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Smote by the fresh beam of the spring.

ing east; And all his greaves and cuisses dash'd

with drops Of onset; and the light and lustrous

curls That made his forehead like a rising sun High from the daïs-throne -- were parch'd

with dust; Or clotted into points and hanging loose, Mix'd with the knightly growth that

fringed his lips. So like a shatter'd column lay the King; Not like that Arthur who, with lance in

rest, From spur to plume a star of tourna

ment, Shot thro’ the lists at Camelot, and

charged Before the eyes of ladies and of kings. Then loudly cried the bold Sir Bedi

vere : "Ah! my Lord Arthur, whither shall I

go? 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 dis

solved 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


Then murmur'd Arthur, ' Place me in

the barge.' So to the barge they came. There those

three Queens Put forth their hands, and took the King,

and wept. But she, that rose the tallest of them all And fairest, laid his head upon her lap, And loosed the shatter'd casque, and

chafed his hands, And call'd him by his name, complaining

loud, And dropping bitter tears against a brow Striped with dark blood : for all his face

was white And colourless, and like the wither'd

And slowly answer'd 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,


But when that moan had past for ever

more, The stillness of the dead world's winter

dawn Amazed him, and he groan'd, 'The King

is gone. And therewithal came on him the weird

rhyme, * From the great deep to the great deep

he goes.'

Comfort thyself : what comfort is in me? 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 seëst - 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

Whereat he slowly turn'd and slowly

clomb The last hard footstep of that iron crag; Thence mark'd the black hull moving

yet, and cried, • He passes to be King among the dead, And after healing of his grievous wound He comes again; but

if he come no


O me, be yon dark Queens in yon black

boat, Who shriek'd and wail'd, the three

whereat we gazed On that high day, when, clothed with

living light, They stood before his throne in silence,

friends Of Arthur, who should help him at his


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Then from the dawn it seem'd there

came, but faint As from beyond the limit of the world, Like the last echo born of a great cry, Sounds, as if some fair city were one

voice Around a king returning from his wars.

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 Look'd one black dot against the verge

of dawn, And on the mere the wailing died away.

Thereat once more he moved about,

and clomb Ev'n to the highest he could climb, and

saw, Straining his eyes beneath an arch of

hand, Or thought he saw, the speck that bare

the King, Down that long water opening on the

deep Somewhere far off, pass on and on, and go From less to less and vanish into light. And the new sun rose bringing the new



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or him


O LOYAL to the royal in thyself,

Our ocean-empire with her boundless And loyal to the land, as this to thee

homes Bear witness, that rememberable day, For ever-broadening England, and her When, pale as yet, and fever-worn, the

throne Prince

In our vast Orient, and one isle, one isle, ! Who scarce had pluck'd his flickering That knows not her own greatness: if life again

she knows From halfway down the shadow of the And dreads it we are fall'n, — But thou, grave,

my Queen Past with thee thro' thy people and Not for itself, but thro' thy living love their love,

For one to whom I made it o'er his grave And London rollid one tide of joy thro' Sacred, accept this old imperfect tale, all

New.old, and shadowing Sense at war Her trebled millions, and loud leagues of

with Soul

Ideal manhood closed in real man And welcome! witness, too, the silent Rather than that gray king, whose name, cry,

a ghost, The prayer of many a race and creed, Streams like a cloud, man-shaped, from and clime

mountain peak, Thunderless lightnings striking under And cleaves to cairn and cromlech still; From sunset and sunrise of all thy realm, Of Geoffrey's book, or him of Malleor's, And that true North, whereof we lately heard

Touch'd by the adulterous finger of a A strain to shame us keep you to your

time selves;

That hover'd between war and wantonSo loyal is too costly! friends - your

ness, love

And crownings and dethronements : take Is but a burthen: loose the bond, and

withal go.'

Thy poet's blessing, and his trust that Is this the tone of empire? here the faith

Heaven That made us rulers? this, indeed, her Will blow the tempest in the distance voice

back And meaning, whom the roar of Hougou- From thine and ours: for some are scared,

who mark, Left mightiest of all peoples under Or wisely or unwisely, signs of storm, heaven?

Waverings of every vane with every What shock has fool'd her since, that

wind, she should speak

And wordy trucklings to the transient So feebly? wealthier - wealthier


hour, by hour!

And fierce or careless looseners of the The voice of Britain, or a sinking land,

faith, Some third-rate isle half-lost among her And Softness breeding scorn of simple seas?

life, There rang her voice, when the full city Or Cowardice, the child of lust for gold, peal'd

Or Labour, with a groan and not a Thee and thy Prince! The loyal to their


Or Art with poisonous honey stol'n from Are loyal to their own far sons, who love




And that which knows, but careful for

itself, And that which knows not, ruling that

which knows To its own harm: the goal of this great

world Lies beyond sight: yet — if our slowly.

grown And crown'd Republic's crowning com


That saved her many times, not fail

their fears Are morning shadows huger than the

shapes That cast them, not those gloomier which

The darkness of that battle in the

Where all of high and holy dies away.



