“And there thou liest, Lancelot!
The bravest sword in Christenesse;
And I must speak that truth, God wot
Thou wouldst not hear for shamefacednesse;
“Unmatched thou wast, of strength or art,
In joyous joust or stricken field;
And yet, thou hadst the gentlest heart
Of all that ever bare a shield.
“The goodliest knight thou wast, withal,
That ever spurred among the presse;
The truest lover that in hall
E’er vailed his plume to Lovelinesse;
“Heart’s truth!—thou wast the courteoust knight
That ever rode on ladie’s quest;
But, toward thy foe, the sternest wight
That ever laid a lance in rest!”
So mourned Sir Ector, that did bend
His noble brother’s corse to see;
And so, alas, my friend, my friend!
The woe is mine to speak for thee.