GERAINT THE SON OF ERBIN
Translated by Lady Charlotte Guest
ARTHUR was accustomed to hold his Court at Caerlleon upon
Usk. And there he held it seven Easters and five Christmases. And once upon a
time he held his Court there at Whitsuntide. For Caerlleon was the place most
easy of access in his dominions, both by sea and by land. And there were
assembled nine crowned kings, who were his tributaries, and likewise earls and
barons. For they were his invited guests at all the high festivals, unless they
were prevented by any great hindrance. And when he was at Caerlleon, holding his
Court. thirteen churches were set apart for mass. And thus were they appointed:
one church for Arthur, and his Kings, and his guests; and the second for
Gwenhwyvar and her ladies; and the third for the Steward of the Household and
the suitors; and the fourth for the Franks and the other officers; and the other
nine churches were for the nine Masters of the Household and chiefly for
Gwalchmai; for he, from the eminence of his warlike fame, and from the nobleness
of his birth, was the most exalted of the nine. And there was no other
arrangement respecting the churches than that which we have mentioned above.
Glewlwyd Gavaelvawr was the chief porter; but he did not himself perform the
office, except at one of the three high festivals, for he had seven men to serve
him, and they divided the year amongst them. They were Grynn, and Pen Pighon,
and Llaes Cymyn, and Gogyfwlch, and Gwrdnei with cat's eyes, who could see as
well by night as by day, and Drem the son of Dremhitid, and Clust the son of
Clustveinyd; and these were Arthur's guards. And on Whit-Tuesday, as the King
sat at the banquet, lo! there entered a tall, fair-headed youth, clad in a coat
and a surcoat of diapered satin, and a golden-hilted sword about his neck, and
low shoes of leather upon his feet. And he came, and stood before Arthur.
"Hail to thee, lord!" said he. "Heaven prosper thee," he
answered, "and be thou welcome. Dost thou bring any new tidings?"
"I do, Lord," he said. "I know thee not," said Arthur.
"It is a marvel to me that thou dost not know me. I am one of thy
foresters, Lord, in the Forest of Dean, and my name is Madawc, the son of
Twrgadarn." "Tell me thine errand," said Arthur. "I will do
so, Lord," said he. "In the Forest I saw a stag, the like of which
beheld I never yet." "What is there about him," asked Arthur,
"that thou never yet didst see his like?" "He is of pure white,
Lord, and he does not herd with any other animal through stateliness and pride,
so royal is his bearing. And I come to seek thy counsel, Lord, and to know thy
will concerning him." "It seems best to me," said Arthur,
"to go and hunt him tomorrow at break of day; and to cause general notice
thereof to be given to-night in all quarters of the Court." And Arryfuerys
was Arthur's chief huntsman, and Arelivri was his chief page. And all received
notice; and thus it was arranged. And they sent the youth before them. Then
Gwenhwyvar said to Arthur, "Wilt thou permit me, Lord," said she, to
go to-morrow to see and hear the hunt of the stag of which the young man
spoke?" "I will, gladly," said Arthur. "Then will I
go," said she. And Gwalchmai said to Arthur, "Lord, if it seem well to
thee, permit that into whose hunt soever the stag shall come, that one, be he a
knight, or one on foot, may cut off his head, and give it to whom he pleases,
whether to his own lady-love, or to the lady of his friend." "I grant
it gladly," said Arthur, "and let the Steward of the Household be
chastised, if all are not ready to-morrow for the chase."
And they passed the night with songs, and diversions, and discourse, and
ample entertainment. And when it was time for them all to go to sleep, they
went. And when the next day came, they arose; and Arthur called the attendants,
who guarded his couch. And these were four pages, whose names were Cadyrnerth
the son of Porthawr, Gandwy, and Ambreu, the son of Bedwor, and Amhar the son of
Arthur, and Goreu the son of Custennin. And these men came to Arthur and saluted
him, and arrayed him in his garments. And Arthur wondered that Gwenhwyvar did
not awake, and did not move in her bed; and the attendants wished to awaken her.
"Disturb her not," said Arthur, "for she had rather sleep than go
to see the hunting."
Then Arthur went forth, and he heard two horns sounding, one from near the
lodging of the chief huntsman, and the other from near that of the chief page.
And the whole assembly of the multitudes came to Arthur, and they took the road
to the Forest.
And after Arthur had gone forth from the palace, Gwenhwyvar awoke, and called
to her maidens, and apparelled herself. "Maidens," said she, "I
had leave last night to go and see the hunt. Go one of you to the Stable, and
order hither a horse such as a woman may ride." And one them went, and she
found but two horses in the stable, and Gwenhwyvar and one of her maidens
mounted them, and went through the Usk, and followed the track of the men and
the horses. And as they rode thus, they heard a loud and rushing sound; and they
looked behind them, and beheld a knight upon a hunter foal of mighty size; and
the rider was a fairhaired youth, bare-legged, and of princely mien, and a
goldenhilted sword was at his side, and a robe and a surcoat of satin were upon
him, and two low shoes of leather upon his feet; and around him was a scarf of
blue purple, at each corner of which was a golden apple. And his horse stepped
stately, and swift, and proud; and he overtook Gwenhwyvar, and saluted her.
"Heaven prosper thee, Geraint," said she, "I knew thee when first
I saw thee just now. And the welcome of heaven be unto thee. And why didst thou
not go with thy lord to hunt?" "Because I knew not when he went,"
said he. "I marvel, too," said she, "how he could go unknown to
me." "Indeed, lady," said he. "I was asleep, and knew not
when he went; but thou, 0 young man, art the most agreeable companion I could
have in the whole kingdom; and it may be, that I shall be more amused with the
hunting than they; for we shall hear the horns when they sound, and we shall
hear the dogs when they are let loose, and begin to cry." So they went to
the edge of the Forest, and there they stood. "From this place," said
she, "we shall hear when the dogs are let loose." And thereupon, they
heard a loud noise, and they looked towards the spot whence it came, and they
beheld a dwarf riding upon a horse, stately, and foaming, and prancing, and
strong, and spirited. And in the hand of the dwarf was a whip. And near the
dwarf they saw a lady upon a beautiful white horse, of steady and stately pace;
and she was clothed in a garment of gold brocade. And near her was a knight upon
a warhorse of large size, with heavy and bright armour both upon himself and
upon his horse. And truly they never before saw a knight, or a horse, or armour,
of such remarkable size. And they were all near to each other.
"Geraint," said Gwenhwyvar, " knowest thou the name of that
tall knight yonder?" "I know him not," said he, and the strange
armour that he wears prevents my either seeing his face or his features."
"Go, maiden," said Gwenhwyar, "and ask the dwarf who that knight
is." Then the maiden went up to the dwarf ; and the dwarf waited for the
maiden, when he saw her coming towards him. And the maiden inquired of the dwarf
who the knight was. "I will not tell thee," he answered. "Since
thou art so churlish as not to tell me," said she, "I will ask him
himself." "Thou shalt not ask him, by my faith," said he.
"Wherefore?" said she. "Because thou art not of honour sufficient
to befit thee to speak to my Lord." Then the maiden turned her horse's head
towards the knight, upon which the dwarf struck her with the whip that was in
his hand across the face and the eyes, until the blood flowed forth. And the
maiden, through the hurt she received from the blow, returned to Gwenhwyvar,
complaining of the pain. "Very rudely has the dwarf treated thee,"
said Geraint. "I will go myself to know who the knight is."
"Go," said Gwenhwyvar. And Geraint went up to the dwarf. "Who is
yonder knight?" said Geraint. "I will not tell thee," said the
dwarf "Then will I ask him himself," said he. "That wilt thou
not, by my faith," said the dwarf, "thou art not honourable enough to
speak with my Lord." Said Geraint, "I have spoken with men of equal
rank with him." And he turned, his horse's head towards the knight; but the
dwarf overtook him, and struck him as he had done the maiden, so that the blood
coloured the scarf that Geraint wore. Then Geraint put his hand upon the hilt of
his sword, but he took counsel with himself, and considered that it would be no
vengeance for him to slay the dwarf, and to be attacked unarmed by the armed
knight, so he returned to where Gwenhwyvar. was.
"Thou hast acted wisely and discreetly," said she.
"Lady," said he, "I will follow him yet, with thy permission; and
at last he will come to some inhabited place, where I may have arms either as a
loan or for a pledge, so that I may encounter the knight." "Go,"
said she, " and do not attack him until thou hast good arms, and I shall be
very anxious concerning thee, until I hear tidings of thee." "If I am
alive," said he, "thou shalt hear tidings of me by to-morrow
afternoon;" and with that he departed.
And the road they took was below the palace of Caerlleon, and across the ford
of the Usk; and they went along a fair, and even, and lofty ridge of ground,
until they came to a town. and at the extremity of the town they saw a Fortress
and a Castle. And they came to the extremity of the town. And as the knight
passed through it, all the people arose, and saluted him, and bade him welcome.
And when Geraint came into the town, he looked at every house, to see if he knew
any of those whom he saw. But he knew none, and none knew him to do him the
kindness to let him have arms either as a loan or for a pledge. And every house
he saw was full of men, and arms, and horses. And they were polishing shields,
and burnishing swords, and washing armour, and shoeing horses. And the knight,
and the lady, and the dwarf, rode up to the Castle that was in the town, and
every one was glad in the Castle. And from the battlements and the gates they
risked their necks, through their eagerness to greet them, and to show their
Geraint stood there to see whether the knight would remain in the Castle; and
when he was certain that he would do so, he looked around him; and at a little
distance from the town he saw an old palace in ruins, wherein was a hall that
was falling to decay. And as he knew not any one in the town, he went towards
the old palace; and when he came near to the palace, he saw but one chamber, and
a bridge of marblestone leading to it. And upon the bridge he saw sitting a
hoary-headed man, upon whom were tattered garments. And Geraint gazed
steadfastly upon him for a long time. Then the hoary-headed man spoke to him.
