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Should thus be lost forever from the earth, | The King is sick, and knows not what Which might have pleased the eyes of he does. many men.
| What record, or what relic of my lord What good should follow this, if this were should be to aftertime, but empty breath done?
And rumors of a doubt ? but were this What harm, undone ? deep harm to dis kept, obey,
Stored in some treasure-house of mighty Seeing obedience is the bond of rule. I kings, Were it well to obey then, if a king demand Some one might show it at a joust of arms, An act unprofitable, against himself ? Saying, 'King Arthur's sword, Excalibur,
Wrought by the lonely maiden of the But ere he dipt the surface, rose an arm Lake.
| Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderNine years she wrought it, sitting in the ful, deeps
And caught him by the hilt, and branUpon the hidden bases of the hills.'
dish'd him So inight some old man speak in the af. Three times, and drew him under in the tertime
mere. To all the people, winning reverence. And lightly went the other to the King. But now much honor and much fame Then spoke King Arthur, drawing were lost.”
thicker breath: So spake he, clouded with his own con-“Now see I by thine eyes that this is done. ceit,
Speak out: what is it thou hast heard, Aud hid Excalibur the second time,
or seen ?” And so strode back slow to the wounded And answer made the bold Sir BediKing.
vere : Then spoke King Arthur, breathing “Sir King, I closed mine eyelids, lest the heavily :
gens "What is it thou hast seen? or what hast Should blind my purpose, for I never saw, heard ?"
Nor shall see, here or elsewhere, till I die, And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere: Not tho' I live three lives of mortal men, “I heard the water lapping on the crag, So great a miracle as yonder hilt. And the long ripple washing in the reeds." Then with both hands 1 tlung him, wheelTo whom replied King Arthur, much
L ing him ; in wrath :
But when I look'd again, behold an arm, “Ah, miserable and unkind, untrue, Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderUnknightly, traitor-hearted ! Woe is me!
ful, Authority forgets a dying king,
That caught him by the hilt, and branLaid widow'd of the power in his eye
dish'd him That bow'd the will. I see thee what Three times, and drew him under in the thou art,
mere." For thou, the latest-left of all my knights, 1 And answer made King Arthur, breathIn whom should meet the offices of all,
ing hard : Thou wouldst betray me for the precious “My end draws nigh ; 't is time that I hilt;
were gone. Either from lust of gold, or like a girl Make broad thy shoulders to receive my Valuing the giddy pleasure of the eyes. weight, Yet, for a man may fail in duty twice, And bear me to the margin ; yet I fear And the third time may prosper, get thee My wound hath taken cold, and I shall
die." But, if thou spare to fling Excalibur, So saying, from the pavement he half I will arise and slay thee with my hands." | rose,
Then quickly rose Sir Bedivere, and ran, Slowly, with pain, reclining on his arm. And, leaping down the ridges lightly, | And looking wistfully with wide blue eyes plunged
As in a picture. Him Sir Bedivere Among the bulrush-beds, and clutch'd Remorsefully regarded thro' his tears, the sword,
And would have spoken, but he found And strongly wheel'd and threw it. The not words, great brand
Then took with care, and kneeling on one Made lightnings in the splendor of the knee, moon,
O'er both his shoulders drew the languid And flashing round and round, and whirl'd hands, in an arch,
And rising bore him thro' the place of Shot like a streamer of the northern morn, tombs. Seen where the moving isles of winter | But, as he walk’d, King Arthur pantod shock
hard, By night, with noises of the northern sea. Like one that feels a nightmare on his So flash'd and fell the brand Excalibur :) bed
When all the house is mute. So sigh'd | And colorless, and like the wither'd the King,
moon Muttering and murmuring at his ear, Smote by the fresh beam of the springing “Quick, quick!
east; I fear it is too late, and I shall die.” And all his greaves and cuisses dash'd But the other swiftly strode from ridge with drops to ridge,
Of onset ; and the light and lustrous Clothed with his breath, and looking, as curls he walk'd,
That made his forehead like a rising sun Larger than human on the frozen hills. High from the daïs-throne — were parch'd He heard the deep behind him, and all with dust; cry
Or, clotted into points and hanging loose, Before. His own thought drove him like Mix'd with the knightly growth that a goad.
