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The Quest of the Sancgreal

When Merlin's wisdom for the king ordain'd
The Table Round in likeness of the world,
He placed therein the sieges for each knight
Should sit thereat, and prophesied that one
Who there broke bread the Sancgreal should achieve,
Should win the holy vessel that contain'd
The Saviour's blessed blood, that had been brought
To this far land, after that Christ had died,
By Joseph who had given Him his tomb,
And hid away from common sight of men,
Till he should come so worthy of this grace
That all would say but One e'er lived before
As pure from evil and so brave in deed.
And Merlin made a siege where he might sit,
And call'd the name of it "Siege Perilous,"
Marking it next to Launcelot's at the board,
And giving signs should show fulfillment near.
So, ever at the feasts King Arthur held,
They look'd to see a token of the time;
And more than once, elated by good cheer,
Some gallant sir essay'd that empty seat,
But none e'er sat therein but got a hurt;
And years went by, but still the mystic siege
Waited the coming guest for whom was laid
Trencher and goblet as for all the rest.

At Pentecost 'twas custom of the king
To know adventure ere they went to meat;
So, as they whiled away the lagging hours,
One Whitsuntide, upon the river's bank
That runs to Camelot, a marvel came.
For, lo! a great stone floated down the stream,
Wherin was upright stuck a fair, rich sword,
And golden letters in the marble taught
The best knight in the world to take it thence.
Then unto Launcelot spoke the courteous king,
"Brave sir, the blade is yours!" But Launcelot said,
"Not so, my liege: the best knight in the world,
You do forget, is he shall sit unharm'd
Beside me at the feast! And he that strives
To take that sword and fails shall get a wound
Full sore to heal; for, see, its name is writ
In precious stones upon the shining hilt."
And Arthur read, in rays of diamond light,
The one word "Justice," while Sir Gawaine strove,
And then Sir Percivale, to stir the sword;
But both their hands upon the weapon slipp'd,
And stain'd its edge with blood, until the prince
Forbade endeavor more. "For thus," he said,
"My own Excalibur defied all strength,
Until my destined grasp the handle siezed.
This too is fix'd by Fate, and he shall wield
Its keenness rightly will be worthy sure
To have us bow our heads to him. And now
Let's in to dine, and toast our unknown peer!"

And, ere each lord was served in his own place,
Came in an aged man, clothed all in white,
And with him a young knight in crimson robed,
Upon whose shoulders hung a mantle furr'd
With royal ermine, -- whose beardless visage bore
The smile of innocence, uplifted, calm
With the mild majesty of one who knows
None greater than his equal, yet who feels
His own soul humble in the sight of God.
And silent round the watching forms they walk'd
Until the elder lifted off the cloth
Laid o'er "Siege Perilous," wherein was writ,
In letters bright as stars, that all could see,
The name of "Galahad;" and that young knight
Sat down therein, and show'd no sign of harm,
The while his comrade bless'd him and went forth.
Then bow'd the king to him, and all the knights
Rose up, and gave him welcome with their hands;
And, after they had dined, the monarch spoke:
"Fair sir, I see the scabbard at thy side
Does lack a sword. Without, a marvel waits:
Wouldst win a weapon, and thy rare right prove
To fill that siege? for prophesy has rank'd
Him 'best knight in the world' should sit therein;
And so a stone proclaims that he shall take
The blade therefrom shall bear the same proud fame!"
Then Galahad and Arthur, side by side,
Went from the palace to the river's bank,
Where in his hand with ease the stranger held
The trial-sword, and slid it in the case
So smoothly that the good king, wondering, said,
"Surely those two were for each other made!"

