Skip to main content

Full text of "The Coming of Arthur and The Passing of Arthur"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 




m._ . Mj^— 



l^ /'' •■ ' 

. ' 









F. J. ROWE M.A. 


1 1 

ii 1 






,t t i, >m ttk0^\ ti^tH^r 

t^imt^ittt^at^ittmtlmmim ^■l«iii^« 

/ /T,-- .^:* 








Qmi of iMi 
Professor of English 

in the 

Johns Hopkins University 



.. 1 

I I 








Flint RillUon Jmiimit, KM, 

ItopriiiUxl rabruarjr muI April, I8W1! IDM | 

January, April, and Docenbor, MIM ; 

Auiput, IMMk 


OEC 11 1973 / 

''■■ ] 



GkNKRAL iNTUdDUCriON, • . • 

Intkoduction to Ii>yijj4 or tiik KiNa, 


TiiK Pahmino of Arthur. 

XoTKH TO Tiik Coming or Arthur, . 
Norr^H TO Tiik 1*amhino or Arthur, 

Indkx TO NOTXS, 











Bv F. J. ROWK, M.A., and W. T. WEBB, M.A., 
rRorRHHORs or knolibii utcraturb, phkmioency ooLLisnie, Calcutta. 


IHofrmphy. I. TcnnyNon iho man : 1. Ilh hoiiho of I«a\v nhowii In hiii oon- 
coiilluiiii nt (a) Naturo ; (h) I^Voodom ; (e) Lovo ; (ti) fkuiicry. 2. Hit nobility 
of ilioiiKht, nnU IiIa rolifflon. 8. U\n HlmpUclly of omoilon. If. Tonnynon 
tlio Foot: 1. An l(/>t>ruNoiiUilvo of hit Ago. 2. Aa ArtiNt: (a) Hit obaorva- 
lion; (h) Ilin NohoUrHhlp ; (e) IIIh oxproMlvonom ; (ti) Hit timlloa; (e) Ills 
AVoldnnco of tho oommonpli%co ; (/) IIIn ropoiltlon and onnnnanM; (g) Ilia 
hanuony o£ rliythra ; (h) UU moludy of diction, lilt dramailo workit Oon- 

Alkukd, Loud Tknnyson, was horn on August Gth, oiogimp^. 

1809, at Somersby, a village in LincolnRhiro, of which 

his father was rector. Tho wolds suiTOunding his home, 

tho fen somo miles away, with its *' level waste'' and 

'Hrenched waters,'' and tho sea on tho Lincolnshiro 

coast, with "league-long rollers'* and "table-shore," 

are pictured again and again in his poems. 

