteous mien Sir Gawain this prayer to his host
    'Now I pray let this maid eat with me,' 'Sir Knight, ne'er
        was she allowed
    To sit with knights, or eat with them, lest she wax of their
        grace too proud.                                             770
    And yet so much do we owe thee, loth were I to say thee nay.
    So, daughter, sit thou beside him, and as he shall speak

    Then she blushed for shame all rosy, yet she did as her
        father bade,
    And down on the couch by Gawain sat Bené the gracious maid.
    (And two stalwart sons had the boatman beside that maiden
        sweet)                                                       775
    Three game-birds, I ween, that even were slain by the falcon
    And all three did they bear unto Gawain, and a broth with
        herbs beside,
    And the maiden she courteous served him as she sat by the
        hero's side;
    For she carved for him dainty morsels, and laid them on bread
        so white
    With her slender hands, and gently she spake to the stranger
        knight,                                                      780
    'Wilt thou send a bird to my mother? for else hath she none,
        I ween.'
    Then gladly he told the maiden his will e'en as hers had been
    In this thing as in all other--to the hostess the bird they
    And they honoured the hand of the hero, nor the boatman his
        thanks would spare.

    Purslain and lettuce brought they, in vinegar steeped, I ween    785
    Had he sought here his strength to nourish little good might
        such food have been;
    And if one should o'er-long feed on it then the colour it
        waxeth pale,
    Such pallor as truth betrayeth, if the mouth to its speaking
    And if with false red it be hidden, it fadeth, and bringeth
    But she who is true and steadfast she winneth the higher
        fame.                                                        790

    If one by goodwill were nourished, then Gawain, he right well
        had fed,
    To her child naught the mother grudgeth, and as free gave the
        host his bread.
    Then they bare away the tables, and the hostess she bade him
    And bedding I ween in plenty they brought for the gallant
    And one was of down, and the covering above it of velvet
        green,                                                       795
    Yet the velvet was none of the richest tho' fair had its
        fashion been.
    And a cushion must serve for cover, beneath it should Gawain
    Nor the silk had with gold been purchased, 'twas won in far
    Of silk, too, the cunning stitching, and the linen was fair,
        and white
    As snow that they laid above it, and a pillow they brought
        the knight.                                                  800
    And a cloak of her own she lent him, for wrapping, that
        maiden fair,
    'Twas new, and of ermine fashioned, and such as a prince
        might wear.

    Then leave the host courteous prayed him ere he laid himself
        down to sleep,
    And men say that alone with Sir Gawain the maiden her watch
        did keep,
    And I think if he more had prayed her she never had said him
        Nay--                                                        805
    Then he slept, for he well might slumber, God keep him till
        dawn of day!




Book XI. tells how Gawain would brave the venture of the Château
Marveil, and how the boatman and his daughter strove to withhold
How Gawain came to the Castle, and of the Lit Merveil and its
How Gawain slew the lion, and ended the enchantments of the
        castle, and
how he was healed of his wounds by the Queen Arnivé.

                                BOOK XI


    Weary he closed his eyelids, and he slept in a slumber deep
    Till the light of the early morning must waken him from his
    And many a window saw he within that chamber wall,
    And clear glass was before each window--Thro' a doorway the
        light did fall,
    'Twas open, without was an orchard, thither gat him the
        gallant knight                                                 5
    For the air, and the song-birds' music, and to see what might
        meet his sight
    And but little space had he sat there, when the castle he saw
    As at eventide he saw it when he fought on the grassy plain.
    And he saw from the hall of the palace full many a maiden
    And many were fair to look on; and he thought, with a great
        amaze,                                                        10
    That a wondrous watch they must keep there, since they
        wearied not thro' the night,
    And little might they have slumbered, for as yet scarce had
        dawned the light.

    Then he thought, 'For the sake of these ladies will I lay me
        to sleep once more.'
    Then again to his couch he gat him, and for covering he drew
        him o'er
    The mantle the maid had lent him--Did no man his slumber
        break?                                                        15
    Nay, sorely the host had vexed him, if one should his guest
    Then of true heart bethought the maiden, who soft by her
        mother lay,
    And she roused her from out her slumber, and she took to the
        guest her way,
    And again he slept so sweetly--Then she thought her, that
        gentle maid,
    That fain would she do him service, and she sat her beside
        his bed,                                                      20
    Fair was she, and sweet to look on, and but seldom at
    Or in hour of the early dawning, such venture has sought my
    Short space ere Gawain awakened and beheld how she watched
        him there,
    And he looked and he laughed upon her, 'God reward thee, thou
        maiden fair,
    That thou breakest for me thy slumber, on thyself dost thou
        vengeance take,                                               25
    Since nor service nor joust so knightly have I ridden for thy
        sweet sake!'
    And she answered, that gracious maiden, 'On thy service no
        claim have I,
    But look thou with favour on me, and thy will do I willingly,
    And all who are with my father, yea, mother alike and child,
    Do hail thee their lord and master, for love of thy dealings
        mild!'                                                        30

    Then he quoth, 'Is it long since thou camest? Had I of thy
        coming known
    Fain would I have asked a question, perchance thou the truth
        hadst shown:
    Yestreen and again this morning fair ladies have looked on me
    From a mighty tower, of thy goodness now tell me who may they
    But the maiden she shrunk in terror, and she cried, 'Ask me
        not, Sir Knight,                                              35
    Since ne'er may I give an answer--I prithee to hear aright,
    If I knew, yet I might not tell thee, nor do thou my silence
    But ask thou what else shall please thee and my lips naught
        from thee shall hide,
    But on this thing alone keep silence, and follow thou what I
    But Gawain, he would ever ask her, and ever an answer pray,       40
    What ladies were they who sat there, and looked from that
        stately hall?
    And the maiden she wept full sorely, and aloud in her grief
        did call.

    'Twas yet in the early dawning, and her father he sought her
    Nor I deem me had he been wrathful if here did such chance
    That Gawain with the maid had striven, and had forced her
        unto his will,                                                45
    And the maiden, so fair and gentle, in such wise did she hold
        her still,
    For beside the couch was she seated--Then her father he
        mildly spake,
    'Now weep not so sore, my daughter, for if one a jest doth
    Whereof thou at first art wrathful, yet I ween ere the time
        be long,
    Shall thy sorrow be changed to gladness, and thy wailing to
        joyful song!'                                                 50

    Quoth Gawain, 'Nay, mine host, naught hath chanced here save
        that which thine eye may see;
    This maiden I fain would question, but naught would she tell
        to me,
    For she thinketh, 'tis my undoing, and silence hath she
    But now if it shall not vex thee let my service here find
    And tell me, mine host, if it please thee, how it stands with
        those ladies there,                                           55
    For I know not the place or the country where I looked on
        such maidens fair,
    So many there are, and their raiment showeth clear to my
        wondering sight!'
    Then the host wrung his hands for sorrow, and he spake, 'Ask
        me not, Sir Knight,
    In the name of God, ask no question--For wherever thy foot
        shall speed,
    Or whatever thine eyes shall light on, no need shall be like
        their need!'                                                  60

    'Then soothly I'll mourn for their sorrow,' quoth Gawain,
        'but mine host now say
    Why vex thee so sore for my question? Thine answer why thus
    'Sir Knight, for thy manhood mourn I, if thou wilt not thy
        question spare
    Then strife sure shall be thy portion, and sorrow thine heart
        shall bear.
    And thy sorrow of joy shall rob us, myself and my children
        three,                                                        65
    Who were born for thy gallant service true service to yield
        to thee.'
    Quoth Gawain, 'Yet for this thou shalt tell me, or if thou
        still say me, Nay,
    And I learn not from thee the story yet the truth will I know

    Then the host he spake out truly, 'Sir Knight, I must sorely
    The question thou here dost ask me--Thou goest to strife
        anew,                                                         70
    Arm thee well, and a shield I'll lend thee--In "Terre
        Merveil" thou art,
    And the "Lit Merveil" shall be here--And ne'er hath a
        knightly heart
    Withstood all the many dangers that in Château Merveil shall
    Turn aside, ere thy death o'ertake thee, for life should be
        dear to thee!
    For wherever thine hand shall have striven, or what ventures
        soe'er it found                                               75
    As child's play have been thy perils to those which beset
        this ground!'

    Quoth Gawain, 'Yet 'twould sorely vex me, if I, but to save
        me pain,
    Rode hence, doing naught, and those ladies had looked for
        mine aid in vain.
    Long since have I heard of this castle, and since it so near
        doth stand
    No man from the task shall bring me; to the venture I set my
        hand!'                                                        80
    Then the host he did sore bemoan him, and he spake to his
        guest so true,
    'Now as naught is all other peril, what perils around thee
    To the peril of this adventure, to its awe, and its anguish
    And naught but the truth am I speaking, for no man ever spake
        me liar!
    But that gallant knight, Sir Gawain, for naught would he turn
        aside,                                                        85
    But he quoth, 'Now mine host give counsel how the strife I
        may best abide,
    If thy words be the words of wisdom, and God give me the
        strength thereto,
    Thy will and thy rede I'll follow, and knightly the deeds
        I'll do!
    Sir Host, of a sooth it were ill done, did I fail here a blow
        to strike,
    And coward should I be accounted of foeman and friend alike.'     90
    Then first did the host bemoan him, such sorrow he ne'er
        might know,
    And he quoth to his guest, 'If it may be that Heaven such
        grace shall show
    That death be not here thy portion, then this land unto thee
        shall fall.
    And the stake is full many a maiden fast bound in a magic
    No man ere this day hath freed them--And with them many noble
        knights                                                       95
    Shall lie as yet imprisoned; and if thou with hand of might
    Shall loose them, thou winnest glory, and God showeth grace
        to thee,
    And joyful, o'er light and beauty, king and ruler thou sure
        shalt be!
    And maidens from many a country shall honour thee as their
    Nor think, if thou now dost ride hence, such deed shame on
        thee should bring,                                           100
    Since on this field Lischois Giwellius hath yielded him to
        thine hand,
    And left unto thee his honour; who erstwhile in every land
    Hath done gallant deeds of knighthood, of right may I praise
        his name,
    No knight showed a higher courage, or won him a fairer fame.
    And in no heart the root of virtue it showeth such fair
        increase                                                     105
    In blossom and flower of God's planting, save in Ither of

    'And he who at Nantes slew Prince Ither my ship bare but
    Five steeds hath he given unto me, (God keep him in peace
    Princes and kings once rode them, but now they afar must
    And tidings of him who o'erthrew them must they carry to
        Pelrapär.                                                    110
    For thus have they sworn the victor--His shield telleth many
        a tale
    Of jousting so fair and knightly--He rode hence to seek the

    Quoth Gawain, 'Say, whence came he hither? Mine host, since
        he rode so near,
    Knew he naught of the wondrous venture? Or did he the marvel
    'Sir Knight, ne'er a word hath he heard here, I guarded me
        all too well,                                                115
    Lest unseemly my deed be reckoned if unasked I the tale
        should tell.
    And hadst thou thyself not asked me thou never from me hadst
    The venture that here awaits thee, wrought of terror and pain
    If thou wilt not forego this peril, and thy life shall the
        forfeit pay,
    Then never a greater sorrow have we known than we know
        to-day.                                                      120
    But if thou shalt here be victor, and over this land shalt
    Then my poverty hath an ending, and my loss shall be turned
        to gain;
    Such trust in thy free hand have I, I shall joy without
        sorrow know
    If thy glory here winneth glory, and thy body be not laid

    'Now arm thee for deadly warfare!'--unarmed was as yet
        Gawain,                                                      125
    'Now I prithee bring here my harness!' and the host to his
        will was fain.
    And from head to foot she armed him, the maiden fair and
    And her father he sought the charger--Now a shield hung upon
        the wall,
    And the wood it was tough and well hardened, (else Gawain
        ne'er this tale might tell,)
    And the shield and the horse were brought him--and the host
        he bethought him well;                                       130
    And, as once more he stood before him, he spake, 'List thou
        well, Sir Knight,
    I will tell thee how thou shalt bear thee, and guard thee thy
        life in fight:'

    'My shield shalt thou carry with thee! Of war shall it bear
        no trace
    For but seldom I strive in battle, nor I count it me as
    When thou comest, Sir Knight, to the castle, do this, it
        shall serve thy steed:                                       135
    At the doorway a merchant sitteth, buy of him that which thou
        shalt need,
    Then give him thy steed, he will hold it, nor care thou what
        thou shalt buy,
    As a pledge will he hold thy charger, and will give it thee
    If unhurt from the Burg thou comest!' Quoth Gawain, 'Say,
        shall I not ride?'
    'Nay, nay, for sore peril neareth, and the maidens their
        faces hide!'                                                 140

    'Thou shalt find that fair palace lonely, deserted by great
        and small,
    And no token of living creature shalt thou see in that
        stately hall.
    And may God's grace watch o'er thy footsteps, and His
        blessing go with thine hand
    When thou comest into the chamber where the "Lit Merveil"
        shall stand.
    And the couch, and the rollers beneath it, in Morocco they
        first were made                                              145
    For the Ruler of all the Faithful; and were it in the balance
    'Gainst all treasures of crown and kingdom it still would
        outweigh them all.
    And I wot, there shall ill o'ertake thee, and God knoweth
        what shall befall,
    But I pray that the end be joyful! Yet hearken, Sir Knight,
        to me,
    This sword and this shield that thou holdest, in thine hand
        must they ever be,                                           150
    For surely when thou shalt think thee that the peril hath
        done its worst,
    Then _first_ mayst thou look for conflict, and _then_ shall
        the storm-cloudburst!'

    Then mournful I ween was the maiden, as Gawain to the saddle
    And all they who stood around her they wept and their hands
        they wrung,
    Then he quoth to his host, 'God grant me that hereafter I may
        repay                                                        115
    The care and the kindly counsel I have won from thy lips
    Then leave did he pray of the maiden, and her sorrow was sore
        to see,
    He rode hence, and they whom he left here they mourned for
        him bitterly.
    And now, if ye fain would hearken what unto Gawain befell,
    The tale of his wondrous venture right gladly to ye I'll
        tell.                                                        160

    And in this wise I heard the story--As he came to the castle
    A merchant with merchandise costly without did his coming
    And so rich were his wares, and precious, that in sooth I
        were glad at heart
    If I, in so great a treasure, my portion might bear and part.
    Then, Sir Gawain, he sprang from his charger, for ne'er had
        he seen before                                               165
    Outspread in the open market such goods as were here in
    And the booth was of velvet fashioned, four-square, and both
        wide and high,
    And that which lay there for purchase no monarch might
        lightly buy.
    The Baruch of Bagdad scarcely had paid that which lay
    Nor the Patriarch of Rankulat might think him such prize to
        win.                                                         170
    Yea, and great as shall be the treasure that was found but
        awhile ago
    In the land of the Greeks yet their Emperor such riches might
        hardly know!
    And e'en if these twain had helped him the price he had
        failed to pay
    That a man must count for the treasure that here before
        Gawain lay.

    Then the knight greeted well the merchant as he looked on the
        wondrous store                                               175
    Of marvels that lay before him, but he stayed not to turn it
    But bade him show clasp and girdle; then he quoth to the hero
    'For many a year have I sat here, yet no man doth my wares
    None but ladies have looked upon them! yet if manhood shall
        nerve thine hand
    Of all here shalt thou be the master; they were brought from
        a distant land,                                              180
    If here thou shalt be the victor, (for in sooth hast thou
        come for fight,)
    And the venture shall well betide thee, I will deal with thee
        well, Sir Knight!
    For all that my booth containeth is thine if thou win the
    So trust thou in God and His mercy, and take to the Burg thy
    Plippalinòt in sooth hath sent thee, and thy coming well
        praised shall be                                             185
    Of many a gracious maiden if thy prowess shall set her free!'

    'Now wouldst thou withstand this venture leave here for
        awhile thy steed,
    If thou trust it unto my keeping, I will give to the charge
        good heed.'
    Quoth Gawain, 'Yea, I'll gladly do so, if unseemly be not the
    Too greatly I fear thy riches such grace from thine hand to
        ask,                                                         190
    For ne'er since I rode upon it such keeper my steed hath
    Out quoth the merchant freely, 'Sir Knight, all shall be
        thine own,
    Myself, and the wares I guard here, (nor further of them I'll
    They are his, who in safety faceth the danger thou here dost

    And so bold was I ween the hero that on foot did he go
        straightway,                                                 195
    Undaunted, to face the peril untold that before him lay.
    And, as I before have told ye, the Burg it stood high and
    And its bulwarks so stoutly builded did guard it on either
    If for thirty years they stormed it, not a berry or leaf
        would yield,
    However the foe might threaten; in the midst was a grassy
        field,                                                       200
    (Yet the Lechfeld I ween is longer,) many turrets they
        towered on high,
    And the story it tells that Gawain, as the palace he did
    Saw the roof shine all many-coloured, as peacock's plumes its
    And so bright it was that its glory was dimmed nor by rain
        nor snow.

    And within was it richly furnished, and decked to delight the
        eye,                                                         205
    And the pillars were richly carven, and the windows were
        arched on high,
    And many a fair couch costly had they set there against the
    Nor touched they the one to the other, and rich covers lay
        over all.
    And but now had the maidens sat there, but each one had taken
    And no one of them all remained there, and of welcome Gawain
        found naught.                                                210
    Yet their joy came again with his coming, and the day of
        their bliss was he,
    And 'twere well they had looked upon him, none fairer their
        eyes might see.
    Yet none there might dare behold him, tho' to serve them he
        aye was fain,
    And yet in this thing were they guiltless--Thro' the palace
        strode knight Gawain,
    And he looked on this side and the other, and he sought well
        the chamber o'er,                                            215
    If to left or to right I know not, but he saw there an open
    And wherever that door might lead him the hero was fain to
    If high fame he might gain for his seeking, or die there a
        death of woe!

    So stepped he within the chamber, and behold! the shining
    As glass it lay smooth beneath him, and the Lit-Merveil he
        saw,                                                         220
    The wonder-couch; and beneath it four rollers as crystal
    And fashioned of fire-red rubies: as the swift wind afar and
    Did it speed o'er the shining pavement, no floor might fairer
    Chrysolite, sardius, jasper, inwrought there the eye might
    For so had Klingsor willed it, and the thought it was his
        alone,                                                       225
    From far-off lands his magic had brought to the Burg each

    So smooth 'neath his feet the pavement, scarce might be his
        footing hold,
    Then fain would he seek the venture, but, so is the marvel
    As ever he stood before it the couch from its station fled,
    And swift as the winds of heaven o'er the glittering floor it
        sped.                                                        230
    (And Gawain he found all too heavy the shield that his hand
        gripped fast,
    And yet did his host give counsel it should ne'er on one side
        be cast.)
    Thought Gawain, 'Now, how may I reach thee, since still thou
        dost fly from me?
    Methinks thou shalt have a lesson, it may be I may spring to
    Then still stood the couch before him, and straight from the
        ground he leapt                                              235
    And stood firm in the midst of the marvel, and again o'er the
        floor it swept,
    And hither and thither turning in the four walls its goal it
    And blow upon blow fell swiftly, till the Burg echoed back
        the sound.

    And many a charge did he ride there, with crash, as of
    Or as trumpeters blow together when their blasts thro' the
        hall ring loud,                                              240
    And the one vieth with the other, and each for a fair prize
    Less loud should have been their tumult than the tumult that
        there arose!
    And waken and watch must Sir Gawain, altho' on a bed he lay.
    How best might the hero guard him? The noise he was fain to
    And his head with his shield he covered--There he lay, and
        would wait His will                                          245
    Who hath help in His power, and helpeth all those who entreat
        Him still,
    And shutteth His ear to no man who in sorrow for aid doth
    And the man who is wise and steadfast, as dawneth his
        sorrow's day,
    Doth call on the hand of the Highest, that shall ne'er be too
        short to reach,
    And the aid that shall meet their lacking He sendeth to all
        and each.                                                    250
    And so was it now with Gawain--Thro' Whose grace he had
        gotten fame,
    He called on His power and His mercy to shelter him here from

    Then stilled for a space the clamour--The couch stood within
        the hall,
    And an equal space had they measured from its station to
        either wall.
    Yet now waxed his peril greater, for five hundred missiles,
        swung                                                        255
    With craft from hands yet hidden, were against Sir Gawain
    And they fell on the couch as he lay there; but the shield it
        was hard and new,
    And it sheltered him well, and I think me of the blows did he
        feel but few.
    And the stones were as river pebbles, so heavy, and hard, and
    And in many a place on the surface of the shield might their
        trace be found.                                              260

    At length was the stone-shower ended, and never before he
    Such sharp and such heavy missiles as those which toward him
    For now full five hundred cross-bows were bended, their bolts
        they sped,
    And each one was aimed at the hero as he lay on the
    (And he who hath faced such peril in sooth he of darts may
        tell:)                                                       265
    Yet their wrath was soon spent, and silence for awhile on the
        chamber fell.
    And he who would seek for comfort he ne'er on such couch
        should lie!
    Little solace or rest may he find there, but peace from his
        face shall fly!
    And youth would wax grey and agèd, if such comfort should be
        its share
    As fell to the lot of Gawain, when he lay on that couch so
        fair.                                                        270
    Yet nor weariness nor terror had weakened or hand or heart,
    Tho' the stones and the bolts of the cross-bow had done on
        his limbs their part,
    And spite of both shield and corslet, sore bruisèd and cut
        was he:
    And he thought that, this peril ended, the venture should
        ended be--
    But yet with his hand must he battle, and the prize of the
        victor win,                                                  275
    For a doorway e'en now flew open, and one trode the hall
    And the man was a mighty peasant, and fearful of face, and
    And the hide of the grey sea-otter was his covering on head
        and limb,
    And his hosen were wide, and he carried a club in his strong
        right hand,
    And 'twas thicker I ween than a pitcher that round-bellied
        doth firmly stand.                                           280

    So came he unto Sir Gawain, (and his coming it pleased him
    Yet he thought, 'He doth bear no harness, mine arms shall
        withstand him still,'
    Upright on the couch he sat him, as nor terror nor pain he
    And the peasant, as he would flee him, a space from the bed
    And he cried in a voice so wrathful, 'From _me_ hast thou
        naught to fear,                                              285
    Yet such peril I'll loose upon thee that thy life must thou
        buy full dear;
    The devil himself doth aid thee, else wert thou not still in
    Bethink thee, for death cometh swiftly, and the ending of all
        thy strife,
    No more can the devil shield thee, that I tell thee ere hence
        I pass!'
    Then he gat him once more thro' the doorway, and Gawain
        gripped his sword-hilt fast,                                 290
    And the shafts did he smite asunder of the arrows that thro'
        his shield
    Had passed, and had pierced his armour, nor yet to his hand
        would yield.

    Then a roar, as of mighty thunder, on the ear of Gawain did
    As when twenty drums were sounding to dance in the castle
    Then the hero, so firm and dauntless, whose courage ne'er
        felt the smart                                               295
    Of the wounds that cowardice pierceth, thought thus in his
        steadfast heart:
    'What evil shall now befall me? Must I yet more sorrow know?
    For sorrow enow have I seen here, yet here will I face my
    He looked toward the peasant's doorway, and a mighty lion
        sprang thro',
    And its size was e'en that of a warhorse, and straight on
        Gawain it flew.                                              300
    But Gawain he was loth to fly here, and his shield he held
        fast before,
    As best for defence should serve him, and he sprang down upon
        the floor.
    And the lion was hunger-ravening, yet little should find for
    Tho' raging it sprang on the hero, who bravely its rush

    The shield it had near torn from him, with the first grip its
        talons fierce                                                305
    It drave thro' the wood, such hardness but seldom a beast may
    Yet Gawain did right well defend him, his sword-blade aloft
        he swung,
    And on three feet the beast must hold him, while the fourth
        from the shield yet hung.
    And the blood gushed forth on the pavement, and Gawain he
        firmer stood,
    And the fight raged hither and thither, as the lion, on the
        hero good,                                                   310
    Sprang ever with snorting nostrils, and gleaming fangs and
    And if on such food they had reared it, that its meat was a
        gallant knight,
    _I_ had cared not to sit beside it! Nor such custom pleased
        Gawain well,
    Who for life or for death must fight it--and the strife ever
        fiercer fell.

    So sorely the beast was wounded, the chamber with blood ran
        o'er;                                                        315
    Fierce sprang the lion upon Gawain, and would bear him unto
        the floor,
    But Gawain a sword-thrust dealt him, thro' the heart the
        swift blade sped
    Till his hand smote full on the breast-bone, and the lion at
        his feet fell dead.
    And now all the deadly peril and the conflict was over-past--
    In the same hour Gawain bethought him, 'Where now shall my
        lot be cast?                                                 320
    Since to sit in this blood I like not, and I must of the
        couch beware,
    For it runneth a race so frantic 'twere foolish to sit me

    But yet was his head so deafened with the blows that upon him
    And many his wounds, and the life-blood did forth from its
        fountains well,
    And his strength waxed faint, and it left him, and he fell on
        the chamber floor;                                           325
    His head lay on the lion's body, and the shield might he hold
        no more.
    And if wisdom and power were his portion, of the twain was he
        reft I ween,
    And tho' fair was the Burg, yet within it full rough had his
        handling been.

    His senses forsook him wholly--no such pillow I ween was his
    As that which on Mount Ribbelé Gymele gave to Kahenis;           330
    Both fair and wise was the maiden--and his honour he slept
    But here honour ran swift-footed to Gawain as he prostrate
    For in sooth ye shall well have hearkened, and shall know how
        such chance befell,
    That thus lay the hero lifeless, from the first have ye heard
        it well.

    Then in secret one looked upon him, and the chamber with
        blood was red,                                               335
    And the lion alike and the hero they lay as the twain were
    'Twas a fair and gracious maiden who saw thro' a loop-hole
    And her face it grew wan, and the colour from her lips and
        her cheek must fly.
    And youth was so heavy-hearted that old age sore must mourn
        her tale.
    Yet Arnivé was wise, and her wisdom did here o'er the woe
        prevail,                                                     340
    And still for this deed must I praise her, she drew near to
        aid Gawain,
    And from peril of death she freed him who freedom for her
        would gain.

    Then herself she was fain to behold him, and they gazed thro'
        the window small,
    And naught might they tell, those women, of what waited them
        in the hall.
    Was it news of a joyful future? Or of woe that should last
        for aye?                                                     345
    And the queen's heart it sore misgave her that the hero had
        died that day,
    (And the thought brought her grief and sorrow,) since he
        sought him no better bed,
    But silent he lay, and rested on the corse of the lion his
    And she spake, 'From my heart I mourn thee, if thy manhood so
        true and brave
    Hath won thee no better guerdon, and thy life thou hast
        failed to save.                                              350
    If death here hath been thy portion for our sake, who shall
        strangers be,
    And thy truth to such fate hath brought thee, then for ever
        I'll mourn for thee.
    And thy virtue I'll praise, tho' the counting of thy years I
        may never know!'
    And she spake to the weeping women, as they looked on the
        knight laid low,
    'Ye maids who shall be baptizèd, and by water have won a
        place                                                        355
    In God's kingdom, pray ye unto Him, that He show to this hero

    Then she sent below two maidens, and she bade them to seek
    And softly draw nigh unto him, nor pass from his side again
    Till they brought her full assurance how it went with the
        gallant knight,
    If perchance he should yet be living, or had found his death
        in fight.                                                    360
    So she gave to the twain commandment--Did they weep those
        maidens fair?
    Yea, both must weep full sorely for the grief that was here
        their share,
    When they found the hero lying, for his wounds they ran with
    Till the shield in blood was swimming--then they bent o'er
        the hero good,
    And with gentle hand the helmet one loosened from off his
        head,                                                        365
    And she saw a light foam gathered upon his lips so red,
    And she waited a space and hearkened, if perchance she might
        hear his breath,
    For but now had she thought him living, yet she deemed it
        might well be death.
    And his over-dress was of sable, and the mystic beasts it
    Such as Ilinot the Breton as his badge with great honour
        wore.                                                        370
    (And courage and fame were his portion from his youth till
        his dying day.)
    From the coat with her ready fingers the sable she tore away,
    And she held it before his nostrils, for thus might she
        better know
    If yet he should live, since his breathing would stir the
        hair to and fro.

    And the breath was yet there, and straightway she bade her
        companion bring                                              375
    Fair water, the gentle maiden did swift on her errand spring.
    Then the maid placed her ring so golden betwixt his teeth
        closed fast,
    And deft was her hand in the doing, and between his lips she
    Drop by drop, e'en as he might take it, the water, and little
    Ere he lifted once more his eyelids, and he looked on the
        maiden's face.                                               380
    And he thanked them, those two sweet children, and offered
        them service meet--
    Alas! that ye here should find me, unseemly laid at your
    If ye will on this chance keep silence, for good will I count
        the deed,
    And courtesy shall ye honour if ye give to my words good

    Quoth the maid, 'Thou hast lain, and thou liest, as one who
        the prize doth hold,                                         385
    In sooth thou art here the victor and in joy shall thy life
        wax old,
    To-day is thy day of triumph! But comfort us now I pray,
    Is it so with thy wounds that, naught fearing, we may joy in
        thy joy to-day?'
    Then he quoth, 'Would ye see me living, then help shall ye
        bring to me.'
    And he prayed of those gracious maidens that a leech to his
        wounds should see,                                           390
    Or one who was skilled in healing, 'But if yet I must face
        the strife,
    Go ye hence, give me here my helmet, and gladly I'll guard my
    But they spake, 'Nay, the strife is over, Sir Knight, send us
        not away,
    Yet one shall go, and the guerdon of messenger win
    To the four queens shall she betake her, and shall say that
        thou livest still,                                           395
    And a chamber shall they prepare thee, and leechcraft with
        right goodwill,
    And with salves shall thy wounds be tended, and so mild shall
        their working be
    That thy pain shall be swiftly lessened, and healing be
        brought to thee!'
    Then one of the maids sprang swiftly, and she ran with no
        halting tread,
    With the news that the knight was living straightway to the
        court she sped.                                              400
    'In sooth shall he be so living, if ever it be God's will,
    Rich in joy may we be henceforward and glad without fear of
    For naught but good help he needeth,' 'Dieu Merci!' then
        quoth they all.
    Then the old queen wise her maidens did straightway around
        her call,
    And she bade them a bed prepare him, and a carpet she spread
        before,                                                      405
    And a fire on the hearth burnt brightly, and precious the
        salves they bore.
    And the queen with wisdom mixed them for the healing of cut
        or bruise.
    In that hour from among her women four maids did Arnivé
    And she bade them disarm the hero, and his harness bear soft
    And with wisdom should they deal with him lest he feel
        himself shamed alway.                                        410
    'A silk shall ye bear about ye, in its shadow the knight
    If yet he can walk he may do so, if else, bear him in your
    To where I by the bed await him, for his couch will I rightly
    If the strife in such wise hath fallen that no deadly wound
        he bear,
    Then I think me I soon may heal him, but if wounded he be to
        death                                                        415
    Then cloven our joy--with the hero are we slain tho' we yet
        draw breath!'

    And all this was done as she bade them, disarmed was the
        knight Gawain,
    Then they led him where help they gave him who well knew to
        ease his pain.
    And of wounds did they find full fifty, or perchance they
        were even more,
    But the darts had not pierced too deeply since ever his
        shield he bore.                                              420
    Then the queen in her wisdom took her warm wine, and a sendal
    And Dictam, the herb of healing, and she wiped with her hand
        so true
    The blood from his wounds, and she closed them, and the flow
        of the life-blood stayed.
    And wherever his helm was indented the stones on his head had
    Sore bruises, yet they must vanish 'fore the salves and their
        healing power,                                               425
    And the master-skill of Arnivé who tended him in that hour!

    And she quoth, 'Ease I well may give thee, whiles Kondrie
        doth come to me,
    And all help that may be in leechcraft of her friendship she
        telleth free.
    Since Anfortas so sore doth suffer, and they seek aid from
        far and near,
    This salve shall from death have kept him, from Monsalväsch
        'twas brought me here.'                                      430
    When Gawain heard she spake of Monsalväsch, then in sooth was
        he glad at heart,
    For he deemed it was near--Then this hero, who ne'er had in
        falsehood part,
    Spake thus to the queen, 'Now, Lady, my senses that far were
    Hast thou won back again, and mine anguish I ween hast thou
    What of strength shall be mine, or of wisdom, I owe to thine
        hand alone,                                                  435
    Thy servant am I!' But the queen spake, 'Sir Knight, thou
        such faith hast shown
    That we all must rejoice in thy welfare, and strive for it
    But follow my rede, nor speak much, a root will I give to
    That shall win thee refreshing slumber, thou shalt care not
        for drink or meat
    Till the night, then such food I'll bring thee thou shalt
        need not ere morn to eat.'                                   440

    Then a root 'twixt his lips she laid there, and straightway
        he fell asleep,
    And throughout the day he slumbered, and in coverings they
        happed him deep.
    Rich in honour and poor in shaming, soft and warm, there in
        peace he lay,
    Yet he sneezed, and at whiles he shivered, for the salve
        wrought on him alway.
    And a company of fair women passed within and without the
        door,                                                        445
    And fair was the light of their faces, and stately the mien
        they bore.
    And she bade them, the Queen Arnivé, that silence they all
        should keep,
    None should call, and no maiden answer, so long as the knight
        should sleep.
    And she bade them fast close the palace, nor burger, nor
        squire, nor knight,
    Should hear what had there befallen till the dawn of the
        morning light.                                               450

    But new sorrow drew nigh to the women--The knight slept till
        even grey,
    Then Arnivé the queen in her wisdom drew the root from his
        lips away.
    And straightway he woke, and he thirsted, and they brought
        him of drink and meat,
    And he raised himself and, rejoicing, as they brought him so
        would he eat:
    And many a maid stood before him, such fair service he ne'er
        had known,                                                   455
    So courteous their mien and bearing--then he looked at them
        one by one
    And he gazed at each and the other, yet still his desire was
    On the lady Orgelusé, for ne'er saw he woman yet,
    In all the days of his lifetime, who so near to his heart did
    Tho' many his prayer had hearkened, and _some_ did their love
        deny!                                                        460
    Then out spake the gallant hero to Arnivé, his leech so wise,
    'Lady, 'twill ill beseem me, nor deal I in courteous guise,
    If these ladies stand here before me, I would they might
        seated be,
    Or if such be thy will it were better shouldst thou bid them
        to eat with me!'
    'Nay, Sir Knight, none I ween may sit here save I, the queen,
        alone,                                                       465
    And shamed would they surely hold them were such service not
        gladly done,
    For our joy shalt thou be; yet I think me that if this be thy
        will indeed,
    Whate'er shall be thy commandment, we will give to thy words
        good heed.'
    But nobly born were those ladies, and their courtesy did they
    For all with one voice they prayed him he would e'en let the
        thing be so,                                                 470
    And while he should eat they would stand there; so waited
        they on the guest
    And passed hence when the meal was ended and Gawain was laid
        to rest.




In Book XII. the poet recounts the valiant deeds done by Gawain's
kinsmen for love's sake, and how they were as naught to the
dared by Gawain.

Of the watch-tower in the castle, and the magic pillar, and how
beheld the coming of Orgelusé and her knight.

How Gawain fought with and overcame the Turkowit, and how he was
urged by Orgelusé's mockery to the venture of the Perilous Ford.
How he plucked a bough from a tree guarded by King Gramoflanz,
was challenged by that monarch to single combat. Of the
of Orgelusé, and her reconciliation with Gawain, and how both
welcomed by the dwellers in Château Merveil. How Gawain secretly
        sent a
squire to the court of King Arthur bidding him, his knights and
to Ioflanz to witness the combat between Gawain and Gramoflanz.

                                BOOK XII


    Now he who his rest had broken, if rest he perchance might
    Methinks they who hear the story had counted it him for sin.
    For, e'en as the venture telleth, sore toil had the hero
    And in sooth did he face such peril that his fame thro' all
        lands hath flown.
    Lancelot on the sword-bridge battled, and Meljakanz must sue
        for grace,                                                     5
    Yet as naught was I ween his danger to the woe that Gawain
        must face.
    And that which is told of Garel, the valiant and knightly
    Who o'erthrew the lion 'fore the palace and made Nantes with
        his daring ring--
    And he sought the knife too, Garel, but he paid for his deed
        full dear
    In the pillar of marble--greater was the venture ye read of
        here!                                                         10
    For the darts that were shot against Gawain, as his manly
        courage bade,
    For a mule were too great a burden if they all on its back
        were laid!
    The Perilous Ford hath its dangers; and Erec must sorrow
    When for Schoie-de-la-kurt he battled, and Mabonagrein would
        fain lay low,
    Yet ne'er had he faced such peril as fell here to knight
        Gawain.                                                       15
    Nor Iwein, the gallant hero, who water would pour amain,
    Nor feared of the stone the venture--Were these perils all
        knit in one,
    He who knoweth to measure danger saith Gawain greater deeds
        had done!

    What peril is this I tell of? If ye will, I the woe will
    Or too early perchance the telling? Swift-foot Orgelusé came,     20
    And straight to the heart of the hero hath she taken her
        silent way,
    That heart that hath ne'er known trembling, that courage hath
        ruled alway.
    And how came it so stately lady might hide in so small a
    For narrow I ween was the pathway that led to her
    And all sorrow he knew aforetime was as nought to this bitter
        woe,                                                          25
    And a low wall it was that hid her when his heart did her
        presence know
    In whose service he never faltered, but was watchful as he
        was true.
    Nor find ye here food for laughter, that one who ne'er terror
    A hero so brave in battle, should yield to a woman's hand.
    Alas! woe is me for the marvel that no man may understand!        30
    And Frau Minne she waxeth wrathful 'gainst him who the prize
        hath won,
    Yet dauntless and brave hath she found him, and shall find
        him, till life be done.
    Who harm on a wounded foeman shall work doth his honour
    Yet in strength 'gainst his will did Love bind him, and it
        turnèd to him for gain.

    Frau Minne, wouldst have men praise thee? Then this will I
        say to thee,                                                  35
    This strife shall be not to thine honour, since sore wounded
        Gawain shall be.
    And ever throughout his life-days has he lived as thou didst
    And he followed in this his father, and the men of his
        mother's land.
    For they yielded thee loyal service since the days Mazadan
        was king,
    Who Terre-de-la-Schoie from Fay-Morgan in thy service did
        gallant bring.                                                40
    And this do men tell of his children, no man from his fealty
    And Ither of Gaheviess bare it, thy badge, and he served thee
    And never in woman's presence did one speak of the hero's
    But their hearts yearned in love towards him, and they spake
        it, nor thought it shame,
    How then when they looked upon him? Then the tale first was
        told aright!                                                  45
    Frau Minne, a faithful servant didst thou lose in that
        gallant knight!

    Slay Gawain if thou wilt, as his cousin Ilinot by thine hand
        was slain,
    Since thy power with the bitter torment of desire did the
        knight constrain,
    Till he strove for the love of his lady all the days of his
        fair young life,
    Florie of Kanedig was she, and he served her in many a
        strife.                                                       50
    And he fled from the land of his fathers in the days of his
        youth's unrest,
    And was reared by this queen, and Britain ne'er saw him but
        as a guest.
    And the burden of Love weighed on him, and from Florie's land
        he fled,
    Till the day that in true love's service, as I told ye, men
        found him dead.
    And often the kin of Gawain thro' love have known sorrow
        sore,                                                         55
    And of those by Frau Minne wounded could I name to ye many
    And why did the snow and the blood-drops move Parzival's
        faithful heart?
    'Twas his _wife_ wrought the spell, I think me! Yea, others
        have known thine art,
    Galoes and Gamuret hast thou vanquished, and in sooth hast
        thou laid them low,
    And the twain for their true love's guerdon must the death of
        a hero know.                                                  60
    And Itonjé, Gawain's fair sister, must love Gramoflanz the
    And grieve for her love; and sorrow, Frau Minne, thou once
        didst bring
    On fair Surdamur and her lover: since thou sufferest not
        Gawain's kin
    To seek them another service, so on him wouldst thou honour

    Be mighty towards the mighty but here let Gawain go free,         65
    His wounds they so sorely pain him, and the hale should thy
        foemen be!
    But many have sung of love's working who never so knew love's
    For myself, I would hold me silent--But true lovers shall
        mourn this hour
    What chanced unto him of Norway, for the venture he faced
        right well,
    And now, without help or warning, love's tempest upon him
        fell!                                                         70

    Quoth the hero, 'Alas, for restless my resting-place shall
    One couch did so sorely wound me, and the other hath brought
        to me
    Sore torment of love and longing! Orgelusé must favour show
    Unto me her true knight and servant, or small joy shall my
        life-days know!'
    As unresting he turned, and he stretched him, the bands from
        his wounds were torn,                                         75
    So restless he lay and wakeful awaited the coming morn.
    And at last the day shone on him, and many a battlefield
    And sword-strife more rest had brought him than the rest
        which his couch might yield.

    Would one liken his woe unto Gawain's, and be e'en such a
        lover true,
    Of his love-wounds let him be healèd, and then smitten by
        darts anew,                                                   80
    And methinks he shall find that the sorrow and torment shall
        vex him more
    Than all the sum of the sorrow he hath borne for love's sake

    Nor love's torments alone vexed Gawain--Ever clearer it grew,
        the light,
    Till dark seemed the lofty tapers that erstwhile had shone so
    Then up sprang from his couch the hero, and as blood, and as
        iron, red                                                     85
    With wounds, and with rust, was his linen, yet beside him he
        saw outspread
    Hosen and shirt of woollen, and the change pleased our hero
    And robes lined with fur of the marten, and a garment that
        o'er them fell,
    (In Arras its stuff was woven, and from Arras 'twas hither
    And boots had they lain beside it, none too narrow for his
        content.                                                      90

    In these garments anew he clothed him, and forth from the
        chamber went
    Gawain, and hither and thither his steps thro' the palace
    Till he found the hall of his venture, no riches he e'er had
    To liken unto the glories within this fair castle shown.
    And there at one side of the palace a narrow dome he found,       95
    And it rose high above the building, and a staircase within
        it wound,
    And above stood a shining pillar; nor of wood was it shapen
    But so large and so strong that the coffin of Kamilla it well
        might bear.
    And Klingsor, the wise, he brought it from the kingdom of
    And his cunning and skill had fashioned both the hall and the
        stair I wis!                                                 100

    No tent might so round be fashioned; did the Master Geometras
    To raise such a work he had failèd, for unknown to his hand
        the skill.
    'Twas magic alone that wrought it--The venture it bids us
    Of diamond, amethyst, topaz, carbuncle with red-fire glow,
    Of chrysolite, emerald, ruby, and sardius, the windows tall,     105
    That each one like to the other encircled this wondrous hall.
    And rich as the window columns, and carven, the roof
    And herein was a greater marvel than all marvels ye yet have

    For, the vault below, no pillar was like to that column fair
    That stood in the midst of the circle, and wondrous the power
        it bare,                                                     110
    For so the venture telleth--Gawain fain would gaze around,
    And alone did he climb the watch-tower, and precious the
        jewels he found.
    And he saw there a greater wonder, and the sight never vexed
        his eye,
    For he thought him upon the column all the lands of the earth
        did lie.
    And he saw the countries circle, and the mighty mountains'
        crest                                                        115
    Meet, e'en as two hosts in battle, as one vision the other
    And folk did he see in the pillar, and on horse or afoot they
    They ran, and they stood: in a window he sat him on seeing

    Came the agèd Queen Arnivé, with Sangivé her child, and there
    Were two maidens, the gentle daughters that Sangivé erewhile
        did bear.                                                    120
    And the four queens they came unto Gawain, and he saw them
        and sprang upright;
    And thus quoth the Queen Arnivé, 'Methinks thou shouldst
        sleep, Sir Knight,
    For though rest may no longer please thee, thou art wounded
        too sore, I trow,
    That thou further toil and labour shouldst yet for a season
    Quoth the knight, 'Lady mine and my mistress, since thy
        wisdom hath brought to me                                    125
    My wit, and my strength, all my lifetime thy servant I fain
        would be!'

    Quoth the queen, 'If I so may read them, the words thou didst
        speak but now,
    And thou ownest me as thy mistress, then Sir Knight, to my
        bidding bow,
    And kiss at my will these ladies, as thou mayest, without
        thought of shame,
    Since nor mother nor maid before thee but a kingly birth may
        claim!'                                                      130
    Then glad was Gawain at her bidding, and he kissed those
        ladies three,
    And Sangivé was first, then Itonjé, and the third was the
        fair Kondrie.
    And the five sat them down together, and Gawain saw those
        maidens twain,
    Their face and their form so gracious, and he looked, and he
        looked again;
    Yet one woman so worked upon him, for yet in his heart she
        lay,                                                         135
    That their beauty by Orgelusé's he deemed but a cloudy day.
    For he held with the Lady of Logrois none other might well
    And his heart and his thoughts were captive to this lady so
        sweet and fair.

    Now 'twas done, and Gawain had been greeted with a kiss by
        those ladies three,
    And so fair were they all that I wot well their beauty would
        fatal be                                                     140
    To a heart that was yet unwounded--Then he spake to the elder
    And he prayed her to tell of the pillar, and the marvels he
        there had seen.

    Quoth Arnivé, 'By day and by night-time that pillar, I ween,
        doth throw
    Its light for six miles around it, so long as its power I
    And all that within that circuit doth chance on its face we
        see,                                                         145
    In water, or on the meadow, and true shall the vision be.
    The bird and the beast we see here, the guest and the woodman
    He who to this land is a stranger, or its ways of aforetime
    Yea, all may we find within it, and it shineth for six miles
    And so fast and so firm it standeth none moveth it from the
        ground,                                                      150
    And no hammer shall ever harm it, and no smith hath, I ween,
        the skill.
    'Twas stolen from Queen Sekundillé, I think me, against her

    Now Gawain he saw at this moment on the column a goodly pair,
    A knight with a lady riding, and he thought him the maid was
    And clearly and well he saw them--and armed were both steed
        and knight,                                                  155
    And his helmet was plumed and jewelled, and it gleamed in the
        morning light.
    And they rode at a hasty gallop thro' the defile out on the
    Tho' I wot well he little knew it, yet they rode but to seek

    And they came by the self-same pathway that Lischois he rode
    The proud knight whom Gawain had vanquished, and in joust
        from his charger bore.                                       160
    And the lady she held the bridle of the knight who to joust
        would ride,
    And the sight to Gawain brought sorrow, and swiftly he turned
    And behold! 'twas no lying vision, for without on the grassy
    By the river rode Orgelusé, and a knight at her side drew
    E'en as hellebore within the nostril pierceth sharp, and a
        man doth sneeze,                                             165
    Thro' his eye to his heart came the Duchess, and she robbed
        him of joy and ease!

    Alas! I wot well 'gainst Frau Minne all helpless shall be
    Then he looked on the knight who rode there, and he spake to
        the queen again,
    'Lady, a knight I see there, who rideth with well-aimed
    Nor will cease from the goal he seeketh--Well! I ween he may
        find it here,                                                170
    Since he craveth some deed of knighthood I am ready with him
        to fight,
    But say, who shall be the maiden?' she quoth, ''Tis the lady
    Who is Duchess and queen of Logrois,--Now 'gainst whom doth
        she bear ill-will?
    For the Turkowit rideth with her, and unconquered shall he be
    With his spear such fame hath he won him, as were riches for
        kingdoms three,                                              175
    And against a hand so valiant 'twere best not to venture
    For strife is it all too early, and thou shalt be hurt too
    And e'en wert thou whole I should rede thee to strive with
        him nevermore!'
    Quoth Gawain, 'If indeed I be lord here then he who so near
        shall seek
    Deeds of knighthood, shall shame mine honour if vengeance I
        fail to wreak.                                               180
    Since he lusteth for strife, O Lady, thou shalt give me mine
        armour here!'
    Then the ladies, the four, bewailed them with many a bitter
    And they quoth, 'Wilt thou deck thy glory? wilt thou greater
        honour know?
    Strive not now, shouldst thou fall before him then greater
        shall wax our woe.
    But e'en if thou be the victor, if thou girdest thine harness
        on                                                           185
    Thou must die who so sore art wounded, and with thee are we
        all undone!'

    Gawain, he was sorely anguished, and the cause have ye heard
    For he counted himself dishonoured by the coming of such a
    And his wounds, they must sorely pain him, yet love's torment
        it vexed him more,
    And the grief of these four fair ladies, and the love they
        towards him bore.                                            190
    Then he bade them to cease from weeping, and harness and
        sword he craved,
    And his charger; and those fair women they led forth the hero
    And he bade them go forth before him, and adown the steps
        they wind
    To the hall where the other maidens so sweet and so fair they

    Then Gawain for his perilous journey was armed 'neath the
        light of eyes                                                195
    Tear-dimmed, and they secret held it, and none knew save the
        merchant wise.
    And they bade him the steed make ready, and the hero he
        slowly stept
    To the place where his charger waited--nor light on its back
        he leapt,
    But scarcely his shield might he carry, for in sooth was he
        wounded sore.
    And thro' centre and rim was it piercèd, and traces of battle
        bore!                                                        200

    Then again he bestrode his charger, and he turned from the
        Burg away,
    And he rode to his host so faithful; and never he said him
    But all that he asked he gave him, a spear both strong and
    (Many such had, I ween, been his tribute from that plain
        where they jousted true,)
    Then Gawain bade him ship him over, in a ferry they sought
        the shore,                                                   205
    And the Turkowit, who high courage and the thought of sure
        victory bore;
    For so well against shame was he armèd that ill-deeds from
        before him fled,
    And his fame was so high accounted, that they made of the
        sward their bed
    Who would ride a joust against him--From their charger they
        needs must fall,
    And of those who had faced his valour, his spear had
        o'erthrown them all.                                         210
    And this was the rule of the hero, that by spear-thrust, and
        no sword-blade,
    Would he win to him fame in battle, or his honour be
        prostrate laid.
    And to him who should face his onslaught, and o'erthrow him,
        the self-same day
    Would he yield, nor defend him further, but would give him
        his pledge straightway.

    And thus heard Gawain the story from him who the pledge did
        hold,                                                        215
    For his pledge Plippalinòt took there, when the tale of the
        joust was told.
    Did one fall while the other sat still, with goodwill of the
        heroes twain
    Did he take that which one must forfeit, and the other
        methinks should gain,
    Of the charger I speak, hence he led it, for he deemed they
        enough had fought.
    Who was victor, and who the vanquished, from the Burg were
        the tidings brought,                                         220
    For the women, they looked on the jousting, and many a
        conflict saw.
    Then he bade Gawain seat him firmly, and the charger he led
        to shore,
    And his shield and his spear he gave him--and the Turkowit
        swiftly came
    As one who his joust can measure, nor too high nor too low
        his aim.
    And Gawain turned his horse against him--of Monsalväsch,
        Gringuljet,                                                  225
    And it answered unto the bridle, and his spear 'gainst the
        foe he set.

    Now forward!--the joust be ridden--Here rideth King Lot's
        fair son,
    Undaunted his heart--Now know ye where the helm hath its
        fastening won?
    For there did his foeman strike him; but Gawain sought
        another aim,
    And swift thro' the helmet's visor with sure hand the
        spear-point came,                                            230
    And plain to the sight of all men was the fate of the joust
        that day,
    On his spear short and strong the helmet from his head Gawain
        bare away,
    And onward it rode, the helmet! But the knight on the grass
        lay low,
    Who was blossom and flower of all manhood till he met with
        such mighty foe.
    But now he in joust was vanquished, and the jewels from his
        helm were seen                                               235
    To vie with the dew on the herbage and the flowers on the
        meadow green.
    And Gawain, he rode back unto him, and his pledge did he take
        that day,
    And the boatman he claimed the charger, who was there should
        say him Nay?

