A Version in Hexameter
“Woven in language of myths –let the truth be imparted in pictures”
1. Parsifal and Herzeleide
Hidden away in the woodlands – has Parsifal grown into manhood,
Blind to the ways of the world, – knowing naught of the rulers of kingdoms.
ThereHerzeleide, his mother – tells only the secrets of nature;
Beauty of streams, and the paths – of the forest are all he encounters.
Timeweaves a mystery that veils – any thought of another existence.
Life is the turning of flower – to fruit, and provisions for winter
Have to be gathered and sought for, – so follows the flow of the seasons
2. His Discovery
Then on a day in the springtime, – while wandering over a clearing,
Parsifal spies the bright glow – of clear sunlight on metal. He follows,
Wondering what it might be – and beholds seven horsemen in armour.
He bows before them in wonder, – and learns they are knights of King Arthur,
Seeking the truth and upholding- the right, protecting the ladies.
Courtesy, freedom, and courage – are virtues pursued by the knighthood.
3. Herzeleide’s Distress
Brimming with hopes he runs home; – at the door of the hut, he now pauses,
“Mother, ‘tis time that I part; – to be knighted is my heart’s desire,
There, at the court of King Arthur – to willingly serve where I’m needed.
It is the Grail Quest they speak of – adventurous trials, seeking goodness.
-‘Now’, thought his mother, ‘my plan – to keep him from danger is ruined;
So, like his father, he’ll go – and be killed by some knight seeking swordplay’.
ThenHerzeleide gives answer: – “My fears have not been without reason.
Why must you now leave your mother? – To perilous deeds you are driven.
Go, if you must, you’ve your freedom; – May God keep you safe from all danger!”
-‘What can I do to protect him?’ – she thinks. ‘He knows naught of the problems
Waiting to threaten his pathway’- At last an idea comes to her:
-‘Foolish he is without doubt – to negate my advice and precautions,
So as a fool I shall clothe him. – At court they will break out with laughter;
Then they will send him away; – I will have him once more at my hearth fire.’-
Hiding her tears Herzeleide – lets Parsifal go to his future.
Sorrowful is her demeanour – she knows that he has no conception
What it has cost her to lose him. – No more can she do to persuade him.
–Suddenly sad Herzeleide – succumbs to the shock and falls over,
Pierced by the anguish; Bereft – of all hope, she then dies on the threshold.
4. Sigune’s Lament
Parsifal meanwhile has parted. – Nary a thought of his mother
Enters his head, as he wanders – O’er hillside and woodland. For only
Knighthood and courage awakes – in his mind. He is called to attention:
Wailing in loud lamentations – is heard; as he searches the pathway,
Running to see what has happened, – he meets with his cousin, Sigune.
Stricken with sorrow, she’s mourning – her husband, brave Schionatolander.
Dead on the ground he rests; – he was killed while defending the forest
Owned by the man who stands staring – distraught by the terrible bloodshed.
Parsifal has no idea – that it’s he who possesses the birthright.
For he has never been told – that he would inherit the forest.
Destined is he to discover – the truth of his family title.
“Parsifal”, utters Sigune, – “’tis time that you knew of your forebears;
And of your name which means ‘pierced – through the middle’ or ‘pierced through the valleys’.
Look what remains of my bridegroom. – His life has been given away now.
After this morning let grief – be my lot, my companion be sorrow.
Go on your way now; you may – never live to behold your possessions!”
5. The Fight for his Armour
“Onward to forge” is my motto. – Don’t tarry; no matter if tragic
Happenings come to confront you – Now Schionatolander would surely
Want me to stride to the deeds – which are pending “to fight against evil”…
Parsifal journeys along. – When he comes to the court, he’s astonished.
Everyone’s dressed in fine clothing; – ‘tis just as his mother expected;
Dressed as a fool in patched trousers, – and wearing the boots of a farmer;
Ridicule meets his endeavour. – But even while heartily laughing,
Arthur the King watches closely. – He speaks then in earnest, “If you would
Honestly win knightly armour, – befitting the Round Table glory,
There is a way now. You must – try to conquer the Red Knight in jousting.
No one has dared meet that challenge…” – “but I”, replied Parsifal bravely,
“Powerful he may well be, – yet no fear will affect my decision.”
Sunlight is shining on spearhead. – The Red Knight, enormous on horseback,
Knocks the young lad down at once; – then he walks away scoffing in laughter.
Parsifal, furious, follows, – and shouting a challenge attacks him.
Turning, the Red Knight is briefly – viewed, facing a spear unexpected!
So, are the tables reversed, – and the Red Knight is speared through the forehead!
Dead is the ‘dangerous foe’. – Thus does Parsifal win his own armour.
6. The Castle of Gurnemanz
Skills will be needed in battle; – there lives an old knight in a castle.
Parsifal goes there alone – in a tournament, he’ll practice jousting.
PrinceGurnemanz vows to teach him – to fight and win justly at swordplay.
Chivalrous conduct he learns, – whereby honour is not to be doubted.
“Sure of yourself, you need not – ever ask others what is the problem.
Act and give answer befitting – a knight, as is manly and proper.”
Such is the discipline that – leads to error untold, in the future.
Journeying onward to meet – his adventure, he travels o’er mountains.
Seeking his fate, he then comes – to a swift flowing stream that he follows
Down to the sea; a fine castle – is under attack; in a city,
Sieged by the King Clamidae – who is trying to court a fine lady.
She is a princess whose name – is Kondwiramur. Radiant in beauty,
Fair and demur, she will not – deign to marry a scoundrel who plunders
Kingdoms, and murdered her father. – A vision of her now appears to our hero,
Telling her sorrow, revealing – to him in the night how she suffers.
Parsifal vows to prevail – against whatever obstacles present
He now intends to win back – and restore Pelrapur and the kingdom.
Falling in love with the princess – whose beauty surpasses all others,
Parsifal flares with the fire – that he’s destined to show in his lifetime.
Now he is brave without measure, – and conquers the forces opposing.
Daring, with nary a doubt, – he restores the lost freedom and justice.
Fortune has smiled on the lovers. – Kondwiramor Queen and her destined
Parsifal marry and live – in sweet harmony; meanwhile the kingdom
Celebrates victory; peace – now prevails, as the evil is vanquished.
But, once again, an idea – occurs to the newly wed husband.
He is now longing to see – his dear mother again-she who raised him
Notrealising this futile – desire will cause long separation,
Parsifal then asks his wife – to let him depart on his journey.
“Granted your wish, for I really – do love you; go search for your mother.
May you fare well; I do hope – your desire is fulfilled and that we might
Soon be together again, dear!” – So Parsifal leaves the next morning.
If he could know that his wife, – was now pregnant, and would bear him twin sons,
He would be bound to stay with her. – However, the news is a secret,
Kept by the Queen; so her husband – is free to pursue his desire.