When he was seven years old ho was sent to 

tho Louth Grammar School, and returning home after 

a few years there, was educated with his elder brother 

Charles by his father. Charles and Alfred Tennyson, 

while yet youths, published in 1827 a small volumo 

of poetry entitled Poeins by Two Broilers. In 1828 

the two brothers entered Trinity College, Cambridge, 

where Alfred gained the University Chancellor's gold 


■ii HiH ip iiij wi i i .iii iii L ] l u ii L.i i iiiii'tJ i ..- . .L»j w ii!y ■ 

-— — ■- " ' ■ — ■ - ^* 

. Tenojioii 


medal for a poem on Timhiicioo^ and where ho 
formed an intimate friendship with Arthur Henry 
Hallam (son of the historian), whoso memory ho has 
immortalised in In Mcmmanu Among his other 
Cambridge friends may be mentioned II. C. Trench 
(after^vards Archbishop of Dublin), Monckton Milnes 
(afterwards Lord Houghton), J. AI. Kemble (the 
Anglo-Saxon scholar), Merivale (the historian, after- 
wards Dean of Ely), James Spedding, and W. IL 
Brookfield. In 1830 Tennyson published his PoemSf 
diiefly Lyrical^ among which are to bo found some sixty 
pieces that are preserved in the present issues of his 
works. In 1832 Poems hj Alfred. Tennyson appeared, and 
then, after an interval of ten years, two more volumes, 
also with the title Poems, His reputation as a poet was 
now established, though his greatest works were yet 
to come. Chief among these are The Pnncess (1847), 
In Memoriam (I8r)0), Mtnid (1855), Idylls of the King 
(1850-1885), and Enoch Arden (1864). In 1875 Tenny- 
son published his first drama, Qmcn Mary, followed by 
Harold (1877), The Cup (acted in 1881), The Promise of 
May (1882), r/i« Falcon and Beckel (1884), and The 
Foresters (1892). On the death of Wordsworth in 1850, 
Tennyson succeeded him as Poet Laureate. In 1874 
he was gazetted Baron of Aldworth and Farringford, 
his two seats in Sussex and in the Isle of Wight He 
died on October Gth, 1892, and was buried in West- 
minster Abbey, near the grave of Browning. 

L Of all modern English poets Tennyson has most 
readers ; and the chief elements of the powerful charm 
which he exercises over the hearts and minds of all 
English-speaking peoples will be evident on even a brief 


" ; 





8urvoy of tho character of bis mind as revealed in his 
works, and of tho matter and the form of his verse. 
At the hasis of all Tennyson's teaching, indeed of all 
■J I his work, is Tennyson iht man. The mould of a poet's 

; 1 mind is the mould in which his thoughts and even his 

i i modes of expression must run, and the works of a poet 

I cannot be fully understood unless we understand tho 

' / poet himself. 

1. Conspicuous among the main currents of thought (^ I'f" mi 
and feeling that flow through the body of his writings 
is his perception of the movement of 'Law throughout 
the worlds of sense and of spirit : he recognises there- 
in a settled scheme of great purposes underlying a 
universal order and gradually developing to completion. 

(a) Illustrations of this recognition of pervading Law ahowu in i 
may be found in his conception of Nature, and in his oo'^Sun 
treatment of human action and of natural scenery. 
Nature, which to Shelley was a spirit of Love, and to 
Wordsworth a living and speaking presence of Thought, 
is to Tennyson a process of Law including both. Even 
in tho midst of his mourning over the seeming waste 
involved in the early death of his friend, he can write 
in In Memoriam 

I curao not nature, no, nor death; 
For nothing is that errs from law. 

In all the workings of Nature he traces the evolution 
vj of the great designs of God : 

i|| That God, which over lives and loves, 

One God, one law, one element. 
And one far-off divine event 
To which the whole creation moves. 

■/ K 


In Hie Higher Pantheism^ a similar thought is found: 

Ooil IH law, Miy tlio wiho; O koiiI, nnd let ii8 rcjoico, 
For if Ho thuntlor by law, tlio tliuiulcr ia yet His voico. 

(»)iV8odimi,* (6) Allied to this faith that tho universe is "roUVl 
round by one fixt law" is tho poet's sympathy with 
disciplined order in the various spheres of human action. 
In his teaching on social and political questions, his 
ideal is a majestic order, a gradual and regular de- 
velopment, without rest indeed, but, above all, without 
haste. His ideal Freedom is *' sobcr-suitcd *- ; it is 
such a Freedom as has been evolved by the gradual 
growth of English institutions, a Freedom which 

slowly broaclcns clown 
From prccctlciit to prccctlcnt. 

lie has small faith in sudden outbursts of revolutionary 
fervour ; ho thinks that the ** red fool fury of the Seine " 
(alluding to tho excesses of the French revohitionaries), 
tho "flashing heats'* of tho "frantic city," retard man's 
progress towards real lilKjrty : they "but fire to blast 
the ho|)os of men." If liberty is to be a solid and 
lasting possession, it must bo gained by jiatient years 
of working and waiting, not by "expecting all things 
in an hour"; for with him "raw Haste" is but "half- 
sister to Delay." So also Tennyson's love for his own 
country is regulated and philosophic: ho has given 
us a few patriotic martial lyrics that stir tho living 
bloo<l " like a trumpet cidl," as The Charge of (he Light 
Brigade and Tlie lievcnge, but in the main his patriotism 
is founded on admiration for the great "storied past" 
' of England. Though in youth ho triumphs in " tho 
Vision of the world and all tho wonder that would be," 



yet neithor in youth nor in age is ho himself without 
some distrust of the now democratic forces which may 
end in " working their own doom " : — 