    Thou art joyful, and yet hast small reason,' spake the lady
        of Gawain's love,
    (As of old were her words of mocking,) 'Since wherever thy
        shield doth move                                             240
    The lion's paw doth follow--And thou thinkest fresh fame to
    Since the ladies have looked on thy jousting---Well thou
        mayst in thy bliss remain,
    Since the Lit Merveil hath dealt gently and but little harm
        hath wrought!
    And yet is thy shield all splintered as if thou hadst bravely
    Thou art doubtless too sorely wounded to yearn for a further
        fray?                                                        245
    And such ill to the 'Goose' be reckoned, that I called thee
        but yesterday.
    So eager wert thou to vaunt thee, as a sieve hast thou
        piercèd thro'
    Thy shield, one would deem it riddled with the darts that
        toward thee flew.
    But _to-day_ mayst thou well shun danger--If thy finger shall
        wounded be
    Ride hence to the maids of the castle, for well will they
        care for thee!                                               250
    Far other strife were _his_ portion, to whom I a task would
    Did thine heart yet yearn for my favour, and thou wouldst in
        my service live!'

    Quoth Gawain to the Duchess, 'Lady, tho' deep were my wounds
        I trow
    They ere this have found help and healing--If such help I
        from thee might know
    That thou, gracious, wouldst own my service, no peril would
        be so great,                                                 255
    But I, for thy love and rewarding, the issue would gladly
    Quoth she, 'Then shalt thou ride with me new honour perchance
        to gain!'
    Then rich in all joy and contentment was that valiant knight
    And the Turkowit went with the boatman, and he bade him the
        tidings bear
    To the Burg, and there pray the maidens to have of the knight
        good care.                                                   260

    And his spear it was yet unsplintered, tho' both horses they
        spurred amain
    To joust, his right hand yet held it, and he bare it from off
        the plain.
    And many a maiden saw him, and wept as he rode away.
    Quoth Arnivé, 'Our joy and comfort hath chosen to him to-day
    A joy for the eyes and a sorrow for the heart, yea, both
        flower and thorn,                                            265
    Alas! that he rides with the Duchess, since he leaveth us
        here forlorn.
    To the Perilous Ford he rideth, and his wounds sure shall
        work him ill!'
    (Maids four hundred must weep for his going, yet new tasks
        would he fain fulfil.)

    But yet tho' his wounds they pained him, his sorrow had taken
    When he looked upon Orgelusé, so fair was her mien and
        bright.                                                      270
    Then she quoth, 'Thou shalt win me a garland of fresh leaves
        from off a tree,
    And I for the gift will praise thee--If thou doest this deed
        for me
    Thou shalt find in my love rewarding!' Then he quoth,
        'Wheresoe'er it stand,
    The tree that shall bring such blessing as reward unto this
        mine hand,
    If I not in vain bemoan me, but win hearing for this my
        grief,                                                       275
    Then thy garland, tho' death it bring me, shall lack not a
        single leaf!'

    And tho' many a blossom bloomed there yet their colour it was
        as naught
    To the colour of Orgelusé, and Gawain on her beauty thought
    Till it seemed him his grief of aforetime and his anguish had
        fled away--
    And thus with her guest did she journey a space from the Burg
        that day,                                                    280
    And the road it was straight and easy, and it led thro' a
        forest fair,
    And Tamris I ween and Prisein were the names that the trees
        did bear,
    And the lord of the wood was Klingsor--Then Gawain the hero
    'Say, where shall that garland blossom which the spell of my
        grief shalt break?'

    (In sooth he had best o'erthrown her, as oft shall have
        chanced I trow                                               285
    To many a lovely lady.) Then she quoth, 'Thou shalt see the
    Whose plucking shall win thee honour!' O'er the field ran a
        deep ravine,
    And so near did they ride to the chasm that the tree from
        afar was seen.
    Then she quoth, 'Now, Sir Knight, one guardeth that tree who
        my joy hath slain,
    If thou bring me a bough from off it, no hero such prize
        shall gain                                                   290
    As from me shall be thy rewarding! And here must I hold my
    Nor further may I ride with thee; but make thou no more
    God have thee in His safe keeping! Thine horse must thou
        straightway bring
    To the gulf, and with sure hand urge it o'er the Perilous
        Ford to spring.'

    So still on the plain she held her, and on rode the gallant
        knight,                                                      295
    And he hearkened the rush of water that had riven a path with
    Thro' the plain--it was deep as a valley, and no man its
        waves might ford;
    Then Gawain spurred his steed towards it, and he sprung o'er
        the flood so broad,
    And yet but the charger's fore-feet might light on the
        further side,
    And they fell in the foaming torrent; and the lady in anguish
        cried,                                                       300
    For swift and wide was the water; yet Gawain he had strength
    Tho' heavy the weight of his armour, for he saw where there
        grew a bough
    That hung o'er the foaming torrent, and he grasped it, for
        life was dear,
    And he gained on the bank a footing, and he drew from the
        waves his spear.

    Up and down the stream swam the charger, and Gawain to its
        aid would go,                                                305
    Yet so swift was the rush of the water he followed with pain
        its flow,
    For heavy I ween his harness, and his wounds they were deep
        and sore:
    Then he stretched out his spear as a whirlpool bare the
        charger towards the shore--
    For the rain and the rush of the waters had broken a passage
    And the bank at the place was shelving, and the steed swept
        towards the side--                                           310
    And he caught with the spear its bridle, and drew it towards
        the land
    Till the hero at last might reach it and lay on the rein his

    And Gawain, the gallant hero, drew his horse out upon the
    And the steed shook itself in safety, nor the torrent as
        prize might gain
    The shield--Then he girt his charger, and the shield on his
        arm he took:                                                 315
    And if one weepeth not for his sorrow methinks I the lack may
    Tho' in sooth was he in sore peril--For love he the venture
    For the fair face of Orgelusé, his hand to the bough he
    And I wot, 'twas a gallant journey, and the tree it was
        guarded well,
    He was _one_, were he _twain_, for that garland his life must
        the payment tell.                                            320
    King Gramoflanz, he would guard it, yet Gawain he would pluck
        the bough.
    The water, men called it Sabbins, and the tribute was harsh
    That Gawain would fetch when both charger and knight did the
        wild waves breast.
    Tho' the lady was fair, _I_ had wooed not! To shun her
        methinks were best.

    When Gawain erst the bough had broken and its leaves in his
        helm did wave,                                               325
    Uprode a knight towards him, and his bearing was free and
    Nor too few were his years nor too many; and in this he his
        pride had shown,
    What evil so e'er befell him he fought not with _one_ alone,
    _Two_ or more must they be, his foemen! So high beat his
        gallant heart,
    That whate'er _one_ might do to harm him unscathed might he
        thence depart.                                               330
    To Gawain this son of King Irôt a fair 'good-morrow' gave,
    'Twas King Gramoflanz--'To the garland that doth there in
        thine helmet wave
    I yield not my claim!' thus quoth he, 'Sir Knight, were ye
        _two_ I trow,
    Who here for high honour seeking had reft from my tree a
    I had greeted ye not, but had fought ye, but since thou alone
        shalt be,                                                    335
    Thou canst ride hence, for strife unequal I deem it a shame
        to me!'

    And Gawain, too, was loth to fight him, for no armour the
        king did wear,
    And naught but a yearling falcon he did on his white hand
    (And the sister of Gawain gave it, Itonjé the maid was
    His headgear in Sinzester fashioned was of peacock's plumage
        bright,                                                      340
    And green as grass was the mantle of velvet that wrapped him
    And with ermine lined, and on each side it swept even unto
        the ground.

    None too tall yet strong was the charger on which the king
        did ride,
    From Denmark by land they brought it, or it came o'er the
        waters wide.
    And the monarch he rode unarmèd, nor even a sword would bear.    345
    Quoth King Gramoflanz, 'Thou hast foughten, if thy shield may
        the truth declare,
    For but little unharmed remaineth, and it seemeth sure to me
    That the "Lit Merveil" was thy portion, and this venture hath
        fallen to thee!'

    'Now hast thou withstood the peril that myself I were fain to
    Had not Klingsor been ever friendly, and warfare with her my
        share                                                        350
    Who in Love's strife is ever victor, since her beauty doth
        win the day;
    And she beareth fierce wrath against me, and in sooth hath
        she cause alway!
    Eidegast have I slain, her husband, and with him I slew
        heroes four;
    Orgelusé herself, as my captive, I thence to my kingdom bore,
    And my crown and my land would I give her, yet what service
        my hand might yield,                                         355

    Of all would she naught, but with hatred her heart 'gainst my
        pleading steeled.
    And a whole year long I held her, and a whole year long I
    Yet never she hearkened to me, and ever my love gainsaid.
    And thus from my heart I bemoan me, since I know that her
        love to thee
    She hath promised, since here I meet thee, and death wouldst
        thou bring to me.                                            360
    If with _her_ thou hadst hither ridden, perchance had I here
        been slain,
    Or perchance ye had died together--such guerdon thy love
        might gain!'

    'And my heart other service seeketh, and mine aid lieth in
        thine hand,
    Since here thou hast been the victor thou art lord o'er this
    And if thou wilt show me kindness help me now a fair maid to
        win                                                          365
    For whose sake my heart knoweth sorrow, to King Lot is she
        near of kin,
    And no maiden of all earth's maidens hath wrought me such
        grief and pain!
    Her token I bear--I prithee, if thou seest that maid again
    Swear thou to her faithful service--I think me she means me
    And for her sake I fight, for her favour I many a peril dare;    370
    For since with true words Orgelusé her love hath denied to
    Wherever for fame I battled, whate'er might my portion be,
    Of joy or of grief, _she_ hath caused it, Itonjé, for whom I
    Yet alas! I have ne'er beheld her! Now do me this grace, Sir
    If aid thou art fain to give me, then take thou this golden
        ring,                                                        375
    And unto my lovely lady, I prithee, the token bring.
    Thou art free from strife, I fight not till thou bring with
        thee two or more.
    What honour were mine if I slew thee? I ever such strife

    'Yet in sooth I can well defend me, as a man should,' quoth
        knight Gawain,
    'Thou thinkest small fame will it bring thee if I here at
        thine hand be slain,                                         380
    But what honour shall _I_ have won me by breaking this bough,
        I pray?
    For none will account it glory if I slay thee unarmed to-day!
    But yet will I do thy message--Give me here the finger-ring,
    And thy sorrow of heart, and thy service, I will to thy lady
    Then the king he thanked him freely--But Gawain he quoth in
        this wise,                                                   385
    'Now tell me, Sir Knight, who may he be who doth conflict
        with me despise?'

    'An thou count it me not for dishonour,' quoth the king,
        'here my name be told,
    King Irôt he was my father, who was slain by King Lot of old.
    And King Gramoflanz do men call me, and my heart doth such
        valour know
    That never, for evil done me, will I fight with but one for
        foe,                                                         390
    Saving one man alone, hight Gawain, of _him_ have I heard
        such fame
    That to fight with him I am ready, and vengeance from him I
    For his father he dealt with treason, in fair greeting my
        father slew,
    Good cause have I here for mine anger and the words that I
        speak are true.
    Now dead is King Lot, and Gawain, his fame o'er all knights
        stands high                                                  395
    Of the Table Round, and I yearn still till the day of our
        strife draw nigh.'

    Then out quoth King Lot's son dauntless, 'Wouldst pleasure
        thy lady still,
    If indeed she shall be thy lady, and dost speak of her father
    And reckonest to him false treason, and her brother art fain
        to slay!
    Then indeed must she be false maiden if she mourn not thy
        deeds alway!                                                 400
    If true daughter she were, and sister, for the twain would
        she surely speak,
    And forbid thee, methinks, thine hatred on kinsmen so near to
    If so be that thy true love's father hath broken his troth,
        yet thou
    Shouldst, as kinsman, avenge the evil that men spake of the
        dead, I trow!
    His _son_ will not fear to do so, and little methinks he'll
        care                                                         405
    If small aid in his need he findeth from the love of his
        sister fair.
    He, himself, will be pledge for his father, and his sin be
        upon _my_ head,
    For Sir King, I who speak am Gawain, and thou warrest not
        with the dead!
    But I, from such shame to free him, what honour be mine or
    In strife will I give to the scourging ere thou slander my
        father's name!'                                              410

    Quoth the king, 'Art thou he whom I hated with a hatred as
        yet unstilled?
    For alike with both joy and sorrow thy valour my soul hath
    And _one_ thing in thee doth please me, that at last I may
        fight with thee,
    And I rede thee to wit that great honour in this hast thou
        won from me,
    Since I vowed but to fight with thee only--And our fame shall
        wax great alway,                                             415
    If many a lovely lady we bring to behold the fray.
    For I can bring fifteen hundred, and thou art of a fair host
    At Château Merveil; and on thy side thine uncle can others
    From the land that he rules, King Arthur, and Löver its name
        shall be,
    And the city is Bems by the Korka, as well shall be known to
        thee.                                                        420
    There lieth he now with his vassals, and hither can make his
    In eight days, with great joy; so I bid thee to meet me the
        sixteenth day,
    When I come, for my wrong's avenging, to Ioflanz upon the
    And the pay for this garland's plucking I there from thine
        hand shall gain!'

    Then King Gramoflanz prayed of Gawain to ride unto Rosche
        Sabbin,                                                      425
    'For nearer methinks than the city no way o'er the flood
        thou'lt win!'
    But out quoth the gallant Gawain, 'I will back e'en as erst I
    But in all else thy will I'll follow.' Then they sware them
        by their fair fame
    That with many a knight and lady at Ioflanz they'ld meet for
    On the chosen day, and alone there would battle for death or
        life.                                                        430

    And on this wise Gawain he parted for awhile from the noble
    And joyful he turned his bridle, and the bough decked his
        helm so bright.
    And he checked not his steed, but spurred it to the edge of
        the gulf once more,
    Nor Gringuljet missed his footing, but he sprang well the
        chasm o'er,
    And he fell not again, the hero--Then the lady she turned her
        rein                                                         435
    As he sprang to the ground, and tightened the girths of his
        steed again,
    And swiftly to give him welcome, I ween, she to earth did
    And low at his feet she cast her, and she spake, 'I such need
        did bring
    Upon thee, Sir Knight, as I wot well was more than thy worth
        might ask,
    And yet have I felt such sorrow, for the sorrow of this thy
        task,                                                        440
    And the service that thou hast done me, as I deem she alone
        doth know
    Who loveth in truth, and, faithful, doth weep o'er her
        lover's woe!'

    Then he quoth, 'Is this truth, and thy greeting be not
        falsehood in friendly guise,
    Then _thyself_ dost thou honour, Lady! For in this shall I be
        so wise
    That I know a knight's shield claimeth honour, and thou didst
        against knighthood sin,                                      445
    For so high doth it stand that from no man methinks doth he
        mocking win,
    Who as true knight hath ever borne him--This, Lady, I needs
        must say,
    Whoever had looked upon me had known me for knight alway,
    Yet knighthood thou wouldst deny me when first thou my face
        didst see,
    But henceforth that may rest--Take this garland I won at thy
        will for thee,                                               450
    But I bid thee henceforth beware thee that never thy beauty
    Shall again in such wise mislead thee to dishonour a gallant
    For I wot, ere such scorn and mocking again at thine hand I
    Thy love thou shouldst give to another, I would ask for it

    Then she spake as she wept full sorely, that lady so sweet
        and fair,                                                    455
    'Sir Knight, did I tell unto thee the woe that my heart doth
    Thou wouldst own that full sore my sorrow--If I shall
        discourteous be,
    Then he whom I wrong may forgive me of true heart with
        forgiveness free.
    For of such joy no man can rob me as the joy that I lost
    In that knight of all knights the bravest, Eidegast, who knew
        naught of guile!                                             460
    So brave and so fair my true love, his fame was as sunlight's
    And for honour he strove so truly that all others, in this
        his day,
    Both here and afar, born of woman, they owned that his praise
        stood high
    O'er that of all men, and no glory might e'er with his glory
    A fountain, for aye upspringing, of virtue, his gallant
        youth,                                                       465
    And falsehood ne'er shamed his honour nor darkened the light
        of truth.
    Into light came he forth from the darkness, and his honour
        aloft he bore,
    That none who spake word of treason might reach to it
    From the root in a true heart planted it waxed and it spread
    Till he rose o'er all men as Saturn doth high o'er the
        planets reign.                                               470
    And true as the one-horned marvel, since the truth I am fain
        to tell,
    The knight of my love and desiring,--for whose fate maids may
        weep full well,
    Thro' its virtue I ween it dieth--And I, I was as his heart,
    And my body was he! Ah! woe is me, that I must from such true
        love part!
    And King Gramoflanz, _he_ slew him, the knight thou but now
        didst see,                                                   475
    And the bough thou hast brought unto me from the tree of his
        ward shall be.'

    'Sir Knight, did I ill-entreat thee, I did it for this alone,
    I would prove if thine heart were steadfast, and my love
        might to thee atone.
    I know well my words did wound thee, yet they were but to
        prove thee meant,
    And I pray thee, of this thy goodness, be thine anger with
        pity blent,                                                  480
    And forgive me the ill I did thee. I have found thee both
        brave and true,
    As gold that is tried in the furnace shineth forth from the
        flame anew,
    So, methinks, doth it shine, thy courage. He, for whose harm
        I brought thee here,
    As I thought me afore, and I think still, his valour hath
        cost me dear.'

    Quoth Gawain, 'If awhile death spare me, such lesson I'll
        read the king                                                485
    As shall put to his pride an ending, and his life in sore
        peril bring.
    My faith as a knight have I pledged him, hereafter, a little
    To meet him in knightly combat, nor our manhood shall we
    And here I forgive thee, Lady, and if thou wilt not disdain
    My counsel so rough, I'll tell thee wherewith thou mayst
        honour gain,                                                 490
    What shall 'seem thee well as a woman, nor in aught shall
        unfitting be,
    Here we twain are alone, I pray thee show favour and grace to
    But she quoth, 'In an arm thus mail-clad but seldom I warmly
    Yet would I not strive against thee, thou shalt on a fitting
    Win rewarding for this thy service--Thy sorrow will I bemoan,    495
    Till thou of thy wounds art healèd and all thought of thine
        ill be flown;
    To Château Merveil I'll ride with thee.' 'Now waxeth my joy
    Quoth the hero, of love desirous, and he lifted her on her
    And close clung his arm around her: 'twas more than she
        deemed him worth
    When first by the spring she saw him, and mocked him with
        bitter mirth.                                                500

    Then joyful Gawain he rode hence; yet the lady she wept
    And he mourned with her woe, and he prayed her the cause of
        her grief to say,
    And in God's Name to cease from weeping! Then she quoth, 'I
        must mourn, Sir Knight,
    Because of the hand that slew him, the knight of my love, in
    For that deed to my heart brought sorrow, tho' I naught but
        delight had known                                            505
    When Eidegast's love rejoiced me; yet was I not so o'erthrown
    But since then I might seek his mischief, whatever the cost
        might be,
    And many fierce jousts have been ridden that were aimed at
        his life by me.
    And here, methinks, canst thou aid me, and avenge me on him,
        my foe,
    And repay me for this sore sorrow that my heart doth for ever
        know.'                                                       510

    'For the winning his death I took gladly the service he
        proffered me,
    A king, who of earthly wishes the master and lord should be,
    Sir Knight, he was named Anfortas--As his love-pledge to me
        he sent
    That which standeth without thy portals, from Tabronit it
        came, that tent,
    And great I ween is its value--But alas! for that gallant
        king,                                                        515
    Such reward did he win in my service as all joy to an end
        must bring
    Where fain I my love had given, there must I fresh sorrow
    For bitter indeed was his guerdon!--As great, or e'en
        greater, woe
    Than the death of Eidegast brought me, was my lot thro'
        Anfortas' fate.
    Now say, how shall I, of all women most wretched, in this
        estate,                                                      520
    If my _heart_ yet be true, be other than of senses and mind
    Yea, at times have I been beside me when I on Anfortas
    After Eidegast did I choose him, my avenger and love to be--
    Now hearken and hear how Klingsor won that booth thou
        erewhile didst see:
    When it fell so the brave Anfortas, who this token had sent
        to me,                                                       525
    Was of love and of joy forsaken, then I feared lest I shamed
        should be;
    For Klingsor, such power he wieldeth by the force of his
        magic spell,
    That maiden or man to his purpose can he force as shall
        please him well.
    All gallant folk that he seeth, unharmed may they ne'er go
    Thus my riches to him I proffered, if so be he sware peace
        with me.                                                     530
    And he that should brave the venture, and he that should win
        the prize,
    To _him_ I my love should offer; but if so be that in his
    My love were a thing unworthy, the booth should be mine
    But now hast thou done my bidding, and it falleth unto us
    And 'twas sworn in the ears of many, for thereby I hoped to
        lure                                                         535
    My foe (yet in this I failèd) for the strife he might ne'er

    'Now courtly and wise is Klingsor; for his honour it pleased
        him well
    That many a deed of knighthood, at my will, in his land
    By the hand of my valiant servants, with many a thrust and
    All the week, every day as it passes, and the weeks into
        years do grow,                                               540
    My troops in their changing order beset him by night and day,
    For at great cost my snares so cunning for Gramoflanz did I
    And many have striven with him, yet must him as victor own;
    Yet I still for his life am thirsting, and at last shall he
        be o'erthrown.
    And some were too rich for my payment, and but for my love
        would serve,                                                 545
    Then I bid them for _that_ do me service, but reward did they
        ne'er deserve.'

    'And never a man beheld me but his service I swiftly won,
    Save _one_, and he bare red armour; to my folk he much ill
        had done,
    For hither he rode from Logrois, and he there did my knights
    In such wise that they fell before him, and it pleased me but
        ill I trow.                                                  550
    And, between Logrois and thy meadow, five knights they
        followed fair,
    And he cast them to earth, and their chargers the boatman
        from thence must bear.
    Then as he my knights had vanquished, I myself did the hero
    For my love and my land to serve me, but naught would that
        red knight say,
    Save he had a wife who was fairer, and should aye to his
        heart be dear.                                               555
    Then wroth was I at his answer, and the name of his wife
        would hear:
    "Wouldst thou know the name of my chosen?--She reigneth at
    And _Parzival_ all men call me, and naught for thy love I
    Other sorrow the Grail doth give me!" Then in anger he rode
    Now, I prithee, here give me counsel, if evil I did that day,    560
    When I, by heart-sorrow driven, proffered love to that
        gallant knight?
    Should I count my fair fame dishonoured?' Quoth Gawain to
        that lady bright,
    'A gallant knight is he, truly, who thus thy desire hath
    Had he to thy bidding hearkened no fame thou thro' him hadst

    Then Gawain, the courteous hero, and the lady his rein
        beside,                                                      565
    Gazed lovingly on each other--and so far on their way did
    That they drew anear to the castle, where the venture
        erewhile befell,
    And they who looked forth might see them---'Now, Lady,
        'twould please me well
    If thou do this thing that I ask thee, from all men my name
    Which the knight who once stole my charger aloud in thine
        hearing told.                                                570
    But do this that I say, if any shall pray thee to tell my
    Say, "I know not the name of my true knight, none spake it
        when here he came."'
    Then she quoth, 'I will keep it secret, since thou wouldst
        not 'twere spoken here.'
    And the knight and the lovely lady they rode to the Burg

    Now the knights they had heard of the coming of one who, with
        valiant hand,                                                575
    Faced the venture, and slew the lion, and the Turkowit dared
    Yea, and had in fair joust o'erthrown him; and now on the
        flowery plain,
    The meadow of strife, rode the hero, and they looked on the
        knight Gawain,
    From the battlements could they see him; and the forces
        together draw;
    And with ringing blast of trumpet they pass thro' the castle
        door,                                                        580
    And rich banners on high were tossing, and their steeds o'er
        the plain they flew,
    And he deemed that they came for battle, so swift they
        towards him drew.
    As Gawain from afar might see them to the lady he spake
    'Do they come here with thought of battle?' But she quoth,
        'They are Klingsor's men,
    From afar have they seen thy coming, and they ride their new
        lord to greet,                                               585
    With joy would they bid thee welcome! Refuse not this honour
    Since 'tis gladness that doth constrain them.' There, too, in
        a vessel fair
    Plippalinòt  came to meet them, and his daughter with him did
    And swift o'er the flowery meadow the maiden towards them
    And joyful she hailed the hero for whom she aforetime wept.      590

    Then Gawain gave her courteous greeting, and stirrup and foot
        she kissed,
    And she turned her to Orgelusé, nor the lady her welcome
    And she prayed him to 'light from his charger the while that
        she held the rein,
    And then to the ship she led them, the lady and knight
    And there, in the place of honour, a carpet and cushions lay,    595
    And the Duchess by Gawain sat her, as the maiden the twain
        did pray.
    And her office the maid forgat not, she disarmèd the hero
    And in sooth it is said that the mantle she did for his
        robing bear
    Which had served him that night for cover, when he did 'neath
        her rooftree lie,
    And now was the hour for its wearing and it wrapped him right
        royally.                                                     600
    So clad was Gawain in her mantle, and his own robe beneath he
    And the harness he laid from off him on one side the maiden

    And now as they sat together for the first time the lady fair
    Might look on his face and know him--Then unto the twain they
    Two game-birds that well were roasted, and with them a flask
        of wine,                                                     605
    And two cakes did the maiden bring them on a cloth that was
        white and fine--
    The birds were the prey of the falcon--but Gawain and his
        lady bright
    Must seek water themselves, if to wash them ere they ate here
        should seem them right,
    And this did the twain; and joyful was the knight that he now
        might eat
    With her, for whose sake he would suffer joy, or sorrow, as
        seemed her meet.                                             610
    And oft as the cup she gave him that her sweet lips had
        touched, anew
    Sprang his joy that he thus drank with her, and his sorrow
        behind him drew,
    And it halted nor might o'ertake him, and his gladness on
        swift foot sped,
    So fair was her mouth and so rosy her lips that from grief he

    And no longer his wounds they pained him--Then the ladies
        from out the tower                                           615
    They looked on the feast, and below them there rode in the
        self-same hour,
    On the further side of the river, brave knights who would
        show their skill.
    And the boatman alike and his daughter Gawain thanked with
        right goodwill,
    Ere yet he might ferry them over, and the lady spake with him
    For the food and the drink they had brought them--Then out
        quoth the lady fair,                                         620
    'Now what hath that knight befallen, who yestreen, ere I rode
    Was o'erthrown in a joust by another? Was he slain, or doth
        live alway?'

    Quoth the boatman, 'He liveth, Lady, and he spake but this
        day with me,
    He was given to me for his charger: if thy will be to set him
    In his stead will I have the "swallow" that Queen Sekundillé
        sent                                                         625
    To Anfortas, be thine the hero, with the harp were I well

    'Both the harp and the other riches that the booth may within
        it hold,'
    Quoth the lady, 'are his who sits here, he may give them, or
        aye withhold,
    Let him do as he will! If he love me, Lischois he methinks
        will loose,
    Nor freedom unto the other, my prince, will he here refuse.      630
    Florand of Itolac is he, of my night-watch was he the chief,
    And as he as Turkowit served me, so his sorrow shall be my

    Quoth Gawain to his lovely lady, 'Ere it weareth to eventide
    Thou shalt look on the twain in freedom!' Then they came to
        the further side,
    And the Duchess, so fair to look on, he lifted upon her
        steed,                                                       635
    And many a noble horseman were waiting them on the mead,
    And greeting fair they gave them; and they turned to the Burg
    And joyful they rode around them and skilful they drew the
    And the Buhurd was fair to look on--What more shall I tell ye
    Gawain, and his lovely lady, at the castle they found good
        cheer,                                                       640
    In such wise did the ladies greet them at Château Merveil
        that day,
    And good fortune had here befallen that such bliss should be
        his alway.
    Then Arnivé she straightway led him to a chamber, and they
        who knew
    Of such lore his hurts they tended, and they bound up his
        wounds anew.

    Quoth Gawain unto Arnivé, 'Give me, Lady, a messenger!'          645
    Then straightway she sent a maiden, and the maid brought
        again with her
    A footman, both true and manly, as behovèd him well to be.
    And an oath did he swear unto Gawain, to serve him right
    And, were it for joy or for sorrow, his errand to secret hold
    From all men, both there and elsewhere, till he came where it
        might be told.                                               650
    Then they brought to him ink and parchment, and Gawain, King
        Lot's fair son,
    Wrote clear with his hand the message, and thus did the
        writing run--
    To them who abode in Löver's fair country, King Arthur brave
    And his queen, with a faith unstainèd, true service and good
        he gave;
    And he said, had he fame deservèd, and they would not his
        praise were slain,                                           655
    They should come to his aid in his trouble, and show to him
        truth again,
    And with following of knights and ladies to Ioflanz their way
        should wend,
    Where he came himself, and his honour would in mortal strife
    And further, this thing he told them, the foemen on either
    Had pledged themselves in all honour and pomp to the field to
        ride;                                                        660
    And therefore he, Gawain, prayed them, both lady alike and
    If they bare goodwill towards him, with their king to behold
        the fight.
    For so should it be to their honour. He commended him to them
    Who were of his service worthy, for the strife that should
        there befall!--

    No seal did he put to the letter, yet token enough it bare       665
    Of him who should be the writer. Quoth Gawain to the footman
    'No longer shalt thou delay thee, the king and the queen
    In the city of Bems by the Korka; seek the queen in the
    And the thing she shall bid thee, do thou. But this shalt
        thou secret hold,
    That I in this land am master shall unto no ear be told.         670
    Nor of this thing be thou forgetful, that thou shalt my
        servant be,
    And do thou, without delaying, the errand I give to thee!'

    Then the footman from thence he gat him, and Arnivé she
        softly went,
    And she asked of him what was his errand? and whither his
        road was bent?
    And he quoth, 'Nay, I may not tell thee, for an oath have I
        sworn to-day,                                                675
    God keep thee, for I must ride hence!' To the army he took
        his way.




Book XIII. tells of the goodly feast that was holden in Château
Merveil, and of the wedding of Gawain and Orgelusé. How Gawain's
did his bidding; and how King Arthur and Queen Guinevere pledged
themselves to ride to Ioflanz to behold the conflict between
        Gawain and

How Gawain fared in Château Merveil; and how Arnivé told him the
history of Klingsor, and of his unlawful love.

Of the coming of King Arthur and his host; how they fought before
Logrois; and came with great pomp to the plain of Ioflanz.

How Gawain and the dwellers in Château Merveil followed to the
of the goodly camp prepared for them; of the wonder of the court
Kay's jealousy; and how the four queens were made known to King

                               BOOK XIII


    Then wrathful, I ween, was Arnivé that the messenger said her
    Nor told her aught of his errand, nor whither his journey
    And in this wise she quoth to the porter, 'Now, whatever the
        hour may be,
    Be it day, be it night, when he cometh, send tidings thereof
        to me,
    In secret would I speak with him; thou art wise, as full well
        I know!'                                                       5
    Yet wroth was she still with the footman--Then she would to
        the Duchess go,
    And win from her lips the answer, but ready was she of wit,
    And the name that he bare, her hero, her mouth spake no word
        of it.
    Gawain he would have her silent, in her hearing his prayer
        found grace,
    And she spake not, nor might Arnivé learn aught of his name
        and race.                                                     10

    Then the sound as of many trumpets thro' the hall of the
        palace rang,
    And joyful the blasts--Then rich carpets around on each wall
        they hang,
    And no foot but fell on a carpet would it tread on the palace
    A poor man had surely feared him for the riches that there he
    And many a couch they stood there, around the stately hall,       15
    Soft were they as down, and rich cushions they laid upon each
        and all.

    But Gawain with his toil was wearied, and he slept tho' the
        sun was high,
    And his wounds, with such skill they bound them, tho' his
        love should beside him lie,
    And he in his arms should hold her, he had gotten no hurt I
    And sounder his daylight's slumber than his sleep of the
        night had been                                                20
    When his love had so sorely vexed him; he slept till the
        vesper bell,
    Yet still in his sleep he battled for the lady he loved so
    Then rich garments of fair silk fashioned, and heavy with
        broidered gold,
    Did the chamberlain bear unto him--Then out quoth the hero
    'More robes such as these, and as costly, I ween, shalt thou
        hither bear,                                                  25
    For Gowerzein's Duke shall need them, and Florand, the hero
    For in many a land hath he battled, and hath won for him
        glory's meed--
    Now see that thou make them ready, and do my behest with

    Then he prayed, by a squire, the boatman send hither the
        captive knight,
    And Lischois did he send at his bidding by the hand of his
        daughter bright.                                              30
    And the maiden Bené brought him for the love that she bare
    And the good that he vowed to her father that morn when she
        wept amain,
    And the knight he left her weeping, and rode on his toilsome
    And the highest prize of his manhood it fell to his lot that

    The Turkowit too had come there, and Gawain the twain did
        greet                                                         35
    In all friendship, and then he prayed them beside him to take
        their seat
    Till their robes should be brought unto them; and costly they
        needs must be,
    For never was fairer raiment than the garb of those heroes
    For one lived of yore named Sarant, (a city doth bear his
    From out of the land of Triande in the days that are gone he
        came.                                                         40
    In the land of Queen Sekundillé stood a city so great and
    (E'en Nineveh or Akraton with its glories might scarce
    And the city, men called it Thasmé; there Sarant won meed of
    Since he wove there a silk with cunning, _Saranthasmé_ should
        be its name.
    Think ye it was fair to look on? How might it be otherwise,       45
    For much gold must he give for the payment who would win to
        him such a prize.

    Such robes ware these two and Gawain: then they gat them unto
        the hall,
    And on one side the knights they sat them, on the other the
        ladies all,
    And he who a woman's beauty had wisdom to judge aright
    Must reckon Gawain's fair lady the first of these ladies
        bright.                                                       50
    And the host and his guests so gallant they gazed on her
        radiant glow,
    As they stood before Orgelusé; and her knights she again must
    And her Turkowit, gallant Florand, and Lischois, the young
        and fair,
    Were set free, without let or hindrance, for the love that
        Gawain must bear
    To the lovely lady of Logrois--Then their victor they thanked
        amain,                                                        55
    Who was dull to all ill, yet had wisdom in all that might
        true love gain.
    As the captives thus free were spoken, Gawain the four queens
        must see
    As they stood by the side of the Duchess, and he spake in his
    And he bade the two knights go nearer, and with kiss greet
        those ladies bright,
    The three younger queens, and joyful, I ween, was each
        gallant knight.                                               60
    And there was the maiden Bené, with Gawain had she sought the
    And I think me a joyful welcome she found there from each and

    Then the host would no longer stand there, and the twain did
        he pray to sit
    By the maidens, as best should please them, and it grievèd
        them not one whit,
    Such counsel it grieveth no man! Then the gallant Gawain
        spake,                                                        65
    'Now which of these maids is Itonjé? Beside her my seat I'ld
    Thus in secret he spake to Bené, and she showed him the
        maiden fair,
    'She, with eyes so clear and shining, and red lips, and dusky
    Wouldst thou speak with the maid in secret? Then thy words be
        wise and few:'
    Thus quoth Bené the wise in counsel, who Itonjé's love-tale
        knew,                                                         70
    And knew that King Gramoflanz loved her, and did service for
        her heart's love,
    And his faith as a knight unstainèd would fain to the maiden

    Gawain sat him by the maiden, (as I heard so the tale I
    And soft was his speech and gentle, and his words they
        beseemed him well.
    And tho' few were the years of Itonjé yet great was her
        courtesy,                                                     75
    And well did she know how to bear her as a maiden of high
    And this question he asked the maiden, if a lover she aye had
    And with wisdom she made him answer, 'To whom might my love
        be shown,
    For ne'er to a man have I spoken, since the day I first saw
        the light,
    Save the words which thou now dost hearken as I speak unto
        thee, Sir Knight!'                                            80

    'Yet mayst thou have heard the rumour of one who hath bravely
    And striven for prize of knighthood, and with dauntless heart
        hath sought
    Fair service for fair rewarding?' In such wise spake the
        knight Gawain;
    But the maiden she quoth, 'Nay, no hero hath striven _my_
        love to gain;
    Yon lady, the Duchess of Logrois, hath many a gallant knight      85
    Who serve her for love, or for payment, and hither they come
        to fight,
    And we of their jousts are witness, yet none shall have come
        so nigh
    As _thou_ hast, Sir Knight, and this conflict thy glory hath
        raised on high!'

    Then he quoth to the lovely maiden, 'Whose pathway shall she
        have crossed
    With many a chosen hero? Say, who hath her favour lost?'          90
    'That, Sir Knight, hath the valiant monarch, King Gramoflanz,
        he who bore
    From aforetime the crown of honour; so men say, and _I_ know
        no more!'

    Quoth Gawain, 'Thou shalt know more of him, since he draweth
        the prize anear,
    And with steadfast heart doth he seek it; from his lips I
        this tale did hear--
    Of true heart would he do thee service, if such service shall
        be thy will,                                                  95
    And help at thine hand he seeketh that thy love may his
        torment still.
    It is well that a king face peril, if his lady shall be a
    And _thou_ art the maid whom he loveth, if King Lot hath thy
        father been;
    Thou art she for whom his heart weepeth, if thy name shall
        Itonjé be,
    And sorrow of heart dost thou give him--By my mouth would he
        plead with thee.'                                            100

    'Now if thou be true and faithful of his woe wilt thou make
        an end,
    And _both_ would I serve right gladly--This ring he to thee
        doth send,
    I prithee to take it, Lady! In sooth do I mean thee well,
    And if thou wilt trust unto me no word of the tale I'll
    Then crimson she blushed, the maiden, and e'en as her lips
        were red                                                     105
    So red grew her cheek, yet the blushes as they came so they
        swiftly sped.
    And she stretched forth her hand so shyly toward the little
        ring of gold,
    For e'en at a glance she knew it, and her hand did the token

    Then she spake, 'Now, Sir Knight, I see well, if I freely to
        thee may speak,
    That thou comest from him, whom, desiring, my heart doth for
        ever seek.                                                   110
    My words shalt thou still hold secret, as courtesy biddeth
    This ring have I seen aforetime, for it oft hath been sent to
    From the hand of the king it cometh, and I know it for token
    From my hand did he first receive it. What sorrow so e'er he
    Of that do I hold me guiltless; what he asked, that in
        thought I gave,                                              115
    Had we met I had ne'er withholden the boon he from me did

    'This day have I kissed Orgelusé, who thinketh his death to
    I ween 'twas the kiss of Judas which all men count to him for
    And honour and faith forsook me, when the Turkowit, brave
    And Gowerzein's Duke, fair Lischois, I kissed here at thy
        command.                                                     120
    From my heart I might not forgive them, for my true love they
        hate alway--
    But speak thou no word to my mother.' Thus the maiden Gawain
        did pray.

    'Sir Knight, it was _thou_ didst pray me to take from their
        lips this kiss,
    Tho' no will for forgiveness had I, and my heart sickeneth
        sore for this!
    If joy shall be e'er our portion, our help in thine hand
        shall be,                                                    125
    And I know well, above all women, the king he desireth me;
    And his will shall he have, for I love him o'er all men on
        earth that live--
    God send thee good help and good counsel, that joy thou to us
        mayst give!'

    Quoth Gawain, 'How may that be, Lady? He beareth thee in his
    And in thine dost thou ever hold him, and yet are ye twain
        apart.                                                       130
    If I knew how to give thee counsel that ye twain might in
        gladness dwell,
    Of a sooth no pains would I spare me such rede unto thee to
    Then she quoth, 'Yet in truth shalt thou rule us, myself, and
        my gallant king,
    And naught but thy help and God's blessing our love to its
        goal may bring,
    So that I, poor homeless maiden, his sorrow may put away,        135
    For his joy shall be set upon me! If so be I from truth ne'er
    What other can I desire here, or for what shall my true heart
    Save to give him the love he asketh, and his grief unto
        gladness turn?'

    Gawain, he saw well that the maiden would fain to her love
    Yet her hatred towards the Duchess as aforetime was fierce
        and strong;                                                  140
    Thus hatred and love did she bear here, and wrong had he done
        the maid
    Who thus, of a true heart simply, her plaint had before him
    Since never a word had he told her how one mother had borne
        them both,
    And King Lot he had been their father--Then he answered her,
        little loth,
    He would do what he might to aid her, and in secret with
        gracious word                                                145
    She thanked him who brought her comfort, and her sorrow with
        kindness heard.

    Now the hour it was come, and they brought there for the
        tables fair linen white,
    And bread did they bear to the palace unto many a lady
    And there might ye see a severance, for the knights they sat
        by one wall,
    Apart from the maids; and their places Gawain gave to each
        and all.                                                     150
    And the Turkowit sat beside him, and Lischois ate with
    (And that fair queen was Gawain's mother,) and Orgelusé by
    And Gawain set his lovely sister by his side at that festal
    And all did as he bade them gladly, for he was that castle's

    My skill not the half doth tell me, no such master-cook am I,    155
    That I know the name of the viands they offered them
    The host, and each one of the ladies, their servers were
        maidens fair,
    To the knights who sat over against them many squires did
        their portion bear.
    For this was the seemly custom, that no squire, in his
        serving haste,
    Brushed roughly against a maiden, but ever apart they paced--    160
    And whether 'twas wine, or 'twas viands, they offered unto
        the guests,
    In naught was their courtesy harmèd, for so did men deem it

    And a feast they to-day must look on such as no man before
        had seen,
    Since vanquished by Klingsor's magic both lady and knight had
    Unknown were they yet to each other, tho' one portal it shut
        them in,                                                     165
    And never a man and a maiden might speech of each other win;
    And a good thing Gawain he thought it that this folk should
        each other meet,
    And much he rejoiced in their gladness, and his own lot it
        seemed him sweet;
    Yet ever he looked in secret on his lady and love so fair,
    And his heart it waxed hot within him, and love's anguish he
        needs must bear.                                             170

    But the day drew near to its closing, and faint waxed the
        waning light,
    And fair thro' the clouds of heaven gleamed the messengers of
        the night,
    Many stars so bright and golden, who speed on their silent
    When the night would seek for shelter in the realm of
        departing day;
    And after her standard-bearers, with her host doth she
        swiftly tread--                                              175
    Now many a fair crown golden in the palace hung high
    And with tapers they all were lighted around the stately
    And they bare unto every table a host of tapers tall;
    And yet the story telleth that the Duchess she was so fair,
    That ne'er was it night in her presence tho' never a torch
        were there!                                                  180
    For her glance was so bright and radiant it brought of itself
        the day;
    And this tale of fair Orgelusé full oft have I heard men say.
    He had spoken, methinks, untruly who said that he e'er had
    A host so rich and joyous, and joyous his guests, I ween;
    And ever with eager gladness each knight and each gentle maid    185
    Looked well on each other's faces, nor shrank from the glance
    If friendship they here desirèd, or each other would better
    Then naught of their joy would I grudge them, methinks it
        were better so!

    Tho' I wot well there none was a glutton, yet still had they
        ate their fill,
    And they bare on one side the tables, and Gawain asked, with
        right goodwill,                                              190
    If here there should be a fiddler? and many a gallant squire
    Was skilled on the strings, and gladly would play at the
        host's desire,
    Yet were they not all too skilful, and the dances were old
    Not new, as in fair Thuringia the dances they know to-day.

    Then they thanked their host who, joyful, would give to their
        joy its vent,                                                195
    And many a lovely lady in his presence danced well content,
    For goodly their dance to look on, and their ranks, with many
        a pair
    Of knight and lady, mingled, and grief fled from their faces
    And oft 'twixt two gentle maidens might be seen a noble
    And they who looked well upon them in their faces might read
        delight.                                                     200
    And whatever knight bethought him, and would of his lady pray
    Reward, if for love he served her, none said to his pleading
    Thus they who were poor in sorrow, and rich in joy's fairest
    With sweet words, by sweet lips spoken, made gladsome the
        passing hour.

    Gawain and the Queen Arnivé, and Sangivé, the dance so fleet     205
    Would look on in peace, for they danced not; then the Duchess
        she took her seat
    By the side of Gawain, and her white hand he held in his own
        a while,
    And they spake of this thing and the other, with many a
        glance and smile;
    He rejoiced that she thus had sought him, and his grief it
        waxed small and faint,
    And his joy it grew strong and mighty, nor vexed him with
        sorrow's plaint.                                             210
    And great was the joy of the lady o'er the dance, and the
        merry feast,
    Yet less was the sorrow of Gawain, and his joy o'er her joy

    Then spake the old Queen Arnivé, 'Sir Knight, now methinks
        'twere best
    That thou get thee to bed, for sorely, I ween, shall thy
        wounds need rest
    Has the Duchess perchance bethought her to care for thy couch
        this night,                                                  215
    And tend thee herself, with such counsel and deed as shall
        seem her right?'
    Quoth Gawain, 'That thyself mayst ask her; I will do as shall
        please ye twain!'
    Then the Duchess she spake in answer,  'He shall in my charge
    Let this folk to their couch betake them, I will tend in such
        sort his rest
    That never a loving lady dealt better by gallant guest;          220
    And the other twain, my princes, in the care of the knights
        shall be,
    Florand, and the Duke of Gowerzein, for so seemeth it good to

    In short space the dance was ended, and the maidens in beauty
    Sat here and there, and between them sat many a gallant
    And joy took her revenge on sorrow, and he who so sweetly
        spake                                                        225
    Words of love, from his gentle lady must a gracious answer
    Then the host must they hear, as he bade them the cup to the
        hall to bear,
    And the wooers bemoaned his bidding; yet the host he wooed
        with them here,
    And he bare of his love the burden, and the sitting he deemed
        too long,
    For his heart by love's power was tortured with anguish so
        fierce and strong.                                           230
    And they drank the night-drink, and sadly to each other they
        bade goodnight,
    And the squires they must bear before them full many a taper
    And the two gallant guests did Gawain commend to them each
        and all,
    And glad were the knights, and the heroes they led forth from
        out the hall.
    And the Duchess, with gracious kindness, wished fair rest to
        the princes twain,                                           235
    And then to their sleeping chambers forth wended the maiden
    And as their fair breeding bade them, at the parting they
        curtseyed low:
    Queen Sangivé and her fair daughters they too to their rest
        would go.

    Then Bené, the maid, and Arnivé, they wrought with a willing
    That the host he might sleep in comfort, nor the Duchess
        aside did stand,                                             240
    But she aided the twain, and Gawain was led of the helpers
    To a chamber fair where his slumber that even should joyful
    Two couches alone did he see there, but no man to me hath
    Of their decking, for other matters, I ween, doth this story

    Quoth Arnivé unto the Duchess, 'Now, Lady, think thou how
        best                                                         245
    This knight whom thou broughtest hither, shall beneath this
        roof-tree rest,
    If aid at thine hand he craveth, to grant it shall honour
    No more would I say, save this only, his wounds they shall
        bandaged be
    With such skill he might bear his armour--But if he bemoan
        his grief
    Then methinks it were good and fitting that thou bring to his
        woe relief.                                                  250
    If thou wakest anew his courage, then we all in his gladness
    Now think thou no ill of my counsel, but have for thy knight
        good care!'
    Then the Queen Arnivé left them, (yet leave had she craved
    And Bené she bare the taper, and Gawain he made fast the

    If the twain to their love gave hearing? The tale how should
        I withhold,                                                  255
    I would speak, were it not unseemly that love's secrets aloud
        be told,
    For courtesy doth forbid it; and he who would tell the tale
    Worketh ill to himself, o'er love's dealings true hands ever
        draw the veil.

    Now betwixt his love and his lady had the joy of Gawain waxed
    An the Duchess would have no pity, then healing might ne'er
        befall.                                                      260
    They who sat in the seat of the wise men, and knew many a
        mystic word,
    Kancor, and Thèbit, and Trebuchet, the smith who Frimutel's
    Once wrought, ('twas a wondrous weapon, and men of its
        marvels tell)--
    Nay, all the skill of physicians, tho' they meant to the hero
    And plied him with roots well mingled--Had a _woman_ ne'er
        sought his side,                                             265
    Then vain were their skill, in his torment methinks had he
        surely died!

    Fain would I make short the story, he the rightful root had
    That helped him unto his healing, and the chain of his grief
    And brought light in the midst of his darkness--(Breton by
        his mother's side
    Was Gawain, and King Lot his father) thus the healing task he
        plied,                                                       270
    And sweet balsam for bitter sorrow was his lot till the dawn
        of day.
    Yet that which had wrought him comfort it was hid from the
        folk alway,
    But all there, both knights and ladies, they beheld him so
        gay and glad
    That their sorrow was put far from them and their heart was
        no longer sad.
    Now list how he did the message whom Gawain he had sent afar,    275
    Yea unto the land of Löver, unto Bems by the fair Korka,
    For there he abode, King Arthur, and his lady, the gracious
    With fair maids and a host of vassals; this the lot of the
        squire had been.

    'Twas yet in the early morning, when his message he fain had
    And the queen, in the chapel kneeling, on the page of her
        psalter thought;                                             280
    Then the squire bent his knee before her, and he gave her a
        token fair,
    For she took from his hand a letter, and the cover must
        writing bear
    That was writ by a hand she knew well, ere yet she the name
        might know,
    From the squire, of him who had sent him, as she looked on
        him kneeling low.
    Then the queen she spake to the letter, 'Now blessed that
        hand shall be                                                285
    That wrote thee; for care was my portion since the day that
        mine eyes might see
    The hand that hath writ this writing'--She wept, yet for joy
        was fain,
    And she quoth to the squire, 'Of a surety thy master shall be

    'Yea, Lady, he truly offers true service as aye of yore,
    With never a thought of wavering, yet his joy it shall suffer
        sore,                                                        290
    If so be thou wilt not upraise it; and never it stood so ill
    With his honour as now it standeth--And more would he tell
        thee still,
    In joy shall he live henceforward if comfort he gain from
    And I wot that yet more shall be written than what thou hast
        heard from me.'

    Then she quoth, 'I have truly read there the cause that hath
        brought thee here,                                           295
    And service I think to do him with many a woman dear,
    Who to-day shall I ween be reckoned to have won to them
        beauty's prize--
    Save Parzival's wife and another, Orgelusé, in all men's
    Thro' Christendom none shall be fairer--Since far from King
        Arthur's court
    Gawain rode, sore grief and sorrow have made of my life their
        sport.                                                       300
    And Meljanz de Lys hath told me he saw him in Barbigöl--
    Alas!' quoth the queen, 'that ever mine eyes saw thee,
    What sorrow did there befall me! Since that day might I never
    Kunnewaare of Lalande, she hath left me, my friend and
        companion sweet.
    And the right of the good Round Table was broken by words of
        scorn,                                                       305
    And four years and a half and six weeks have left us, I ween,
    Since the Grail Parzival rode seeking; and after him rode
    To Askalon--Nor Jeschuté nor Hekuba come again
    Since the day that they parted from me, and grief for my
        friends so true
    Hath driven my peace far from me, nor joy since that day I
        knew!'                                                       310
    And the queen spake much of her sorrow: then the squire would
        her counsel know,
    'Now do thou in this my bidding, in secret thou hence shalt
    And wait till the sun be higher, and the folk all at court
        shall be,
    Knights, servants, and gentle ladies, and vassals of all
    And then to the court ride swiftly, nor think who shall hold
        thy steed,                                                   315
    But spring from its back, and hasten where the king shall thy
        coming heed.
    They will ask of thee news of venture, but thou, do thou act
        and speak
    As one who from peril flieth, whom the flames would devouring
    And they may not prevail to hold thee, nor win from thy lips
        the tale,
    But press thou thro' them to the monarch, and to greet thee
        he will not fail.                                            320
    Then give to his hand the letter, and swiftly from it he'll
    Thy tale, and thy lord's desiring; I doubt not the prayer
        he'll heed!'

