Afterwards he did not fly again that day; when Renaud threw him aloft and ran with an enticing call, he beat his wings a few times and settled on his shoulder again in proud coldness against the laughing face of the boy. He seemed to despise all trifling, and Renaud soon ceased, while his look acquired the far-gazing seriousness of the falcon’s. He became more devoted to him than to anything he had possessed. It seemed to him that the falcon was his own soul, his longing with broad wings and victorious glance.
But there was pain in his love, gloomy foreboding of misfortune, and at times he feared lest the bird should fly from him in indifference, disappear with a mocking sound of bells, and it would be like death, so void. Or it seemed to him that the falcon was honor, resplendent with sunshine in the azure air, which now rested on his shoulder for fresh journeys. In the midst of his joy he was oppressed by his insignificance; he scarcely dared to look at the bird, and his heart ached that he would never share his joy, that his gaze would never soften at the sight of his master, and he fled to the land of dreams.
He laid himself down in the middle of the moor with red heather under his head; while the clouds glided past like the fates of men, light and heavy, concentrated within firm lines or scattered in flight, always with the invisible hand of the wind on his shoulder, and the bushes bent down their rustling golden twigs, and Renaud told stories to his falcon.
King Arthur had come again from the sea of Brittany. His sword Excalibur, blue like the night sky in cold weather, was handed him again; his twelve knights raised their heavy heads from the table of stone and shook off their sleep; the ground rang under their steps. Gareth was present, the Prince’s son, who dressed as a scullion and turned Lynnette’s echoing mockery into love. Renaud was also there, a noble born, and his horse pranced under him, and the falcon, who now slept with lowered head, sat erect on his hand and sought his glance with eyes resplendent with joy and the golden sun of the heroic sagas.
But the clouds glided past like the fates of men, were driven all dark one above the other, and formed an arch of gigantic blocks, where the rays of the sun fell through the openings, pale and sharp as spears, and the falcon dreamed gloomy dreams of impotent, wrath and awoke with a shriek.