Stop by step wo gaiii'd a froodom known to Kurope, known 

to all, 
Stop l»y step wo roso to greatness^ thro' tlio tongucstora wo 

niuy fall 

(c) Again, in liis conception of the passion of Love, (e)Lov«s 
and in his portraiture of Womanhood, the same spirit of 
reverence and self-control animates Tennyson's verse. 
Love, in Tennyson, is a pure unselfish passion. Even 
the guilty love of Lancelot and Guinevere is described 
from a spiritual standpoint, in its evil effects rather 
than in any sensuous detail. His highest ideal of love 
is found in the pure p«ission of wedded life : true love 
can exist only under the s<inction of Duty and of 
licverenco for womanhood and one's higher self; and 
such love is the source of man's loftiest ideas, and 
the inspiration of his noblest deeds. Examples of this 
treatment may bo seen in The Miller's Daughter^ Enoch 
Ardrn, The Gardener*^ Daughter^ and Guinevere, and it 
underlies the moral lessons inculcated in The Princess, 

{d) Lastly, Tennyson's a])preciution of Order is illus-((i)8o,||,^, 
trated in his treatment of natural scenery. It is true 
that he sometimes gives us scenes of savage grandeur, 
as in 

tho monstrous lodges slope and spill 
Thoir thousand wreaths of dangling wator-smoko, 

but he oftener describes still English landscapes, the 
'* haunts of ancient peace," with ** plaited alleys " and 
" terrace lawn," " long, gray fields," •* tracts of pasture 
sunny-warm," and all the ordered quiet of rural life. 

^^ - 



<2)JiijjtKWM. 2. A second groat element of Tennyson's charactci 
J2JW; 18 its noble '.one. This is present in every poem ho 
has ever written. His verse is informed with the very 
spirit of Honour, of Duty, and of Ileverenco for all 
that is pure and true. This is the spirit that animates 
the famous passage in (Enone: 

Sclf-rcvcrcncc, kcU- knowledge, solf'Control, 
Tlirno tlircio nlf>iio Iciul life to Rovcroign power. 
Yet not for i>ower (power of herself 
Would come uncalled for), 1>ut to live by law, 
Acting the law we live l>y without fear; 
And, because right is right, to follow right 
Were wiwloni in the scorn of consccjuencc. 

It is illustrated on its negative side in The Palace of 
jirt; it breathes through his noble Otle on the Death 
of the Diike of jrcUinf/tou, and it pervades and inspires 
his picture of King Arthur in the Idi/lls of the King. 

Tennyson's religious faith is sufficiently indicated in 
his writings. At the root of his poetry (as Mr. Stopford 
Brooke has remarked) lie " the ever working imman- 
ence of God in man, the brotberhooil of the human 
race, and its evolution into perfect love and righteous- 
ness ; the continuance of each man's personal conscious- 
ness in the life to bo ; the vitality of the present — man 
^ alive and Nature alive, and alive with the life of God." 
(s) uto ainpii- 3, Another main characteristic of Jl'ennvson is sim- 

city of • 

plicity. The emotions that he api>oals to are generally 
easy to understand and common to all. lie avoids the 
subtle analysis of character, and the painting of complex 
motives or of the wild excess of passion. The moral 
laws which he so strongly upholds aro those primary 
sanctions uiion which average English society is founded. 


A certain Puritan simplicity and a scholarly restraint 
pervade the moss of his work. 

It is on these foundations of Order, Nobility, and 
Simplicity that Tennyson's character is built. 

