+1 if you like poetry.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Czar's Last Christmas Letter: A Barn in the Urals by Norman Dubie

You were never told, Mother, how old Illyawas drunk
That last holiday, for five days and nights

He stumbled through Petersburg forming
A choir of mutes, he dressed them in pink ascension gowns

And, then, sold Father's Tirietz stallion so to rent
A hall for his Christmas recital: the audience

Was rowdy but Illya in his black robes turned on them
And gave them that look of his; the hall fell silent

And violently he threw his hair to the side and up
Went the baton, the recital ended exactly one hour

Later when Illya suddenly turned and bowed
And his mutes bowed, and what applause and hollering

All of his cronies were there!

Illya told us later that he thought the voices
Of mutes combine in a sound

Like wind passing through big, winter pines.
Mother, if for no other reason I regret the war

With Japan for, you must now be told,
It took the servant, Illya, from us. It was confirmed.

He would sit on the rocks by the water and with his stiletto
Open clams and pop the raw meats into his mouth

And drool and laugh at us children.
We hear guns often, now, down near the village.

Don't think me a coward, Mother, but it is comfortable
Now that I am no longer Czar. I can take pleasure

From just a cup of clear water. I hear Illya's choir often.
I teach the children about decreasing fractions, that is

A lesson best taught by the father.
Alexandra conducts the French and singing lessons.

Mother, we are again a physical couple.
I brush out her hair for her at night.

She thinks that we'll be rowing outside Geneva
By the spring. I hope she won't be disappointed.

Yesterday morning while bread was frying
In one corner, she in another washed all of her legs

Right in front of the children. I think
We became sad at her beauty. She has a purple bruise

On an ankle.
Like Illya I made her chew on mint.

Our Christmas will be in this excellent barn.
The guards flirt with your granddaughters and I see...

I see nothing wrong with it. Your little one, who is
Now a woman, made one soldier pose for her, she did

Him in charcoal, but as a bold nude. He was
Such an obvious virgin about it; he was wonderful!

Today, that same young man found us an enormous azure
And pearl samovar. Once, he called me Great Father

And got confused.
He refused to let me touch him.

I know they keep your letters from us. But, Mother,
The day they finally put them in my hands

I'll know that possessing them I am condemned
And possibly even my wife, and my children.

We will drink mint tea this evening.
Will each of us be increased by death?

With fractions as the bottom integer gets bigger, Mother, it
Represents less. That's the feeling I have about

This letter. I am at your request, The Czar.
And I am Nicholas.
The Czar's Last Christmas Letter: A Barn in the Urals by Norman Dubie

Norman Dubie is an American poet that no one has ever heard of.. but this poem is nice.

and this is a Czar.. or Tsar.. Or Zsar or SARS .. not sure which is correct.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

White Christmas by Robert William Service

My folks think I'm a serving maid
Each time I visit home;
They do not dream I ply a trade
As old as Greece or Rome;
For if they found I'd fouled their name
And was not white as snow,
I'm sure that they would die of shame . . .
Please, God, they'll never know.

I clean the paint from off my face,
In sober black I dress;
Of coquetry I leave no trace
To give them vague distress;
And though it causes me a pang
To play such sorry tricks,
About my neck I meekly hang
A silver crufix.

And so with humble step I go
Just like a child again,
To greet their Christmas candle-glow,
A soul without a stain;
So well I play my contrite part
I make myself believe
There's not a stain within my heart
On Holy Christmas Eve.

With double natures we are vext,
And what we feel, we are;
A saint one day, a sinner next,
A red light or a star;
A prostitute or proselyte,
And in each part sincere:
So I become a vestal white
One week in every year.

For this I say without demur
From out life's lurid lore,
Each righteous women has in her
A tincture of the whore;
While every harpy of the night,
As I have learned too well;
Holds in her heart a heaven-light
To ransom her from hell.

So I'll go home and sweep and dust;
I'll make the kitchen fire,
And be a model of daughters just
The best they could desire;
I'll fondle them and cook their food,
And Mother dear will say:
"Thank God! my darling is as good
As when she went away."

But after New Year's Day I'll fill
My bag and though they grieve,
I'll bid them both good-bye until
Another Christmas Eve;
And then . . . a knock upon the door:
I'll find them waiting there,
And angel-like I'll come once more
In answer to their prayer.

Then Lo! one night when candle-light
Gleams mystic on the snow,
And music swells of Christmas bells,
I'll come, no more to go:
The old folks need my love and care,
Their gold shall gild my dross,
And evermore my breast shall bear
My little silver cross.

White Christmas by Robert William Service

Robert William Service
(January 16, 1874 – September 11, 1958)
was a poet and writer who has often been called "the Bard of the Yukon"

First he was like..
but then he was like...
and that is how this poem was written...

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Christmas Tree by Robert William Service

In the dark and damp of the alley cold,
Lay the Christmas tree that hadn't been sold;
By a shopman dourly thrown outside;
With the ruck and rubble of Christmas-tide;
Trodden deep in the muck and mire,
Unworthy even to feed a fire...
So I stopped and salvaged that tarnished tree,
And thus is the story it told to me:

"My Mother was Queen of the forest glade,
And proudly I prospered in her shade;
For she said to me: 'When I am dead,
You will be monarch in my stead,
And reign, as I, for a hundred years,
A tower of triumph amid your peers,
When I crash in storm I will yield you space;
Son, you will worthily take my place.'

"So I grew in grace like a happy child,
In the heart of the forest free and wild;
And the moss and the ferns were all about,
And the craintive mice crept in and out;
And a wood-dove swung on my highest twig,
And a chipmunk chattered: 'So big! So big!'
And a shy fawn nibbled a tender shoot,
And a rabbit nibbled under my root...
Oh, I was happy in rain and shine
As I thought of the destiny that was mine!
Then a man with an axe came cruising by
And I knew that my fate was to fall and die.

"With a hundred others he packed me tight,
And we drove to a magic city of light,
To an avenue lined with Christmas trees,
And I thought: may be I'll be one of these,
Tinselled with silver and tricked with gold,
A lovely sight for a child to behold;
A-glitter with lights of every hue,
Ruby and emerald, orange and blue,
And kiddies dancing, with shrieks of glee -
One might fare worse than a Christmas tree.

"So they stood me up with a hundred more
In the blaze of a big department store;
But I thought of the forest dark and still,
And the dew and the snow and the heat and the chill,
And the soft chinook and the summer breeze,
And the dappled deer and the birds and the bees...
I was so homesick I wanted to cry,
But patient I waited for someone to buy.
And some said 'Too big,' and some 'Too small,'
And some passed on saying nothing at all.
Then a little boy cried: Ma, buy that one,'
But she shook her head: 'Too dear, my son."
So the evening came, when they closed the store,
And I was left on the littered floor,
A tree unwanted, despised, unsold,
Thrown out at last in the alley cold."

Then I said: "Don't sorrow; at least you'll be
A bright and beautiful New Year's tree,
All shimmer and glimmer and glow and gleam,
A radiant sight like a fairy dream.
For there is a little child I know,
Who lives in poverty, want and woe;
Who lies abed from morn to night,
And never has known an hour's delight..."

So I stood the tree at the foot of her bed:
"Santa's a little late," I said.
"Poor old chap! Snowbound on the way,
But he's here at last, so let's be gay."
Then she woke from sleep and she saw you there,
And her eyes were love and her lips were prayer.
And her thin little arms were stretched to you
With a yearning joy that they never knew.
She woke from the darkest dark to see
Like a heavenly vision, that Christmas Tree.

Her mother despaired and feared the end,
But from that day she began to mend,
To play, to sing, to laugh with glee...
Bless you, O little Christmas Tree!
You died, but your life was not in vain:
You helped a child to forget her pain,
And let hope live in our hearts again.

