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An Arthurian Miscellany at




                "Behold also this mighty champion, Launcelot, peerless of knighthood, . . . that sometime was so terrible."

Still asleep, and fast asleep,
    The hermit-bishop lay,
And fell upon a great laughter
    An hour before the day.

Therewith his fellowship arose,
    And asked what ailed him then?
"Alas!" said he, "such joy was mine
    As shall not be again.

"Here was Sir Launcelot with me,
    And angels too, far more
Than there be men, that heav'd him up
    To heaven's open door!"

"Vexing of dreams, it is but dreams,"
    Said Bors. The bishop said,
"Yet go to Launcelot's bedside!"
    They go; they find him dead.

Still asleep, and fast asleep,
    Oh, sweet the smile he wore!
Sir Launcelot lay fast asleep,
    To waken never more.

Yes, there he lay, and smiled in sleep;
    And a sweetest savour rose:
But greater dolour none has heard,
    Than the dole within that house.

        *        *        *

Next day, the mass of requiem sung,
    They lift for him his sword.
The same bier that bare Gwenevere,
    Bare him to Joyous Garde.

And still asleep, and fast asleep,
    His visage open laid,
Within the quire of Joyous Garde
    Sir Launcelot lies dead.

Next: The Quest of the Grail: On The Eve, by Ernest Rhys [1905]