And after jousting in the meadow's midst,
Whereat Sir Galahad exceeded all,
The court rode quiet back to Camelot;
And, as they sat at supper in a maze
Of listening wonder at this young knight's words,
A sudden thunder crash'd across his speech,
And shook the pillars of the hall; and sounds
Of rushing wings stirr'd through the darkness deep
That rested there an instant; when a light
Six times more clear than beams of noontide sun
Shone o'er them all, and glorified each face,
So that they all upon their neighbors look'd,
Struck dumb with awe, as through the silence rose
Angelic voices; then an odor rich
Fill'd their senses, and the taste of each
Knew that was long'd for most and liked the best;
While every soul felt such ecstatic joy
That love's great bliss seem'd but the barren type
Of this exceeding rapture; and then came
Their breath once more, and all things look'd the same.
Then whisper'd they into each other's ears
That there had been the Holy Greal of Christ;
Till Gawaine spoke aloud, and took a vow
That, as its blessing came in part to all,
Though fate ordain'd but one should fully win
The dangerous quest, that, just to know again
Such rare, high feeling, he would seek himself
The Sacred Vessel, which perchance if seen,
Its power might waft his soul so far from earth
That it might float into the gate of heaven,
Since but its unseen presence made them seem
Like olden gods at their ambrosial feasts!
Then rose they all, and with uplifted hands
Echoed Sir Gawaine's oath; and Arthur said,
"This promise smites my heart; for I do know
Such quest will rob me of my dearest friends,
And break the knightly fellowship we keep
So fair and true that all the world admires.
For never king has had such gallant peers;
And never more shall gather at my board
All those who leave me to my sorrow here!
For kings must fret on thrones, while crownless heads
Find Glory's laurel upon danger's field!"

And when the lords had arm'd themselves, they met
In the great court-yard, waiting by their steeds
Until the king had brought the weeping queen
To give their last farewell; and as the sun,
Slow sinking, cast o'er all a golden light,
They stood upon the palace-steps, both clad
In sparkling jewels and their royal robes;
And as, unhelmetted, with gauntlets off,
The knights came singly by to kiss their hands,
The quick sobs broke from Guinevere's fair breast,
And more than once the shining drops fell down
On some bow'd head; while Arthur, pale and sad,
Would take no homage, but with tender clasp
Press'd each to his full heart, and no one spoke.
And when at last Sir Launcelot came anear,
And held the ladye's palm within his own,
She sank, half fainting, on her husband's arm.
So Galahad but touch'd his maiden lips
To fingers cold as ice, that listless hung,
As wearied of the weight of their rich rings.
At last, when crested helmets were all donn'd
And bow'd in parting to the horses' manes,
The knights together through the gateway rode;
And Arthur watch'd them as their mail'd array
Wound down the path, until on burnish'd shields
The sun's last lingering rays no longer glanced,
Then with a sigh bore in the drooping queen.
And there was weeping of the rich and poor
As through the streets of Camelot they rode,
Where many a dame, with voice nigh choked with tears,
Did send her prayers with that gay cavalcade;
While ever and anon would leave the ranks
A favor'd sir, to catch upon his lance
Some scarf or token of his lady's grace,
Cast off from balconies where fair forms lean'd.
And so they journey'd to a castle's gates
Wherein the lord made cheer, till in the morn
They parted from each other, and all took,
In pairs or singly, their own different roads.

When many days had gone, Sir Gawaine met
Sir Ector in the way, and both reveal'd
That, after wandering long in beaten paths,
Neither had found adventure that had seem'd
To bring them nearer to the Holy Greal.
"In sooth," quoth Gawaine, "I am weary now
Of this new quest, and loath to follow it."
"And so," said Ector, "all the knights I saw
Upon my travels do complain the same.
Nor can I hear of Launcelot or Bors,
Or e'en of Galahad, the three we thought
Were sure to make the world ring with their deeds;
And truly, if they fail, not even we
Need strive in further search! Let's stop and rest."
And so they enter'd in an ancient church
That stood near by, and laid their bodies down
Upon the altar-steps, and thus there came
Into their sleep a marvellous dream to each.
First, Gawaine thought he saw into a field
Full strewn with herbs, wherein a rack of bulls
Stood proud and black, save one, all snowy white,
That ever kept its head bent down to graze;
But soon the rest went from the meadow forth,
To seek some pasture-ground they deem'd more rich,
And came back lean and weak, yet would not crop
The fresh, green grass their one wise comrade ate
And strove to lead them to and fully share!
But Ector dream'd that Launcelot and himself
Sprang from one chair upon two saddled steeds;
That one soon met Sir Launcelot on the way,
Who beat and spoil'd him, and then clothed him o'er
In knotted robes, and set him on an ass;
That thus he rode until he came, athirst,
To a fair well, and stoop'd him down to drink;
But always from his lips the waters sank,
Until at last he sadly journey'd on.
And when the knights awoke, they told their dreams,
And, as they talk'd, between them sudden rush'd,
Vanishing quick away, a hand that held
A clear light burning, and upon the wrist
A plain, strong bridle hung; and then they rose
To seek some hermit he could meaning give
To these their visions.
                                        Ere they came anigh
To the lone cave where dwelt the holiest man
In all the realm, they met an arméd knight,
Who kept the road, and so they drew a lot
To joust with him to have their pathway clear;
And Gawaine won, and ran his sharp lance through
The stranger's breast, and bore him to the ground.
And when they raised his visor, Ector groan'd;
"For see," he spoke, "thy hasty hand has slain
Our own sworn brother of the Table Round,
That with ourselves set out on this same quest."
"'Tis sad," his comrade said; "but then he stood
So stubborn in our way: besides, his course
Was towards the points we just have left behind;
Thus turn'd, he never could have reach'd the goal!"
And, as his soul departed, they went on.