    'And this will I further rede thee, make thou thy request to
    Where I sit, and, amid my ladies, thy dealings may hear and
    And beseech us, as well thou knowest, for thy lord wouldst
        thou hearing gain.                                           325
    But say, for as yet I know not, where abideth the knight
    'Nay,' quoth the squire, 'I may not, ask not where my lord
        doth dwell,
    But think, an thou wilt, that good fortune is his, and he
        fareth well!'
    Then glad was the squire of her counsel, and he took from the
        queen his way
    In such wise as ye here have hearkened, and he came, e'en as
        she did say.                                                 330

    For e'en at the hour of noontide, not in secret but openly
    He came to the court, and the courtiers his garments eyed
    And they thought that they well beseemed him, and were such
        as a squire should wear,
    And his horse on each flank was wounded, where the spurs they
        had smitten fair.
    And, e'en as the queen had taught him, he sprang straightway
        unto the ground,                                             335
    And a crowd of eager courtiers pressed, thronging, his steed
    Mantle, sword, and spurs, e'en his charger might be lost, he
        would little care
    But he gat thro' the crowd to the heroes, and the knights
        they besought him there,
    Brought he news of some gallant venture? For the custom was
        aye of yore,
    That they ate not, nor man nor maiden, save unto the court
        they bore                                                    340
    The news of some deed of knighthood, and the court might
        claim its right,
    If so be 'twas a worthy venture, and one that beseemed a
    Quoth the squire, 'Nay, I naught may tell ye, for my haste
        doth not brook delay,
    Of your courtesy then forgive me, and lead to the king the
    For 'tis meet that I first speak with him, and mine haste it
        doth work me ill;                                            345
    But my tale shall ye hear, and God teach ye to aid me with
        right goodwill!'

    And so did his message urge him he thought not on the
        thronging crowd,
    Till the eyes of the king beheld him, and greeting he spake
    Then he gave to his hand the letter that bade to King
        Arthur's heart,
    As he read it, two guests, joy and sorrow, alike there the
        twain had part                                               350
    And he spake, 'Hail! the fair day's dawning, by whose light I
        have read this word,
    And of thee, O son of my sister, true tidings at last have
    If in manhood I may but serve thee as kinsman and friend, if
    Ever ruled my heart, 'twill be open to the word that Sir
        Gawain saith!'

    Then he spake to the squire, 'Now tell me if Sir Gawain be
        glad at heart?'                                              355
    'Yea, sire, at thy will, with the joyful I ween shall he have
        his part,'
    (And thus quoth the squire in his wisdom,) 'yet his honour he
        sure shall lose,
    And no man fresh joy may give him, if thine aid thou shalt
        here refuse.
    At thy succour his gladness waxeth, and from out of dark
        sorrow's door
    Shall grief from his heart be banished, if thou hearken his
        need so sore.                                                360
    As of yore doth he offer service to the queen, and it is his
    That the knights of the good Round Table as their comrade
        account him still,
    And think on their faith, nor let him be 'spoiled of his
        honour's meed,
    But pray thee his cry to hearken, and make to his aid good

    Quoth King Arthur, 'Dear friend and comrade, bear this letter
        unto the queen,                                              365
    Let her read therein, and tell us why our portion hath
        twofold been,
    And at one while we joy and we sorrow. How King Gramoflanz is
    In the pride of his heart, and his malice, to work ill to my
        knight, Gawain;
    He thinketh for sure that my nephew shall be Eidegast, whom
        he slew,
    Thence grief hath he won; deeper sorrow I'ld teach him, and
        customs new!'                                                370

    Then the squire he would pass where a welcome so kindly he
        did receive,
    And he gave to the queen the letter, and many an eye must
    And with crystal tears run over, as with sweet lips she read
        so clear
    The words that within were written, and the need of Gawain
        they hear,
    And his prayer did she read before them; nor long would the
        squire delay                                                 375
    With skill to entreat the ladies, and aid at their hand to

    King Arthur, Sir Gawain's uncle, he wrought with a hearty
    That his vassals might take the journey: nor did she abide
        her still,
    Guinevere, the wise and the courteous, for she prayed them
        make no delay,
    Her ladies, but bravely deck them, and get on their stately
        way.                                                         380
    Quoth Kay aloud in his anger, 'If ever I dared believe
    That so gallant a man as Gawain of Norway on earth should
    I would cry to him, "Come thou nearer!" Fetch him swift, else
        he swift will go,
    As a squirrel away he flasheth, and is lost ere his place ye

    To the queen quoth the squire, 'Now, Lady, my lord must I
        swiftly seek,                                                385
    His cause do I leave to thine honour!' To her chamberlain did
        she speak,
    'See thou that this squire doth rest well, and look well unto
        his steed,
    Is it hewn with spurs, find another, the best that shall
        serve his need.
    And what else beside shall fail him, for his dress, or lest
        pledge he lose,
    Make ready as he shall ask thee, and naught unto him refuse!'    390
    And she quoth, 'Thou shalt say unto Gawain, I am ever to
        serve him fain,
    Thy leave from the king will I care for, he greeteth thy lord

    Thus the king he was fain for the journey; and the feast it
        might now be served,
    Since the right of the good Round Table by this venture was
        well observed;
    And joy in their hearts awakened, since this gallant knight
        Gawain                                                       395
    Should be yet in life, and true tidings they might of his
        welfare gain.
    And the knights of that noble order, that even were glad at
    And there sat the king, and those others who had in the ring
        their part,
    And they sat and they ate with their monarch who fame by
        their strife had won,
    And the news of this gallant venture wrought joy to them
        every one.                                                   400

    Now the squire might betake him homewards, since his errand
        so well had sped,
    He gat forth at the early dawning, ere the sun should be high
    And the queen's chamberlain he gave him a charger, and robes
    And gold lest his pledge be forfeit, and glad on his way he
    For had he not won from King Arthur what should end his
        lord's sorrow sore?                                          405
    And I know not the days of his journey, but in safety he came
        once more
    To Château Merveil; then joyful was Arnivé, for as she bade
    The porter bare news of his coming, how his steed he no whit
        had stayed,
    But swiftly had done his errand. Then in secret she made her
    To where by the castle drawbridge the squire did his charger
        stay,                                                        410
    And she asked him much of his journey, and why he in haste
        must ride?
    Quoth the squire, ''Tis forbidden, Lady! my errand I needs
        must hide,
    An oath have I sworn of silence, and my lord he might well be
    If to thee I should tell the tidings, for so should I break
        mine oath,
    And a fool would he surely hold me! Ask himself what thou
        fain wouldst learn!'                                         415
    Yet she strove still with many a question from his purpose
        the squire to turn,
    Then weary was he of her pleading, and in anger this word he
    'Without cause dost thou here delay me, for I think not mine
        oath to break!'

    So he went where he found his master, and the Turkowit brave
    And Lischois, and the lady of Logrois, many ladies did with
        them stand,                                                  420
    And the squire made his way to his master, and up stood the
        knight Gawain,
    And he took him aside, and welcome he bade him in joyful
    'Now tell unto me, my comrade, the tidings thou here hast
    If thy news be for joy or for sorrow, what speak they of me
        at court?'

    'And say, didst thou find King Arthur?' quoth the squire, 'My
        master, yea,                                                 425
    The king, and the queen, and with them many brave knights I
        saw alway,
    And they offer to thee their service, and they will at thy
        bidding come,
    And they heard in such sort thy message, with such gladness,
        that every one,
    Rich and poor, as one man were joyful when I spake, thou wert
        safe and well.
    And the folk there were sure a marvel! Their number I may not
        tell!                                                        430
    And the Table Round, by thy message, was spread for the feast
        I ween;
    And if knight e'er won fame by his valour, then I wot that
        thy fame hath been
    Far greater than all who hearkened to the words that I spake
        of thee,
    And it beareth the crown o'er all others, tho' mighty their
        fame shall be!'

    Then he told him all that befell there, how he spake with the
        gracious queen,                                              435
    And the counsel she gave unto him; and how he the folk had
    Those brave knights and gentle ladies; how Gawain should
        behold their face
    At Ioflanz, before the combat, and the end of his day of
    And the sorrow of Gawain vanished, yet his joy in his heart
        he'ld hide,
    Tho' from grief did he pass to gladness; yet the squire must
        his oath abide                                               440
    And yet for a space keep silence--Forgotten was all his care,
    And thither he went, and he sat him again by his lady fair,
    And with joy he abode in the castle till King Arthur to his
    Might come with his host--Now hearken to a story of love and

    Gawain he was ever joyful; one morn did it so befall             445
    That many a knight and lady were seen in that stately hall,
    And Gawain sat apart in a window, and looked o'er the stream
        so wide,
    And with many a tale of wonder sat Arnivé the knight beside.

    To the queen spake the gallant hero, 'Ah! hearken, my Lady
    If my questions they shall not vex thee, do thou to my words
        give ear                                                     450
    And tell me the wondrous story, which as yet shall be hid
        from me--
    That I live, and my life is joyful, I owe it to none but
    Tho' my heart had the wit of manhood, yet the Duchess she
        held it fast,
    But thou in such wise hast helped me that my sorrow is
    Of my love, and my wounds had I died here, but with wisdom
        thy helpful hand                                             455
    Thou didst stretch to my aid, and hast loosed me for aye from
        my sorrow's band.
    I owe thee my life! My Lady of healing, now tell to me
    The wonder that was, and the marvel that yet in this place
        shall be.
    Say, wherefore by mighty magic hath Klingsor this palace
    For surely my life had I lost here had thy wisdom not been
        mine aid!'                                                   460

    Then out quoth the wise Arnivé, (and ne'er with such goodly
    Of womanly faith and wisdom fair youth unto old age came,)
    'Sir Knight, these are but small marvels to the marvels his
        cunning hand,
    And his skill in hidden magic, have wrought in full many a
    He who counteth it shame unto us that into his power we fell,    465
    He sinneth for sure! His doings, Sir Knight, I to thee will
    Many folk, I ween, hath he troubled, his land is Terre de
    From a wondrous race he springeth, whose marvels they aye
    For Virgil was his forefather, in Naples his spells he
    And in this wise his nephew Klingsor was to shame and to
        sorrow brought;'                                             470

    'And the chief of his towns was Capua--such high fame was
        his, I ween,
    That never in praise or in honour methinks had he shamèd
    And all folk they spake of Duke Klingsor, and praised him,
        both man and maid,
    Till in this wise he won dishonour, and his glory to earth
        was laid.
    In Sicily reigned a monarch, King Ibert, his life was blest      475
    With a fair wife, Iblis, none fairer e'er hung on a mother's
    And Klingsor would do her service, till her love should be
        his reward,
    And in shame did he win his guerdon from the hand of her
        rightful lord.'

    'If here I must tell his secret, forgiveness I first must
    For methinks it shall be a story that scarce fitteth my lips
        to say;                                                      480
    With a stroke was he made magician, with the self-same stroke
    Then loudly he laughed, Sir Gawain, as the tale he must

    'In Kalot Enbolot's castle he won him this lasting shame,
    (I trow 'tis a mighty fortress, and far lands shall know its
    With his wife did the monarch find him, there lay Klingsor
        within her arm,                                              485
    And sorely must he repent him of his slumber so soft and
    For the hand of the king avenged him in such wise as he
        deemed his right;
    And he left with his knife such token of shame on the traitor
    That henceforward the love of woman it rejoiceth him never
    And I wot well for his dishonour many folk shall have
        suffered sore.'                                              490

    '('Tis not in the land of Persia) in a city called Persida
    Were magic spells first woven; it stands in a land afar,
    And thither did Klingsor journey, and there did he learn such
    That with secrets of magic cunning he worketh whate'er he
    For the ill that was wrought his body he beareth goodwill to
        none,                                                        495
    But rejoiceth to work them evil, the more if they fame have

    'E'en such peril beset one monarch--Irôt was, I ween, his
    And Rosch-Sabbins was his kingdom--At length to such pass he
    That he bade him to take of that country what he would, so he
        peace would keep;
    Then Klingsor he took of the monarch this mountain so high
        and steep,                                                   500
    And the land for eight miles around it; on the summit did
        Klingsor rear
    The wonder-work thou seest, and this palace we look on here.
    And there faileth nor worldly riches, nor marvel of magic
    If for thirty years one besieged it, methinks 'twere
        provisioned still.
    And power doth he hold o'er all spirits, 'twixt the earth and
        the heaven above,                                            505
    Both evil and good, save those only whom God doth from his
        power remove.'

    'Sir Knight, since thy deadly peril thou hast passed, nor thy
        death hast found,
    He gives to thine hand his kingdom, this Burg, and the lands
    No claim doth he make upon it; and peace doth he promise
    This he sware in the ears of his people, and a man of his
        word is he,                                                  510
    That the knight who withstood the venture, this gift should
        be his for aye.
    And all who from Christendom's countries 'neath the spell of
        his magic lay,
    Be they woman, or man, or maiden, are thy vassals both one
        and all,
    And many from lands of paynim with us 'neath his power must
    Let this folk then now get them homewards, where yet for our
        loss they mourn,                                             515
    For to dwell in the land of the stranger, it maketh my heart
    And He, who the stars hath counted, may He teach thee to give
        us aid,
    And turn once again to rejoicing those hearts that are sore

    'A child was born of a mother, who its mother's mother shall
    For the ice it came of the water; when the sunlight shineth
        free,                                                        520
    Then nothing I ween shall hinder that water from ice be
    Of my glad youth I often think me, tho' now I must weep
    If my lot shall once more be joyful then the child from the
        child shall spring.
    And thou, art thou wise and courteous, methinks well mayst
        work this thing!'

    ''Tis long since all joy forsook me! The skiff 'neath its
        sail flies fast,                                             525
    But the man who doth sail within it hath swifter his voyage
    If thou readest aright my riddle thy fame shall wax high and
    For our joy canst thou make to blossom, and our song to ring
        clear and sweet.
    And, bringers of joy, shall we journey into many a distant
    Where the folk weep sore for our losing, and shall greet us
        with outstretched hand!'                                     530

    'Of joy had I once full measure: a crownèd queen was I!
    And my daughter amid her princes bare a crown too right
    And all men they deemed us worthy--Sir Knight, I wrought ill
        to none,
    But alike, both man and maiden, from my hand due guerdon won.
    And all men they knew, and they owned me one fit o'er the
        folk to reign,                                               535
    For I, so God gave me wisdom, ne'er brought to another pain.
    Yet she who in gladness dwelleth, tho' a fair praise she
        think to earn,
    And the prayer of the poor she hearken, yet her joy to such
        grief may turn
    That a poor lad may make her joyful--Sir Knight, here
        o'erlong I stay,
    Yet there cometh no man who doth know me, and turneth my care
        away!'                                                       540

    Then out quoth the gallant hero, 'Lady, if life be mine,
    Then gladness shall be thy portion, nor shalt thou in exile
    Now this self-same day brought the coming of Arthur the
        Breton king,
    The son of the sad Arnivé, whom kinship and faith did bring;
    And many a fair new banner Gawain from the castle saw,           545
    And the field it was thick with the horsemen who near at his
        summons draw.
    On the road that wound hence from Logrois came many a
        blazoned spear,
    And Gawain, he was glad at their coming; for delay it oft
        teacheth fear,
    Who waiteth o'erlong for succour, he doubteth 'twill come too
    From such doubt had King Arthur freed him! Ah me! how he rode
        in state!                                                    550

    Gawain, he would hold it secret, yet his eyes they were fain
        to weep,
    Little good had they been for cisterns, since the water they
        failed to keep.
    And for love must he weep, for Arthur such love had toward
        him shown,
    He had cherished him from his childhood, and had dealt with
        him as his own;
    And the twain they had never wavered, but their faith to each
        other kept,                                                  555
    And nor falsehood nor thought of doubting betwixt their two
        hearts had crept.

    But Arnivé was 'ware of his weeping, and quoth, 'Now shalt
        thou begin
    To joy with the shout of rejoicing, thus comfort we all shall
    'Gainst sorrow shouldst thou defend thee--See the host that
        now draweth nigh,
    Methinks 'tis the Duchess' army, with their coming shall joy
        wax high.'                                                   560
    Now many a tent and banner they saw wind across the plain,
    But _one_ shield did they bear before them, and Arnivé beheld
    And she knew, as of yore, the blazon, and Isayé she called
        the name
    Of the knight, he should be king's marshal, and Uther
        Pendragon came!
    But the shield it was borne by another, graceful of limb and
        tall,                                                        565
    And she said, 'He shall be _queen's_ marshal, and _Maurin_
        his name they call.'
    But little she knew, Arnivé, that dead were both king and
    And Maurin, he held the office that afore was his father's
    To the bank in the meadow of conflict rode the host--They who
        served the queen
    Found a resting-place for the ladies, and a fair camp it was
        I ween.                                                      570
    By the side of a swift, clear streamlet they set up the tents
        so fair,
    And, apart, many goodly circles for the king and his knights
    And methinks they had left behind them, wherever the host
        must ride,
    A mighty track of hoof-prints on the field and the roadways

    Gawain, by the mouth of Bené, his host Plippalinòt prayed        575
    To hold vessel and boat in safe keeping that no crossing that
        day be made.
    And the maid from the hand of Gawain took the first gift of
        his rich store,
    'Twas a swallow, the harp was costly, such as harpers in
        England bore.

    Then joyful, she sought her father, and Gawain, he gave
    To shut fast the outer portals, since a host at the gate did
        stand;                                                       580
    And old and young they listed the word that he courteous
    'On the further side of the river an army its camp doth make,
    And never, by land or by water, a mightier host I saw,
    Would they fight, then I pray ye help me my knighthood to
        prove once more!'

    With one voice did they make the promise--Then they asked of
        the Duchess fair,                                            585
    If the host should be hers? But she answered, 'Believe me, of
        all men there
    I know neither shield nor bearer; perchance he who wrought me
    Hath entered my land, and thought him to bow Logrois unto his
    He hath found it right well defended! My people might well
    From their tower and their battlements lofty, e'en such army
        as here doth lie!                                            590
    Hath he wrought there fresh deeds of knighthood, then King
        Gramoflanz sure hath thought
    To revenge himself for the garland that my knight from his
        tree hath brought.
    But whoever they be, I know well, they shall many a joust
        have seen,
    And many a spear at Logrois by mine army hath splintered

    And never a lie had she spoken--For Arthur must peril face       595
    As he rode thro' the land of Logrois; and many of Breton race
    In knightly joust had fallen--But Arthur their ill repaid
    In the self-same coin, and on both sides sore stress on the
        host was laid.

    Battle-weary, so came they hither of whom one full oft must
    That they sold their lives full dearly, and did never a
        foeman fear.                                                 600
    And either side had suffered, both Garel and Gaherjet,
    King Meljanz of Lys, and Iofreit, son of Idol, in durance set
    Ere even the end of the Tourney--From Logrois they captive
    The Duke of Vermandois, Friam, and Count Richard, he of
    Who naught but one spear had needed ere he against whom he
        rode                                                         605
    Had fallen 'neath his stroke so mighty, and no man his joust
    With his own hand King Arthur made him his captive, this
        gallant knight;
    Then, dauntless, they spurred them onward, and the armies
        they met in fight,
    And a forest, methinks, it cost them! For no man the jousts
        might know
    That were ridden, a rain of splinters fell thick at each
        mighty blow;                                                 610
    And the Bretons, they bore them bravely 'gainst the Lady of
        Logrois' host,
    And Arthur himself the rear-guard would keep at sore
        conflict's cost.
    And in this wise they fought and they vexed them through the
        hours of the livelong day,
    Till the greater part of the army outwearied with conflict

    And well might Gawain have told her, the Duchess, that to his
        aid                                                          615
    They had ridden her land, then, I wot well, no strife had
        their way delayed,
    But he would that no lips should tell her till her own eye
        the truth had seen--
    Then he dealt as should well befit him had King Arthur his
        foeman been,
    And made ready to march against him with rich tents and
        warlike gear.
    And no man of them all repented that he came as a stranger
        here,                                                        620
    For with open hand Sir Gawain his gifts upon all did shower
    In such wise that ye might have deemed well he drew nigh to
        his dying hour.
    And servant, and knight, and lady, they looked on his gifts
        so fair,
    And all, with one mouth, they praised him who brought help in
        their sore

    And all, for his sake, were joyful--Then the hero he bade
        prepare                                                      625
    Strong chargers, and well-trained palfreys, such as well
        might a lady bear.
    Nor the knights should be lacking armour--Strong squires in
        coat of mail
    Were ready to do his bidding, nor should one of their number
    And in this wise he gave his orders, four knights he aside
        did take:
    His chamberlain one; and another, cup-bearer he fain would
        make;                                                        630
    The third he would make his steward; and his marshal the
        fourth should be,
    For this was his prayer, and the four knights said 'Yea' to
        him willingly.

    At peace lay King Arthur's army, and no greeting did Gawain
    Yet I wot well it sorely grieved him! With the morning the
        host did wend,
    With the blast of many a trumpet, their way unto Ioflanz'
        plain,                                                       635
    And the rear-guard was armed, yet no foeman did they find in
        their path again.

    Then Gawain took his office-bearers, and in this wise to them
        he spake,
    The marshal, he bade him straightway to Ioflanz his way to
    'There a camp of my own prepare me--The host that thou here
        didst see
    Shall unto that plain have ridden, and its lord will I name
        to thee,                                                     640
    For 'tis well that thou too shouldst know him, he is Arthur,
        my kinsman true,
    In whose court and whose care from my childhood I unto my
        manhood grew.
    Now do this thing in which I trust thee, rule my journey in
        such a wise,
    With such riches and pomp, that my coming be stately in all
        men's eyes;
    But within the walls of this castle no word of the truth be
        told--                                                       645
    That the king for my sake cometh hither, this must thou for
        secret hold!'

    So did they as Gawain bade them, and Plippalinòt he found
    Little space had he now for leisure, since his lord was on
        journey bound.
    For large and small his vessels, both boat and skiff, must
    O'er the water, and troops well armèd, ahorse and afoot they
        bare.                                                        650
    And the marshal the squires and footmen on the track of the
        Bretons led,
    And hither and thither riding behind them the army sped.

    And they bare with them, so 'twas told me, the tent that in
        days of yore
    Fair Iblis had sent to Klingsor, as pledge of the love she
    By the sending of this love-token their secret to men was
        told,                                                        655
    And the favour they bare each other in the days that have
        waxen old.
    And no cost had they spared who had wrought it, and no better
        was ever seen
    Save the tent of Eisenhart only--Then apart on the grass so
    They set up the tent, and around it many others in goodly
    And so great was the pomp and the riches that men deemed it a
        wondrous thing.                                              660

    And they spake before King Arthur that the marshal of Gawain
    And his lord the same day would follow, and encamp him upon
        the plain.
    'Twas the talk of all the vassals--Then Gawain, from
        falsehood free,
    Rode forth from his home and there followed a goodly company.
    And their train was so richly ordered that marvels I here
        might tell!                                                  665
    With church gear and chamber hangings the pack-steeds were
        burdened well;
    And some were with harness laden, and above the harness bare
    Full many a crested helmet, and shield that was blazoned
    And many a gallant war-horse was led by the bridle rein,
    And behind them both knight and lady rode close in the
        glittering train.                                            670
    Would ye measure the length? a mile long, methinks, had it
        stretched, and more,
    And Sir Gawain, I ween, forgat not that a gallant knight
        should draw
    His rein by the side of each lady, and ever of love they
    Or one scant of wit had deemed them! And in this wise the
        road they take,
    The Turkowit, brave Florand, for companion upon his way          675
    Had the daughter of Queen Arnivé, Sangivé of Norroway,
    And Lischois, who was ne'er unready, he rode at sweet
        Kondrie's side,
    And by Gawain the maid Itonjé, his sister, perforce must
    At the same time the Queen Arnivé and the Duchess of fair
    Rode gaily the one by the other, for in such wise they made
        their choice.                                                680

    Beyond the camp of King Arthur the tents of Gawain they lay,
    And they who were fain to reach them thro' the army must take
        their way.
    'Twas a sight for all men to gaze at! Ere the folk to their
        journey's end
    Might come, of a courteous custom, to do honour unto his
    Gawain by the tent of Arthur bade the first maiden take her
        stand,                                                       685
    Then the marshal so did his office that the second, to her
        right hand,
    And the third beside the second, should unto each other ride,
    And none of them all delayed them--So made they a circle
    Here the matrons, and there the maidens, and by each of them
        rode a knight
    Who would fain do the lady service, and would for her favours
        fight.                                                       690
    And thus round the tent of the monarch stood the ladies, a
        goodly ring,
    And to Gawain, the rich in gladness, fair welcome would
        Arthur bring.

    To the ground sprang Gawain and Arnivé, and her daughters
        with children twain,
    The Lady of Logrois, and the heroes he o'erthrew on the
        grassy plain,
    Lischois and the gallant Florand; then unto those heroes
        brave                                                        695
    Stepped Arthur from his pavilion, and a kindly welcome gave;
    And the queen, she greeted Gawain, and she welcomed him and
    Of true heart, and from many a lady, I ween, was there many a

    Quoth Arthur unto his nephew, 'Say, who shall thy comrades
    Quoth Gawain, 'A kiss of greeting from my lady I fain would
        see,                                                         700
    'Twere ill an she should refuse it, for noble are both I
    Then Florand and the Duke of Gowerzein were kissed by the
        gracious queen.

    Then into the tent they gat them, and to many the fair field
    Was as if it were full of maidens, so close stood they, side
        by side.
    Then not as the heavy-footed sprang Arthur upon his steed,       705
    And he turned to the knights and the ladies in the ring with
        a kindly heed,
    And he rode from one to the other, and gracious the words he
    From the lips of the king so kindly each one must his welcome
    For this was the will of Gawain that no man from hence should
    Till he himself rode with them, but courteous his coming
        bide.                                                        710

    Then the king would dismount, and straightway he entered the
        tent again,
    And he sat him beside his nephew, and straitly he prayed
    To say who were these five ladies, whom hither the knight did
    Then Gawain he looked on the eldest and he spake to the
        Breton king,
    'Didst thou know Uther Pendragon? 'Tis Arnivé, his queen and
        wife,                                                        715
    And well mayst thou look upon her, from the twain didst thou
        draw thy life.
    And there standeth the Queen of Norway, and _I_ am the son
        she bare,
    And these twain they shall be my sisters; say, are they not
        maidens fair?'

    Ah! then once again they kissed them, and sorrow and joy were
    Of all those who looked upon them, from Love this their lot
        had been;                                                    720
    And they laughed, and they cried together, and their lips
        spake of joy and woe,
    And I ween that with tears of gladness their bright eyes must
    Then Arthur he spake to Gawain, 'Nephew, unknown to me
    Is the fifth of these lovely ladies, I prithee who may she

    'The Duchess, is she, of Logrois,' quoth Gawain in his
        courtesy,                                                    725
    'In her service have I come hither, and, so it was told to
    Thou thyself hast sought her dwelling, and how it rejoiced
        thee there,
    Thou canst without shame declare us, as a widower dost thou
    Quoth Arthur, 'She doth, as her captive, thy kinsman Gaherjet
    And Garel, who in many a conflict hath shown h'm a hero bold;    730
    From my very side was he taken, one charge had we made so
    That almost we gained the portal, when lo! from the gate did
    Meljanz of Lys! How he battled! On high flew a banner white
    And the host who fought beneath it took captive my gallant
    And the banner it bare a blazon of crimson, a bleeding heart,    735
    And right through the midst was it pierced by the shaft of a
        sable dart,
    As one who to death is smitten--'Lirivoin' was the battle-cry
    Of the army who fought beneath it, and their hand did the
        victory buy.
    My nephew, Iofreit, was taken, and grief for his sake I
    Yestreen did I keep the rear-guard, and the chance it hath
        worked me woe!'                                              740

    Sore mourned the king for his sorrow--quoth the Duchess, with
        courteous mien,
    'Sire, I speak thee free of all shaming, I had greeted thee
        not, I ween.
    Thou mayst well have wrought me evil, tho' no wrong had I
        done to thee,
    And I would that God's wisdom teach thee that harm to make
        good to me.
    The knight to whose aid thou camest, if combat with me he
        dared,                                                       745
    Hath found me, methinks, defenceless, with side to the foeman
    If yet for such strife he lusteth, nor of conflict hath had
        his fill,
    With never a sword or a weapon I think to withstand him
    Then Gawain, he quoth to King Arthur, 'Wilt thou that we fill
        the plain
    With knights? For we well can do so--I think me such grace to
        gain                                                         750
    From the Duchess that all the captives from thine host she
        will swiftly free,
    And, many a new spear bearing, her knighthood we here may
    'Yea, such were my will,' quoth Arthur; then the Duchess she
        gave command,
    And many a gallant hero she summoned from Logrois' land--
    And I wot well a host so goodly the earth ne'er had seen
        before--                                                     755
    Then Gawain, he prayed leave of the monarch, he would to his
        tent withdraw,
    And the king's will was e'en as Gawain's, and all they who
        hither rode
    With the knight, they turned their bridles, and with him in
        his camp abode.
    And his tent was so rich and so goodly, as befitted a gallant
    That afar from its costly trappings had poverty taken flight.    760

    And there rode unto his pavilion full many whose hearts were
    For the weary days since he left them, and the love they to
        Gawain bore.
    And the wounds of Kay had been healèd since he jousted by
    And he looked on the wealth of Gawain, and with envy his
        heart was full,
    And he quoth, 'Now, King Lot, his father, my monarch's near
        of kin,                                                      765
    Ne'er thought with such pomp to shame us, nor a camp of his
        own would win.'
    (For ever did he bethink him how Gawain would no vengeance
    On the knight who so sorely smote him, when his right arm in
        joust he brake,)
    'God worketh for _some_ His wonders,--Who gave Gawain this
        woman folk?'
    And the words they were scarce a friend's words that Kay in
        his anger spoke.                                             770

    Of the honour his friend hath won him the true knight is ever
    But the faithless, aloud he crieth, and his heart ever waxeth
    When the heart of his friend rejoiceth, and he needs must his
        gladness see.
    Bliss and honour had fallen to Gawain; and, if one would more
        favoured be,
    I know not what thing he may wish for! Thus ever the evil
        mind                                                         775
    Is with envy filled, while the brave man his comfort and joy
        doth find
    When honour shall seek his comrade, and shame from his face
        doth flee--
    Gawain ne'er forgat his knighthood, and from falsehood was
        ever free;
    And thus it was right and fitting that men on his bliss
        should gaze,
    And gladness and fair rejoicing henceforward should crown his
        days.                                                        780
    In what wise for the folk that followed did the knight of
        Norway care,
    Alike for his knights and ladies?  Not ill was, methinks,
        their fare.
    And Arthur and all his people they looked on King Lot's fair
    And I trow well they greatly marvelled at the riches his hand
        had won.
    Now the evening meal was ended, and 'twas time for the folk
        to sleep,                                                    785
    And little I grudge their slumber! A guard thro' the night
        they keep,
    And lo! at the early morning, ere the dawning had waxed
    Came a folk in goodly armour, and the men of Logrois were
    And they read their helmet's token by the light of the waning
    On this side lay the host of Arthur, and his camp had they
        passed full soon,                                            790
    And they came to the goodly circle where Gawain and his men
        should lie--
    And, methinks, who such gallant succour by the might of his
        hand could buy
    Were reckoned of men a hero! Then Gawain bade his Marshal
    A place for the host to camp on, but, such was their leader's
    He deemed it best that their circle apart from the rest
        should be,                                                   795
    And 'twas even the hour of noontide ere all were lodged

    Then Arthur, the noble monarch, a message would straightway
    Unto Rosche Sabbins, and the city, a squire on his way should
    To King Gramoflanz should he speak thus, 'Since conflict the
        king doth pray,
    And he lusteth to fight my nephew, the strife shall he not
        delay,                                                       800
    For Sir Gawain is fain to meet him--But bid him to meet us
    As a gallant man do we know him, were he other, 'twould cost
        him dear!'

    And the messenger of King Arthur he rode on his errand fain--
    Then forth, with Lischois and Sir Florand, rode the gallant
        knight, Gawain,
    And he prayed them to show them to him who from many a land
        afar                                                         805
    Had ridden for love's high service, and had fought in his
        lady's war.
    And he met them and gave them greeting in such wise that the
        heroes knew
    Sir Gawain for courteous lover, and faithful knight and true.

    With that again he left them, and in secret his way he sped,
    And he gat him again to his chamber, and he armed him from
        foot to head;                                                810
    He would know if his wounds were healèd so that never a scar
        should pain,
    And his limbs would he test, since so many, both maiden and
        man were fain
    To look on the strife, had they wisdom they should see if his
        dauntless hand
    Might even to-day, as aforetime, the victor's crown command.
    A squire did he bid to bring him his charger, Gringuljet,        815
    And he sprang to the saddle lightly and the horse to a gallop
    He would try both himself and his charger, if ready for
        strife the twain--
    Ah! woe is me for his journey! so rode he upon the plain,
    And so had his Fortune willed it, that a knight his bridle
    By the side of the river Sabbins, and ye know that knight so
        true,                                                        820
    And a rock, men well might call him, for manhood and courage
    And no knight might stand before him, and falsehood his heart
        did fly.
    And yet so weak was his body that no burden it bare of wrong,
    Yea, a hand's-breadth had been too heavy, and a finger-length
        too long!
    And, I ween, of this gallant hero of old time ye oft must
        hear,                                                        825
    For my tale hath come to its root-tree, and draweth its goal




BOOK XIV. tells how Parzival and Gawain met and, unknowing,
        fought with
each other, how Gawain was defeated, and of Parzival's grief when
learnt with whom he had fought.

How the combat between Gawain and Gramoflanz was deferred till
morrow; and how Parzival was welcomed at the court of King
        Arthur, and
admitted to the Brotherhood of the Round Table.

How Parzival, in Gawain's stead, fought with and overcame King
Gramoflanz, and how the latter sent messengers to King Arthur to
that none but Gawain should fight against him. Of the grief of
when she learnt how her brother would fight with King Gramoflanz,
how she prayed the aid of King Arthur.

How Arthur and Brandelidelein made peace between the Duchess and
Gawain, and of the wedding feast that was held in the camp. Of
Parzival's sorrow and longing for his wife, and how ere the dawn
        of day
he stole in secret from the court.

                                BOOK XIV


    If now the gallant Gawain a knightly joust would ride,
    Tho' never I feared for his honour yet I fear what may now
    And tho' dear be the other's safety yet never a doubt I know,
    For he who in strife would face him an army had found for
    O'er far seas, in the land of paynim, his helmet was
        fashioned fair,                                                5
    And ruby-red was his harness, and the trappings his charger
    So rode he in search of adventure, and his shield it was
        piercèd thro'--
    He had plucked for his helm a garland, and the tree where the
        garland grew
    Was the tree that Gramoflanz guarded; and Gawain knew the
        wreath again,
    And he thought, did the king here wait him it were counted to
        him for shame,                                                10
    If hither for strife he had ridden then strife there perforce
        must be,
    Tho' alone were the twain, and no lady the fate of their
        jousting see.

    From Monsalväsch they came, the chargers, which each of the
        knights bestrode,
    And they spurred them alike to a gallop, and each 'gainst the
        other rode,
    On the dewy grass of the meadow, not the sand of the Tourney
        ring,                                                         15
    Should the joust this morn be ridden; and I ween, as their
        deeds I sing,
    I had mourned for the harm of either--'Twas a fair joust they
        rode that morn,
    Of a race that fought fair and knightly was each gallant hero
    And little had been his winning, great his loss, who there
        won the prize,
    And ne'er had he ceased to mourn it, if he were in his
        calling wise.                                                 20
    For faith had they pledged to each other, nor of old time,
        nor yet to-day,
    Had their love and their truth been wounded--Now hear how
        they fought the fray:

    Swiftly they rode, yet in such wise that each knight must
        mourn his fate--
    For kinsman and knightly brethren, in strength of foeman's
    In strife had come together; and he who this joust should win     25
    His joy were the pledge of sorrow, and his deed must he count
        for sin--
    And each right hand it smote so surely that the comrades and
        foemen twain,
    With horse and with goodly harness, fell prone on the grassy
    And then in such wise they bear them, with their swords such
        blows they smite,
    That their shields are hewn and riven, and cloven in deadly
        fight.                                                        30
    And the splinters of shields, and the grass blades, were
        mingled upon the ground,
    And far other the look of the meadow ere their strife had its
        ending found;
    And too long must they wait for a daysman--'twas early when
        first they fought,
    And the hours sped by, and no man an end to their conflict

    And no man was there beside them--Will ye hear how, the
        self-same day,                                                35
    King Arthur's knights to the army of King Gramoflanz made
        their way?
    On a plain by the sea he camped him--On the one side of the
    Flowed the Sabbins, and over against it the Poinzacleins its
        ending found.
    And the plain it was strongly guarded; Rosche Sabbins the
    With towers and with walls deep-moated, defended the fourth
        side well.                                                    40
    And the host on the plain lay stretching its length for a
        mile and more,
    And half a mile broad had they deemed it--As the messengers
        toward it bore,
    Many unknown knights rode forward, archers, squires, with
        arms and spear,
    And behind them, with waving banners, did the mighty host
        draw near.

    With ringing blasts of trumpet would the army leave the
        plain,                                                        45
    That very morn to Ioflanz marched the monarch and all his
    And clear rung the ladies' bridles as they circled around the
    And, if I may tell the story, the tidings I fain would bring
    Of those who had ridden hither, and camped on the sward so
    For Gramoflanz bade them hither, and his combat they fain had
        seen.                                                         50
    If ye shall not before have heard it then here would I make
        it known,
    From Punt, the water-locked city, to his nephew's aid had
    Brandelidelein, and with him were six hundred ladies fair,
    By the side of each lovely lady her knight must his armour
    For knighthood and love would he serve her--Of Punturtois,
        the gallant knights                                           55
    Were fain for this stately journey, in sooth 'twas a noble

    And there rode, an ye will believe me, Count Bernard of
    Rich Narant had been his father, and left Uckerland to his
    And in many a ship o'er the water had he brought so fair a
    Of ladies, that none gainsaid him who would make of their
        beauty boast.                                                 60
    Two hundred of them were maidens, and two hundred already
    And if I have rightly counted 'neath his banner Count Bernard
    Five hundred knights well proven, who with him had sailed the
    And each well might face a foeman, and each should a hero be.

    Thus King Gramoflanz would wreak vengeance in strife for the
        broken tree,                                                  65
    For he deemed he should be the victor, and the folk should
        his prowess see.
    And the princes from out his kingdom, with many a valiant
    And many a lovely lady, had come to behold the fight;
    And a goodly folk were gathered--Now Arthur's men drew near,
    And they looked upon the monarch, how they found him ye now
        shall hear.                                                   70
    Of Palmât was the high seat 'neath him, and with silk was the
        couch spread o'er,
    And maidens, so fair and graceful, they knelt low the king
    And with iron hose they shod him; and high o'er the monarch's
    A silk, Ecidemon-woven, both broad and long, was spread,
    On twelve spear-shafts tall was it lifted, from the sunlight
        to be a shade--                                               75
    Then came the men of King Arthur, and this was the word they

    'Sire, King Arthur hath hither sent us, and ever hath he been
    As one whom all men have honoured, and whom all shall as
        victor own.
    Yea, honour enow is his portion--And yet wouldst thou mar his
    Since upon the son of his sister thou thinkest to bring this
        shame!                                                        80
    And e'en had Sir Gawain wrought thee worse ill by far, I
    That the fame of the great Round Table might here for a
        shield have been.
    For brotherhood all have sworn him who sit at that noble
    And stainless shall be their knighthood who own Arthur for
        king and lord!

    Quoth the king, 'The strife I sware him e'en to-day my hand
        shall dare,                                                   85
    And Gawain to-day shall face me, if well or if ill he fare.
    For this hath been truly told me, that King Arthur draweth
    With his queen, and his host of warriors; I bid them welcome
    Tho' it may be the angry Duchess shall counsel him to mine
    Yet hearken and heed, ye children, the strife shall be
        foughten still.                                               90
    For here have I many a follower, and hindered of none will
    What _one_ man can do unto me that bear I right joyfully!
    And if now I should fear to face that to which I my pledge
        have sworn,
    Of Love's service and Love's rewarding henceforward were I
    In her favour I found aforetime my life and my life's best
        bliss--                                                       95
    God knoweth how _he_ hath pleased her, she oweth me much for
    And tho' ever I did disdain me to fight with one man alone,
    Yet Gawain hath so bravely borne him that him as I my peer
        I'll own.
    And I think me I shame my manhood when such easy strife I
    And yet have I fought, believe me, (ye can ask if it seem ye
        right,)                                                      100
    With folk whom mine hand hath proven to be valiant men and
    But ne'er have I fought but _one_ man! No praise shall be
        here my due,
    From the lips of gracious women, tho' the victory be mine
    And greatly my heart rejoiceth that her bands have been reft
    For whose sake I fight this conflict; so many a distant land     105
    Are vassals unto King Arthur, and pay tribute unto his hand,
    It may well be with him she cometh, for whose sake both joy
        and pain
    Unto death I would gladly suffer, if she be for my service
    And what better fate can befall me than that this my fair lot
        shall be,
    That she looketh upon my service, and her eyes shall my
        victory see!'                                                110

    And near to the king sat Bené, nor her heart for the strife
        did fail,
    For full oft had she seen his valour, and she deemed he might
        well prevail.
    But yet had she known that Gawain was brother unto the maid,
    And 'twas _he_ who now stood in peril, of a sooth had she
        been dismayed.

    A golden ring from Itonjé she brought him for token fair,        115
    'Twas the same as her gallant brother did over the Sabbins
    O'er the Poinzacleins came Bené in a boat, and this word she
    'From Château Merveil doth my lady, with the others, her
        journey take.'
    And she spake from the lips of Itonjé such steadfast words
        and true,
    That more, from the lips of a maiden, I ween never monarch
        knew.                                                        120
    And she prayed him to think of her sorrow, since all gain did
        she hold as naught
    For the gain of his love, and his service was all that her
        true heart sought.
    And glad was the king at the tidings, yet would fight with
        her brother still--
    'Twere better I had no sister, such rewarding would please me

    Then they bare unto him his harness, 'twas costly beyond
        compare--                                                    125
    No hero, by love constrainèd, who fought for love's guerdon
    Were he Gamuret, or Galoes, or Killicrates, the valiant king,
    Had better decked his body the love of a maid to win--
    And no richer silk had been woven in Ipopotiticon,
    Or brought from Kalomedenté, or the city of Akraton,             130
    Or from far-off Agatyrsjenté, than the silk for his garment
    Then he kissed the small ring golden, the pledge of Itonjé's
    For he knew her for true and faithful, and tho' peril upon
        him pressed,
    Yet the thought of her love and her longing would guard, as a
        shield, his breast.

    All armed was now the monarch; twelve maidens on palfreys
        fair,                                                        135
    Each one a spear-shaft holding, the awning aloft would bear.
    And the king, he rode beneath it, and its shadow was o'er his
    As on to the strife he craved for the gallant hero sped.
    And on either side of the monarch there rode fair maidens
    Tall and stately were they to look on, the noblest of all his
        train.                                                       140
    The messengers of King Arthur no longer they made delay,
    And, behold! they met with Gawain as they rode on their
        homeward way,
    And ne'er had they felt such sorrow, their voices they raised
        on high,
    And they cried aloud for his peril, and their love and their

    For the strife had near found its ending, and victor was
        Gawain's foe,                                                145
    For his strength, it was more than Gawain's, and well-nigh
        had he laid him low,
    When the pages who rode towards them called loudly on
        Gawain's name,
    For well did they know the hero, and it grieved them to see
        his shame.
    Then he, who erewhile would fight him, of conflict would have
        no more,
    But he cast from his hand his weapon, and he cried, as he
        wept full sore,                                              150
    'Accursèd am I, and dishonoured, and all blessing from me
        hath flown,
    Since my luckless hand, unwitting, so sinful a strife hath
    Methinks it is too unseemly! yea, guilty am I alway,
    And born 'neath a star of Ill Fortune, and forced from all
        bliss to stray.
    And the arms that to-day I carry are the same that of old I
        bore,                                                        155
    For they are of Ill-luck the token, e'en to-day as they were
        of yore.
    Alas! that with gallant Gawain I have foughten so fierce a
    'Tis _myself_ whom I here have vanquished, and my joy shall
        have taken flight.
    With the first blow I struck against him misfortune hath
        reached my side,
    And peace shall have sped far from me, and her face from my
        face doth hide!'                                             160

    And Gawain heard, and saw his sorrow, and he spake out right
    'Alas, Sir Knight, who art thou, who speakest thus well of
    If I might such words have hearkened the while I had strength
        and power,
    Then my honour had ne'er been forfeit, for the victory is
        thine this hour!
    And fain would I know how men call him with whom I shall find
        my fame,                                                     165
    Since hereafter I needs must seek it, so tell me, I pray, thy
    For ever was I the victor when I fought with one man alone.'
    'Yea, gladly my _name_ I'll tell thee who aforetime my _face_
        hast known,
    And true service I fain would do thee wherever such chance
    For thy kinsman am I, and cousin, and men call me
        _Parzival_!'                                                 170
    Then out quoth Gawain, 'So, 'tis fitting, here Folly her goal
        hath found,
    And her ways full straight hath she wroughten which aforetime
        but crooked wound.
    Here have two hearts, leal and faithful, their hate 'gainst
        each other shown,
    And thy hand which hath won the victory hath the twain of us
    And for _both_ of us shalt thou sorrow, for thyself by
        thyself laid low,                                            175
    And the thought it shall surely grieve thee if thy true heart
        true faith doth  know!'

    Then, e'en as the words were spoken, no longer the knight
    Might stand for very weakness, for the blows they had dulled
        his brain,
    And his footsteps they failed and faltered, and prone on the
        grass he lay--
    Then down sprang the squire of King Arthur, and aid did he
        bring straightway,                                           180
    For he lifted his head, and from off it he loosened the
        helmet's band,
    With his head-gear of peacock's feathers the face of Gawain
        he fanned
    Till his care new strength had brought him--Now on to the
        field did ride,
    From the armies twain, much people, they flocked hither from
        either side.
    And each one would seek his station, for here should the
        fight be fought,                                             185
    And the lists, they were set with tree-trunks, each smooth as
        a mirror wrought.

    Gramoflanz the cost had given, since from him had the
        challenge come,
    A hundred in all the tree-trunks, and brightly they shone
        each one.
    And no man should come within them, and the place between was
    Full forty lengths from each other stood the fifty on either
        side,                                                        190
    Each blazoned with many colours; and here should the combat
    And on either side the army from the strife should hold them
    As by moat and rampart sundered, so should they in peace
    In this wise they sware, the foemen, King Gramoflanz and

    To this combat, by none awaited, came the folk from either
        side,                                                        195
    At the self-same hour, fain were they to know what should
        there betide,
    For they marvelled much who had fought here, and had shown
        such knightly skill;
    Or who should such strife have challenged, for alone was it
        foughten still,
    And neither side their comrades had bidden unto the ring,
    But alone had each knight come hither, and men deemed it a
        wondrous thing.                                              200
    But now as the fight was foughten on the flower-besprinkled
    Came King Gramoflanz, to wreak vengeance for the garland upon
    And he heard what thing had chanced there, that so fierce the
        fight had been
    That never a fiercer conflict with sword might a man have
    And the twain who fought together had never a cause to
        fight--                                                      205
    Then the king, from out his army, rode straight to the
        gallant knights;

    And he found them battle-weary, and much he mourned their
    Tho' scarcely his strength might bear him, up-sprang the
        knight Gawain,
    And the twain they stood together--Now Bené rode with the
    And with him, as the strife was ended, she came to the
        battle-ring,                                                 210
    And she saw Gawain all powerless, whom, for honour and fair
    O'er all the world had she chosen to crown with joy's fairest
    With a cry of heartfelt sorrow from her palfrey the maiden
    And she spake, as her arms around him in a close embrace she
    'Accurst be the hand that such sorrow on so fair a form hath
        brought,                                                     215
    For in sooth all manly beauty its mirror in thee hath
    On the sward did she bid him seat him, and, the while that
        she wept full sore,
    With tender hand from his eyelids she wiped the sweat and

    And heavy and hot his harness--Then Gramoflanz quoth again,
    'In sooth must I grieve for thy sorrow, since my hand wrought
        it not, Gawain;                                              220
    If to-morrow again thou comest, and wilt meet me upon this
    Then gladly will I await thee, and will face thee with spear
        and shield.
    _Now_ as lief would I fight with a woman as with thee, who
        art brought so low,
    For how shall I win me honour if strength shall have failed
        my foe?
    Go, rest thee to-day, for 'tis needful, and then wouldst thou
        take the place                                               225
    Of thy father, King Lot, I am ready to meet thee here, face
        to face.'

    But Parzival stood unwearied, nor as yet a sign he bare
    Of pallor, nor strength had failed him, and he faced the
        monarch fair,
    And he loosed from his head the helmet, that the king his
        face might see,
    And he spake, 'Sir, if this my cousin in aught shall have
        wrongèd thee                                                 230
    Then take _me_ as his pledge, unwearied, as thou seest, is
        yet mine hand,
    And the wrath thou dost bear against him I may well with my
        sword withstand.'

    Then spake the King of Rosche Sabbins, 'Sir Knight, at the
        morrow's morn
    For my garland he payeth tribute, and its fame shall anew be
    Or to such a pass shall he bring me that shame shall my
        portion be--                                                 235
    Thou mayst otherwise be a hero, but this conflict is not for

    In wrath spake the lips of Bené, 'Fie on thee! thou faithless
    Thro' him whom thy false heart hateth thine heart hath its
        freedom found.
    She to whom thou wouldst do love-service, she liveth at his
    Thyself hast renounced the victory which else might have
        crowned thine hand.                                          240
    Thou hast no claim on Love's rewarding, and if ever within
        thine heart
    Love had for awhile her dwelling with falsehood she bare a
    As thus she waxed full wrathful, Gramoflanz led the maid
    And quoth,'Now, Lady, grieve not, this strife must needs
    But stay thou here with thy master, and say to his sister
        sweet                                                        245
    That I am in truth her servant, in all that a knight finds

    But now as Bené hearkened, and knew of a truth Gawain
    Was brother unto her lady, and must fight on the grassy
    Then drave griefs plough its furrows thro' her heart, both
        deep and sore,
    And filled them with flood of sorrow, for truth in her heart
        she bore.                                                    250
    And she quoth, 'Ride hence, accursèd, thou false and
        faithless one,
    For steadfast love and loyal thine heart hath never won!'

    The king and his knights they rode hence, and the lads of
        Arthur's train
    They took the heroes' chargers, weary with strife the twain.
    Then Parzival, and Gawain, and Bené, that maiden bright,         255
    They rode to the camp of King Arthur with many a gallant
    And Parzival in manhood had so borne the prize away
    That all men were glad at his coming, and rejoiced in his
        fame that day.

    And more, if I can, would I tell ye--the wise men of either
    Spake but of this man, of his valour in this wise they made
        their boast,                                                 260
    'Wot ye well who hath here been victor? 'Twas Parzival, he
    And so fair was his face to look on none fairer was ever
    So thought they who looked upon him, and they swear it, both
        man and maid--
    So he came to the tent of Gawain; and little his host
    But he bade them bring costly raiment, and rich as was his
        own gear,                                                    265
    And alike were they clad, the heroes, and all folk must the
        marvel hear
    That Parzival came among them, of whose glory all men had
    And the fame of his deeds so knightly, and no mouth but spake
        this word.

    Quoth Gawain, 'Art thou fain to look on four queens who are
        kin to thee,
    And other fair ladies with them, then thy guide will I gladly
        be.'                                                         270
    Quoth Gamuret's son, 'If fair ladies be here thou shalt vex
        them not
    With the sight of my face, for no kindness from woman shall
        be my lot
    Since by Plimizöl's bank they hearkened to the shame that
        upon me fell:
    May their honour of God be guarded, for ever I wish them
    But my shame weigheth heavy on me, and it vexeth so sore my
        heart,                                                       275
    I were fain ne'er to look on woman, but live me a life apart'

    'Yet so must it be,' quoth Gawain; then Parzival he led
    To the four queens, who gave him greeting and kissed him with
        lips so red.
    But sorely it vexed the Duchess, that she, too, must kiss
        this knight,
    Who little had cared for her kisses, nor would for her
        favours fight--                                              280
    Tho' her lands and her love she proffered when he before
        Logrois fought,
    And she rode far to overtake him--thus shame in her anger
    But the others they spake him gently, with never a thought of
    Till shame from his heart was driven, and joy in its stead
        waxed strong.

