Of little wood-birds (fit delight for the-ear), flowers, grasses, leaves, and blossoms and all that soothes the eye and gladdens noble hearts, that summer-meadow was full. Of all that May should bring, one found whatever one wished there: shade together with sunshine, lime-trees by the fountain, tender, gentle breezes regaling Mark's company each accopding to its nature .... The soft, sweet, lovely singing of the birds, that often assuages ears and soul, filled hills and valleys. The heavenly nightingale, that enchanting little bird - may its sweetness abide with it forever - was trilling among the blossoms so wantonly that many a noble heart took joy and zest from it.
Gottfried von Strassburg,Tristan, trans. by A.T. Hatto, Penguin Classics, Edinburgh, 1960, p. 49.
PLACE: Tintagel, Cornwall, England.
TIME: Middle Ages
CIRCUMSTANCE: Springtime in Tintagel.
Her heart had turned to stone. There was no life in it but for the living love and very lively anguish that, living, warred against her life. Did she lament her lord at all with words of lamentation? Not she. She fell mute in that same hour, her plaint died in her mouth. Her tongue, her mouth, her heart, her mind were all spent. The fair lady had done with lamenting. She cried neither woe! nor alas! She sank to the ground and lay in agony till the fourth day, more piteously than ever any woman. She twisted and turned and writhed, this way, that way, to and fro, and continued so until, with much labour, she bore a son. But see, it lived, and she lay dead.
Gottfried von Strassburg,Tristan, trans. by A.T. Hatto, Penguin Classics, Edinburgh, 1960, p. 63.
PLACE: Parmenie, a domain in or near Brittany and also bordering on Normandy, ruled by Rivalin and eventually by Tristan in their own right. (p. 371)
TIME: Middle Ages
CIRCUMSTANCE: King Rivalin of Parmenie is killed; his lady Blancheflor mourns him with silent sorrow.