Sacred Texts  Legends and Sagas  Index  BOOK XI  Previous  Next 


How Sir Launcelot was displeased when he knew that he
had lain by Dame Elaine, and how she was delivered
of Galahad.

AND anon as he had unshut the window the enchantment
was gone; then he knew himself that he had done amiss.
Alas, he said, that I have lived so long; now I am
shamed.  So then he gat his sword in his hand and said:
Thou traitress, what art thou that I have lain by all this
night? thou shalt die right here of my hands.  Then this
fair lady Elaine skipped out of her bed all naked, and
kneeled down afore Sir Launcelot, and said:  Fair courteous
knight, come of king's blood, I require you have mercy
upon me, and as thou art renowned the most noble knight
of the world, slay me not, for I have in my womb him by
thee that shall be the most noblest knight of the world.
Ah, false traitress, said Sir Launcelot, why hast thou
betrayed me? anon tell me what thou art.  Sir, she said,
I am Elaine, the daughter of King Pelles.  Well, said Sir
Launcelot, I will forgive you this deed; and therewith he
took her up in his arms, and kissed her, for she was as fair
a lady, and thereto lusty and young, and as wise, as any
was that time living.  So God me help, said Sir Launcelot,
I may not wite this to you; but her that made this
enchantment upon me as between you and me, an I may
find her, that same Lady Brisen, she shall lose her head
for witchcrafts, for there was never knight deceived so as
I am this night.  And so Sir Launcelot arrayed him, and
armed him, and took his leave mildly at that lady young
Elaine, and so he departed.  Then she said:  My lord Sir
Launcelot, I beseech you see me as soon as ye may, for I
have obeyed me unto the prophecy that my father told
me.  And by his commandment to fulfil this prophecy I
have given the greatest riches and the fairest flower that
ever I had, and that is my maidenhood that I shall never
have again; and therefore, gentle knight, owe me your
good will.

And so Sir Launcelot arrayed him and was armed,
and took his leave mildly at that young lady Elaine; and
so he departed, and rode till he came to the Castle of
Corbin, where her father was.  And as fast as her time
came she was delivered of a fair child, and they christened
him Galahad; and wit ye well that child was well kept
and well nourished, and he was named Galahad because
Sir Launcelot was so named at the fountain stone; and
after that the Lady of the Lake confirmed him Sir Launcelot
du Lake.

Then after this lady was delivered and churched, there
came a knight unto her, his name was Sir Bromel la Pleche,
the which was a great lord; and he had loved that lady
long, and he evermore desired her to wed her; and so by
no mean she could put him off, till on a day she said to Sir
Bromel:  Wit thou well, sir knight, I will not love you,
for my love is set upon the best knight of the world.
Who is he? said Sir Bromel.  Sir, she said, it is Sir
Launcelot du Lake that I love and none other, and therefore
woo me no longer.  Ye say well, said Sir Bromel, and
sithen ye have told me so much, ye shall have but little joy
of Sir Launcelot, for I shall slay him wheresomever I meet
him.  Sir, said the Lady Elaine, do to him no treason.
Wit ye well, my lady, said Bromel, and I promise you
this twelvemonth I shall keep the pont of Corbin for Sir
Launcelot's sake, that he shall neither come nor go unto
you, but I shall meet with him.