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That crost the trencher as she laid it down:
'Fair Host and Earl, I pray your courtesy ; This sparrow-hawk, what is he, tell me of him. His name? but no, good faith, I will not have it : For if he be the knight whom late I saw Ride into that new fortress by your town, White from the mason's hand, then have I sworn From his own lips to have it—I am Geraint Of Devon -for this morning when the Queen Sent her own maiden to demand the name, His dwarf, a vicious under-shapen thing, Struck at her with his whip, and she return'd Indignant to the Queen; and then I swore That I would track this caitiff to his hold, And fight and break his pride, and have it of him, And all unarm'd I rode, and thought to find Arms in your town, where all the men are mad ; They take the rustic murmur of their bourg For the great wave that echoes round the world; They would not hear me speak: but if you know Where I can light on arms, or if yourself Should have them, tell me, seeing I have sworn That I will break his pride and learn his name, Avenging this great insult done the Queen.'
Then cried Earl Yniol. 'Art thou he indeed, Geraint, a name far-sounded among men For noble deeds? and truly I, when first I saw you moving by me on the bridge, Felt you were somewhat, yea and by your state And presence might have guess'd you one of those That eat in Arthur's hall at Camelot.
Nor speak I now from foolish flattery;
Because my means were somewhat broken into
Raised my own town against me in the night
I seem to suffer nothing heart or limb,
'Well said, true heart,' replied Geraint, but
That if, as I suppose, your nephew fights
And Yniol answer'd, 'Arms, indeed, but old
To whom Geraint with eyes all bright replied, Leaning a little toward him, Your leave! Let me lay lance in rest, O noble host, For this dear child, because I never saw, Tho' having seen all beauties of our time, Nor can see elsewhere, anything so fair. And if I fall her name will yet remain Untarnish'd as before; but if I live, So aid me Heaven when at mine uttermost, As I will make her truly my true wife.'
Then, howsoever patient, Yniol's heart Danced in his bosom, seeing better days.
And looking round he saw not Enid there,
So spake the kindly-hearted Earl, and she With frequent smile and nod departing found, Half disarray'd as to her rest, the girl; Whom first she kiss'd on either cheek, and then On either shining shoulder laid a hand, And kept her off and gazed upon her face, And told her all their converse in the hall, Proving her heart: but never light and shade Coursed one another more on open ground Beneath a troubled heaven, than red and pale Across the face of Enid hearing her; While slowly falling as a scale that falls, When weight is added only grain by grain, Sank her sweet head upon her gentle breast; Nor did she lift an eye nor speak a word, Rapt in the fear and in the wonder of it; So moving without answer to her rest She found no rest, and ever fail'd to draw The quiet night into her blood, but lay Contemplating her own unworthiness; And when the pale and bloodless east began To quicken to the sun, arose, and raised Her mother too, and hand in hand they moved Down to the meadow where the jousts were held, And waited there for Yniol and Geraint.
And thither came the twain, and when Geraint Beheld her first in field, awaiting him, He felt, were she the prize of bodily force, Himself beyond the rest pushing could move
The chair of Idris. Yniol's rusted arms Were on his princely person, but thro' these Princelike his bearing shone; and errant knights And ladies came, and by and by the town Flow'd in, and settling, circled all the lists. And there they fixt the forks into the ground, And over these they placed a silver wand And over that a golden sparrow-hawk. Then Yniol's nephew, after trumpet blown, Spake to the lady with him and proclaim'd 'Advance and take as fairest of the fair, For I these two years past have won it for thee, The prize of beauty.' Loudly spake the Prince, Forbear: there is a worthier,' and the knight With some surprise and thrice as much disdain Turn'd, and beheld the four, and all his face Glow'd like the heart of a great fire at Yule, So burnt he was with passion, crying out, 'Do battle for it then,' no more; and thrice They clash'd together, and thrice they brake their
Then each, dishorsed and drawing, lash'd at each
The dew of their great labour, and the blood