The Holy Grail

Read and listen to the poem 'The Holy Grail' by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Listen to it being read by a native speaker of English from the south of England here.

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From noiseful arms, and acts of prowess done

In tournament or tilt, Sir Percivale,

Whom Arthur and his knighthood called

The Pure, Had passed into the silent life of prayer,

Praise, fast, and alms; and leaving for the cowl

The helmet in an abbey far away

From Camelot, there, and not long after, died.


`Nay, monk! what phantom?' answered Percivale.

`The cup, the cup itself, from which our

Lord Drank at the last sad supper with his own.

This, from the blessed land of Aromat--

After the day of darkness, when the dead

Went wandering o'er Moriah--

the good saint Arimathan Joseph, journeying brought

To Glastonbury, where the winter thorn

Blossoms at Christmas, mindful of our Lord.

And there awhile it bode; and if a man

Could touch or see it, he was healed at once,

By faith, of all his ills. But then the times

Grew to such evil that the holy cup

Was caught away to Heaven, and disappeared.'


To whom the monk: `From our old books I know

That Joseph came of old to Glastonbury,

And there the heathen Prince, Arviragus,

Gave him an isle of marsh whereon to build;

And there he built with wattles from the marsh

A little lonely church in days of yore,

For so they say, these books of ours, but seem

Mute of this miracle, far as I have read.

But who first saw the holy thing today?' ... ...







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