"Young man," he said, wherefore art thou thoughtful?" "I am
thoughtful," said he, "because I know not where to go to-night."
"Wilt thou come forward this way, chieftain?" said he, "and thou
shalt have of the best that can be procured for thee." So Geraint went
forward. And the hoary-beaded man preceded him into the hall. And in the hall he
dismounted, and he left there his horse. Then he went on to the upper chamber
with the hoary-headed man. And in the chamber he beheld an old decrepit woman,
sitting on a cushion, with old, tattered garments of satin upon her; and it
seemed to him that he had never seen a woman fairer than she must have been,
when in the fulness of youth. And beside her was a maiden, upon whom were a vest
and a veil, that were old, and beginning to be worn out. And truly, he never saw
a maiden more full of comeliness, and grace, and beauty, than she. And the
hoary-headed man said to the maiden, "There is no attendant for the horse
of this youth but thyself." "I will render the best service I am
able," said she, "both to him and to his horse." And the maiden
disarrayed the youth, and then she furnished his horse with straw and with corn.
And she went to the hall as before, and then she returned to the chamber. And
the hoary-headed man said to the maiden, "Go to the town," said he,
"and bring hither the best that thou canst find both of food and of
liquor." "I will, gladly, Lord," said she. And to the town went
the maiden. And they conversed together while the maiden was at the town. And,
behold! the maiden came back, and a youth with her, bearing on his back a
costrel full of good purchased mead, and a quarter of a young bullock. And in
the hands of the maiden was a quantity of white bread, and she had some manchet
bread in her veil, and she came into the chamber.
"I could not obtain better than this," said she, "nor with
better should I have been trusted." "It is good enough," said
Geraint. And they caused the meat to be boiled; and when their food was ready,
they sat down. And it was on this wise; Geraint sat between the hoary-headed man
and his wife, and the maiden served them. And they ate and drank.
And when they had finished eating, Geraint talked with the hoary-headed man,
and he asked him in the first place, to whom belonged the palace that he was in.
"Truly," said he, "it was I that built it, and to me also
belonged the city and the castle which thou sawest." "Alas!" said
Geraint, "how is it that thou hast lost them now?" "I lost a
great Earldom as well as these," said he; "and this is how I lost
them. I had a nephew, the son of my brother, and I took his possessions to
myself; and when he came to his strength, he demanded of me his property, but I
withheld it from him. So he made war upon me, and wrested from me all that I
possessed." "Good Sir," said Geraint, "wilt thou tell me
wherefore came the knight, and the lady, and the dwarf, just now into the town,
and what is the preparation which I saw, and the putting of arms in order?"
"I will do so," said he. "The preparations are for the game that
is to be held tomorrow by the young Earl, which will be on this wise. In the
midst of a meadow which is here, two forks will be set up, and upon the two
forks a silver rod, and upon the silver rod a, Sparrow-Hawk, and for the
Sparrow-Hawk there will be a tournament. And to the tournament will go all the
array thou didst see in the city, of men, and of horses, and of arms. And with
each man will go the lady he loves best; and no man can joust for the
Sparrow-Hawk, except the lady be loves best be with him. And the knight that
thou sawest has gained the Sparrow-Hawk these two years; and if he gains it the
third year, they will, from that time, send it every year to him, and he himself
will come here no more. And he will be called the Knight of the Sparrow-Hawk
from that time forth."
Sir," said Geraint, "what is thy counsel to me concerning this
knight, on account of the insult which I received from the dwarf, and that which
was received by the maiden of Gwenhwyvar, the wife of Arthur ?" And Geraint
told the hoary-headed man what the insult was that he had received. "It is
not easy to counsel thee, inasmuch as thou hast neither dame nor maiden
belonging to thee, for whom thou caust joust. Yet, I have arms here, which thou
couldest have; and there is my horse also, if he seem to thee better than thine
own." "Ah! Sir," said he, "Heaven reward thee. But my own
horse, to which I am accustomed, together with thy arms, will suffice me. And
if, when the appointed time shall come to-morrow, thou wilt permit me, Sir, to
challenge for yonder maiden that is thy daughter, I will engage, if I escape
from the tournament, to love the maiden as long as I live; and if I do not
escape, she will remain unsullied as before." "Gladly will I permit
thee," said the hoary-headed man; "and since thou dost thus resolve,
it is necessary that thy horse and arms should be ready to-morrow at break of
day. For then, the Knight of the Sparrow-Hawk will make proclamation, and ask
the lady he loves best, to take the Sparrow-Hawk. 'For,' will he say to her,
'thou art the fairest of women, and thou didst possess it last year, and the
year previous ; and if any deny it thee to-day, by force will I defend it for
thee.' And therefore," said the hoary-headed man, " it is needful for
thee to be there at daybreak; and we three will be with thee." And thus was
And at night, lo! they went to sleep; and before the dawn they arose, and
arrayed themselves; and by the time that it was day, they were all four in the
meadow. And there was the Knight of the Sparrow-Hawk making the proclamation,
and asking his lady-love to fetch the Sparrow-Hawk. "Fetch it not,"
said Geraint, "for there is here a maiden, who is fairer, and more noble,
and more comely, and who has a better claim to it than thou." "If thou
maintainest the Sparrow-Hawk to be due to her, come forward, and do battle with
me." And Geraint went forward to the top of the meadow, having upon himself
and upon his horse armour which was heavy, and rusty, and worthless, and of
uncouth shape. Then they encountered each other, and they broke a set of lances,
and they broke a second set, and a third. And thus they did at every onset, and
they broke as many lances as were brought to them. And when the Earl and his
company saw the Knight of the Sparrow-Hawk gaining the mastery, there was
shouting, and joy, and mirth amongst them. And the hoary-headed man, and his
wife, and his daughter, were sorrowful. And the hoary-headed man served Geraint
lances as often as he broke them., and the dwarf served the Knight of the
Sparrow-Hawk. Then the hoary-headed man came to Geraint. " Oh!
chieftain," said he, "since no other will hold with thee, behold, here
is the lance which was in my hand on the day when I received the honour of
knighthood; and from that time to this I never broke it. And it has an excellent
point." Then Geraint took the lance, thanking the hoary-headed man. And
thereupon the dwarf also brought a lance to his lord. "Behold, here is a
lance for thee, not less good than his," said the dwarf. "And bethink
thee, that no knight ever withstood thee before so long as this one has
done." "I declare to Heaven," said Geraint, "that unless
death takes me quickly hence, he shall fare never the better for thy
service." And Geraint pricked his horse towards him from afar, and warning
him, he rushed upon him, and gave him a blow so severe, and furious, and fierce,
upon the face of his shield, that he cleft it in two, and broke his armour, and
burst his girths, so that both he and his saddle were borne to the ground over
the horse's crupper. And Geraint dismounted quickly. And he was wroth, and he
drew his sword, and rushed fiercely upon him. Then the knight also arose, and
drew his sword against Geraint. And they fought on foot with their swords until
their arms struck sparks of fire like stars from one another; and thus they
continued fighting until the blood and sweat obscured the light from their eyes.
And when Geraint prevailed, the hoary-headed man, and his wife, and his
daughter, were glad; and when the knight prevailed, it rejoiced the Earl and his
party. Then the hoary-headed man saw Geraint receive a severe stroke, and he
went up to him quickly, and said to him, "Oh, chieftain, remember the
treatment which thou hadst from the dwarf; and wilt thou not seek vengeance for
the insult to thyself, and for the insult to Gwenhwyvar the wife of
Arthur!" And Geraint was roused by what he said to him, and he called to
him all his strength, and lifted up his sword, and struck the knight upon the
crown of his head, so that he broke all his head-armour, and cut through all the
flesh and the skin, even to the skull, until he wounded the bone.
Then the knight fell upon his knees, and cast his sword from his hand, and
besought mercy of Geraint. "Of a truth," said he, "I relinquish
my overdaring and my pride in craving thy mercy; and unless I have time to
commit myself to Heaven for my sins, and to talk with a priest, thy mercy will
avail me little." "I will grant thee grace upon this condition,"
said Geraint, "that thou wilt go to Gwenhwyvar the wife of Arthur, to do
her satisfaction for the insult which her maiden received from thy dwarf. As to
myself, for the insult which I received from thee and thy dwarf, I am content
with that which I have done unto thee. Dismount not from the time thou goest
hence until thou comest into the presence of Gwenhwyvar, to make her what
atonement shall be adjudged at the Court of Arthur." "This will I do
gladly. And who art thou?" said he. "I am Geraint the son of Erbin.
And declare thou also who thou art?" "I am Edeyrn the son of Nudd." Then he threw himself upon his horse, and went forward to Arthur's
Court, and the lady he loved best went before him and the dwarf, with much
lamentation. And thus far this story up to that time.
Then came the little Earl and his hosts to Geraint, and saluted him, and bad
him to his castle. "I may not go," said Geraint, "but where I was
last night, there will I be to-night also." "Since thou wilt none of
my inviting, thou shalt have abundance of all that I can command for thee, in
the place thou wast last night. And I will order ointment for thee, to recover
thee from thy fatigues, and from the weariness that is upon thee."
"Heaven reward thee," said Geraint, "and I will go to my
lodging." And thus went Geraint, and Earl Ynywl, and his wife, and his
daughter. And when they reached the chamber, the household servants and
attendants of the young Earl had arrived at the Court, and they arranged all the
houses, dressing them with straw and with fire; and in a short time the ointment
was ready, and Geraint came there, and they washed his head. Then came the young
Earl, with forty honourable knights from among his attendants, and those who
were bidden to the tournament. And Geraint came from the anointing. And the Earl
asked him to go to the hall to eat. "Where is the Earl Ynywl," said
Geraint, "and his wife, and his daughter ?" "They are in the
chamber yonder," said the Earl's chamberlain, arraying themselves in
garments which the Earl has caused to be brought for them." "Let not
the damsel array herself," said he, "except in her vest and her veil,
until she come to the Court of Arthur, to be clad by Gwenhwyvar, in such
garments as she may choose." So the maiden did not array herself.
