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Sunset Pantomime

The west is smeared with crimson.  Gates unclose,
The bronzed ramparts of a city rock to the swing
Of hammering hoofs of knights who ride with their king—
King Arthur of the Emerald—Launcelot of the Snows.
Sir Tristram, tall as a barley-sheaf, now goes,
Against the field, while Mark, like a hawk a-wing,
Jousts hard with Merlin, Keeper of the Wizard's Ring,
Before Queen Guinevere, the haughty rose.

The tourney's done; down meads of orange brier
Rides Galahad, his stallion sheathed in blue,
Himself in gold—and as he canters through,
With cross at pennon-head, like lilied spire,
Ten thousand knights compose his retinue—
The rich crusade that fades in purple fire.