The original Preface to · The Lover's Tale' states that it was composed in my nineteenth year. Two only of the three parts then written were printed, when, feeling the imperfection of the poem, I withdrew it from the press. One of my friends, however, who, boylike, admired the boy's work, distributed among our common associates of that hour some copies of these two parts, without my knowledge, without the omissions and amendments which I had in contemplation, and marred by the many misprints of the compositor. Seeing that these two parts have of late been mercilessly pirated, and that what I had deemed scarce worthy to live is not allowed to die, may I not be pardoned if I suffer the whole poem at last to come into the light – accompanied with a reprint of the sequel - a work of my mature life — The Golden Supper'? May 1879.


JULIAN, whose cousin and foster-sister, Camilla, has been wedded to his friend and rival, Lionel, endeavours to narrate the story of his own love for her, and the strange sequel. He speaks (in Parts II. and III.) of having been haunted by visions and the sound of bells, tolling for a funeral, and at last ringing for a marriage; but he breaks away, overcome, as he approaches the Event, and a witness to it completes the tale.


HERE far away, seen from the topmost

Filling with purple gloom the vacancies
Between the tufted hills, the sloping seas
Hung in mid-heaven, and half-way down

rare sails,
White as white clouds, floated from sky

to sky.
Oh! pleasant breast of waters, quiet bay,
Like to a quiet mind in the loud world,
Where the chafed breakers of the outer

In thine own essence, and delight thyself
To make it wholly thine on sunny days.
Keep thou thy name of Lover's Bay.'

See, sirs,
Even now the Goddess of the Past, that

The heart, and sometimes touches but

one string That quivers, and is silent, and sometimes Sweeps suddenly all its half-moulder'd

chords To some old melody, begins to play That air which pleased her first. I feel

thy breath; I come, great Mistress of the ear and eye : Thy breath is of the pinewood; and tho'

years Have hollow'd out a deep and stormy


Sank powerless, as anger falls aside
And withers on the breast of peaceful

Thou didst receive the growth of pines

strait Betwixt the native land of Love and me, Breathe but a little on me, and the sail

that fledged The hills that watch'd thee, as Love

watcheth Love,

Will draw me to the rising of the sun,
The lucid chambers of the morning star,
And East of Life.

Tbo from


Fell into

Down those loud waters, like a setting

Mixt with the gorgeous west the light-

house shone,
And silver-smiling Venus ere she fell
Would often loiter in her balmy blue,
To crown it with herself.

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To wbich And lengt


On those dear hills, that never more will

meet The sight that throbs and aches beneath

my touch,
As tho' there beat a heart in either eye;
For when the outer lights are darken'd

The memory's vision hath a keener edge.
It grows upon me now -- the semicircle
Of dark-blue waters and the narrow fringe
Of curving beach — its wreaths of drip-

ping green
Its pale pink shells — the summerhouse

aloft That open'd on the pines with doors of

glass, A mountain nest - the pleasure-boat that

rock'd, Light-green with its own shadow, keel to

keel, Upon the dappled dimplings of the

wave, That blanch'd upon its side.

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Here, too, my love
Waver'd at anchor with me, when day

From his mid-dome in Heaven's airy

Gleams of the water-circles as they broke,
Flicker'd like doubtful smiles about her

Quiver'd a flying glory on her hair,
Leapt like a passing thought across her

And mine with one that will not pass,

till earth
And heaven pass too, dwelt on my heaven,

a face
Most starry-fair, but kindled from within
As 'twere with dawn. She was dark-

hair'd, dark-eyed:
Oh, such dark eyes! a single glance of

Will govern a whole life from birth to

Careless of all things else, led on with light
In trances and in visions: look at them,
You lose yourself in utter ignorance;
You cannot find their depth; for they

go back,
And farther back, and still withdraw

Quite into the deep soul, that evermore
Fresh springing from her fountains in the

Still pouring thro', foods with redundant
Her narrow portals.

Trust me, long ago
I should have died, if it were possible
To die in gazing on that perfectness
Which I do bear within me: I had died,
But from my farthest lapse, my latest ebb,
Thine image, like a charm of light and

Upon the waters, push'd me back again
On these deserted sands of barren life.

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O Love, O Hope! They come, they crowd upon me all at

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A partit

Moved from the cloud of unforgotten

things, That sometimes on the horizon of the

mind Lies folded, often sweeps athwart in

Flash upon flash they lighten thro' me —

Of dewy dawning and the amber eves
When thou and I, Camilla, thou and I
Were borne about the bay or safely

Beneath a low-brow'd cavern, where the

tide Plash’d, sapping its worn ribs; and all

without The slowly-ridging rollers on the cliffs Clash'd, calling to each other, and thro'

the arch

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