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BOOK X ORGELUSE
Now tell we of strange adventures thro' which joy shall be waxen low, And yet pride shall grow the greater, of the twain doth this story show. Now the year of truce was ended, when the strife must needs be fought Which the Landgrave unto King Arthur at Plimizöl had brought. At Schamfanzon he challenged Gawain to meet him at Barbigöl, Yet still unavenged was Kingrisein at the hand of Kingrimursel— In sooth, Vergulacht, he rode there, and thither had come Gawain, And the whole world was 'ware of their kinship nor might strife be betwixt the twain; For the murder, Count Eckunât did it, and Gawain must they guiltless hold, At rest did they lay their quarrel and friends were those heroes bold.
Then they parted for both would ride thence, Vergulacht and the knight Gawain, Tho' both for the Grail were seeking yet apart would they ride, those twain. And many a joust must they ride now, for he who the Grail would see Sword in hand must he draw anigh it, and swift must his seeking be!
Now all that befell to Gawain, the lot of that blameless knight Since he rode forth from fair Schamfanzon, if he oft on his way must fight, Ye shall ask of those who there saw him, since naught may I tell ye here, Yet hearken, and heed the story and the venture that draweth near. One morning Gawain rode gaily o'er a grassy plain and green, When a shield, in the sun fair shining, with lance-thrust pierced thro' was seen, And a charger stood beside it that bare women's riding-gear, And the bridle and aye the housing were of costly stuff and dear— And the charger and shield beside it were bound to a linden tree. Then he thought, 'Who shall be this woman? for valiant I ween is she, Since she beareth a shield so knightly—If she thinketh with me to fight, How, then, may I best withstand her? Were it better to here alight? If too long she wrestle with me perchance I were overthrown, If hatred or love I shall win here I will fight her on foot alone; Yea, e'en an she were Kamilla, who before Laurentium fought— Did she live still to battle with me, as awhile she for honour sought, I would face her, nor fear her prowess, if here she my foe would be, Tho' ne'er with a maid have I foughten and the chance seemeth ill to me!'
Battle-hewn was the shield and dinted, as Gawain right well espied The nearer he rode unto it, and pierced with a lance-thrust wide. Such token by joust is painted, little payment his skill should know Whose hand erst the shield had fashioned an he thought him to paint it so! By the trunk of the mighty linden sat a maid on the grass so green, And sore did she weep and bewail her, and joyless, I wot, her mien. Then around the tree rode Gawain, and lo! on her knee she bore A knight, and she wept above him, and grieved with a sorrow sore.
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