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The Dolorous Stroke


The Dolorous Stroke

"For sithen increased neither corn nor grass, nor well nigh no fruit, nor in the water was no fish: wherefore men call it the lands of the two marches, the waste land, for that Dolorous Stroke."

It befell in the realm of Logris,
   What time was deadly war,
That King Hurlame the Saracen
   Wrought hard on King Labor.

He drew his sword for the Dolorous Stroke
   Cleft thro' King Labor's helm:
Great pestilence did come therfor,—
   Yea, deadly hurt to Logris' realm.

No grass, no corn, grew in the field;
   No harvest gave it mirth.
Men called those lands, for the Dolorous Stroke,
   The waste land of the earth.