The castle of this ancient lord had a mighty keep. Beneath this tower was a right fair orchard, together with a close, shut in by a wall of green marble, very strong and high. This wall had one only gate, and the door was watched of warders, both night and day. On the other side of this garden was the sea, so that none might do his errand in the castle therefrom, save in a boat.
To hold his dame in the greater surety, the King had built a bower within the wall; there was no fairer chamber beneath the sun. The first room was the Queen's chapel. Beyond this was the lady's bedchamber, painted all over with shapes and colours most wonderful to behold.
On one wall might be seen Dame Venus, the goddess of Love, sweetly flushed as when she walked the water, lovely as life, teaching men how they should bear them in loyal service to their lady.
On another wall, the goddess threw Ovid's book within a fire of coals. A scroll issuing from her lips proclaimed that those who read therein, and strove to ease them of their pains, would find from her neither service nor favour. In this chamber the lady was put in ward, and with her a certain maiden to hold her company.
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This damsel was her niece, since she was her sister's child, and there was great love betwixt the twain. When the Queen walked within the garden, or went abroad, this maiden was ever by her side, and came again with her to the house. Save this damsel, neither man nor woman entered in the bower, nor issued forth from out the wall. One only man possessed the key of the postern, an aged priest, very white and frail. This priest recited the service of God within the chapel, and served the Queen's plate and cup when she ate meat at table.
Now, on a day, the Queen had fallen asleep after meat, and on her awaking would walk a little in the garden. She called her companion to her, and the two went forth to be glad amongst the flowers. As they looked across the sea they marked a ship drawing near the land, rising and falling upon the waves. Very fearful was the Queen thereat, for the vessel came to anchorage, though there was no helmsman to direct her course.
The dame's face became sanguine for dread, and she turned her about to flee, because of her exceeding fear. Her maiden, who was of more courage than she, stayed her mistress with many comforting words. For her part she was very desirous to know what this thing meant.
She hastened to the shore, and laying aside her mantle, climbed within this wondrous vessel. Thereon she found no living soul, save only the knight sleeping fast within the pavilion. The damsel looked long upon the knight, for pale he was as wax, and well she deemed him dead. She returned forthwith to the Queen, and told her of this marvel, and of the good knight who was slain.
Should he be yet alive perchance he will speak, and tell us of his case. Without more tarrying the two damsels mounted on the ship, the lady before, and her maiden following after. When the Queen entered in the pavilion she stayed her feet before the bed, for joy and grief of what she saw. She might not refrain her eyes from gazing on the knight, for her heart was ravished with his beauty, and she sorrowed beyond measure, because of his grievous hurt.
To herself she said, "In a bad hour cometh the goodly youth. Gugemar awoke at the touch, and saluted the dame as sweetly as he was able, for well he knew that he had come to a Christian land. The lady, full of thought, returned him his salutation right courteously, though the tears were yet in her eyes.
Straightway she asked of him from what realm he came, and of what people, and in what war he had taken his hurt. If it pleases you to hear my tale I will tell you the truth, and in nothing will I lie. I am a knight of Little Brittany. Yesterday I chased a wonderful white deer within the forest.
The shaft with which I struck her to my hurt, returned again on me, and caused this wound upon my thigh, which may never be searched, nor made whole. For this wondrous Beast raised her plaint in a mortal tongue. She cursed me loudly, with many evil words, swearing that never might this sore be healed, save by one only damsel in the world, and her I know not where to find. When I heard my luckless fate I left the wood with what speed I might, and coming to a harbour, not far from thence, I lighted on this ship. For my sins I climbed therein. Then without oars or helm this boat ravished me from shore; so that I know not where I have come, nor what is the name of this city.
Fair lady, for God's love, counsel me of your good grace, for I know not where to turn, nor how to govern the ship.
This realm and city are the appanage of my husband. He is a right rich lord, of high lineage, but old and very full of years.
Also he is jealous beyond all measure; therefore it is that I see you now. By reason of his jealousy he has shut me fast between high walls, entered by one narrow door, with an ancient priest to keep the key.
May God requite him for his deed. Night and day I am guarded in this prison, from whence I may never go forth, without the knowledge of my lord. A fantastic collection of romantic tales translated from the original 12th century Anglo-Norman, originally known as the Lais of Marie de France.
A fantastic collection of romantic tales translated from the original 12th century Anglo-Norman, Though little is known about Marie de France, her work changed romantic writing forever. She wrote within a court unknown to scholars, in a form of Anglo-Norman French. Inspired by the Greeks and Gallant knights, blushing maidens, tyrannical lords, damsels in distress, feats of courage, love pure and true -- you'll find all of this and more in this enchanting collection of tales from France's medieval period.
Selected from the classic twelfth-century text Lais of Marie de France and rendered in an engaging English translation, this Gallant knights, blushing maidens, tyrannical lords, damsels in distress, feats of courage, love This collection features the best works of the Middle Ages' greatest female author, including captivating variations on Arthurian myths and other stories of magic and mystery. This collection features the best works of the Middle Ages' greatest female author, including This edition includes Edward Gallagher's prose translations of The Lays of Marie de France ; a general introduction; a map; commentaries on the lays; two anonymous Breton lays—- The Lay of Melion and The Lay of Tyolet ; a glossary of proper names; a glossary of specialized terms; and an appendix of selected texts in the Old French, including This multi-faceted collection of women's perspectives on the renaissance in philosophical practices provides an international overview on the professional practice of philosophical counseling as rooted in the ancient philosophical discipline of life and its essential difference from modern mainstream philosophy.
He comes upon the king, out hunting, and the king realizes that he is not a true wolf and takes him back to his court. Bisclavret is not necessarily dangerous in his wolf form, as most werewolves are usually depicted, though he does attack those whom he feels have wronged him. All his peers will think he is in love with a hag. Typically, the woman gives the knight the opportunity to select which way she will remain: beautiful, but not true to him alone, or ugly but faithful.
Another version of this story concerns Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle. When Guinevere sidles over to Lanval one day and tries to convince him to engage in some hanky panky, he resists, saying he cannot betray his king. Guinevere comes off terrible no matter which way you look at it. There are also obvious strands of female power that run through the stories.
The stories are charming, and the book is a quick though not a light read.