    Then Gawain of right and reason, if Bené his grace would
        hold,                                                        285
    Bade her seal her lips to silence, to her lady no word be
    'That King Gramoflanz for his garland doth hatred toward me
    And at the set time to-morrow our strife must be foughten
    Speak no word of this to my sister, and do thou thy tears
        give o'er;'
    And she spake, 'I do well to weep thus, and to mourn, and to
        sorrow sore,                                                 290
    For whoever shall fall in the combat my lady must sorrow
    And however the battle goeth, the issue shall be for woe.
    And well may we mourn the venture, my lady and I alike,
    What boots it to be her brother, if thou at her heart wilt

    Now the host to their tents betook them, and the mid-day meal
        was spread                                                   295
    For Gawain, and the knights and ladies who should break at
        his table bread,
    And Parzival as companion should have the Duchess fair--
    And Gawain, he besought his lady for the hero to have good
    But she quoth, 'To my care dost thou give him, who can make
        of a woman sport?
    How should I care for this man? Yet would I gainsay thee
        naught;                                                      300
    And if this be thy will, I will do it, tho' for payment I
        mocking know'--
    Quoth Gamuret's son, 'Nay, Lady, thou doest me wrong I trow,
    At least have I so much wisdom, if I know myself aright,
    That women are free from my mocking, since ill 'twould beseem
        a knight!'

    Whatever they set before them no lack had they there of meat,    305
    And courteous was their service, and with joy all the folk
        did eat.
    But Itonjé, she looked on Bené, and she read in her eyes the
    Of the tears she had wept but lately, and for sorrow her
        cheeks grew pale,
    And nothing she ate, for she thought still, 'Now wherefore
        doth Bené weep?
    For I sent her but now to the monarch who my heart doth his
        captive keep,                                                310
    And for whose sake I grieve me sorely--Have I done aught to
        vex my knight?
    Doth he think to renounce my service and no more for my love
        to fight?
    If, with steadfast heart and manly, he thinketh on me no
    Poor maid, I must die of sorrow, and the love that to him I

    The noontide hour was over ere the feast had ended here,         315
    Then hither rode King Arthur, and his queen, fair Guinevere,
    With a host of knights and ladies, to where, within their
    Mid the band of gracious maidens sat that true and valiant
    And to Parzival such greeting and such welcome fair they gave
    That from many sweet lips sweet kisses he won, that hero
        brave!                                                       320
    And Arthur would do him honour, and with many a gracious word
    He thanked him for the valour that had spread his name
    And the fame that had waxed so goodly, and that stood so high
        and fair,
    That of right o'er all men living the crown of worth he bare.

    Quoth the Waleis unto King Arthur, 'Yet Sire, when I saw thee
        last                                                         325
    My honour so sore was wounded that it well-nigh to earth was
    And in knighthood I paid such forfeit that of knighthood was
        I forlorn--
    But now have I hearkened to thee, and if thou be not forsworn
    Then honour still dwelleth with me, tho' my heart it misgives
        me sore!
    I would trust in thy word right gladly--But what of these
        knights who swore                                            330
    True friendship and brotherhood with me, and from whom I must
        part in shame?'
    Then all with one voice they spake there--He had won for
        himself such fame
    And had wrought such brave deeds of knighthood in many a
        distant land,
    That his fame o'er the fame of all others did high and
        unspotted stand.

    Then the knights of the Duchess' army they came where by
        Arthur's side                                                335
    Sat Parzival, fair to look on, 'mid the knightly circle wide.
    And the king in the tent received them, but so courtly was he
        and wise,
    That, tho' wide was the tent of Gawain, he thought best that
        in all men's eyes
    He should sit without on the meadow, and the knights they
        should sit around,
    And strangers they were to each other who place in the circle
        found.                                                       340
    Would ye know who was this and that one? The tale it were all
        too long
    If Christian I named and paynim--Who were Klingsor's warriors
    Who were they who so well were armèd, and showed them such
        men of might
    When they rode from the city of Logrois, and would for their
        Duchess fight;
    Who had followed King Arthur hither--If each one, his land
        and kin,                                                     345
    I named in their rightful order 'twere ill to the end to win!
    But all men they spake together, there was none there like
    For his face and his form so lovely many women might love him
    And nothing there failed unto him of aught that beseemed a
    Who beareth the crown of honour, and fighteth a goodly fight.    350

    Then Gamuret's son upstood there, and he spake, 'Ye who shall
        be here
    Give counsel, and help me win that which my soul ever holdeth
    A strange and a hidden wonder it drave me from out your
    Ye who brotherhood once have sworn me, and in friendship have
        clasped my hand,
    Now help me, by this your knighthood, mine honour to win
        again!'                                                      355
    And gladly would Arthur grant him that for which his desire
        was fain.

    Then aside with few folk he stepped him, and straitly he
        prayed this grace,
    That the strife, at the hour appointed, he in Gawain's stead
        might face,
    'Right gladly will I defy him, King Gramoflanz, in his pride;
    I brake from his tree this morning a bough ere I thence did
        ride,                                                        360
    And for that he of need must fight me--For conflict I sought
        his land,
    And for nothing else came I hither but to fight with his
        strong right hand.
    I thought not I here should find thee, my cousin, it grieves
        me sore,
    For this king did I surely take thee, who never from strife
    Now let me, I prithee, fight him; if ever he know defeat         365
    My hand shall such lesson teach him as he findeth not over
    They have given me back mine honour, and thy brother knight
        am I,
    And thy kinsman true, fair cousin, so grant to me, cousinly,
    That this combat be mine--I swear thee for us twain will I
        face the foe,
    And there do such deeds of valour that all men shall my
        manhood know!'                                               370

    Quoth Gawain, 'In the court of King Arthur have I many a
        brother dear,
    And kinsman true, yet to no man may I grant what thou prayest
    My cause is so good, I think me, that Fate so shall rule the
    That I stand at the last the victor, tho' my foe be a man of
    God reward thee that thou, of thy kindness, this conflict for
        me wouldst face,                                             375
    But the day is not yet in its dawning when another may take
        my place!'

    Now Arthur the prayer had hearkened, of their speech he an
        end would make,
    Once more in the ring beside them his seat did the monarch
    And the cup-bearers did not tarry, the noble youths they bare
    Many golden cups so precious, and wroughten with jewels fair,    380
    Nor one alone could fill them--and when their task was o'er
    The folk uprose, and gat them each one to his rest once more.

    And night-fall had come upon them--Naught did Parzival delay,
    But he wrought in such wise that his harness might be ready
        ere break of day.
    Were a strap or a fastening broken, of that did he have good
        care,                                                        385
    And he bade them look well unto it, that all should be fit
        and fair.
    And a shield new and strong must they bring him, for his own,
        in many a fight,
    With many a blow was cloven, and they brought him a shield of
    And the serving-men who bare it, they knew not the knight, I
    And Frenchmen were some among them, as the venture doth bid
        ye know.                                                     390
    And the steed that erewhile to jousting the Knight of the
        Grail must bear,
    Of that did a squire bethink him, and ne'er might it better
    But now 'twas the hour for slumber, and the night had
        o'ercome the day,
    And Parzival slept, and before him all ready his armour lay.

    And King Gramoflanz, he rued it that the day such chance had
        brought                                                      395
    That another man in his presence for the sake of his garland
    Nor his folk might still his longing for the strife that the
        morn should bring,
    And the thought, that he had delayed him, full sorely it
        vexed the king.
    What, then, should the hero do here? Since honour he sought
        and fame,
    He scarce might await the dawning, and the strife that with
        daylight came,                                               400
    But ere sunrise himself and his charger were clad all in
        harness rare--
    Did women, with wealth o'erburdened, the cost of his decking
    I wot that, without their aiding, it costly and fair should
    For the sake of a maid did he deck him, in her service no
        laggard he!
    So he rode hence to seek his foeman, and sorely it vexed the
        king                                                         405
    That the early light of the morning Sir Gawain had failed to

    Now, unknown unto all, in secret stole Parzival from the
    And he stripped of its floating pennon a strong spear from
        Angram brought;
    And fully armed was the hero, and lonely he took his way
    Where the posts round the ring of battle shone fair in the
        dawning day.                                                 410
    And he saw the king await him, and ere ever a word they spake
    Men say that they smote each other thro' the shield, and the
        spear-shafts brake;
    And from either hand the splinters flew high in the summer
    For skilled were they both in jousting, and their swords they
        right well might bear.
    And the dew was brushed from the meadow, and the helmets felt
        many a blow                                                  415
    From the edge of the blades keen-tempered, no faltering might
        either know.

    And the grass underfoot was trodden, and the dew-drops in
        many a place
    Swept away, and I needs must mourn here the red blossoms'
        vanished grace.
    Yet more do I mourn for the heroes, and their toil without
        thought of fear,
    And who with unmixed rejoicing, the tale of their strife
        should hear                                                  420
    To whom they had ne'er done evil?--Then Gawain must himself
    For the toil and the stress of battle, and the peril he
        thought to dare.
    And 'twas even the midst of the morning ere of all men the
        tale was told
    From his tent was Parzival missing, and they sought for the
        hero bold.
    Did he think to make peace? Nay, his bearing spake little,
        methinks, of peace,                                          425
    For he fought as a man, and 'twas noontide ere ever the
        strife might cease.

    A bishop sang Mass for Gawain, and the folk they stood thick
    And many a knight and lady on horseback might there be found,
    Without the tent of King Arthur, ere the Mass to an end they
    While the priest did his holy office, beside him there stood
        the king;                                                    430
    When he spake the Benediction, then Gawain armed himself for
    And greaves of iron, well wroughten, they did on his limbs of
    Then uprose a voice of wailing from the women, and one and
    The host rode forth to the meadow; and lo! there did strife
    And they heard the clash of the sword-blades, and they saw
        the fire-sparks fly                                          435
    From the helmets as there the foemen their blows with fierce
        strength did ply.
    King Gramoflanz oft had boasted he would scorn with _one_ man
        to fight,
    He thought here that _six_ were his foemen, and each one a
        valiant knight
    Yet none but Parzival faced him, and he fought in such
        gallant wise,
    That he taught to the king a lesson which men e'en to-day may
        prize;                                                       440
    That in his own praise his own lips should speak never more
        this tale,
    He could fight and could conquer _two_ men, since o'er _one_
        he might not prevail.

    From left and from right came the armies, o'er the grassy
        plain so wide,
    And, each one their station keeping, they halted on either
    And they looked on the mighty combat, on one side the
        chargers stood,                                              445
    And afoot on the ground they battled with sword-blades, the
        heroes good.
    And sharp and sore was the conflict, and steadfast the twain
        did stand,
    And their swords on high they tossed them, and oft did the
        blades change hands.

    Now Gramoflanz reaped sore payment for the garland from off
        his tree,
    To the kinsman of his fair lady should the strife none too
        easy be.                                                     450
    His kinship with fair Itonjé had stood Parzival in good
    If right might have claimed a hearing, yet was not his strife
    And they who much fame had won them, again for fair fame
        would fight;
    And one strove for the sake of his kinsman, and one for his
        lady bright,
    For he did but Frau Minne's bidding, as was meet for her
        vassal true--                                                455
    Now uprode the gallant Gawain, and e'en as he nearer drew
    The conflict was nigh its ending, and the Waleis should
        victor be;
    And, bareheaded, unto the battle, there hastened those heroes
    Brandelidelein of Punturtois, and Count Bernard of Riviers,
    And the third knight who rode beside them was Affinamus of
        Clitiers.                                                    460
    From the army over against them came King Arthur beside
    To the two knights, with battle wearied, they rode o'er the
        grassy plain;
    And all the five they thought them 'twas time that the strife
        should end,
    And Gramoflanz must confess here that no longer he might
    And his own mouth proclaimed him vanquished, and his foeman
        had won the day--                                            465
    And the folk who had seen the combat might never his word

    Then out spake King Lot's son gaily, 'Sir King, I will speak
        to thee
    To-day, as yestreen thou spakest when rest thou didst bid to
    "_Go rest thee to-day, for 'tis needful_," he who conflict
        did here demand,
    He will own thou art all too feeble this day to resist mine
        hand.                                                        470
    _Alone_ I might well have faced thee, but thou with but _two_
        wilt fight!
    To-morrow I'll dare the venture, and may God show forth the
    Then the king he rode to his army, but first must he pledge
        his word
    He would meet Gawain on the morrow, and face him with spear
        and sword.

    To Parzival quoth King Arthur, 'Nephew, thou late didst pray,    475
    Of thy manhood, to fight this combat for Gawain, and he said
        thee Nay,
    And therein didst thou sore lament thee, and yet thou this
        fight hast fought
    For him who did strait forbid thee! Of our will hast thou
        asked us naught.
    From our court, as a thief, hast thou stolen, or else had we
        held thine hand
    Afar from this strife, I wot well thou didst fight not at
        _our_ command!                                               480
    Yet Gawain, he shall not be wrathful, tho' great praise be
        for this thy meed.'--
    Quoth Gawain, 'Nay, it nothing grieves me, my cousin's
        gallant deed,
    To-morrow is all too early if this combat I needs must face,
    An the king would withdraw his challenge I would count it to
        him for grace.'

    To the camp rode the mighty army, there were many ladies
        fair,                                                        485
    And many a knight in armour, and costly the arms they bare.
    And I ween that never an army was so richly decked before,
    For the knights of the good Round Table, and the men of the
        Duchess wore
    Fair surcoats richly blazoned, of silk from Zinidunt,
    And bright was their outer garments, and brought from far
        Pelpiunt.                                                    490
    But the heroes in either army spake ever of Parzival,
    And their lips, in such wise they praised him, that his
        friends it rejoiced them well.
    And the men of Gramoflanz spake thus, that never the sun had
    On a knight who fought so bravely, or such gallant deeds had
    And whatever feats of knighthood had been wrought on either
        side,                                                        495
    Yet he, o'er all other heroes, the victor should still abide.
    Yet they knew not of whom they spake thus, nay, neither his
        race or name,
    Tho' the army it rang with his praises, and no mouth but
        declared his fame.

    Then Gramoflanz did they counsel, King Arthur he well might
    To take good heed to his army that no knight from his ranks
        should stray                                                 500
    For combat, as e'en that morning, but to send unto him _one_
    The son of King Lot, Sir Gawain, for with _him_ had he come
        to fight.
    And straightway he sent the message by two courtly lads and
    And he spake, 'Now look well for the maiden who is fairest in
        all men's eyes,
    Look well by whom Bené sitteth; and so ye play well your
        part,                                                        505
    Ye shall see in what wise she bear her, if joyful, or sad at
    Ye shall prove these her ways in secret, in her eyes ye right
        well may see
    If yet for a friend she mourneth; and this too your task
        shall be,
    Ye shall give to my friend, fair Bené, this letter and golden
    She knoweth for whom is the token--Now see that ye do this
        thing!'                                                      510

    In the other camp, the meanwhile, did Itonjé the tidings hear
    That her gallant brother, Gawain, and he whom her soul held
    The fairest knight that a maiden within her heart might hold,
    Would fight, the one with the other, and their hand might no
        man withhold.
    Then her maiden shame it yielded to the flood of her grief so
        sore,                                                        515
    And none shall rejoice at her sorrow, for the pain undeserved
        she bore.

    Then her mother and Queen Arnivé they led the maid aside
    To a tent so small and silken, and Arnivé her grief would
    And she bade her cease her weeping--There was naught that the
        maid might say,
    But to speak aloud the secret she hid in her heart alway;        520
    Then out quoth the royal maiden, 'Of my brother shall he be
    Who is lord of my heart and my true love! Let his hand from
        such deed refrain!'

    To a noble youth spake Arnivé, 'Now get thee unto my son,
    And bid him come hither quickly, with him would I speak
    Then the lad he brought King Arthur--Now this was Arnivé's
        mind,                                                        525
    If she told unto him the story perchance he might counsel
    And by him should that strife be hindered, for which the
        maiden fair
    So sorely wept, and such sorrow and anguish of heart must

    Now they came to the camp of King Arthur, who Gramoflanz'
        message bore,
    By the silken tent they dismounted; there sat Bené before the
        door,                                                        530
    And within spake the maid to King Arthur, 'If my brother
        shall slay my king
    To pleasure his faithless Duchess, doth he deem that shall
        honour bring?
    He might know of himself it were ill-done--He hath wronged
        him no whit I ween,
    That he doeth to _me_ true service, his safety might well
        have been!
    If my brother be yet in his senses he doth of our true love
        know,                                                        535
    How pure it is, and how faithful, and this venture should
        work him woe.
    A bitter death shall it bring me, the hand that my love doth
    Sir King, thou shalt mourn my sorrow, and I think not that
        such thy will,'
    Spake the fair maid unto King Arthur, 'Forget not that thou
        shalt be
    Mine uncle, and stay this combat which worketh such ill to
        me!'                                                         540

    Quoth Arthur aloud in his wisdom, 'Alas, thou fair niece of
    That thus young thou canst love so dearly, for sorrow shall
        sure be thine,
    As sorrow befell thy sister, Surdamur, for her love so true
    To the Emperor of Greece--Sweet maiden, thy will might I
        surely do,
    And hinder this strife, if I knew well that ye twain were but
        one in heart--                                               540
    Yet King Irot's son, he is valiant, and courage in him hath
    And this combat he'll fight, full surely, an Love stay not
        his hand so bold--
    Did he ne'er, in a joyful moment, thy fair face and sweet
        lips behold?'

    And she spake, 'Nay, we love, but neither as yet hath the
        other seen,
    Tho' of true love many a token from his hand hath my portion
        been.                                                        550
    And tokens true have I sent him, that no doubt should betwixt
        us lie--
    No falsehood my king's heart ruleth, but he loveth me

    Then the maiden Bené saw them, and knew them, the squires
    Who came to the court of King Arthur from Gramoflanz' kingly
    And she spake, 'Here should no man linger, will ye that I bid
        them go,                                                     555
    The folk, from our tent? It were ill-done, methinks, that all
        men should know
    How sorely my lady sorroweth for the sake of her love so
    Methinks it might lightly happen that too many the tale
        should hear!'
    Then forth from the tent went Bené, and in secret unto her
    The squire gave the folded letter, and the golden ring he
        bare,                                                        560
    And they, too, had heard the wailing of the maid, and they
        knew full well
    Why she sorrowed, and this their errand they fain to the king
        would tell.
    And they asked of the maiden Bené if she their friend would
    And she spake, 'Stand without the circle till I bid ye to
        come to me!'

    Then Bené, the gentle maiden, she told them within the tent      565
    That without two squires were waiting, from Gramoflanz hither
    And fain would they speak with King Arthur--'But unfitting it
        seemeth me
    That we call them unto our counsels, and that witnesses they
        should be.
    On my lady must I avenge me, if thus they shall see her weep,
    I bade them await my bidding, and without there their station
        keep!'                                                       570

    Quoth Arthur, 'Are they the pages whom I saw behind me ride?
    Of noble birth shall the twain be, methinks, it might well
    That so wise are they both and courteous they might give us
        counsel good,
    Methinks of their king's love either would treat in a fitting
    Quoth Bené, 'Nay, that I know not, but Sire, of thy grace,
        this ring                                                    575
    And the letter which now I bring thee, they bare hither from
        their king.
    As but now I left the pavilion, of the pages, one gave it me.
    Now see, Lady, do thou take it, for methinks it is meant for

    Then Itonjé, she kissed the letter, and she held it unto her
    And she quoth, 'Now, Sire, thou canst see here if he would in
        my love have part.'                                          580
    In his hand Arthur took the letter, and within he found
        written fair
    The words of one who loveth, and his passion would fain
    For Gramoflanz' hand had written the words that his lips
        would say,
    And Arthur, he saw by the letter that Love held o'er his
        heart such sway
    That ne'er had he known aforetime one who loved with so true
        a love--                                                     585
    And the words that within were written Frau Minne might well

    'Now greeting to whom I owe greeting, whose greeting I fain
        would earn,
    To thee, O thou gracious maiden, whose heart toward my heart
        doth turn!
    Who with comfort would fain console me--Our love goeth
    And the solace thy love would bring me doth high o'er all
        solace stand;                                                590
    And my joy in thy love is rooted, and my faith is to thee
        held fast,
    And sorrow and bitter anguish shall forth from my heart be
    And thou bringest me help and counsel, so that never an evil
    Or a faithless deed, and shameful, shall against my fame be
    But I look on thy truth and thy beauty with ever a steadfast
        mind,                                                        595
    As the Pole-star doth in the north pole the goal of its
        gazing find,
    And neither its post forsaketh; e'en so shall our true love
    And waver not, one from the other--So think thou, sweet maid,
        on me,
    How I mourned unto thee my sorrow, nor be weary of this my
    And if one would part thee from me, for the hatred that he
        shall bear                                                   600
    Unto me, then shalt thou bethink thee how thy love shall
        reward us both,
    And think thou of woman's honour, nor be of thy favours loth;
    But still let me be thy servant, in thy service I fain would
    And, in all that I may, true service I will to my lady give!'

    Quoth Arthur, 'Fair niece, thou saidst truly, he greeteth
        thee without guile                                           605
    Such tale doth this letter tell me that never, at any while,
    Have I found of true love such marvel! His grief shalt thou
        put away,
    As he too shall cure thy sorrow, so do thou thy weeping stay,
    And trust unto me, this combat shall be hindered--Yet say
        thou here,
    Thou wert captive, how hath it chanced then that ye hold each
        other dear?                                                  610
    Thou shalt give him thy fair love's payment, that he do thee
        service true.'--
    Spake Itonjé, 'See, here she standeth who us twain together
    Our love, it had else been hidden--If thou will that I now
        may see
    Him whom my heart desireth she will summon him unto me!'

    Quoth Arthur, 'Now, show her to me; if I may, I this thing
        will guide                                                   615
    That your will shall be done, and hereafter ye twain shall in
        joy abide!'
    Quoth Itonjé, ''Twas none but Bené; and two of his squires
        are here,
    If thou wilt, do this thing, (for I think me my life shall to
        thee be dear,)
    Thou shalt see that the king cometh hither, that he looketh
        upon my face
    In whom all my joy is hidden, and my life shall be in his
        grace!'                                                      620

    Then Arthur, the wise and courteous, would speak with the
        squires without,
    He greeted them as he saw them, and boldly the one spake out,
    'Sire, King Gramoflanz, he prays thee, for thine honour as
        knight and king,
    That the oath sworn 'twixt him and Gawain thou wilt to
        fulfilment bring.
    And further, Sire, he prays thee that none other with him
        shall fight,                                                 625
    So great is thine host, must he face _all_, methinks it would
        scarce be right!
    But _Gawain_ shalt thou send against him, for he willeth no
        other foe,
    And Gawain alone hath he challenged, as thyself thou shalt
        surely know!'

    Quoth King Arthur unto the pages, 'I will free us from blame
    And sorely it grieved my nephew that he fought not the strife
        to-day.                                                      630
    And the knight who fought with your monarch, to victory was
        he born,
    The son of Gamuret is he--Three armies are here this morn,
    And from many a land came they hither, but never a man hath
    In combat so brave a hero, and glorious his deeds have been.
    He is Parzival, my kinsman, ye shall see him, the fair of
        face,--                                                      635
    For the faith and the need of Gawain will I do to the king
        this grace.'

    Then King Arthur and maiden Bené, with the squires they rode
        here and there,
    And in sooth those squires they looked on full many a lady
    And they saw on the jewelled helmets many proud crests and
        knightly wave,
    And few for such sight shall vex them, for he who is rich as
        brave                                                        640
    Full many a friend he findeth! They 'lighted not from their
    And the bravest men of the armies that lay camped on the
        flowery mead
    King Arthur would show unto them, they might gaze on them at
        their will,
    Knights, ladies, and gentle maidens, of beauty they saw their

    In three portions it lay, the army, and two spaces there were
        between--                                                    645
    Then away from the camp rode King Arthur, far out on the
        plain so green,
    And he quoth, 'Now sweet maiden Bené, her plaint didst thou
        hear alway,
    Itonjé, the child of my sister, her weeping she will not
    These my comrades who ride beside me, if they will, they may
        well believe
    Of her beauty their king hath robbed her, so sorely the maid
        doth grieve!                                                 650
    Now help me, ye twain, and thou, Bené, that the king he shall
        hither ride,
    E'en to-day, tho' the strife to-morrow he may, if he will,
    I will bring Gawain to meet him on the plain, as he prayed
        but now--
    If he cometh to-day to mine army 'gainst the morn is he armed
        I trow,
    For Love such a shield shall give him that his foeman may ill
        withstand                                                    655
    The courage that Love doth kindle, and that nerveth anew the
    And his princes shall he bring with him, for here would I do
        as best
    Doth lie in my power that the Duchess shall hearken to my
    And peace shall be sealed between them--Now strive ye, my
        comrades dear,
    With skill for such happy ending, 'twill be to your honour
        here.                                                        660
    And further I make my mourning, wherein shall have been my
    That I wrought 'gainst your king that he beareth, in such
        measure, against my kin,
    Both love alike and hatred? Methinks, he doth hold us light!
    Another king, mine equal, had thought more of this my right.
    Doth he think to repay with hatred _her_ brother, who loves
        him well?                                                    665
    If his heart such thought shall teach him, then he knoweth
        not true Love's spell!'

    Quoth one of the squires to King Arthur, 'What my king did to
        thee of ill,
    That, Sire, shall he do no longer, for courteous shall he be
    But thou knowest well the old hatred, and 'twere better the
        king should stay
    Within his camp, I think me, than ride to thine host to-day.     670
    Of the same mind is still the Duchess, that she counteth him
        for her foe,
    And maketh her plaint against him, as many a man doth know!'
    'With but few folk shall he come hither,' quoth Arthur, 'the
        while I'll pray
    Of that high and noble lady that her anger she put away.
    And an escort good I'll send him, Beau-corps, my sister's
        son,                                                         675
    Shall meet him half-way, and his journey shall under my care
        be done.
    Nor as shame shall he look upon it, for brave men and true
        I'll send'--
    Then leave did they take of King Arthur, and their way to the
        camp they wend.

    Alone did they leave the monarch, and Bené and the pages
    Rode swiftly unto Rosche Sabbins, on the further side of the
        plain.                                                       680
    'Twas the fairest day of his life-time, so thought the joyful
    When his squires and the maiden Bené such tidings to him
        might bring.
    And e'en as he hearkened to them his heart spake, in sooth
    Good Fortune had thought upon him, and his sorrow was put

    Then he spake, 'He would come, right gladly,' and he chose to
        him comrades three,                                          685
    A prince of his land was each one who bare the king company.
    Brandelidelein, his uncle, with his nephew was fain to ride,
    Affinamus of Clitiers, and Count Bernard of Riviers rode
    And each man he chose another who should be for such journey
    And twelve in all might ye reckon who rode hence the king to
        greet.                                                       690
    And many a squire went with them, and many a footman strong,
    Well armèd, as should befit them, did unto the train belong.

    Would ye know how the knights had robed them? Of silk was
        their raiment bright,
    And heavy with gold inwoven that shone in the morning light.
    And the king, he went as to hawking, with his falconer by his
        side--                                                       695
    Now Arthur had well bethought him, and Beau-corps he bade to
    And half-way to meet the monarch as escort both fit and
    And over the stretch of the meadow, or a pool or a brook lay
    Where'er one might find the water rode the king as on pastime
    Yet ever Love drew him onward, and on Love was his heart
        intent.                                                      700
    And Beau-corps, he rode towards him, and in such wise the
        king would greet
    That I ween 'twas a joyful moment when the twain and their
        folk did meet.

    And more than fifty pages with Beau-corps should ride that
    And their faces were fair to look on, Dukes and Counts might
        they be alway,
    And kings' sons, too, rode among them--And the greeting was
        good to see,                                                 705
    When from either side the children kissed each other, of true
        heart free.

    And Beau-corps was fair to look on, and the king asked, who
        might he be?
    And Bené, she straightway answered. 'The son of King Lot is
    And _Beau-corps_ the name men call him'--Then he thought, 'Of
        a sooth, my heart,
    Thou hast found her! For she shall be like him who so
        knightly doth play his part,                                 710
    For in truth shall she be his sister, she who sent me the
        headgear rare
    That of erst was in Sinzester fashioned, and the hawk on mine
        hand I bear.
    If she further will show me kindness then all earthly power
        and pride
    Would I count as naught, might I win her, tho' the earth were
        twice as wide.
    And surely she meaneth truly--For love of her came I here,       715
    Hitherto hath she dealt so kindly that methinks I but little
    She will show unto me such favour that my courage shall wax
        full high!'
    Then he clasped the hand of her brother that fair in his hand
        did lie.

    In the meanwhile within his army King Arthur in such wise
    That the Duchess was fain to grant him the peace that his
        lips had sought.                                             720
    For rich was her consolation for her love by King Gramoflanz
    For whose sake she had borne him hatred; and no more might
        her lips complain,
    For her anger had sunk to slumber, and she wakened to life
    'Neath Gawain's embrace so tender, and her wrath, it was
        smitten thro'.

    Then Arthur, the king of the Bretons, took many a lady
        bright,                                                      725
    One hundred, both wife and maiden, who were lovely in all
        men's sight,
    In a tent apart he set them--Nor might her lot fairer be,
    Itonjé, who sat beside them, since her king there she thought
        to see.
    And ever her heart was joyful, and yet in her soft eyes' glow
    Ye might see that the gentle maiden thro' love must sore
        sorrow know.                                                 730
    And many a knight and hero sat there, yet among them all
    No face was so fair to look on as the fair face of Parzival.
    To the tent-door up rode the monarch, and Gramoflanz, he ware
    For garment a robe of wonder, in Gampfassâsch wroughten fair.
    'Twas a rick silk, all gold embroidered, and woven with
        golden thread,                                               735
    And a shimmer of light from his vesture afar round the
        monarch spread.

    Then they who had hither ridden adown from their steeds they
    And the squires, they press them forward to the tent before
        their king,
    And the chamberlains vie with each other, and they make thro'
        the court a way
    To the throne where the queen of the Bretons in her glory sat
        that day.                                                    740
    Brandelidelein, his uncle, before the monarch went,
    And the twain, Guinevere she kissed them, and bade welcome
        within her tent.
    And Count Bernard, and Affinamus a kiss from her lips must
    Then to Gramoflanz Arthur turned him, and thus to the king he
    'Ere thou takest thy seat, bethink thee; if thou dost a
        maiden love,                                                 745
    And thou seest her here, thou mayst kiss her, nor will I such
        kiss reprove!'

    It had told him which was his lady, the letter he read but
    In the open field, and that letter, 'twas her brother's face
        I trow!
    The brother of her who from all men had hidden her love so
    And Gramoflanz' eyes beheld her, and straightway his love he
        knew,                                                        750
    And his heart swelled high within him--Since Arthur had
        willed their bliss,
    And had bid him in men's sight greet her, on her sweet lips
        the maid he kissed.

    Brandelidelein, he sat him by the queen, fair Guinevere,
    And King Gramoflanz, he was seated by the maid, who with many
        a tear
    Had dimmed the glow of her beauty; 'twas for his sake she
        wept so sore,                                                755
    Nor might he take vengeance on her, since guiltless this woe
        she bore.
    But softly he spake unto her, and he vowed to her service
    And she thanked him for this his coming, and their hearts
        toward each other flew,
    And further no word they spake there, but they gazed in each
        other's eyes,
    And their yea and their nay would I tell here, were I but in
        Love's language wise.                                        760
    To Brandelidelein quoth Arthur, 'Methinks thou enow hast told
    Thy tale in the ears of my lady!' Then he led forth the hero
    To a little tent he led him, apart on the grassy field;
    Yet Gramoflanz came not with them, but, e'en as King Arthur
    He abode in the tent with his comrades, and so fair were the
        ladies bright,                                               765
    That I deem well to look upon them but little would vex a
    And fair was their joy and their pastime, 'twould please many
        a man, I trow,
    Who to-day, after peril ended, would joy for his sorrow know.

    Then wine to the queen and her ladies and to many a knight
        they bare,
    And, methinks, an enow they tasted, their faces waxed fresh
        and fair.                                                    770
    To Brandelidelein and King Arthur the cup-bearers wine must
    As they passed from the tent in this wise quoth Arthur, the
        goodly king:

    'Sir King, say, the conflict ended, if the strife in such
        wise have run
    That the king, the son of thy sister, shall have slain my
        sister's son,
    Yet would woo my niece, the maiden who maketh to him her moan    775
    But now, as they sit together and their love for each other
    If she do as shall best beseem her, she will favour him never
    But will give him for payment hatred as shall vex the king
        full sore
    If her love he yet desireth--for where love is o'ercome by
    Then joy from true hearts is banished, and desire doth with
        sorrow mate!'                                                780

    Then out spake the King of Punturtois to Arthur of Brittany,
    'Sir King, they are sons to our sisters betwixt whom this
        hate shall be.
    'Tis our part this strife to hinder, nor other shall be its
    Save that they twain shall love each other, and from foe
        shall be turned to friend.
    'Twere best that thy niece, Itonjé, ere she yield to my
        nephew's prayer,                                             785
    Shall say, if in truth he love her he shall from this strife
    Thus an end shall be put to the combat, and the quarrel shall
        turn to peace--
    And thou, thou shalt pray the Duchess that her wrath 'gainst
        my nephew cease!'

    'Yea, that have I done,' quoth Arthur, 'my sister's son,
    He holdeth such power o'er the lady, that, as courtesy doth
        constrain,                                                   790
    For his sake and mine she forgiveth the ill that the king
        hath done--
    Now do thou thy part with thy nephew, that peace on his side
        be won.'
    Brandelidelein quoth straightway, 'I will do e'en as thou
        dost say'--
    And back to the tent and the feasting the monarchs they took
        their way.

    Then sat the King of Punturtois on one side of the gracious
        queen,                                                       795
    And Parzival sat on the other, and so fair was his face, I
    That never a man so goodly their eyes had beheld afore--
    Then Arthur, the king, he rose up, and he gat him from out
        the door,
    And he sought Gawain, his nephew; then he, who a while must
    How his foemen had ridden hither, learnt that Arthur now drew
        anear,                                                       800
    And before his tent dismounted--Then swift did Sir Gawain
    And forth from the tent on the meadow he hastened to meet the

    Then counsel they took together, and the Duchess, she peace
        would swear,
    But not otherwise save that Gawain for her sake should this
        strife forbear.
    Then should Gramoflanz be forgiven, if _he_, too, would
        forgive the ill                                              805
    Once done by King Lot, her kinsman--so Arthur should speak
        her will.

    Then Arthur the wise and courteous, he brought the tale
    And King Gramoflanz, for his garland, henceforward must mourn
        in vain.
    And his hatred to Lot of Norway it passed as the snow flakes
    In the sun, 'neath the glance of Itonjé, and anger no more he
        felt.                                                        810
    And the while he sat beside her he said to her bidding,
    Then they spake, Gawain came hither with his knights in brave
    And their names I may not tell ye, nor the land in which each
        was born;
    But here love had banished sorrow, and sadness was overworn.

    Then the Duchess, Orgelusé, and her gallant men and true,        815
    With part of the host of Klingsor, with Gawain nearer drew;
    And the covering 'gainst wind and weather from the king's
        tent they took away,
    And thither came good Arnivé with Sangivé and Kondrie alway,
    They came at King Arthur's bidding where men words of peace
        would speak,
    (He who counteth this but a small thing, at his will may a
        greater seek.)                                               820
    Then Iofreit, Gawain's comrade, by her white hand, within the
    Led the Duchess, fair and stately, and on this was she
        courteous bent,
    That the three queens should go before her--Brandelidelein
        they kissed,
    Then she followed, proud Orgelusé, nor the monarch her
        greeting missed.
    Then Gramoflanz stepped towards her, atonement he fain would
        make,                                                        825
    From her sweet lips the kiss of forgiveness as token of peace
        he'ld take;
    And the lady was moved to weeping, for she thought of her
        true love slain,
    And the faith and the sorrow of women did her heart to such
        woe constrain.

    Then Gramoflanz and Sir Gawain with a kiss put an end to
    And Arthur gave maid Itonjé to King Gramoflanz to wife,          830
    For truly and long had he served her; and Bené was glad that
    And another for love's sake sorrowed, and his sorrow was put
    For Lischois, the Duke of Gowerzein, won fair Kondrie for his
    And, I ween, were her love not his portion his life little
        joy had known.
    To the Turkowit, brave Florant, as his wife King Arthur gave     835
    Her who wedded King Lot aforetime, and her love a man well
        might crave;
    'Twas a gift such as love beseemeth, and the knight took it
    For the king, he was aye free-handed, and he gave such gifts

    To this end had he well bethought him, and counsel wise had
    And soon as his speech was ended, the Duchess, she spake
        again,                                                       840
    And she said that her love Sir Gawain had conquered with
        valiant hand,
    And henceforth he of right was master alike of her life and
    And many a knight who hearkened he thought her speech ill to
    For they fought for her love, and had broken in her service
        full many a spear.

    Gawain, and they who rode with him, Arnivé, and the Duchess
        fair,                                                        845
    And many a lovely lady prayed leave of the monarch there.
    And Parzival, he went with them--Sangivé and maid Kondrie
    They rode hence, but with King Arthur she abode still, fair
    And the wedding feast that was holden was a feast beyond
    And Guinevere took Itonjé, and her true love, within her
        care,                                                        850
    The gallant king who with knighthood full many a prize had
    And for love and desire of Itonjé full many brave deeds had
    And many they sought their lodging who for love's sake must
        sorrow sore;
    And how that night they had feasted, of that will we think no
    But they who for love did service, who knew of true love the
        might,                                                       855
    They would that the day was ended, for fairer they deemed the

    Then King Gramoflanz sent this message (he bethought him in
        his pride)
    To his men, who, before Rosche-Sabbins, lay camped by the
    They should spare nor pains nor labour, but their tents
        should they strike straightway,
    And hither, with all his army, should they hasten ere break
        of day.                                                      860
    And his marshal here must seek him a fitting place and fair--
    'Each prince by himself be encamped, and ye shall for myself
    Such goodly state and royal as well shall beseem a king,
    Nor spare ye the cost'--'Twas nightfall ere this word to the
        host they bring.

    And many a man must sorrow who had learnt from a woman woe,--    865
    Whose love to the winds is scattered, and who ne'er doth
        rewarding know
    For his service, to grief he speedeth, and naught shall his
        steps delay,
    Save only the help of a woman o'ertaketh him on his way.

    But Parzival, he bethought him of his wife so fair and sweet,
    How pure she was, and how gentle--Did he ne'er another greet,    870
    And offer for fair love service, and, wavering, love anew?
    Nay, nay, he was far from such dealings, and naught of such
        love he knew!
    For a mighty faith so guarded his body alike and heart
    That never a woman living might have in his love a part,
    Save only his queen and lady, Kondwiramur, the flower            875
    Of women, Love's fairest blossom, with none should she share
        her power.

    And he thought, 'Since to Love I wakened but ill hath Love
        dealt with me,
    Of Love was I born, how comes it that I must from her
        presence flee?
    Tho' my hand for the Grail be seeking yet desire it doth rend
        my heart,
    And I yearn for her sweet embraces; ah, too long have we
        dwelt apart!                                                 880
    Shall I look with mine eyes on rejoicing while my heart seeth
        naught but woe?
    The twain fit but ill together, and no man thereby shall know
    High courage, a knight befitting--Now Good Fortune direct my
    And show me what best beseemeth!' His harness before him lay,
    And he thought, 'Since to me that lacketh with which others
        are richly blest,--                                          885
    The love in whose sweet fulfilment many sad hearts have found
        their rest--
    Since this sorrow must be my portion I care not what else my
    Little reck I what shall befall me, since my joy Heaven
        willeth not!
    And thou, for whose love I am yearning, were it so both with
        me and thee,
    That our hearts ever dreamed of parting, nor our love from
        all doubt were free,                                         890
    It might well be that with another joy and blessing again
        were mine,
    But thy love it so fast doth hold me, I may rest on no heart
        but thine!
    And for aye am I Sorrow's captive! Now Good Fortune bring joy
        to all
    Who find peace in fair Love's fulfilment, they are blessèd
        whate'er befall--
    May God give to this folk rejoicing! But I from their joy
        must flee,                                                   895
    And wend lonely as of aforetime, since gladness is not for

    Then he stretched out his hand to his harness, and as oft was
        his wont of yore,
    Unaided he girt it on him, and soon was he armed once more.
    Now sorrow anew he seeketh--When he, who from joy would fly,
    Had armed himself, his charger he saddled right speedily,        900
    And his shield and spear were ready--O'er his loss did they
        wail next morn,
    For no eye looked on his departing, he rode thence ere the
        day was born.




Book XV. tells how Parzival met with a mighty heathen, with whom
fought fiercely, and how he was well-nigh vanquished. How he
        found the
heathen to be his brother, Feirefis Angevin, and how the twain
together to the court of King Arthur.

Of the welcome given to Feirefis by King Arthur and his knights;
        of his
riches; and of the kings conquered by the two brothers.

How a feast of the Round Table was holden, and how Kondrie bare
of Parzival's election to the Grail Kingdom, and summoned him,
wife, and his son Lohengrin, to Monsalväsch; and how Parzival and
Feirefis rode thither with Kondrie as their guide.

                                BOOK XV


    Now many were sorely angered that I told not this tale afore
    Since it wearied them naught in the hearing--Now my words I
        withhold no more,
    But I give ye to wit full truly, as my mouth may the story
    The end of this wondrous venture for methinks it shall please
        ye well.
    Ye shall know how the king, Anfortas, of his wound was made
        whole again--                                                  5
    Of the queen doth the venture tell us, who in far Pelrapär
        did reign;
    How she kept a pure heart and loyal till the day of her great
    And earth's fairest crown was her guerdon at the hand of her
        faithful lord.
    Ye shall hear the tale of its winning, if my skill fail me
        not alway;
    Yet first must ye list the labour that Parzival wrought that
        day.                                                          10

    Now, tho' dauntless his hand had striven, but as children his
        foemen all,
    And ne'er would I risk my hero might I rule that which shall
    I must sorrow sore for his peril, and fain would I speak him
    But now must I trust that Good Fortune the shield of his
        heart may be.
    For purity, and high courage, side by side in his heart they
        lay,                                                          15
    And ne'er had he cherished cowardice, nor shrunk from the
        knightly fray;
    And I deem this shall surely give him such strength he his
        life may hold,
    Since fierce strife draweth nigh unto him, and his foe is a
        hero bold.
    For he meeteth a prince of battles who dauntless to strife
        doth ride,
    And unbaptized was the foeman who rode here in his heathen
        pride.                                                        20

    Full soon had he come, our hero, to a mighty woodland shade,
    And without, in the light of the dawning, his armour a knight
    'Twere a marvel could I, a poor man, of the riches now speak
        to ye
    That the heathen he bare as his decking, so costly their
        worth should be.
    If more than enough I told ye, yet more would be left to
        tell;                                                         25
    Yet I would not his wealth were hidden--What of riches, I
        ween, shall dwell
    In Bretagne alike and England, and be tribute to Arthur's
    They had paid not the stones that, shining, glowed fair on
        his armour bright.
    His blazoned coat was costly, and naught but the truth I say,
    Ruby and Chalcedony, ye had held them not fair that day.          30
    And bright as the sun was his vesture, on the mount of
    In the glowing fires, Salamanders had welded that garment's
    There jewels rare and precious, with never a fault or flaw,
    Glowed dark and light; of their nature, I ween, I can tell no

    His desire was for love's rewarding, and the winning of high
        renown,                                                       35
    He had won from the hands of fair women the jewels that his
        pride did crown.
    For the favour Frau Minne showed him with joy did his proud
        heart beat,
    And it swelled high with manly courage, as is for a lover
    As reward for his deeds of knighthood on his helmet a beast
        he bare,
    Ecidemon, all poisonous serpents they must of its power
        beware,                                                       40
    For of life and of strength doth it rob them, if they smell
        it but from afar--
    Thopedissimonté, Assigarzionté, Thasmé, and Arabia,
    They scarce of such silk might boast them as was covering for
        his steed--
    He sought, that mighty heathen, in a woman's love his meed,
    And therefore he bravely decked him, and fain would his
        courage prove,                                                45
    And his manhood, it urged him onward to battle for sake of

    Now the knight, so young and gallant, in a haven beside the
    But little known, on the water had anchored his ships so
    And his armies were five-and-twenty, and they knew not each
        other's speech--
    'Twas a token fair of his riches, and the lands that his
        power might reach,                                            50
    As the armies, so were the kingdoms that did service unto his
    And Moors and Saracens were they, and unlike was each warlike
    And the hue of their skins was diverse--Thus gathered from
        lands afar
    Ye might see in his mighty army strange weapons of heathen

    So thus, in search of adventure, from his army this man would
        ride,                                                         55
    In the woodland green he wandered, and waited what should
    And since thus it well doth please them, so let them ride,
        these kings,
    Alone, in search of ventures, and the fair fame that combat
    Yet Parzival rode not lonely, methinks he had comrades twain,
    Himself, and the lofty courage that lord o'er his soul did
        reign.                                                        60
    And that he so bravely fought here might win from a woman
    If falsehood should not mislead her, that injustice should
        rule her ways.

    So spurred they against each other, who were lambs in their
    Yet as lions were they bold and dauntless, 'twas a sight for
        a man to see!
    Ah! woe is me for their meeting, for the world and its ways
        are wide,                                                     65
    And they well might have spared each other, nor, guiltless,
        to battle ride.
    I should sorrow for him whom I brought here, save my heart
        did this comfort hold,
    That the Grail shall with strength endue him, and Love
        shelter the hero bold,
    Since he was of the twain the servant, nor his heart ever
        wavering knew,
    And ever his hand was ready to serve them with service true.      70

    My skill little wit doth give me this combat that here
    In fitting words and knightly, from beginning to end to tell.
    But the eye of each flashed triumph as the coming foe he saw,
    And the heart of each knight waxed joyful, as they nearer to
        battle draw.
    Yet sorrow, I ween, was nigh them, true hearts, from all
        falsehood free,                                               75
    And each bare the heart of the other, and should comrade and
        stranger be!

    Nor may I asunder part them, the paynim and Christian knight,
    Hatred they show to each other, tho' no cause have they here
        for fight.
    And methinks this of joy shall rob them, who, as true women,
        share their pain
    Who risk their lives for a woman! May they part, ere one here
        be slain!                                                     80

    As the lion-cub, that its mother beareth dead, doth to life
    At the aweful voice of its father, so these twain, as the
        spear-shafts break
    Arouse to fresh life, and to honour, I ween, are they newly
    For many a joust have they ridden and many a spear outworn.
    Then they tighten the hanging bridle, and they take to their
        aim good care,                                                85
    That each on the shield of the other, as he willeth, shall
        smite him fair.
    And no point do they leave unguarded, and they give to their
        seat good heed,
    As men who are skilled in jousting, and sharply each spurs
        his steed.

    And bravely the joust was ridden, and each gorget asunder
    And the spears bent not, but in splinters they flew from each
        mighty stroke;                                                90
    And sore was he wroth, the heathen, that this man might his
        joust abide,
    For never a knight but had fallen who a course 'gainst his
        spear would ride.
    Think ye that their swords they wielded as their chargers
        together drew?
    Yea, the combat was sharp and bitter, and each must give
        proof anew
    Alike of his skill and his manhood--The strange beast,
        Ecidemon,                                                     95
    Had many a wound, and beneath it the helmet sore blows had
    And the horses were hot and wearied, and many new turns they
    Then down they sprung from their chargers, and their
        sword-blades afresh they plied.

    And the heathen wrought woe to the Christian, 'Thasmé!' was
        his battle-cry,
    And when 'Tabronit!' he shouted he drew ever a step anigh.       100
    And the Christian, he showed his valour in many an onslaught
    So pressed they upon each other--Nor would I the tale
    Of how the fight was foughten, yet must I the strife bemoan,
    How, one flesh and one blood thus sharing, each wrought evil
        unto his own;
    For both were the sons of one father, and brothers, I ween,
        were they,                                                   105
    And methinks upon such foundation faith and friendship their
        stone should lay!

    And love ne'er had failed the heathen, and his heart was for
        combat fain,
    For the love of Queen Sekundillé fresh honour he thought to
    Tribalibot's land she gave him, and she was his shield in
    So bravely he fought, how think ye that the Christian might
        guard his life?                                              110
    On love let his thoughts be steadfast, else sure is he here
    And he hath from the hand of the heathen in this combat his
        death-blow won.
    O thou Grail, by thy lofty virtue such fate from thy knight
    Kondwiramur, thine husband in such deadly stress behold!
    Here he standeth, of both the servant, in such danger and
        peril sore                                                   115
    That as naught ye may count the ventures he hath dared for
        your sake of yore!
    Then on high flashed the sword of the heathen, and many such
        blow had slain,
    To his knee Parzival was beaten--Now see how they fought, the
    If twain ye will still account them, yet in sooth shall they
        be but one,
    For my brother and I are one body, e'en as husband and wife
        are one!                                                     120

    The heathen wrought woe to the Christian--Of Asbestos, I
        ween, his shield,
    That wondrous wood that never to flame or decay shall yield;
    I' sooth, right well she loved him who gave him a gift so
    Turquoise, Chrysoprase, Emerald, Ruby, rich jewels beyond
    Decked with shining lines its surface, on the boss shone a
        precious stone,                                              125
    Antrax, afar they call it, as Carbuncle it here is known.
    And as token of love, for his guarding, Sekundillé the queen
        would give
    That wondrous beast, Ecidemon--in her favour he fain would
    And e'en as she willed he bare it, as his badge, did that
        gallant knight--
    Here with purity faith joined issue, and truth with high
        truth would fight.                                           130

    For love's sake upon the issue of this combat each risked his
    Each had pledged his hand to the winning of honour and fame
        in strife;
    And the Christian, in God he trusted since the day that he
        rode away
    From the hermit, whose faithful counsel had bidden him trust
    In Him who could turn his sorrow into bliss without thought
        of bale--                                                    135
    To Him should he pray for succour, whose succour should never

    And fierce and strong was the heathen, when 'Tabronit,' he
    For there, 'neath the mount Kaukasus did the queen,
        Sekundillé', abide;
    Thus gained he afresh high courage 'gainst him who ne'er knew
        of yore
    The weight of such deadly combat, for in sooth was he pressed
        full sore--                                                  140
    To defeat was he aye a stranger, and ne'er had he seen its
    Tho' his foemen right well must know it, as they yielded them
        to his grace!

    With skill do they wield their weapons, and sparks spring
        from the helmets fair,
    And a whistling wind ariseth as the blades cleave the summer
    God have Gamuret's son in His keeping! and the prayer it
        shall stand for both,                                        145
    For the twain shall be one nor, I think me, to own it were
        either loth.
    For had they but known each other their stake ne'er had been
        so great,
    For blessing, and joy, and honour, were risked on that
        combat's fate,
    For he who shall here be victor, if true brother and knight
        he be,
    Of all this world's joy is he forfeit, nor from grief may his
        heart be free!                                               150

    Sir Parzival, why delay thee to think on thy queen and wife,
    Her purity and her beauty, if here thou wouldst save thy
    For the heathen, he bare two comrades who kindled his
        strength anew,
    The one, in his strong heart, steadfast, lay ever a love so
    And the other, the precious jewels that burnt with a mystic
        glow,                                                        155
    Thro' whose virtue his strength waxed greater, and his heart
        must fresh courage know.
    And it grieveth me sore that the Christian was weary and
        faint with fight,
    Nor swiftly might he avoid him, and his blows they were
        robbed of might;
    And if the twain fail to aid thee, O thou gallant Parzival,
    Thy queen and the Grail, then I think me this thought it
        shall help thee well,                                        160
    Shall thy fair babes thus young be orphaned? Kardeiss and
    Whom thy wife, e'en as thou didst leave her, for her joy and
        her hope must win--
    For children thus born in wedlock, the pledge of a love so
    I ween are a man's best blessing, and a joy that shall aye

    New strength did he win, the Christian, and he thought, none
        too soon, I ween,                                            165
    On his love so true and faithful, on Kondwiramur, his queen,
    How he won his wife at the sword's point, when sparks from
        the helm did spring
    'Neath the mighty blows he dealt him, Klamidé, the warrior
    'Tabronit! and Thasmé!' and above them rung clear his
    'Pelrapär!' as aloud he cried it to his aid did his true love
        fly,                                                         170
    O'er kingdoms four she sought him, and her love gave him
        strength anew,
    And lo! from the shield of the heathen the costly splinters
    Each one a hundred marks' worth--and the sword so strong and
    That Ither of Gaheviess bare first brake sheer on the
        helmet's sheen,
    And the stranger, so rich and valiant, he stumbled, and
        sought his knee--                                            175
    For God, He no longer willed it that Parzival lord should be
    Of this weapon of which in his folly he had robbed a gallant
    Then up sprang afresh the heathen who ne'er before fell in
    Not yet is the combat ended, and the issue for both shall
    In the power of the God of battles, and their life lieth in
        His hand!                                                    180

    And a gallant knight was the heathen, and he spake out, right
    (Tho' the tongue was the tongue of a heathen yet in fair
        French his speech should be,)
    'Now I see well, thou gallant hero, thou hast no sword
        wherewith to fight,
    And the fame shall be small I win me if I fight with an
        unarmed knight,
    But rest thee awhile from conflict, and tell me who thou
        shalt be,                                                    185
    For the fame that so long I cherished it surely had fallen to
    Had the blow not thy sword-blade shattered--Now, let peace be
        betwixt us twain,
    And our wearied limbs will we rest here ere we get us to
        strife again.'
    Then down on the grass they sat them, and courteous and brave
        were they,
    Nor too young nor too old for battle--fit foemen they were
        that day!                                                    190

    Then the heathen, he spake to the Christian, 'Believe me, Sir
        Knight, that ne'er
    Did I meet with a man so worthy the crown of such fame to
    As a knight in strife may win him--Now, I prithee, tell thou
        to me
    Thy name, and thy race, that my journey may here not
        unfruitful be!
    Quoth the son of fair Herzeleide, 'Thro' _fear_ shall I tell
        my name?                                                     195
    For thou askest of me such favour as a victor alone may
    Spake the heathen prince from Thasmé, 'Then that shame shall
        be mine, I ween,
    For first will I speak my title, and the name that mine own
        hath been;
    "Feirefis Angevin" all men call me, and such riches are mine,
        I trow,
    That the folk of full many a kingdom 'neath my sceptre as
        vassals bow!'                                                200

    Then, e'en as the words were spoken, to the heathen quoth
    'How shall "_Angevin_" be thy title, since as heirdom to _me_
        it fell,
    Anjou, with its folk and its castles, its lands and its
        cities fair?
    Nay, choose thee some other title, if thou, courteous,
        wouldst hear my prayer!
    If thro' thee I have lost my kingdom, and the fair town
        Béalzenan,                                                   205
    Then wrong hadst thou wrought upon me ere ever our strife
    If one of us twain is an Angevin then by birthright that one
        am I!--
    And yet, of a truth, was it told me, that afar 'neath an
        Eastern sky,
    There dwelleth a dauntless hero, who, with courage and
        knightly skill,
    Such love and such fame hath won him that he ruleth them at
        his will.                                                    210
    And men say, he shall be my brother--and that all they who
        know his name
    Account him a knight most valiant, and he weareth the crown
        of fame!'

    In a little space he spake further, 'If, Sir Knight, I thy
        face might see,
    I should know if the truth were told me, if in sooth thou art
        kin to me.
    Sir Knight, wilt thou trust mine honour, then loosen thine
        helmet's band,                                               215
    I will swear till once more thou arm thee to stay from all
        strife mine hand!

    Then out he spake, the heathen, 'Of such strife have I little
    For e'en were my body naked, my sword, I still hold it here!
    Of a sooth must thou be the vanquished, for since broken
        shall be thy sword
    What availeth thy skill in combat keen death from thine heart
        to ward,                                                     220
    Unless, of free will, I spare thee? For, ere thou couldst
        clasp me round,
    My steel, thro' the iron of thy harness, thy flesh and thy
        bone had found!'
    Then the heathen, so strong and gallant, he dealt as a knight
        so true,
    'Nor mine nor thine shall this sword be!' and straight from
        his hand it flew,
    Afar in the wood he cast it, and he quoth, 'Now, methinks,
        Sir Knight,                                                  225
    The chance for us both shall be equal, if further we think to

    Quoth Feirefis, 'Now, thou hero, by thy courteous breeding
    Since in sooth thou shalt have a brother, say, what face doth
        that brother bear?
    And tell me here of his colour, e'en as men shall have told
        it thee.'
    Quoth the Waleis, 'As written parchment, both black and white
        is he,                                                       230
    For so hath Ekuba told me.' 'Then that brother am I alway,'
    Quoth the heathen--Those knights so gallant, but little they
        made delay,
    But they loosed from their heads the helmet, and they made
        them of iron bare,
    And Parzival deemed that he found there a gift o'er all
        others fair,
    For straightway he knew the other, (as a magpie, I ween, his
        face,)                                                       235
    And hatred and wrath were slain here in a brotherly embrace.
    Yea, friendship far better 'seemed them, who owed to one sire
        their life,
    Than anger, methinks, and envy--Truth and Love made an end of

    Then joyful he spake, the heathen, 'Now well shall it be with
    And I thank the gods of my people that Gamuret's son I see.      240
    Blest be Juno, the queen of heaven, since, methinks, she hath
        ruled it so,
    And Jupiter, by whose virtue and strength I such bliss may
    Gods and goddesses, I will love ye, and worship your strength
        for aye--
    And blest be those shining planets, 'neath the power of whose
        guiding ray
    I hither have made my journey--For ventures I here would
        seek,                                                        245
    And found _thee_, brother, sweet and aweful, whose strong
        hand hath made me weak.
    And blest be the dew, and the breezes, that this morning my
        brow have fanned.
    Ah! thou courteous knight who holdest love's key in thy
        valiant hand!
    Ah! happy shall be the woman whose eyes on thy face shall
    Already is bliss her portion who seeth so fair a sight!'         250

    'Ye speak well, I would fain speak better of a full heart,
        had I the skill;
    Yet alas! for I lack the wisdom, tho' God knoweth, of right
    The fame of your worth and valour by my words would I higher
    And as eye, and as heart should serve me, the twain, they
        should speak your praise;
    As your fame and your glory lead them, so behind in your
        track they fare--                                            255
    And ne'er from the hand of a foeman such peril hath been my
    As the peril your hand hath wrought me! and sooth are these
        words I say.'
    In this wise quoth the knight of Kanvoleis; yet Feirefis
        spake alway;

    'With wisdom and skill, I wot well, hath Jupiter fashioned
    Thou true and gallant hero! Nor thy speech shall thus distant
        be,                                                          260
    For "_ye_" thou shalt no more call me, of one sire did we
        spring we twain.'
    And with brotherly love he prayed him he would from such
        speech refrain
    And henceforward '_thou_' to call him, yet Parzival deemed it
    And he spake, 'Now, your riches, brother, shall be e'en as
        the Baruch's still,
    And ye of us twain are the elder, my poverty and my youth        265
    They forbid me "_thou_" to call ye, or discourteous were I in

    Then the Prince of Tribalibot, joyful, with many a word would
    His god, Jupiter, and to Juno thanksgiving he fain would
    Since so well had she ruled the weather, that the port to
        which he was bound
    He had safely reached, and had landed, and there had a
        brother found.                                               270

    Side by side did they sit together, and neither forgot the
    Of courtesy, to the other, each knight fain had yielded
    Then the heathen spake, 'My brother, wilt thou sail with me
        to my land,
    Then two kingdoms, rich and powerful, will I give thee into
        thine hand.
    Thy father and mine, he won them when King Eisenhart's life
        was run,                                                     275
    Zassamank and Assagog are they--to no man he wrong hath done,
    Save in that he left me orphaned--of the ill that he did that
    As yet have I not avenged me, for an ill deed it was alway.
    For his wife, the queen who bare me, thro' her love must she
        early die,
    When she knew herself love-bereavèd, and her lord from her
        land did fly.                                                280
    Yet gladly that knight would I look on, for his fame hath
        been told to me
    As the best of knights, and I journey my father's face to

    Then Parzival made him answer, 'Yea I, too, I saw him ne'er;
    Yet all men they speak well of him, and his praises all lands
    And ever in strife and conflict to better his fame he knew,      285
    And his valour was high exalted, and afar from him falsehood
    And women he served so truly that all true folk they praised
        his name,
    And all that should deck a Christian lent honour unto his
    For his faith it for aye stood steadfast, and all false deeds
        did he abhor,
    But followed his true heart's counsel--Thus ever I heard of
        yore                                                         290
    From the mouth of all men who knew him, that man ye were fain
        to see,
    And I ween ye would do him honour if he yet on this earth
        might be,
    And sought for fame as aforetime--The delight of all women's
    Was he, till king Ipomidon with him strove for knighthood's
    At Bagdad the joust was ridden, and there did his valiant
        life                                                         295
    For love's sake become death's portion, and there was he
        slain in strife;
    In a knightly joust we lost him from whose life do we spring,
        we twain;
    If here ye would seek our father, then the seas have ye
        sailed in vain!'

    'Alas, for the endless sorrow!' quoth the knight. 'Is my
        father dead?
    Here joy have I lost, tho' it well be that joy cometh in its
        stead.                                                       300
    In this self-same hour have I lost me great joy, and yet joy
        have found,
    For myself, and thou, and my father, we three in one bond are
    For tho' men as _three_ may hold us, yet I wot well we are
        but _one_,
    And no wise man he counts that kinship 'twixt father,
        methinks, and son,
    For in truth for more must he hold it--With _thyself_ hast
        thou fought to-day,                                          305
    To strife with _myself_ have I ridden, and I went near myself
        to slay;
    Thy valour in good stead stood us, from myself hast thou
        saved my life--
    Now Jupiter see this marvel, since thy power so hath ruled
        the strife
    That from death hast thou here withheld us!' Then tears
        streamed from his heathen eyes,
    As he laughed and wept together--Yea, a Christian such truth
        might prize,                                                 310
    For our baptism truth should teach us, since there are we
        named anew
    In the Name of Christ, and all men they hold the Lord Christ
        for true!

    Quoth the heathen, e'en as I tell ye, 'No longer will we
    In this place, but if thou, my brother, for a short space
        with me wilt ride,
    From the sea to the land will I summon, that their power be
        made known to thee,                                          315
    The richest force that Juno e'er guided across the sea.
    And in truth, without thought of falsehood, full many a
        gallant knight
    Will I show thee, who do me service, and beneath my banners
    With me shalt thou ride towards them.' Then Parzival spake
    'Have ye then such power o'er these people that your bidding
        they wait to-day                                             320
    And all the days ye are absent?' Quoth the heathen, 'Yea,
        even so,
    If for half a year long I should leave them, not a man from
        the place would go,
    Be he rich or poor, till I bade him. Well victualled their
        ships shall be,
    And neither the horse nor his rider setteth foot on the
        grassy lea,
    Save only to fetch them water from the fountain that
        springeth fair,                                              325
    Or to lead their steeds to the meadow to breathe the fresh
        summer air.'

    Then Parzival quoth to his brother, 'If it be so, then follow
    To where many a gracious maiden, and fair pleasures, ye well
        may see,
    And many a courteous hero who shall be to us both akin--
    Near by with a goodly army lieth Arthur, the Breton king,        330
    'Twas only at dawn I left them, a great host and fair are
    And many a lovely lady shall gladden our eyes to-day.'
    When he heard that he spake of women, since he fain for their
        love would live,
    He quoth, 'Thou shalt lead me thither, but first thou shalt
        answer give
    To the question I here would ask thee--Of a truth shall we
        kinsmen see                                                  335
    When we come to the court of King Arthur? For ever 'twas told
        to me
    That his name it is rich in honour, and he liveth as valiant
    Quoth Parzival, 'We shall see there full many a lady bright,
    Nor fruitless shall be our journey, our own folk shall we
        find there,
    The men of whose race we have sprung, men whose head shall a
        king's crown bear.'                                          340

    Nor longer the twain would sit there, and straightway did
    Seek again the sword of his brother that afar in the woodland
    And again the hero sheathed it, and all hatred they put away,
    And e'en as true friends and brothers together they rode that

    Yet ere they might come to King Arthur men had heard of the
        twain a tale--                                               345
    On the self-same day it befell so that the host, they must
        sore bewail
    The loss of a gallant hero, since Parzival rode away--
    Then Arthur, he took good counsel, and he spake, 'Unto the
        eighth day
    Would they wait for Parzival's coming, nor forth from the
        field would fare'--
    And hither came Gramoflanz' army, and they many a ring
        prepare,                                                     350
    And with costly tents do they deck them, and the proud
        knights are lodged full well,
    Nor might brides e'er win greater honour than here to this
        four befell.
    Then from Château Merveil rode thither a squire in the
        self-same hour,
    And he said, in their column mirrored, had they seen in their
        fair watch-tower
    A mighty fight, and a fearful--'And where'er men with swords
        have fought,                                                 355
    I wot well, beside this combat their strife shall be held as
    And the tale did they tell to Gawain, as he sat by King
        Arthur's side,
    And this knight, and that, spake wondering to whom might such
        strife betide?
    Quoth Arthur the king, 'Now I wager that I know of the twain
        _one_ knight,
    'Twas my nephew of Kanvoleis fought there, who left us ere
        morning light!'                                              360

    And now, lo the twain rode hither--They had foughten a combat
    As helmet and shield sore dinted with sword-stroke might
        witness bear.
    And well skilled were the hands that had painted these badges
        of strife, I trow,
    (For 'tis meet in the lust of combat that a knight's hand
        such skill should show,)
    Then they rode by the camp of King Arthur--As the heathen
        knight rode past                                             365
    Full many a glance of wonder at his costly gear was cast.
    And with tents the plain was covered--Then rode they to
        Gawain's ring,
    And before his tent they halted--Did men a fair welcome
    And lead them within, and gladly behold them? Yea, even so,
    And Gawain, he rode swiftly after when he did of their coming
        know;                                                        370
    For e'en as he sat by King Arthur he saw that his tent they
    And, as fitted a courteous hero, joyful greeting to them he

    And as yet they bare their armour--Then Gawain, the courteous
    He bade his squires disarm them--In the stress of the deadly
    Ecidemon, the beast, was cloven; the robe that the heathen
        ware                                                         375
    In many a place bare token of the blows that had been its
    'Twas a silk of Saranthasmé, decked with many a precious
    And beneath, rich, snow-white, blazoned with his bearings his
        vesture shone.
    And one over against the other stood the gems in a double
    By the wondrous Salamanders was it woven in fierce flame's
        glow!                                                        380
    All this glory a woman gave him, who would stake on his skill
        in strife
    Her crown alike and her kingdom, as she gave him her love and
    'Twas the fair Queen Sekundillé (and gladly he did her will,
    And were it for joy or for sorrow he hearkened her bidding
    And, e'en as her true heart willed it, of her riches was he
        the lord,                                                    385
    For her love, as his rightful guerdon, had he won him with
        shield and sword.

    Then Gawain, he bade his people of the harness to have good
    That naught should be moved from its station, shield, or
        helmet, or vesture fair.
    And in sooth a gift too costly e'en the blazoned coat had
    If poor were the maid who a love-gift would give to her
        knight, I ween,                                              390
    So rich were the stones that decked it, the harness of pieces
    And where wisdom with goodwill worketh, and of riches there
        be full store,
    There love well can deck the loved one! And proud Feirefis,
        he strove
    With such zeal for the honour of women, he well was repaid by

    And soon as he doffed his harness they gazed on the wondrous
        sight,                                                       395
    And they who might speak of marvels said, in sooth, that this
        heathen knight,
    Feirefis, was strange to look on! and wondrous marks he
    Quoth Gawain to Parzival, 'Cousin, I ne'er saw his like
    Now who may he be, thy comrade? For in sooth he is strange to
    Quoth Parzival, 'Are we kinsmen, then thy kinsman this knight
        shall be,                                                    400
    As Gamuret's name may assure thee--Of Zassamank is he king,
    There my father he won Belakané who this prince to the world
        did bring.'
    Then Gawain, he kissed the heathen--Now the noble Feirefis
    Was black and white all over, save his mouth was half red, I

    Then they brought to the twain fair raiment, and I wot well
        their cost was dear.                                         405
    (They were brought forth from Gawain's chamber.) Then the
        ladies, they drew anear,
    And the Duchess she bade Sangivé and Kondrie first kiss the
    Ere she and Arnivé proffered in greeting their lips so
    And Feirefis gazed upon them, and, methinks, he was glad at
    At the sight of their lovely faces, and in joy had he lot and
        part.                                                        410

    Then Gawain spake to Parzival, 'Cousin, thou hast found a new
    If aright I may read the token of thy helmet and splintered
    Sore strife shall have been your comrade, both thine and thy
        brother's too!
    Say, with whom did ye fight so fiercely?' Then Parzival spake
    'No fiercer fight have I foughten, my brother's hand pressed
        me sore                                                      415
    To defend me, no charm more potent than defence 'gainst
        death's stroke I bore.
    As this stranger, whom yet I knew well, I smote, my sword
        brake in twain,
    Yet no fear did he show, and 'vantage he scorned of mischance
        to gain,
    For afar did he cast his sword-blade, since he feared lest
        'gainst me he sin,
    Yet naught did he know when he spared me that we twain were
        so near akin.                                                420
    But now have I won his friendship, and his love, and with
        right goodwill
    Would I do to him faithful service as befitteth a brother

    Then Gawain spake, 'They brought me tidings of a dauntless
        strife and bold,
    In Château Merveil the country for six miles may ye well
    The pillar within the watch-tower showeth all that within
        that space                                                   425
    Doth chance,--and he spake, King Arthur, that _one_ who there
        strife did face,
    Should be _thou_ cousin mine of Kingrivals, now hast thou the
        tidings brought,
    And we know of a sooth the combat was even as we had thought.
    Now believe me, the truth I tell thee, for eight days here
        our feast we'ld hold
    In great pomp, and await thy coming, shouldst thou seek us,
        thou hero bold.                                              430
    Now rest here, ye twain, from your combat--but methinks,
        since ye thus did fight,
    Ye shall each know the other better, and hatred shall own
        love's might.'

    That eve would Gawain sup early, since his cousin of far
    Feirefis Angevin, and his brother, had tasted no food that
    And high and long were the cushions that they laid in a ring
        so wide,                                                     435
    And many a costly covering of silk did their softness hide.
    And long, and wide, and silken, were the clothes that above
        them went,
    And the store of Klingsor's riches they spread forth within
        the tent.
    Then four costly carpets silken, and woven so fair to see,
    Did they hang one against the other, so the tale it was told
        to me;                                                       440
    And beneath them, of down were the pillows, and each one was
        covered fair,
    And in such wise the costly couches for the guests would the
        squires prepare.

    And so wide was the ring that within it six pavilions right
        well might stand
    Nor the tent ropes should touch each other--(Now wisdom doth
        fail mine hand,
    I will speak no more of these marvels). Then straightway
        Gawain he sent                                               445
    To King Arthur, he fain would tell him who abode here within
        his tent,
    He had come, the mighty heathen, of whom Ekuba erst did tell
    On Plimizöl's plain! And the tidings they rejoiced King
        Arthur well.

    And he who should bear the tidings, he was Iofreit, and
        Idol's son;
    And he bade the king sup early, and so soon as the meal was
        done,                                                        450
    With his knights and his host of ladies, to ride forth a
        train so fair,
    And a fit and worthy welcome for Gamuret's son prepare.
    Quoth the king, 'All who here are worthy, of a sooth, will I
        bring with me.'
    Quoth Iofreit, 'Ye fain will see him, so courteous a knight
        is he,
    And a marvel is he to look on--From great riches he forth
        must fare,                                                   455
    For the price of his coat emblazoned is such as no man might
    And no hand might count its equal, not in Löver or Brittany,
    Or in England, or e'en from Paris to Wizsant beside the sea--
    Nay, all the rich lands between them, were their wealth in
        the balance weighed,
    Then the cost of his goodly raiment, I think me, were yet
        unpaid!'                                                     460

    Then again came the knight Iofreit, when he to the king had
    The guise that should best befit him when he greeted the
        heathen bold.
    And within the tent of Gawain the seats were ordered fair,
    In courteous rank and seemly, and the guests to the feast
    And the vassals of Orgelusé, and the heroes within her train     465
    Who gladly for love had served her, they sate there beside
    Their seats they were on his right hand, on his left were
        Klingsor's knights,
    And over against the heroes sat many a lady bright,
    All they who were Klingsor's captives, in sooth were they
        fair of face,
    And Parzival and his brother, by the maidens they took their
        place.                                                       470

    Then the Turkowit, Sir Florant, and Sangivé, that noble
    Sat over against each other, and in like wise, the board
    Sat Gowerzein's Duke, brave Lischois, and his wife, the fair
    Iofreit and Gawain forgat not each other's mate to be,
    As of old would they sit together, and together, as comrades,
        eat.                                                         475
    The Duchess, with bright eyes shining, by Arnivé must find
        her seat,
    Nor forgat they to serve each other with courteous and kindly
    At the side sat fair Orgelusé, while Arnivé by Gawain found

    And all shame and discourteous bearing from the circle must
        take their flight,
    And courteous they bare the viands to each maid and each
        gallant knight.                                              480
    Then Feirefis looked on his brother, and he spake unto
    'Now Jupiter ruled my journey so that bliss to my lot would
    Since his aid shall have brought me hither, and here mine own
        folk I see,
    And I praise the sire that I knew not, of a gallant race was

    Quoth the Waleis, 'Ye yet shall see them, a folk ye right
        well may love,                                               485
    With Arthur their king and captain, brave knights who their
        manhood prove.
    So soon as this feast is ended, as methinks it will be ere
    Ye shall see them come in their glory, many valiant men and
    Of the knights of the good Round Table there shall sit at
        this board but three,
    Our host, and the knight Iofreit, and such honour once fell
        to me,                                                       490
    In the days that I showed me worthy, that they prayed me I
        would be one
    Of their band, nor was I unwilling, but e'en as they spake
        'twas done,'

    Now 'twas time, since all well had eaten, the covers to bear
    From before both man and maiden, and this did the squires
    The host would no longer sit there; then the Duchess and
        Arnivé spake,                                                495
    And they prayed that the twain, Sangivé and Kondrie, they
        with them might take;
    And go to the strange-faced heathen, and entreat him in
        courteous wise--
    When Feirefis saw them near him, from his seat did the prince
    And with Parzival, his brother, stepped forward the queens to
    By his hand did the Duchess take him, and with fair words the
        knight would greet;                                          500
    And the ladies and knights who stood there she bade them be
        seated all--
    Then the king and his host came riding, with many a trumpet
    And they heard the sound of music, of tambour, and flute, and
    With many a blast drew nearer the king of Arnivé born;
    And the heathen this pomp and rejoicing must hold for a
        worthy thing--                                               505
    And Guinevere rode with King Arthur, so came they to Gawain's
    And goodly the train that followed of ladies and gallant
    And Feirefis saw among them fair faces with youth's tints
    And King Gramoflanz rode among them, for Arthur's guest was
    And Itonjé, his love so loyal, true lady, from falsehood
        free!                                                        510

    Then the gallant host dismounted, with many a lady sweet,
    And Guinevere bade Itonjé her nephew, the heathen, greet.
    Then the queen herself drew anear him, and she kissed the
        knight Feirefis,
    And Gramoflanz and King Arthur received him with friendly
    And in honour they proffered service unto him, those monarchs
        twain,                                                       515
    And many a man of his kinsfolk to welcome the prince was
    And many a faithful comrade Feirefis Angevin had found,
    Nor in sooth was he loth to own here that he stood upon
        friendly ground.

    Down they sat them, both wife and husband, and many a
        gracious maid,
    And many a knight might find there (if in sooth he such
        treasure prayed,)                                            520
    From sweet lips sweet words of comfort--If for wooing such
        knight were fain,
    Then from many a maid who sat there no hatred his prayer
        would gain,
    No true woman shall e'er be wrathful if a true man for help
        shall pray,
    For ever the right she holdeth to yield, or to say him 'Nay,'
    And if labour win joy for payment then such guerdon shall
        true love give--                                             525
    And I speak but as in my lifetime I have seen many true folk
    And service sat there by rewarding, for in sooth 'tis a
        gracious thing
    When a knight may his lady hearken, for joy shall such
        hearing bring.

    And Feirefis sat by King Arthur, nor would either prince
    To the question each asked the other courteous answer to make
        straightway--                                                530
    Quoth King Arthur, 'May God be praised, for He honoureth us I
    Since this day within our circle so gallant a guest is seen,
    No knight hath Christendom welcomed to her shores from a
        heathen land
    Whom, an he desired my service, I had served with such
        willing hand!'

    Quoth Feirefis to King Arthur, 'Misfortune hath left my side,    535
    Since the day that my goddess Juno, with fair winds and a
        favouring tide,
    Led my sail to this Western kingdom! Methinks that thou
        bearest thee
    In such wise as he should of whose valour many tales have
        been told to me;
    If indeed thou art called King Arthur, then know that in many
        a land
    Thy name is both known and honoured, and thy fame o'er all
        knights doth stand.'                                         540

    Quoth Arthur, 'Himself doth he honour who thus spake in my
        praise to thee
    And to other folk, since such counsel he won of his courtesy
    Far more than of my deserving--for he spake of his kindly
    Yea, in sooth shall my name be Arthur, and the tale would I
        hearken still
    Of how to this land thou camest, if for _love's_ sake thou
        bearest shield,                                              545
    Then thy love must be fair, since to please her thou ridest
        so far afield!
    If her guerdon be not withholden then love's service shall
        wax more fair,
    Else must many a maid win hatred from the knight who her
        badge doth bear!'

    'Nay, 'twas otherwise,' quoth the heathen; 'Now learn how I
        came to thee,
    I led such a mighty army, they who guardians of Troy would
        be,                                                          550
    And they who its walls besiegèd, the road to my hosts must
    If both armies yet lived, and lusted to face me on open
    Then ne'er might they win the victory, but shame and defeat
        must know
    From me and my host, of a surety their force would I
    And many a fight had I foughten, and knightly deeds had done,    555
    Till as guerdon at length the favour of Queen Sekundill' I
    And e'en as her wish so my will is, and her love to my life
        is guide,
    She bade me to give with a free hand, and brave knights to
        keep at my side,
    And this must I do to please her; and I did even as she
    'Neath my shield have I won as vassals full many a warrior
        good,                                                        560
    And her love it hath been my guerdon--An Ecidemon I bear
    On my shield, even as she bade me, at her will I this token
    Since then, came I e'er in peril, if but on my love I thought
    She hath helped me, yea, Jupiter never such succour in need
        hath brought!'

    Quoth Arthur, 'Thy gallant father, Gamuret, he hath left thee
        heir                                                         565
    To the heart that on woman's service thus loveth afar to
    Of such service I too can tell thee, for but seldom hath
        greater deeds
    Been done for a woman's honour, or to win of her love the
    Than were done for the sake of the Duchess who sitteth beside
        us here.
    For her love many gallant heroes have splintered full many a
        spear,                                                       570
    Yea, the spear-shafts were e'en as a forest! And many have
        paid the cost
    Of her service in bitter sorrow, and in joy and high courage

    And then the tale he told him of the fame that Gawain had
    And the knights of the host of Klingsor, and the heroes who
        sat around,
    And of Parzival, his brother, how he fought fierce combats
        twain,                                                       575
    For the sake of Gramoflanz' garland, on Ioflanz' grassy
    'And what other have been his ventures, who never himself
        doth spare
    As thro' the wide world he rideth, that shall he himself
    For he seeketh a lofty guerdon, and he rideth to find the
    And here shall it be my pleasure that ye twain, without lack
        or fail,                                                     580
    Shall tell me the lands and the peoples against whom ye shall
        both have fought.'
    Quoth the heathen, 'I'll name the princes whom I here as my
        captives brought':

    'King Papirus of Trogodjenté, Count Behantins of Kalomedenté,
    Duke Farjelastis of Africk, and King Tridanz of Tinodent;
    King Liddamus of Agrippé, of Schipelpjonte King Amaspartins,     585
    King Milon of Nomadjentesin, of Agremontein, Duke Lippidins;
    Gabarins of Assigarzionté, King Translapins of Rivigatas,
    From Hiberborticon Count Filones, from Sotofeititon, Amincas,
    From Centrium, King Killicrates, Duke Tiridé of Elixodjon,
    And beside him Count Lysander, from Ipopotiticon.                590
    King Thoaris of Orastegentesein, from Satarthjonté Duke
    And the Duke of Duscontemedon, and Count Astor of Panfatis.
    From Arabia King Zaroaster, and Count Possizonjus of Thiler,
    The Duke Sennes of Narjoclin, and Nourjenté's Duke, Acheinor,
    Count Edisson of Lanzesardin, Count Fristines of Janfusé,        595
    Meiones of Atropfagenté, King Jetakranc of Ganpfassasché,
    From Assagog and Zassamank princes, Count Jurans of
    And the last, I ween, shall a Duke be, Affinamus of

    'Yet one thing for a shame I deemed it--In my kingdom 'twas
        told to me
    Gamuret Angevin, my father, the best of all knights should be    600
    That ever bestrode a charger--Then so was my will and mind,
    That, afar from my kingdom faring, my father I thought to
    And since then strife hath been my portion, for forth from my
        kingdoms twain
    A mighty host and powerful 'neath my guidance hath crossed
        the main,
    And I lusted for deeds of knighthood; if I came to a goodly
        land,                                                        605
    Then I rested not till its glory paid tribute into mine hand.
    And thus ever I journeyed further--I won love from two noble
    Olympia and Klauditté; Sekundillé the third hath been.
    And well have I served fair women!--Now first must I learn
    That my father is dead! My brother, the tale of thy ventures
        say.'                                                        610

    And Parzival quoth, 'Since I seek it, The Grail, in full many
        a fight,
    Both far and near, have I striven, in such wise as beseems a
    And my hand of their fame hath robbed them who never before
        might fall--
    If it please ye the tale to hearken, lo! here will I name
        them all!'

    'King Schirniel of Lirivoin, and his brother of Avendroin,
        King Mirabel,                                                615
    King Piblesun of Lorneparz, of Rozokarz, King Serabel,
    Of Sirnegunz, King Senilgorz, and Strangedorz of Villegarunz,
    Rogedal the Count of Mirnetalle and Laudunal of Pleyedunz.
    From Semblidag King Zyrolan, from Itolac Onipreiz,
    From Zambron the Count Plenischanz, and Duke Jerneganz of
        Jeropleis,                                                   620
    Count Longefiez of Teuteleunz, Duke Marangliess of Privegarz,
    From Lampregun Count Parfoyas, from Pictacon Duke Strennolas;
    Postefar of Laudundrehte, Askalon's fair king, Vergulacht,
    Duke Leidebron of Redunzehte, and from Pranzile Count
    Collevâl of Leterbé, Jovedast of Arl, a Provençal,               625
    Count Karfodyas of Tripparûn, all these 'neath my spear must
    In knightly joust I o'erthrew them the while I the Grail must
    Would I say those I felled in _battle_, methinks I o'er-long
        must speak,
    It were best that I here keep silence--Of those who were
        known to me,
    Methinks that the greater number I here shall have named to
        ye!'                                                         630

    From his heart was he glad, the heathen, of his brother's
        mighty fame,
    That so many a gallant hero 'neath his hand had been put to
    And he deemed in his brother's honour he himself should have
        honour won,
    And with many a word he thanked him for the deeds that he
        there had done.

    Then Gawain bade his squires bear hither (yet e'en as he knew
        it not)                                                      635
    The costly gear of the heathen, and they held it was fair I
    And knights alike and ladies, they looked on its decking
    Corslet, and shield, and helmet, and the coat that was
        blazoned fair.
    Nor narrow nor wide the helmet--And a marvel great they
    The shine of the many jewels in the costly robe inwrought,       640
    And no man I ween shall ask me the power that in each did
    The light alike and the heavy, for I skill not the tale to
    Far better might they have told it, Heraclius or Hercules
    And the Grecian Alexander; and better methinks than these
    Pythagoras, the wise man, for skilled in the stars was he,       645
    And so wise that no son of Adam I wot well might wiser be.

    Then the women they spake, 'What woman so e'er thus hath
        decked this knight
    If he be to her love unfaithful he hath done to his fame
    Yet some in such favour held him, they had been of his
        service fain--
    Methinks the unwonted colour of his face did their fancy
        gain!                                                        650
    Then aside went the four, Gawain, Arthur, Gramoflanz, and
    (And the women should care for the heathen, methinks it would
        please them well.)

    And Arthur willed ere the morrow a banquet, rich and fair,
    On the grassy plain before him they should without fail
    That Feirefis they might welcome as befitting so brave a
        guest.                                                       655
    'Now be ye in this task not slothful, but strive, as shall
        seem ye best,
    That henceforth he be one of our circle, of the Table Round,
        a knight.'
    And they spake, they would win that favour, if so be it
        should seem him right.
    Then Feirefis, the rich hero, he brotherhood with them sware;
    And they quaffed the cup of parting, and forth to their tents
        would fare.                                                  660
    And joy it came with the morning, if here I the truth may
    And many were glad at the dawning of a sweet and a welcome

    Then the son of Uther Pendragon, King Arthur, in this wise
    For Round Table a silk so costly, Drianthasmé, he bade them
    Ye have heard how it once was ordered, afar on Plimizöl's
        plain,                                                       665
    How they spread them there a Round Table, in such wise was it
        spread again--
    'Twas cut in a round, and costly it was, and right fair to
    And on the green turf around it the seats of the knights
        should be.
    It was even a goodly gallop from the seats to the Table
    For the Table's self it was not, yet the likeness they there
        had found.                                                   670
    And a cowardly man might shame him to sit there with such
        gallant knights,
    And with sin would his food be tainted since he ate it not
        there of right.

    Thro' the summer night 'twas measured, the ring, both with
        thought and care,
    And from one end unto the other with pomp they the seats
    And the cost were too great for a poor king, as they saw it
        in noontide light,                                           675
    When the trappings, so gay and costly, shone fair in the
        sun-rays bright.
    Gramoflanz and Gawain would pay it, the cost, since within
        their land
    He was but a guest, King Arthur, tho' he dealt with a
        generous hand.

    And the night, it seldom cometh but, as it is wont, the sun
    Bringeth back the day and the daylight when the hours of the
        night are run;                                               680
    And e'en so it befell, and the dawning was clear and calm and
    And many a flowery chaplet crowned the locks of many a
    And with cheeks and lips unpainted saw ye many a lovely maid,
    And, if Kiot the truth hath spoken, knight and lady they were
    In diverse garb and fashion, with head-gear both high and
        low,                                                         685
    As each in their native country their faces were wont to
    'Twas a folk from far kingdoms gathered and diverse their
        ways were found--
    If to lady a knight were lacking she sat not at the Table
    But if she for knightly service had promised a guerdon fair,
    She might ride with her knight, but the others, they must to
        their tents repair.                                          690

    When Arthur the Mass had hearkened, then Gramoflanz did they
    With Gowerzein's Duke and Florant; to the king came the
        comrades three,
    And each one a boon would crave here, for each of the three
        was fain
    To be one of the good Round Table, nor this grace did they
        fail to gain.
    And if lady or knight would ask me who was richest of all
        that band,                                                   695
    Who sat as guests in the circle, and were gathered from every
    Then here will I speak the answer, 'twas Feirefis Angevin,
    But think not from my lips of his riches a further tale to

    Thus in festive guise, and gaily, they rode to the circle
    And often to maid had it chancèd (so closely the guests must
        ride)                                                        700
    Were her steed not well girthed she had fallen--with banners
        waving high
    From every side of the meadow to each other the groups drew
    And a Buhurd fair was ridden without the Table Round,
    And in courtly guise and skilful no man rode _within_ its
    There was space without for the chargers, and they handled
        their steeds with skill,                                     705
    And rode each one against the other till the ladies had
        looked their fill.

    Then in order fair they seat them when 'twas time for the
        guests to eat,
    And cup-bearer, steward, and butler, they bethink them as
        shall be meet,
    How, courteous, to do their office--No lack of food had they,
    And many a maid was honoured as she sat by her knight that
        day.                                                         710
    And many thro' fond heart's counsel had been served by
        knightly deed--
    And Feirefis, and the Waleis, to the maidens they gave good
    And they looked on the one and the other, and a fair choice
        was theirs, I ween,
    For never on field or meadow may the eye of man have seen
    So many sweet lips and fair faces as shone there at the Table
        Round,                                                       715
    And the heathen was glad for their beauty, and the joy that
        his heart had found.
    Now hail to the hour that cometh, and the tidings they soon
        shall hear
    From the welcome lips of a maiden who draweth the host anear;
    For a maiden came towards them, and her raiment was fair to
    And e'en as in France the custom so 'twas fashioned right
        cunningly.                                                   720
    Her mantle was costly velvet, and blacker, I ween, its hue
    Than the coat of a sable jennet; and with gold was it woven
    With turtle-doves, all shining, the badge of the Grail were
    And they looked and they marvelled at her as toward them she
        made her way,
    For swiftly she came, and her head-gear was high and white,
        her face                                                     725
    With many a veil was shrouded, and her features no man might

    Then with even pace and seemly she rode o'er the turf so
    And saddle and reins and trappings were costly enow I ween;
    And they let her within the circle--Now she who would tidings
    No fool was she, but wise maiden--So rode she around the
        ring,                                                        730
    And they showed her where sat King Arthur, nor her greeting
        should fail that day,
    In French was her speech, and in this wise the monarch she
        fain would pray;
    They should wreak not on her their vengeance for the words
        that she spake of yore,
    But hearken unto her message since welcome the news she bore.
    And the king and the queen she pleaded to give unto her their
        aid,                                                         735
    That she failed not to win from the hero the grace that she
        fain had prayed.

    Then to Parzival she turned her, since his place by the
        king's was found,
    And she stayed not, but down from her charger she sprang
        swiftly unto the ground,
    And with courteous mien, as beseemed her, fell low at the
        hero's feet,
    And, weeping, she prayed that in friendship her coming he now
        would greet,                                                 740
    And forget his wrath against her, and forgive her without a
    And they joined to her prayer their pleadings, King Arthur
        and Feirefis.
    Of a sooth Parzival must hate her, yet he hearkened to
        friendship's prayer,
    And of true heart and free forgave her--Tho' I say not the
        maid was fair,
    Yet methinks she was honour-worthy--Then swiftly she sprang
        upright,                                                     745
    And thanked those who had won her pardon for the wrong she
        had done the knight.
    Then she raised her hand to her head-gear, were it wimple or
        veil, no less
    Was it cast on the ground, and all men knew Kondrie, the
    And they knew of the Grail the token and the badge that the
        maiden bare,
    And all men I ween must marvel--Her face it was e'en as fair     750
    As man and maiden saw it when to Plimizöl's banks she came,
    Of her countenance have I told ye, and to-day was it still
        the same,
    And yellow her eyes as the topaz, long her teeth, and her
        lips in hue
    Were even as is a violet, that man seeth not _red_ but

    Yet methinks had her will been evil she had borne not the
        head-gear rare                                               755
    That aforetime, on Plimizöl's meadow, it had pleasured the
        maid to wear.
    The sun it had worked no evil, if its rays thro' her hair
        might win
    Yet scarce had they shone so fiercely as to darken one whit
        her skin.

    Then courteous she stood, and she spake thus, and good were
        her words to hear,
    In the self-same hour her tidings came thus to the listening
        ear;                                                         760
    'Oh! well is thee, thou hero, thou Gamuret's son so fair,
    Since God showeth favour to thee whom Herzeleide of old did
    And welcome is he, thy brother, Feirefis, the strange of hue,
    For the sake of my Queen Sekundillé, and the tidings that
        erst I knew
    Of the gallant deeds of knighthood that his valiant hand hath
        done,                                                        765
    For e'en from the days of his childhood great fame for
        himself he won!'

    And to Parzival she spake thus, 'Now rejoice with a humble
    Since the crown of all earthly blessings henceforward shall
        be thy part,
    For read is the mystic writing--The Grail, It doth hail thee
    And Kondwiramur, thy true wife, thou shalt to thy kingdom
        bring,                                                       770
    For the Grail, It hath called her thither--Yea, and
        Lohengrin, thy son,
    For e'en as thou left her kingdom twin babes thou by her
        hadst won.
    And Kardeiss, he shall have in that kingdom a heritage rich I
    And were no other bliss thy portion than that which I tell
        thee now--
    That with true lips and pure, thou shalt greet him, Anfortas
        the king, again,                                             775
    And thy mouth thro' the mystic question shall rid him of all
        his pain,
    For sorrow hath been his portion--If joy's light thro' thy
        deed shall shine
    On his life, then of all earth's children whose bliss shall
        be like to thine?'

    Seven stars did she name unto him in Arabic, and their might,
    Right well Feirefis should know it, who sat there, both black
        and white.                                                   780
    And she spake, 'Sir Parzival, mark well the names that I tell
        to thee,
    There is Zevâl the highest planet, and the swift star
    Almaret and the shining Samsi, great bliss unto thee they
    Alligafir is fifth, and Alketer stands sixth in the starry
    And the nearest to us is Alkamer; and no dream shall it be,
        my rede,                                                     785
    For the bridle of heaven are they, to guide and to check its
    'Gainst its swiftness their power, it warreth--Now thy sorrow
        is passed away,
    For far as shall be their journey, and far as shall shine
        their ray.
    So wide is the goal of thy riches and the glory thine hand
        shall win,
    And thy sorrow shall wane and vanish--Yet this thing It holds
        for sin,                                                     790
    The Grail and Its power, It forbids thee unlawful desire to
    And the company of sinners henceforth must thou shun, I trow;
    And riches are thine, and honour, but from these shall thy
        life be free--
    Now thy youth was by sorrow cherished, and her lesson she
        taught to thee,
    But by joy she afar is driven, for thou hast thy soul's rest
        won,                                                         795
    And in grief thou o'er-long hast waited for the joy that is
        now begun.'

    Nor seemed ill to the knight her tidings--Thro' joy must his
        eyelids know
    A rain of crystal tear-drops from a true heart's overflow.
    And he quoth, 'If thou speakest, Lady, the thing that indeed
        shall be,
    If God as his knight doth claim me, and they are elect with
        me,                                                          800
    My wife and my child, then I wot well, tho' a sinful man am
    God looketh with favour on me, and hath dealt with me
    Of a sooth hast thou here repaid me for the grief thou on me
        hast brought,
    Yet I deem well thy wrath had spared me save that evil myself
        had wrought,
    Nor to bliss was I then predestined--but thou bringest such
        tidings fair                                                 805
    That my sorrow hath found an ending--And these arms do thy
        truth declare,
    For when by the sad Anfortas I sat in Monsalväsch' hall,
    Full many a shield I looked on that hung fair on the castle
    And with turtle-doves all were blazoned, such as shine on thy
        robe to-day.
    But say, to the joy that awaits me, when and how may I take
        my way,                                                      810
    For I would not there were delaying?' Then she quoth, 'Lord
        and master dear,
    But _one_ knight alone shall ride with thee; choose thou from
        these warriors here
    And trust thou to my skill and knowledge to guide thee upon
        thy way,
    For thy succour Anfortas waiteth, wouldst thou help him, make
        no delay!'

    Then they heard, all they who sat there, how Kondrie had come
        again                                                        815
    And the tidings she bare; and teardrops fell soft like a
        summer's rain
    From the bright eyes of Orgelusé, since Parzival should speak
    The words that should heal Anfortas, nor that healing be long
        to seek.
    Then Arthur, the fame-desirous, spake to Kondrie in courtesy,
    'Now, Lady, wilt ride to thy lodging? Say, how may we care
        for thee?'                                                   820
    And she quoth, 'Is she here, Arnivé, what lodging she shall
    That lodging shall well content me till hence with my lord I
    If a captive she be no longer, then fain would I see them
    The queen, and the other ladies, whom Klingsor, in magic
    For many a year hath fettered'--Then they lifted her on her
        steed,                                                       825
    Two knights, and unto Arnivé did the faithful maiden speed.

    Now the feast drew nigh to its ending--By his brother sat
    And he prayed him to be his comrade, nor his words did
        unheeded fall,
    For Feirefis spake him ready to Monsalväsch' Burg to ride--
    In the self-same hour upstood they, the guests, o'er the ring
        so wide,                                                     830
    And Feirefis prayed this favour from Gramoflanz, the king,
    If in sooth he should love his cousin of that love he would
        token bring;
    'Both thou and Gawain, ye must help me, whether princes or
        kings they be,
    Or barons, or knights, none betake them from this field till
        my gifts they see.
    Myself had I shamed if I rode hence and never a gift should
        leave,                                                       835
    And the minstrel-folk they shall wait here till they gifts
        from my hand receive.
    And Arthur, this thing would I pray thee, seek that none of
        these knights disdain,
    Tho' lofty their birth, a token of friendship from me to
    For the shame, on thyself shalt thou take it--one so rich
        shall they ne'er have known--
    Give me messengers unto the haven that the presents to all be
        shown!'                                                      840

    Then they sware them unto the heathen that no man of them
        should depart
    From the field till four days were ended, and the heathen was
        glad at heart,
    And wise messengers Arthur gave him, who should forth to the
        haven fare--
    Feirefis took him ink and parchment, and a letter he bade
        them bear,
    Nor the writing, I ween, lacked tokens of his hand from whom
        it came,                                                     845
    And seldom methinks a letter such goodly return might claim!

    Then soon must the messengers ride hence--Parzival stood the
        host before,
    And in French did he tell the story from Trevrezent learnt of
    How the Grail, throughout all ages, may never by man be
    Save by him whom God calleth to It, whose name God doth know
        alone.                                                       850
    And the tale shall be told in all lands; no conflict may win
        that prize,
    And 'tis vain on that Quest to spend them, since 'tis hidden
        from mortal eyes!'

    And for Parzival and his brother the maidens must mourn that
    Farewell they were loth to bid them--Ere the heroes rode on
        their way
    Thro' the armies four they gat them, and they prayed leave
        from each and all,                                           855
    And joyful, they took their journey, well armed 'gainst what
        might befall.
    And the third day hence to Ioflanz from the heathen's host
        they brought
    Great gifts, so rich and costly, men ne'er on such wealth had
    Did a king take of them, his kingdom was rich for evermore--
    And to each as beseemed his station the precious gifts they
        bore,                                                        860
    And the ladies, they had rich presents, from Triant and
    How the others rode I know not, but the twain, they with
        Kondrie went!




Book XVI. tells of the sorrow of Anfortas and his knights; how he
prayed them to kill him, and how he would fain have withheld his
from the light of the Grail; of the coming of Parzival and
and of the healing of Anfortas.

How Parzival set forth to meet his wife on the shores of
        Plimizöl; and
how Trevrezent confessed to having spoken falsely in order to
him from the Quest.

Of the joyful meeting of Parzival and Kondwiramur; and how
was proclaimed king of Brobarz, Waleis, Norgals, and Anjou; and
Parzival with Kondwiramur and Lohengrin rode to Monsalväsch. How
their way they found Siguné dead, and buried her by her lover.

Of the great feast at Monsalväsch; and how Feirefis failed to
the Grail, and of his love for Répanse de Schoie. How Feirefis
baptized, and wedded Répanse de Schoie; how the twain set forth
Feirefis' kingdom, and of their son, Prester John. Of Lohengrin
        and the
Duchess of Brabant; how he was sent to her aid from Monsalväsch,
dwelt with her in peace till she asked the question which drove

The poet blames Chrêtien de Troyes for having done the tale a
it was Kiot who taught the song aright, to its very end. He,
of Eschenbach, will speak no more of it, but he prays that all
and gracious women will praise him for his song, since he sang it
pleasure a woman.

                                BOOK XVI


    Now Anfortas and his Templars they suffered sore grief and
    And their true love in bondage held him, since he prayed them
        for death in vain;
    And in sooth death had been his portion, save they wrought
        that the Grail he saw--
    From the might of Its mystic virtue fresh life must he ever

    Then he spake to the knights of Monsalväsch, 'Of a sooth,
        were ye true of heart,                                         5
    Ye had pitied ere this my sorrow, how long shall pain be my
    If reward ye would have as deserving, then God give ye
        payment fair,
    For ever was _I_ your servant since the days that I harness
    Atonement in full have I made here for aught I have done of
    To ye, e'en tho' none had known it, and my penance endureth
        long!                                                         10
    If ye would not be held unfaithful, by the helmet and shield
        I bore,
    And the bond of our common knighthood, release me from
        bondage sore!
    For this of a truth must ye grant me, if ye do not the truth
    I bare _both_ as a knight undaunted, and fame thro' my deeds
        did gain.
    For hill and vale have I ridden, and many a joust have run,       15
    And with sword-play good from my foemen much hatred methinks,
        I won.
    Yet with ye doth that count for little! Bereft of all joy am
    Yet, cometh the Day of Judgment, my voice would I lift on
    And in God's sight, I, one man only, at the last will accuse
        ye all,
    If freedom ye fail to give me, and to Hell shall ye surely
        fall!                                                         20
    For in sooth ye should mourn my sorrow--From the first have
        ye seen the thing,
    And ye know how it came upon me--Now I profit ye not as king,
    And all too soon will ye think so, when thro' me ye have lost
        your soul--
    Alas! why thus ill-entreat me? Ere this had I been made

    And the knights from his grief had freed him, save they hope
        from the word must draw                                       25
    That Trevrezent spake of aforetime, and that writ on the
        Grail he saw.
    And once more would they wait his coming whose joy there had
        waxen weak,
    And the hour that should bring them healing from the question
        his lips should speak.

    Then the king of a wile bethought him, and fast would he
        close his eyes,
    And four days long so he held them, when the knights, in
        their 'customedwise,                                          30
    Before the Grail would bear him, if he said them or yea, or
    But his weakness so wrought upon him, as before the shrine he
    That his eyelids he needs must open, and against his will
        must live,
    For the Grail held death far from him and fresh life must Its
        vision give.

    And so was it with Anfortas till the day when Parzival            35
    And Feirefis his brother, rode swift to Monsalväsch' hall;
    And the time was near when the planet, its course in high
        heaven run,
    Mars or Jupiter, glowing wrathful, its station had well-nigh
    And the spot whence it took its journey--Ah! then was an evil
    That wrought ill to the wound of Anfortas, and the torment
        would have its way;                                           40
    And maiden and knight must hearken as the palace rang with
        his cries,
    And the help that no man might give him he besought with
        despairing eyes,
    For past all aid was he wounded, and his knights could but
        share his grief--
    Yet the tale saith he drew ever nearer who should bring him
        alone relief.

