Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Castle of the Maidens

There is a legend about a castle in Arthurian romance which is rumored to contain young women, either as inmates or prisoners. The castle had been ruled by Duke Lianour until he was slain by seven brothers who then took it over. It wasn't long before, they, too, fell at the hands of three of King Arthur's knights; afterwards, the duke's daughter took charge of it.

"According to the tale, the voice of God told Galahad to go to the 'Castle of Maidens' and destroy the seven wicked brothers. Although he was forewarned, Galahad pressed forward until he reached the castle.  The brothers came out and threatened to kill him, but Galahad took the challenge and confronted seven brothers.  And as they thrust forward, they were in shock to find that the spears broke on Galahad's powerful shield...the shield  of Joseph of Arimathea.  The bold and brave Galahad proceeded to fight the seven brothers, and when they found that they could not overcome him, they fled into the castle and out the other side. Soon thereafter, Galahad found out that Gawaine, Gareth, and Uwaine had captured and slain the brothers.

Galahad and the Castle of the Seven Maidens
THE other maidens raised their eyes to him  
Who stumbled in before them when the fight  
Had left him victor, with a victor's right. 
I think his eyes with quick hot tears grew dim;  
He scarcely saw her swaying white and slim,  
And trembling slightly, dreaming of his might,  
Nor knew he touched her hand, as strangely light  
As a wan wraith's beside a river's rim.
The other maidens raised their eyes to see
And only she has hid her face away,
And yet I ween she loved him more than they,
And very fairly fashioned was her face.
Yet for Love's shame and sweet humility,
She dared not meet him with their queenlike grace.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry, but all I can think of is the Maidens Castle sketch in Monty Python and the Holy Grail!