II. Turning now to the matter or substance of his ii. Tmnywrn 
poems, we note, first, that the two chief factors of 
Tennyson's popularity are that he is a representative 
English poet, and that he is a consummate Artist 

1. In the great spheres of human thought — in rcli- (0 At R6pr«- 
gion, in morals, in social life — his poems reflect thohtoAg*; 
complex tendencies of his age and his surrounding& 
Not, it may be, the most advanced ideas, not the latest 
speculation, not the transient contentions of the hour ; 
but the broad results of culture and experience upon 
the poet's Engh'sh contemporaries. The ground of 
Tennyson's claim to be considered a representative of 
his ago is seen in the lines of thought pursued in some 
of those more imi)ortant poems which deal >vith the 
great problems and paramount interests of his times. 
The poems cover n period of fifty years, and must bo 
considered in the order of their publication. In 
Locksley Ilallf published in 1842, the speaker, after 
giving vent to his own tale of passion and regret, be- 
comes the mouthpiece of the young hopes and aspira- 
tions of the Liberalism of the early Victorian era, 
while in Lockslcjf IIM Sixty Years Afler^ the doubts 
and distrust felt by the Conservatism of our own 
times find dramatic utterance. The Princes deals with 
a question of lasting interest to society, and one which 
has of late years risen into more conspicuous import- 
ance, the changing position and proi^er s])here of 
Woman. In Tlw Palace of Art the i>oot describes and 

I (III 1. 1. Ill, UljiMlWiifl 


condemns a spirit of (csthoticiHm whoso solo religion 
is tho worship of Beauty and Knowlcdgo for thoir 
own snkos, and wliich ignores Iiunmn responsibility and 
obligations to one's fi*IIow-nu*n : while in SL /Simeon 
Sft/llieSf tlio poet eipmlly condemns the evils of a self- 
centred religious asceticism which despises tho activo 
duties of daily life. The Fimn of Sin is a picturo of 
the perversion of nature and of the final despair which 
attend tho pursuit of sensual pleasure. 77ie 'hco Voices 
illustrates the introspective self-analysis with which 
the ago discusses the fundamental problem of exist- 
ence, finding all solutions vain except those dictated 
by tho simplest voices of tho conscience and tho 
heart. Tho poet's great work, In Mcmoriam^ is the 
history of a tender human soul confronted with the 
stem, relentless order of tho Universe and tho seem- 
ing waste and cruelty of Death. The poem traces 
tho progress of sorrow from the Valley of Death, 
over-shadowed by the darkness of unspeakable loss, 
through tho regions of philosophic doubt and medita- 
tion to the serene heights of resignation and hope, 
where Faith and Lovo can triumph over Death in the 
confident hope of a life lieyond, and over Doubt by 
tho realiasation 

That all, ns in nomo pircu of art, 
Is UmI ciioiioraiit to an end. 

Mmul is dated at tho conclusion of that long period 
of iieaco which ended at the Crimean War, when the 
commercial prosperity of England hail reached a height 
unknown Wore, and when *< Britain's solo god" was 
tho millionaire. Tho ^loom gives a dramatic ron- 



Gknkral lNTiioDi;cTio2«, • Ix 

Intkoduction to IiivhM or thk Kino, • . . • xxix 

TllK COMINCJ or AliTlIUR, • 1 

TiiK Pahminu or ARTiiirii, 17 

NuTKH TO TlIK COMINO Or AliTlIUR, . • • . .83 

XoTKH TO TlIK Pahhino or Aktiiuu, • • . • 02 
Imdkx to NoTXis, 77 





Prayer, from a living aonrco within tho will, 
And 1)cating up throngli all tho bitter world, 
. Like fountains of sweet water in tho sea 

