The Defence of Guenevere
"God wot I ought to say, I have done ill,
And pray you all forgiveness heartily!
Because you must be right such great lords—still
"Listen, suppose your time were come to die,
And you were quite alone and very weak;
Yea, laid a dying while very mightily
"The wind was ruffling up the narrow streak
Of river through your broad lands running well:
Suppose a hush should come, then some one speak:
"'One of these cloths is heaven, and one is hell,
Now choose one cloth for ever; which they be,
I will not tell you, you must somehow tell
"'Of your own strength and mightiness; here, see!'
Yea, yea, my lord, and you to ope your eyes,
At foot of your familiar bed to see
"A great God's angel standing, with such dyes,
Not known on earth, on his great wings, and hands,
Held out two ways, light from the inner skies
"Showing him well, and making his commands
Seem to be God's commands, moreover, too,
Holding within his hands the cloths on wands;
"And one of these strange choosing cloths was blue,
Wavy and long, and one cut short and red;
No man could tell the better of the two.
"After a shivering half-hour you said,
'God help! heaven's colour, the blue;' and he said 'hell.'
Perhaps you then would roll upon your bed,