La Mort d’Arthur, Not by Alfred Tennyson by William Edmonstoune Aytoun (Bon Gaultier)

Slowly, as one who bears a mortal hurt,
Through which the fountain of his life runs dry,
Crept good King Arthur down unto the lake.
A roughening wind was bringing in the waves
With cold dull plash and plunging to the shore,
And a great bank of clouds came sailing up
Athwart the aspect of the gibbous moon,
Leaving no glimpse save starlight, as he sank,
With a short stagger, senseless on the stones.

No man yet knows how long he lay in swound;
But long enough it was to let the rust
Lick half the surface of his polished shield;
For it was made by far inferior hands,
Than forged his helm, his breastplate, and his greaves,
Whereon no canker lighted, for they bore
The magic stamp of MECHI’S SILVER STEEL.

From: Bon Gaultier (ed), The Book of Ballads with and Introduction and Notes, 1904, William Blackwood and Sons: Edinburgh, p. 228.
(http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20477/20477-h/20477-h.htm)

Date: 1843

By: William Edmonstoune Aytoun (1813-1865)

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