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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,
Upon the general decay of faith
Right thro' the world, “at home was little left,
And none abroad: there was no
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,
His epic, his King Arthur, some twelve books"
And then to me demanding why? “Oh, sir,
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,
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.
When we were Freshmen: then at my request
He brought it; and the poet little urged,
Read, mouthing out his hollow oes and aes,
Deep-chested music, and to this result.
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,
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,
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