    Then oft as the bitter anguish in its bondage the hero held,      45
    The taint of the wound to banish, the hall was with sweetness
    For before him they spread on the carpet Terebinth, and
        odours fair
    Of aromatic spices and sweet woods filled the scented air.
    Teriak and precious Ambra, and methinks that their smell was
    Cardamom, Jeroffel, Muscat, lay broken beneath the feet           50
    Where'er one set foot on the carpet; and e'en as each
        footstep fell
    Their perfume arose, and their freshness, of the venom
        o'ercame the smell.
    And his fire was of Lignum aloe, as methinks ye have heard
    Of the horny skin of the viper had they fashioned the pillars
    That stood 'neath his couch--'Gainst the venom must his
        knights on the cushions strew                                 55
    Powder of roots so precious, whose healing scent they knew.
    Well stuffed, but unsewed, was the covering against which the
        monarch leant,
    And the silk and the mattress 'neath it were of Palmât of
    And the couch itself was yet richer, with many a precious
    Was it decked, nor were others found there save the rarest of
        jewels alone;                                                 60
    And by Salamanders woven were the cords which the bed did
    Yea even the fastening 'neath it--Yet no joy might Anfortas
    The couch on all sides was costly, (no man shall contend I
    That he in the days of his lifetime a richer shall e'er have
    'Twas precious alone from the virtue of the jewels and their
        magic power,                                                  65
    Would ye learn their names, then hearken, for we know them
        unto this hour.

    Carbuncle and Balas ruby, Silenite, and Chalcedony,
    Gagatromeus, Onyx, Coral, and Bestion, fair to see.
    And there too were Pearl and Opal, Ceraunius and Epistites,
    Jerachites, Heliotropia, Panterus, Agate, and Emathites.          70
    Antrodragma, Praseme, and Saddae, Dionisia and Celidon,
    Sardonyx and red Cornelian, Jasper and Calcofon.
    Echites, Iris, Gagates, and Lyncurium, with many more,
    Asbestos and Cecolithus, and Jacinth, that rich couch bore.
    Galactida, Orites, Enydrus, and Emerald, glowing green,           75
    Absist and Alabanda, and Chrysolect had ye seen.
    Hiennia, Sapphire, Pyrites, and beside them, here and there,
    Turquoise, and Lipparèa, Chrysolite, and Ruby fair--
    Paleisen, Sardius, Diamond, Chrysoprasis, and Malachite,
    Diadoch, Peanite, and Medus with Beryl and Topaze bright.         80

    And many they taught high courage, and others such virtue
    That healing skill they taught men, and fresh life from their
        power they drew.
    And many their strength won from them, if aright they might
        use their art,
    And therewith would they tend Anfortas whom they loved with a
        faithful heart--
    And great grief had he brought his people, yet joy soon his
        lot shall be--                                                85
    To Terre de Salväsch from Ioflanz he rideth to speak him
    Parzival, with the maid and his brother, nor in truth did I
        ever hear
    The distance these three had journeyed ere they drew to the
        Burg anear;
    But conflict had been their portion had Kondrie not been
        their guide,
    But afar from all strife did she hold them, and in peace on
        their way they ride.                                          90

    So came they at length to an outpost--Then swiftly towards
        them sped
    Many Templars well armed and mounted, and right soon they the
        truth had read,
    And they knew by the guide that succour at last to their
        walls should draw,
    And the Captain he spake out gladly as the Turtle-doves he
    Gleam fair on Kondrie's vesture, 'Now an end hath it found,
        our grief,                                                    95
    With the sign of the Grail he cometh who shall bring to our
        king relief,
    The knight we have looked and have longed for since the dawn
        of our sorrow's day--
    Stand ye still, for great gladness cometh, and our mourning
        is past away!'

    Feirefis Angevin would urge him, his brother, to joust to
    But Kondrie, she grasped his bridle, lest conflict should
        there betide,                                                100
    And the maiden, true but unlovely, spake thus unto Parzival,
    'Shield and banner, thou sure shouldst know them, of the
        Grail are these heroes all,
    And ready to do thee service.' Then out spake the heathen
    'If so it shall be, from battle mine hand may I well

    Then Parzival prayed that Kondrie would ride forward, the
        knights to meet,                                             105
    And she rode, and she spake of the gladness that neared them
        with flying feet.
    And, one and all, the Templars sprang straightway unto the
    And from off their head the helmet in the self-same hour
    And Parzival they greeted, and they were in his greeting
    And Feirefis they welcomed as befitted a noble guest.            110
    And then with the twain to Monsalväsch the Templars they took
        their way;
    Though they wept, yet methinks that gladness was the fount of
        their tears that day.

    And a countless folk they found there, many grey-haired
        knights and old,
    And pages of noble bearing, and of servants, a host untold.
    And sad were the folk and mournful, whom their coming might
        well rejoice,                                                115
    And Parzival and his brother they welcomed with friendly
    And kindly did they receive them, without, in the palace
    At the foot of the noble stairway, and the knights to the
        hall they brought.

    And, e'en as was there the custom, a hundred carpets round,
    Each one with a couch upon it, were spread there upon the
        ground;                                                      120
    And each couch bare a velvet covering, and methinks, if the
        twain had wit,
    The while that the squires disarmed them 'twould pleasure
        them there to sit.
    And a chamberlain came towards them, and he brought to them
        vesture fair,
    And each should be clad as the other, and many a knight sat
    And they bare many precious vessels of gold, (none I ween was
        glass,)                                                      125
    And the twain they drank, and upstood them to get them to

    And this have ye heard of aforetime, how he lay, for he
        scarce might sit,
    And the couch and its goodly decking, forsooth have ye read
        of it.
    And the twain did Anfortas welcome with gladness, and yet
        with grief,
    And he spake, 'O'er-long have I waited tho' I win from thine
        hand relief;                                                 130
    But a while ago didst thou leave me in such wise, art thou
        true of heart,
    And thinkest to aid my sorrow, thou must have in repentance
    If e'er men have praised thy valour, then be thou to my woe a
    And pray of these knights and maidens that death may my
        torment end;
    If _Parzival_ men shall call thee, then forbid me the Grail
        to see                                                       135
    Seven nights and eight days, and I wot well my wailing shall
        silenced be!
    Nor further I dare to warn thee--Well for thee if thou help
        canst bring!
    A stranger shall be thy comrade, and I think it an evil thing
    That thus he doth stand before me, say wherefore no thought
        dost take
    For his comfort, and bid him seat him?' Then Parzival,
        weeping, spake:                                              140

    'Now say where the Grail It lieth? If God's mercy He think to
    And it be o'er His wrath the victor, this folk, they shall
        surely know!'
    Then three times on his knee he bowed him in the Name of the
    And three times he prayed that the sorrow of Anfortas should
        ended be,
    Then he stood upright, and he turned him to the monarch, and
        thus he spake:                                               145
    '_What aileth thee here, mine uncle?_' He who Lazarus from
        death did wake,
    And by the mouth of His saint, Sylvester, a dead beast to
        life did bring,
    Wrought healing and strength on Anfortas--and all men beheld
        the king,
    And what French folk shall know as '_Florie_' it shone on his
        face so fair,
    And Parzival's manly beauty was but as the empty air!            150
    Yea, Vergulacht, Askalon's monarch, and Absalom, David's son,
    And all who the dower of beauty as their birthright shall
        e'er have won--
    E'en Gamuret, as men saw him draw near unto Kanvoleis,
    So wondrous fair to look on--they were naught unto all men's
    When matched with the radiant beauty that forth from his
        bitter woe                                                   155
    He bare, the King Anfortas--such skill God doth surely know!

    No choice was there for the Templars since the writing upon
        the Grail
    Had named unto them their ruler, and Parzival did they hail
    Their king and their lord henceforward; and I ween ye in vain
        would seek
    Would ye find two men as wealthy, if of riches I here may
        speak,                                                       160
    As Parzival and his brother, Feirefis Angevin--
    And many a proffered service the host and his guest did win.

    I know not how many stages queen Kondwiramur had made
    On her journey towards Monsalväsch, nor, joyful, her steps
    For already the truth had been told her, and a messenger
        tidings bare,                                                165
    And she knew that her grief was ended and her gladness had
        blossomed fair.
    And led by her uncle, Kiot, and by many a hero bold,
    Had she come unto Terre de Salväsch and the wood where they
        fought of old;
    Where in joust Segramor had fallen, and her lord did her
        likeness know
    In the threefold blood-drops mystic, on the white of the
        drifted snow.                                                170
    And there should Parzival seek her, and tho' toilsome and
        rough the way
    Yet never a gladder journey had he ridden than he rode that

    Then a Templar tidings brought him, 'E'en as doth her rank
    Full many a knight so courteous rideth hither beside the
    Then Parzival bethought him, with the knights of the Holy
        Grail                                                        175
    To Trevrezent did he ride first, and he told him the wondrous
    From his heart was the hermit joyful that it thus with
        Anfortas stood,
    Nor death was his lot, but the question brought rest to the
        hero good.
    And he quoth, 'Yea, God's power is mighty--Who doth at His
        Council sit?
    Who hath known of His strength the limit? What Angel hath
        fathomed it?                                                 180
    God is Man, and the Word of His Father; God is Father at once
        and Son,
    And I wot thro' His Spirit's working may succour and aid be

    Then Trevrezent quoth to his nephew, 'Greater marvel I ne'er
        may see
    Than that thou by thy wrath hast won blessing, and th'
        Eternal Trinity
    Hath given thee thy desiring! Yet aforetime in sooth I lied,     185
    For I thought from the Grail to bring thee, and the truth I
        from thee would hide.
    Do thou for my sin give me pardon, henceforth I thy hand
    O my king, and son of my sister!--Methinks that I once did
    That the spirits cast forth from Heaven thereafter the Grail
        did tend
    By God's will, and besought His favour, till their penance at
        last did end.                                                190
    But God to Himself is faithful, and ne'er doth He changing
    Nor to them whom I named as forgiven did He ever forgiveness
    For they who refuse His service, He Himself will, I ween,
    And I wot they are lost for ever, and that fate they
        themselves did choose.
    And I mourned for thy fruitless labour, for ne'er did the
        story stand                                                  195
    That the Grail might by man be conquered, and I fain had
        withheld thine hand;
    But with _thee_ hath the chance been other, and thy prize
        shall the highest be,
    But since God's Hand doth give It to thee, turn thine heart
        to humility.'

    Quoth Parzival to his uncle, 'I would see her I ne'er might
    For well-nigh five years--When together we dwelt she was dear
        to me,                                                       200
    And no whit less dear shall she now be! Yet thy counsel I
        fain would hear
    So long as death fail to part us, thou didst help me in need
        so drear!
    Now I ride to my wife, since she cometh to meet me upon my
    By Plimizöl's banks doth she wait me, and leave I from thee
        would pray.'

    And the good man bade 'God speed him,' and he rode thro' the
        dusky night,                                                 205
    And his men knew the woodland pathways--In the early morning
    He found that which brought him gladness; full many a tent
        stood fair,
    From out the kingdom of Brobarz many banners were planted
    With many a shield beneath them--there lay princes from out
        his land,
    And Parzival fain would ask them where the tent of the queen
        might stand?                                                 210
    If her camp lay apart from the others? Then they showed him
        where she should be,
    And a goodly ring around her of tents did the hero see.
    And Duke Kiot of Katelangen, he had risen ere dawn of day,
    And he looked on the band of riders who came by the woodland

    And tho' grey was the light of the morning, yet, as the host
        nearer drew,                                                 215
    Kiot saw the Dove on their armour, and the arms of the Grail
        he knew;
    And the old man sighed as he thought him of Schoysiané, his
        lovely bride,
    How he won her in bliss at Monsalväsch, and how she untimely
    Towards Parzival he stepped him, and he bade him a greeting
    By a page he bade the queen's Marshal a lodging meet prepare     220
    For the knights who had there drawn bridle--in sooth 'twas a
        gallant band--
    Then to the queen's dressing-chamber he led Parzival by the
    ('Twas a small tent made of buckram,) and there, in the
        waxing light,
    His harness they take from off him ere he pass to his lady's

    And the queen she knew naught of his coming--her twin sons
        beside her lay,                                              225
    Lohengrin and Kardeiss; and their father, methinks he was
        glad that day!
    There he found them slumbering sweetly, in a tent both high
        and wide,
    And many a lovely lady lay sleeping on either side.
    Then Kiot, he drew the covering from the queen, and he bade
        her wake,
    And look, and laugh, and be joyful, and her love to her arms
        to take;                                                     230
    And she looked up and saw her husband; and naught but her
        smock she bare,
    The covering she wrapt around her, and sprang swift on the
        carpet fair,
    Kondwiramur, the lovely lady--and Parzival held her tight,
    And they say that they kissed each other, the queen and her
        faithful knight.
    'Thou joy of my heart! Good Fortune hath sent thee again to
        me,'                                                         235
    She quoth, and she bade him welcome, 'Now in sooth I should
        wrathful be,
    Yet have I no heart for anger! Ah! blest be the dawn and the
    That this dear embrace hath brought me, which all sorrow must
        drive away.
    For now at last have I found thee, whom my heart hath desired
        so long,
    And grief in my heart is vanquished, and sighing is turned to
        song.'                                                       240

    And now from their sleep they wakened, both Lohengrin and
    Naked they lay on their pillows, and fair in their father's
    And, joyful, Parzival kissed them whom he never had seen
    Then at Kiot's courteous bidding the babes from the tent they
    And Kiot, he bade the maidens to get them from out the tent,     245
    And they greeted their lord, long absent, ere yet on their
        way they went.
    Then he bade the queen care for her husband, and the maidens
        from thence he led,
    And the curtains they drew together, for as yet was the night
        scarce sped.

    Now if blood and snow had robbed him of his senses and wit of
    (In this self-same spot its message the snow to his true
        heart bore,)                                                 250
    For such sorrow she well repaid him, Kondwiramur, his wife--
    Nor elsewhere had he sought love's solace in payment for
        love's fierce strife,
    Tho' many their love had proffered--I ween that in bliss he
    And converse sweet, till morning drew nigh to the middle day.

    And the army, they rode together, on the Templars had they
        gazed,                                                       255
    And their shields in jousts were piercèd, and with many a
        sword-blow grazed;
    And each knight he wore a surcoat of silk or of velvet rare,
    And their feet were shod with iron, nor harness beside they

    Nor longer they cared to slumber--Then the queen alike and
    Arose, and e'en as they bade him, a priest the Mass would
        sing;                                                        260
    And closely they thronged together, that army, brave and
    Who in their queen's day of peril her shield 'gainst Klamidé
    Then, the benediction given, his men greeted Parzival,
    Many gallant knights and worthy, their true words from true
        lips must fall.

    From the tent they take the hangings, and the king spake,
        'Say which is he,                                            265
    Of my boys, who henceforward ruler of your folk and your land
        shall be?'
    And further he spake to the princes, 'Both Waleis and
        Norgal's land,
    And their towns, Kingrivals and Kanvoleis, by his birthright
        shall serve his hand,
    With Béalzenan and Anjou, should he grow unto man's estate;
    And thither shall ye fare with him, and shall there on his
        bidding wait.                                                270
    Gamuret was he called, my father, and he left them to me, his
    But I, by God's grace, have won me an heritage yet more fair!
    Since the Grail shall be mine, I bid ye your fealty to swear
    To my child, ere this hour be ended, if your hearts shall to
        me be true!'
    And of right goodwill they did this--Ye saw many proud
        banners wave,                                                275
    And two little hands the tenure of many a wide land gave.
    And there did they crown Kardeiss king; and, when many a year
        had flown,
    Kanvoleis, and Gamuret's kingdom they needs must his lordship
    And then by Plimizöl's water did they measure a circle wide
    That there a feast might be holden ere again on their way
        they ride.                                                   280
    Nor long at the board they tarried; no longer the host might
    The tents were struck, with their child-king they wended
        their homeward way.

    And many a maid and vassal must bid to their queen Farewell
    In such wise that they made loud mourning, and many a
        teardrop fell.
    And Lohengrin and his mother did the Templars take in their
        care,                                                        285
    And with them to the Burg of Monsalväsch again on their
        journey fare.
    Quoth Parzival, 'Once in this woodland an hermitage did I
    And thro' it a rippling brooklet flowed swift on its way so
    If ye know where it stands ye shall show me.' His comrades
        swift answer gave,
    They knew one; 'There dwells a maiden, and she weeps o'er her
        true love's grave;                                           290
    A shrine of all goodness is she--Our road it doth lead that
    And her heart is ne'er free from sorrow.' 'That maid will we
        see to-day,'
    Quoth Parzival, and the others, as he willed, so they thought
        it good,
    And onward they spurred their chargers, and rode thro' the
        lonely wood.

    And they found, in the dusk of the evening, on her knees
        Siguné dead,                                                 295
    And the queen wept for bitter sorrow--Then they brake thro'
        unto the maid;
    Parzival, for the sake of his cousin, bade them raise of the
        tomb the stone,
    There, embalmed lay Schionatulander, nor long should he lie
    For beside him they laid the maiden, who in life to him true
        love gave
    In such wise as beseemed a maiden, and they closed o'er the
        twain the grave.                                             300
    And she wept for her uncle's daughter, the queen, with a
        faithful heart;
    Schoysiané, the dead maid's mother, had shown her a mother's
    And had cared for her in her childhood, and therefore she
        sorrow knew:
    And Parzival's aunt, too, was she, if the tale Kiot read be

    Kiot knew not the death of his daughter, he was guardian to
        King Kardeiss--                                              305
    (Nor my tale like the bow shall be bended, but straight as an
        arrow flies,)
    They delayed not upon their journey, to Monsalväsch they came
        by night,
    And the hours Feirefis must wait them sped swift in their
        joyful flight.
    And they lighted many a taper, 'twas as flamed all the
        woodland wide,
    And a Templar of Patrigalt, armèd, by the queen's bridle rein
        did ride;                                                    310
    And broad and wide was the courtyard, and many a host stood
    And they welcomed the queen, and a greeting to their lord and
        his son they bare;
    And they bore Lohengrin to his uncle, Feirefis, who was black
        and white,
    And the babe turned aside nor would kiss him--as children oft
        do from fright!

    But gaily he laughed, the heathen--Then they gat them from
        out the court,                                               315
    When first the queen had dismounted, who joy with her coming
    And they led the guests so noble, where, with many a lady
    Both Feirefis and Anfortas awaited them on the stair.
    Répanse de Schoie, and from Greenland, Garschiloie, the fair
        of face,
    Florie of Lünel, the bright-eyed, rich were they in maiden
        grace.                                                       320
    There she stood, than a reed more graceful, to whom beauty
        nor truth should fail,
    The daughter of Reil's lord, Jernis, as Anflisé the maid they
    And of Tenabroc, maid Clarischanz, sweet was she, and bright
        to see,
    And so slender her shape, I think me, an ant's scarce might
        slighter be.

    Feirefis stepped toward his hostess, and he kissed her e'en
        as she bade,                                                 325
    And a kiss did she give Anfortas, for she joyed that his woe
        was stayed.
    Feirefis by the hand must lead her where her husband's aunt
        she found,
    Répanse de Schoie, and she kissed her, and the maidens who
        stood around,
    And her lips that were red aforetime thro' kissing grew yet
        more red,
    (And sorely I ween doth it grieve me, that this labour, I, in
        her stead,                                                   330
    Might not here have taken on me, for weary in sooth was she;)
    Then her maids by the hand they take her, and they lead her
        in courteously.

    And the knights, in the hall they waited, that with countless
        tapers bright
    Was decked, on the walls they sparkled, and burnt with a
        steady light,
    For a solemn feast they made ready, when the Grail should be
        shown to all;                                                335
    For it was not on every feast-day, that they bare It thro'
        the hall,
    But on high festivals only--When nearer their aid should
    On that even when joy forsook them, and the bleeding spear
        they saw,
    'Twas then, that the Grail might help them, that It thus
        thro' the hall was borne--
    Yet Parzival asked no question, and left them of joy
        forlorn--                                                    340
    But now, in joy and gladness, might they look on the Grail
    For at last was their mourning ended, and their sorrow was
        pierced and slain!

    When the queen her riding garment had put off, and decked her
    She came in such garb as beseemed her, in the light of the
        tapers fair;
    And Feirefis stepped to meet her, and he took her by the
        hand,                                                        345
    And no man gainsaid his fellow, that in this, or in other
    None might speak of a fairer woman! And rich was the garb she
    A silk by a skilled hand woven, such as Sarant had wrought of
    And with cunning and skill had fashioned in Thasmé, the
        paynim town--
    Feirefis Angevin, he led her thro' the palace hall adown,        350
    And the three great fires they burnt there with Lignum aloe
    And more there were by forty, both carpets alike and seats,
    Than the time when Parzival sat there and looked on the
        wondrous Grail,
    But one seat above all was costly, nor the host to his place
        should fail.
    And Feirefis, and Anfortas, they should sit there beside the
        king--                                                       355
    And, courteous, they did them service, who the Grail to the
        hall should bring.

    Aforetime methinks ye heard it, how they to Anfortas bare
    The Grail, even so would they do now 'fore the child of King
    And Gamuret's son--The maidens, no longer they make delay,
    Five-and-twenty in rightful order they wend thro' the hall
        their way.                                                   360
    And Feirefis gazed on the first maid, with her sweet face and
        waving hair,
    And she pleased him well, yet the others who followed were
        yet more fair;
    And costly and rich their garments, and lovely each maiden's
    But Répanse de Schoie, who followed, was first in her maiden
    And the Grail, so men have told me, might be borne by her
        hands alone;                                                 365
    Pure was her heart, and radiant as sunlight her fair face

    Did I tell ye of all the service--how many did water pour,
    And the tables they bare, (I wot well far more than they had
        of yore,)
    How discord fled from the palace; how the cars on their
        circuit rolled,
    With their freight of golden vessels, 'twere long ere the
        tale were told.                                              370
    For the sake of speed would I hasten--with reverence from the
    Each took of the fowl of the forest, wild or tame, nor their
        drink should fail;
    Each took wine or mead as it pleased him, Claret, Morass, or
    At Pelrapär 'twas far other, as Gamuret's son might tell!

    Then the heathen would know the wonder--What hands did these
        gold cups fill                                               375
    That stood empty here before him? The wonder, it pleased him
    Then answered the fair Anfortas, who sat by the heathen's
    'Seest thou not the Grail before thee?' But Feirefis replied,
    'Naught I see but a green Achmardi, that my Lady but now did
    I mean her who stands before us with the crown on her flowing
        hair,                                                        380
    And her look to mine heart hath piercèd--I deemed I so strong
        should be
    That never a wife nor a maiden my gladness should take from
    But now doth it sore displease me, the love I may call mine
    Discourteous indeed I think me to make unto thee my moan
    When I never have done thee service! What profits my wealth,
        I trow,                                                      385
    Or the deeds I have done for fair women, or the gifts that I
        gave but now,
    Since here I must live in anguish! Nay, Jupiter, thou wast
    I should ride here, didst hither send me to torment of grief
        and pain?'

    And the strength of his love, and his sorrow, turned him pale
        where he erst was light--
    Kondwiramur, she had found a rival in this maiden's beauty
        bright--                                                     390
    In her love-meshes did she hold him, Feirefis, the noble
    And the love that he erst had cherished he cast it from out
        his breast.
    What recked he of Sekundillé, her love, and her land so fair,
    Since she wrought on him woe so bitter, this maiden beyond
    Klauditté, and Sekundillé, Olympia, and many more,               395
    Who in distant lands had repaid him with love for his deeds
        of yore,
    What cared he now for their kindness? It seemed but a
        worthless thing
    To Gamuret's son, the heathen, great Zassamank's noble king!

    Then he saw, the fair Anfortas, his comrade in pain so sore,
    (For the spots in his skin waxed pallid, and heavy the heart
        he bore,)                                                    400
    And he spake, 'Sir Knight, it doth grieve me if thou dost for
        my sister mourn,
    No man for her sake hath sorrowed since the day that the maid
        was born.
    No knight for her joust hath ridden; to none doth she favour
    But with me did she dwell at Monsalväsch, and hath shared in
        my bitter woe,
    And it somewhat hath dimmed her beauty, since she seldom hath
        joyful been--                                                405
    Thy brother is son to her sister, he may help thee in this I

    'If that maiden shall be thy sister,' quoth Feirefis Angevin,
    'Who the crown on her loose locks weareth, then help me her
        love to win.
    'Tis she that my heart desireth--What honour mine hand hath
    With shield and spear in Tourney, for her sake hath it all
        been done,                                                   410
    And I would she might now reward me! The Tourney hath
        fashions five,
    And well known unto me is each one, nor against knightly rule
        I strive.
    Spear in rest 'gainst the foe have I ridden; I have smitten
        him from the side;
    His onslaught have I avoided; nor to fair joust have failed
        to ride
    In gallop, as should beseem me; I have followed the flying
        foe--                                                        415
    Since the shield, it hath been my safeguard, such sorrow I
        ne'er may know
    As that which to-day besets me--I have fought with a fiery
    At Agremontein, I bare then a shield of Asbestos bright,
    And a surcoat of Salamander, else sure had I there been
    And in sooth my life have I perilled, and my fame have I
        dearly earned.                                               420
    Ah! would but thy sister send me to battle for love's reward,
    In strife would I do her bidding, and her fame and mine own
        would guard.
    And ever my heart fierce hatred to my god Jupiter shall bear,
    If he make not an end of my sorrow, and give me this maiden

    Of the twain, Frimutel was the father, and therefore Anfortas
        bore                                                         425
    E'en such face and such form as his sister--Then the heathen,
        he looked once more
    On the maiden and then on her brother--What they bare him of
        drink or meat
    No morsel he ate, yet he sat there as one who made feint to

    Then to Parzival spake Anfortas, 'Sir King, it doth seem to
    That thy brother, who sitteth by me, he faileth the Grail to
        see!'                                                        430
    And Feirefis spake that he saw naught, nor knew what It was
        'the Grail';
    And they hearkened his words, the Templars, and a marvel they
        deemed the tale.
    And Titurel needs must hear it, in his chamber the old king
    And he quoth, 'If he be a heathen, then such thought shall he
        put away
    As that eyes unbaptized may win them the power to behold the
        Grail!                                                       435
    Such barriers are built around It, his sight to the task
        shall fail.'

    Then they bare to the hall these tidings, and the host and
        Anfortas told
    How that which the folk did nourish, Feirefis, he might ne'er
    Since from heathen eyes It was hidden, and they prayed him to
        seek the grace
    Of Baptism, by its virtue he should win him in Heaven a
        place.                                                       440

    'If I, for your sake, be baptizèd, will that help me to win
        my love?'
    Spake Gamuret's son, the heathen--'As a wind shall all
        sorrows prove,
    That wooing or war shall have brought me, to the grief that I
        now must feel!
    If long or short the time be since I first felt the touch of
    And fought 'neath a shield, such anguish ne'er hath fallen
        unto my share,                                               445
    And tho' love should, I ween, be hidden, yet my heart would
        its grief declare!'

    'Of whom dost thou speak?' quoth the Waleis, 'Of none but
        that lady bright,
    Who is sister to this, thy comrade--If thou, as a faithful
    Wilt help me to win the maiden, I will give her with kingly
    Great riches, and men shall hail her as queen over many a
        land!'                                                       450
    'If to Baptism thou wilt yield thee,' spake the host, 'then
        her love is thine,
    (And as _thou_ I right well may hail thee, since the Grail
        and Its realm are mine,
    And our riches methinks are equal)'--Quoth Feirefis Angevin,
    'Then help me to bliss, my brother, that the love of thine
        aunt I win.
    And, if Baptism be won by battle, then help me to strife I
        pray,                                                        455
    That I, for sweet love's rewarding, may do service without
    And mine ear well doth love the music when the spear-shafts
        in splinters break,
    And the helmet rings clear 'neath the sword-thrust, and the
        war-cry the echo wakes.'

    Then Parzival laughed out gaily, and Anfortas, he laughed yet
    'Nay, nay,' quoth the host, 'such blessing is no guerdon for
        deeds of war.                                                460
    I will give unto thee the maiden, by true Baptism's grace and
    But the god and the love of a heathen shalt thou leave in the
        self-same hour;
    And to-morrow, at early dawning, will I give to thee counsel
    Whose fruit shall be seen in the crowning of thy life with a
        blessing new!'

    Now Anfortas, before his sickness, in many a distant land        465
    Had won him fair fame, for Love's sake, by the deeds of his
        knightly hand.
    And the thoughts of his heart were gentle, and generous he
        was and free,
    And his right hand had won full often the guerdon of victory;
    So they sat in the wondrous presence of the Grail, three
        heroes true,
    The best of their day, and the bravest that sword-blade in
        battle drew.                                                 470

    An ye will, they enough had eaten--They, courteous, the
        tables bare
    From the hall, and as serving-maidens, low bent they, those
        maidens fair.
    And Feirefis Angevin saw them as forth from the hall they
    And in sorrow and deeper anguish I ween was the hero cast.
    And she who his heart held captive, she bare from the hall
        the Grail,                                                   475
    And leave did they crave of their monarch, nor his will to
        their will should fail.

    How the queen, herself, she passed hence; how men did their
        task begin;
    Of the bedding soft they brought him who for love's pain no
        rest might win;
    How one and all, the Templars, with kindness would put away
    His grief, 'twere too long to tell ye--speak we now of the
        dawning day.                                                 480

    In the light of the early morning came his brother, Parzival,
    With the noble knight Anfortas, and in this wise the tale
        they tell;
    This knight who to love was captive, proud Zassamank's lord
        and king,
    They prayed, of true heart, to follow, and they would to the
        Temple bring,
    And before the Grail they led him--And there had they bidden
        stand                                                        485
    The wisest men of the Templars--knights and servants, a
        goodly band,
    Were there ere the heathen entered: the Font was a ruby rare,
    And it stood on a rounded pillar that of Jasper was fashioned
    And of old Titurel, he gave it, and the cost was great I
    Then Parzival spake to his brother, 'This maid wouldst thou
        have for queen,                                              490
    Then the gods thou hast served henceforward thou shalt for
        her sake forswear,
    And ever thine arms, as a true knight, 'gainst the foes of
        the true God bear,
    And, faithful, still do His bidding'--'Yea, aught that may
        win my love,'
    Quoth the heathen, 'I'll do right gladly, and my deeds shall
        my truth approve.'
    Now the Font, toward the Grail had they turned it, filled
        with water, nor hot nor cold,                                495
    And a priest by its side did wait them, and grey-haired he
        was, and old;
    He had plunged 'neath baptismal waters full many a paynim
    And he spake to the noble heathen, and gentle his speech and
    'If thy soul thou wouldst wrest from the Devil, thou shalt
        serve Him who reigns on high,
    And Threefold is He, yet but One God for aye is the Trinity.     500
    God is Man, and the Word of His Father, God is Father at once
        and Son,
    And alike shall the twain be honoured, and the Spirit with
        them is One!
    In the Threefold Name shall it cleanse thee, this water, with
        Threefold might,
    And from shadow of heathen darkness shalt thou pass into
        Christian light.
    In water was He baptizèd, in Whose likeness was Adam made,       505
    And each tree from the water draweth its sap, and its leafy
    By water all flesh is nourished, and all that on earth doth
    And the eyes of man are quickened, such virtue doth water
    And many a soul it cleanseth, till it shineth so pure and
    That the angels themselves in heaven methinks shall be scarce
        so bright!'                                                  510

    To the priest then he spake, the heathen, 'If it bringeth me
        ease for woe
    I will swear whatsoe'er thou biddest--If reward in her love I
    Then gladly I'll do His bidding--Yea, brother, I here believe
    In the God of my love, and for her sake all other gods I'll
    (For such sorrow as she hath brought me I never have known
        before,)                                                     515
    And it profiteth naught Sekundillé the love that to me she
    And the honour that she hath done me--All that shall have
        passed away--
    In the Name of the God of my father would I fain be baptized

    Then the priest laid his hands upon him, and the blessing
        baptismal gave,
    And he did on the chrisom vesture, and he won what his soul
        did crave,                                                   520
    For e'en as he was baptizèd they made ready the maiden mild,
    And for christening gift they gave him King Frimutel's lovely

    From his eyes had the Grail been hidden ere baptismal waters
    Had passed o'er his head, but henceforward, 'twas unveiled to
        his wondering sight,
    And, e'en as the rite was over, on the Grail they this
        writing read;                                                525
    'The Templar whom God henceforward to a strange folk should
        send as head,
    Must forbid all word or question of his country, or name, or
    If they willed he aright should help them, and they would in
        his sight find grace.
    For the day that they ask the question that folk must he
        leave straightway'--
    Since the time that their king, Anfortas, so long in his
        anguish lay,                                                 530
    And the question o'er-long awaited, all questions but please
        them ill,
    The knights of the Grail, and no man doth question them with
        their will.

    Then, baptized, Feirefis the Christian to Anfortas made
        urgent prayer,
    He should ride with him to his kingdom, and his riches with
        him should share;
    But, with courtesy, Anfortas to the knight and his prayer
        said 'Nay,                                                   535
    Naught shall hinder the willing service that to God I would
        give alway;
    'Tis a goodly crown, the Grail crown, thro' pride was it lost
        to me,
    Henceforth do I choose as my portion a life of humility,
    And riches and love of women shall be strangers unto my
    Thou leadest with thee a fair wife, henceforth shall it be
        her part                                                     540
    With true love to reward thy service, as to women is fit and
    But I for the love of mine Order henceforward mine arms will
    For the Grail and Its service only I many a joust will ride,
    But I fight never more for women--thro' a woman did ill
    Yet no hatred I bear to women, high courage and joy they give    545
    Unto men, tho' _I_ won but sorrow while I did in their
        service live.'

    But yet, for the sake of his sister, Feirefis rested not to
    That Anfortas should journey with them, but ever he said them
    Then he prayed Lohengrin should fare with him, but the
        mother, she willed it not;
    And King Parzival spake, 'In the service of the Grail hath he
        part and lot,                                                550
    And my son, he is pledged to the Order, and a faithful heart
        and true
    Must he bear in the holy service--God grant him the will

    Then in joy and in fair diversion, till eleven days were
    Feirefis abode at Monsalväsch, on the twelfth would he ride
    He would lead his wife, this rich man, to his army that yet
        did wait                                                     555
    His coming, and Parzival sorrowed for the brother he won so
    And mourned sore when he heard the tidings--Then counsel he
        took straightway,
    And a goodly force of the Templars did he send with them on
        their way,
    Thro' the woodland paths should they guide them--Anfortas,
        the gallant knight,
    Himself fain would be their escort--sore wept many maidens
        bright.                                                      560

    And new pathways they needs must cut them to Karkobra's city
    Then Anfortas, he sent a message to him who was Burg-grave
    And he bade him, if aye of aforetime rich gifts from his hand
        he won
    To bethink him, that so this service of true heart by him be
    His brother-in-law with his lady, the king's sister, he now
        must guide                                                   565
    Thro' the wood Loehprisein, where the haven afar lieth wild
        and wide--
    For now 'twas the hour of parting, nor further the knights
        must fare,
    But Anfortas, he spake to Kondrie, and he bade her the
        message bear.
    Then from Feirefis, the rich man, the Templars leave did
    And the courteous knight and noble rode hence on his homeward
        way.                                                         570

    And the Burg-grave no whit delayed him, but he did e'en at
        Kondrie's word,
    And gave welcome fair and knightly to the folk and their
        noble lord.
    Nor might Feirefis grow weary of his stay, at the dawn of
    With many a knight as escort, they guided him on his way.
    But I know not how far he had ridden, nor the countries his
        eyes had seen                                                575
    Ere he came once more to Ioflanz, and its meadow, so fair and

    And some of the folk yet abode there--and Feirefis fain had
    In the self-same hour, the tidings of whither the host had
    For each one had sought his country, and the road that full
        well he knew--
    King Arthur to Camelot journeyed with many a hero true--         580
    Then he of Tribalibot hastened, and his army he sought once
    For his ships lay yet in the haven, and they grieved for
        their lord full sore
    And his coming brought joy and courage to many a hero bold--
    The Burg-grave and his knights from Karkobra he rewarded with
        gifts and gold--
    And strange news did they tell unto Kondrie, for messengers
        sought the host,                                             585
    Sekundillé was dead; with the tidings they many a sea had
    Then first in her distant journey did Répanse de Schoie find
    And in India's realm hereafter did she bear to the king a
    And _Prester John_ they called him, and he won to himself
        such fame
    That henceforward all kings of his country were known by no
        other name.                                                  590
    And Feirefis sent a writing thro' the kingdoms whose crown he
    And the Christian Faith was honoured as it never had been of
    (And Tribalibot was that country which as _India_ here we
    Then Feirefis spake to Kondrie, and he bade her his brother
    (Who reigneth in far Monsalväsch) what had chanced unto him,
        the king,                                                    595
    And the death of Queen Sekundillé--and the tidings the maid
        did bring;
    And Anfortas was glad and joyful to think that his sister
    Without or strife or conflict, the crown of those lands might

    Now aright have ye heard the story of the children of
    Five they were, and three are living, and death unto two
        befell.                                                      600
    And the one was Schoysiané, who was pure in the sight of God,
    And the other was Herzeleide, and falsehood her soul
    And the sword and the life of knighthood, Trevrezent, he had
        laid them down
    For the love of God, and His service, and the hope of a
        deathless crown.
    And the gallant knight, Anfortas, pure heart and strong hand
        he bore,                                                     605
    And well for the Grail he jousted, but for women he fought no
    And Lohengrin grew to manhood, and cowardice from him flew,
    And his heart yearned for deeds of knighthood, to the Grail
        he did service true.

    Would ye further hear the story? A maiden, in days of yore,
    Whose heart was free from falsehood, the crown of a fair land
        bore--                                                       610
    Her heirdom was rich and noble, and lowly and pure her heart,
    And no taint of earthly longing had found in her soul a part.
    And wooers she had in plenty, of crownèd kings, I ween,
    And princes, whose race and kingdom fit mate for her own had
    Yet so humble she was, the maiden, she thought not of earthly
        love--                                                       615
    And the counts of her realm waxed wrathful, since no pleading
        her soul could move,
    And their anger raged hot against her that she gave not her
        maiden hand
    To one who should be fit ruler o'er her folk, and her goodly
    In God was her trust, whatever men might in their anger
    And guiltless, she bare the vengeance her folk on her head
        would wreak.                                                 620
    But she called of her land the princes, and they journeyed
        from far and near,
    From many a distant country, the will of their queen to hear.
    And she sware she would have no husband, and no man as her
        lord would own
    Save him whom God's Hand should send her, his love would she
        wait alone.

    Of the land of Brabant was she princess--From Monsalväsch he
        came, the knight                                             625
    Whom God at His will should send her, and his guide was a
        swan so white.
    He set foot in her land at Antwerp, and she knew that her
        heart spake true,
    And gallant was he to look on, and all men the hero knew
    For a noble knight and manly, and his face, it was wondrous
    And his fame was in every kingdom where men did his deeds
        declare.                                                     630
    And a wise man he was, free-handed, with never a doubting
    And faithful and true, and falsehood it found in his life no

    A fair welcome the princess gave him--now list ye unto his
    Rich and poor stood there around him, and they gave to his
        words good heed,
    And he spake thus, 'My Lady Duchess, if thou wilt not mine
        hand refuse,                                                 635
    But wilt have me for lord and husband, for thy sake I a
        kingdom lose--
    But hearken to what I pray thee, ask thou never who I may be,
    And seek not to know my country, for so may I abide with
    In the day thou dost ask the question of my love shalt thou
        be bereft--
    Take thou warning, lest God recall me to the land which
        erewhile I left.'                                            640
    Then she pledged her faith as a woman that her love, it
        should ne'er wax less,
    She would do e'en as he should bid her, and never his will
    So long as God wit should give her--Her love did he win that
    And Lord of Brabant and its Duchess they hailed him with
        morning light.

    And the marriage feast was costly, and many a knight the land    645
    That of right should be his, as vassal, must take from his
        princely hand.
    For he gave ever righteous judgment, and many a gallant deed
    Of knighthood he did, and, valiant, he won of fair fame his
    Fair children were born unto them--The folk of Brabant yet
    Of the twain, how he came unto them, and wherefore he thence
        must go,                                                     650
    And how long he dwelt among them ere her question broke the
    And drove him forth, unwilling, for so shall the story tell.
    The friendly swan, it sought him, and a little boat did
    And he sailed thence, and left as tokens his sword, and his
        horn, and ring.
    So _Lohengrin_ passed from among them, for in sooth this
        gallant knight                                               655
    Was Parzival's son, and none other, if the tale ye would know
    By water-ways he sought it, the home of the Grail, again--
    And what of the lovely duchess who longed for her lord in
    Why drove she hence her true love? since he bade her be
        warned of yore,
    And forbade her to ask the question when he landed on
        Brabant's shore--                                            660
    Here Herr Erec should speak, for, I think me, he knoweth the
        tale to tell
    Of revenging for broken pledges, and the fate that such
        speech befell!

    If Chrêtien of Troyes, the master, hath done to this tale a
    Then _Kiot_ may well be wrathful, for he taught us aright the
    To the end the Provençal told it--How Herzeleide's son the
        Grail                                                        665
    Did win, as was fore-ordainèd when Anfortas thereto did fail.
    And thus, from Provence, the story to the German land was
    And aright was it told, and the story doth lack in its ending
    I, Wolfram of Eschenbach, think me that here-of will I speak
        no more--
    Of Parzival's race, and his kindred, of that have I told
        afore;                                                       670
    To the goal of his bliss have I brought him--he whose life
        such an end shall gain,
    That his soul doth not forfeit Heaven for sins that his flesh
        shall stain,
    And yet, as true man and worthy, the world's favour and grace
        doth keep
    Hath done well, nor hath lost his labour, nor his fame shall
        hereafter sleep!
    And if good and gracious women shall think I be worthy
        praise,                                                      675
    Since I tell to its end my story, then joyful shall be my
    And since for the love of a woman I have sung it, this song
        of old,
    I would that, in sweet words gentle, my guerdon by her be




In examining into the source whence Wolfram derived this poem, it may
be well to restate briefly the problem as indicated in the Preface.
We may take it as an acknowledged fact, disputed by none, that for
the bulk of his work, from the commencement of Books III. to XIII.,
and inclusive of part of the latter, Wolfram drew from a French
source; he himself says that this source was the poem of 'Kiot the
Provençal,' and, while acquainted with the work of Chrêtien de Troyes,
he distinctly avows his preference for Kiot over Chrêtien, saying that
Chrêtien had told the story wrongly, for which Kiot might well be
wrathful with him. From this we gather that, granting the existence of
the two French versions, Kiot's had preceded Chrêtien's.

The difficulties in the way of accepting Wolfram's own definite
statement are twofold: first, that no trace of such a poem, or such
a poet, exists (which in itself is not an insuperable difficulty);
second, and more serious, that we do possess the poem of Chrêtien de
Troyes, and that it presents such striking features of similarity to
Wolfram's version that it is clear that if one were not the source of
the other, there is a common source at the root of both.

Now, of Chrêtien's source he only tells us that Count Philip of
Flanders gave him the book in which he found this story of Perceval and
the Grail, but of the author of the book he says no word. Of Kiot's
source, Wolfram tells us that the story of the origin of the Grail was
found in a MS. at Toledo, written in Arabic by a heathen astronomer,
Flegetanis; and it also appears, from a passage in Book VIII. p. 238,
that the story of Parzival was contained in the same MS. That Kiot
then sought through the chronicles of various countries for some
confirmation of the tale, and finally found the record of the Grail
kings in the chronicles of Anjou.

Of the sources thus variously given, the book possessed by Count Philip
of Flanders, the Arabic MS. of Flegetanis, the Chronicles of Anjou,
and Kiot's poem founded upon these two last, the Chronicles of Anjou
alone remain to us; do they throw any light on the question or not?
It has long been asserted that they do _not_, and it is true that
they contain no record of the Grail kings, nor, though King Arthur
is mentioned, and treated as an historical personage, do we find
any mention of Mazadan, Gamuret, Herzeleide, and Parzival under the
same names; but it also seems equally clear that the writer of the
_Parzival_ knew the Chronicles of Anjou, and in the case of each of
the characters mentioned above it is not difficult to trace a distinct
correspondence between what is recorded in the _Parzival_ and real
personages and events of Angevin history. (A reference to Appendix
A, vol. i., 'on the Angevin allusions' will show how close in some
cases this parallel is.) Now we find that the greater number of these
allusions are contained in the earlier part of the poem, Books I., II.,
and III., some of the most striking, _e.g._ the account of the origin
of the Angevin House; the parallel between Gamuret and Fulk V.; and the
introduction of Herzeleide, being in the two first books; _i.e._ that
part of the poem peculiar to Wolfram's version is also the part of the
poem richest in indications of a knowledge of Angevin history.

The fact that Wolfram has an introduction, and a completion, to the
Perceval legend which agree perfectly one with the other, and are not
found elsewhere, naturally leads to the inference that he either had
a source other than Chrêtien, or that he invented the books himself;
which latter Simrock claims to have been the case. In a case of this
kind, where there is an utter lack of external testimony to help us,
we can only judge from the internal evidence of the work itself, and
here we are met at the outset by the startling phenomenon of a poem,
ascribed to the invention of a _German_ poet, abounding in allusions
to a contemporary _French_ line of princes, and evidently designed for
the glorification of that house. It is perfectly true that the princely
family in question had risen to a point of greatness that resulted in
their dominating for some years European politics, but, in the absence
of any testimony connecting Wolfram with the House of Anjou, we are at
least entitled to ask how he possibly came to give such a colour to his
poem. It is impossible to avoid being perplexed by such questions as
these; how did Wolfram come to be so familiar with the early history of
the Angevin counts? If he wished to glorify any reigning prince why did
he not choose a German, say Hermann of Thuringia, rather than lead to
the suspicion that he wished to compliment a house represented at the
time _he_ wrote by its very worst and weakest descendant, John of Anjou
and England? Why did he lay the adventures of his hero's father in the
East, and bring into the story the curious and enigmatic personality
of Feirefis, and, having invented him, give him a name of undoubted
_French_ origin? And even if we pass over the difficulties of the first
two books we are met by other questions just as puzzling, _e.g._ why
did Wolfram, who had so high an idea of fidelity to his source, and
who blamed so strongly the leading poet of his day for the fault of
departing from his supposed model, represent the Grail and the dwellers
in Its castle in the light in which he did? There is no parallel to his
Grail-stone or the 'Templeisen' throughout the whole Grail literature,
and we cannot escape from the alternative of admitting that if Wolfram
did not invent all this he found it in a source unknown to us.

The problem of the Grail has been attempted to be solved by the
hypothesis of a misunderstanding of Chrêtien de Troyes, this solution
is of course _possible_, but it must be admitted that it has the
appearance rather of an ingenious evasion than an explanation of a
difficulty, and it holds good for nothing beyond the bare presentment
of the Grail as a _stone_. The Angevin problem, on the other hand, has
so far never been solved at all, and only its removal hinted at by
the suggestion that Walter Mapes was the author of Wolfram's source,
which of course admits that Wolfram _had_ a source other than Chrêtien,
and therefore by implication throws doubt on the above suggested
explanation of the Grail which is based on the supposition that
Chrêtien, and Chrêtien alone, was the source of Wolfram's information.
In fact, so long as we refuse to admit the truth of Wolfram's own
explicit statements, so long shall we find the interpretation of
the _Parzival_ beset with innumerable difficulties, the attempted
explanation of one part of the problem only rendering the remaining
portion more obscure; but if we will accept it as possible that Wolfram
gave a correct account of the source of his poem, and, divesting our
minds of all preconceived ideas in favour of this or that theory,
carefully examine the indications afforded by the poem itself, we
may find that there _is_ a solution which will meet, more or less
fully, all the difficulties which beset the question. Now, as remarked
above, when Wolfram wrote his poem the power of the Angevin House was
beginning to decline, the date assigned to the _Parzival_, with which
date all the internal evidences agree, is within the first fifteen
years of the thirteenth century, a period exactly corresponding to the
reign of John, and it may be the first two or three years of that of
his successor Henry III., and it was during the fatuous misgovernment
of these princes that the edifice so carefully built up by the early
Angevin counts fell to pieces. Works in glorification of any special
house or kingdom are not, as a rule, written during that house or
kingdom's period of decadence, rather during its time of growth and
aggrandisement, and we find as a fact that the events which led to
the accession of an Angevin count to the throne of England 'stirred
up, during the early years of Henry Fitz-Empress' reign, a spirit of
patriotic loyalty which led more than one of his subjects to collect
the floating popular traditions of his race, and weave them into a
narrative which passed for a history of the Angevin counts.' (Cf.
_England under the Angevin Kings_, vol. ii. p. 195.) It is therefore
to this period rather than to a later date, _i.e._ to Wolfram's source
rather than to Wolfram himself, that historical testimony would bid
us assign the Angevin allusions. History also forbids us to assume
that _Chrêtien_ could have been the source of Wolfram's information;
Chrêtien was of Troyes, in Champagne, therefore an adherent of the
House of Blois who were hereditary foes of the Angevin counts, and not
without reason, as the latter were most undesirable neighbours, and
never lost a chance of increasing their dominions at the expense of
their fellow-princes. At one time or another, either by marriage or by
conquest, they annexed all the surrounding estates (though they grasped
considerably more than they could permanently hold), and after the
marriage of Henry Fitz-Empress with Eleanor of Aquitaine, the heiress
of Poitou and Guyenne, and of his son Geoffrey with Constance of
Brittany, the whole of the coast-line of France belonged to the Angevin
possessions. It was not surprising that princes of such an acquisitive
nature should have many enemies, and when Henry's sons rebelled
against him they were not without friends to back them up, among them,
apparently, was the very Count Philip of Flanders from whom Chrêtien
received the book from whence he drew his poem. If then Wolfram in
his first two books was following a French poet, that poet was _not_

But if the Angevin counts had many foes they had also many adherents,
not only in Europe but in the East, their connection with which dated
back to the reign of Fulk Nerra, or Fulk the Palmer. It was not to a
member of an unknown house that Baldwin, king of Jerusalem, in 1129
sent an invitation to become his son-in-law and successor; nor did
Fulk, when he left Anjou for Jerusalem, go alone--we are expressly told
that he took a large army with him. Fulk himself died in 1142, but he
left sons who succeeded him, so that the Angevin rule in the East did
not end with his death.

Is it then impossible, or even improbable, that this 'Kiot the
Provençal' of whom Wolfram speaks was an adherent of the House of
Anjou, who had followed their fortunes in the East, and who, coming
under the spell of the Grail myth in its connection with the Perceval
legend, remodelled the story, probably then still in a rough and
transitional form, in accordance with his own personal experiences
and prepossessions? Do not all the indications afforded by the poem
favour this theory? Such a man would have been thoroughly familiar
with the legends that had gathered round the early Angevin princes, as
well as with the historical facts connected with their successors; he
would have come into contact with the Order of the Knights Templars
in a land where they were in deed, and not merely in name, guardians
of the Faith; he would be familiar with many a legend of precious
stones, the favourite talisman of the East, and would know the special
virtue ascribed to each; above all, he would have seen before him in
a concrete form the contest between faith and unbelief, darkness and
light, Christianity and Heathendom, a black race and a white, which
forms at least one of the leading ideas in the interpretation of the

In fact, if we will allow the existence of such a writer as a travelled
Angevin might well have been, we shall find all the principal problems
of the _Parzival_ admit of a rational explanation. Even the central
puzzle, Wolfram's representation of the Grail, is explicable on such
an hypothesis. We know how very vague Chrêtien's account of the Grail
is; how much in the dark he leaves us as to Its outward form, Its
influence, and Its origin. A writer _before_ Chrêtien is scarcely
likely to have been more explicit; what more likely than that a man
long resident in the East, and familiar, as has been said above, with
Eastern jewel talismans and the legends connected with them, when
confronted with this mysterious Grail, of which no definite account
was given, yet which apparently exercised a magical life-sustaining
influence, should have jumped to the conclusion of Its, at least
partial, identity with the precious stones of the power of which he had
heard so much?