Then they all entered the hall, and they washed, and went, and sat down to
meat. And thus were they seated. On one side of Geraint sat the young Earl, and
Earl Ynywl beyond him; and on the other side of Geraint were the maiden and her
mother, And after these all sat according to their precedence in honour. And
they ate. And they were served abundantly, and they received a profusion of
divers kind of gifts. Then they conversed together. And the young Earl invited
Geraint to visit him next day. "I will not, by Heaven," said Geraint.
"To the Court of Arthur will I go with this maiden to-morrow. And it is
enough for me, as long as Earl Ynywl is in poverty and trouble; and I go chiefly
to seek to add to his maintenance." "Ah, chieftain," said the
young Earl. "it is not by my fault that Earl Ynywl is without his
possessions." "By my faith," said Geraint, "he shall not
remain without them, unless death quickly takes me hence." "Oh,
chieftain," said he, "with regard to the disagreement between me and
Ynywl, I will gladly abide by thy counsel, and agree to what thou mayest judge
right between us." " I but ask thee," said Geraint, "to
restore to him what is his, and what he should have received from the time he
lost his possessions, even until this day." "That I will do gladly,
for thee," answered he. "Then," said Geraint, " whosoever is
here who owes homage to Ynywl, let him come forward, and perform it on the
spot." And all the men did so. And by that treaty they abided. And his
castle, and his town, and all his possessions, were restored to Ynywl. And he
received back all that he had lost, even to the smallest jewel.
Then spoke Earl Ynywl to Geraint. "Chieftain," said he,
"behold the maiden for whom thou didst challenge at the tournament, I
bestow her upon thee." "She shall go with me," said Geraint,
"to the Court of Arthur; and Arthur and Gwenhwyvar they shall dispose of
her as they will." And the next day they proceeded to Arthur's Court. So
far concerning Geraint.
Now, this is how Arthur hunted the stag. The men and the dogs were divided
into hunting parties, and the dogs were let loose upon the stag. And the last
dog that was let loose was the favourite dog of Arthur. Cavall was his name. And
he left all the other dogs behind him, and turned the stag. And at the second
turn, the stag came towards the hunting party of Arthur. And Arthur set upon
him. And before he could be slain by any other, Arthur cut off his head. Then
they sounded the death horn for slaying, and they all gathered round.
Then came Kadyriaith to Arthur, and spoke to him. "Lord," said he,
"behold, yonder is Gwenhwyvar, and none with her save only one
maiden." "Command Gildas the son of Caw, and all the scholars of the
Court," said Arthur, "to attend Gwenhwyvar to the palace." And
they did so.
Then they all set forth holding converse together concerning the head of the
stag, to whom it should be given. One wished that it should be given to the lady
best beloved by him, and another to the lady whom he loved best. And all they of
the household, and the knights, disputed sharply concerning the head. And with
that they came to the palace. And when Arthur and Gwenhwyvar heard them
disputing about the head of the stag, Gwenhwyvar said to Arthur, "My lord,
this is my counsel concerning the stag's head; let it not be given away until
Geraint the son of Erbin return from the errand he is upon." And Gwenhwyvar
told Arthur what that errand was. "Right gladly shall it be so," said
Arthur. And thus it was settled. And the next day Gwenhwyvar caused a watch to
be set upon the ramparts for Geraint's coming. And after mid-day they beheld an
unshapely little man upon a horse, and after him, as they supposed, a dame or a
damsel, also on horseback, and after her a knight of large stature, bowed down,
and hanging his head low and sorrowfully, and clad in broken and worthless
And before they came near to the gate, one of the watch went to
and told her what kind of people they saw, and what aspect they bore. "I
know not who they are," said he. "But I know," said Gwenhwyvar;
"this is the knight whom Geraint pursued, and methinks that he comes not
here by his own free will. But Geraint has overtaken him, and avenged the insult
to the maiden to the uttermost." And thereupon, behold a porter came to the
spot where Gwenhwyvar was. "Lady," said he, "at the gate there is
a knight, and I saw never a man of so pitiful an aspect to look upon as he.
Miserable and broken is the armour that he wears, and the hue of blood is more
conspicuous upon it than its own colour." "Knowest thou his
name?" said she. "I do," said he; "he tells me that he is
Edeyrn the Son of Nudd." Then she replied, "I know him not."
So Gwenhwyvar went to the gate to meet him, and he entered. And Gwenhwyvar
was sorry when she saw the condition he was in, even though he was accompanied
by the churlish dwarf. Then Edeyrn saluted Gwenhwyvar. "Heaven protect
thee," said she. "Lady," said he, "Geraint the son of Erbin,
thy best and most valiant servant, greets thee." "Did he meet
thee?" she asked. "Yes," said he, "and it was not to my
advantage; and that was not his fault, but mine, Lady. And Geraint greets thee
well; and in greeting thee he compelled me to come hither to do thy pleasure for
the insult which thy maiden received from the dwarf. He forgives the insult to
himself, in consideration of his having put me in peril of my life. And he
imposed on me a condition, manly, and honourable, and warrior-like, which was to
do thee justice, Lady." "Now, where did he overtake thee?"
"At the place where we were jousting, and contending for the Sparrow-Hawk,
in the town which is now called Cardiff. And there were none with him save three
persons, of a mean and tattered condition. And these were an aged, hoary-headed
man, and a woman advanced in years, and a fair young maiden, clad in worn-out
garments. And it was for the avouchment of the love of that maiden that Geraint
jousted for the Sparrow-Hawk at the tournament, for he said that that maiden was
better entitled to the Sparrow-Hawk than this maiden who was with me. And
thereupon we encountered each other, and he left me, Lady, as thou seest."
"Sir," said she, "when thinkest thou that Geraint will be
here?" "To-morrow, Lady, I think he will be here with the
Then Arthur came to him, and he saluted Arthur; and Arthur gazed a long time
upon him, and was amazed to see him thus. And thinking that he knew him, he
inquired of him, "Art thou Edeyrn the son of Nudd?" "I am,
Lord," said he, "and I have met with much trouble, and received wounds
unsupportable." Then he told Arthur all his adventure. "Well,"
said Arthur, "from what I hear, it behoves Gwenhwyvar to be merciful
towards thee." "The mercy which thou desirest, Lord," said she,
"will I grant to him, since it is as insulting to thee that an insult
should be offered to me as to thyself." "Thus will it be best to
do," said Arthur; "let this man have medical care until it be known
whether he may live. And if he live, he shall do such satisfaction as shall be
judged best by the men of the Court; and take thou sureties to that effect. And
if he die, too much will be the death of such a youth as Edeyrn for an insult to
a maiden." "This pleases me," said Gwenhwyvar. And Arthur became
surety for Edeyrn, and Caradawc the son of Llyr, Gwallawg the son of Llenawg,
and Owain the son of Nudd, and Gwalchmai, and many others with them. And Arthur
caused Morgan Tud to be called to him. He was the chief physician. Take with
thee Edeyrn the son of Nudd, and cause a chamber to be prepared for him, and let
him have the aid of medicine as thou wouldest do unto myself, if I were wounded,
and let none into his chamber to molest him, but thyself and thy disciples, to
administer to him remedies." "I will do so, gladly, Lord," said
Morgan Tud. Then said the steward of the household,
"Whither is it right, Lord, to order the maiden?" "To
Gwenhwyvar and her handmaidens," said he. And the steward of the household
so ordered her. Thus far concerning them.
The next day came Geraint towards the Court; and there was a watch set on the
ramparts by Gwenhwyvar, lest he should arrive unawares. And one of the watch
came to the place where Gwenhwyvar was. "Lady," said he,
"methinks that I see Geraint, and the maiden with him. He is on horseback,
but he has his walking gear upon him, and the maiden appears to be in white,
seeming to be clad in a garment of linen." "Assemble all the
women," said Gwenhwyvar, "and come to meet Geraint, to welcome him,
and wish him joy." And Gwenhwyvar went to meet Geraint and the maiden. And
when Geraint came to the place where Gwenhwyvar was, he saluted her.
"Heaven prosper thee," said she, "and welcome to thee. And thy
career has been successful, and fortunate, and resistless, and glorious. And
Heaven reward thee, that thou hast so proudly caused me to have
retribution." "Lady," said he, "I earnestly desired to
obtain thee satisfaction according to thy will; and, behold, here is the maiden
through whom thou hadst thy revenge." "Verily," said Gwenhwyvar,
"the welcome of Heaven be unto her; and it is fitting that we should
receive her joyfully." Then they went in, and dismounted. And Geraint came
to where Arthur was, and saluted him. "Heaven protect thee," said
Arthur, "and the welcome of Heaven be unto thee. And since Edeyrn the son
of Nudd has received his overthrow and wounds from thy hands, thou hast had a
prosperous career." "Not upon me be the blame," said Geraint,
"it was through the arrogance of Edeyrn the son of Nudd himself that we
were not friends. I would not quit him until I knew who he was, and until the
one had vanquished the other." "Now," said Arthur, "where is
the maiden for whom I heard thou didst give challenge?" "She is gone
with Gwenhwyvar to her chamber."
Then went Arthur to see the maiden. And Arthur, and all his companions, and
his whole Court, were glad concerning the maiden. And certain were they all,
that had her array been suitable to her beauty, they had never seen a maid
fairer than she. And Arthur gave away the maiden to Geraint. And the usual bond
made between two persons was made between Geraint and the maiden, and the
choicest of all Gwenhwyvar's apparel was given to the maiden; and thus arrayed,
she appeared comely and graceful to all who beheld her. And that day and that
night were spent in abundance of minstrelsy, and ample gifts of liquor, and a
multitude of games. And when it was time for them to go to sleep, they went. And
in the chamber where the couch of Arthur and Gwenhwyvar was, the couch of
Geraint and Enid was prepared. And from that time she became his bride. And the
next day Arthur satisfied all the claimants upon Geraint with bountiful gifts.
