Back to top

King Arthur

O MORE than mortal king! though form of earth
     Compass th' eternal spirit, that shall be
     England's, what while the thunder of the sea
Inlocks her shores; our Arthur, fairy birth
Of nature's treasures, summed in one man's worth;
     Mighty of heart to smite with pardon free
     Thy friend, thy wife of youth, false, false to thee;—
Alone with death upon thy shivered hearth!

Come, read the ages mirrored in a glass,
     As, by the glamour of the acted scene,
     The glorious dawn of Albion that hath been
     Shows forth her proud hereafter; in the hour
Of travail, while the living shadows pass,
     Fraught with our passions by enchantment's power.