(Duke). A poetical romance by Henry of Veldig (Waldeck), contemporary with Frederick Barbarossa. Duke Ernest is son-in-law of Kaiser Konrad II. Having murdered his feudal lord, he went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to expiate his crime, and the poem describes his adventures on the way. It is a mixture of Homeric and Oriental myths, and the tales of crusaders. Duke Ernest fulfilled his pilgrimage, returned to Germany, and received absolution.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894