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PELLEAS AND ETTARRE.
KING ARTHUR made new knights to fill the gap
'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 swordFull 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 him knight. 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 reeld Almost to falling from his horse ; but saw Near him a mound of even-sloping side, Whereon a hundred stately beeches grew, And here and there great hollies under them; But for a mile all round was open space, And fern and heath: and slowly Pelleas drew To that dim day, then binding his good horse To a tree, cast himself down ; and as he lay At random looking over the brown earth Thro' that green-glooming twilight of the grove, It seem'd to Pelleas that the fern without Burnt as a living fire of emeralds, So that his eyes were dazzled looking at it. Then o'er it crost the dimness of a cloud Floating, and once the shadow of a bird Flying, and then a fawn; and his eyes closed. And since he loved all maidens, but no maid In special, half-awake he whisper'd, '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— my Queen, my Guinevere,
Suddenly waken'd with a sound of talk
And Pelleas rose,
And Pelleas gazing thought, • Is Guinevere herself so beautiful ?'
For large her violet eyes look'd, and her bloom
But while he gazed
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.
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 company. Three knights were thereamong; and they too smiled,
Scorning him ; for the lady was Ettarre,
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 face, Lacking a tongue ?'
O damsel,' answer'd he,
'Lead then,' she said ; and thro' the woods they