And in connection with this it is worthy of note that Wolfram
represents the Grail as lying on a _green_ Achmardi; in other versions
of the Grail romances it is red, or white, samite that we find
mentioned as veiling the relic. Throughout the poem we find _green_
constantly mentioned, _e.g._ Gamuret's equipment, the robes of the
Grail maidens and of Gramoflanz, the cross over Gamuret's grave,
Trevrezent's shrine or reliquary; all these allusions seem to point
to the writer's familiarity with green as a royal and sacred colour,
a knowledge which could only have been gained in the East. Nor, as
mentioned in note to Book IX., is the description of the Grail the only
instance of a mystical influence being attributed to a precious stone,
but throughout the whole poem the constant mention of gems, and, in
special instances, of the virtue they possess, is one of the marked
peculiarities of the poem, and one of the features which differentiate
it from Chrêtien's version.

That Wolfram had a model for these earlier books, and one that he was
following closely, appears from the description he gives in two places
of Kailet's armour; in Book I. we find '_do rekande ich abr wol dinen
strûs, ame schilde ein sarapandra test_,' and in Book II. '_stit dîn
strûs noch sunder nest? Du solt din sarapandra test gein sinem halben
grîfen tragen_,' where in both instances it is distinctly implied that
Kailet had _two_ badges, an ostrich on his helmet and a snake's head on
his shield, which is, to say the least, extremely unlikely. What seems
to be really meant is that Kailet carried the figure of the entire bird
on his helmet, and a representation of its head on his shield; the
likeness in the shape of the latter to a snake's head has often been
commented upon, and the ostrich, from its curious head and neck, has
been known as 'the serpent bird.' It seems clear that here at least
Wolfram was following another description, and one which he did not
altogether understand.

As to the conclusion to be drawn from the proper names which occur
in such profusion throughout the poem, this question has been so
fully treated by Bartsch (cf. vol. i. Appendix B) that it would be
superfluous to discuss it here; and the correspondence between the
Titurel poems and the Parzival, which argues a common source for both,
has also been adequately discussed, but the addition of the arguments
to be derived from the correspondence existing between Wolfram's
Angevin allusions and the facts of Angevin history, seems to put it
beyond doubt that there is a strong body of evidence in support of
Wolfram's own statement that he had a French source other than Chrêtien
de Troyes; and, if we admit that he spoke the truth so far, it seems
only logical to believe that he was also speaking the truth when he
gave the name of the author of his source as '_Kiot the Provençal_.'



In explanation of the striking agreement which exists between the
_Parzival_ of Wolfram von Eschenbach and that part of _Li Conte del
Graal_ which we owe to Chrêtien de Troyes, three solutions may be
suggested: (_a_) That Chrêtien was the source of Wolfram; (_b_) That
Chrêtien and Wolfram both drew from a common source, that source, if
Wolfram is to be believed, being Kiot; (_c_) That Chrêtien, who wrote
before Wolfram, drew from a source anterior to Wolfram, which source
was also used by Kiot.

For reasons already stated we may dismiss (_a_) without further
argument, and accept Wolfram's statement as to the existence of
a French poem other than Chrêtien's; but the question as to the
relationship existing between these two poems, whether the one was
directly the source of the other (as Wolfram seems to have supposed),
or whether both represent a common source, requires to be carefully

The principal difference between the _Parzival_ and the _Conte del
Graal_ is in the Introduction, which is missing entirely in Chrêtien,
whose account of Perceval's father and of his death is at variance
with all the other versions, and has been supplemented by a later
Introduction, more in harmony with what seems to have been accepted as
the original form of the story, _i.e._ with the fact of the death of
the hero's father _before_ his birth, and the flight of the _widowed_
mother into the woods. Now, it is of course quite possible, it is
even highly probable, that Chrêtien, had he known a version of the
story such as Wolfram gives, would have rejected it on account of its
connection with the House of Anjou, but we cannot base any argument
on the absence of this introduction, since Chrêtien left his poem
unfinished at a point before the close connection between the first
two books and the ending of the story becomes apparent in Wolfram.
Had Chrêtien lived to complete his work we should have then been in a
better position to judge whether he knew Kiot's poem and deliberately
set it on one side, or whether he was following another version.

Closely as the two poems agree, it is noticeable that, in more than one
instance, Chrêtien's version of an incident is more in harmony with the
story as told in other members of the Grail cycle than is Wolfram's;
_e.g._ Parzival's visit to the court of King Arthur, and Gawain's
adventure in the Château Merveil, both of which have been fully treated
in the Notes. It is curious also that in the three versions of the
story most closely agreeing, the _Conte del Graal_, _Parzival_, and
_Peredur_, we find the bleeding lance and the sword in each, while
for the 'Grail' talisman we have variously, an enigmatic object of
gold set with precious stones, a stone, and a bleeding head on a dish;
this variation seems to point to the conclusion that the lance and
sword, and not the 'Grail,' were the original features of the story;
and accordingly we find in Chrêtien that it is the lance, and not the
Grail, which Gawain goes to seek; and the lance is also treated at
greater length than is the Grail.

If Wolfram and Chrêtien were drawing from the same source it seems
strange that it is in the work of that one of the two who avowedly
places a high value on adherence to the traditional form of the story
that we miss just these archaic features.

Again, Wolfram and Chrêtien differ very decidedly in their presentment
of the Grail knights and their organisation; if so striking and
effective a feature existed in a source common to both, it is difficult
to understand why Chrêtien omitted it; he could have had no such grudge
against the Order of Templars as he would reasonably have against the
House of Anjou, and it is equally difficult to believe that if it was
_not_ in the source, Wolfram departed from his avowed principle of
fidelity so far as to introduce it.

We also find the same ideas introduced in a different context; thus,
when Perceval leaves his mother to go out into the world, among her
counsels the French poet includes, '_Preudom ne forconselle nie celui
ki tient sa compagnie_'; in Wolfram we have no such phrase, but when
Parzival arrives at Gurnemanz's Castle we find him saying, '_Mîn
muoter saget al wâr, Alt mannes rede stêt niht se vâr_,' which in the
Parzival she did _not_ say. It is evident that in the two versions
counsel and application have become separated, and in this case again
it seems more probable that the counsel would originally have been
given without the application, as by Chrêtien, than _vice versa_ as by
Wolfram. On the other hand, Mr. Nutt points out in his _Studies_ that
Perceval's recognition of the knights as _angels_ is quite at variance
with his mother's representation of armed men as _devils_, whereas in
the _Parzival_ the whole episode is clear and consistent. Here the
French poet has evidently dropped out something, and there are other
instances, such as the names of Gurnemanz's sons, in which the German
poem seems to have followed an older tradition.

But on the whole, a careful comparison of the two poems seems to show
that Wolfram's version is further removed from the original form of the
story than is Chrêtien's, and that therefore the probability is that
the common basis of the two poems was a work known to the two _French_

In support of this theory it may be noted as a curious fact that while
_Chrêtien_ avowedly bases his poem on a book given to him by the
Count of Flanders, _Wolfram's_ poem really contains more references
to Flanders than Chrêtien's does. Thus we have several allusions to
Lambekein, Duke of Brabant; Brandelidelein of Punturtois figures
prominently both in the second and in the later books, and his city
'Der Wazzervesten stat von Punt' (_punt_=_pont_=bridge) is suspiciously
like Bruges; to say nothing of the connection of the Lohengrin story
with Brabant and Antwerp. It has been pointed out already by critics
that Gerbert, one of Chrêtien's continuators, has the same connection
of the Grail winner with the knight of the swan, which seems to
indicate that the stories were not first connected by the _German_ poet
(Gerbert also connects with the Swan Knight with the Deliverer of the
Holy Sepulchre, an Oriental and Crusading feature quite in harmony with
what has been suggested with regard to Wolfram's French source).

On the whole, the evidence seems to point to the conclusion that the
source of Kiot's poem was identical with the book delivered to Chrêtien
by the Count of Flanders; and the connection between Wolfram and
Chrêtien is that of a source from which Chrêtien drew at first, Wolfram
at second hand, Wolfram's medium having treated the legend with far
more freedom and boldness than was common at that date.



The question of the interpretation to be placed upon the _Parzival_ is
one of the most important parts of the problem under discussion. As
a rule it has been treated apart from the question of the _source_,
for critics have been pretty generally unanimous in declaring that
whatever the authority followed as to the story, its employment as a
medium of ethical edification was due to Wolfram and to Wolfram alone.
But a careful examination of the poem seems to indicate that not only
were the first germs of a spiritual interpretation due to another and
older writer, but also that a very close and important connection
exists between the interpretation and the source, as alleged by Wolfram

Now, whether we are treating of the source or of the inner
signification of the poem, one of the most important elements in the
question is the character of Feirefis. That this curious personality
is as closely connected with the inner, as with the outer, development
of the story many critics have readily admitted, and therefore the
question of the _origin_ of the character becomes one of no little
importance. If we can prove that Feirefis is beyond doubt the invention
of Wolfram, then we have a strong argument for believing that the
ethical teaching is also entirely Wolfram's; but if the evidence
points the other way, and is in favour of the theory that Feirefis is
an integral part of the original French source, then there is strong
ground for believing that the semi-allegorical treatment of the subject
was also part of Kiot's scheme. Simrock feels this so strongly that he
advances the close connection of Feirefis alike with the _grund-idee_
of the poem and the first two books to prove that Wolfram _must_ have
written those books, since to him alone the moral teaching can be due.

But is the evidence in favour of the German authorship of these books?
Is it not, as we have shown in the discussion of the Angevin allusions,
distinctly _against_ such a conclusion? And here we must not overlook
the fact that the _Angevin_ parentage is insisted on far more strongly
in the case of Feirefis than in that of his brother; it seems indeed
as if the elder brother were regarded specially as the son of his
father, from first to last he is 'Feirefis Angevin,' whereas Parzival
is regarded more as the son of the mother through whom he is connected
with the mystic race of the Grail-kings, and bears throughout the title
of 'Waleis,' his mother's, not his father's, land.

A close study of the poem seems to show that it came into Wolfram's
hands an organic whole; in spite of the strong individuality of the
German poet which has stamped itself on every page, in spite of the
constant personal allusions, of the characteristic form into which
he has remoulded the story, we feel that he has never lost sight
of the original conception, but, even while working out his own
interpretation, has allowed the thread of his source to run unbroken,
if not untangled, to the end. And with that thread Feirefis is closely
inwoven; it is at the critical moment of Parzival's life, when the
conventional faith in God as the All-wise Ruler of the world, which
has been sufficient for his boyhood, fails him, that the hero first
learns the existence of his unknown brother, Feirefis Angevin; from
that point onward, whenever the story will admit of an allusion to
Feirefis, either directly, or indirectly through his love Sekundillé,
that allusion is introduced, so that as we draw towards the end of the
poem the mind is not unprepared for the appearance of Feirefis himself,
and the combat which is the last, as it is the most desperate, of
Parzival's trials. The breaking of the sword of Ither of Gaheviess, as
well as the exceptional nature of the conflict itself, is a distinct
indication of a special significance attached to the incident, and one
is not surprised to find that the conclusion of Parzival's probation
and his election to the Grail kingdom follow closely upon it. It
is impossible to believe that a personality so strange as that of
Feirefis, so closely connected with the hero of the poem, and brought
into special prominence at the turning-points of his career, means
nothing at all; and this when we have the contrast between Doubt and
Steadfastness, Darkness and Light, Black and White directly insisted

The original ethical idea seems to have been simple enough; the sin
of lack of faith in God, which mars an otherwise steadfast character.
Feirefis shows, in a concrete form, the contrast sketched in the
opening lines of Book I., and Parzival's final conflict with his
parti-coloured brother signified the final victory over Doubt which
rendered him worthy to win the Grail. The idea of working some such
_motif_ into the story may very likely have arisen from a wish to
supply a better and more adequate reason for Parzival's interview with
the Hermit, an episode which, as the _Parzival_ shows, is capable
of far finer treatment than it has received in any other version.
(It must not be forgotten that Parzival's passionate outbreak and
defiance of God is found nowhere else, and that the duty of trust in
God and reliance upon Him in the hour of trouble has been distinctly
part of his early teaching, and that there too the 'black and white'
contrast has been insisted upon.) The idea thus first suggested, the
circumstances of a residence in the East, where such a conflict between
light and darkness was actually being carried on, determined the form
into which it should be cast. It is extremely difficult to understand
how _Wolfram_, if he only possessed the Perceval legend in an
incomplete form, conceived the idea of supplementing it in this special
manner; but if _Kiot_ be responsible for the first introduction of the
religious idea, as he was of the Angevin, the problem becomes perfectly
easy, his conception of the struggle in the soul of man was simply a
reflection of the struggle as he saw it in the world.

(It cannot be too strongly insisted upon, that no princes of the day
were more strongly affected by the Crusading spirit, or more closely
connected with the East than the Angevin princes; and that to assume
on the part of one of their followers the familiarity with Crusading
ideas which is here ascribed to 'Kiot' is to do little more than state
a commonplace fact of history.)

But that the idea of the poem has, in a measure, undergone a change,
and that the _Parzival_ in its present shape owes much to the genius
of the man who, probably attracted by the ethical turn Kiot had given
to the story, took it into his own hands, and, remodelling it, sent
it forth to the world a heritage for all generations, may readily
be granted. No careful reader of the poem can fail to feel that the
interpretation is a double one; that if there are passages which seem
to treat of Faith and Doubt only as they affect the position of the
soul towards God, there are others which as clearly treat of the same
questions as affecting man's relation to his fellow-men; in which faith
is interpreted in its widest sense as a loyal fulfilment of _all_
obligations, social as well as religious; and that all this is summed
up and expressed in the inculcation of loyalty to the dictates of the
knightly order in their highest form.

Occasionally these two ideas obviously clash, as when in Book IX.
Trevrezent tells Parzival that the Grail cannot be won by human effort,
and asks, 'Wilt thou force thy God with thine anger?' and in Book XVI.
practically takes back his words and admits that this is what Parzival
_has_ done. The true solution of the puzzle seems to be neither in
interpreting the poem exclusively as an allegory of the struggle in the
soul of man, nor exclusively as a confession of faith in the knightly
order as a means of salvation, but rather in admitting that the poem
sets forth _both_ these views, and that the lines of thought cross and
recross and overlie one another according as Wolfram reproduced the
ideas of the older poet, or overlaid them with his own.

And if we will believe in the real personality of 'Kiot,' we may find
that the religious teaching of the poem gains a new significance;
deeply religious it undoubtedly is, full of a profound trust in God,
a deep conviction of the individual relationship existing between the
soul and its Maker, and a simple acceptance of the elementary doctrines
of Christianity, the Trinity, the Incarnation, and Its extension
through the initial Sacrament of Baptism; but with all this there is a
complete absence of ecclesiasticism, and a lack of features familiar to
us in other works of the day.

It is very curious that, constantly as Baptism is insisted upon as
essential to salvation, the equal necessity for the Second Great
Sacrament of the Faith is passed over. It is perfectly true that
Wolfram's knights attend Mass, and that Mass is apparently celebrated
with regularity, but here their obligation seems to end; never once do
we hear of one of his knights communicating, even Gamuret, when dying,
though he receives absolution, does not receive the viaticum (the
account of Vivians' death in _Willehalm_ seems to show that elsewhere
Wolfram, in common with other writers of the day, _did_ acknowledge
this necessity). Again, though Parzival comes to the Hermit's cell on
Good Friday, and spends fourteen days in his company, confessing and
receiving absolution, we have no mention of the Easter Communion in
the German poem, though we have in the French. In Book X. the wounded
knight, whom Gawain succours, asks to be helped to a _spital_ that his
wounds may be attended to; in Chrêtien's version he expresses his fear
of dying unabsolved and uncommunicated, and would seek a Hermit who
lives near at hand for that purpose. And this difference between the
two versions meets us at every turn; _Chrêtien_ abounds in allusions to
the hours of prayer; if he wishes to indicate the time when any special
event happens he mentions that it is just after Prime, or between
Tierce and Noon; Perceval says that if he finds his mother he will make
her a veiled nun, and the mother's counsels in the French poem are
emphatic on the subject of Perceval's religious duties, which Wolfram
wholly omits; Chrêtien's characters constantly invoke the saints, which
Wolfram's knights never do; when Parzival is in imminent danger of
death it is to his wife, and not to a patron saint, that he looks for
aid. Wolfram is always a religious poet, but, if we compare his other
important poem the _Willehalm_ with the _Parzival_, we cannot help
feeling that the former is decidedly more in harmony with the thought
of his day, and less curiously '_modern_' in tone than the latter.
It is difficult to resist the conviction that some of the special
peculiarities of the _Parzival_ are due to Wolfram's source quite as
much as to Wolfram himself.

It is a commonplace of history that one effect of the contact between
heathen and Christian races brought about by the Crusades was the
awakening of a spirit of tolerance between the brave men on either
side. In a day when manly strength and courage were accounted of such
value it was impossible that the existence of such qualities on the
side of the heathen should not, in the opinion of many, go far to
counterbalance their lack of Christianity; and it is certain that
among those long resident in the East such tolerance eventually led
to laxity in matters both of faith and practice. It was such laxity
that was the ostensible reason for the fall of the Knights Templars.
In the case of a poem, which otherwise gives indication of familiarity
with Oriental custom and tradition, is it unreasonable to suggest
that its peculiarities of religious treatment, its freedom from petty
ecclesiastical details, the breadth and tolerance of its views, and
the far more human ideal of virtue which it presents, may, at least in
part, be due to the influence of the Crusading spirit which we know
did, on the whole, make in these directions?

To sum up the entire question, the drift of the internal evidence
of the _Parzival_ seems to indicate that the author of Wolfram's
source was a warm partisan of the House of Anjou, sometime resident
in the East, familiar with the History of the House whose fortunes
he followed, and with much curious Oriental legend, and thoroughly
imbued with the broader views of life and religion inspired by the
Crusades. That he wrote his poem _after_ 1172 seems most likely from
the connection between England, Anjou, and Ireland noted in Book IX.;
on the other hand, the parallel existing between the early history
of Henry Fitz-Empress and that of the hero of the _Parzival_ seems
to show that he intended a compliment to that prince, which would
fix the year of Henry's death, 1189, as the _terminus ad quem_. The
probabilities are that it would be written earlier, before the troubles
of Henry's later years. What we know of the extent of the Angevin rule
and influence at that date renders it quite possible for us to believe
that the writer was by birth a Provençal. That the source of the poem
bore a strong affinity to the source of Chrêtien's _Conte del Graal_ is
certain, and the many Flemish allusions give colour to the supposition
that it may have been identical with that source.

If we grant the correctness of the Angevin allusions to be found in
the earlier parts of the poem, we must logically grant that these two
first Books, and as a consequence the latter part of the poem which
agrees with them, are due to the French source rather than the German
redaction; that it was Kiot who introduced the characters of Gamuret,
Belakané, Feirefis, and Lähelein; and that to Kiot is due the first
germ of the ethical interpretation amplified by Wolfram. It was
probably in a great measure owing to the unecclesiastical nature of
Kiot's teaching, and the freedom with which he handled the Grail myth,
that his work failed to attain the popularity of Chrêtien's. When the
Grail legend was once definitely stamped with the traditional-Christian
character which it finally assumed and retained, the semi-pagan
character of Kiot's treatment would cause his version to be regarded
with disfavour by the monkish compilers of his day. It is probably
owing to the accident of Maude's first husband having been Emperor of
Germany that this particular presentment of the story found its way
into that country; it may well be that it is, indirectly, to that very
Angevin element that has for so long perplexed critics that we owe
its preservation! As regards the Grail problem itself, it therefore
seems most probable that in Wolfram's _Parzival_ we have no really
independent version of the Grail myth, such as may be taken into
consideration by scholars when constructing a scientific theory of its
development; but simply an interesting specimen of one form which, in
the period of its translation from a pagan to a Christian symbol, it
temporarily assumed, that form being entirely coloured and determined
by the personality of the writer.



Besides the _Parzival_, Wolfram's longest and, from every point of
view, most important work, we possess seven songs belonging to the
class known as Tage-or Wächter-Lieder; thus called because the secret
lovers, who have indulged their passion during the hours of night, are
warned by the call of the watchman from the ramparts of the approach of
day and of the hour of parting. Though Wolfram made in these songs a
concession to the lax morality of his day, the concluding lines of one
of them clearly show how far superior to such unlawful passion he held
the love of wedded wife and husband, such love as he has immortalised
in Kondwiramur and Parzival. Beside these songs, we have the poems
dealing with the loves of Siguné and Schionatulander, and classed
together under the name of _Titurel_. Whether these are complete in
themselves, and intended to serve as an explanatory addition to the
_Parzival_, or whether they are fragments of an unfinished poem, does
not very clearly appear; in any case they indicate a source identical
with that of the _Parzival_.

_Willehalm_, Wolfram's other great epic poem, in nine books, deals
with the history of William of Orange, a contemporary of Charlemagne,
whose story belongs to this cycle of French Romance. The poem is
clearly derived from the old French _Chanson de Geste, Aliscans_, and
is originally founded on the prolonged struggle between the Saracen
and Christian power in the South of France, a struggle which for
poetical purposes has been condensed into two battles of Aliscans, or
Alischanz, in the first of which the Christians are defeated, while in
the second they are victorious. Whether this poem, too, is or is not
unfinished, is a matter of debate among critics; judging from Wolfram's
method in the _Parzival_, the fact that he leaves the fate of his hero
'Rennewart' in uncertainty, and does not even reveal the secret of his
parentage and close connection with William's wife, seems to indicate
that he did not finish the poem. _Willehalm_ abounds in references to
the _Parzival_, and in similar turns of thought and expression, and has
some passages of great beauty. The _Titurel_ is also written in a more
elaborate metre than the other poems, and some doubt has been expressed
as to which of these two represents Wolfram's latest work. The style of
both is more finished than that of the _Parzival_, but they are both
inferior alike in depth of thought and human interest to this, the
greatest work of Germany's greatest mediæval poet.




  Hero meets with wounded knight and  Chrêtien, who gives all the
  maiden. Is warned of the perils of  incidents in corresponding
  the way.                            sequence.

  Meets with a lovely lady, whom he
  woos and is repulsed by her with
  mockery. Is insulted by a squire
  of hideous aspect, and his charger
  is stolen by the wounded knight.

  Comes to a river on the further
  side of which is a castle, and
  fights with a knight who is riding
  his own horse. Is entertained by
  the boatman.

Introduction, lines 1-19. In Book X. the poet returns to Gawain,
taking up the story at the point at which he dropped it in Book VIII.
The corresponding book in Chrêtien commences very abruptly, making
no further mention of the challenge between Gawain and Kingrimursel
(Guigambresil) or of Gawain's search for the Grail (or Lance). It is
doubtful whether the passage beginning with line 15 really refers to
traditional adventures ascribed to Gawain, and omitted here, or whether
it is merely introduced in order to soften down the abrupt transition
from the story of Parzival to that of Gawain. From the fact that,
both here and in Chrêtien, this incident of Gawain's meeting with the
wounded knight follows immediately after Parzival's interview with the
hermit, it seems certain that a similar sequence existed in the source
common to both; on the other hand, in line 804, Wolfram seems to be
referring to a definite version of the Gawain episode, which certainly
differed from Chrêtien's. Here, as elsewhere, in the absence of any
_external_ evidence, it is not possible to speak with certainty.

Page 1, line 5--'_At Schamfanzon he challenged Gawain_.' Cf. Book VIII.
p. 239.

Page 1, line 9--'_The murder, Count Ekunât did it_.' Cf. Book VIII. p.
236 and Book III. p. 99.

Page 4, line 29--'_Kamilla_.' A reference to the _Æneid_ of Heinrich
von Veldeck, where Kamilla, the daughter of Turnus, is represented as
defending Laurentium against the Trojans, and being slain on the field
of battle. Cf. Book XII. p. 52.

Page 4, lines 39, 40--'_On her knee she bore a knight_.' This incident
occurs under exactly the same circumstances in Chrêtien, there, too,
Gawain comes to the rescue of the knight by arousing him from his
stupor, though the surgery, of which Wolfram gives so curious an
account, finds no parallel in the French poem. The reader will not
fail to notice the likeness between this incident and Parzival's
meeting with Siguné, in Book III. As will be pointed out later Wolfram
evidently intended a parallel, or a contrast, between his two heroes.

Page 5, line 63--'_Lischois Giwellius_.' This name, again, seems to be
a misunderstanding of a French original, in Chrêtien the knight is not
named, the passage; '_li Orguelleus de la roce à l'estroite voie, qui
garde les pors de Galvoie_' in which some critics have found the origin
of the name, seems rather to refer to the knight overthrown by Gawain
in Book XII. and named Florand by Wolfram. _Here_ there is a distinct
identity between the knight now referred to and him who fights with
Gawain later (p. 20); in Chrêtien the knight who opposes Gawain is the
nephew of the wounded man, and therefore can scarcely be the guardian
of the '_bogue de Galvoie_' who overthrows him. Later on Wolfram uses a
French expression to indicate where the knight in question was wounded,
_Av estroite mâvoié_, which distinctly indicates a _ford_ rather than
a _ravine_ as in Chrêtien (translated Perilous Ford, p. 13), and the
whole incident, carefully examined, decidedly points to a French
source, _other_ than Chrêtien.

Page 5, line 74--'_Spake o'er it spells of healing_.' As all students
of folk-lore are well aware, a belief in the virtue of certain formula
of words for the healing of bodily ailments was at one time practically
universal, and indeed, in certain districts, a belief in them exists
to this day. In vol. ii. of _Grundriss der Germanischen Philologie_
(part I.), a number of such spells, collected from old German MSS. are
given; among them will be found one for checking the flow of blood, and
another for the closing of a wound.

Page 5, line 77--'_Logrois_,' French Logres. In Malory we have Logris,
which has been identified with Loegria, or Saxon Britain.

Page 6, line 90--'_Orgelusé_.' This name, like Orilus, is a
misunderstanding of a French original. Chrêtien calls the lady
'L'Orguelleuse de Logres,' and it evidently stood so in Wolfram's
source. This incident of a knight proffering his services to, and
riding with, a lady who repays him with mockery, and finds food for
mirth in his misfortunes, seems to have been a favourite theme with
mediæval writers. Malory gives two such adventures, one of which, that
of La Cote Male Taile and the damsel Maledisant, is, curiously enough,
connected with the Castle _Orgulous_. The adventure as recounted by
Chrêtien closely parallels the German version, but the latter is told
at greater length, and the lady appears to decidedly more advantage;
her mockery, though biting, is more in the vein of a courtly lady, and,
what we should not expect to find, there is far more lightness of touch
and 'malice,' in the French sense of the word, about the German than
about the French poet. The little touch on p. 9, lines 192, 193 (If
a woman ye thus behold), is lacking in Chrêtien, and is decidedly in
keeping with the dry humour of Wolfram, who, in spite of his respect
for women, delights in a sly hit at feminine weaknesses. The very
curious adjuration of the old knight, on the same page, 'May He who
made salt the sea,' seems, according to Bartsch, to be frequent in old
French literature, '_Qui fit la mer salée_,' but does not occur at all
in Chrêtien, who here simply has 'Dieu le Souverain Pêre.'

Page 10, line 235--'_Malcréature_.' This squire appears in Chrêtien,
but is not connected in any way with Kondrie, though it may be noted
that the description given of him in the French poem agrees far more
closely with Wolfram's description of the Grail Messenger than the
latter does with Chrêtien's _Maiden_. Bartsch says that the curious
account of this strange people 'rests on Talmudic tradition, and is
repeated in many mediæval writings, Latin, German, and Romance.' In
Wolfram's poem of _Willehalm_ he introduces a strange 'horned' people
who come from the banks of the Ganges, and who speak with no human
tongue. Chrêtien has nothing corresponding to this wild story, nor is
his squire named.

Page 12, line 274--'_Anfortas_.' This is the first indication that
the lady in whose service Anfortas received his incurable wound was
Orgelusé. Cf. Book IX. p. 275. The story is more fully told in Book
XII. p. 65.

Page 12, line 281--'_I wot well e'en Dame Jeschuté, etc_.' Cf. Book V.
p. 145.

Page 13, line 311--'_A spital shall stand near by_.' Chrêtien's knight
wishes to be taken to a _Hermit_ that he may confess and receive the
sacrament. The incident is a good illustration of the different tone
of the two poems: Chrêtien's is deeply imbued with the ecclesiasticism
of his day, and abounds in references to hours of prayer, religious
services, and invocation of saints, all of which are lacking in
Wolfram's version, which, nevertheless, is far more thoroughly pervaded
with the religious _spirit_.

Page 14, line 349--'_Is it thou, O Urian?_' In Chrêtien the name of the
knight is Griogoras. Urian appears to be the same name as Friam, which
we meet with later on, Book XIII. p. 92. The main outline of his story
is the same in the French as in the German poet, but there are some
significant points of divergence. In Chrêtien we have no mention of the
trial before the king, nor of the death-sentence; Gawain appears to
have punished the knight on his own account, and his anger is therefore
more intelligible, especially as Chrêtien gives an additional touch
of ignominy to his punishment, '_les_ Il _mains liiès au dos_'; and
we hear nothing of the special right of message-bearer, by outraging
which Urian broke 'the peace of the land.' The _incident_ itself is a
common one with mediæval writers, but it is generally treated lightly,
and the punishment, as a rule, was a money fine. It seems as if the
more serious manner in which the episode is treated by Wolfram were
to be accounted for by the maiden's official position. Throughout the
poem there are frequent allusions to the manners, customs, and modes
of government of his day, and, where Chrêtien seems to give us simply
a world of romance, Wolfram seems to aim at investing his story with
reality by surrounding it with the atmosphere of the time in which he

The indignation expressed by Orgelusé (line 417) is peculiar to
Wolfram's version, and seems somewhat out of keeping with the general
laxity of her conduct.

Page 18, line 465--'_Amor and Cupid_.' Amor and Cupid were regarded
by the poets of the Middle Ages as two separate gods, both being the
children of Venus.

The fine passage, lines 480-496, is an eloquent exposition of Wolfram's
belief in the superiority of lawful love over the mere earthly passion,
too often unlawful, sanctioned, if not encouraged, by the prevailing
licence accorded to _Minne-Dienst_. Throughout this poem Wolfram
is a steadfast upholder of the binding nature of the marriage vow;
Parzival's fidelity to his wife is held to be a virtue sufficient to
cancel any other sin of which he may be guilty; cf. Book IX. p. 270,
where Trevrezent's words are a sufficient commentary on the rarity
of such fidelity in those days. At the same time Wolfram accepts the
prevailing ideal, and it must be noted that it was he, and not a poet
of laxer principles, such as Gottfried von Strasbourg, who first
brought into vogue the _Wächter-lieder_, the very essence of which is
that the love to which they give eloquent voice is an unlawful love,
and must be indulged in secrecy and under the cover of night.

Page 19, line 506 and _seq._--'_A Castle so fair and stately_.' This is
Château Merveil, mentioned by Kondrie, Book VI. p. 181.

Page 22, line 598--'_Gringuljet_.' Chrêtien explains how Lischois
Giwellius comes to be in possession of Gawain's horse; he is, according
to the French poet, the nephew of the wounded knight Griogoras, who has
sent him to attack Gawain, and has given him the horse stolen from that
hero for the purpose. For the meaning of the name, cf. vol i. Appendix
B. The previous history of the steed has been alluded to twice, Books
VII. p. 196 and IX. p. 272. In the latter passage Trevrezent recognises
Parzival's horse, also a Grail steed, by the dove on its saddle, here
the badge is branded on the horse itself. The fight between Lischois
and Gawain is told at much greater length here.

Page 24, line 661--'_This right was his o'er the meadow_.' The tribute
due to the Ferryman is also related in Chrêtien, where Gawain evades it
in the same manner.

Page 26, line 729--'_Klingsor_.' The magician, lord of the Château
Merveil, has not been named before; he is identical with the 'clerk
who all magic knew,' cf. Book II. p. 39. Chrêtien has not this
character at all; the castle, according to him, was built by 'I. _sages
clers d'astrenomie_,' who came there with King Arthur's mother, but
there is no indication that the lady eloped with him, nor does he play
any part in the story. The origin of the name seems to be uncertain;
in the poem of the _Wartburg-krieg_, already alluded to (note to Book
VI.), Klingsor appears as a magician from Hungary, and Simrock thinks
that here his name is derived from Klingsære, a singer or minstrel, and
that Wolfram was weaving into his poem an old legend illustrative of
the power of song. San Marte derives the name from an old French word
_clincher_, and thinks it indicative of the sensual character ascribed
to the magician, and that the character is of French origin. Merlin is,
of course, the Arthurian magician, and appears as such in Chrêtien's
continuators, but there is no sign of him in the _Parzival_, nor can
the incidents related of Klingsor be paralleled in the history of

Page 27, line 774--'_Bené_.' The part assigned to this character
in Wolfram is important, the maiden does not appear in Chrêtien's
version, _here_ she plays an active part as confidant of Itonjé,
Gawain's sister, in her love affair with King Gramoflanz and acts as
messenger between the lovers. Some critics have derived her name from a
misunderstanding of Chrêtien's phrase, _que bencois soit votre ostu_,
spoken by Gawain to the boatman, and, of course, such a phrase _may_
have stood in Wolfram's French source, but, as he certainly did not
borrow the character from Chrêtien, it seems scarcely likely that he
borrowed the name.

Page 28, lines 785-790--'_Purslain and lettuce_.' The dish was
apparently a kind of salad. Wolfram makes an ingenious use of the
mention of vinegar to impress upon his readers the folly of speaking
untruly, and incidentally shows that the use of rouge was not unknown
in his day.

[Gawain's adventures with the Proud Lady (Orgelusé) and at the Castle
of Wonders form, perhaps, the most confused and perplexing portion of
the poem, while they also bear obvious marks of age and of freedom from
the Christian symbolism which has so profoundly affected the 'Grail'
legend as a whole. 'The Proud Lady' seems to be a composite creation;
the characteristics of a courtly lady of the day having been grafted
on to an originally supernatural conception. According to this latter,
she was a water-fairy (note that Gawain meets her by the side of a
spring, Book X. p. 6), mistress of a magic garden, in which are held
captive the mortals whom she incites to a perilous venture, _i.e._ the
crossing of the stream which separates this from the other world, and
the bringing thence a branch plucked from a tree growing there. This
adventure is of course only to be achieved by the best knight in the
world, the hero, namely, of the episode, and to urge him to it she uses
every species of raillery. When the hero has performed the task she
gladly yields herself his. This incident, in itself a straightforward
and intelligible one to which many parallels might easily be adduced
from romantic and heroic literature, is, however, crossed and blended
with another adventure of the same hero, the achieving the feats of the
Wonder Castle, and thereby overcoming its magician builder.

The two episodes, originally told each for itself, coalesced owing
to the personages in each being the same; for the Proud Lady is, I
believe, far more intimately connected with the Wonder Castle than
appears from Wolfram's poem; I suspect her, indeed, of being the
magician's daughter. That the wedding of Gawain with Orgelusé should
take place in the Château Merveil is at present almost the only trace
remaining of the original connection, but that is decisive. For, as
will be pointed out in Note to Book XI., the episode of the Wonder
Castle must originally have ended in the hero's remaining there; he
has won to the other world whence he cannot return, but over which he
rules, in company with its fair mistress. As it is, the reader cannot
but feel that the winning of the Branch is an anti-climax after the
achievement of the Castle of Wonders.

The true significance of the Proud Lady's garden has also been obscured
in our poem; it may possibly at one time have been confused with the
Wonder Castle, and might then be compared with the Garden of Joy
which Merlin created for Ninian; there is indeed a strong temptation
to compare Merlin and Ninian with Klingsor and Orgelusé, wide as the
difference is between the two stories. But it is more probable that
the Magic Garden belongs wholly to the Winning of the Branch feat,
and that, like the remainder of this episode, it has suffered from
contamination with the Wonder Castle story. (In connection with this
it may be noted that in Chrêtien, Gawain, after crossing the Perilous
Ford, is not to pluck the branch of any one special tree, but to gather
the flowers which he sees, '_A ces arbres et á ces prés._' The idea of
a _garden_ seems to have been better preserved in the French than in
the German poem.)

Another portion of the original story, the flyting of hero and heroine,
has been completely remodelled by the twelfth century poets, in order
to afford an exemplification of the current ideal of courtly love
and lady-service; hence the complex character of the heroine, and
the confused nature of the episode as related by Wolfram. It would
be useless to seek in pre-twelfth century literature for an _exact_
parallel to a situation so manifestly coloured to suit the prevailing
social ideas of the time; but the episode must have some root in
preceding literature, the special form of the social relation of man
to woman which is the most marked feature of twelfth century literary
art must stand in _some_ relation to the past; and it is in the Irish
heroic literature of the seventh to the eleventh centuries that we must
seek for the origin of this feature.

In this literature we find a remarkable parallel to the whole
Gawain-Orgelusé episode. 'The Wooing of Emer' by Cuchulainn is one
of the most famous stories about the greatest Irish hero. Emer was
the daughter of Forgall the Wily, the chief maiden of Ireland in all
virtues and qualities, and therefore the only one whom Cuchulainn
deemed worthy of him. But she is by no means minded to take him at his
own estimation; when he recounts his achievements, 'these are goodly
fights of a tender boy,' says she, nor will she consent to see him
until he perform certain definite feats. Moreover, her father is by no
means anxious that she should marry, and to get rid of the wooer has
him sent off with two companions on a perilous expedition to Skye. The
first danger he encountered (I quote textually from the oldest version
of the story, ascribed by the editor, Professor Kuno Meyer, to the
eighth century) is 'some dreadful beast like a lion, which fought with
him, but did him no harm, and the foul play of the youths who laughed
at him' (_Revue Celtique_, vol. X. 44). Afterwards he has to make
his way across the 'plain of ill-luck' on which men freeze, and by a
narrow path over a glen, and a 'terrible stony height.' Cuchulainn of
course comes safely through all these and other ventures, and carries
off Emer, whom he weds. Here, then, we have the contemptuous attitude
of the wooed maiden, her indication of feats to be performed before
she can be won; and before the final marriage a series of incidents
bearing no small resemblance to those which befall Gawain at the Wonder
Castle.--ALFRED NUTT.]



  Gawain, against the advice of the  Chrêtien gives the incidents in
  Boatman, visits Château Merveil,   the same order, but with some
  seats himself on the magic couch,  difference in details,
  and is assailed, first by unseen
  adversaries, then by a lion which
  he kills and ends the enchantments
  of the Castle.

(There is a Castle of Wonders in 'Peredur,' but the adventures
connected with it are quite different.)

The entire episode of the Magic Castle and Gawain's adventures therein
is stamped with a weird, fantastic character, unlike the rest of the
poem, and gives the effect of a Mährchen introduced into the midst of
a knightly epic. More than one critic has pointed out the similarity
between the tasks to be achieved by Gawain, before he becomes lord
of the castle, and those which, in old folk-tales, fall to the lot
of those who dare a venture to the shadowy under-world. Some of the
features in the story, which will be noted as they occur, seem to
distinctly indicate that such was the original nature of this episode,
related with so much spirit by the German poet.

Page 34, line 107--'_He who at Nantes slew Prince Ither_.' Cf. Books
VII. p. 218 and VIII. p. 242, and notes on these passages, where
Wolfram's introduction of the chief hero of the poem, unmentioned
in Chrêtien's version, is commented upon. Some critics have drawn a
contrast between the Château Merveil, with its magic lord, and the
Grail Castle, with its wounded king, which are won respectively by
the two heroes of the poem, and have seen in the castle of Klingsor
the embodiment of the fleshly principle, opposed to the spiritual
realm of the Grail. But Wolfram seems to have intended a _parallel_
rather than a _contrast_. Klingsor, on the whole, is by no means a
malicious character, and of the deadly antagonism between him and
the Grail knights, which is the very essence of Wagner's _Parzival_,
there is here no trace. If there is a contrast between spirit and
sense in Wolfram's poem, it is rather to be found between the court
and knighthood of Monsalväsch and that of King Arthur, and the latter
monarch certainly embodies the world-principle far more than Klingsor
does. Parzival's failure to ask the question here is quite in keeping
with his general character and devotion to a single aim, but the
introduction of the incident was doubtless intended to heighten the
parallel between Monsalväsch and Château Merveil.

Page 35, line 125--'_Now arm thee for deadly warfare!_' In Chrêtien's
account the Boatman plays the same kindly part of adviser, and,
further, accompanies Gawain to the palace and to the hall of the
Lit-Merveil, but, as before noted, the part played by the daughter is

Page 36, line 162--'_A merchant with merchandise costly_.' In Chrêtien
this character is an 'Eskiékier,' rather a money-changer than a
merchant. The story of the oath, and how it came to be in the courtyard
of the castle, is rally related in Book XII. p. 65.

Page 36, line 169--'_The Baruch of Bagdad_.' Cf. Book I. p. 9, and note
on 'Rankulat.' The allusion to the Emperor of Greece shows that this
was written after the taking of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204.

Page 37, line 185--'_Plippalinòt_.' The Boatman is unnamed in Chrêtien.
The critics give no interpretation of the name.

Page 37, line 201--'_The Lechfeld_.' The Lechfeld is a wide plain
near Augsburg between the rivers Werch and Lech, where the Hungarians
were defeated in 955 by the Emperor Otho. Naturally, the courtyard of
a castle could not be so large, and it seems probable that Wolfram
was commenting humorously on the exaggerated description given in his
source. Chrêtien gives much the same account of the castle and its
gorgeous decorations.

Page 38, line 220--'_The Lit-Merveil_.' Chrêtien gives a more detailed
description of the magic couch: it is of gold, with cords of silver,
and bells hanging from the interlaced cords. It is apparently the
peal of these bells, as the knight seats himself upon the couch, that
gives warning of the intruder, and is the signal for the enchantments
to begin. In Chrêtien's account the attack by the five hundred unseen
foes (Gawain has already been informed by the Boatman that five hundred
knights guard the castle) follows immediately on the hero taking
his seat on the couch, and the onslaught of the lion immediately on
the cross-bows, so that the ordeal, as represented by Wolfram, is
considerably more severe and prolonged than in the French version.

Page 40, line 299--'_A mighty lion_.' The encounter with the lion is
the same in Chrêtien; there, too, the lion's paw is smitten off by
Gawain, and remains hanging to the shield. The remark in line 312 is
quite in keeping with Wolfram's dry, quaint humour; such 'asides' are
lacking throughout in the French poem.

Page 41, line 331--'_Mount Ribbelé_.' An allusion to Eilhart's
_Tristan_, where Gymele, Isolde's maid, gives to Kahenis, who should
keep watch with her, a magic pillow on which he slumbers throughout the
night, and is mocked in consequence.

Page 42, line 340--'_Arnivé_.' This is Arthur's mother, whose elopement
with Klingsor has been mentioned, cf. Book II. p. 39. (Whether Arnivé
went with Klingsor of her own free will, or whether she was constrained
by magic art, does not clearly appear; from Book II. we should conclude
the former, but the passage in Book XIII. pp. 89 and 90, reads as if
she were not a free agent.) She has been named as one of the dwellers
in Château Merveil, (Book VI. p. 189); how it was that Arthur, who had
apparently spent some years in the search for his mother (cf. Book II.
p. 39), failed to recognise her name when mentioned before him, is
not explained. But the whole episode, as noted above, is so wild and
fantastic, and so full of difficulties, that it seems most probable
that it was not originally connected with the Arthurian legend, and has
been only imperfectly fitted into the framework. In Chrêtien, too, the
queen is Arthur's mother, but she is much less prominent in the story,
indeed from this point onwards the two versions diverge considerably.
In Chrêtien, Gawain is by no means seriously wounded; the Boatman, who
seems to have awaited the issue of the adventure outside the castle,
returns promptly and tells him that the enchantments are at an end,
and Gawain is greeted by a train of pages, gaily dressed and playing
flutes; and maidens, one of whom bears royal robes. Chrêtien then
introduces a very curious and archaic feature, to which Wolfram has no
parallel; Gawain expresses his desire to leave the castle and hunt in
the surrounding forest, but the Boatman tells him this is impossible;
it is judged and decreed that whoever achieves the venture of the
Château Merveil shall never leave the castle, '_Que jamais de cette
maison n'istroit u fust tors u raison. Jamais n'istrés nul jor_,' at
which Gawain is extremely angry. Nevertheless, he does leave the castle
and no harm comes of it. The only explanation of this curious feature
seems to be that this episode, as noted above, found its origin in the
story of some hero's visit to the under-world, when his return to the
world of the living depends on his fulfilment of certain conditions,
_e.g._, that he should eat nothing during his stay in the land of
shadows; Gawain certainly partakes of a meal in the Magic Castle, which
meal in Wolfram precedes, though in Chrêtien it follows, his attempt to
leave Château Merveil. Heinzel understands Chrêtien's account of the
arrival of the two elder queens in Terre de Merveil as meaning that
they really were dead, and supernaturally revived; (Chrêtien certainly
does say of the elder queen, '_Qui fus mis en tière_,' but as he goes
on to state that she brought all her riches with her into the country
where she came, accompanied by her daughter, it is rather difficult to
understand what he really does mean.) Mr. Nutt remarks, 'I think there
can be no doubt that Klingsor's castle is a form of the other world,
and that its inhabitants cease to live if they return to this world.
There is a distinct parallelism in the original form of the legend
between Parzival's winning the Grail Castle and Gawain's winning the
Magic Castle. On this theory neither, of course, should come back to
Arthur's court; the necessity of bringing them both into contact with
Arthur again has obscured the significance of the story.'

Page 43, line 370--'_Ilinot the Breton_.' Arthur's son, alluded to in
Book VII. p. 217, and note (which also explains the allusion to 'the
mystic beasts' which seem to have been the badge of the royal Breton
house). Ilinot's history is told at some length in Book XII. p. 50.

Page 44, line 422--'_Dictam, the herb of healing_.' San Marte says that
this herb is mentioned by Cicero, Virgil, and Pliny, as possessing the
power of drawing arrow-shafts from a wound. Wolfram, also, attributed
this virtue to it, as he distinctly states in _Willehalm_, where he
gives an account of his hero's wounds being dressed by his wife.

The allusion to Kondrie should be noted; it is another instance of the
skill with which Wolfram connects all the threads of his story, and
never loses sight of his main point.



  Gawain overthrows a knight whom    Chrêtien.
  the Lady of Logrois brings to
  fight with him; crosses the
  Perilous Ford, and is challenged
  to single combat by a knight. Is
  rewarded by the love of Orgelusé,
  and returns in triumph to Château

Page 49, lines 5-18--'_Launcelot on the sword-bridge battled_.' This
passage to line 18 contains numerous allusions to the knightly tales of
the day, some of which have been previously referred to. Launcelot's
fight with Meljakanz and subsequent freeing of Queen Guinevere is
mentioned in Book VII. (pp. 205, 219 and Note).

The story of Garel and the lion is not known to us; he was the hero of
a later poem by Pleier, but this adventure does not appear in it. Garel
and Gaherjet we find again in Book XIII. p. 96, according to Chrêtien
they were Gawain's brothers, but Wolfram seems to regard them merely as
kinsmen. (The fact that Wolfram knows only _one_ brother, Beau-corps,
whereas Chrêtien mentions two, if not three, seems to indicate that he
was here following a different source.) '_The Perilous Ford_' we shall
meet with presently; and Erec and the venture of Schoie-de-la-kurt have
been alluded to in Book III. pp. 76 and 100, and Note; and Book VIII.
p. 245.

The allusion to Iwein is taken from Hartmann's poem of that name,
which relates that in the wood Briziljan (Broceliande) there was a
spring beside which hung a golden basin; if any one drew water from the
spring in this basin, and poured it upon a stone near by, a violent
storm immediately arose which devastated the wood, and slew the game
therein. As soon as the tempest was over the lord of the spring
appeared in full armour and demanded satisfaction for the mischief
done. Iwein withstands this venture, slays the knight, and eventually,
by Lunete's counsel, marries his widow. Cf. Book V. p. 143, and Book
IX. p. 252.

Page 50, lines 39-64--'_They yielded thee loyal service_,' _etc._
Mazadan, cf. Book I. p. 31 and Book VIII. 230 and Note. Ither of
Gaheviess needs no further notice. Ilinot has already been alluded to,
Book VII. p. 217 and Book XI. p. 43. This is the first full account
given of this prince, hitherto his fate has only been alluded to; we
know nothing of this character, but it is quite evident from such
passages as these, and Book VI. p. 171, that Wolfram was familiar
with Arthurian romances other than those which have come down to us.
Ilinot, being Arthur's son, was of course first cousin to Gawain; the
relationship with Parzival is much more distant, and, though Arthur
speaks of Parzival as his 'nephew,' the term must be taken in a much
wider sense than we should now understand it; from Wolfram's own
account Parzival cannot have been more than very distantly connected
with the House of Pendragon.

Galoes and Gamuret, cf. Book II. pp. 46, 52, and 59.

The loves of Itonjé and Gramoflanz occupy a considerable part of the
next two books. Surdamur was Gawain's sister, and married the Emperor
of Greece, Alexander; their son was Cligés, the hero of Chrêtien's
poem of that name, in the early part of which the tale of their love
is fully told. (Cf. Note to Book VI. '_Sir Klias_.') None of these
allusions are to be found in Chrêtien, whose books, as a rule, lack
introductory passages; but, as noted in Book XI., from the conclusion
of the Lit-Merveil incident onwards the two poems diverge widely in
detail, though the outline of the story is identical.

Page 52, line 89--'_Arras_.' A town in Picardy, famous in the Middle
Ages for its stuffs.

Page 52, line 97--'_A shining pillar_.' This magic pillar, of which
a full account is given further on (lines 109 and 143), is peculiar
to Wolfram's version. In Chrêtien we have simply a watch-tower, from
the windows of which Gawain can see the country. Later on we find the
deadly fight between Parzival and Feirefis mirrored on this pillar, and
the news of the encounter conveyed to Arthur's court before the arrival
of the heroes.

Page 52, line 98--'_The coffin of Kamilla_.' Cf. Book X. p. 4 and Note.
Heinrich von Veldeck gives a minute account of this coffin.

Page 52, line 101--'_Master Geometras_.' It is curious to find geometry
thus personified. The same mistake has apparently been made by Heinrich
von Veldeck, who makes Geometras the designer of Kamilla's coffin.

Page 53, line 119--'_Came the agèd queen Arnivé_.' According to
Chrêtien there are two queens, mother and daughter, and a maiden,
daughter to the younger queen, who is named Clarissant. Gawain's
mother he does not name at all, the old queen has her original name of
Yguerne. In Chrêtien the elder lady asks Gawain at once if he is one
of King Arthur's knights, and questions him closely as to King Arthur,
King Lot, and the sons of the latter; but apparently Gawain's curiosity
is in no way aroused, and he makes no attempt to learn who the ladies
are, though he makes a compact with the old queen that she shall not
ask _his_ name for seven days. The account, so humorously given by
Wolfram of Arnivé's curiosity and unavailing attempts to discover
Gawain's identity, is lacking in the French poet. It is difficult to
understand how it is that _Gawain_ has no suspicion of the real facts
of the case till enlightened by Gramoflanz, but, as remarked above, the
whole episode is mysterious and perplexing.

Page 54, line 174--'_The Turkowit_.' This seems to be the name for a
lightly-armed soldier, an archer. This particular knight, we learn
later, was captain of Orgelusé's night-watch, or body-guard; his name
was Florand of Itolac; and he subsequently marries Sangivé, Gawain's

Page 58, line 282--'_Tamris and Prisein_.' Tamris-Tamarisk, has been
mentioned in Book VIII. (p. 242 and Note). Prisein has not been
identified, Bartsch suggests Provençal _Bresil_.

