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The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems   By: (1834-1896)

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First Page:

THE

DEFENCE OF GUENEVERE

AND OTHER POEMS

BY

WILLIAM MORRIS

REPRINTED FROM THE KELMSCOTT PRESS EDITION AS REVISED BY THE AUTHOR

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON NEW YORK, BOMBAY, AND CALCUTTA 1908

All rights reserved

First Edition, BELL & DALDY, 1858 Reprinted, 1875, for ELLIS & WHITE, and Subsequently for REEVES & TURNER Kelmscott Press Edition (revised by the Author), 1892 Transferred to LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO., 1896 New Edition corrected by Kelmscott Press Edition, May 1900 Reprinted January 1908

CONTENTS

PAGE The Defence of Guenevere 1

King Arthur's Tomb 19

Sir Galahad, a Christmas Mystery 43

The Chapel in Lyoness 57

Sir Peter Harpdon's End 65

Rapunzel 111

Concerning Geffray Teste Noire 135

A Good Knight in Prison 148

Old Love 155

The Gilliflower of Gold 159

Shameful Death 163

The Eve of Crecy 166

The Judgment of God 169

The Little Tower 174

The Sailing of the Sword 178

Spell Bound 182

The Wind 187

The Blue Closet 194

The Tune of Seven Towers 199

Golden Wings 202

The Haystack in the Floods 215

Two Red Roses across the Moon 223

Welland River 226

Riding Together 231

Father John's War Song 234

Sir Giles' War Song 237

Near Avalon 239

Praise of My Lady 241

Summer Dawn 246

In Prison 247

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 ought but shame All through her heart, yet felt her cheek burned so,

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 flame

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 and dead.

God wot I ought to say, I have done ill, And pray you all forgiveness heartily! Because you must be right, such great lords; still

Listen, suppose your time were come to die, And you were quite alone and very weak; Yea, laid a dying while very mightily

The wind was ruffling up the narrow streak Of river through your broad lands running well: Suppose a hush should come, then some one speak:

'One of these cloths is heaven, and one is hell, Now choose one cloth for ever; which they be, I will not tell you, you must somehow tell

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 skies

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... Continue reading book >>




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