“The king did start,
Gripped my strong hands, and held me to his heart,
And could not speak a moment. Then he set
A curb of sorrow and subdued its dart.
‘Go! and the blessing of high God attend
Thy path, and lead thee to the doubtful end.
No tongue that secret ever may reveal.
Thy soul is god-like and thy frame is steel;
Thou mayst win the quest—the king, thy friend,
Gives thee his sword to keep thee—Gereth, kneel!
‘I dub thee Earl; arise!’ And then there rings
The queen’s voice: ‘Shall my love not match the king’s?
Here, from my finger drawn, this gem of power
Shall guard thee in some unimagined hour.
It hath strange virtue over mortal things.
I freely give it for thy stirrup’s dower.’
I left the presence. Now the buffeting wind
Gladdens my face—I leave the court behind.
Am I Stark mad? My face grows grim and grave;
I see—O Mary Mother, speak and save!
I stare and stare until mine eyes are blind—
There was no jewel in the ring she gave!” [via]