« AnteriorContinuar »
At the gate of his tower,
We laid his body there;
Shout for my lady fair!
From the broad mead under the hill ;
Up the sweer of the bridge we dash'd
together, It rock'd to the crash of the meeting
1 The dates for Morris's poems have been com. pileri with the help of Mr. Temple Scott's excel.
nt Bibliography of the Works of William Morris, and Mr. Forman's The Books of William Morris.
Down raind the buds of the dear spring
weather, The elm-tree flowers fell like tears.
Many a time I tried to shout;
I could not even weep.
There, as we rollid and writhed together,
I threw my arms above my head, For close by my side, in the lovely
weather, I saw him reel and fall back dead.
With inward sigh I see the sun
Because I cannot sleep.
through my head ; Not like a tomb is this my bed, Yet oft I think that I am dead;
That round my tomb is writ,
I and the slayer met together,
his place, With thoughts of death, in the lovely
weather, Gapingly mazed at my madden'd face. Madly I fought as we fought together ;
In vain : the little Christian band The pagans drown'd, as in stormy
weather, The river drowns low-lying land. They bound my blood-stain d hands to
gether, They bound his corpse to nod by my
side : Then on we rode, in the bright March
weather, With clash of cymbals did we ride. We ride no more, no more together ;
My prison-bars are thick and strong, I take no heed of any weather, The sweet Saints grant I live not long.
“ Ozana of the hardy heart,
Knight of the Table Round.
A true knight he was found."
Within the gilded screen.
All my singing moved him not ;
Far away, I ween.
By the churchyard wall.
Of the lilies tall.
THE CHAPEL IN LYONESS
SAR OZANA LE CURE Hardy. SIR
GALAHAD. Sir BORS DE GANYS.
And no man came a-near.
The truncheon of a spear.
And night comes on apace.
A rose lay on my face.
I laid the flower across his mouth:
drouth; He smiled, turn'd round towards the
south, Held up a golden tress.
The light smote on it from the west; He drew the covering from his breast, Against his heart that hair he pressed;
Death him soon will bless.
Sir Bors. I enter'd by the western door;
I saw a knight's helm lying there ; I raised my eyes from off the floor,
And caught the gleaming of his hair.
stept full softly up to him ;
I was so glad he was not dead.
“ There comes no sleep nor any love.” But Galahad stoop'd and kiss'd his brow :
He shiverd; I saw his pale lips move. Sir Ozana. There comes no sleep nor
any love ; Ah me! I shiver with delight. I am so weak I cannot move ;
God move me to thee, dear, to-night ! (hrist help! I have but little wit : My life went wrong ; I see it writ,
Ozana of the hardy heart,
A good knight he was found."
[He dies. Sir Bors. Galahad sits dreamily : What strange things may his eyes see, Great blue eyes fix'd full on me? On his soul, Lord, have mercy. Sir Galahad. Ozana, shall I pray for
thee? Her cheek is laid to thine ; No long time hence, also I see
Thy wasted fingers twine
"Twixt the sunlight and the shade Float up memories of my maid :
God, remember Guendolen ! Gold or gems she did not wear, But her yellow rippled hair,
Like a veil, hid Guendolen ! 'Twixt the sunlight and the shade, My rough hands so strangely made,
Folded Golden Guendolen.
Hands used to grip the sword-hilt hard, Framed her face, while on the sward
Tears fell down from Guendolen.
Now no more of Guendolen.
Within the tresses of her hair
That shineth gloriously,
PRAY but one prayer for me 'twixt thy
closed lips; Think but one thought of me up in the
stars, The summer night waneth, the morning
light slips, Faint and gray 'twixt the leaves of the
aspen, betwixt the cloud-bars, That are patiently waiting there for the
dawn : Patient and colorless, though Heaven's
gold Waits to float through them along with
the sun. Far out in the meadows, above the young
GOLD HAIR Is it not true that every day She climbeth up the same strange way, Her scarlet cloak spread broad and gay,
Over my golden hair ? When I undo the knotted mass, Fathoms below the shadows pass Over my hair along the grass.
O my golden hair! See on the marble parapet, I lean my brow, strive to forget That fathoms below my hair grows wet
With the dew, my golden hair.
See on the marble parapet,
To free my golden hair.
And yet: but I am growing old.