Then, as they came unto the mountain rough,
They tied their coursers to a rock, and strode
Across the stones afoot, until they reach'd
A garden-patch, wherein a hermit stoop'd
To pick the worts that served for his sole food.
And when he heard the ringing of their mail,
He turn'd his aged form and ask'd their need.
So Gawaine told his dream, and counsel ask'd
Of his great wisdom; and, without more words,
He answer'd thus: "The herbs that strew'd the field
Were Patience and Humility; the rack
Was the Round Table, and the bulls its knights;
The meadow was the world, and that white steer
Was he shall keep himself so pure in life
His eyes shall see the glory of the Lord!
Those black were dyed with sins; and, as their heads
Would stoop not down to taste the precious food,
They shall on waste lands enter, and find death!"
And as Sir Gawaine ponder'd on this speech,
The good seer read Sir Ector's vision too:
"The chair ye left was pride, and, as your steeds
Were higher, ye were so much prouder there.
Sir Launcelot has been cast adown, and clothed
In garments of repentance, and the ass
Betokeneth meekness; but that fair well
Was God's rich grace, that would not touch his soul:
So now he journeys lonely on his way,
Till in due time he shall go back, and quench
His eager thirst within those waters clear.
The hand ye saw was charity; the light
Was hope; the bridle, abstinence, which holds
The heart's desires and leads the will from sin.
And as ye were not touch'd by charity,
Nor long time lit by hope, and have not caught
The reins of passion, and not yet have chew'd
The cud of Patience, ye shall never meet
The Holy Greal until ye win all these.
Now go your ways! Ye neither yet have done
True service to your Maker. As ye gave
To folly all the leaves and fruit of youth,
See that ye yield the bare rind to the Lord."
And then he went from them into his cave;
And both the knights, with eyes bent low, slow paced,
Deep musing, down the stony steep, and loosed
Their restless horses, and rode swift away.

And all the peers that started on the quest
Met strange adventures, and some got sore falls,
Some fainted by the way, and many died.
And some went back to Camelot, and lived
In sloth and ease with lemans fair and false;
But these King Arthur would not see at court,
For, though he grieved at parting with his fréres,
He welcomed none that broke a knightly oath;
Albeit the queen in secret saw them oft,
To ask if e'er they heard of Launcelot aught.

Sir Galahad, the youngest of the knights,
A stranger, and unproved in gallant feats,
Rode by himself four days without a shield:
His heart was tender yet with dreams of youth,
And, as his life was nearer to his birth,
His soul was closer to his God than theirs
Who had forgotten heaven in the heat
Of earthly conflicts mid the light of fame.
He look'd on nature with such earnest love
His rapturous delight to worship soar'd.
His eyes grew gentler as he turn'd aside
His courser's hoofs lest they should heedless tread
To dust and death a daisy in the grass;
And when, unarm'd, he slept in some cool grove
At night beside his weary steed, the stars
Shed down through stirring leaves a sense of peace
Upon a spirit calm'd by trustful prayer.
He knew no fear, because his conscience lay
Like to a lake reflecting cloudless skies:
Not one dark thing o'ershadow'd its bright rest.
And if his mind dwelt oft on that high fate
The seers foretold for him, 'twas with the hope
That his high achievements might advance the cause
Of Right and Holiness within the world
He thought so fair, yet knew was foul'd by sin!

