A Horn from Caerleon

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A Horn from Caerleon

from: A Horn from Caerleon (P. 105)  1927

All day the sentry guarded the gates of iron
That hung above broad stairs of Kentish stone.
The velvet flower of the blue Autumn, fading,
Was drenched with dust of battle, seaward blown.

Armored and mailed in the pride of Arthur's order,
And holding aloft the jewelled horn of evening,
Fashioned from elephants' tusks and a stag's jaw-bone --
Magnificent in the livery of manhood,
He stood alone.

And the moat heard, and the fields and the vales of Avalon,
And the waves on the coast, ere they broke into feathers of foam;
And the oaks of the North -- the gulls, the eagles and the blackbirds,
And the savage Pagan hordes under hut and dome --
All heard, as the sweeping music scoured the gloam:

One rolling, golden note for their faith in the Father,
One swimming, silver stave for their love for the Son,
Then a blend of strains for their hope in the Holy Spirit,
And the sunset-horn from Caerleon was done.


The great gates, closing, sang in their iron might,
The iron heels of the sentry merged with the night.