And the maiden took up her abode in the palace; and she had many companions,
both men and women, and there was no maiden more esteemed than she in the Island
Then spake Gwenhwyvar. "Rightly did I judge," said she,
"concerning the head of the stag, that it should not be given to any until
Geraint's return; and, behold here is a fit occasion for bestowing it. Let it be
given to Enid the daughter of Ynywl, the most illustrious maiden. And I do not
believe that any will begrudge it her, for between her and every one here there
exists nothing but love and friendship." Much applauded was this by them
all, and by Arthur also. And the head of the stag was given to Enid. And
thereupon her fame increased, and her friends thenceforward became more in
number than before. And Geraint from that time forth loved the stag, and the
tournament, and hard encounters; and he came victorious from them all. And a
year, and a second, and a third, he proceeded thus, until his fame had flown
over the face of the kingdom.
And once upon a time Arthur was holding his Court at Caerlleon upon
Whitsuntide. And, behold, there came to him ambassadors, wise and prudent, full
of knowledge, and eloquent of speech, and they saluted Arthur. "Heaven
prosper you," said Arthur, "and the welcome of Heaven be unto you. And
whence do you come?" "We come, Lord," said they, "from
Cornwall; and we are ambassadors from Erbin the son of Custennin, thy uncle, and
our mission is unto thee. And he greets thee well, as an uncle should greet his
nephew, and as a vassal should greet his lord. And he represents unto thee that
he waxes heavy and feeble, and is advancing in years. And the neighbouring
chiefs knowing this, grow insolent towards him, and covet his land and
possessions. And he earnestly beseeches thee, Lord, to permit Geraint his son to
return to him, to protect his possessions, and to become acquainted with his
boundaries. And unto him he represents that it were better for him to spend the
flower of his youth and the prime of his age, in preserving his own boundaries,
than in tournaments, which are productive of no profit, although he obtains
glory in them."
"Well," said Arthur, "go, and divest yourselves of your
accoutrements, and take food, and refresh yourselves after your fatigues; and
before you go forth hence you shall have an answer." And they went to eat.
And Arthur considered that it would go hard with him to let Geraint depart from
him and from his Court; neither did he think it fair that his cousin should be
restrained from going to protect his dominions and his boundaries, seeing that
his father was unable to do so. No less was the grief and regret of Gwenhwyvar,
and all her women., and all her damsels, through fear that the maiden would
leave them. And that day and that night were spent in abundance of feasting. And
Arthur showed Geraint the cause of the mission, and of the coming of the
ambassadors to him out of Cornwall. "Truly," said Geraint, "be it
to my advantage or disadvantage, Lord, I will do according to thy will
concerning this embassy." "Behold," said Arthur, "though it
grieves me to part with thee, it is my counsel that thou go to dwell in thine
own dominions, and to defend thy boundaries, and to take with thee to accompany
thee as many as thou wilt of those thou lovest best among my faithful ones, and
among thy friends, and among thy companions in arms." "Heaven reward
thee; and this will I do," said Geraint. "What discourse," said
Gwenhwyvar, "do I hear between you? Is it of those who are to conduct
Geraint to his country?" "It is," said Arthur. "Then it is
needful for me to consider," said she, "concerning companions and a
provision for the lady that is with me?" "Thou wilt do well,"
And that night they went to sleep. And the next day the ambassadors were
permitted to depart, and they were told that Geraint should follow them. And on
the third day Geraint set forth, and many went with him. Gwalchmai the son of
Gwyar, and Riogonedd the son of the king of Ireland, and Ondyaw the son of the
duke of Burgundy, Gwilim the son of the ruler of the Franks, Howel the son of
Emyr of Brittany, Elivry, and Nawkyrd, Gwynn the son of Tringad, Goreu the son
of Custennin, Gweir Gwrhyd Vawr, Garannaw the son of Golithmer, Peredur the son
of Evrawc, Gwynnllogell, Gwyr a judge in the Court of Arthur, Dyvyr the son of
Alun of Dyved, Gwrei Gwalstawd Ieithoedd, Bedwyr the son of Bedrawd, Hadwry the
son of Gwryon, Kai the son of Kynyr, Odyar the Frank, the Steward of Arthur's
Court, and Edeyrn the son of Nudd. Said Geraint, "I think that I shall have
enough of knighthood with me." "Yes," said Arthur, "but it
will not be fitting for thee to take Edeyrn with thee, although he is well,
until peace shall be made between him and Gwenhwyvar." " Gwenhwyvar
can permit him to go with me, if he give sureties." "If she please,
she can let him go without sureties, for enough of pain and affliction has he
suffered for the insult which the maiden received from the dwarf."
"Truly," said Gwenhwyvar, "since it seems well to thee and to
Geraint, I will do this gladly, Lord." Then she permitted Edeyrn freely to
depart. And many there were who accompanied Geraint, and they set forth; and
never was there seen a fairer host journeying towards the Severn. And on the
other side of the Severn were the nobles of Erbin the son of Custennin, and his
foster-father at their head, to welcome Geraint with gladness; and many of the
women of the Court, with his mother, come to receive Enid the daughter of Ynywl,
his wife. And there was great rejoicing and gladness throughout the whole Court,
and throughout all the country, concerning Geraint, because of the greatness of
their love towards him, and of the greatness of the fame which he had gained
since he went from amongst them, and because he was come to take possession of
his dominions and to preserve his boundaries. And they came to the Court. And in
the Court they had ample entertainment, and a multitude of gifts and abundance
of liquor, and a sufficiency of service, and a variety of minstrelsy and of
games. And to do honour to Geraint, all the chief men of the country were
invited that night to visit him. And they passed that day and that night in the
utmost enjoyment. And at dawn next day Erbin arose, and summoned to him Geraint,
and the noble persons who had borne him company. And he said to Geraint, "I
am a feeble and aged man, and whilst I was able to maintain the dominion for
thee and for myself, I did so. But thou art young, and in the flower of thy
vigour and of thy youth; henceforth do thou preserve thy possessions."
"Truly," said Geraint, "with my consent thou shalt not give the
power over thy dominions at this time into my hands, and thou shalt not take me
from Arthur's Court." "Into thy hands will I give them," said
Erbin, "and this day also shalt thou receive the homage of thy
Then said Gwalchmai, "It were better for thee to satisfy those who have
boons to ask, to-day, and to-morrow thou canst receive the homage of thy
dominions." So all that had boons to ask were summoned into one place. And
Kadyrieith came to them, to know what were their requests. And every one asked
that which he desired. And the followers of Arthur began to make gifts, and
immediately the men of Cornwall came, and gave also. And they were not long in
giving, so eager was every one to bestow gifts. An of those who came to ask
gifts, none departed unsatisfied. And that day and that night were spent in the
And the next day, at dawn, Erbin desired Geraint to send messengers to the
men, to ask them whether it was displeasing to them that he should come to
receive their homage, and whether they had anything to object to him. Then
Geraint sent ambassadors to the men of Cornwall, to ask them this. And they all
said that it would be the fulness of joy and honour to them for Geraint to come
and receive their homage. So he received the homage of such as were there. And
they remained with him till the third night. And the day after the followers of
Arthur intended to go away. "It is too soon for you to go away yet,"
said he, " stay with me until I have finished receiving the homage of my
chief men, who have agreed to come to me." And they remained with him until
he had done so. Then they set forth towards the Court of Arthur; and Geraint
went to bear them company, and Enid also, as far as Diganhwy: there they parted.
Then Ondyaw the son of the duke of Burgundy said to Geraint, "Go first of
all and visit the uttermost parts of thy dominions, and see well to the
boundaries of thy territories; and if thou hast any trouble respecting them,
send unto thy companions." "Heaven reward thee," said Geraint,
"and this will I do." And Geraint journeyed to the uttermost part of
his dominions. And experienced guides, and the chief men of his country, went
with him. And the furthermost point that they showed him he kept possession of.
And, as he had been used to do when he was at Arthur's Court, he frequented
tournaments. And he became acquainted with valiant and mighty men, until he had
gained as much fame there as he had formerly done elsewhere. And he enriched his
Court, and his companions, and his nobles, with the best horses and the best
arms, and with the best and most valuable jewels, and he ceased not until his
fame had flown over the face of the whole kingdom. And when he knew that it was
thus, he began to love ease and pleasure, for there was no one who was worth his
opposing. And he loved his wife, and liked to continue in the palace, with
minstrelsy and diversions. And for a long time he abode at home. And after that
he began to shut himself up in the chamber of his wife, and he took no delight
in anything besides, insomuch that he gave up the friendship of his nobles,
together with his hunting and his amusements, and lost the hearts of all the
host in his Court; and there was murmuring and scoffing concerning him among the
inhabitants of the palace, on account of his relinquishing so completely their
companionship for the love of his wife. And these tidings came to Erbin. And
when Erbin had heard these things, he spoke unto Enid, and inquired of her
whether it was she that had caused Geraint to act thus, and to forsake his
people and his hosts. "Not I, by my confession unto Heaven," said she,
"there is nothing more hateful to me than this." And she knew not what
she should do, for, although it was hard for her to own this to Geraint, yet was
it not more easy for her to listen to what she heard, without warning Geraint
concerning it. And she was very sorrowful.
