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Put forth their hands, and took the King, and wept.
But she, that rose the tallest of them all

375
And fairest, laid his head upon her lap,
And loosed the shattered casque, and chafed his hands,
And call'd him by his name, complaining loud,
And dropping bitter tears against his brow
Striped with dark blood : for all his face was white 380
And colorless, and like the wither'd moon
Smote by the fresh beam of the springing 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

385 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,

390 From spur to plume a star of tournament, Shot thro' the lists at Camelot, and charged, Before the eyes of ladies and of kings.

395

Then loudly cried the bold Sir Bedivere:
• 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 dissolved
Which was an image of the mighty world;
And I, the last, go forth companionless,
And the days darken round me,
Among new men, strange faces, other minds.'

400

and the years,

405

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.

410

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 415
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

420 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

425 (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-meadow'd, happy, fair with orchard-lawns

430 And bowery hollows crown'd with summer sea, Where I will heal me of my grievous wound.'

435

So said he, and the barge with oar and sail
Moved om the brink, like some full-breasted swan
That, Aluting 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.

440

But when that moan had past for evermore,
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.'

445

Whereat he slowly turn’d and slowly clomb The last hard footstep of that iron crag;

450

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 more —
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 need?'

455

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

460 Around a king returning from his wars.

465

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 year.

THE SPLENDOR FALLS.

The splendor falls on castle walls

And snowy summits old in story:
The long light shakes across the lakes,

And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

5

O hark, o hear! how thin and clear,

And thinner, clearer, farther going !

HOME THEY BROUGHT HER WARRIOR DEAD. 303

IO

O sweet and far from cliff and scar

The horns of Elfland faintly blowing !
Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying :
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

15

O love, they die in yon rich sky,

They faint on hill or field or river:
Our echoes roll from soul to soul,
And
grow

for ever and for ever.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.

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Put forth their hands, and took the King, and wept.
But she, that rose the tallest of them all

375
And fairest, laid his head upon her lap,
And loosed the shattered casque, and chafed his hands,
And call’d him by his name, complaining loud,
And dropping bitter tears against his brow
Striped with dark blood: for all his face was white 380
And colorless, and like the wither'd moon
Smote by the fresh beam of the springing 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

385 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,

390 From spur to plume a star of tournament, Shot thro' the lists at Camelot, and charged, Before the eyes of ladies and of kings.

395

Then loudly cried the bold Sir Bedivere:
• 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 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.'

400

405

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.

410

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