The Christmas Tree by Robert William Service

Famous Poetry Review
the part where the author states

Then I said: "Don't sorrow; at least you'll be
A bright and beautiful New Year's tree,
All shimmer and glimmer and glow and gleam,
A radiant sight like a fairy dream.
For there is a little child I know,
Who lives in poverty, want and woe;
Who lies abed from morn to night,
And never has known an hour's delight..."

Got me thinking.. Why does Santa like the rich kids more then the poor kids?!

Poetry Search | Famous Poetry

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Antiphones by Algernon Charles Swinburne

I -- In Church

Thou whose birth on earth
Angels sang to men,
While thy stars made mirth,
Saviour, at thy birth,
This day born again;

As this night was bright
With thy cradle-ray,
Very light of light,
Turn the wild world's night
To thy perfect day.

God whose feet made sweet
Those wild ways they trod,
From thy fragrant feet
Staining field and street
With the blood of God;

God whose breast is rest
In the time of strife,
In thy secret breast
Sheltering souls opprest
From the heat of life;

God whose eyes are skies
Love-lit as with spheres
By the lights that rise
To thy watching eyes,
Orbed lights of tears;

God whose heart hath part
In all grief that is,
Was not man's the dart
That went through thine heart,
And the wound not his?

Where the pale souls wail,
Held in bonds of death,
Where all spirits quail,
Came thy Godhead pale
Still from human breath -

Pale from life and strife,
Wan with manhood, came
Forth of mortal life,
Pierced as with a knife,
Scarred as with a flame.

Thou the Word and Lord
In all time and space
Heard, beheld, adored,
With all ages poured
Forth before thy face,

Lord, what worth in earth
Drew thee down to die?
What therein was worth,
Lord, thy death and birth?
What beneath thy sky?

Light above all love
By thy love was lit,
And brought down the Dove
Feathered from above
With the wings of it.

From the height of night,
Was not thine the star
That led forth with might
By no worldly light
Wise men from afar?

Yet the wise men's eyes
Saw thee not more clear
Than they saw thee rise
Who in shepherd's guise
Drew as poor men near.

Yet thy poor endure,
And are with us yet;
Be thy name a sure
Refuge for thy poor
Whom men's eyes forget.

Thou whose ways we praised,
Clear alike and dark,
Keep our works and ways
This and all thy days
Safe inside thine ark.

Who shall keep thy sheep,
Lord, and lose not one?
Who save one shall keep,
Lest the shepherds sleep?
Who beside the Son?

From the grave-deep wave,
From the sword and flame,
Thou, even thou, shalt save
Souls of king and slave
Only by thy Name.

Light not born with morn
Or her fires above,
Jesus virgin-born,
Held of men in scorn,
Turn their scorn to love.

Thou whose face gives grace
As the sun's doth heat,
Let thy sunbright face
Lighten time and space
Here beneath thy feet.

Bid our peace increase,
Thou that madest morn;
Bid oppressions cease;
Bid the night be peace;
Bid the day be born.


We whose days and ways
All the night makes dark,
What day shall we praise
Of these weary days
That our life-drops mark?

We whose mind is blind,
Fed with hope of nought;
Wastes of worn mankind,
Without heart or mind,
Without meat or thought;

We with strife of life
Worn till all life cease,
Want, a whetted knife,
Sharpening strife on strife,
How should we love peace?

Ye whose meat is sweet
And your wine-cup red,
Us beneath your feet
Hunger grinds as wheat,
Grinds to make you bread.

Ye whose night is bright
With soft rest and heat,
Clothed like day with light,
Us the naked night
Slays from street to street.

Hath your God no rod,
That ye tread so light?
Man on us as God,
God as man hath trod,
Trod us down with might.

We that one by one
Bleed from either's rod.
What for us hath done
Man beneath the sun,
What for us hath God?

