The End of the Quest

UNARM him here. Now wish him rest.
His was the fate of those who fail;
Who never end the knightly quest,
Nor ever find the Holy Grail.
He was the fieriest lance in all
That virgin honor called to dare;
The courtliest of the knights in hall,
The boldest at the barrière.
Joyful he took the sacred task
That led him far by flood and field;
His lady’s favor at his casque,
God’s cross upon his argent shield.
See where the Paynim point has cleft
The crimson cross that could not save !
See where the scimitar has reft
The favor that his lady gave!
For this poor fate he rode so far
With faith untouched by toil or time;
A perfect knight in press of war,
Stainless before the Mystic Shrine.
One finds the Rose and one the rod;
The weak achieve, the mighty fail.
None knows the dark design but God,
Who made the Knight and made the Grail.
The single eye, the steadfast heart,
The strong endurance of the day,
The patience under wound and smart —
Shall all these utterly decay ?
The long adventure resteth here;
His was the lot of those who fail,
Who ride unfotiled by sin or fear,
Yet never find the Holy Grail.
Frank Lillie Pollock.