My nature's prideful sparkle in the blood Break into furious flame; being repulsed By Yniol and yourself, I schemed and

wrought Until I overturn'd him; then set up (With one main purpose ever at my heart) My haughty jousts, and took a paramour; Did her mock-honour as the fairest fair, And, toppling over all antagonism, So wax'd in pride, that I believed myself Unconquerable, for I was wellnigh mad : And, but for my main purpose in these

jousts, I should have slain your father, seized

yourself. I lived in hope that sometime you would

come To these my lists with him whom best you

loved ; And there, poor cousin, with your meek

blue eyes, The truest eyes that ever answer'd Heaven, Behold me overturn and trample on him. Then, had you cried, or knelt, or pray'd

to me, I should not less have kill'd him. And

you came, But once you came, –and with your own

true eyes Beheld the man you loved (I speak as one Speaks of a service done him) overthrow My proud self, and my purpose three

years old, And set his foot upon me, and give me

life. There was I broken down; there was I

saved : Tho' thence I rode all-shamed, hating the

life He gave me, meaning to be rid of it. And all the penance the Queen laid upon

Where first as sullen as a beast new-caged, And waiting to be treated like a wolf, Because I knew my deeds were known, I

found, Instead of scornful pity or pure scorn, Such fine reserve and noble reticence, Manners so kind, yet stately, such a grace Of tenderest courtesy, that I began To glance behind me at my former life, And find that it had been the wolf's

indeed. And oft I talk'd with Dubric, the high

saint, Who, with mild heat of holy oratory, Subdued me somewhat to that gentleness, Which, when it weds with manhood,

makes a man. And you were often there about the Queen, But saw me not, or mark'd not if you

saw; Nor did I care or dare to speak with you, But kept myself aloof till I was changed; And fear not, cousin ; I am changed


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Was but to rest awhile within her court;


And show'd an empty tent allotted her, And glancing for a minute, till he saw her Pass into it, turn'd to the Prince, and

said :

One of our noblest, our most valorous,
Sanest and most obedient : and indeed
This work of Edyrn wrought upon himself
After a life of violence, seems to me
A thousand-fold more great and wonderful
Than if some knight of mine, risking his

life, , My subject with my subjects under him, Should make an onslaught single on a

realm Of robbers, tho' he slew them one by one, And were himself nigh wounded to the


* Prince, when of late ye pray'd me for

my leave To move to your own land, and there

defend Your marches, I was prick’d with some

reproof, As one that let foul wrong stagnate and

be, By having look'd too much thro' alien

eyes, And wrought too long with delegated

hands, Not used mine own : but now behold me

come To cleanse this common sewer of all my

realm, With Edyrn and with others : have ye

look'd At Edyrn? have ye seen how nobly

changed ? This work of his is great and wonderful. His very face with change of heart is

changed, The world will not believe a man repents: And this wise world of ours is mainly

right. Full seldom doth a man repent, or use Both grace and will to pick the vicious

quitch Of blood and custom wholly out of him, And make all clean, and plant himself

afresh. Edyrn has done it, weeding all his heart As I will weed this land before I go. I, therefore, made him of our Table

Round, Not rashly, but have proved him every


So spake the King ; low bow'd the

Prince, and felt His work was neither great nor wonderful, And past to Enid's tent; and thither came The King's own leech to look into his

hurt; And Enid tended on him there; and there Her constant motion round him, and the

breath Of her sweet tendance hovering over him, Fill'd all the genial courses of his blood With deeper and with ever deeper love, As the south-west that blowing Bala lake Fills all the sacred Dee. So past the days.

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Or guilty, which for bribe had wink'd at

wrong, And in their chairs set up a stronger race With hearts and hands, and sent a thou.

sand men To till the wastes, and moving everywhere Clear'd the dark places and let in the law, And broke the bandit holds and cleansed

the land.

A STORM was coming, but the winds

were still, And in the wild woods of Broceliande, Before an oak, so hollow, huge and old It look'd a tower of ruin'd masonwork, At Merlin's feet the wily Vivien lay.

Whence came she? One that bare in

bitter grudge The scorn of Arthur and his Table, Mark The Cornish King, had heard a wandering

voice, A minstrel of Caerleon by strong storm Blown into shelter at Tintagil, say That out of naked knightlike purity Sir Lancelot worshipt no unmarried girl But the great Queen herself, fought in her

name, Sware by her-vows like theirs, that high

in heaven Love most, but neither marry, nor are

given In marriage, angels of our Lord's report.

Then, when Geraint was whole again,

they past With Arthur to Caerleon upon Usk. There the great Queen once more em

braced her friend, And clothed her in apparel like the day. And tho' Geraint could never take again That comfort from their converse which

he took Before the Queen's fair name was breathed

upon, He rested well content that all was well. Thence after tarrying for a space they rode, And fifty knights rode with them to the

shores Of Severn, and they past to their own

land. And there he kept the justice of the King So vigorously yet mildly, that all hearts Applauded, and the spiteful whisper died: And being ever foremost in the chase, And victor at the tilt and tournament, They call'd him the great Prince and man

of men. But Enid, whom the ladies loved to call Enid the Fair, a grateful people named Enid the Good ; and in their halls arose The cry of children, Enids and Geraints Of times to be; nor did he doubt her more, But rested in her fealty, till he crown'd A happy life with a fair death, and fell Against the heathen of the Northern Sea In battle, fighting for the blameless King.

He ceased, and then—for Vivien

sweetly said (She sat beside the banquet nearest Mark), * And is the fair example follow'd, Sir, In Arthur's household ?'-answer'd inno.

cently :

• Ay, by some ew—ay, truly-youths

that hold It more beseems the perfect virgin knight To worship woman as true wife beyond All hopes of gaining, than as maiden girl. They place their pride in Lancelot and

the Queen. So passionate for an utter purity Beyond the limit of their bond, are these, For Arthur bound them not to singleness. Brave hearts and clean ! and yet - God

guide them-young.'

Then Mark was half in heart to hurl

his cup Straight at the speaker, but forbore : he

rose To leave the hall, and, Vivien following

him, Turn'd to her : Here are snakes within

the grass ; And you methinks, O Vivien, save ye fear The monkish manhood, and the mask of

pure Worn by this court, can stir them till they


If I were Arthur, I would have thy blood. Thy blessing, stainless King! I bring

thee back, When I have ferreted out their burrow

ings, The hearts of all this Order in mine

handAy-so that fate and craft and folly close, Perchance, one curl of Arthur's golden

beard. To me this narrow grizzled fork of thine Is cleaner-fashion'd-Well, I loved thee

first, That warps the wit.'

Loud laugh’d the graceless Mark. But Vivien, into Camelot stealing, lodged Low in the city, and on a festal day When Guinevere was crossing the great

hall Cast herself down, knelt to the Queen,

and wail'd.

And Vivien answer'd, smiling scorn

fully, Why fear? because that foster'd at thy

court I savour of thy--virtues ? fear them ? no. As Love, if Love be perfect, casts out fear, So Hate, if Hate be perfect, casts out fear. My father died in battle against the King, My mother on his corpse in open field ; She bore me there, for born from death

was I Among the dead and sown upon the

wind And then on thee! and shown the truth

betimes, That old true filth, and bottom of the well, Where Truth is hidden. Gracious lessons

thine And maxims of the mud ! “This Arthur

pure ! Great Nature thro' the flesh herself hath

made Gives him the lie! There is no being

pure, My cherub; saith not Holy Writ the

“Why kneel ye there? What evil have

ye wrought? Rise !' and the damsel bidden rise arose And stood with folded hands and down

ward eyes Of glancing corner, and all meekly said, 'None wrought, but suffer'd much, an

orphan maid ! My father died in battle for thy King, My mother on bis corpse—in open field, The sad sea-sounding wastes of LyonessePoor wretch-no friend !--and now by

Mark the King For that small charm of feature mine,

pursuedIf any such be mine-I fly to thee. Save, save me thou- Woman of women

same ?"-

thine The wreath of beauty, thine the crown of


Be thine the balm of pity, O Heaven's

own white Earth-angel, stainless bride of stainless

KingHelp, for he follows ! take me to thyself ! O yield me shelter for mine innocency Among thy maidens !

Here her slow sweet eyes Fear-tremulous, but humbly hopeful, rose Fixt on her hearer's, while the Queen

who stood All glittering like May sunshine on May

leaves In green and gold, and plumed with green

replied, • Peace, child ! of overpraise and over

blame We choose the last. Our noble Arthur,

him Ye scarce can overpraise, will hear and

know. Nay-we believe all evil of thy MarkWell, we shall test thee farther ; but this

hour We ride a-hawking with Sir Lancelot. He hath given us a fair falcon which he

train’d; We go to prove it. Bide ye here the


Courteous-amends for gauntness-takes

her handThat glance of theirs, but for the street,

had been A clinging kiss-how hand lingers in

hand ! Let go at last !-they ride away—to hawk, For waterfowl. Royaller game is mine. For such a supersensual sensual bond As that gray cricket chirpt of at our

Touch flax with flame-a glance will serve

-the liars !
Ah little rat that borest in the dyke
Thy hole by night to let the boundless deep
Down upon far-off cities while they

Or dream—of thee they dream'd not--

nor of me These—ay, but each of either : ride, and

dream The mortal dream that never yet was

mineRide, ride and dream until ye wake-to

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Yet while they rode together down the

plain, Their talk was all of training, terms of art, Diet and seeling, jesses, leash and lure. “She is too noble' he said to check at

pies, Nor will she rake: there is no baseness

in her.' Here when the Queen demanded as by

* Is that the Lancelot? goodly-ay, but



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