{£w)ch Arden), 

(b) Allusions to tho Classics of moro than one land ^?j* 
may bo found in Tennyson. Lines and expressions 
would seem sometimes to bo sugge8te<I by the Greek 

or l^atin poets, and in these tho translution is generally 
so hap|)y a rendering of the original as to give an 
added grace to what was already beautiful. Illustra- 
tions of this characteristic will . be found among tho 
Notes at the end of this volume. There is occasionally 
a reconditcness about these allusions which may puzzle 
the general reader. For example, in the lines 

And over those ethereal eyes 
Tho bar of Michael Angelo 

{In Memoriam) 

where tho reference is to the projection of the frontal 
bone above the eye-brows noticeable in tho portraits 
of Michael Angelo and of Arthur Hallam, a peculiarity 
of shaiy ^^^^ ^ indicate strength of character and 
mental ^ 'iwer. Similarly in 

Proxy-wedded with a 1xx)tless calf 

{The Princess) 

we find an allusion to an old ceremony of marriago 
by proxy, where an ambassador or agent representing 
the absent bridegroom, after taking off his long riding- 
boot, placed his leg in the bridal bed. 

(c) Wo may next note Tennyson's unequalled power (OHiiexprM. 

of finding single words to give at a flash, as it were, ' *^* 


V ■ *»^ 



an exact picture. What he has written of Virgirs art 
18 equally true of his own, which offers us 

All the charm of nU ilio Muhcs 

often flowering in a lonely word. 

Tins power of fitting the word to the tliought may he 
seen in the following examples: *^ creamy spruy"; "/i/y 
maid''; "the ripple ioashing in the reeds'* and "the 
wild water lapping on the crag " ; " the dying ebb that 
faintly /f/)/iV/ the Hat red granite"; "as the fiery Sirius 
bickers into red and emerald"; "women blowz*d with 
health and wind and rain." 

iuJilm' ^^J ^^^* ^* ^* Macaulay (Intro<lnction to Oarcth and 

* Lynette) has remarked upon the picturesriuenuMR, the 

elaliorato aptness, and the individual and iM^rsonal 

character of Tennyson's similes. Of their picturesquo 

aptness two examples will be suOicient hero: 


V\\Q great brand 
Made lightnings In tlic Hplondour of tlie moon, 
. And fliiHhing round and round, and MiiirlM in an arch, 
Hhot liko a sircanicr of the northern morn, 
Seen where tliu moving ifileH of winter Hhock 
By night, M'itli noises of the northern sea 

{Mortt (T Arthur) 

Dust are our fi\inie8 ; and, ftilded dunt, our prido 
Looks only for a moment wliolo and Houiid ; 
Liko that long-buried iiO<ly of tlie king, 
Found lying with his urns and ornaments, 
Which at a touch of light, an air of he^tvon, 
8Upt into ashes, and was found no more 

(Aylmtf^B Field). 

As regards their individual and personal character, 
Tennyson's similes in many cases "do not so much 


appeal to common oxpcrieiicoi as bring before us somo 
special thing or somo peculiar a8i)ect of nature, which 
the poet has vividly present to his own mind, whilo 
to the rcaclcr ])erhaps the picture suggested may bo 
quite unfamiliar." As examples we may take the 
following : 

So now that ulioclow of inincliiinco appcarM 
No graver than as whoii fionio littlo cloud 
Ciitii oir tlio fiery highway of the sun, 
And isles a light in the oflin^ 

(Enoch Artlru), 

So, in Ocraini and Jiuul, when the bandit falls trans- 
fixed by Oeraint's lance, Tennyson writ^'sj 

Am ho that tollH the tnlo 
Saw oiico a great pioco of a prdinoiitory, 
That had a najilhig growing on it, Hlido 
From the long Mhoro-elilfN windy M'alU to tiio lioauh, 
And there lie Htill, and yet the tuipling grew. 

