The High History of the Holy Graal

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Author: Unknown

III.

Messire Gawain and the damsels go on their way a great pace through the high forest, green and leafy, where the birds are singing, and enter into the most hideous forest and most horrible that any might ever see, and seemed it that no greenery never there had been, so bare and dry were all the branches and all the trees black and burnt as it had been by fire, and the ground all parched and black atop with no green, and full of great cracks.

"Damsel," saith Messire Gawain, "Right loathly is this forest and right hideous. Goeth it on far like this?"

"Sir." saith she, "For nine leagues Welsh goeth it on the same, but we shall pass not through the whole thereof."

Messire Gawain 1ooketh from time to time on the damsel that cometh arbor, and sore it irketh him that he may not amend her estate. They ride on until that they come to a great valley and Messire Gawain looketh along the bottom and seeth appear a black castle that was enclosed within a girdle of wall, foul and evilseeming. The nigher he draweth to the castle the more hideous it seemeth him, and he seeth great halls appear that were right foully mis-shapen, and the forest about it he seeth to be like as he had found it behind. He seeth a water come down from the head of a mountain, foul and horrible and black, that went amidst the castle roaring so loud that it seemed to be thunder. Messire Gawain seeth the entrance of the gateway foul and horrible like as it had been hell, and within the castle heard he great outcries and lamentations, and the most part heard he saying: "Ha, God! What hath become of the Good Knight, and when will he come?"

"Damsel," saith Messire Gawain, "What is this castle here that is so foul and hideous, wherein is such dolour suffered and such weary longing for the coming of the Good Knight?"

"Sir, this is the castle of the Black Hermit. Wherefore am I fain to pray you that you meddle not herein for nought that they within may do to me, for otherwise it may well be that your death is at hand, for against them will you have no might nor power."

They come anigh the castle as it were a couple of bow-shots, and behold, through the gateway come knights armed on black horses and their arms all black and their shields and spears, and there were a hundred and fifty and two, right parlous to behold. And they come a great gallop toward the damsel, and toward the car, and take the hundred and fifty-two heads, each one his own, and set them upon their spears and so enter into the castle again with great joy. Messire Gawain seeth the insolence that the knights have wrought, and right great shame hath he of himself that he hath not moved withal.

"Messire Gawain," saith the damsel, "Now may you know how little would your force have availed you herein."

"Damsel, an evil castle is this where folk are robbed on such wise."

"Sir, never may this mischief be amended, nor this outrage be done away, nor the evil-doer therein be stricken down, nor they that cry and lament within the prison there be set free until such time as the Good Knight shall come for whom are they yearning as you have heard but now."

"Damsel, right glad may the knight be that by his valour and his hardiment shall destroy so many evil folk!"

"Sir, therefore is he the Best Knight in the world, and he is yet young enough of age, but right sorrowful am I at heart that I know not true tidings of him; for better will have I to see him than any man on live."

"Damsel, so also have I," saith Messire Gawain, "For then by your leave would I turn me again."

"Not so, sir, but and you shall come beyond I the castle, then will I teach you the way whereby you ought to go."

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Chicago: Unknown, "3," The High History of the Holy Graal, trans. Evans, Sebastian in The High History of the Holy Graal Original Sources, accessed September 25, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4VY4GD6F2IZGYE5.

MLA: Unknown. "3." The High History of the Holy Graal, translted by Evans, Sebastian, in The High History of the Holy Graal, Original Sources. 25 Sep. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4VY4GD6F2IZGYE5.

Harvard: Unknown, '3' in The High History of the Holy Graal, trans. . cited in , The High History of the Holy Graal. Original Sources, retrieved 25 September 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4VY4GD6F2IZGYE5.