that his calm and steadfast heart, true indeed to ladies' service, but never yet devoted to one particular female image, burst forth in a clear flame of love for the fair daughter of Sigurd. "What matters it," thought he to himself, "that it is more than a hundred years since she disappeared from earth? She sees so clearly into this heart of mine--and what more can a knight desire? wherefore she shall henceforth be my honoured love, and shall inspire me in battle and in song." And therewith he sang a lay on his new love, which ran in the following manner:
"They ride over hill and dale apace To seek for their love the fairest face-- They search through city and forest-glade To find for their love the gentlest maid-- They climb wherever a path may lead To seek the wisest dame for their meed. Ride on, ye knights: but ye never may see What the light of song has shown to me: Loveliest, gentlest, and wisest of all, Bold be the deeds that her name shall recall; What though she ne'er bless my earthly sight? Y
I remember this book being referred to in Louisa May Alcott's "Jo's Boys". It's one of Jo March Bhaer's favorite books and she compares Dan to the knight in this story.