A remarkable instance of this individuality occurs in 
Oarclh and Lt/netie: 

(lareth looki and read-— 
In lottcrs like to those the vexillary 
Hath loft crag'curven o*er the streaming Gelt:— 

the Gelt being a small stream in Cumberland, not 
named in any of the ordinary gazetteers or atlases; 
and the reference is to an inscription on a lime-stono 
rock near this stream, carved by the Second Legion 
of Augustus, stationed there in A.D. 207. 

(e) Possessing such a faculty of appropriate cxpres- (e)niflaToid- 
sion, the poet naturally avoids the- commonplace : he ^i^^miiLoo; 
not only rigidly excludes all otiose epithets and stop- 
gap phrases, but often, where other writers would use 


Bomo familiar, well-worn woni, ho selects one less known 
but equally true an<l expressive. He has a distinct 
fondness for good old Saxon words and expressions, 
and has helped to rescue many of these from unde- 
served oblivion. Thus, for the ''skinflint" of common 
parlance he substitutes (in If^allHug to ilic Mail) the 
"flayflint" of Ray's Prorerhs; in place of ''blindman's 
buff" is found tlic older "hoodman blind" (In Mrmor- 
iam)\ for "village and cowshed" ho writes "thorpe 
and byre " {The Vidlm)^ while in The Broak the French 
"cricket" appears as the Saxon "grig." Other examples 
might 1)0 quoted, f f/,, lurdane^ raihr, plashf hrewi% thraWdf 
MeSf quUchy reckling^ rokij, yiiJUhynle. Occasionally he 
prefers a word of his own coinage, as tonguentci\ selfless. 
This tendency to avoid the commonplace is noticeable 
not only in separate words, but in the rendering of 
ideas, a poetic dress being given to prosaic details by 
a kind of stately circumlocution : thus in The Princess 
the hero's northern birthplace is indicated by his telling 
us that "on my cradle shone the Northern star"; 
and, in the same poem, the blue smoke rising from 
household chimneys is described by "azure pillars of 
the hearth"— an expression which Mr. P. M. Wallace, 
in his edition of The Princess, ai)tly culls "almost 
. reverent"; iceWgs are "moving isles of winter"; 
while to picture the hour before the planet Venus had 
sunk into the sea, the poet writes: 

. Before the crimson •circled iitar 
Had fall'n into her father's grave. 

CO "Jj^*!**** (/) One of the leading characteristics of Tennyson's 
style is the repetition of a word (often in a modified 



form) in tho same or sometimes in a slightly different 
sense. We have, for instance: 

Whereat the novice crying, with clasp'd hands. 
Shame on her own gamUiiy gamUoiuly 

and in the same poem. 

The maiden passion for a fitaicf ; 
to which we may add: 

For over climbing up tho climbing wave 

{The Lotos'IikUtn) 

MonhkHng with tho dull earth's mouldering sod 

{The PoJace qf An). 

Assonance— tho repetition not of a word but of a sound 

^is also a favourite device with Tennyson for giving 

a kind of epigrammatic force to a statementi as in 

Even to tijmioiU lance and topmoiU holm 

{The Lani Toumamtnl) 

Thy Paynun Imrd 
Had Bucli a manlery of IiIh myntery 
That ho could harp his wife up out of hell 


Then with ihm /newllf/'Jitiully Hmilo of his 


(g) Lastly, if wo examine tho metrical characteristics (a) uu imr* 
of Tennyson's poetry, we observe that tho sense ofrhytiiut 
majestic order and gradual development pervading the 
substance of his poems is not more conspicuous than 
is the sense of music which governs the stylo of his 
versification. While less powerful than Milton's nt its 
best, Tennyson's blank verse always remains at a high 
level of excellence, and its simple grandeur of style 
and expression is peculiarly his own. It is in his 