We whose blood is food
Given your wealth to feed,
From the Christless rood
Red with no God's blood,
But with man's indeed;

How shall we that see
Nightlong overhead
Life, the flowerless tree,
Nailed whereon as we
Were our fathers dead -

We whose ear can hear,
Not whose tongue can name,
Famine, ignorance, fear,
Bleeding tear by tear
Year by year of shame,

Till the dry life die
Out of bloodless breast,
Out of beamless eye,
Out of mouths that cry
Till death feed with rest -

How shall we as ye,
Though ye bid us, pray?
Though ye call, can we
Hear you call, or see,
Though ye show us day?

We whose name is shame,
We whose souls walk bare,
Shall we call the same
God as ye by name,
Teach our lips your prayer?

God, forgive and give,
For His sake who died?
Nay, for ours who live,
How shall we forgive
Thee, then, on our side?

We whose right to light
Heaven's high noon denies,
Whom the blind beams smite
That for you shine bright,
And but burn our eyes,

With what dreams of beams
Shall we build up day,
At what sourceless streams
Seek to drink in dreams
Ere they pass away?

In what street shall meet,
At what market-place,
Your feet and our feet,
With one goal to greet,
Having run one race?

What one hope shall ope
For us all as one
One same horoscope,
Where the soul sees hope
That outburns the sun?

At what shrine what wine,
At what board what bread,
Salt as blood or brine,
Shall we share in sign
How we poor were fed?

In what hour what power
Shall we pray for morn,
If your perfect hour,
When all day bears flower,
Not for us is born?


Ye that weep in sleep,
Souls and bodies bound,
Ye that all night keep
Watch for change, and weep
That no change is found;

Ye that cry and die,
And the world goes on
Without ear or eye,
And the days go by
Till all days are gone;

Man shall do for you,
Men the sons of man,
What no God would do
That they sought unto
While the blind years ran.

Brotherhood of good,
Equal laws and rights,
Freedom, whose sweet food
Feeds the multitude
All their days and nights

With the bread full-fed
Of her body blest
And the soul's wine shed
From her table spread
Where the world is guest,

Mingling me and thee,
When like light of eyes
Flashed through thee and me
Truth shall make us free,
Liberty make wise;

These are they whom day
Follows and gives light
Whence they see to slay
Night, and burn away
All the seed of night.

What of thine and mine,
What of want and wealth,
When one faith is wine
For my heart and thine
And one draught is health?

For no sect elect
Is the soul's wine poured
And her table decked;
Whom should man reject
From man's common board?

Gods refuse and choose,
Grudge and sell and spare;
None shall man refuse,
None of all men lose,
None leave out of care.

No man's might of sight
Knows that hour before;
No man's hand hath might
To put back that light
For one hour the more.

Not though all men call,
Kneeling with void hands,
Shall they see light fall
Till it come for all
Tribes of men and lands.

No desire brings fire
Down from heaven by prayer,
Though man's vain desire
Hang faith's wind-struck lyre
Out in tuneless air.

One hath breath and saith
What the tune shall be -
Time, who puts his breath
Into life and death,
Into earth and sea.

To and fro years flow,
Fill their tides and ebb,
As his fingers go
Weaving to and fro
One unfinished web.

All the range of change
Hath its bounds therein,
All the lives that range
All the byways strange
Named of death or sin.

Star from far to star
Speaks, and white moons wake,
Watchful from afar
What the night's ways are
For the morning's sake.

Many names and flames
Pass and flash and fall,
Night-begotten names,
And the night reclaims,
As she bare them, all.

But the sun is one,
And the sun's name Right;
And when light is none
Saving of the sun,
All men shall have light.

All shall see and be
Parcel of the morn;
Ay, though blind were we,
None shall choose but see
When that day is born.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne

Algernon Charles Swinburne (London, April 5, 1837 - London, April 10, 1909) was an English poet, playwright, novelist, and critic. He invented the roundel form, wrote several novels, and contributed to the famous Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in every year from 1903 to 1907 and again in 1909.

Famous Poetry Review:
Even tho i personally dont believe the story of Jesus and i feel like the birth scene was stolen from previous, older religions and at its core was an ancient tale referencing astrology, the poem is good. The style and flow is one JediSwift could appreciate.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

In Memoriam A. H. H.: 78. Again at Christmas did we weave by Lord Alfred Tennyson

Lord Alfred Tennyson Poetry

Again at Christmas did we weave
The holly round the Christmas hearth;
The silent snow possess'd the earth,
And calmly fell our Christmas-eve:

The yule-log sparkled keen with frost,
No wing of wind the region swept,
But over all things brooding slept
The quiet sense of something lost.

As in the winters left behind,
Again our ancient games had place,
The mimic picture's breathing grace,
And dance and song and hoodman-blind.

Who show'd a token of distress?
No single tear, no mark of pain:
O sorrow, then can sorrow wane?
O grief, can grief be changed to less?

O last regret, regret can die!
No--mixt with all this mystic frame,
Her deep relations are the same,
But with long use her tears are dry.

Famous Poetry Review:
I personally love his word usage its as if this man was a rapper in his day. His constant rhyming through the whole piece shows true mastery in his ability to manipulate words on a page. I also love of his reference to the occult also. Subtle yet his obviously displays understanding of the true origin of christmas as being pagan.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Special Holidays by Joanna Fuchs

Special Holidays
We're thinking of you this time of year,
Wishing you happiness, joy, and cheer.
May all your days be warm and bright,
And your nights enhanced by holiday light.
Enjoy your delectable holiday foods,
As parties and gifts create holiday moods.
Favorite people play a meaningful part,
While treasured rituals warm your heart.
You are special to us in many ways,
So we wish you Happy Holidays!
By Joanna Fuchs

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Christmas Carol by William Topaz McGonagall

Welcome, sweet Christmas, blest be the morn
That Christ our Saviour was born!
Earth's Redeemer, to save us from all danger,
And, as the Holy Record tells, born in a manger.

Chorus --

Then ring, ring, Christmas bells,
Till your sweet music o'er the kingdom swells,
To warn the people to respect the morn
That Christ their Saviour was born.

The snow was on the ground when Christ was born,
And the Virgin Mary His mother felt very forlorn
As she lay in a horse's stall at a roadside inn,
Till Christ our Saviour was born to free us from sin.

Oh! think of the Virgin Mary as she lay
In a lowly stable on a bed of hay,
And angels watching O'er her till Christ was born,
Therefore all the people should respect Christmas morn.

The way to respect Christmas time
Is not by drinking whisky or wine,
But to sing praises to God on Christmas morn,
The time that Jesus Christ His Son was born;

Whom He sent into the world to save sinners from hell
And by believing in Him in heaven we'll dwell;
Then blest be the morn that Christ was born,
Who can save us from hell, death, and scorn.

Then he warned, and respect the Saviour dear,
And treat with less respect the New Year,
And respect always the blessed morn
That Christ our Saviour was born.

For each new morn to the Christian is dear,
As well as the morn of the New Year,
And he thanks God for the light of each new morn.
Especially the morn that Christ was born.

Therefore, good people, be warned in time,
And on Christmas morn don't get drunk with wine
But praise God above on Christmas morn,
Who sent His Son to save us from hell and scorn.

There the heavenly babe He lay
In a stall among a lot of hay,
While the Angel Host by Bethlehem
Sang a beautiful and heavenly anthem.

Christmas time ought to be held most dear,
Much more so than the New Year,
Because that's the time that Christ was born,
Therefore respect Christmas morn.

