Amid the dazzling splendour of the Court,
King Arthur’s court, to which all courts seemed dim—
Glittering as mirror’d star in some deep stream,
In reverie plunged, in Love’s absorbing dream—
Low browed—wide orbed—stood Guinevere, the Queen.
Against the milk-white column of her throat
The diamonds flashed and counter flashed in turn.
Fire opal, woke to life, or sank in death,
As rose the shapely bosom with each breath,
Beneath a corset wrought in cloth of gold—
And all men marvel’d at the beauty of the Queen—
Where had the great King found this Treasure Trove?
Had Arthur won her, in the old-world way—
By strength of arm, by sword stroke and with lance,
’Mid Herald’s cry and men’s approving glance—
With all the ceremonial of the Lists,
Had borne her to the court and crowned her Queen?
Had Merlin woke her from some mystic trance—
By wave of wand and woven spell and chant,
By incantation used and hidden art—
’Mid groves of sacred oak where antlered hart
And Druids dwell? and brought her to the King.
The rumours ran, but lo! no man could tell.
Men only saw the beauty of the Queen.