lyrical poems, however, that his mastery of metro antl 
rhythm best shows itself. He knows all the secrets of 
harmonious measures and melodious diction ; he has 
re-cast and iK)lished his earlier poems with such minute 
and scrupulous care that he has at length attained a 
metrical form more perfect than has been reached by 
any other i)oet. Several illustrations of the delicacy 
of his sense of metre are |)ointed out in the Notes. 
A few more examples may bo here quoted to show 
how frequently in his verse the sound echoes the sense. 
This is seen in his Representative Khythms. Thus: 
(1) The first syllable or half-foot of a line of blank 
verse is often accented and cut ofT from the rest of the 
lino by a pause, to indicate some sudden emphatic 
action or startling sight or sound, breaking the flow 
of the narrative — an eiTect often employed by Homer: 

his aniiH 
ClttsliM : ami tho noiind was gnod to Oarotirii car 

{Oarcth aud Lynr.ttt) 

CliarniM, till Sir Kay, tlio MviifNclml, would coiiiu 

Hliock, tlittt a mail faroif iiiiglit well iKsruoivu 

{LaHCtlot nnd Klaint) 

FlafthVI, and ho callM, *I fight U|kmi thy iiido' 

{PclictM and Etam) 

Uack, 08 a hand that puslion tlim* tlie loaf 

Fall, oir the crost of somo slow arching wavo 

DropM flat (7'Ae Last Tournamtnt)^ 

Occasionally the whole first foot is thus cut off: 

modo hiB horso 
Ckracolc x thou bowod hi* hotnago, hluntly wiying 



Who stood A momoiit, ore his homo was brought, 
CJlloryiiig : Mid in tho stroaui beneath him shono 

(Oanlh and LyiwtU%\ 

(2) Action rapidly ropoatod is represented by an 
unusual number of unaccented syllables in one line. 
Thus we almost hear the huddling flow of waters in 
such lines as 

Myriofls of rivulots hurrying thro' tho lawn 

( Tht PriwxM) 

Of sonio precipitous rivulet to the sea 

{Knock Ar(Un\, 

The rapid warble of song-birds sounds through 

Melody on brunch ond melody in miil^air 

{Oartth anU LyimUt) 

and in tho same Idyll^ tho ciuick beat of a horso's 
hoof is echoed in 

Tlio sound of many a hcivvily galloping hoof. 

(3) Contnist with the alxivo the majestic efToct pro- 
duced by tho sustained rhythm and tho broad vowol 
sounds in 

By tho long wash of AnHtruIasiun soas 

(Tht Brook) 

Tho luaguodong roller thundering on tho reef 

(Enoch Ardtn)* 

(4) Variations from tho usual iambic regularity of 
blank verso, attained by placing the accent on tho first 
instead of on tho second half-foot, are introduced, often 
to represent intermittent action, as in 

Ddwu the I6ng Uiwer-stuirs, hdsitdting 

(Lancdoi and JUlcUne), 


o^dSSS!^ (A) Tennyson's sense of music is equally conspicuous 

in the melody of his diction, llio mere sound of his 

words and phrasos lingers in the brain, ai)art from any 

meaning, as the echoes of a musical cadence linger alon^^ 

a vaulted roof. This is in the main due to his selection 

of melcMlious vowels and liquid consonants, and also 

to liis skilful use of alliteration. Examples are every* 

whore : 

The fiioaii of flovcR in imvncmoria/ r/ms, 
And mttriMtcriiig of inmxmcnMo 6ci>h 

{The Pnnct4H) 

Tlio /uBiro of tlio /cMlg C0I1V0/VU/UHCM 

{Enoch Artleu) 

Tlio /oiig fow droM) and /axy p^KNging Rca 

{The Lant TournamaU) 

Zfrcast-liigli in that 6Hght lino of bracken 8too<l 

{Pt'lleoM and EtaiTt) 

All day iho wind breathes ioit^ with uwlloicor tone 
Hirougli every Uoliow cave and aZ/ry /one 

{The Lolon Katrrn). 