And let the rich be kind to the poor,
And think of the hardships they do endure,
Who are neither clothed nor fed,
And Many without a blanket to their bed.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Modern Love XXIII: 'Tis Christmas Weather by George Meredith

'Tis Christmas weather, and a country house 
Receives us: rooms are full: we can but get 
An attic-crib. Such lovers will not fret 
At that, it is half-said. The great carouse 
Knocks hard upon the midnight's hollow door, 
But when I knock at hers, I see the pit. 
Why did I come here in that dullard fit? 
I enter, and lie couched upon the floor. 
Passing, I caught the coverlet's quick beat:-- 
Come, Shame, burn to my soul! and Pride, and Pain-- 
Foul demons that have tortured me, enchain! 
Out in the freezing darkness the lambs bleat. 
The small bird stiffens in the low starlight. 
I know not how, but shuddering as I slept, 
I dreamed a banished angel to me crept: 
My feet were nourished on her breasts all night.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

From The Short Story A Christmas Dream, And How It Came True by Louisa May Alcott

From our happy home 
Through the world we roam 
One week in all the year, 
Making winter spring 
With the joy we bring 
For Christmas-tide is here. 

Now the eastern star 
Shines from afar 
To light the poorest home; 
Hearts warmer grow, 
Gifts freely flow, 
For Christmas-tide has come. 

Now gay trees rise 
Before young eyes, 
Abloom with tempting cheer; 
Blithe voices sing, 
And blithe bells ring, 
For Christmas-tide is here. 

Oh, happy chime, 
Oh, blessed time, 
That draws us all so near! 
"Welcome, dear day," 
All creatures say, 
For Christmas-tide is here.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Music on Christmas Morning by Anne Bronte

Music I love -­ but never strain
Could kindle raptures so divine,
So grief assuage, so conquer pain,
And rouse this pensive heart of mine -­
As that we hear on Christmas morn,
Upon the wintry breezes borne. 
Though Darkness still her empire keep,
And hours must pass, ere morning break;
From troubled dreams, or slumbers deep,
That music kindly bids us wake:
It calls us, with an angel's voice,
To wake, and worship, and rejoice; 

To greet with joy the glorious morn,
Which angels welcomed long ago,
When our redeeming Lord was born,
To bring the light of Heaven below;
The Powers of Darkness to dispel,
And rescue Earth from Death and Hell. 

While listening to that sacred strain,
My raptured spirit soars on high;
I seem to hear those songs again
Resounding through the open sky,
That kindled such divine delight,
In those who watched their flocks by night. 

With them, I celebrate His birth -­
Glory to God, in highest Heaven,
Good-will to men, and peace on Earth,
To us a Saviour-king is given;
Our God is come to claim His own,
And Satan's power is overthrown! 

A sinless God, for sinful men,
Descends to suffer and to bleed;
Hell must renounce its empire then;
The price is paid, the world is freed,
And Satan's self must now confess,
That Christ has earned a Right to bless: 

Now holy Peace may smile from heaven,
And heavenly Truth from earth shall spring:
The captive's galling bonds are riven,
For our Redeemer is our king;
And He that gave his blood for men
Will lead us home to God again.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Holidays by Thomas Hood

Along the Woodford road there comes a noise 
Of wheels, and Mr. Rounding's neat post-chaise 
Struggles along, drawn by a pair of bays, 
With Reverend Mr. Crow and six small boys, 
Who ever and anon declare their joys 
With trumping horns and juvenile huzzas, 
At going home to spend their Christmas days, 
And changing learning's pains for pleasure's toys. 
Six weeks elapse, and down the Woodford way 
A heavy coach drags six more heavy souls, 
But no glad urchins shout, no trumpets bray, 
The carriage makes a halt, the gate-bell tolls, 
And little boys walk in as dull and mum 
As six new scholars to the Deaf and Dumb!

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sir Galahad, a Christmas Mystery by William Morris

It is the longest night in all the year,
Near on the day when the Lord Christ was born;
Six hours ago I came and sat down here,
And ponder'd sadly, wearied and forlorn.

The winter wind that pass'd the chapel door,
Sang out a moody tune, that went right well
With mine own thoughts: I look'd down on the floor,
Between my feet, until I heard a bell

Sound a long way off through the forest deep,
And toll on steadily; a drowsiness
Came on me, so that I fell half asleep,
As I sat there not moving: less and less

I saw the melted snow that hung in beads
Upon my steel-shoes; less and less I saw
Between the tiles the bunches of small weeds:
Heartless and stupid, with no touch of awe

Upon me, half-shut eyes upon the ground,
I thought: O Galahad! the days go by,
Stop and cast up now that which you have found,
So sorely you have wrought and painfully.