Once, after even-song, he came at last
To a white abbey, where he met a knight
Of Arthur's table, who reveal'd to him
That in this place was hung a wondrous shield,
Which none e'er bore in fight and kept unscathed.
"And yet," said Bagdemanus, "I will try,
Because my arm is strong, and sure can keep
By its own skill a shield before my breast!"
So in the morn he took it from its place
Behind the altar, and his comrade saw
'Twas all clear white, save in the midst was limn'd
A shining cross, red as if drawn in blood.
And then he started on adventure forth.
But, ere an hour, in haste his squire came back,
Pale with the tidings that his master lay
O'erthrown near by, and still beset by foes!
And Galahad went out with his bare sword
To where the wounded knight exhausted fell.
He seized the buckler from the feeble grasp,
And straightway was assail'd by countless shapes,
Giants and dwarfs, and bravely stood his ground,
Until at last he felt the storied shield
Slow slipping from his hold, while they who thrust
Their spears against it but the stronger grew
When he look'd faint: so his tried soul cried out
Aloud in anguish for God's gracious help;
And at the sacred Name they sudden sank
From his awed sight away; and then he saw
That a great angel, ray'd about with light,
Upheld his form, who bade him always use
The shield of Faith, since wielded with true Prayer
'Twould keep him ever from attacks of Doubts!

And afterwards, as Galahad went on,
He journey'd in a narrow path o'ergrown
With thorns and briers, where he oft was forced
To cut a way and lead his restless horse,--
Where poisonous vines with noxious smells made thick
The darken'd air, for branches interlaced
Barr'd light and progress, and from hidden lairs
Glared fiery eyes at him, and stagnant pools
Mock'd eager thirst. Yet still he onward toil'd;
For this, the monks had told him, was the road
Alone could forward him upon his quest.
Sometimes he long'd to throw aside his arms
And rest his weary limbs; but evermore
He saw some work to do, some goal to win
That brought him nearer to the end, nor dared
To slumber, lest he should be stung to death
By creeping creatures, or waste precious hours.
And, as he had such patience for himself,
He felt deep pity for his faithful steed,
And talk'd to him as tenderly as though
It were a woman that was hurt and worn, --
Oft stopping in his labor to smooth down
The ruffled mane, drawing the drooping head
Across his shoulder, and with gentle touch
Stroking the face, until the startled eyes
Grew wistful with a dumb, beseechful love;
And sometimes he would dip his shrinking hand
Into the slimy waters of black tarns,
To wet the bleeding limbs and panting sides.
And so at last they came unto a break
In one side of the road, where grandly stood
A lofty castle with wide-open gates;
And, more because his courser was so maim'd
Than that himself was tempted at the sight,
He enter'd there, and in the outer court
A damsel met, who led his tired steed
To a clean manger stored with straw and food,
The while across his senses faintly fell
Soft breezes of perfume, that wafted by
Delicious melodies, and drew him on
Through the broad portal to a hall, wherein
The only Presence was a leaping fount.
And, as his footsteps waken'd echoes there,
A hidden door flew wide, through which there danced
A troop of mirthful girls, with sandall'd feet,
To cadences of their own mellow strain,
In which their laughter mingled like the tone
Of silvery chorus threading all the tune.
And, as they forward floated where he stood
Entranced an instant by such lustrous eyes,
Their gauzy robes and loosen'd hair flew back,
And white, soft arms uncurved their wreathing grace
To stretch out rosy palms to meet his own;
He felt e'en through the links of his rough mail
The thrills of each light touch, as, group'd around,
They sang a song of greeting that ran thus: --

Enter in from toil and danger!
     Ended here thy weary quest!
Now, no more to ease a stranger,
     Thou shalt find reward and rest!
Love the Sancgreal! Love the blest!
     Love's own heaven! it is here!
Hail! all hail! Love's happy guest,
     Welcome here! welcome here!

Love shall fill thy soul with pleasure!
     Love the Sancgreal! Love the dream!
Weaving joys for endless leisure,
     Years will but like moments seem!
Love the Sancgreal! Love the blest!
     Love's own heaven! it is here!
Hail! all hail! Love's happy guest,
     Welcome here! welcome here!