fringed his lips. Dry clash'd his harness in the icy caves So like a shatter'd column lay the King; And barren chasms, and all to left and Not like that Arthur who, with lance in right
rest, The bare black cliff clang'd round him, From spur to plume a star of tournament, as he based
Shot thro’ the lists at Camelot, and His feet on juts of slippery crag that rang charged Sharp-smitten with the dint of armed | Before the eyes of ladies and of kings. heels
Then loudly cried the bold Sir BediAnd on a sudden, lo! the level lake,
vere, And the long glories of the winter moon. “Ah! my Lord Arthur, whither shall I Then saw they how there hove a dusky go? barge,
Where shall I hide my forehead and my Dark as a funeral scarf from stem to stern, eyes ? Beneath them; and descending they were For now I see the true old times are ware
dead, That all the decks were dense with stately When every morning brought a noble forms
chance, Black-stoled, black-hooded, like a dream And every chance brought out a noble --- by these
knight. Three Queens with crowns of gold — and Such times have been not since the light from them rose
that led A cry that shiver'd to the tingling stars, The holy Elders with the gift of myrrh. And, as it were one voice, an agony But now the whole ROUND Table is disOf lamentation, like a wind. that shrills
solved All night in a waste land, where no one which was an image of the mighty worl«l; comes,
And I, the last, go forth companionless, Or hath come, since the making of the And the days darken rowd me, and the world.
years, Then murmur'd Arthur, “ Place me in Among new men, strange faces, other the barge,"
minds." And to the barge they came. There those And slowly answered Arthur froin the
three Queens Put forth their hands, and took the King, “ The old order changeth, yielding place
and wept. But she, that rose the tallest of thein all And God fulfils himself in many ways, And fairest, laid his head upon her lap, Lest one good custom should corrupt the And loosed the shatter'd casque, and world. chafed his hands,
Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me! And call'd him by his name, complaining I have lived my life, and that which I loud,
have done And dropping bitter tears against his brow May Ile within himself make pure ! but Striped with dark blood : for all his face thou, was white
If thou shouldst never see my face again
Pray for my soul. More things are wrought | If, knowing God, they lift not hands by prayer
prayer Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, | Both for themselves and those who cal let thy voice
them friend ? Rise like a fountain for me night and For so the whole round earth is every way day.
Bound by gold chains about the feet of For what are men better than sheep or God. goats
But now farewell. I am going a long That nourish a blind life within the brain, way
With these thou seëst - if indeed I go - Begin to feel the truth and stir of day, (For all my inind is clouded with a doubt) To me, methought, who waited with a To the island-valley of Avilion ;
crowd, Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow, There came a bark that, blowing forward, Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies
bore Deep - meadow'd, happy, fair with or- King Arthur, like a modern gentleman chard-lawns
Of stateliest port; and all the peoplecried, And bowery hollows crown'd with sum- “ Arthur is come again : he cannot die.” mer sea,
Then those that stood upon the hills beWhere I will heal me of my grievous hind wound."
Repeated - "Come again, and thrice as So said he, and the barge with oar and fair"; sail
And, further inland, voices echoed -Moved from the brink, like some full
“Come breasted swan
With all good things, and war shall be That, lluting a wild carol ere her death, L no more." Ruffles her pure cold plume, and takes At this a hundred bells began to peal, the flood
That with the sound I woke, and heard With swarthy webs. Long stood Sir
The clear church-bells ring in the ChristRevolving many memories, till the hull
mas morn. Look'd one black dot against the verge
of dawn, And on the mere the wailing died away. THE GARDENER'S DAUGHTER;
OR, THE PICTURES.
Here ended Hall, and our last light, This morning is the morning of the day, that long
When I and Eustace from the city went Had wink'd and threaten'd darkness, | To see the Gardener's Daughter; land he, flared and fell :
| Brothers in Art ; a friendship so completo At which the Parson, sent to sleep with | Portion'd in halves between us, that we sound,
grew And waked with silence, grunted The fable of the city where we dwelt. “Good !” but we
My Eustace might have sat for Hercules; Sat rapt : it was the tone with which he So muscular he spread, so broad of breast. read
He, by some law that holds in love, and Perhaps some modern touches here and draws there
The greater to the lesser, long desired Redeem'd it from the charge of nothing. A certain miracle of symmetry, ness ---
A miniature of loveliness, all grace Or else we loved the man, and prized his Summ'd up and closed in little; -Juliet, work ;
she I know not: but we sitting, as I said, Solight of foot, so light of spirit, - 0, she The cock crew loud ; as at that time of To me myself, for some three careless
moons, The lusty bird takes every hour for dawn : The summer pilot of an empty heart Then Francis, muttering, like a man ill. Unto the shores of nothing! Know you used,
not “ There now --- that's nothing !” drew Such touches are but embassies of love, a little back,
| To tamper with the feelings, ere he found And drove his heel into the smoulder'd Empire for life? but Eustace painted log,
her, That sent a blast of sparkles up the flue : And said to me, she sitting with us then, And so to bed ; where yet in sleep I seem'd“When will you paint like this ?" and I To sail with Arthurunder loomingshores, I replied, Point after point; till on to dawn, when (My words were half in earnest, half in dreams