(Poor), a touching tale in poetry by Hartmann von der Aur [Our ], one of the minnesingers (12th century). Henry, prince of Hoheneck, in Bavaria, being struck with leprosy, was told that he never would be healed till a spotless maiden volunteered to die on his behalf. Prince Henry, never expecting to meet with such a victim, sold most of his possessions, and went to live in the cottage of a small tenant farmer. Here Elsie, the farmer's daughter, waited on him; and, hearing the condition of his cure, offered herself, and went to Salerno to complete the sacrifice. Prince Henry accompanied her, was cured, and married Elsie, who thus became Lady Alicia, wife of Prince Henry of Hoheneck.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894