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Guendolen

(3 syl.). A fairy whose mother was a human being. One day King Arthur wandered into the valley of St. John, when a fairy palace rose to view, and a train of ladies conducted him to their queen. King Arthur and Guendolen fell in love with each other, and the fruit of their illicit love was a daughter named Gyneth. After the lapse of three months Arthur left Guendolen, and the deserted fair one offered him a parting cup. As Arthur raised the cup a drop of the contents fell on his horse, and so burnt it that the horse leaped twenty feet high, and then ran in mad career up the hills till it was exhausted. Arthur dashed the cup on the ground, the contents burnt up everything they touched, the fairy palace vanished, and Guendolen was never more seen. This tale is told by Sir Walter Scott in The Bridal of Triermain. It is called Lyulph's Tale, from canto i. 10 to canto ii. 28. (See Gyneth.)

Her mother was of human birth,
Her sire a Genie of the earth,
In days of old deemed to preside
O'er lover's wiles and beauty's pride.

Bridul of Triermain, ii. 3.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Guendolen from Infoplease:

  • Guendolen - Guendolen (3 syl.). A fairy whose mother was a human being. One day King Arthur wandered into the ...
  • Gyneth - Gyneth Natural daughter of Guendolen and King Arthur. Arthur swore to Guendolen that if she brought ...
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