BY ROBERT SOUTHEY 1872.
hen the Child of the Sea gave his shield and helmet to Gandalin, and proceeded. They had not ridden far, when they saw a damsel coming on her palfrey, and she had in her hand a lance with its belt, and presently another damsel, who came by a different path, joined her, and they both came on communing together. When they reached him, she with the weapon said, Take this lance, sir, and I tell you that within three days it will stand ye in good stead, as therewith ye shall deliver from death the house whence ye are descended. He, wondering at her words, replied, How, damsel, can a house live or die? She answered, So it will be ; and this lance I give you for some services which from you I expect; the first whereof shall be when you shall do an honour to one of your friends, whereby he shall be put into the worst danger that any knight hath been these ten years space. Damsel, said he, such honour, if God please, I will not do my friend. She answered, So it will be,- and spurred her palfrey, and departed. Now this was Urganda the Unknown.
The other damsel who remained, then said to him, Sir knight, I am from a strange land, and, if it please you, will abide with you till the third day, and defer my journey to my mistress. Whence are you ? said he.From Denmark.And he knew this was truth, for he remembered the language of Oriana in her childhood. Then, said he, if ye please, damsel, to go with me, I will defend ye to my power; but I pray ye, know ye that other damsel ? Never till this meeting : she told me that lance was for the best knight in the world ; and desired me, after her departure, to tell ye that she bare you great affection, and that her name was Urganda the Unknown. Ah God! quoth he, how unfortunate I am ! and I cannot find her against her will! And thus devising they went until the dark evening overtook them.
At this time they met a squire, who asked where they were going. Along the road, replied the Child. That, quoth he, is true; but if you mean to have lodging, ye must turn aside from it. There is no dwelling place near, except my father's castle, and there shall ye be well entertained. And this the squire did, because far on was a castle which they could not pass without doing battle, and he had never seen the combat of knights errant. So they were well served that night, and on the morrow when they departed, the squire said he would bring them again into their way, as far as a castle which they must pass.
After riding about three leagues they saw the castle, and a goodly one it seemed, for before it ran a river, and it had a drawbridge, whereon was a fair tower at the end. The damsel and the squires rode first, but as soon as the damsel attempted to pass, six fellows armed with cuirasses and head-pieces seized her bridle, and told her to swear or she should die. Swear what? quoth she. Swear never to show favour to your lover till he promise you to help King Abies against King Perion. With that she cried aloud for help, and the Child of the Sea caught a hatchet from one of the ruffians, and felled him. The rest fell upon him; one he sliced to the eyes, another from the shoulder to the ribs: seeing this their comrades fled. Now damsel proceed, quoth he, and evil be to them that encourage such villainy. But now as they went on, a great noise was heard in the castle, and the damsel told him to take his arms. Fear not, said he, where ladies are so evil intreated, there can be no men worth any thing. Sir, quoth she, I dare not go on unless you take your arms. So he took them, and proceeded through the gate of the castle, where they met a squire lamenting aloud,Ah God, they are killing the best knight in the world for not taking an oath which he cannot keep! The Child of the Sea passed him, and saw King Perion beset by two knights and ten halberders, who had slain his horse, and now assailed him on all sides, crying, Swear or die. Traitors! quoth the Child, you shall die for him. With that they called to the porter to shut the castle-gate; and half of them leaving King Perion fell upon the knight. But soon had he slain the two knights, and rode among the halberders, scattering them, till, with the king's help, they were all slain, except some some few who got upon the walls. But then the Child alighted and followed them, and some in their fear leapt down, two only fled into a chamber, where lay an old knight, so aged that he could not rise, who cried out, From whom are ye flying, villains ? From a knight, who hath played the devil  in your castle, killed both your nephews, and all our comrades. The Child of the Sea had followed them, and bade them shew him their master or he would slay them; and, when he saw the old man in bed, he blessed himself, and said, Thou old wretch ! art thou on the very edge of the grave, and dost thou maintain such customs ? With these words he made offer to smite off his head. Ah, mercy! quoth the old man. Swear then, said the knight, that, while thou livest, no more such treason be maintained here. Whereto the old man right gladly took his oath. Now tell me, wherefore hast thou heretofore kept this customs? For the love of King Abies of Ireland, who is my nephew, and because I could not aid him with my body, I wished to assist him with such knights errant as passed this way. False villain ! quoth the Child of the Sea. With that he kicked down the bed, and the old man with it, and, commending him to all the devils, he left him, and went down into the court, and took the horse of one of the knights whom he had slain, and leading it to King Perion, cried, Mount, sir! for I little like this place, and those who are in it. They then departed.
The Child of the Sea would not take off his helmet, lest the king should know him, and when Perion asked who he was that had succoured him in such need, he persisted in concealing himself, till the damsel took his helmet off, then presently Perion knew him, that it was the youth whom he had knighted at the ladies' request, and embracing him he said, Truly I now know you better than before. Sir, quoth the Child, I knew you well, that it was you who gave me the order of knighthood, wherewith, so please it God, I shall serve you in your wars in Gaul. They came at length to a double way, and the knight asked Perion which way he took. The left, answered the king, for it leadeth to my country. God have you then in his keeping, quoth the Child, for I must take the right. Then said Perion, I pray you remember your promise. So took they leave of each other. The damsel then said to the Child of the Sea, Sir knight, I have hitherto kept ye company, because the damsel who gave you the lance said she brought it for the best knight in the world, and surely I have seen so much that I know it was a truth. Now I will shape my course towards my lady. And who is she? Oriana, the daughter of King Lisuarte. But when he heard his lady named, his heart trembled in such sort that he had nigh fallen from his horse. Gandalin, who saw him totter, ran to him, and he cried, My heart faileth me! The damsel, thinking some sudden sickness was the cause thereof, would have had him unarmed, but he told her it was needless, and that he was liable to such seizures. They then parted company: the damsel and the squire toward the court of Languines, and the Child of the Sea and Gandalin going where fortune guided them. Two days they rode without adventure, and on the third about mid-day arrived in sight of a goodly castle, that belonged to Galpano, the most valliant knight in those parts, but who followed the service of the wicked enemy, instead of the Lord's, who had endowed him with strength and courage. He had a custom to make all ladies and damsels that passed his castle enter in, where forcibly he took his will of them, and made them swear never to take other lovers than him, which, if they refused, he beheaded them, and what knights came he made combat with his two brethren, whom, if they conquered, he would force the conqueror to deal with himself, who was the strongest knight in all that country, and he made them swear to call them selves the conquered by Galpano, else he cut off their heads; and, when they had sworn, he stript them of all they had, and sent them away afoot.
 Que faze diabluras.