Hero-Myths and Legends of the British Race

Page: 37

“Yet His friends came to him, left not His corpse alone,
Took down the Mighty King from His sharp sufferings—
Humbly I bowed myself down to the hands of men.
Sadly they laid Him down in His dark rock-hewn grave,
Sadly they sang for Him dirges for death-doomed ones,
Sadly they left Him there as His fair corpse grew cold.
We, the three Crosses, stood mournful in loneliness,
Till evil-thinking men felled us all three to ground,
Sank us deep into earth, sealed us from sight of man.”

Dream of the Rood.

She Undertakes the Quest

As Constantine had been guided by the heavenly vision of the True Cross, so now Elene would journey to the land of the Jews and find the reality of that Holy Cross. Her will and that of her son were one in this matter, so that before long the whole city resounded with the bustle and clamour of preparation, for Elene was to travel with the pomp and retinue befitting the mother of the Emperor of Rome.

“There by the Wendel Sea stood the wave-horses.
Proudly the plunging ships sought out the ocean path.
Line followed after line of the tall brine-ploughs.
Forth went the water-steeds o’er the sea-serpent’s road
Bright shields on the bulwarks oft broke the foaming surge.
Ne’er saw I lady lead such a fair following!”