The Achievement of the Sangraele and the Death of Sir Galahad

*Mollay's Morte Dartus. Globe Edition Book xvii., C. xxii

 
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The Achievement of the Sangraele and the Death of Sir Galahad

When that Sir Pellas, father of Elaine,
With Eliazar, who was Pellas' son,
Within the Castle dwelt of Carbouek,
Sir Galahad had met Sir Percival,
Who travelled with Sir Bors and all the three
To Carbouek came, where Pellas welcomed them.
Then was great joy, because Sir Pellas knew
The quest of the Sangraele should be fulfilled.
Then Eleazar, Pellas' son brought forth
A broken sword wherewith was Joseph smitten,
Bors set his hand thereto to join the blade.
But could not and no more could Percival.
But Galahad the pieces put together
And they were welded as if they were forged.
Then from the blade came flame. The Knights all feared.
And many men to earth fell down in dread.
There was a table, at which many sat.
When lo! a mighty voice like the sweet sound
Of many waters spake, and speaking said,--
"This table is Lord Christ's, sit ye not at it!
Arise ye Knights!" They trembled and arose--
All, save King Pellas and his son, Eleazar:
With them a little maid, King Pellas' niece.
Then armëd Knights came through the postern gates,
Whome Galahad followed, fearing their intent.
Lo came a voice which said, "Of ye there be
Two, proved unworthy; therefore get thee gone!"
And Pellas with his son, in shame departed.

Three Angels entered at the chamber door,
Clothed in white robes, the first was Gabriel;
The second he who bears the name of Michael.
The third, a seraph, who most sweetly sang,
And played upon a lute, was Israfel.
The Angel Michael carried, in his hand,
A spear with red blood dyed, and in the other
A casket of fine gold. Three drops of blood
Within the casket fell from off the spear.

A Bishop now uplifted holy bread;
And, at the lifting, came a little child,
With blood-red face, as bright as flames of fire.
Therewith, he smote himself into the bread.
The holy priest to Galahad went and kissed him;
Saying, "Go kiss thy fellows, every one!"
Then he was gone, and all oppressed with dread,
They set them at the table, where they prayed.
They saw a man, from out the Vessel rise,
Bleeding, in wounded hands and feet and side;
For He was Christ. Then said He unto them,--
"My Knights, my servants and my children true,
No longer will I hide myself from you.
Behold my wounds; like Thomas, be not doubtful."
Then Christ the sacred vessel took in hands
And came to Galahad, who kneel'd down
And there received, from Christ, the Sacrament.
Which, after him, his fellows all received.
So passing sweet it was, they marvelled much.

"To-morrow fare ye three upon the sea:
As I departed my Apostles all:
One here, one there, e'en so depart I ye.
Three shall achieve the Graele. But two must die."

When Galahad had worn a crown of gold;
For Esterause lay sick and sent for him.
And when the King was dead, a multitude,
Of his leal subjects sent for Galahad.
"We choose thee, by assent of all the city,
To be our King and over us to rule,"
They said, "Though thou art e'en the youngest knight
Of Arthour's Court." Thus Galahad was crowned.

But little cared he for an earthly crown.
For soon should he achieve the Holy Graele;
Then would he die and gain a crown in Heaven.

A year rolled by since Galahad was crowned.
Then rose he early, to the Palace came:
And there he saw before a sacred cup,
A Bishop kneeling, and beside him stood
A company of Angels, as he'd been
Lord Jesus Christ. The Bishop then arose;
And when the sacred sacrifice of Mass
He had performed, "Come forth, thou servant true
Of Jesus Christ," he said, "for thou shalt see
What long thy soul desired." Then Galahad
Much trembled. Now the good priest, in his hands,
Took our Lord's body, giving it to Galahad,
Gladly and meekly he partook of it.
"You know not who I am," the good man said,
"Joseph of Aramathea* him I am,
And God has sent me here--for thou art pure."
Then Galahad, approaching Percival,
Him kissed and Bors he kissed, commending both
To God. Therewith he reverently kneeled
Before the table, where a while he prayed.
Then came, of Angels, a great multitude,
Who bore the soul of Galahad to Heaven.
And there appeared a hand all radiant,
It took the golden vessel and the spear,
To heaven bearing both, but Galahad
Had died and dying gained a heavenly crown.

Sir Bors, in later time, achieved the Graele,
And Percival, who very nearly sinned;
For he upon a woman, with desire
Looked, but the seeming woman was a fiend.
But God forgave him his intended sin;
For he had halted on the brink of Hell.
He too achieved the Graele, through faith in Christ,
And after years of penitence, he died.