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The Quest of the Grail: On the Eve

"Before you take this Quest," (he said), "in order set,--
Each knight around the Table, --come, sup with me yet;
Come, keep the feast, that after us men never shall forget!"

Now, round the Table seated, each tall knight in his place,--
Hears noises like to thunder, and sees a light whose rays
Make shine his fellows by him, with brows more bright than day's.

Not one could speak, for wonder. Then lo, within the hall
Wrapt round with snow-white samite, the blessed Sancgreal
And sweetest savours filled the board; and meat and drink for all.

The mystic Vessel like a gleam went by: it could not stay:
And the knights all fell to feasting, and the vision passed away,
That all shall quest, but few shall find, until the earth's last day.

And then they fell to babbling, their hands upon their knees,
And babbled of the morrow, and all the joy there is
For them that quest, and ride the lands, and cross the winter seas.

But the tears fell down King Arthur's cheeks, as he sate with his men:
"Ye have set me in great sorrow," said Arthur to them then:
"For oh, I doubt, my fellowship, shall meet no more again!"