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An Arthurian Miscellany at




                                          "Car il 1 n'or à nul pech'eour
                                          Ne compaignie ne amour."

He found a chamber where the door was shut,
    And thereto set his hand to open it;
And mightily he tried, and still might not:
    And then he heard a voice which sang so sweet,
It seemed none earthly thing that he heard sing,
                         "Honour and joy be given
                          To the High King of Heaven!"

It seemed none earthly thing that sung therein,
    So sweet the voice, it near had made him greet,--
For well he knew his body, stained with sin,
    Was for that mystic chamber all unmeet,
Wherein those voices rang, yes, choired and sang;
                         "Honour and joy be given
                         To the High King of Heaven!"

For well he knew that there the Sancgreal
    Upon the board was set for sinless souls,
While the three rays shone sidelong down the wall;
    While he without did kneel with many a stain,
And there to that hid noise he joined his voice,
                         "Pity and grace be given,
                         To me, lost child of Heaven!"

With that he saw the chamber door unclose,
    And out there shone a clearness and a light
As all the torches in the world that house
    Had lighted and been borne there burning bright
About the Sancgreal, while sang they all,
                         "Honour and joy be given,
                         To the sweet lord of Heaven!"

Oh, much he marvelled, and would enter in,
    And cried, "Fair Father Jesu" in his need,
Remembering then men's woe and mortal sin
    For which the Christ upon the Cross did bleed,--
Yes, crying still that prayer, he entered there,--
                         "Pity and grace be given
                         To me, poor knight of Heaven!"

Right so he entered, where the Sancgreal
    Did shine to greet him; but a gust of fire,
And a grim smoke, there smote and made him fall;
    It took his body's might, and all desire;
He had no voice nor will, though they sang still,
                         "Honour and joy be given,
                         To the High King of Heaven!"

Then many hands did raise and bear him out,
    And there all night he lay, till morning time;
And many a day like dead lay Launcelot,
    He heard no bell at matin or at prime:
Nathless he deem'd did sing, none earthly thing,
                         "Honour and joy be given,
                         To the High King of Heaven!"

Then came a dayspring and a fair white dawn,
    And he rose up, yet did not rise the same:
For all the bitterness and pain were gone:
    For he who sinn'd the sin had borne the shame,
And seen the Sancgreal, and heard them call,
                         "Honour and joy be given,
                         To the High King of Heaven!"

           *          *           *           *           *

Oh now, frail sons of earth, who fell in sin;
    Learn from the piteous deed of this dread knight,
Beat at the door, and cry, and enter in,
    And you shall win the Grail, and see the Light,
Yes, like none earthly thing, shall hear them sing,
                         "Honour and joy be given,
                         To the High King of Heaven!"

1 i.e. le Gréail."

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