While their bewildering voices fill'd his ear,
Their lithe, fair forms his sight, he, heedless then
Of aught beside, believed their siren words,
And willing follow'd them to fresh surprise.
For, lo! a chamber flooded with a light
Glowing in color without shade or glare,
Wherein were downy couches, spread with stuffs
Of gorgeous dyes deep fringed about with gold,
And poised between rich vases of all flowers
Can thrall the sense with fragrance and bright hues;
And in their midst a table heap'd with fruits
Luscious and ripe, nigh bursting with their juice,
'Mong dainty goblets sparkling with rare wine,
Whose fumes amid the scent of blossoms rose,
Like flames through incense, making warm his blood.
Athirst and hunger'd, wearied out and worn,
Sir Galahad sat not while women stood,
But lean'd with one arm on the board, while they
Gave ready service to allure his taste:
One brought him clusters of the purple grape,
One pour'd its amber essence, as a third
Stripp'd down the golden orange-rinds,
Or peel'd with jewell'd knife the rosy skin
Of mellow apples; while another broke
The brown stems from crisp, russet pears; he craved
The meat borne in upon its silver dish,
And once his hand crept towards the foaming cups;
But something -- either instinct in himself,
Or whisper of an unseen spirit near --
E'er warned him from them all, he knew not why:
So, with cool head and even pulse, he touch'd
No food but simple bread; and as he drain'd
Long draughts of water, while the damsels stared,
One quickly enter'd in their midst, who shone
Among the rest as might the noonday sun
Circled with twinkling stars; and Galahad
Thought for an instant that a minstrel's dream
Had taken shape, to thrill his throbbing heart
With timid wonder that aught out of heaven
Could be so fair. Form, face, voice, movement, dress,
Were all in harmony; and as she stood
Before him, with her vein'd lids droop'd adown,
Giving him welcome in her low, sweet tones,
There rush'd across his soul that one wild wave
Which whelms a proud man's reason, and makes weak
Earth's strongest Samsons. Suddenly he felt
How lone his life had been, how incomplete,
Half lived, divided as a perfect whole,
Ne'er to be rounded to entireness more
Until his being should absorb and blend
With this one woman's. Love, thus born full-grown,
The spirit's mystic Sancgreal seem'd indeed
That he sought outward sign of!
                                                  Days went by
As in a vision; hour in hour roll'd,
Till gliding time like flowing stream swept off
Th' unnoted marks of night and morn that show'd
Its course, and bore his life on rapid waves;
A helmless bark cast loose on unknown depths.
He kept mid luxury his simple ways,
Slept not on downy couches, drank no wine,
Wore still his sword and shield, as though might come
Some unexpected foe e'en to those halls;
He would not yield to sloth, or fire his blood,
For fear the fallen nature in his flesh
Should sully, e'en in thought, the image pure
He shrined for worship in his inmost soul.
Daily he touch'd her hand, sat at her feet,
Watching the changing beauty of her face;
His jealous envy mark'd when perfumed breeze
Lifted her golden hair; and if he felt
His breath come quick and fast, his youthful blood
Rushing in quicken'd beats, he stole away
To fight his passion till his lips could touch
Her garment's hem as if it were a saint's!
But once, as wearied of such homage high,
She threw aside the long restraint was worn
To win upon his nobleness, and deem'd
Her art had guided him, by slow degrees,
To point of her desire. Athwart his heart
A sharp pain like an arrow shot; a veil
Dropp'd from his charm'd sight; his bright dreams died!
Gravely and sadly he removed the arms
That clung about him, casting one last look
Of keen reproach upon the angry face,
Then rose and strode away with rapid steps,
Lest he should pause, and turn to love and sin and shame.
He found his waiting steed, and swiftly rode
Into the narrow way so full of thorns,
Oft hiding mid the briers, holding fast
His courser's mouth, lest he should gladly neigh
When groups of nymphs pass'd by in fruitless search.
He knew the Sancgreal must be farther on,
And took no heed of toil and danger now.
His soul was heavy with its broken trust;
And when he saw the idol he had rear'd
Upon his fancies of pure womanhood
Lie shatter'd by a breath, his sorrow left
His life no other aim save his old quest.