And one morning in the summer time, they were upon their couch, and Geraint
lay upon the edge of it. And Enid was without sleep in the apartment which had
windows of glass. And the sun shone upon the couch. And the clothes had slipped
from off his arms and his breast, and he was asleep. Then she gazed upon the
marvellous beauty of his appearance, and she said, "Alas, and am I the
cause that these arms and this breast have lost their glory and the warlike fame
which they once so richly enjoyed!" And as she said this, the tears dropped
from her eyes, and they fell upon his breast. And the tears she shed, and the
words she had spoken, awoke him; and another thing contributed to awaken him,
and that was the idea that it was not in thinking of him that she spoke thus,
but that it was because she loved some other man more than him, and that she
wished for other society, and thereupon Geraint was troubled in his mind, and he
called his squire; and when he came to him, "Go quickly," said he,
"and prepare my horse and my arms, and make them ready. And do thou
arise," said he to Enid, "and apparel thyself; and cause thy horse to
be accoutred, and clothe thee in the worst riding-dress that thou hast in thy
possession. And evil betide me," said he, "if thou returnest here
until thou knowest whether I have lost my strength so completely as thou didst
say. Add if it be so, it will then be easy for thee to seek the society thou
didst wish for of him of whom thou wast thinking." So she arose, and
clothed herself in her meanest garments. "I know nothing, Lord," said
she, " of thy meaning." "Neither wilt thou know at this
time," said he.
Then Geraint went to see Erbin. "Sir," said he, "I am going
upon a quest, and I am not certain when I may come back. Take heed, therefore,
unto thy possessions, until my return." "I will do so," said he,
"but it is strange to me that thou shouldest go so suddenly. And who will
proceed with thee, since thou art not strong enough to traverse the land of
Lloegyr alone?" "But one person only will go with me."
"Heaven counsel thee, my son," said Erbin, "and may many attach
themselves to thee in Lloegyr." Then went Geraint to the place where his
horse was, and it was equipped with foreign armour, heavy and shining. And he
desired Enid to mount her horse, and to ride forward, and to keep a long way
before him. "And whatever thou mayest see, and whatever thou mayest hear
concerning me," said he, "do thou not turn back. And unless I speak
unto thee, say not thou one word either." And they set forward. And he did
not choose the pleasantest and most frequented road, but that which was the
wildest and most beset by thieves, and robbers, and venomous animals. And they
came to a high road, which they followed till they saw a vast forest, and they
went towards it, and they saw four armed horsemen come forth from the forest.
When the horsemen had beheld them, one of them said to the others, "Behold,
here is a good occasion for us to capture two horses and armour, and a lady
likewise; for this we shall have no difficulty in doing against yonder single
knight, who hangs his head so pensively and heavily." And Enid heard this
discourse, and she knew not what she should do through fear of Geraint, who had
told her to be silent. "The vengeance of Heaven be upon me," she said,
"if I would not rather receive my death from his hand than from the hand of
any other; and though he should slay me, yet will I speak to him, lest I should
have the misery to witness his death." So she waited for Geraint until he
came near to her. "Lord," said she, "didst thou hear the words of
those men concerning thee?" Then he lifted up his eyes, and looked at her
angrily. "Thou hadst only," said he, "to hold thy peace as I bade
thee. I wish but for silence, and not for warning. And though thou shouldest
desire to see my defeat and my death by the hands of those men, yet do I feel no
dread." Then the foremost of them couched his lance, and rushed upon
Geraint. And he received him, and that not feebly. But he let the thrust go by
him, while he struck the horseman upon the centre of his shield in such a manner
that his shield was split, and his armour broken, and so that a cubit's length
of the shaft of Geraint's lance passed through his body, and sent him to the
earth, the length of the lance over his horse's crupper. Then the second
horseman attacked him furiously, being wroth at the death of his companion. But
with one thrust Geraint overthrew him also, and killed him as he had done the
other. Then the third set upon him, and he killed him in like manner. And thus
also he slew the fourth. Sad and sorrowful was the maiden as she saw all this.
Geraint dismounted from his horse, and took the arms of the men he had slain,
and placed them upon their saddles, and tied together the reins of their horses,
and he mounted his horse again. "Behold, what thou must do," said he;
"take the four horses, and drive them before thee, and proceed forward, as
I bade thee just now. And say not one word unto me, unless I speak first unto
thee. And I declare unto Heaven," said he, "if thou doest not thus, it
will be to thy cost." "I will do, as far as I can, Lord," said
she, "according to thy desire."
Then they went forward through the forest; and when they left the forest,
they came to a vast plain, in the centre of which was a group of thickly tangled
copse-wood; and from out thereof they beheld three horsemen coming towards them,
well equipped with armour, both they and their horses. Then the maiden looked
steadfastly upon them; and when they had come near, she heard them say one to
another, "Behold, here is a good arrival for us; here are coming for us
four horses and four suits of armour. We shall easily obtain them spite of
yonder dolorous knight, and the maiden also will fall into our power."
"This is but too true," said she to herself, "for my husband is
tired with his former combat. The vengeance of Heaven will be upon me, unless I
warn him of this. "So the maiden waited until Geraint came up to her.
"Lord," said she, "dost thou not hear the discourse of yonder men
concerning thee?" "What was it?" asked he. "They say to one
another, that they will easily obtain all this spoil." "I declare to
Heaven," he answered, "that their words are less grievous to me than
that thou wilt not be silent, and abide by my counsel." "My
Lord," said she, "I feared lest they should surprise thee
unawares." "Hold thy peace, then," said he, "do not I desire
silence?" And thereupon one of the horsemen couched his lance, and attacked
Geraint. And he made a thrust at him, which he thought would be very effective;
but Geraint received it carelessly, and struck it aside, and then he rushed upon
him, and aimed at the centre of his person, and from the shook of man and horse,
the quantity of his armour did not avail him, and the head of the lance and part
of the shaft passed through him, so that he was carried to the ground an arm and
a spear's length over the crupper of his horse. And both the other horsemen came
forward in their turn, but their onset was not more successful than that of
their companion. And the maiden stood by, looking at all this; and on the one
hand she was in trouble lest Geraint should be wounded in his encounter with the
men, and on the other hand she was joyful to see him victorious. Then Geraint
dismounted, and bound the three suits of armour upon the three saddles, and he
fastened the reins of all the horses together, so that he had seven horses with
him. And he mounted his own horse, and commanded the maiden to drive forward the
others. "It is no more use for me to speak to thee than to refrain, for
thou wilt not attend to my advice. "I will do so, as far as I am able,
Lord," said she; "but I cannot conceal from thee the fierce and
threatening words which I may hear against thee, Lord, from such strange people
as those that haunt this wilderness." "I declare to Heaven," said
he, "that I desire nought but silence; therefore, hold thy peace."
"I will, Lord, while I can." And the maiden went on with the horses
before her, and she pursued her way straight onwards. And from the copse-wood
already mentioned, they journeyed over a vast and dreary open plain. And at a
great distance from them they beheld a wood, and they could see neither end nor
boundary to the wood, except on that side that was nearest to them, and they
went towards it. Then there came from out the wood five horsemen, eager, and
bold, and mighty, and strong, mounted upon chargers that were powerful, and
large of bone, and high mettled, and proudly snorting, and both the men and the
horses were well equipped with arms. And when they drew near to them, Enid heard
them say, "Behold, here is a fine booty coming to us, which we shall obtain
easily and without labour, for we shall have no trouble in taking all those
horses and arms, and the lady also, from yonder single knight, so doleful and
Sorely grieved was the maiden upon hearing this discourse, so that she knew
not in the world what she should do. At last, however, she determined to warn
Geraint; so she turned her horse's head towards him. "Lord," said she,
"if thou hadst heard as I did what yonder horsemen said concerning thee,
thy heaviness would be greater than it is." Angrily and bitterly did
Geraint smile upon her, and he said, "Thee do I hear doing everything that
I forbade thee; but it may be that thou wilt repent this yet." And
immediately, behold, the men met them, and victoriously and gallantly did
Geraint overcome them all five. And he placed the five suits of armour upon the
five saddles, and tied together the reins of the twelve horses, and gave them in
charge to Enid. "I know not," said he, "what good it is for me to
order thee; but this time I charge thee in an especial manner." So the
maiden went forward towards the wood, keeping in advance of Geraint, as he had
desired her; and it grieved him as much as his wrath would permit, to see a
maiden so illustrious as she having so much trouble with the care of the horses.
Then they reached the wood, and it was both deep and vast; and in the wood night
overtook them. "Ah, maiden," said he, "it is vain to attempt
proceeding forward!" "Well, Lord," said she, "whatsoever
thou wishest, we will do." "It will be best for us," he answered,
"to turn out of the wood, and to rest, and wait for the day, in order to
pursue our journey." "That will we, gladly," said she. And they
did so. Having dismounted himself, he took her down from her horse. "I
cannot, by any means, refrain from sleep, through weariness," said he.
"Do thou, therefore, watch the horses, and sleep not." "I will,
Lord," said she. Then he went to sleep in his armour, and thus passed the
night, which was not long at that season.
And when she saw the dawn of day appear, she looked around her, to see if he
were waking, and thereupon he woke. "My Lord," she said, "I have
desired to awake thee for some time." But he spake nothing to her about
fatigue, as he had desired her to be silent. Then he arose, and said unto her,
"Take the horses, and ride on; and keep straight on before thee as thou
didst yesterday." And early in the day they left the wood, and they came.
to an open country, with meadows on one hand and mowers mowing the meadows. And
there was a river before them, and the horses bent down, and drank the water.
And they went up out of the river by a lofty steep; and there they met a slender
stripling, with a satchel about his neck, and they saw that there was something
in the satchel, but they knew not what it was. And he had a small blue pitcher
in his hand, and a bowl on the mouth of the pitcher. And the youth saluted
Geraint. "Heaven prosper thee," said Geraint, "and whence dost
thou come?" "I come," said he, "from the city that lies
before thee. My Lord," he added, "will it be displeasing to thee if I
ask whence thou comest also?" "By no means-through yonder wood did I
come." "Thou camest not through the wood to-day." "No,"
he replied, "we were in the wood last night." "I warrant,"
said the youth, "that thy condition there last night was not the most
pleasant, and that thou hadst neither meat nor drink." "No, by my
faith," said he. "Wilt thou follow my counsel," said the youth,
"and take thy meal from me?" "What sort of meal?" he
inquired. "The breakfast which is sent for yonder mowers, nothing less than
bread and meat and wine; and if thou wilt, Sir they shall have none of it."
"I will," said he, "and Heaven reward thee for it."
