Bowlders huge the dales encumber
Where, in necromantic slumber
Arthur lies with all his peers
Through the long, long days of summer,
Through the long, long nights of winter,
Through the hundred, hundred years.
Gray is all the vale untrodden,
Cloud and crag are gray and hodden,
Gray the earth whence nothing grows;
Gray the hue of hills and rocks is
Nothing red is there but foxes,
Nothing black is there but crows.
Deep the cavern: Twelvescore bowmen,
Fivescore knights with tenscore yeomen
Sleeping, hedge their sleeping lord,
Who reposes, silken-vested,
Strong and silent as his sword.
Aye, the sword; what arm may guide it!
There it hangs, a horn beside it,
Near the cavern’s outer bounds
Where in dreams of greenwood chases,
Clean-limbed, sprawl in fancied races
Fourteen packs of coupled hounds,
When the world is old and weary,
Loveless, lawless, mirthless, dreary,
Racked with doubt, by discord torn,
One shall come, in youth immortal,
Who shall cross the gloomy portal,
Draw the sword and blow the horn.
Broke shall be the spell; up-leaping
Hounds, fullery, shall rouse the sleeping;
Steed shall neigh and steel shall ring;
Forth shall ride the doughty fighters,
Knights and yeomen round their king.