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The Fall of Galahad

Her hair was brown, but dusted gold
   Shone on it, by a young wind blown;
It lived in light and seemed to hold
   The sun or star shine for its own.

Her eyes were like Our Lady's, grey;
   They ransomed light for other light;
They were a daydream of the day,
   The echo of a perfect night.

The beauty of her face compelled
   All thought, all reason, everything,
Yet half-withdrew, and just withheld
   The crown of its imagining.

Her step was like a soft leaf's fall
   That wakes a sleeper in the wood.
It came, and when it went, then all
   Had gone from life that seemed most good.

One instant, for a moment's space,
   She stood before him where he prayed;
He felt her eyes, he felt her face,—
   The wind that touched her in the glade.

He left his prayer, forgot the place,
   Forgot the Vision of the Grael;
He saw her eyes, her hair, her face,—
   His hilt-cross struck the Altar-rail.

The music ceased, the shrine was rent,—
   He never cast one glance behind,
But followed on the way she went,
   A hidden way and hard to find.