So Geraint alighted, and the youth took the maiden from off her horse. Then
they washed, and took their repast. And the youth cut the bread in slices, and
gave them drink, and served them withal. And when they had finished, the youth
arose, and said to Geraint, "My Lord, with thy permission, I will now go
and fetch some food for the mowers." "Go, first, to the town,"
said Geraint, "and take a lodging for me in the best place that thou
knowest, and the most commodious one for the horses, and take thou whichever
horse and arms thou choosest in payment for thy service and thy gift."
"Heaven reward thee, Lord," said the youth, "and this would be
ample to repay services much greater than those I have rendered unto thee."
And to the town went the youth, and he took the best and the most pleasant
lodgings that he knew; and after that he went to the palace, having the horse
and armour with him, and proceeded to the place where the Earl was, and told him
all his adventure. "I go now, Lord," said he, "to meet the young
man, and to conduct him to his lodging." "Go, gladly," said the
Earl, "and right joyfully shall he be received here, if he so come."
And the youth went to meet Geraint, and told him that he would be received
gladly by the Earl in his own palace; but he would go only to his lodgings. And
he had a goodly chamber, in which was plenty of straw, and drapery, and a
spacious and commodious place he had for the horses; and the youth prepared for
them plenty of provender. And after they had disarrayed themselves, Geraint
spoke thus to Enid: "Go," said he, "to the other side of the
chamber, and come not to this side of the house; and thou mayest call to thee
the woman of the house, if thou wilt." "I will do, Lord," said
she, "as thou sayest." And thereupon the man of the house came to
Geraint, and welcomed him. "Oh, chieftain," he said, "hast thou
taken thy meal?" "I have," said he. Then the youth spoke to him,
and inquired if he would not drink something before he met the Earl. "Truly
I will," said he. So the youth went into the town, and brought them drink.
And they drank. "I must needs sleep," said Geraint. "Well,"
said the youth; and whilst thou sleepest, I will go to see the Earl."
"Go, gladly," he said, "and come here again when I require
thee." And Geraint went to sleep; and so did Enid also.
And the youth came to the place where the Earl was, and the Earl asked him
where the lodgings of the knight were, and he told him. "I must go,"
said the youth, "to wait on him in the evening." "Go,"
answered the Earl, "and greet him well from me, and tell him that in the
evening I will go to see him." "This will I do," said the youth.
So he came when it was time for them to awake. And they arose, and went forth.
And when it was time for them to take their food, they took it. And the youth
served them. And Geraint inquired of the man of the house, whether there were
any of his companions that he wished to invite to him, and he said that there
were. "Bring them hither, and entertain them at my cost with the best thou
canst buy in the town."
And the man of the house brought there those whom he chose, and feasted them
at Geraint's expense. Thereupon, behold, the Earl came to visit Geraint, and his
twelve honourable knights with him. And Geraint rose up, and welcomed him.
"Heaven preserve thee," said the Earl. Then they all sat down
according to their precedence in honour. And the Earl conversed with Geraint,
and inquired of him the object of his journey. "I have none," he
replied, "but to seek adventures, and to follow my own inclination."
Then the Earl cast his eye upon Enid, and he looked at her steadfastly. And he
thought he had never seen a maiden fairer or more comely than she. And he set
all his thoughts and his affections upon her. Then he asked of Geraint,
"Have I thy permission to go and converse with yonder maiden, for I see
that she is apart from thee?" "Thou hast it gladly," said he. So
the Earl went to the place where the maiden was, and spake with her. "Ah,
maiden," said he, "it cannot be pleasant to thee to journey thus with
yonder man!" "It is not unpleasant to me," said she, "to
journey the same road that he journeys." ""Thou hast neither
youths nor maidens to serve thee," said he. "Truly," she replied,
"it is more pleasant for me to follow yonder man, than to be served by
youths and maidens." "I will give thee, good counsel," said he.
"All my Earldom will I place in thy possession, if thou wilt dwell with
me." "That will I not, by Heaven," she said, "yonder man was
the first to whom my faith was ever pledged; and shall I prove inconstant to
him!" "Thou art in the wrong," said the Earl; "if I slay the
man yonder, I can keep thee with me as long as I choose; and when thou no longer
pleasest me I can turn thee away. But if thou goest with me by thine own good
will, I protest that our union shall continue eternal and undivided as long as I
remain alive." Then she pondered these words of his, and she considered
that it was advisable to encourage him in his request. "Behold, then,
chieftain, this is most expedient for thee to do to save me any needless
imputation; come here to-morrow, and take me away as though I knew nothing
thereof." "I will do so," said he. So he arose, and took his
leave, and went forth with his attendants. And she told not then to Geraint any
of the conversation which she had had with the Earl, lest it should rouse his
anger, and cause him uneasiness and care.
And at the usual hour they went to sleep. And at the beginning of the night
Enid slept a little; and at midnight she arose, and placed all Geraint's armour
together, so that it might be ready to put on. And although fearful of her
errand, she came to the side of Geraint's bed; and she spoke to him softly and
gently, saying, "My Lord, arise, and clothe thyself, for these were the
words of the Earl to me, and his intention concerning me." So she told
Geraint all that had passed. And although he was wroth with her, he took
warning, and clothed himself. And she lighted a candle, that he might have light
to do so. "Leave there the candle," said he, "and desire the man
of the house to come here." Then she went, and the man of the house came to
him. "Dost thou know how much I owe thee?" asked Geraint. "I
think thou owest but little." "Take the eleven horses and the eleven
suits of armour." "Heaven reward thee, Lord," said he, "but
I spent not the value of one suit of armour upon thee." "For that
reason," said he, " thou wilt be the richer. And now, wilt thou come
to guide me out of the town?" "I will, gladly," said he,
"and in which direction dost thou intend to go?" "I wish to leave
the town by a different way from that by which I entered it." So the man of
the lodgings accompanied him as far as he desired. Then he bade the maiden to go
on before him; and she did so, and went straight forward, and his host returned
home. And he had only just reached his house, when, behold, the greatest tumult
approached that was ever heard. And when he looked out, he saw fourscore knights
in complete armour around the house, with the Earl Dwrm at their head.
"Where is the knight that was here?" said the Earl. "By thy
hand," said he, " he went hence some time ago." "Wherefore,
villain," said he, "didst thou let him go without informing me?"
"My Lord, thou didst not command me to do so, else would I not have allowed
him to depart." "What way dost thou think that he took?" "I
know not, except that he went along the high road." And they turned their
horses' heads that way, and seeing the tracks of the horses upon the high road,
they followed. And when the maiden beheld the dawning of the day, she looked
behind her, and saw vast clouds of dust coming nearer and nearer to her. And
thereupon she became uneasy, and she thought that it was the Earl and his host
coming after them. And thereupon she beheld a knight appearing through the mist.
"By my faith," said she, "though he should slay me, it were
better for me to receive my death at his hands, than to see him killed without
warning him. My Lord," she said to him, "seest thou yonder man
hastening after thee, and many others with him?" "I do see him,"
said he; "and in despite of all my orders, I see that thou wilt never keep
silence." Then he turned upon the knight, and with the first thrust he
threw him down under his horse's feet. And as long as there remained one of the
fourscore knights, he overthrew every one of them at the first onset. And from
the weakest to the strongest, they all attacked him one after the other, except
the Earl : and last of all the Earl came against him also. And he broke his
lance, and then he broke a second. But Geraint turned upon him, and struck him
with his lance upon the centre of his shield, so that by that single thrust the
shield was split, and all his armour broken, and he himself was brought over his
horse's crupper to the ground, and was in peril of his life. And Geraint drew
near to him; and at the noise of the trampling of his horse the Earl revived.
"Mercy, Lord," said he to Geraint. And Geraint granted him mercy. But
through the hardness of the ground where they had fallen, and the violence of
the stroke which they had received, there was not a single knight amongst them
that escaped without receiving a fall, mortally severe, and grievously painful,
and desperately wounding, from the hand of Geraint.
And Geraint journeyed along the high road that was before him, and the maiden
went on first; and near them they beheld a valley which was the fairest ever
seen, and which had a large river running through it; and there was a bridge
over the river, and the high road led to the bridge. And above the bridge upon
the opposite side of the river, they beheld a fortified town, the fairest ever
seen. And as they approached the bridge, Geraint saw coming towards him from a
thick copse a man mounted upon a large and lofty steed, even of pace and
spirited though tractable. "Ah, knight," said Geraint, "whence
comest thou?" "I come," said he, "from the valley below
us." "Canst thou tell me," said Geraint, "who is the owner
of this fair valley and yonder walled town?" "I will tell thee,
willingly," said he. "Gwiffert Petit he is called by the Franks, but
the Cymry call him the Little King." "Can I go by yonder bridge,"
said Geraint, "and by the lower highway that is beneath the town?"
