But who went backward when they saw the gate
Of diamond, nor dared to enter in;
And their life long they were content to wait,
Purging them patiently of every sin.
I must have had a dream of some such thing.
And now am just awaking from that dream;
For even in grey dawn those strange words ring
Through heart and brain, and still I see that gleam.
For in my dream at sunset-time I lay
Beneath these beeches, mail and helmet off,
Right full of joy that I had come away
From court; for I was patient of the scoff
That met me always there from day to day,
From any knave or coward of them all:
I was content to live that wretched way;
For truly till I left the council-hall.
And rode forth arm'd beneath the burning sun,
My gleams of happiness were faint and few,
But then I saw my real life had begun,
And that I should be strong quite well I knew.
For I was riding out to look for love.
Therefore the birds within the thickets sung,
Even in hot noontide, as I pass'd, above
The elms o'ersway'd with longing towards me hung.
Now some few fathoms from the place where I
Lay in the beech-wood, was a tower fair,
The marble corners faint against the sky;
And dreamily I wonder'd what lived there: