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And called him by his name, complaining loud,
And dropping bitter tears against his brow
Striped with dark blood: for all his face was white
And colorless, and like the withered moon
Smote by the fresh beam of the springing east;
And all his greaves and cuisses dashed with drops
Of onset: and the light and lustrous curls—
That made his forehead like a rising sun
High from the dāis-throne—were parched with
dust;
Or, clotted into points and hanging loose,
Mixed with the knightly growth that fringed his
lips.
So like o shattered column lay the King ;
Not like that Arthur who, with lance in rest,
From spur to plume a star of tournament,
Shot through the lists at Camelot, and charged
Before the eyes of ladies and of kings.
Then loudly cried the bold Sir Bedivere,
“Ah! my Lord Arthur, whither shall I go 2
Where shall I hide my forehead and my eyes?
For now I see the true old times are dead,
When every morning brought a noble chance,
And every chance brought out a noble knight.
Such times have been not since the light that led
The holy Elders with the gift of myrrh.
But now the whole ROUND TABLE is dissolved
Which was an image of the mighty world;
And I, the last, go forth companionless,
And the days darken round me, and the years,
Among new men, strange faces, other minds.”
And slowly answered Arthur from the barge :
“The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me 2
I have lived my life, and that which I have done
May He within himself make pure but thou,
If thou shouldst never see my face again,

Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by
prayer
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy
voice
Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
For what are men better than sheep or goats
That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them
friend ?
For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.
But now farewell. I am going a long way
With these thou seest—if indeed I go
(For all my mind is clouded with a doubt)
To the island-valley of Avilion;
Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow,
Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies
Deep-meadowed, happy, fair with orchard-lawns
And bowery hollows crowned with summer sea,
Where I will heal me of my grievous wound.”
So said he, and the barge with oar and sail
Moved from the brink, like some full-breasted swan,
That, fluting a wild carol, ere her death,
Ruffles her pure cold plume, and takes the flood
With swarthy webs. Long stood Sir Bedivere
Revolving many memories, till the hull
Looked one black dot against the verge of dawn,
And on the meer the wailing died away.

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Here ended Hall, and our last light, that long Had winked and threatened darkness, flared and fell; At which the Parson, sent to sleep with sound, And waked with silence, grunted “Good l’” but we Sat rapt: it was the tone with which he read— Perhaps some modern touches here and there

Redeemed it from the charge of nothingness—
Or else we loved the man, and prized his work;
I know not : but we sitting, as I said,
The cock crew loud: as at that time of year
The lusty bird takes every hour for dawn:
Then Francis, muttering, like a man ill-used,
“There now—that’s nothing !” drew a little back,
And drove his heel into the smouldered log,
That sent a blast of sparkles up the flue:
And so to bed; where yet in sleep I seemed
To sail with Arthur under looming shores,
Point after point, till on to dawn, when dreams
Begin to feel the truth and stir of day,
To me, methought, who waited with a crowd,
There came a bark that, blowing forward, bore
King Arthur, like a modern gentleman
Of stateliest port; and all the people cried,
“Arthur is come again : he cannot die.”
Then those that stood upon the hills behind
Repeated—“Come again, and thrice as fair;”
And, further inland, voices echoed—“Come
With all good things, and war shall be no more.”
At this a hundred bells began to peal,
That with the sound I woke, and heard indeed
The clear church-bells ring in the Christmas morn.

THE GARDENER'S DAUGHTER;
OR,
THE PICTURES.

'THIS morning is the morning of the day
When I and Eustace from the city went
To see the Gardener's Daughter; I and he,
Brothers in Art; a friendship so complete
Portioned in halves between us, that we grew
The fable of the city where we dwelt.

My Eustace might have sat for Hercules; So muscular he spread, so broad a breast. He, by some law that holds in love, and draws The greater to the lesser, long desired A certain miracle of symmetry, A miniature of loveliness, all grace Summed up and closed in little;—Juliet, she So light of foot, so light of spirit—oh, she To me myself, for some three careless moons, The summer pilot of an empty heart Unto the shores of nothing ! Rnow you not Such touches are but embassies of love, To tamper with the feelings, ere he found Empire for life 2 but Eustace painted her, And said to me, she sitting with us then, “When will you paint like this?” and I replied, (My words were half in earnest, half in jest.) “'Tis not your work, but Love's. Love unper

ceived.

A more ideal Artist he than all,
Came, drew your pencil from you, made those eyes
Darker than darkest pansies, and that hair
More black than ashbuds in the front of March.”
And Juliet answered laughing, “Go and see
The Gardener's daughter: trust me, after that,
You scarce can fail to match his masterpiece.”
And up we rose, and on the spur we went.
* Not wholly in the busy world, nor quite
Beyond it, blooms the garden that I love.
News from the humming city comes to it
In sound of funeral or of marriage bells;
And, sitting muffled in dark leaves, you hear
The windy clanging of the minster clock;
Although between it and the garden lies
A league of grass, washed by a slow broad stream,
That, stirred with languid pulses of the oar,
Waves all its lazy lilies, and creeps on,
Barge-laden, to three arches of a bridge
Crowned with the minster-towers.

The fields between

Are dewy-fresh, browsed by deep-uddered kine,
And all about the large lime feathers low,
The lime a summer home of murmurous wings.

In that still place she, hoarded in herself,
Grew, seldom seen : not less among us lived
Her fame from lip to lip. Who had not heard
Of Rose, the Gardener's daughter 2 Where was

he,

So blunt in memory, so old at heart,
At such a distance from his youth in grief,
That, having seen, forgot? The common mouth,
So gross to express delight, in praise of her
Grew oratory. Such a lord is Love,
And Beauty such a mistress of the world.

And if I said that Fancy, led by Love,
Would play with flying forms and images,
Yet this is also true, that, long before
I looked upon her, when I heard her name
My heart was like a prophet to my heart,
And told me I should love. A crowd of hopes,
That sought to sow themselves like winged seeds,
Born out of every thing I heard and saw,
Fluttered about my senses and my soul;
And vague desires, like fitful blasts of balm
To one that travels quickly, made the air
Of Life delicious, and all kinds of thought,
That verged upon them, sweeter than the dream
Dreamed by a happy man, when the dark East,
Unseen, is brightening to his bridal morn.

And sure this orbit of the memory folds Forever in itself the day we went To see her. All the land in flowery squares, Beneath a broad and equal-blowing wind, Smelt of the coming summer, as one large cloud Drew downward: but all else of Heaven was pure Up to the Sun, and May from verge to verge, And May with me from head to heel. And now, As though 'twere yesterday, as though it were

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