a queen and of a noble house, you shall be slain by my knightly sword, and I will even take the reproach of slaying a woman, for no other hand than mine shall deal the blow."
Then she said, "0 false knight, show your warrant from God, man, or devil."
"This warrant from God, Swanhilda," he said, holding up his sword, "listen! Fifteen years ago, when I was just winning my spurs, you struck me, disgracing me before all the people; you cursed me, and mean that curse well enough. Men of the house of the Lilies, what sentence for that?"
"Death!" they said.
"Listen! Afterwards you slew my cousin, your husband, treacherously, in the most cursed way, stabbing him in the throat, as the stars in the canopy above him looked down on the shut eyes of him. Men of the house of Lily, what sentence for that?"
"Death!" they said.
"Do you hear them. Queen? There is warrant from man; for the devil, I do not reverence him enough to take warrant from him, but, as I look at that face of yours, I think that even
William Morris (1834-1896) was a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood whose ideals are centered in this short story.
Morris was obsessed with medieval world. In the prose fantasy The Hollow Land (actually published in 1856) an unjust knight enters an eartly paradise. He departs it, becomes aged, and finally regains the land through devotion to pictorial art.
It's airs appear extravagent and verbose for today's tastes, but this story works as an excellent example of 19th century romantic fiction.
A short read. It doesn't really have a story and ends blandly. It follows in the same make as an epic translated poem, but isn't and can't claim even that interest. But it is short and can make for an afternoon diversion if you don't have anything better to do.
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