Night after night your horse treads down alone
The sere damp fern, night after night you sit
Holding the bridle like a man of stone,
Dismal, unfriended: what thing comes of it?

And what if Palomydes also ride,
And over many a mountain and bare heath
Follow the questing beast with none beside?
Is he not able still to hold his breath

With thoughts of Iseult? doth he not grow pale
With weary striving, to seem best of all
To her, "as she is best," he saith? to fail
Is nothing to him, he can never fall.

For unto such a man love-sorrow is
So dear a thing unto his constant heart,
That even if he never win one kiss,
Or touch from Iseult, it will never part.

And he will never know her to be worse
Than in his happiest dreams he thinks she is:
Good knight, and faithful, you have 'scaped the curse
In wonderful-wise; you have great store of bliss.

Yea, what if Father Launcelot ride out,
Can he not think of Guenevere's arms, round
Warm and lithe, about his neck, and shout
Till all the place grows joyful with the sound?

And when he lists can often see her face,
And think, "Next month I kiss you, or next week,
And still you think of me": therefore the place
Grows very pleasant, whatsoever he seek.

But me, who ride alone, some carle shall find
Dead in my arms in the half-melted snow,
When all unkindly with the shifting wind,
The thaw comes on at Candlemas: I know

Indeed that they will say: "This Galahad
If he had lived had been a right good knight;
Ah! poor chaste body!" but they will be glad,
Not most alone, but all, when in their sight

That very evening in their scarlet sleeves
The gay-dress'd minstrels sing; no maid will talk
Of sitting on my tomb, until the leaves,
Grown big upon the bushes of the walk,

East of the Palace-pleasaunce, make it hard
To see the minster therefrom: well-a-day!
Before the trees by autumn were well bared,
I saw a damozel with gentle play,

Within that very walk say last farewell
To her dear knight, just riding out to find
(Why should I choke to say it?) the Sangreal,
And their last kisses sunk into my mind,

Yea, for she stood lean'd forward on his breast,
Rather, scarce stood; the back of one dear hand,
That it might well be kiss'd, she held and press'd
Against his lips; long time they stood there, fann'd

By gentle gusts of quiet frosty wind,
Till Mador de la porte a-going by,
And my own horsehoofs roused them; they untwined,
And parted like a dream. In this way I,

With sleepy face bent to the chapel floor,
Kept musing half asleep, till suddenly
A sharp bell rang from close beside the door,
And I leapt up when something pass'd me by,

Shrill ringing going with it, still half blind
I stagger'd after, a great sense of awe
At every step kept gathering on my mind,
Thereat I have no marvel, for I saw

One sitting on the altar as a throne,
Whose face no man could say he did not know,
And though the bell still rang, he sat alone,
With raiment half blood-red, half white as snow.

Right so I fell upon the floor and knelt,
Not as one kneels in church when mass is said,
But in a heap, quite nerveless, for I felt
The first time what a thing was perfect dread.

But mightily the gentle voice came down:
"Rise up, and look and listen, Galahad,
Good knight of God, for you will see no frown
Upon my face; I come to make you glad.

"For that you say that you are all alone,
I will be with you always, and fear not
You are uncared for, though no maiden moan
Above your empty tomb; for Launcelot,

"He in good time shall be my servant too,
Meantime, take note whose sword first made him knight,
And who has loved him alway, yea, and who
Still trusts him alway, though in all men's sight,

"He is just what you know, O Galahad,
This love is happy even as you say,
But would you for a little time be glad,
To make ME sorry long, day after day?

