« ForrigeFortsett »
and bore him to the earth. And when he had slain Sir Colgrevance, he ran upon his brother as a fiendly man, and gave him such a stroke that he made him stoop. And he that was full of humility prayed him, “ for God's sake leave this battle, for if it befell, fair brother, that I slew you, or ye me, we should be dead of that sin.” “Pray ye not me for mercy,” said Sir Lionel. Then Sir Bohort, all weeping, drew his sword, and said, “Now God have mercy upon me, though I defend my life against my brother.” With that Sir Bohort lifted up his sword, and would have stricken his brother. Then heard he a voice that said, “Flee, Sir Bohort, and touch him not.” Right so alighted a cloud between them, in the likeness of a fire, and a marvellous flame, so that they both fell to the earth, and lay there a great while in a swoon. And when they came to themselves, Sir Bohort saw that his brother had no harm; and he was right glad, for he dread sore that God had taken vengeance upon him. Then Sir Lionel said to his brother, “Brother, forgive me, for God's sake, all that I have trespassed against you.” And Sir Bohort answered, “God forgive it thee, and I do.”
With that Sir Bohort heard a voice say, 66 Sir Bohort, take thy way anon, right to the sea, for Sir Perceval abideth thee there.” So Sir Bohort departed, and rode the nearest way to the sea. And at last he came to an abbey that was nigh the sea. That night he rested him there, and in his sleep there came a voice unto him and bade him go to the sea-shore. He started up, and made the sign of the cross on his forehead, and armed himself, and made ready his horse and mounted him, and at a broken wall he rode out, and came to the sea-shore. And there he found a ship, covered all with white samite. And he entered into the ship; but it was anon so dark that he might see no man, and he laid him down and slept till it was day. Then he awaked, and saw in the middle of the ship a knight all armed, save his helm. And then he knew it was Sir Perceval de Galis, and each made of other right great joy. Then said Sir Perceval, “ We lack nothing now but the good knight Sir Galahad.”
SIR LAUNCELOT, RESUMED.
It befell upon a night Sir Launcelot arrived before a castle, which was rich and fair.
And there was a postern that opened toward the sea, and was open without any keeping, save two lions kept the entry; and the moon shined clear. Anon Sir Launcelot heard a voice that said, “ Launcelot, enter into the castle, where thou shalt see a great part of thy desire.” So he went unto the gate, and saw the two lions; then he set hands to his sword, and drew it. Then there came suddenly as it were a stroke upon the arm, so sore that the sword fell out of his hand, and he heard a voice that said, “O man of evil faith, wherefore believest thou more in thy armor than in thy Maker ?” Then said Sir Launcelot, “ Fair Lord, I thank thee of thy great mercy, that thou reprovest me of my misdeed ; now see I well that thou holdest me for thy servant.” Then he made a cross on his forehead, and came to the lions ; and they made semblance to do him harm, but he passed them without hurt, and entered into the castle, and he found no gate nor door but it was open. But at the last he found a chamber whereof the door was shut; and he set his hand thereto, to have opened it, but he might not. Then he listened, and heard a voice which sung so sweetly that it seemed none earthly thing; and the voice said, " Joy and honor be to the Father of heaven.” Then Sir Launcelot kneeled down before the chamber, for well he wist that there was the Sangreal in that chamber. Then said he, “Fair, sweet Lord, if ever I did anything that pleased thee, for thy pity show me something of that which I seek.”. And with that he saw the chamber door open, and there came out a great clearness, that the house was as bright as though all the torches of the world had been there. So he came to the chamber door, and would have entered ; and anon a voice said unto him, “Stay, Sir Launcelot, and enter not.” And he withdrew him back, and was right heavy in his mind. Then looked he in the midst of the chamber, and saw a table of silver, and the holy vessel, covered with red samite, and many angels about it; whereof one held a candle of wax burning, and another held a cross, and the ornaments of the altar. Then, for very wonder and thankfulness, Sir Launcelot forgot himself, and he stepped forward and entered the chamber. And suddenly a breath that seemed intermixed with fire smote him so sore in the visage, that therewith he fell to the ground, and had no power to rise. Then felt he many hands about him, which took him up, and bare him out of the chamber, without any amending of his swoon, and left him there, seeming dead to all the people. So on the morrow, when it was fair daylight, and they within were arisen, they found Sir Launcelot lying before the chamber door. And they looked upon him and felt his pulse, to know if there were any life in him. And they found life in him, but he might neither stand nor stir any member that he had. So they took him and bare him into a chamber, and laid him upon a bed, far from all folk, and there he lay many days. Then the one said he was alive, and others said nay. But said an old man, “ He is as full of life as the mightiest of you all, and therefore I counsel you that he be well kept till God bring him back again." And after twenty-four days he opened his eyes; and when he saw folk, he made great sorrow, and said, “Why have ye wakened me? for I was better at ease than I am now.”
66 What have ye seen ?” said they about him. “I have seen,” said he, “ great marvels that no tongue can tell, and more than any heart can think.” Then they said, “Sir, the quest of the Sangreal is
achieved right now in you, and never shall ye see more of it than ye have seen.” “ I thank God," said Sir Launcelot, “ of his great mercy, for that I have seen, for it sufficeth me.'
Then he rose up and clothed himself; and when he was so arrayed, they marvelled all, for they knew it was Sir Launcelot the good knight. And, after four days, he took his leave of the lord of the castle, and of all the fellowship that were there, and thanked them for their great labor and care of him. Then he departed, and turned to Camelot, where he found King Arthur and Queen Guenever ; but many of the knights of the Round Table were slain and destroyed, more than half. Then all the court was passing glad of Sir Launcelot; and he told the king all his adventures that had befallen him since he departed.
Now, when Sir Galahad had rescued Perceval from the twenty knights, he rode into a vast forest, wherein he abode many days. Then he took his way to the sea, and it befell him that he was benighted in a hermitage. And the good man was glad when he saw he was a knight-errant. And when they were at rest, there came a gentlewoman knocking at the door; and the good man came to the door to wit what she would. Then she said, “I would speak with the knight which is with you.” Then