Now choose one cloth for ever ; which
they be, I will not tell you, you must somehow
THE DEFENCE OF GUENEVERE
But, knowing now that they would have
her speak, She threw her wet hair backward from
her brow, Her hand close to her mouth touching
her cheek, As though she had had there a shameful
blow, And feeling it shameful to feel aught
but shame All through her heart, yet felt her cheek
“Of your own strength and mightiness;
here, see! Yea, yea, my lord, and you to ope your
eyes, At foot of your familiar bed to see “A great God's angel standing, with
such dyes, Not known on earth, on his great wings,
and hands, Held out two ways, light from the inner
She must a little touch it; like one lame She walked away from Gauwaine, with
her head Still lifted up; and on her cheek of
The tears dried quick ; she stopped at
last and said : “O knights and lords, it seems but little
skill To talk of well-known things past now
“Showing him well, and making his
commands Seem to be God's commands, moreover,
too, Holding within his hands the cloths on
wands; “And one of these strange choosing
cloths was blue, Wavy and long, and one cut short and
red ; No man could tell the better of the two. “After a shivering half-hour you said : "God help! heaven's color, the blue : '
and he said, “hell.' Perhaps you would then roll upon your
bed, ** And cry to all good men that loved
you well, "Ah Christ! if only I had known,
known, known;' Launcelot went away, then I could tell, “Like wisest man how all things would
be, moan, And roll and hurt myself, and long to die. And yet fear much to die for what was
“ (od wot I ought to say, I have doneill, And pray you all forgiveness heartily! Because you must be right, such great
“Listen, suppose your time were come
to die, And you were quite alone and very
weak; Yea, laid a dying while very mightily
Nevertheless you, o Sir Gauwaine, lie. Whatever may have happened through
these years, God kuows I speak truth, saying that
“ The wind was ruffling up the narrow
streak Of river through your broad lands run
ning well: Suppose a hush should come, then some
Her voice was low at first, being full of
tears, But as it cleared, it grew full loud ani
shrill, Growing a windy shriek in all men's
one speak : "*One of these cloths is heaven, and one
is hell, 1 The preceding, poem, Hands, published under that title in the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, 1856, and the lyric stanzas to which I have here given the title Gold Hair, both form part of Rupunzel in the Guenevere volume, 1858.
I ringing in their startled brains, until She said that Gauwaine lied, then her
voice sunk, And her great eyes began again to fill, Though still she stood right up, and
never shrunk, But spoke on bravely, glorious lady fair ! Whatever tears her full lips may have
Behold, my judges, then the cloths were
brought; While I was dizzied thus, old thoughts
would crowd, “ Belonging to the time ere I was bought By Arthur's great name and his little
love: Must I give up for ever then, I thought, " That which I deemed would ever
round me move Glorifying all things; for a little word, Scarce ever meant at all, must I now
prove “Stone-cold for ever? Pray you, does
the Lord Will that all folks should be quite happy
and good ? I love God now a little, if this cord “ Were broken, once for all what striving
could Make me love anything in earth or
heaven? So day by day it grew, as if one should “Slip slowly down some path worn
smooth and everi, Down to a cool sea on a summer day ; Yet still in slipping there was
small leaven “Of stretched hands catching small
stones by the way, Until one surely reached the sea at last, And felt strange new joy as the worn
head lay “ Back, with the hair like sea-weed ;
yea all past Sweat of the forehead, dryness of the lips, Washed utterly out by the dear waves
o'ercast, "In the lone sea, far off from any ships ! Do I not know now of a day in Spring? No minute of that will day ever slips * From out my memory ; I hear thrushes
sing, And wheresoever I may be, straightway Thoughts of it all come up with most
fresh sting : "I was half mad with beauty on that
day, And went without my ladies all alone, In a quiet garden walled round every
"Son of King Ban of Benwick, seemed
to chimne Along with all the bells that rang that
day, O'er the white roofs, with little change
of rhyme. “Christmas and whitened winter passed
away, And over me the April sunshine came, Made very awful with black hail-clouds,
"And in the Summer I grew white with
flame, And bowed my head down : Autumn,
and the sick Sure knowledge things would never be
the same, " However often Spring might be most
thick Of blossoms and buds, smote on me, and
I grew Careless of most things, let the clock
"To my unhappy pulse, that beat right
through My eager body ; while I laughed out loud, And let my lips curl up at false or true, Seemed cold and shallow without any