"Her warm arms round his neck half throttle ME,
The hot love-tears burn deep like spots of lead,
Yea, and the years pass quick: right dismally
Will Launcelot at one time hang his head;

"Yea, old and shrivell'd he shall win my love.
Poor Palomydes fretting out his soul!
Not always is he able, son, to move
His love, and do it honour: needs must roll

"The proudest destrier sometimes in the dust,
And then 'tis weary work; he strives beside
Seem better than he is, so that his trust
Is always on what chances may betide;

"And so he wears away, my servant, too,
When all these things are gone, and wretchedly
He sits and longs to moan for Iseult, who
Is no care now to Palomydes: see,

"O good son, Galahad, upon this day,
Now even, all these things are on your side,
But these you fight not for; look up, I say,
And see how I can love you, for no pride

"Closes your eyes, no vain lust keeps them down.
See now you have ME always; following
That holy vision, Galahad, go on,
Until at last you come to ME to sing

"In Heaven always, and to walk around
The garden where I am." He ceased, my face
And wretched body fell upon the ground;
And when I look'd again, the holy place

Was empty; but right so the bell again
Came to the chapel-door, there entered
Two angels first, in white, without a stain,
And scarlet wings, then, after them, a bed

Four ladies bore, and set it down beneath
The very altar-step, and while for fear
I scarcely dared to move or draw my breath,
Those holy ladies gently came a-near,

And quite unarm'd me, saying: "Galahad,
Rest here awhile and sleep, and take no thought
Of any other thing than being glad;
Hither the Sangreal will be shortly brought,

"Yet must you sleep the while it stayeth here."
Right so they went away, and I, being weary,
Slept long and dream'd of Heaven: the bell comes near,
I doubt it grows to morning. Miserere!

[Enter Two Angels in white, with scarlet wings; also, Four Ladies in gowns of red and green; also an Angel, bearing in his hands a surcoat of white, with a red cross.]


O servant of the high God, Galahad!
Rise and be arm'd: the Sangreal is gone forth
Through the great forest, and you must be had
Unto the sea that lieth on the north:

There shall you find the wondrous ship wherein
The spindles of King Solomon are laid,
And the sword that no man draweth without sin,
But if he be most pure: and there is stay'd,

Hard by, Sir Launcelot, whom you will meet
In some short space upon that ship: first, though,
Will come here presently that lady sweet,
Sister of Percival, whom you well know,

And with her Bors and Percival: stand now,
These ladies will to arm you.

[FIRST LADY, putting on the hauberk]

That I may stand so close beneath your brow,
Margaret of Antioch, am glad.

[SECOND LADY, girding him with the sword.]

That I may stand and touch you with my hand,
O Galahad, I, Cecily, am glad.

[THIRD LADY, buckling on the spurs.]

That I may kneel while up above you stand,
And gaze at me, O holy Galahad,
I, Lucy, am most glad.

[FOURTH LADY, putting on the basnet.]

O gentle knight,
That you bow down to us in reverence,
We are most glad, I, Katherine, with delight
Must needs fall trembling.

[ANGEL, putting on the crossed surcoat.]

Galahad, we go hence,

For here, amid the straying of the snow,
Come Percival's sister, Bors, and Percival.

[The Four Ladies carry out the bed, and all go but Galahad.]


How still and quiet everything seems now:
They come, too, for I hear the horsehoofs fall.

[Enter Sir Bors, Sir Percival and his Sister.]

Fair friends and gentle lady, God you save!
A many marvels have been here to-night;
Tell me what news of Launcelot you have,
And has God's body ever been in sight?


Why, as for seeing that same holy thing,
As we were riding slowly side by side,
An hour ago, we heard a sweet voice sing,
And through the bare twigs saw a great light glide,

With many-colour'd raiment, but far off;
And so pass'd quickly: from the court nought good;
Poor merry Dinadan, that with jape and scoff
Kept us all merry, in a little wood

Was found all hack'd and dead: Sir Lionel
And Gauwaine have come back from the great quest,
Just merely shamed; and Lauvaine, who loved well
Your father Launcelot, at the king's behest

Went out to seek him, but was almost slain,
Perhaps is dead now; everywhere
The knights come foil'd from the great quest, in vain;
In vain they struggle for the vision fair.

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