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WHILE heralds are unfolding, hot with haste,
The Emperor's banners crimsoning the day,
The nobles throng in sumptuous array,
And billow round the lists the sun lays waste.


Lone at the river's brim the wan and chaste
Elsa weeps tears that for the wonder pray,
But golden trumpets to the welkin bray,
And noisy knights surge round her brazen-faced.


Of a sudden silence, and terror in all eyes,
For, like a dream come forth from seas and skies,
Lo, to the shingles wafted by a gale,


With swan now swimming after soaring flight,
Looms, underneath his helmet's broken light,
The earnest hero of the Holy Grail.