Said the knight, "Thou canst not go by his tower on the other side of the
bridge, unless thou dost intend to combat him; because it is his custom to
encounter every knight that comes upon his lands." "I declare to
Heaven," said Geraint, "that I will, nevertheless, pursue my journey
that way." "If thou doest so," said the knight, "thou wilt
probably meet with shame and disgrace in reward for thy daring." Then
Geraint proceeded along the road that led to the town, and the road brought him
to a ground that was hard, and rugged, and high, and ridgy. And as he journeyed
thus, he beheld a knight following him upon a warhorse, strong, and large, and
proudly-stepping, and wide-hoofed, and broad-chested. And he never saw a man of
smaller stature than he who was upon the horse. And both he and his horse were
completely armed. When he had overtaken Geraint, he said to him, "Tell me,
chieftain, whether it is through ignorance or through presumption that thou
seekest to insult my dignity, and to infringe my rules." "Nay,"
answered Geraint, "I knew not this road was forbid to any." "Thou
didst know it," said the other, "come with me to my Court, to give me
satisfaction." "That will I not, by my faith," said Geraint;
"I would not go even to thy Lord's Court, excepting Arthur were thy
Lord." "By the hand of Arthur himself," said the knight, "I
will have satisfaction of thee, or receive my overthrow at thy hands." And
immediately they charged one another. And a squire of his came to serve him with
lances as he broke them. And they gave each other such hard and severe strokes,
that their shields lost all their colour. But it was very difficult for Geraint
to fight with him on account of his small size, for he was hardly able to get a
full aim at him with all the efforts he could make. And they fought thus until
their horses were brought down upon their knees; and at length Geraint threw the
knight headlong to the ground; and then they fought on foot, and, they gave one
another blows so boldly fierce, so frequent, and so severely powerful, that
their helmets were pierced, and their skullcaps were broken, and their arms were
shattered, and the light of their eyes was darkened by sweat and blood. At the
last Geraint became enraged, and he called to him all his strength; and boldly
angry, and swiftly resolute, and furiously determined, he lifted up his sword,
and struck him on the crown of his head a blow so mortally painful, so violent,
so fierce, and so penetrating, that it cut through all his head armour, and his
skin, and his flesh, until it wounded the very bone, and the sword flew out of
the hand of the Little King to the farthest end of the plain, and he besought
Geraint that he would have mercy and compassion upon him. "Though thou hast
been neither courteous nor just," said Geraint, "thou shalt have
mercy, upon condition that thou wilt become my ally, and engage never to fight
against me again, but to come to my assistance whenever thou hearest of my being
in trouble." "This will I do, gladly, Lord," said he. So he
pledged him his faith thereof. "And now, Lord, come with me," said he,
"to my Court yonder, to recover from thy weariness and fatigue."
"That will I not, by Heaven," said he.
Then Gwiffert Petit beheld Enid where she stood, and it grieved him to see
one of her noble mien appear so deeply afflicted. And he said to Geraint,
"My Lord, thou doest wrong not to take repose, and refresh thyself awhile;
for, if thou meetest with any difficulty in thy present condition, it will not
be easy for thee to surmount it." But Geraint would do no other than
proceed on his journey, and he mounted his horse in pain, and all covered with
blood. And the maiden went on first, and they proceeded towards the wood which
they saw before them.
And the heat of the sun was very great, and through the blood and sweat,
Geraint's armour cleaved to his flesh; and when they came into the wood, he
stood under a tree, to avoid the sun's heat; and his wounds pained him more than
they had done at the time when he received them. And the maiden stood under
another tree. And, lo! they heard the sound of horns and a tumultuous noise; and
the occasion of it was, that Arthur and his company had come down to the wood.
And while Geraint was considering which way he should go to avoid them, behold,
he was espied by a foot-page, who was an attendant on the Steward of the
Household; and he went to the Steward, and told him what kind of man he had seen
in the wood. Then the Steward caused his horse to be saddled, and he took his
lance and his shield, and went to the place where Geraint was. "Ah,
knight!" said he, "what dost thou here?" "I am standing
under a shady tree, to avoid the heat and the rays of the sun."
"Wherefore is thy journey, and who art thou?" "I seek adventures,
and go where I list." "Indeed," said Kai; then come with me to
see Arthur, who is here hard by." "That will I not, by Heaven,"
said Geraint. "Thou must needs come," said Kai. Then Geraint knew who
he was, but Kai did not know Geraint. And Kai attacked Geraint as best he could.
And Geraint became wroth, and he struck him with the shaft of his lance, so that
he rolled headlong to the ground. But chastisement worse than this would he not
inflict on him.
Scared and wildly Kai arose, and he mounted his horse, and went back to his
lodging. And thence he proceeded to Gwalchmai's tent. "Oh, Sir," said
he to Gwalchmai, "I was told by one of the attendants, that he saw in the
wood above a wounded knight, having on battered armour; and if thou dost right,
thou wilt go and see if this be true." "I care not if I do so,"
said Gwalchmai. "Take, then, thy horse, and some of thy armour," said
Kai; "for I hear that he is not over courteous to those who approach
him." So Gwalchmai took his spear and his shield, and mounted his horse,
and came to the spot where Geraint was. "Sir Knight," said he,
"wherefore is thy journey?" "I journey for my own pleasure, and
to seek the adventures of the world." "Wilt thou tell me who thou art;
or wilt thou come and visit Arthur, who is near at hand?" "I will make
no alliance with thee, nor will I go and visit Arthur," said he. And he
knew that it was Gwalchmai, but Gwalchmai knew him not. "I purpose not to
leave thee," said Gwalchmai, "till I know who thou art." And he
charged him with his lance, and struck him on his shield, so that the shaft was
shivered into splinters, and their horses were front to front. Then Gwalchmai
gazed fixedly upon him, and he knew him. "Ah, Geraint," said he,
"is it thou that art here?" "I am not Geraint," said he.
"Geraint thou art, by Heaven," he replied, "and a wretched and
insane expedition is this." Then he looked around, and beheld Enid, and he
welcomed her gladly. "Geraint," said Gwalchmai, "come thou and
see Arthur; he is thy lord and thy cousin." "I will not," said
he, "for I am not in a fit state to go and see any one." Thereupon,
behold, one of the pages came after Gwalchmai to speak to him. So he sent him to
apprise Arthur that Geraint was there wounded, and that he would not go to visit
him, and that it was pitiable to see the plight that he was in. And this he did
without Geraint's knowledge, inasmuch as he spoke in a whisper to the page.
"Entreat Arthur," said he, "to have his tent brought near to the
road, for he will not meet him willingly, and it is not easy to compel him in
the mood he is in." So the page came to Arthur, and told him this. And he
caused his tent to be removed unto the side of the road. And the maiden rejoiced
in her heart. And Gwalchmai led Geraint onwards along the road, till they came
to the place where Arthur was encamped, and the pages were pitching his tent by
the road-side. "Lord," said Geraint, "all hail unto thee."
"Heaven prosper thee; and who art thou?" said Arthur. "It is
Geraint," said Gwalchmai, "and of his own free will would he not come
to meet thee." "Verily," said Arthur, " he is bereft of his
reason." Then came Enid, and saluted Arthur. "Heaven protect
thee," said he. And thereupon he caused one of the pages to take her from
her horse. "Alas! Enid," said Arthur, what expedition is this?"
"I know not, Lord," said she, "save that it behoves me to journey
by the same road that he journeys." "My Lord," said Geraint,
"with thy permission we will depart." "Whither wilt thou
go?" said Arthur. "Thou canst not proceed now, unless it be unto thy
death." "He will not suffer himself to be invited by me," said
Gwalchmai. "But by me he will," said Arthur; "and, more-over, he
does not go from here until he is healed." "I had rather, Lord,"
said Geraint, "that thou wouldest let me go forth." "That will I
not, I declare to Heaven," said he. Then he caused a maiden to be sent for
to conduct Enid to the tent where Gwenhwyvar's chamber was. And Gwenhwyvar and
all her women were joyful at her coming; and they took off her riding-dress, and
placed other garments upon her. Arthur also called Kadyrieith, and ordered him
to pitch a tent for Geraint and the physicians; and he enjoined him to provide
him with abundance of all that might be requisite for him. And Kadyrieith did as
he had commanded him. And Morgan Tud and his disciples were brought to Geraint.
And Arthur and his hosts remained there nearly a month, whilst Geraint was
being healed. And when he was fully recovered, Geraint came to Arthur, and asked
his permission to depart. "I know not if thou art quite well."
"In truth I am, Lord," said Geraint. "I shall not believe thee
concerning that, but the physicians that were with thee." So Arthur caused
the physicians to be summoned to him, and asked them if it were true. "It
is true Lord," said Morgan Tud. So the next day Arthur permitted him to go
forth, and he pursued his journey. And on the same day Arthur removed thence.
And Geraint desired Enid to go on, and to keep before him, as she had formerly
done. And she went forward along the high road. And as they journeyed thus, they
heard an exceeding loud wailing near to them. "Stay thou here," said
he, "and I will go and see what is the cause of this wailing." "I
will," said she. Then he went forward unto an open glade that was near the
road. And in the glade he saw two horses, one having a man's saddle, and the
other a woman's saddle upon it. And, behold, there was a knight lying dead in
his armour, and a young damsel in a riding-dress standing over him, lamenting.
"Ah! Lady," said Geraint, " what hath befallen thee?"
"Behold," she answered, "I journeyed here with my beloved
husband, when, lo! three giants came upon us, and without any cause in the
world, they slew him." "Which way went they hence?" said Geraint.
"Yonder by the high road," she replied. So he returned to Enid.
"Go," said he, "to the lady that is below yonder, and await me
there till I come." She was sad when he ordered her to do thus, but
nevertheless she went to the damsel, whom it was ruth to hear, and she felt
certain that Geraint would never return. Meanwhile Geraint followed the giants,
and overtook them. And each of them was greater of stature than three other men,
and a huge club was on the shoulder of each. Then he rushed upon one of them,
and thrust his lance through his body. And having drawn it forth again, he
pierced another of them through likewise. But the third turned upon him, and
struck him with his club, so that he split his shield, and crushed his shoulder,
and opened his wounds anew, and all his blood began to flow from him. But
Geraint drew his sword, and attacked the giant, and gave him a blow on the crown
of his head so severe, and fierce, and violent, that his head and his neck were
split down to his shoulders, and he fell dead. So Geraint left him thus, and
returned to Enid. And when he saw her, he fell down lifeless from his horse.
Piercing, and loud, and thrilling was the cry that Enid uttered. And she came
and stood over him where he had fallen.
And at the sound of her cries came the Earl of Limours, and the host that
journeyed with him, whom her lamentations brought out of their road. And the
Earl said to Enid, "Alas, Lady, what hath befallen thee?" "Ah !
good Sir," said she, "the only man I have loved, or ever shall love,
is slain." Then he said to the other, "And what is the cause of thy
grief?" "They have slain my beloved husband also," said she.