Anon Sir Launcelot, after striving long,
Did see on shore, while sailing on the sea,
A stately castle, and across the waves
A clear voice bade him enter there and find
Some part of his desire. He left the ship;
And, as he near'd the gates, he drew his sword,
Because of two fierce lions station'd close;
But something smote him sore upon the arm,
So that his weapon dropp'd; while the same tone
Accused his little faith, that trusted less
His Maker than his steel; then on his brow
He sign'd the cross, and harmless pass'd the beasts,
That crouch'd in homage. All the doors were wide
Of all the rooms, save one, whence music came;
And, as he vainly tried to stir its lock,
There stole across his soul the same deep sense
Of matchless joy had fill'd his peers that day
They took their oath to seek for it again.
Then on the threshold knelt Sir Launcelot down,
For well he wist the Sancgreal was within,
Praying, if ever he had pleased the Lord,
In spite of all his sins, that he might view
The holy thing he sought! And, lo! the door
Was open'd, and so great a light flow'd out
He scarce could see inside a silver stand,
That held the sacred vessel, cover'd o'er
With crimson samite, and bright angels round,
While hovering over with pierced hands and feet
The very Christ in glory ray'd!
                                                  He rose
To seize the Greal; but, ere he came anear,
A breath like burning smote him, that he fell,
And could not move or speak; when unseen hands
Lifted his form and bore him gently out.
He lay entranced for days, till time was ripe,
When other knights of his own fellowship,
Led there from different ways, his body found,
And tended him until his speech return'd;
And then he warn'd them, as they linger'd round
The portal closed they often strove to ope,
Lest they too should be smitten like himself
For over-boldness. "For now I know," he said,
"No man shall win the Sancgreal but the one
Whom Christ shall call! Alas! he call'd not me!"

And so they waited, till Sir Galahad,
After long journeys and adventures strange,
Came in their midst. They wonder'd much to see
His visage greatly changed, for all the youth
And bloom had gone from it, although it show'd
Rare beauty still, as from a grace within;
For he had lived with labor, sorrow, strife,
Yet ever meekly, patiently towards God,
And in true charity with men; his love,
His trial, and his grief, had only borne
His pure soul nigher heaven, and made him see
In other hearts the pain was in his own,
And kept him tender even when he smote.
And when they told him that within those walls
The Sancgreal was, he trembled, and his face
Was rapturous with joy; when, lo! a voice
Call'd three times "Galahad," and the closed door,
Barr'd 'gainst the rest, stood open unto him!
His comrades crowded in the hall, while he,
With timid steps, as doubting his own worth,
Went slowly in, and up the altar-steps,
Where stood the Holy Greal on silver stand.
He bow'd his head before it, as a choir
Of clustering angels sang exquisite strains;
While Christ's own self through circling lustre stretch'd
His wounded hand, when roll'd away the cloth
Of samite, and took up the sacred thing
And gave to him; then in sweet tones, that thrill'd
His listeners, bade him bear it o'er the land,
That all who saw it might be bless'd like him.
And then all vanish'd, save the vessel clasp'd
Close to the young knight's breast, who upward look'd
In praiseful ecstasy, while gather'd round
His peers, to gaze on it with solemn eyes,
And feel how lovely 'twas to draw so near
To aught just come from God; and Galahad
Took oath of them to travel as a guard
For their great gift, that all should help proclaim
Its power and good, that more might know delight.

Then journey'd they in company, save one,
Launcelot, who took the tidings to the king
Or ere he went to tell his own far realm.
And ever on their way the people flock'd
About the marvellous prize; the sick were heal'd,
The blind received their sight, and sinful lives
Grew purer, having known in part the bliss
That reigns in Paradise, and heard it said
Its joy would stay with them who merit proved;
The country's guilt was purged, and hope and love
Walk'd hand in hand, like seraphs, mid its homes!
Till they who humbly should have thank'd the Lord
That He had made them servants of His will,
Quarrell'd between themselves which one had done
The most to make the mighty Sancgreal known;
And at the last, in sooth, they question'd oft
The what it really was!
                                             And Galahad,
Sore smitten, could not stay their angry tilts,
E'en when he went among them with his hands
Outholding the bless'd Greal! And then he pray'd
That Christ would take his spirit to Himself,
Where reign'd His peace. God's mercy heard his cry,
And, in full sight of all His angels, bore
The holy vessel from his dying arms
Up to the highest heaven. And only they
Have ever look'd upon the treasure since
Who pray and fast, and through repentant tears
Catch far-off glimpses of its glory's light.
And while he lay upon his couch and watch'd
The soaring messengers, the knights stood round,
E'en mid their mourning, all disputing still,
And asked him, ere he pass'd away, to tell
What he had deem'd the Sancgreal really was!
And Galahad uplifted his weak form,
And with his white face awed them, as his lips,
Quivering with death, spoke out his last, grand words:
"O Men! 'twas Truth! God's own Eternal Truth!"