Posts tagged ‘merlin met morgan-le-fay’

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Merlin Met Morgan-le-Fay by Florence Converse

            The King commanded two Knights and two ladies to take the child, bound in a cloth of gold, and that ye deliver him to what poor man ye meet at the postern gate of the castle. So the child was delivered unto Merlin…
And the third sister Morgan-le-Fay was put to school in a nunnery, and there she learned so much that she was a great clerk of necromancy.
Sir Thomas Malory:
Le Morte D’Arthur

Merlin met Morgan-le-Fay
In a Cornish lane;
Witch-words on her young lips,
And a blackberry stain.

In her hair a tangled spray
Of wild blackberry thorn.
“Merlin, Merlin, tell me,
Is the baby born?”

Merlin lifted up the veil,
Crooned a sleepy charm,
Cuddled Arthur, King of Britain,
Close in his arm.

Young maid Morgan-le-Fay
Stood tiptoe to see:
“Now that you’ve come, brother,
Who’ll think of me?

“Britain’s hope and Britain’s glory,
You may be – one day.
As for me, I’d rather be

“When I am put to school
In a nunnery,
I shall learn to weave spells
And spin sorcery.

“I shall be a great clerk,
Wise in necromancy.
I shall plague the King of Britain,
If I take a fancy.

“When I’m a damosel,
I’ll do as I dare.
I shall be a proper witch:
‘Ware, brother, ‘ware!”

Merlin wagged his awful beard,
Smiling through the crinkles;
Bent his shaggy brow above
Eyes full of twinkles.

“Fie, fie, Morgan-le-Fay,
Bow your naughty knee;
Kiss your liege, kiss your brother;
Swear fealty.

“Though you’re a proper witch,
I’m a proper wizard:
I know the magic books
From A to Izzard.

“Fools put their trust in magic,
Black, white, or gray,
I cannot save the kingdom,
You cannot betray.

“Arthur and his Table Round
Will dree their own weird.” –
Morgan-le-Fay stamped her foot
And tweaked Merlin’s beard.

“Why are kings? Why are witches?
Why am I, I?
Merlin, let me bite the baby,
Let me make him cry.”


Date: 1922

By: Florence Converse (1871-1967)