- skip - Brewer’s

Elaʹine (2 syl.)


The “lily maid of Asʹtolat” (Guildford, in Surrey), who loved Sir Lancelot “with that love which was her doom.” Sir Lancelot, being sworn to celibacy, could not have married her, even if he had been willing; and, unhappily, what little love he had was bestowed on the queen. Elaine felt that her love was a vain thing, and died. According to her last request, the bed on which she died was placed on a barge, and on it was laid her dead body, arrayed in white, a lily in her right hand, and a letter avowing her love in the left. An old dumb servitor steered and rowed the barge up the river, and when it stopped at the palace staith, King Arthur ordered the body to be brought in. The letter being read, Arthur directed that the maiden should be buried like a queen, with her sad story blazoned on her tomb. The tale is taken from Sir T. Malory’s History of Prince Arthur, part iii. Tennyson turned it into blank verse. (Idylls of the King; Elaine.)

previous entry · index · next entry


Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

previous entry · index · next entry

Eikon Basilikē [Portraiture of the King]
Ejusdem Farinæ (Latin)
El Dorado
El Infante de Antequera
El Islam
El Khidr
Elbow Grease
Elbow Room
Elden Hole
Elder Brethren
Eleanor Crosses

Linking here:

Lady of Shallott
Lancelot (Sir)
Lily Maid of Astolat

See Also: