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Nor the high God a vision, nor that One Who rose again : ye have seen what ye
“So spake the King : I knew not all
Was I too dark a prophet when I said
dering fires, Lost in the quagmire ?--lost to me and
gone, And left me gazing at a barren board, And a lean Order-scarce return'd a
titheAnd out of those to whom the vision came My greatest hardly will believe he saw ; Another hath beheld it afar off, And leaving human wrongs to right them
selves, Cares but to pass into the silent life. And one hath had the vision face to face, And now his chair desires him here in
vain, However they may crown him otherwhere.
PELLEAS AND ETTARRE. KING ARTHUR made new knights to fill
the gap Left by the Holy Quest; and as he sat In hall at old Caerleon, the high doors Were softly sunder'd, and thro' these a
youth, Pelleas, and the sweet smell of the fields Past, and the sunshine came along with
“And some among you held, that if
the King Had seen the sight he would have sworn
the vow : Not easily, seeing that the King must
guard That which he rules, and is but as the hind To whom a space of land is given to
plough, Who may not wander from the allotted
field Before his work be done ; but, being done, Let visions of the night or of the day Come, as they will ; and many a time.
they come, Until this earth he walks on seems not
"Make me thy knight, because I know,
Sir King, All that belongs to knighthood, and I love.' Such was his cry; for having heard the
King Had let proclaim a tournament--the prize A golden circlet and a knightly sword, Full fain had Pelleas for his lady won The golden circlet, for himself the sword: And there were those who knew him near
the King, And promised for him: and Arthur made
And this new knight, Sir Pelleas of the
islesBut lately come to his inheritance, And lord of many a barren isle was heRiding at noon, a day or twain before, Across the forest call’d of Dean, to find Caerleon and the King, had felt the sun Beat like a strong knight on his helm, and
reel'd Almost to falling from his horse; but saw
Breast-high in that bright line of bracken
stood : And all the damsels talk'd confusedly, And one was pointing this way, and one
that, Because the way was lost.
Near him a mound of even-sloping side,
drew To that dim day, then binding his good
horse To a tree, cast himself down; and as he
maid In special, half-awake he whisperid,
•Where? O where? I love thee, tho' I know thee
not. For fair thou art and pure as Guinevere, And I will make thee with my spear and
sword As famous-O my Queen, my Guinevere, For I will be thine Arthur when we meet.'
And Pelleas rose, And loosed his horse, and led him to the
light. There she that seem'd the chief among
them said, 'In happy time behold our pilot-star! Youth, we are damsels-errant, and we ride, Arm’d as ye see, to tilt against the knights There at Caerleon, but have lost our way: To right? to left? straight forward? back
again? Which? tell us quickly.'
And Pelleas gazing thought, 'Is Guinevere herself so beautiful?' For large her violet eyes look'd, and her
bloom A rosy dawn kindled in stainless heavens, And round her limbs, mature in woman
hood; And slender was her hand and small her
shape; And but for those large eyes, the haunts
of scorn, She might have seem'd a toy to trifle with, And pass and care no more. But while
he gazed The beauty of her flesh abash'd the boy, As tho’ it were the beauty of her soul : For as the base man, judging of the good, Puts his own baseness in him by default Of will and nature, so did Pelleas lend All the young beauty of his own soul to
hers, Believing her; and when she spake to
Suddenly waken’d with a sound of talk And laughter at the limit of the wood, And glancing thro' the hoary boles, he
saw, Strange as to some old prophet might
have seem'd A vision hovering on a sea of fire, Damsels in divers colours like the cloud Of sunset and sunrise, and all of them On horses, and the horses richly trapt
Stammer'd, and could not make her a
reply. For out of the waste islands had he come, Where saving his own sisters he had known Scarce any but the women of his isles, Rough wives, that laugh’d and scream'd
against the gulls, Makers of nets, and living from the sea.
Were all a burthen to her, and in her heart She mutter'd, 'I have lighted on a fool, Raw, yet so stale !' But since her mind
was bent On hearing, after trumpet blown, her name And title, Queen of Beauty,' in the lists Cried—and beholding him so strong, she
thought That peradventure he will fight for me, And win the circlet : therefore flatter'd
him, Being so gracious, that he wellnigh deem'd His wish by hers was echo'd ; and her
knights And all her damsels too were gracious to
him, For she was a great lady.
Then with a slow smile turn'd the lady
round And look'd upon her people; and as when A stone is flung into some sleeping tarn, The circle widens till it lip the marge, Spread the slow smile thro' all her com
pany. Three knights were thereamong; and they
too smiled, Scorning him ; for the lady was Ettarre, And she was a great lady in her land.
Again she said, “O wild and of the
woods, Knowest thou not the fashion of our
speech? Or have the Heavens but given thee a fair
And when they reach'd Caerleon, ere they past to lodging, she, Taking his hand, O the strong hand,'
she said, *See ! look at mine ! but wilt thou fight
for me, And win me this fine circlet, Pelleas, That I may love thee ?'
Lacking a tongue?'
"O damsel,' answer'd he, • I woke from dreams ; and coming out
of gloom Was dazzled by the sudden light, and
crave Pardon : but will ye to Caerleon ? I Go likewise : shall I lead you to the King?'
Then his helpless heart Leapt, and he cried, “Ay! wilt thou if I
win?' 'Ay, that will I,' she answer'd, and she
laugh’d, And straitly nipt the hand, and Aung it
from her ; Then glanced askew at those three knights
of hers, Till all her ladies laugh'd along with her.
• Lead then,' she said ; and thro’ the
woods they went. And while they rode, the meaning in his
eyes, His tenderness of manner, and chaste awe, His broken utterances and bashfulness,
O happy world,' thought Pelleas, “all,
meseems, Are happy ; I the happiest of them all.' Nor slept that night for pleasure in his