Thursday, June 30, 2022

In Marble-Fountained Closes

To One Reading the Morte d'Arthur
by Madison Cawein

O daughter of our Southern sun,
Sweet sister of each flower,
Dost dream in terraced Avalon
A shadow-haunted hour?
Or stand with Guinevere upon
Some ivied Camelot tower? 

Or, in the wind, dost breathe the musk
That blows Tintagel's sea on?
Or 'mid the lists by castled Usk
Hear some wild tourney's glee on?
Or 'neath the Merlin moons of dusk
Dost muse in old Caerleon? 

Or now of Launcelot, and then
Of Arthur, 'mid the roses,
Dost speak with wily Vivien?
Or, where the shade reposes,
Dost walk with stately, armored men
In marble-fountained closes? 

So speak the dreams within thy gaze,
The dreams thy spirit cages,
Would that Romance – which on thee lays
The spell of bygone ages –
Held me! A memory of those days,
A portion of those pages.

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