The Vision of Sir Launfal eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 124 pages of information about The Vision of Sir Launfal.


    Then the soul of the leper stood up in his eyes
      And looked at Sir Launfal, and straightway he
    Remembered in what a haughtier guise 290
      He had flung an alms to leprosie,
    When he girt his young life up in gilded mail
    And set forth in search of the Holy Grail. 
    The heart within him was ashes and dust;
    He parted in twain his single crust, 295
    He broke the ice on the streamlet’s brink,
    And gave the leper to eat and drink: 
    ’T was a mouldy crust of coarse brown bread,
      ’T was water out of a wooden bowl,—­
    Yet with fine wheaten bread was the leper fed, 300
      And ’t was red wine he drank with his thirsty soul.

[Illustration:  So he Mused, as he sat, of a sunnier clime.]


    As Sir Launfal mused with a downcast face,
    A light shone round about the place;
    The leper no longer crouched at his side,
    But stood before him glorified, 305
    Shining and tall and fair and straight
    As the pillar that stood by the Beautiful Gate,—­
    Himself the Gate whereby men can
    Enter the temple of God in Man.


    His words were shed softer than leaves from the pine, 310
    And they fell on Sir Launfal as snows on the brine,
    That mingle their softness and quiet in one
    With the shaggy unrest they float down upon;
    And the voice that was calmer than silence said,
    “Lo it is I, be not afraid! 315
    In many climes, without avail,
    Thou hast spent thy life for the Holy Grail;
    Behold, it is here,—­this cup which thou
    Didst fill at the streamlet for Me but now;
    This crust is My body broken for thee, 320
    This water His blood that died on the tree;
    The Holy Supper is kept, indeed,
    In whatso we share with another’s need: 
    Not what we give, but what we share,—­
    For the gift without the giver is bare; 325
    Who gives himself with his alms feeds three,—­
    Himself, his hungering neighbor, and Me.”


    Sir Launfal awoke as from a swound:—­
    “The Grail in my castle here is found! 
    Hang my idle armor up on the wall, 330
    Let it be the spider’s banquet-hall;
    He must be fenced with stronger mail
    Who would seek and find the Holy Grail.”


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The Vision of Sir Launfal from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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