THE QUEST OF THE HOLY GRAAL 95
Lancelot's blessing, and then took off his helm and kissed him. And there was great joy between them, and they told each other all that had befallen them since they left King Arthur's Court. Then Galahad saw the gentlewoman dead on the bed, and he knew her, and said he held her in great worship, and that she was the best maid in the world, and how it was great pity that she had come to her death. But when Lancelot heard that Galahad had won the marvellous sword he prayed that he might see it, and kissed the pommel and the hilt, and the scabbard. ' In truth,' he said, ' never did I know of adventures so wonderful and strange.' So dwelled Lancelot and Galahad in that ship for half a year, and served God daily and nightly with all their power. And after six months had gone it befell that on a Monday they drifted to the edge of the forest, where they saw a Knight with white armour bestriding one horse and holding another all white, by the bridle. And he came to the ship, and saluted the two Knights and said, ' Galahad, you have been long enough with your father, therefore leave that ship and start upon this horse, and go on the quest of the Holy Graal.' So Galahad went to his father and kissed him, saying,' Fair sweet father, I know not if I shall see you more till I have beheld the Holy Graal.' Then they heard a voice which said, ' The one shall never see the other till the day of doom.' 'Now, Galahad,' said Lancelot, ' since we are to bid farewell for ever now, I pray to the great Father to preserve me and you both.' ' Sir,' answered Galahad, ' no prayer availeth so much as yours.'
The next day Sir Lancelot made his way back to Camelot, where he found King Arthur and Guenevere ; but many of the Knights of the Round Table were slain and destroyed more than the half. All the Court was passing glad to see Sir Lancelot, and the King asked many tidings of his son Sir Galahad.