Camelford

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Camelford

         Camelford—Camelot

                      I.

Not Camelot the towered—the goodly town 
   Upon the shining rive, whither passed
   The Lady of Shalott, when fallen at last
A victim to her spell, slow-wafted down!
Not Camelot the towered, the glittering crown
   Of all King Arthur's cities! Yet thou hast
   Thy legend of the King—how Modred massed
His traitor legions, where the waters brown
Run neath the Bridge of Slaughter, how the King,
   With Launcelot dishonoured, Tristram slain
And half of his Round-table following
   Dead or apostate—triumphed; then was ta'en;
Stricken to death, by bold Sir Bedivere
To Dozmary and passed upon the mere.


     Camelford—Slaughter Bridge

                       II.

In the soft prelude of an August night
   We sallied forth from Camelford in quest
   Of where his last great battle in the west
Brought death to Arthur. Grey the gloaming light
Ere we were in the valley of the fight,
   A spot by Nature framed for fierce contest,
   With ridge commanding ridge, and crest on crest,
On either side a little river, bright
With waving sedge and darting trout. The bridge
   Was wreathed with blackhaired spleenwort and wild flowers,
And the rank grass beneath the lowest bridge
   Guarded a stone, in characters not ours,
Claimed by the country-folk with wondering eyes
To tell that Arthur underneath it lies.