An Arthurian Miscellany at sacred-texts.com
Sir Lancelot rode between the trees,
The evening sun was red:
He thought upon Queen Guinevere
With hair outspread.
He thought upon the Holy Grail
That he had come to win,
And knew his love of Guinevere
Was deadly sin.
Then from his horse he lighted down
Beneath the treen
And prayed that God would sain his soul
Of Arthur's queen.
A sudden glory filled the wood,
And there his eyes
Beheld a wonder that had come
He saw the Grail-Maid with the Grail
Between her hands,
The sight that is most beautiful
In the world's lands.
Full humbly Lancelot bowed himself
Shamed and afraid
But the Grail-Maiden said to him
"Be not dismayed."
"Look up," she said, "and see the Grail
If thine eyes endure
And if thy heart hath flame of love
Through Love made pure."
He lifted up his eyes if so
The San-Grail might be found:
The splendour smote him to the earth
Deep in a swound.
But through the swound Sir Lancelot knew
The Grail-Maid stood
Like a bright-coloured bird of Heaven
In a dark wood.
And he besought of Christ the Lord
To lend him grace,
Although he might not see the Grail,
To see her face.
"Look up," she said, "and see my face,
The grace is won:
Quenched in me now the moon-fire is
And the fire of the sun."
He looked upon the Grail-Maid's face
Enshadowed by her hair:
He knew her, wan, and white, and still,
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