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In some odd nooks like this ; till I, tired out

; With cutting eights that day upon the pond, Where, three times slipping from the outer edge, I bump'd the ice into three several stars,

Fell in a doze; and half-awake I heard

The parson taking wide and wider sweeps,
Now harping on the church-commissioners,
Now hawking at Geology and schism;
Until I woke, and found him settled down

Upon the general decay of faith

Right thro' the world, “at home was little left,

And none abroad: there was no

nchor, none,

To hold by.” Francis, laughing, clapt his hand On Everard's shoulder, with “I hold by him.” And I,” quoth Everard, “by the wassail-bowl.” Why yes,” I said, we knew your gift that


At college: but another which you had,

I mean of verse (for so we held it then,)

What came of that ?” “You know," said Frank,

he burnt

His epic, his King Arthur, some twelve books"

And then to me demanding why? “Oh, sir,
He thought that nothing new was said, or else
Something so said 'twas nothing—that a truth
Looks freshest in the fashion of the day:

God knows: he has a mint of reasons : ask.




It pleased me well enough.” “ Nay, nay,” said


“Why take the style of those heroic times i

For nature brings not back the Mastodon,
Nor we those times; and why should any inan

Remodel models? these twelve books of mine

Were faint Homeric echoes, nothing-worth,

Mere chaff and draff, much better burnt."

“ But I,”

Said Francis, “pick'd the eleventh from this


And have it : keep a thing, its use will come.
I hoard it as a sugar-plum for Holmes.”
He laugh’d, and I, though sleepy, like a horse
That hears the corn-bin open, prick'd my ears ;
For I remember'd Everard's college fame

When we were Freshmen: then at my request

He brought it; and the poet little urged,
But with some prelude of disparagement,

Read, mouthing out his hollow oes and aes,

Deep-chested music, and to this result.

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10 all day long the noise of battle rollid Among the mountains by the winter sea;

Until King Arthur's table, man by man, Ilad fall’n in Lyonness about their Lord, King Arthur: then, because his wound was deep, The bold Sir Bedivere uplifted him, Sir Bedivere, the last of all his knights, And bore him to a chapel nigh the field,

A broken chancel with a broken cross,

That stood on a dark strait of barren land.

On one side lay the Ocean, and on one

Lay a great water, and the moon was full.

Then spake King Arthur to Sir Bedivere: The sequel of to-day unsolders all The goodliest fellowship of famous knights

Whereof this world holds record. Such a sleep

They sleep—the men I loved. I think that we

Shall never more, at any future time,
Delight our souls with talk of knightly deeds,
Walking about the gardens and the halls

Of Camelot, as in the days that were.

I perish by this people which I made,

Tho? Merlin sware that I should come again

To rule once more—but let what will be, he,

I am so deeply smitten thro' the helm

That without help I cannot last till morn.

Thou therefore take my brand Excalibur,

Which was my pride : for thou rememberest how

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