King Arthur's Tomb
"I hoped, these many years, he should grow great,
And in his great arms still encircle me,
Kissing my face, half blinded with the heat
Of king's love for the queen I used to be.
"Launcelot, Launcelot, why did he take your hand.
When he had kissed me in his kingly way?
Saying, 'This is the knight whom all the land
Calls Arthur's banner, sword, and shield to-day;
"'Cherish him, love.'Why did your long lips cleave
In such strange way unto my fingers then?
So eagerly glad to kiss, so loath to leave
When you rose up? Why among helmed men
"Could I always tell you by your long strong arms.
And sway like an angel's in your saddle there?
Why sicken'd I so often with alarms
Over the tilt-yard? Why were you more fair
"Than aspens in the autumn at their best?
Why did you fill all lands with your great fame,
So that Breuse even, as he rode, fear'd lest
At turning of the way your shield should flame?
"Was it nought then, my agony and strife?
When as day passed by day, year after year,
I found I could not live a righteous life?
Didst ever think that queens held their truth for dear.
"O, but your lips say, 'Yea, but she was cold
Sometimes, always uncertain as the spring;
When I was sad she would be overbold,
Longing for kisses;' when war-bells did ring,