THE BOOK OF ROMANCE - online children's book

King Arthur, His Court and Knights in the Age of Chivalry, by Andrew Lang

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68 THE QUEST OF THE HOLY GRAAL
cry came again: ' Fetch me a priest, for I die !' and the King ran at great speed into the hall, while the Queen and the Chamberlain followed him with torches and can­dles. ' What aileth you ? ' asked the King of his squire, and the squire told him of all that he had dreamed. ' Ha,' said the King, ' is it, then, a dream ?' ' Yes, Sir,' answered the squire, ' but it is a right foul dream for me, for right foully it hath come true,' and he lifted his left arm, and said, ' Sir, look you here ! Lo, here is the knife that was struck in my side up to the haft.' After that, he drew forth the candlestick, and showed it to the King. ' Sir, for this candlestick that I present to you was I wounded to the death !' The King took the candlestick in his hands and looked at it, and none so rich had he seen before, and he bade the Queen look also. ' Sir,' said the squire again, ' draw not forth the knife out of my body till I be shriven of the priest.' So the King commanded that a priest should be sent for, and when the squire had confessed his sins, the King drew the knife out of the body and the soul departed forthwith. Then the King grieved that the young man had come to his death in such strange wise, and ordered him a fair burial, and desired that the golden candlestick should be sent to the Church of St. Paul in London, which at that time was newly built.
After this King Arthur would have none to go with him on his quest, and many strange adventures he achieved before he reached the chapel of St. Augustine, which was in the midst of the White Forest. There he alighted from his horse, and sought to enter, but though there was neither door nor bar he might not pass the threshold. But from without he heard wondrous voices singing, and saw a light shining brighter than any that he had seen before, and visions such as he scarcely dared to look upon. And he resolved greatly to amend his sins, and to bring peace and order into his kingdom. So he set forth, strengthened and comforted, and after divers more adventures returned to his Court.
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