"And who was it that slew them?" "Some giants," she
answered, "slew my best-beloved, and the other knight went in pursuit of
them, and came back in the state thou seest, his blood flowing excessively; but
it appears to me that he did not leave the giants without killing some of them,
if not all." The Earl caused the knight that was dead to be buried, but he
thought that there still remained some life in Geraint; and to see if he yet
would live, he had him carried with him in the hollow of his shield, and upon a
bier. And the two damsels went to the Court; and when they arrived there,
Geraint was placed upon a litter-couch in front of the table that was in the
hall. Then they all took off their travelling gear, and the Earl besought Enid
to do the same, and to clothe herself in other garments. "I will not, by
Heaven," said she. "Ah! Lady," said he, "be not so sorrowful
for this matter." "It were hard to persuade me to be otherwise,"
said she. "I will act towards thee in such wise, that thou needest not be
sorrowful, whether yonder knight live or die. Behold, a good Earldom, together
with myself, will I bestow on thee; be, therefore, happy and joyful."
"I declare to Heaven," said she, "that henceforth I shall never
be joyful while I live." "Come, then," said he, "and
eat." "No, by Heaven, I will not," she answered. "But, by
Heaven, thou shalt," said he. So he took her with him to the table against
her will, and many times desired her to eat. "I call Heaven to
witness," said she, "that I will not eat until the man that is upon
yonder bier shall eat likewise." "Thou caust not fulfil that,"
said the Earl, "yonder man is dead already." "I will prove that I
can," said she. Then he offered her a goblet of liquor. "Drink this
goblet," he said, "and it will cause thee to change thy mind."
"Evil betide me," she answered, "if I drink aught until he drink
also." "Truly," said the Earl, "it is of no more avail for
me to be gentle with thee than ungentle." And he gave her a box in the ear.
Thereupon she raised a loud and piercing shriek, and her lamentations were much
greater than they had been before, for she considered in her mind that had
Geraint been alive, he durst not have struck her thus. But, behold, at the sound
of her cry, Geraint revived from his swoon, and he sat up on the bier, and
finding his sword in the hollow of his shield, he rushed to the place where the
Earl was, and struck him a fiercely-wounding, severely-venomous, and
sternly-smiting blow upon the crown of his head, so that he clove him in twain,
until his sword was stayed by the table Then all left the board, and fled away.
And this was not so much through fear of the living as through the dread they
felt at seeing the dead man rise up to slay them. And Geraint looked upon Enid,
and he was grieved for two causes; one was, to see that Enid had lost her colour
and her wonted aspect; and the other, to know that she was in the right.
"Lady," said he, "knowest thou where our horses are?"
"I know, Lord, where thy horse is," she replied, "but I know not
where is the other. Thy horse is in the house yonder." So he went to the
house, and brought forth his horse, and mounted him, and took up Enid from the
ground and placed her upon the horse with him.
And he rode forward. And their road lay between two hedges. And the night was
gaining on the day. And lo! they saw behind them the shafts of spears betwixt
them and the sky, and they heard the trampling of horses, and the noise of a
host approaching. "I hear something following us," said he, "and
I will put thee on the other side of the hedge." And thus he did. And
thereupon, behold, a knight pricked towards him, and couched his lance. When
Enid saw this, she cried out, saying, "Oh! chieftain, whoever thou art,
what renown wilt thou gain by slaying a dead man?" "Oh! Heaven,"
said he, "is it Geraint?" "Yes, in truth," said she.
"And who art thou?" "I am the Little King," he answered,
"coming to thy assistance, for I heard that thou wast in trouble. And if
thou hadst followed my advice, none of these hardships would have befallen
thee." "Nothing can happen," said Geraint, "without the will
of Heaven, though much good results from counsel." "Yes," said
the Little King, "and I know good counsel for thee now. Come with me to the
court of a son-in-law of my sister, which is near here, and thou shalt have the
best medical assistance in the kingdom." "I will do so gladly,"
said Geraint. And Enid was placed upon the horse of one of the Little King's
squires, and they went forward to the Baron's palace. And they were received
there with gladness, and they met with hospitality and attention. And the next
morning they went to seek physicians and it was not long before they came, and
they attended Geraint until he was perfectly well. And while Geraint was under
medical care, the Little King caused his armour to be repaired, until it was as
good as it had ever been. And they remained there a fortnight and a month.
Then the Little King said to Geraint, "Now will we go towards my own
Court, to take rest, and amuse ourselves." "Not so," said
Geraint, "we will first journey for one day more, and return again."
"With all my heart," said the Little King, "do thou go
then." And early in the day they set forth. And more gladly and more
joyfully did Enid journey with them that day than she had ever done. And they
came to the main road. And, when they reached a place where the road divided in
two, they behold a man on foot coming towards them along one of these roads, and
Gwiffert asked the man whence he came. "I come," said he, " from
an errand in the country." "Tell me," said Geraint, "which
is the best for me to follow of these two roads?" "That is the best
for thee to follow," answered he, "for if thou goest by this one, thou
wilt never return. Below us," said he, " there is a hedge of mist, and
within it are enchanted games, and no one who has gone there has ever returned.
And the Court of the Earl Owain is there, and he permits no one to go to lodge
in the town, except he will go to his Court." "I declare to
Heaven," said Geraint, "that we will take the lower road." And
they went along it until they came to the town. And they took the fairest and
pleasantest place in the town for their lodging. And while they were thus,
behold, a young man came to them, and greeted them. "Heaven be propitious
to thee," said they. "Good Sirs," said he, "what
preparations are you making here?" "We are taking up our
lodging," said they, "to pass the night." "It is not the
custom with him who owns the town," he answered, "to permit any of
gentle birth, unless they come to stay in his Court, to abide here; therefore,
come ye to the Court." "We will come, gladly," said Geraint. And
they went with the page, and they were joyfully received. And the Earl came to
the hall to meet them, and he commanded the tables to be laid. And they washed,
and sat down. And this is the order in which they sat, Geraint on one side of
the Earl, and Enid on the other side and next to Enid the Little King, and then
the Countess next to Geraint; and all after that as became their rank. Then
Geraint recollected the games, and thought that he should not go to them; and on
that account he did not eat. Then the Earl looked upon Geraint, and considered,
and he bethought him that his not eating was because of the games, and it
grieved him that he had ever established those games, were it only on account of
losing such a youth as Geraint. And if Geraint had asked him to abolish the
games, he would gladly have done so. Then the Earl said to Geraint, "What
thought occupies thy mind, that thou dost not eat? If thou hesitatest about
going to the games, thou shalt not go, and no other of thy rank shall ever go
either." "Heaven reward thee," said Geraint., "but I wish
nothing better than to go to the games, and to be shown the way thither."
"If that is what thou dost prefer, thou shalt obtain it willingly."
"I do prefer it, indeed," said he. Then they ate., and they were amply
served, and they had a variety of gifts, and abundance of liquor. And when they
had finished eating they arose. And Geraint called for his horse and his armour,
and he accoutred both himself and his horse. And all the hosts went forth until
they came to the side of the hedge, and the hedge was so lofty, that it reached
as high as they could see in the air, and upon every stake in the hedge, except
two, there was the head of a man, and the number of stakes throughout the hedge
was very great. Then said the Little King, "May no one go in with the
chieftain?" "No one may," said Earl Owain. "Which way can I
enter?" inquired Geraint. "I know not," said Owain, "but
enter by the way that thou wilt, and that seemeth easiest to thee."
Then fearlessly and unhesitatingly Geraint dashed forward into the mist. And
on leaving the mist, he came to a large orchard; and in the orchard he saw an
open space, wherein was a tent of red satin; and the door of the tent was open,
and an apple-tree stood in front of the door of the tent; and on a branch of the
apple-tree hung a huge hunting-horn. Then he dismounted, and went into the tent;
and there was no one in the tent save one maiden sitting in a golden chair, and
another chair was opposite to her, empty. And Geraint went to the empty chair,
and sat down therein. "Ah! chieftain," said the maiden, "I would
not counsel thee to sit in that chair." "Wherefore?" said
Geraint. "The man to whom that chair belongs has never suffered another to
sit in it." "I care not," said Geraint, "though it displease
him that I sit in the chair." And thereupon they heard a mighty tumult
around the tent. And Geraint looked to see what was the cause of the tumult. And
he beheld without a knight mounted upon a warhorse, proudly snorting, high-mettled, and large of bone; and a robe of honour in two parts was upon him
and upon his horse, and beneath it was plenty of armour. " Tell me,
chieftain," said he to Geraint, "who it was that bade thee sit
there?" "Myself," answered he. "It was wrong of thee to do
me this shame and disgrace. Arise, and do me satisfaction for thine
insolence." Then Geraint arose; and they encountered immediately; and they
broke a set of lances, and a second set, and a third and they gave each other
fierce and frequent strokes; and at last Geraint became enraged, and he urged on
his horse, and rushed upon him, and gave him a thrust on the centre of his
shield, so that it was split, and so that the head of his lance went through his
armour, and his girths were broken, and he himself was borne headlong to the
ground the length of Geraint's lance and arm, over his horse's crupper.
"Oh, my Lord!" said he, "thy mercy, and thou shalt have what thou
wilt." "I only desire," said Geraint, "that this game shall
no longer exist here, nor the hedge of mist, nor magic, nor enchantment."
"Thou shalt have this gladly, Lord," he replied. "Cause, then,
the mist to disappear from this place," said Geraint. "Sound yonder
horn," said he, "and when thou soundest it, the mist will vanish; but
it will not go hence unless the horn be blown by the knight by whom I am
vanquished." And sad and sorrowful was Enid where she remained, through
anxiety concerning Geraint. Then Geraint went and sounded the horn. And at the
first blast he gave, the mist vanished. And all the hosts came together, and
they all became reconciled to each other. And the Earl invited Geraint and the
Little King to stay with him that night. And the next morning they separated.
And Geraint went towards his own dominions; and thenceforth he reigned
prosperously, and his warlike fame and splendour lasted with renown and honour
both to him and to Enid from that time forth.