Page 58, 294--'_The Perilous Ford_.' Wolfram's expression here is
'_Ligweiz prelljus_,' evidently the French '_Li guex perelleus_.'
Chrêtien's description of the episode is much the same, but he
represents Gawain as being well acquainted with the character of this
venture, and of the fame that will accrue to the knight who achieves
it. In the French poem there does not appear to be one tree in especial
guarded by Guiromelans, but Gawain is bidden '_Quellir de ces flours
que veés. A ces arbres et a ces prés._'

Page 60, line 332--'_King Gramoflanz_.' This character has been
already referred to in Book IX. p. 258. In Chrêtien he is called Le
Guiromelans, and Wolfram's name for him is undoubtedly derived from
some such original (cf. Appendix B, vol. i.). The account of his
meeting with Gawain differs in many respects in the French version;
there his quarrel with Gawain seems to be much more of a personal
matter, not only has King Lot slain his father, as here, but Gawain
himself has slain seven of his kinsmen. Chrêtien's description of the
king's dress and appearance is far less gorgeous than is Wolfram's.

Page 60, line 340--'_Sinzester_.' Bartsch suggests that _Winchester_ is
here meant. In Book VI. we find Kondrie wearing a hat with plumes of
'the English peacock.'

Page 60, line 353--'_Eidegast_.' Cf. Book II. p. 39 and Note on '_The
Tourney_.' In Chrêtien Orgelusé's lover is not named but he has been
slain by Guiromelans, and, as here, it is her desire for vengeance
that has led her to urge Gawain to the venture; but in the French
poem Orgelusé is a much less imposing personage, and her attempts at
vengeance are of a less organised character.

Page 61, line 374--'_Yet alas! I have ne'er beheld her_.' Such
instances of a knight vowing himself to the service of a lady whom
he had never seen were by no means rare in mediæval times. (Cf. the
well-known story of Rudel and the Lady of Tripoli.) In Chrêtien,
also, Guiromelans is the lover of Gawain's sister, whose name there
is Clarissant. In the French poem Guiromelans gives a full history of
all the queens, here he only states the identity of Itonjé, and Gawain
apparently takes the rest for granted.

Page 62, line 419--'_Löver_.' This name has been mentioned in Book IV.
p. 121. The derivation is uncertain, but in each instance Arthur's
kingdom, as a whole, seems to be meant. The curious name 'Bems by the
Korka' has exercised critics much; Chrêtien has '_A Pentecouste est
la cors le roi Artu en Orcanie_,' and _Korka_ is evidently a form of
Orcanie. Some have suggested that 'Bems bei' is a misunderstanding of
Pentecouste (couste = _côte_), but the derivation seems far-fetched and
unsatisfactory; all that can be said with certainty is that the name
points to a French source.

Page 62, line 425--'_Rosche Sabbin_.' This also seems to be derived
from the French; Chrêtien calls the castle 'Roche de Sanguin,' and
Wolfram seems to have transferred the name to Gramoflanz' kingdom.

Page 64, line 471--'_True as the one-horned marvel_.' Cf. Book IX. p.
277, where the story of the Unicorn's love for a pure maiden is given.
We learn from this passage that advantage was taken of its slumber to
slay it.

Page 65, line 511--'_For the winning his death_.' Here we have a full
explanation of the connection between Orgelusé and Anfortas. The
tent given to the Lady of Logrois by Anfortas was, we learn from the
_Willehalm_ (which abounds in allusions to the _Parzival_), sent to
that monarch by Queen Sekundillé as a love-token.

Page 66, line 547--'_And never a man beheld me_.' This account of
Orgelusé's bargain with the knights who fought for her, and her
relations with Parzival and Gawain, throws a most curious light on the
conventionalities of the day. It is quite evident that Orgelusé in no
way transgressed against the code of manners then prevailing, she is
throughout treated as a great lady, and is well received at Court.

Though this is the only episode of the kind recounted, it is quite
clear from Books XIV. pp. 130-131 and XVI. 173 that Orgelusé was
not the only lady who had proffered her love to Parzival and been
refused. (Those familiar with Wagner's _Parzival_ will not need to
have it pointed out to them what fine dramatic use he has made of the
fact that it is Anfortas' love, and the indirect cause of his wound,
who thus offers herself to Parzival. With wonderful skill Wagner has
combined the characters of Kondrie and Orgelusé, thereby, in some ways,
assimilating Kondrie more closely to the original form of the legend.)

Page 69, line 625--'_The Swallow_.' Bartsch says that this was an
English harp, so called from the fact that the lower part of the frame
was shaped like the fork of a swallow's tail.

Page 69, line 639--'_The Buhurd_.' Cf. Book II. Note on '_The
Tourney_.' There is no trace of this formal knightly reception in
Chrêtien,--there the old queen receives them seated outside the castle,
and the maidens dance and sing around them.



  Feast at the Château Merveil;      Chrêtien, whose poem ends abruptly
  Gawain persuades his sister to     in the middle of a line.
  confide her love-story to him.

  Arrival of Gawain's messenger at
  the Court of King Arthur.

(From this point onwards there is no resemblance between Wolfram's poem
and any other known Romance of the Grail-cycle.)

Page 74, line 39--'_One lived of yore named Sarant_.' Cf. note to Book
I. '_Silk of Orient_.' Bartsch identifies the name of the skilful
weaver with that of an Asiatic people, probably the Chinese. Thasmé
is named later on as part of Feirefis' kingdom. His battle-cry is
'Tabronit and Thasmé!' '_Akraton_,' cf. Book VIII. p. 230.

Page 75, line 66--'_Itonjé_.' This is the French name 'Idonie.' In
Chrêtien the maiden is named Clarissant, and Gawain wins her confidence
in the same manner. Chrêtien's share of the _Conte_ ends so abruptly
that we cannot tell how he intended to treat her love-story; here, it
plays a considerable part in the development of the poem.

Page 77, line 147--'_Now the hour it was come_.' The account of the
feast here given is very interesting from the light it throws on
mediæval manners and customs. In those days it was very usual for
two to eat from one plate, in fact, this was one of the rules of the
Knights Templars; the reason assigned being that one brother might
care for the other, and all share alike (cf. Feast at Monsalväsch,
Book V. p. 136). On great occasions the principal guests seem to have
had ladies assigned to them as their table companions (cf. Book VI. p.
178). One would gather from this passage, and that in Book VI., that
the lady of highest rank had the hostess for companion, thus we find
Arnivé eating with Orgelusé, and Guinevere having a queen (probably
Ekuba) for companion; while Kunnewaare is Arthur's table-mate, as here
Itonjé is Gawain's.

Page 78, line 180--'_Ne'er was it night in her presence_.' Cf. Book II.
p. 48.

Page 79, line 194--'_Thuringia_.' San Marte remarks on this passage
that at this period music and song invariably went together, the one
was necessary to the complete understanding of the other; separately,
they were unintelligible. In many instances the lyrical poems of the
day were wedded to dance music, the flowing graceful rhythm of which
made it an appropriate vehicle for the illustration of poetry. The
Thuringian Court being the centre of the literary life of the time many
of these dances would naturally originate there; though it must not be
supposed that dances _without_ the accompaniment of song were not also

Page 81, line 262--'_Kancor, and Thèbit, and Trebuchet_.' San Marte
says that Thèbit is Thabet Ben Korka, a famous Arabic physician,
mathematician, and philosopher of the ninth century. Kancor is probably
Kenkeh, an astronomer and physician of the same period. Trebuchet has
been mentioned before. Cf. Book V. p. 144 and Note.

Page 81, 279--'_'Twas yet in the early morning_.' Chrêtien gives no
account of the delivery of the squire's message, but simply states
that he finds Arthur and his knights plunged in grief at the prolonged
absence of Gawain, and then breaks off abruptly in the middle of a
sentence before they have learnt of his safety. From this point onward
Wolfram's version is entirely independent of the _Conte del Graal_,
but his poem shows no dislocation or contradiction, such as one would
expect would have been the case had he been following a source that
suddenly failed him; on the contrary, there is a far more complete
harmony between all the parts of Wolfram's poem than we find in any
other Romance of the cycle.

Page 82, lines 301-10--'_Meljanz de Lys_.' Cf. Book VIII. p. 239,
and Introduction to Book X. and Note. If there was no account of
Gawain's intermediate adventures Wolfram is evidently anxious to make
his hearers believe in the existence of such a record, by means of
well-timed and appropriate allusions. The fact that the combat was to
be in the presence of Meljanz de Lys is only casually mentioned in Book
VIII. For the allusions to Kunnewaare, Jeschuté, and Ekuba cf. closing
pages of Book VI. with the account of the dispersal of the company at
Plimizöl. The whole passage is a proof of the care with which the poem
has been constructed, and the details brought into harmony with each

Page 83, line 339--'_Brought he news of some gallant venture?_' Cf.
Book VI. p. 176 and Note.

Page 87-88, lines 466-506--'_His doings, Sir Knight, I to thee will
tell_.' This history of the magician Klingsor, as noted in Book X.,
is found in Wolfram only, and the indications seem to point to a
_French_ source. Terre de Labûr is undoubtedly a French rendering
of Terra di Lavoro, in Calabria. Kalot Enbolot is Kalota-Belota, a
fortress on the south-eastern coast of Sicily, well known in the
days of the Hohenstauffen. This location of Klingsor's kingdom in
Southern Italy may have been introduced in order to lend a colour to
his supposed relationship to Virgil, who by the twelfth century was
firmly established in popular belief as a magician. The name Iblis,
Bartsch refers to the Sicilian town Hybla; Ibert may be a form of the
French Guibert. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that in the
lord of the Château Merveil, wounded as a punishment of unlawful love,
we have a parallel to the King of Monsalväsch, whose wound is due to a
similar cause. (A reference to the original German will show how close
this resemblance is); as mentioned before, it seems to be a parallel,
rather than a contrast, which Wolfram intended to draw between his
two heroes. It may well be that in the original version of the story
from which both Chrêtien's and Wolfram's poems are derived the Gawain
episodes were unfinished, and that in their original form Gawain, too,
was brought to the Grail Castle, but to regard them as unfinished
_here_ seems a clear misunderstanding of the meaning of the poem. We
are distinctly given to understand (p. 97, line 780) that Gawain's lot
in life is finally settled, the Grail Quest, which was originally in
the Gawain story, has been quietly dropped, and this adventure of the
Château Merveil has taken its place; an alteration which artistically
can only be considered an improvement, as it clearly marks Gawain's
position as secondary to Parzival. Whether the story of Klingsor
was introduced for the purpose of emphasizing the parallel between
Monsalväsch and Château Merveil it is difficult to say. Certainly, the
incident of Parzival's missing the adventure of the Magic Castle, as
he did that of Monsalväsch, by failing to ask the question must, as
noted above, be due to this idea. With the end of this book Gawain's
adventures are practically concluded; Wolfram promptly clears the
stage for the winding-up of the history of his real hero, Parzival,
by bringing the two knights into contact, when Gawain is naturally
worsted, and takes the second place. Whether it be due to Wolfram or
to his source, it is certain that the _Parzival_ is far simpler in
construction than the majority of the Grail Romances, in which the
adventures of various heroes succeed each other with such bewildering
rapidity and similarity of incident that it is difficult to tell who is
the real hero of the tale!

Page 89, line 519--'_A child was born of a mother_.' A well-known
mediæval riddle, which Wolfram might easily have derived from a German

Page 90, line 531--'_Of joy had I once full measure_.' It is somewhat
curious that in Chrêtien Gawain eulogizes _Guinevere_ in similar terms.
It rather looks as if the original passage had been the same in both
instances, though it would be difficult to tell to which queen it
originally referred.

Page 91, line 566--'_Maurin_.' This name occurs in the _Lancelot_ of
Ulrich von Zatzikhoven, from which it was probably borrowed.

Page 92, line 601 _and seq._--'_And either side had suffered_.' Garel
and Gaherjet: cf. Note to Book XII. Iofreit, son of Idol: cf. Book V.
p. 155 and Note. Though this character only plays an unimportant part
in the poem, he is yet very frequently mentioned, it may be that in the
original French source he was more prominent. Friam is probably the
same name as Urian, in Book X. Vermandois and Nevers point to a French

Page 94, line 658--'_Save the tent of Eisenhart only_.' Cf. Book I. p.
16 and Note. Tents seem to have been favourite love-gifts at this time,
note the Booth in Books XI. and XII. given by Anfortas to Orgelusé,
and, as we know from _Willehalm_, sent to that king in the first
instance by Sekundillé.

Page 96, line 733--'_Meljanz of Lys_.' How Meljanz of Lys came to be
there is not explained. It is worthy of note that in Book VII. we find
the King of Lirivoin fighting against Meljanz, and taken captive by
Parzival; _here_ the men of Lirivoin are evidently on the same side.

Page 97, line 763--'_The wounds of Kay had been healed_.' Cf. Book VI.
p. 169 and Note to Book III.

Page 99. line 819--'_A knight his bridle drew_.' This knight is, of
course, Parzival, though how he came to be there is not explained. In
the _Conte del Graal_ Perceval does not appear on the scene for some
time, and passes through a variety of wild and fantastic adventures
before finally winning the Grail. The poem, as we possess it, is more
than twice as long as Wolfram's.

[With reference to the Klingsor and Iblis story, it is noteworthy that
Chrêtien's first continuator relates a long story of King Carduel of
Nantes and his reputed son Carados. The wife of King Carduel is beloved
by a magician, Garahiet, who is in truth the father of Carados. The
latter grows to manhood and goes to King Arthur's court to receive
knighthood, there a stranger knight appears and offers to allow his
head to be cut off provided the knight who accepts the challenge will
submit to the same ordeal a year later. Carados accepts, and strikes
off the head of the knight who picks it up and walks off. Returning
after a year he finds Carados ready to fulfil his part of the bargain,
and then acquaints him with the fact that he, and not Carduel, is in
truth his father. Carados returns to the court of Carduel and tells him
what he has learnt from the magician; the king in anger imprisons his
wife in a tower; she is nevertheless still visited by her lover, whom
the king eventually surprises and punishes in a manner appropriate to
his crime. This story, in its outline, appears to be the basis of the
Klingsor and Iblis episode, but it has been very freely handled by the
compiler, and, as suggested above, not improbably altered so as to draw
out the parallel between Klingsor and Anfortas.

A feature of importance in this connection is that the episode of
Carados and his magician father, a most famous story of the Arthurian
cycle, is elsewhere invariably associated with _Gawain_; _e.g._ in the
well-known Middle-English poem of 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,'
and it is difficult to understand why, in a part of the poem specially
devoted to the adventures of this knight, the French poet should have
attributed this, one of his greatest and most famous feats, to another

Here again we find a parallel in Irish literature; in the 'Fled
Bricrend,' Bricriu's feast, the feat by which Cuchulainn establishes
his claim to be regarded as the chief Ulster hero is precisely this
one; though the French poem in making the magician the father of the
hero seems to have retained an archaic trait which has disappeared
from the, in point of redaction, centuries older Irish story. But from
other Irish stories we know that Cuchulainn was the son of a god who is
sometimes represented as carrying off the mortal mother to his fairy
home, sometimes as visiting her in animal shape.

The foregoing facts warrant, I think, the conclusion that Gawain
originally occupied in the Brythonic hero-saga of Arthur much the same
position as Cuchulainn in the Goidelic hero-saga of Conchobor, both
being par excellence _the_ adventurous hero. Both, too, it should be
noted, are sister's son to the king of the cycle; the same position
being occupied by Diarmaid, _the_ adventurous hero of the Finn or
Ossianic cycle.

The nature of the connection between these cycles of romantic legend
cannot be dealt with here. It is sufficient to show that in the French
Arthurian poems of the twelfth century (which in one form or another
undoubtedly form the basis of the _Parzival_) we have piecings together
of originally disconnected narratives about separate heroes, many of
which are found in more archaic form in the stories told of the Irish
hero Cuchulainn and his compeers. In the process of piecing together,
adjusting to the genealogical requirements of the cycle and to the
social conceptions and literary modes of the twelfth century, the early
Celtic narratives suffered sadly as far as order and significance are
concerned, though gaining immensely in other respects. The changes are
of course greatest where such far-reaching new ideas as the symbolical
representation of Christian doctrine, or the exemplification of
lady-service, affect the original narrative.--ALFRED NUTT.]


Page 103, line 13--'_From Monsalväsch they came, the chargers_.'
This fact that both Parzival and Gawain are riding Grail steeds is
constantly insisted upon by Wolfram, and may be intended to emphasise
the parallel obviously drawn between the two heroes. It does not seem
very clear why Gawain, who here has nothing to do with Monsalväsch,
should ride a Grail steed; if Wolfram took over the fact from his
French source it may, perhaps, be a survival of Gawain's original
connection with the Grail Castle, which, as noted above, has been
dropped out of the German poem. The history of Gawain's charger has
been told more than once, cf. Book VII. p. 196 and Book IX. p. 272.
Parzival's horse is, of course, the one ridden by the Grail knight, cf.
Book IX. p. 258.

Page 104, line 38--'_Poinzacleins_.' Bartsch considers that the name
of this river points to a French source, and indicates the sloping
nature of its banks, the old French word for which would be _aclins_,
Provençal _aclis_.

Page 105, line 52--'_Punt, the water-locked city_.' _Punt_ = _pont_ =
bridge; German _Brücke_ or _Brügge_. The name of this town is decidedly
suggestive of _Bruges_, and considering the fact that Chrêtien
confessedly derived his version of the story from a book given to him
by the Count of Flanders, the frequent allusions throughout the poem to
men of 'Punturtois' should not be ignored.

Page 105, line 57--'_Count Bernard of Riviers_.' A name of undoubtedly
French origin. His father, Count Narant, has been mentioned in Book IV.
p. 119. Uckerland is probably a misunderstanding for Outre-land.

Page 105, line 74--'_Ecidemon-woven_.' This is a curious passage, as
we are distinctly told in Book XV. p. 136 that Ecidemon is an animal;
and as such it is named in Book IX. p. 276 among the list of poisonous
serpents. As we hear in Book XV. p. 136 that _Salamanders_ wove the
robe of Feirefis it is possible that the same power was ascribed to the
Ecidemon. But the passage is somewhat ambiguous, and _here_ a country,
and not an animal, may be meant.

Page 107, line 127 _and seq._--'_Killicrates_.' This name is of
distinctly Greek origin. We find in Book XV. p. 154 that he was King
of Centrium (which Bartsch identifies with the land of the Centaurs),
and one of the princes conquered by Feirefis. In the same list of names
we find Kalomedenté and Ipopotiticon; according to Bartsch the former
name is a compound of Kálamos, and signifies Reed-land; the latter
he suggests may be a variation of Hyperponticon, the land beyond the
Pontus. Agatyrsjenté may perhaps be the same as Assigarzionté mentioned
in Book XV. p. 136, as famous for its silks. '_Akraton_,' cf. Book
VIII. p. 230.

Page 108, line 150--'_He cast from his hand his weapon_.' It is worth
remarking how strongly Wolfram insists on this tie of brotherhood,
both of arms, as here, and of blood, as in Book XV. To fight with one
closely related by friendship, or one near of kin, is in his eyes a
sin against one's _self_, one's own personality. Other writers of the
cycle do not seem to consider such a combat, provided it were not to
death, in so serious a light. The etiquette connected with the naming
themselves by the knights should be noted; it was the right of the
victor to demand the name of the vanquished. Here, Parzival has heard
Gawain's name from the pages, and therefore makes no objection to
revealing himself; in the next Book when Feirefis asks his name he
refuses to give it, the combat between them is practically undecided,
and he will not admit Feirefis's right to put the question. That
Feirefis names himself is an act of courtesy on his part. This
unwillingness to name themselves was probably originally connected with
the idea of the identity of _name_ and _person_--once so universal; to
this day the superstition that it is unlucky to mention the name of a
person exists among certain races, and circumlocution and nicknames are
employed to avoid the necessity for disclosing the real appellation of
the individual referred to.

Page 110, line 237--'_In wrath spake the lips of Bené_.' We have
already been told in Book X. p. 24, that the Ferryman, Bené's father,
was of knightly birth, but it seems strange to find her addressing so
powerful a monarch as King Gramoflanz in such discourteous terms. As
noted before, the character of Bené and the part she plays are peculiar
to Wolfram's version, and difficult of explanation.

Page 113, line 325--'_Yet, Sire, when I saw thee last_.' Cf. Book VI.
p. 179, and Book XV. p. 158. Nevertheless, the other knights do not
seem in any way to have held Parzival as really dishonoured; they
receive and welcome him as one of their body, though he has _not_ won
the Grail, nor, so far, apparently expiated his sin in failing to put
the question.

Page 114, line 339--'_He should eat without on the meadow_.' Cf. Book
V. p. 154.

Page 115, line 402--'_Did women with wealth o'erburdened_,' _etc._ That
gifts of armour and warlike trappings were usual on the part of the
lady is evident from many passages, cf. Book II. p. 47 and Book XV. pp.
139, 147, 155.

Page 117, line 460--'_Affinamus of Clitiers_.' This knight has not been
named before. The same name occurs in the list of princes overcome by
Feirefis, Book XV. p. 154, but it is evidently a different individual.
Bartsch suggests that the name is of Greek origin, Clitiers being
derived from Clitorium.

Page 117, line 467--'_Then out spake King Lot's son gaily_.' Cf. p.
110, line 225.

Page 120, line 543--'_Thy sister Surdamur_.' Cf. Note to Book XII.

Page 121, line 587--'_Now greeting to whom I owe greeting_.' Bartsch
remarks that this love-letter and that addressed by Anflisé to Gamuret,
Book II. p. 44, are specially interesting as being almost the oldest
specimens of love-letters in German literature.

Page 124, line 675--'_Beau-corps_.' Cf. Book VI. p. 183. From the
passage on p. 114 it would seem as if Gawain had other brothers, as
in most stories of the cycle he has, but Wolfram mentions none but

Page 129, line 830 _and seq._--'_Arthur gave maid Itonjé_.' It has
been suggested that here Wolfram is indulging in sly mockery at the
many weddings which, as a rule, wound up the mediæval romances. In the
original tales the whole character of King Arthur and his court was
far less stamped with the rigid morality we have learned to associate
with them, and the somewhat indiscriminate promotion of love-affairs
and marriages (cf. Book XV. p. 157) is quite in keeping with what we
elsewhere read of the king. (See note to Book X. p. 204, for Mr. Nutt's
remarks on the marriage of Gawain being celebrated at the Château
Merveil, instead of at court.)

Page 130, line 869--'_But Parzival, he bethought him_,' _etc._ It
cannot be too strongly insisted upon that this presentment of Parzival
as a married man, and absolutely faithful to his wife is quite peculiar
to Wolfram's version of the story. Whether it is _entirely_ due to
the German poet we cannot now tell, but we meet with such constant
instances of Wolfram's sense of the sanctity of the marriage vow, and
the superiority of lawful, over unlawful, love, it seems most probable
that it is to his genius we owe this, the most beautiful feature of
the story. There is nothing answering to it either in Chrêtien or his
continuators, although in Gerbert the hero's successive failures are
declared to be due to his forsaking Blanchefleur.


Page 135, line 22--'_His armour a knight displayed_.' The riches of
Feirefis and his costly raiment are dwelt upon at such length that one
suspects that the aim of the poet was to exalt the importance of the
House of Anjou; of which Feirefis, rather than Parzival, must here be
considered the representative.

Page 136, line 31--'_Agremontein_.' Cf. Book IX. p. 284.

Page 136, line 42--'_Thopedissimonté_,' _etc._ This place has not been
named before, and critics have not identified it with any known name.
Assigarzionté may, as suggested in Note to Book XIV., be the same as
Agatyrsjenté. Thasmé we already know, Book XIII. p. 74 and Note.

Page 137, line 59--'_Parzival rode not lonely_.' The expression of an
idea which seems to be a favourite one with Wolfram, cf. Book V. p. 139
and Book VIII. 242.

Page 137, line 81--'_As the lion-cub_,' _etc._ This fable, a belief in
which was general in the Middle Ages, is also mentioned by Wolfram in
his _Willehalm_.

Page 139, line 120--'_My brother and I are one body_,' _etc._ As
remarked before, Wolfram has an extremely high idea of the binding
nature of family relationships, cf. Book III. p. 97 and further on p.

Page 139, line 121--'_Asbestos_.' Cf. Book IX. p. 281.

Page 139, line 138--'Kaukasus.' It is rather curious to find Sekundillé
associated with Kaukasus, as we are elsewhere told that she was queen
of Tribalibot, _i.e._ India. In Book X. p. 11 we are told that she
had golden mountains in her kingdom, which may have suggested the

Page 140, line 155--'_And the other, the precious jewels_,' _etc._ It
has already been remarked (Note to Book IX.) that the attribution of
strengthening virtue to precious stones, and the prominence given to
them throughout the poem, is a special feature of the _Parzival_. In
the next book we meet with a remarkable instance of this peculiarity.

Page 140, line 161--'_Kardeiss and Lohengrin_.' This is the first
intimation we have of the existence of Parzival's sons; from Kondrie's
speech on p. 159, he seems himself to have been unaware of their birth.
We hear of Parzival sending the knights conquered by him to yield
themselves captives to Kondwiramur (Book VII. p. 220 and Book VIII.
p. 243), and she, therefore, would be in some degree aware of her
husband's movements during the five years of separation; but we have
no indication of his having received any message from her; and from
the wandering life he led during these years (cf. Introduction to Book
IX.), and the fact that he had no squire in attendance who could act as
go-between, it seems most probable that Parzival heard nothing of his
wife throughout the entire time--a fact which makes his fidelity to her
even more striking. _Kardeiss_ was doubtless named after his mother's
brother, whose death is referred to in Book VI. p. 167. _Lohengrin_,
or as the name stands in the original, with an additional syllable,
_Loherangrin_, has been derived from _Lothringen_, the German form
Lorraine. If so, this may indicate the source of the story of the
Swan-knight, which did not, of course, originally belong to the Grail

Page 140, line 170--'_Pelrapär!_' seq. It is very curious that though
Wolfram emphasizes the fact (p. 139) that Parzival had regained his
faith in God, yet it is not this faith which stands him in good stead
in the hour of his greatest peril; neither is it his devotion to the
Grail; but it is his loyal love for, and fidelity to, his wife that
proves his salvation. If the aim of the poem were, as some critics
contend, a purely religious one, then we should surely find that at
the crucial moment of the hero's career religion, and not _Love_,
would be the saving power. As it is, Parzival's words to Gawain, Book
VI. p. 188, are abundantly borne out, and it _is_ his wife, and no
heavenly power, that acts as Guardian Angel. (The lines 170-71 are not
of course to be taken literally, '_o'er kingdoms four_' is used in
other old German poems as equivalent for '_a great distance_.' It is
not to be supposed that Kondwiramur was in any sense, even mystically,
aware of her husband's danger, though doubtless it is the conviction
that her love for him is as steadfast as his for her that strengthens
his arm.) Throughout this conflict between the two brothers it is
love, in the twelfth century form of _Minne-Dienst_, which is regarded
as the animating power on either side; though the fact that they are
respectively Christian and heathen is insisted on by the poet, yet
we do not find the conflict regarded as a struggle between the two
religions, nor any sign given of the superiority of the God of the
Christian to the heathen deities, in fact the same Divine Power is
invoked to shield them both (p. 139). It certainly seems here as if
the _knightly_ interpretation had, in a great measure, overborne the
_ethical_. That there _was_ an ethical signification attached to the
episode seems evident, not only from the fact that this conflict with
Feirefis, whose peculiar parti-coloured appearance recalls so strongly
the contrast between Doubt and Faith, drawn in the Introduction, is the
last stage in Parzival's long expiation; but also from the fact of
the breaking of Ither of Gaheviess' sword, of which special mention is
made in lines 173 and _seq._ The poet evidently intends us to regard
this as a token that Parzival's youthful sins have been atoned for,
and there seems little doubt that the incident was introduced here for
that purpose. That the sword here broken was originally the _Grail_
sword, and that the change was made by Wolfram from the difficulty
of reconciling that fact with previous statements (cf. Book IX. p.
252), as Simrock suggests, is most improbable, there would have been
no reason for the _Grail Sword_ breaking in this rather than in any
other combat (accepting Chrêtien's statement that the sword would break
only in _one peril_; it had withstood considerably more than _one
blow_), quite the contrary, as here Parzival is practically the Grail
champion; but there is a deep significance in this shattering of the
last token of the headstrong folly of his youth. It seems most probable
that Wolfram found this incident in his source; and that the original
meaning of the combat was to depict the last desperate struggle of the
soul with Doubt, wherein by _steadfast resistance_ (absolute conquest
is not at once to be looked for) the sins of the past are wiped out,
and the soul becomes finally worthy of reward.

Page 141, line 195--'_Thro' fear shall I tell my name?_' Cf. Note
to Book XIV. The courteous and knightly bearing of Feirefis, both
here and on p. 142, should be noted. In everything but faith he is
quite the equal of his Christian brother; indeed it must be admitted
that, compared with either Feirefis or Gawain, _Parzival_ gives the
impression of being a much less courtly and polished figure. His
character seems stamped throughout with a rugged simplicity and
directness, quite in keeping with what we are told of his wild and
lonely youth. It is noticeable, too, how very little, comparatively
speaking, Parzival says; though all the speeches put into his mouth
have an earnestness and depth of feeling which we do not find in the
much more frequent utterances of Gawain. Wolfram's tolerant treatment
of heathen, generally, has often been a subject of remark by critics;
and, with regard to Feirefis, the number of allusions to him which the
_Willehalm_ contains lead one to the conclusion that this character, in
particular, was a favourite with the poet.

Page 141, line 202--'_How shall "Angevin" be thy title?_' The reader
will probably by this time have noticed that, King of Anjou as Parzival
is, he is never called an Angevin, but is invariably referred to as
a 'Waleis,' his mother's country. It is his _mother's_ kingdoms of
which he has been deprived (cf. Book III. pp. 73, 80, 87), and this is
really the first indication we have that he knows himself to be also
lord of Anjou. Gamuret is alluded to, and gives his name as, Gamuret
Angevin; Feirefis, is always Feirefis Angevin; but Parzival, the hero
of the story and the real glory of his house, is not an Angevin but a
'Waleis.' This shows clearly that the _Angevin_ element formed no part
of the original Perceval legend, but that it has been grafted on to a
previously existing Celtic basis.

Page 141, line 205--'_Béalzenan_.' Cf. Book V. p. 147 and Note.

Page 142, line 230--'_As written parchment_.' Ekuba did _not_ say this
in Wolfram's version, cf. Book VI. p. 186, possibly the simile was in
the French source and has been dropped out. It is a curious idea to
occur to a man who, like Wolfram, could not write; and it is also a
curious speech to put into the mouth of one who, like Parzival, had
been brought up in the desert, and deprived of the ordinary training
due to his rank.

Page 143, line 241--'_Blest be Juno_,' _etc._ This ascription of
Latin gods and goddesses to _all_ the non-Christian races was not
unusual in the Middle Ages; Apollo was the god most commonly thus
transferred. It is rather curious though to find the mistake made in
a poem so obviously tinged by Oriental influences as the _Parzival_.
Wolfram, too, seems to have known that the Saracens had other gods, in
_Willehalm_ he names as such Apollo, Mahmet, and Tervigant.

Page 144, line 275--'_When King Eisenhart's life was run_.' Cf. Book I.
p. 28.

Page 144, line 294--'_Till King Ipomidon_.' Cf. Book II. p. 59.

Page 146, line 353--'_From Château Merveil_,' _etc._ Cf. Book XII. p.

Page 147, line 377--'_Saranthasmé_.' Cf. Book XIII. p. 74 and note.

Page 149, line 458--'_Wizsant_.' A haven on the coast of France,
near Boulogne, much frequented at that time. Writers of the period
frequently allude to it.

Page 153, line 583 and _seq._, page 154, line 615 and _seq._ The
list of kings conquered by Feirefis and Parzival contain some very
perplexing names, the originals of which have evidently been corrupted
in process of transmission from one language to another. Bartsch, who
has devoted considerable time to the study of the proper names in the
_Parzival_, has endeavoured, with varying success, to identify the
majority; and the following suggestions are taken from his article on
the subject, already quoted in Appendix B, of vol. i.

In the first list, that of the princes conquered by Feirefis, names of
Greek origin are of frequent occurrence; thus Papirus of Trogodjenté,
Bartsch identifies as the king of the Troglodytæ; Liddamus of Agrippé
was originally Laodamus of Agrippias; Tinodent, the island of Tenedos;
Milon is, of course, a well-known Greek name, as is Kallicrates, here
Killicrates, Filones of Hiberborticon is the Greek _Philon_; and it
may be taken as a general rule that all the names ending in _on_, in
this list, may be traced more or less directly to a Greek source.
Possizonjus is a version of Poseidonios (having probably passed through
a Latin medium); Atropfagenté is the land of the Androphagi, or
Anthropophagi; Acheinor is the Greek _Archenor_.

In the list of the heroes conquered by Parzival we have, on the
contrary, few classical names; Jeropleis, _i.e._ Hieropolis, seems to
be almost the only example. The majority of the names appear to be of
Romance origin, or at least to have passed through a Romance source.
Thus Mirabel, the name of a place in Southern France, and Serabel,
here the ending _bel_ indicates the French origin; Villegarunz is the
Prov. _Villagrana_; Jovedast of Arles, a Provençal, proclaims his own

It is probably no accident that this majority of classical names appear
in the first list, that of Feirefis, since, as noted above, Greeks and
Romans alike were classed by the mediæval writers as heathens, and they
would see nothing incorrect in giving Saracens classical names, in the
same way as they provided them with classical deities.

Page 154, line 608--'_Olympia and Klauditté_.' Here again we find the
names of the three queens beloved by Feirefis of distinctly classical
origin: Klauditté being a French derivation from Claudia. Sekundillé is
the only queen of whom we hear elsewhere, the other two are mentioned
by name only.

Page 155, line 643--'_Heraclius or Hercules_.' Heracles was the
hero of a German poem of the twelfth century, which attributes to
him a knowledge of the properties of precious stones. The Alexander
here referred to is Alexander the Great; not the lover of Surdamur,
mentioned in Books XII. and XIV. (cf. note to XII.)

Page 156, line 664--'_Drianthasmé_.' Apparently a combination of
Triande and Thasmé, cf. Book XIII. p. 74.

Page 158, line 723--'_With turtle-doves, all shining_.' Kondrie does
not seem to have borne the badge of the Grail on her first visit (Book
VI. p. 177); this, her second appearance, seems to bear more of an
official character.

Page 158, line 741--'_Without a kiss_.' A kiss was the customary sign
and seal of forgiveness (cf. Book V. 151, 152; Book VI. 177; Book XIV.
129), but Kondrie is fully aware of her repulsive appearance, and
would, therefore, release Parzival from the fulfilment of a distasteful
duty. It must be noted that, throughout the poem, Kondrie is in no
sense represented as a malicious character. Her brother, Malcréature,
on the contrary, seems to have been thoroughly evil-disposed, cf. Book
X. p. 12.

Page 159, line 767--'_Now rejoice with a humble heart_.' Kondrie's
announcement to Parzival appears, in some points, to be a direct
contradiction of what we have already been told with regard to the
promised healing of Anfortas. In Book IX. p. 278, Trevrezent distinctly
says that the question must be asked on the _first_ night of the visit
to the Castle; that no warning must be previously given; and that
_if_ the knight fulfils these conditions, then, and then only, will
he become king of the Grail. Now Parzival apparently traverses all
these conditions, he omits to ask the question on his first visit, he
is told of the sin he has thereby committed, and on this, his second
visit, is made well aware of what is expected of him (cf. lines 774
and _seq._), while the Grail announces him as king _before_ he has
asked the question. It is true that no one tells him the exact words
in which he is to put the query, but Parzival is well aware that he
is to ask Anfortas the cause of his anguish, and it scarcely seems
likely that the virtue of the question depends upon the form in which
it is put. Are we to consider from Trevrezent's words, Book XVI. p.
171, that Parzival's valour and steadfastness of purpose have wrought
a change in the Divine Counsels, and that the bliss which he had in
his folly forfeited is to be granted to him on his fulfilment of the
_spirit_ of the Grail conditions, the fulfilment of the _letter_ being
dispensed with? The question is a perplexing one, and difficult to
solve satisfactorily.

Page 160, line 779--'_Seven stars did she name unto him_.' The
introduction of these Arabic names is decidedly curious in view of
Wolfram's emphatic statement that the origin of the _Parzival_ was an
Arabic MS., though Bartsch remarks that the names in question were not
necessarily derived from the source, there being still extant a German
astronomical poem of the twelfth century which contains a number of
Arabic names. Still it is strange that Wolfram's version should be
as close as it is to the original form of the words, thus Zevâl is
the Arabic _Zuhal_, Saturn; Almustri, _El-musteri_, Jupiter; Almaret,
_El-mirrêk_, Mars; Samsi, _Shams_, the Sun; Alligafir and Alkamer
cannot be exactly identified with the remaining two planets, Venus and
Mercury, but seem to represent rather the names of two constellations,
respectively called El-gafir and El-kidr. Alkamer is the moon, Arabic

Page 160, line 799--'_If thou speakest, Lady_.' The humility of this
speech of Parzival's, contrasted with the indignant outbreak of wounded
pride in Book VI. pp. 187, 188, is the most decisive proof which the
poem affords of the spiritual change which has passed over him, and of
his fitness to become king of the Grail, a blessing which Anfortas has
forfeited through lack of humility (cf. Book IX. p. 272 and Book XVI.
p. 182).

Page 161, line 817--'_From the bright eyes of Orgelusé_.' Cf. Book XII.
p. 65.

Page 162, line 861--'_Triant_.' Cf. Book XIII. p. 74. Nouriente = von
ourient, _i.e._ Orient.


Page 165, line 5, _and seq._--'_Then he spake to the knights of
Monsalväsch_.' Those readers who are familiar with Wagner's _Parzival_
will see in this speech of Anfortas to the knights, and his attempt
to win death for himself by shutting his eyes to the Grail, the germ
of the scene in the Grail Temple in Act III. of the Drama. It will be
noted that _here_ Anfortas does not injure any one but himself by this
attempt at self-destruction. Titurel is still alive, cf. p. 178. It
is noteworthy that the knights still await the advent of the promised
Healer; though, as we gather from Trevrezent's speech, Book IX. p. 278,
'The knight, he hath come, and hath left us,' they were aware that
_Parzival_ was he, and had failed to fulfil his mission.

Page 166, line 49--'_Teriak_.' Cf. Book IX. p. 278, Ambra=Amber.

Page 167, line 67, _and seq._--'_Carbuncle and Balas ruby_,' _etc._
It has before been remarked that the belief in the virtue of precious
stones was very real and very general in the Middle Ages. Similar lists
are given by various writers, Albertus Magnus among them; and San Marte
remarks that, if this list is compared with mediæval writings, it will
be found that the names have not been put together in a haphazard
fashion, but that the special virtue ascribed to each stone has a
direct bearing on Anfortas' sufferings. _Jewels_, in the strict sense
of the term, these stones are not exclusively, _e.g._ we find Asbestos
and Pyrites among the list; the expression 'precious stones' was freely
construed in those days. The Latin equivalent of all these names can be
found in writings of the period, but it would scarcely be interesting
to give a minute description and identification.

Page 169, line 119--'_And e'en as was there the custom_.' Cf. Book V.
p. 132.

Page 169, line 130--'_O'er-long have I waited_.' Anfortas' speech to
Parzival is curious; some critics have opined that he alone was not
aware of the lately read Grail writing, and of Parzival's election to
the Grail kingdom, and was, therefore, in doubt as to whether or not he
was the destined Deliverer. But, if that were the case, how did he come
not only to know Parzival's name, but to lay such stress upon it ('If
_Parzival_ men shall call thee, _then_, etc.'), _i.e._ 'If thou art
indeed the chosen ruler of these knights, then exercise thine authority
on my behalf.' We learn from Book IX. p. 271, that the _name_ of the
elect knights appeared on the Grail. If Anfortas had learnt it from
Trevrezent, the only other source of information he could have had,
he would have had no doubt of the identity of the promised Deliverer
with the knight who had already paid an abortive visit to the Castle;
as it is, he recognises him at once, but is in doubt whether he is
the 'Parzival' named by the Grail. The meaning of his speech seems to
be that Anfortas was unaware how far Parzival himself was acquainted
with the _rôle_ assigned to him, and feared to transgress the Grail's
commandment, and risk the promised healing by saying too much.

Page 169, line 141--'_Now say where the Grail It lieth?_' It is
remarkable that though Parzival is well aware of the nature of the
question which he is to put to Anfortas, and of the happy results which
will follow (p. 159), yet he fully realises that this healing can only
be brought about by the blessing of God; it is as God's Messenger, and
not in his own power, that he speaks. He feels himself, and wishes the
knights to regard him, merely as the instrument in God's hand; there is
no trace of self-assertion or presumption in his action, the grace of
humility has been fully won. The beautiful touch in lines 155-56 seems
to show that to Anfortas, also, the long ordeal issued in distinct
spiritual gain. It is worth noting that, from this point onwards,
Anfortas is spoken of as a knight in the prime of life, worthy to be
compared in skill and prowess with his nephew, Parzival, and excelling
him in physical beauty; whereas Trevrezent, who was considerably the
younger (cf. Book IX. p. 275), is always spoken of as an old man. This
is, of course, due to the youth-preserving powers of the Grail (cf.
Book IX. p. 270), so Répanse-de-Schoie, who had been in the service of
the Grail from her childhood, would have retained the appearance of a
young girl, and there is nothing surprising, therefore, in Feirefis
becoming enamoured of her beauty.

Page 178, line 147--'_By the mouth of His saint, Sylvester_.' An
allusion to a well-known story told of S. Sylvester; how when he was
defending Christianity against a Jew, in the presence of the Emperor
Constantine, he restored to life, by the invocation of Christ, a steer
which the Jew had slain by whispering the most Holy Name into its ear,
but had failed to revivify by the same means.

Page 170, line 168--'_The wood when they fought of old_.' Cf. Book VI.
p. 160 and _seq._ This reunion of Parzival and Kondwiramur on the very
spot where he had been overcome by the mystic love-trance is a most
poetical feature of Wolfram's version, and one found nowhere else.

Page 171, line 183--'_Greater marvel I ne'er may see_.' Cf. Book IX. p.
267. This passage, with its practical unsaying of much that Trevrezent
has said in Book IX., is extremely difficult of explanation. That
there is a distinct discrepancy, not to say contradiction, between the
statements of Book IX. and those of Book XVI. is undoubtedly the fact;
the most probable solution appears to be that suggested in Excursus
C at p. 194 of this volume; _i.e._ the original interpretation, that
of Kiot, was purely religious, and it was that which Wolfram in Book
IX. was mainly following; he himself, however, had grafted another
meaning on to that originally suggested, that of salvation by fidelity
to the knightly ideal, the power of the _unverzagter mannes muot_.
By the time Wolfram had reached the end of the poem, he found that
his interpretation had dominated that of Kiot, he had practically
made Parzival do that which Trevrezent says is impossible ('Wouldst
thou force thy God with thine anger?' Book IX. p. 267. 'Thou by thy
wrath hast won blessing'), and this passage seems to be an attempt to
harmonise these two conflicting ideas. It is certainly not easy of
interpretation, for on the face of it, while Trevrezent is asserting
the unchanging nature of God's decrees, as illustrated by the history
of the rebel angels, he is also implying that Parzival himself has been
the object of special and peculiar favour on the part of the Deity, and
that the foreordained course of events has in his case been at least

Page 172, line 213--'_Duke Kiot of Katelangen_.' Cf. Book IV. p. 107,
and Book IX. p. 274.

Page 174, line 277--'_When many a year had flown_.' This is the only
indication we have of the eventual recovery of Parzival's inheritance.
From the emphasis laid upon the episode in Book III. one would have
expected to find Parzival himself making some effort for the recovery
of his kingdoms, but he never seems to have done so (cf. Notes to Book
III. pp. 308, 309).

Page 174, line 302--'_Schoysiané, the dead maid's mother_.' In
Wolfram's poem, _Titurel_, we find exactly the reverse of this
statement; _i.e._ Siguné, whose mother died at her birth (as we are
repeatedly told), was given into the care of the mother of Kondwiramur,
and the two children were brought up together till Siguné was five
years old, when Herzeleide persuaded Duke Kiot to transfer his daughter
to her charge. How this discrepancy arose is not clear; Wolfram may
perhaps have forgotten what he had said in _Titurel_, or he may have
followed his French source.

Page 174. line 306--'_Nor my tale like the bow shall be bended_.' Cf.
Book V. p. 137.

Page 175, line 310--'_A Templar of Patrigalt_.' Cf. Book II. p. 39.

Page 175, line 319--'_Garschiloie of Greenland_.' Cf. Book V. p. 144.
Greenland here is not to be understood as the Greenland we know, but
as part of Norway. The Grail maidens have not been individually named
before, though the Countess of Tenabroc and the daughter of Jernis were
mentioned in Book V. pp. 133, 134. Florie of Lünel may be the daughter
of the Count of _Nonel_ named in conjunction with Jernis.

Page 177, line 373--'_Claret, Morass, or Sinopel_.' Morass seems to
have been a wine made from mulberries; Sinopel, wine mixed with sweet

Page 178, line 411--'_The Tourney hath fashions five_.' Cf. Note to
Book II. 'The Tourney.'

Page 178, line 434--'_If he be a heathen_.' This inability of the
unbaptized to behold the Grail, and the renewal of the power of the
stone every Good Friday are the two most direct proofs of the Christian
nature of the Talisman to be found in the poem. As remarked in Note
to Book IX., Wolfram never seems really to connect the Grail with the
Passion of our Lord.

Page 179, line 441--'_If I, for your sake, be baptizèd_.' It should be
noted that Feirefis is not in the least influenced by any religious
motive in seeking Baptism; throughout, as in the combat with Parzival
in Book XV., it is _Love_ that is his guiding impulse.

Page 181, line 501--'_God is Man_,' _etc._ Cf. p. 171 where Trevrezent
makes use of exactly the same words.

Page 181, line 506--'_Each tree from the water draweth_,' _etc._ This
and the following lines are inscribed on the fountain erected in 1860
to the memory of the poet, in the market-place of Ober-Eschenbach.

Page 182, line 526--'_The Templar whom God henceforward_.' In the face
of the antiquity of the Swan-knight legend, it is impossible to regard
this as more than an ingenious attempt on the part either of Wolfram or
of his French authority to account for Lohengrin's prohibition of the
question, cf. Note on 'Lohengrin.'

Page 183, line 562--'_Anfortas, he sent a message_.' Cf. Book IX. p.

Page 183, line 566--'_Loehprisein_,' Book VIII. and Note.
'Loehtamreis,' Book XII. and Note.

Page 183, line 580--'_Camelot_.' This is the only mention in this poem
of the town so well known in other versions of the Arthurian legend.

Page 184, line 589--'_Prester John_.' The belief in a Christian kingdom
in the East, ruled over by a king who was at the same time a priest was
very widely spread in the Middle Ages, but it is very curious to find
it thus connected with the Grail legend. Simrock takes this connection
to be a confirmation of his theory, that the Grail myth was originally
closely connected with St. John the Baptist. According to _Der jüngere
Titurel_, a poem which, professedly written by Wolfram and long
supposed to be his, is now known to be the work of a certain Albert
von Scharffenburg, the Grail with its guardians, Parzival, Lohengrin,
Kondwiramur, and all the Templars, eventually left Monsalväsch, and
found a home in the domains of Prester John, but the story seems to be
due rather to the imagination of the writer than to any real legendary

Page 184, line 610, _and seq._--'_The Lohengrin myth_.' This legend of
a supernatural benefactor or deliverer, who arrives at the land which
he is to benefit in a boat, miraculously guided, and leaves it in
the same way, is extremely widely spread, and may be regarded rather
as the property of the Aryan race as a whole, than of one nation in
particular. In its earliest forms, such as the legend of Sceaf among
the Anglo-Saxons, and Höni in the Faroe Isles, the hero is undoubtedly
of divine origin, and the second of these seems to be the first in
which the swan element is introduced. The original signification
appears to be that of a 'year-myth,' symbolising the conflict between
the seasons; the god of spring first overcoming, and then in his turn
being overcome by, the power of winter. Bloete, in an article on the
subject in the _Zeitschrift für Deutsches Alterthum_, explains the
connection with the swan by the fact that this is a migratory bird,
and that in the days when the lower part of the Rhine formed a marshy
Delta, swans frequented these lowlands in large numbers on their way
to, and from, their summer quarters in Northern Europe. In this way
the birds were the heralds alike of the coming and of the departing
light and warmth, and became associated with the embodied genius of
spring and summer. It is certainly a curious fact that the legend of
the Swan-knight in its developed form is distinctly to be traced to
these countries. The original association with the god of light, Bloete
thinks, was the work of Keltic fancy, and by them imparted to their
Batavian successors in the lowlands of the Rhine. By the thirteenth
century, the story had clothed itself in distinctly chivalric form, the
hero was no longer a god, but a knight, and in this shape the legend
became connected with the origin of more than one noble family of the
day; notably with that of Godfrey de Bouillon, the Crusader. It is
noticeable in this connection that Gerbert, one of the continuators
of Chrêtien, has a passage prophesying that of Perceval's race shall
spring the 'Swan-knight and the Deliverer of the Holy Sepulchre.'

This passage, together with the fact that Wolfram connects Lohengrin
with Brabant, seems to indicate that the German poet was not the first
to connect the legend of the Swan-knight with that of the Grail,
but found the story in his French source; though he certainly gives
the earliest version of the legend in the shape in which, through
Wagner's _Lohengrin_, it is familiar to us to-day. A more prolonged
and elaborate account of Lohengrin's adventures is given in _Der
jüngere Titurel_ already referred to; here the lady is the Duchess
of Lizaborye, and the catastrophe is brought about by the advice of
a treacherous maid, who persuades the Duchess that if she cuts off,
roasts, and eats a portion of her husband's flesh, he will be unable
to leave her. In pursuance of this intention, armed knights break into
Lohengrin's chamber at night, and in the struggle with them, though
overcoming his assailants, he is himself slain. The unhappy wife dies
of grief, and the name of the country is changed from Lizaborye to
Lothringen (Lorraine) in memory of Lohengrin. (Those familiar with the
Wagner Drama will note the skill with which Wagner has combined these
two versions of the legend.)

In the forbidden question we probably have a surviving testimony to
the originally divine nature of the hero; it is a well-known feature
of such legends that a mortal wife wedded to a divine husband may not
inquire too closely into that husband's nature, _e.g._ the myths of
Jupiter and Semele, and of Eros and Psyche. The question therefore
probably belongs to the original form of the story, and the passage on
p. 182 is merely, as suggested above, an ingenious attempt to explain a
feature which puzzled the later compilers.

Page 186, line 661--'_Here Herr Erec should speak_.' An allusion to
Hartmann's _Erec_, so often referred to. The hero forbids his wife
to speak to him, she breaks the silence in order to warn him of an
impending danger, and is punished by him for so doing.

Page 186, line 663--'_If Chrêtien of Troyes_,' _etc._ Here for the
first time Wolfram gives us clearly to understand that he knew
Chrêtien's Grail poem, but deliberately preferred to follow Kiot's'
version, to which he has made frequent allusions. If Wolfram's
statement is to be accepted as it stands, we must perforce conclude
that both the first two books and the last three (of which Chrêtien
has no trace) were in Kiot's poem, '_To the end_, the Provençal told
it.' Certainly Wolfram himself does not wish us to consider that any
part of the tale was due to his own invention, but rather that he was
throughout faithfully adhering to lines already laid down. The question
of the connection between Chrêtien and Wolfram will be found fully
discussed in Excursus B.


        Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to Her Majesty
                   at the Edinburgh University Press

Transcriber's Notes:

    Simple spelling, grammar, and typographical errors were
    silently corrected.

    Punctuation normalized.

    Anachronistic and non-standard spellings retained as printed.

    Italics markup is enclosed in _underscores_.

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