And he thought, ‘Gurnemanz he bade me, in truth, without thought of guile,
To withhold my lips from question—If here I abide awhile
Methinks it will then befall me as aforetime in Graharz land,
They will tell me, without my question, how here with this folk it stands.’
Then e’en as he sat thus musing came a squire who a sword did bear,
And its sheath was a thousand marks’ worth, and its hilt was a ruby rare,
And the blade, it might well work wonders—Then the host gave it to the knight,
And he spake, ‘I full oft have borne it in many a deadly fight
Ere God’s Hand thus sorely smote me; now with this shalt thou be repaid
If aught hath in care been lacking—Henceforth shalt thou bear this blade
Whatever chance befall thee, and when thou its power hast tried|
Thou wilt know thou art fully armèd, whatever strife betide.’
Ah! woe to the guest that asked not, I am sorrowful for his sake,
When his hand clasped the sword ’twas a token that his silence he well might break.
For the host too my heart is heavy, thus tortured by nameless woe,
And a question therefrom had freed him, yet to question his guest was slow.
–from Parzival, by Wolfram von Eschenbach
translated by Jessie Weston.