THE story of Owain and the Lady of the Fountain was very popular in the days of Chivalry, and we meet with it in many European languages besides the Welsh.
The English version, under the title of "Ywaine and Gawin " (derived from the French work of Chrestien de Troyes), was published by Ritson in the first volume of his Metrical Romances, from a MS. in the British Museum, supposed by him to be of the reign of Richard II.
Towards the end of the 12th century, the trouvère Chrestien de Troyes made Owain's adventures the subject of his metrical Romance of the "Cheualier an Lyon," which I have printed in the first edition of this work, and of which there are several MS. copies in the Bibliothèque Nationale.
Chrestien's French poem was turned into German verse by Hartmann von der Aue, a Meister-sänger of the end of the 12th or the beginning of the 13th century. Of this production many copies exist, that in the Library of the Vatican being considered by Tieck to be the oldest German MS, preserved there. It has appeared more than once in print, and is to be found in Professor Myller's Collection of Teutonic Romances, 2 vols. 4to., Berlin, 1784. It was also published by Michaeler in four small 8vo. volumes. Vienna, 1786.
Ulrich Fürterer, a Bavarian rhymer, who flourished in the later part of the 15th century, has likewise left a poem on the subject of "Ivain," as one of an immense series of metrical compositions embracing the entire story of the Grail and the Round Table heroes.
In the Royal Library at Stockholm are preserved MS. versions of the Tale of "Ivain," both in the Danish and Swedish languages, and the British Museum, as well as the University Library of Copenhagen, possesses MSS. of the Icelandic "Ivent Saga."