'Sir Galahad', Dante Gabriel Rossetti

A man in knight's armour uses his hand to draw water to his lips

Illustration in 'Poems by Alfred Tennyson', published by Edward Moxon, Wood engraving by Dalziel brothers after Rossetti's design, published 1857, 9.4 x 8cm, Stephen Calloway

Inspired by the lines describing Sir Galahad's discovery of a mysterious shrine on his quest for the Holy Grail.

Then by some secret shrine I ride;
I hear a voice, but none are there;
The stalls are void, the doors are wide,
The tapers burning fair.
Fair gleams the snowy altar-cloth,
The silver vessels sparkle clean,
The shrill bell rings, the censer swings,
And solemn chants resound between.

Rossetti uses the ingenious invention of a concealed choir of angels for the hidden voices in the poem.