Sir Thomas Malory (d. 1471). The Holy Grail. The Harvard Classics. 190914.
The Sixteenth Book
How Sir Bors Told His Dream to a Priest, Which He Had Dreamed and of the Counsel That the Priest Gave to Him
NOW leave we him here, said the good man, and go we to our harbour till to-morrow; we will come here again to do him service. Sir, said Bors, be ye a priest? Yea forsooth, said he. Then I pray you tell me a dream that befell to me the last night. Say on, said he. Then he began so much to tell him of the great bird in the forest, and after told him of his birds, one white, another black, and of the rotten tree, and of the white flowers. Sir, I shall tell you a part now, and the other dele to-morrow. The white fowl betokeneth a gentlewoman, fair and rich, which loved thee paramours, and hath loved thee long; and if thou warne her love she shall go die anon, if thou have no pity on her. That signifieth the great bird, the which shall make thee to warne her. Now for no fear that thou hast, nor for no dread that thou hast of God, thou shalt not warne her, but thou wouldst not do it for to be holden chaste, for to conquer the loos of the vain glory of the world; for that shall befall thee now an thou warne her, that Launcelot, the good knight, thy cousin, shall die. And therefore men shall now say that thou art a manslayer, both of thy brother, Sir Lionel, and of thy cousin, Sir Launcelot du Lake, the which thou mightest have saved and rescued easily, but thou weenest to rescue a maid which pertaineth nothing to thee. Now look thou whether it had been greater harm of thy brothers death, or else to have suffered her to have lost her maidenhood. Then asked he him: Hast thou heard the tokens of thy dream the which I have told to you? Yea forsooth, said Sir Bors, all your exposition and declaring of my dream I have well understood and heard. Then said the man in this black clothing; Then is it in thy default if Sir Launcelot, thy cousin, die. Sir, said Bors, that were me loth, for wit ye well there is nothing in the world but I had lever do it than to see my lord Sir Launcelot du Lake, to die in my default. Choose ye now the one or the other, said the good man. And then he led Sir Bors into an high tower, and there he found knights and ladies: those ladies said he was welcome, and so they unarmed him. And when he was in his doublet men brought him a mantle furred with ermine, and put it about him; and then they made him such cheer that he had forgotten all his sorrow and anguish, and only set his heart in these delights and dainties, and took no thought more for his brother, Sir Lionel, neither of Sir Launcelot du Lake, his cousin. And anon came out of a chamber to him the fairest lady that ever he saw, and more richer bysene than ever he saw Queen Guenever or any other estate. Lo, said they, Sir Bors, here is the lady unto whom we owe all our service, and I trow she be the richest lady and the fairest of all the world, and the which loveth you best above all other knights, for she will have no knight but you. And when he understood that language he was abashed. Not for then she saluted him, and he her; and then they sat down together and spake of many things, in so much that she besought him to be her love, for she had loved him above all earthly men, and she should make him richer than ever was man of his age. When Bors understood her words he was right evil at ease, which in no manner would not break chasity, so wist not he how to answer her.