Contrast with the li(piid sounds in the aljovo the 
representative elTcct prochiced l»y the shorty shar]) 
vowels and the guttural and dental sounds in 

And on the i^piht that n/j/iV tlie nifithur*M \\ii\\vt 

SpUdtt^ tlio child 

{The Cominu qf Arihur) 

The hIn«1o How 
£)i^tn<ering in $ix, and clinki n^xin tlio agones 

{Daiin and Balan) 

Tlion 1/iti/^ering thro* tlie hedffe of MpfmtfirW ^ueth, 

« Yd strangerM U) tlie tongue, and witli blmU Hhnnp 

Ptteh'UackvtiW nuwing the air 

{The Lant TWiTtaiiien/). 



111 doublo v/oiiIm initial Allitoration is conspicuous:— 
breaker-bcaien, flesli-faWnf gloomy-gladcd^ hdy-ladm^ mocb' 
' meek, jfoini-painted, rainroUent storm-strengilieiCd^ tongue' 
torn, work-wan. We also find slowly-metlcwing, ludlower' 
Mlowing, ever-veering, lieavy'diotted Jutmrnock-dirotid. 
Often, as Mr. G. C. Macaulay has noticed, Tenny- 
son's allitoration is so delicate that wo ''only feel that 
it is there without perceiving where it is," and it is 
tlicn, perhaps, due to no conscious effort of the poet^ 
hut is OS natural as the melody of a bird. In no 
En(;Iish poet, perhaps only in Homer and Virgil, is 
this kinship of poetry and music so evident as in 

Tennyson's three historical dramas form (as Mr. nia 
Henry Van Dyke has pointed out) a picture of tho 
Making of England, the three periods of action 
being, it would seem, chosen with tho design of 
touching the most critical points of tho long struggle. 
Thus in Harold we see "the close of that fierce 
triangular duel between the Saxons, the DaneS| 
and tlio Normans, which resulted in the Norman 
conquest and the binding of England, still Suxon 
ut hoiirt, to the civilization of the Continent'* 
In Jkd'ct we have *'the conflict between the church 
nnd the crown, between the ecclesiastical and tho 
royal prerogatives, which shook England to the centro 
for many years, and out of which her present con- 
stitution has grown." In Qtieen Mary, when the triumph 
of church and people hod left undecided what type 
of religion was to prevail, is pictured the struggle 
between the Papacy and the Reformation for tho pos- 
session of England. All three plays are full of deep 


I'osoarch, vivid charactor-painting, and intensity oi' feel- 
ing, and contain many magnificent siUiations. (Jcorge 
Eliot has expressed lier opinion that '* Toiinyson's plays 
run 8liaks|>ere'8 close/' and KoUort liroWning used to 
l)oint out the scene of the oath over the Irenes of the 
Saints of Normandy, in llarvld^ as a marvellously 
Actable scene; while Mr. J. U. Green, the historian, 
has told us that "all his resoarchos into the annals of 
the twelfth century had not given him so vivid a 
conception of the character of Henry II. and his 
court as was embodied in Tennyson's Jkcket" It 
shoidd at the same time be remembered that (as the 
poet himself avows) this drama is **not intended in 
its present form to meet the exigencies of the modern 
theatre,'' a criticism which may bo applied with more 
or less force to the whole trilogy. JkcM has been 
adapted for the stage by Mr. Irving, and porfonned 
with great success; and The Cuj) ixwd The Falcon were 
cich played during a liondon season to full houses. 
Qnren Marij^ The Promm of Muy^ and The Foresters 
have also been acted. 
oiMioii. Such is Tennyson as man and as artist His poetry, 
with its clearness of conception and noble simplicity 
of expression, its discernment of the IxMUitiful and its 
. power of revealing and shaping it with mingled strength 
and harmony, has become an integral part of the 
literature of the world, and so lung as purity and lofti- 
ness of thought expressed in perfect form have power 
to cliarm, will remain a iiossessiou for ever. 


Cyvlcii of Horaiuico^Kinf( Artliur In IliNtory— Artliurlnn Cycle In KntfHuh 
JiltcrAturo— Artliurliui Cyclo In Tonnyiion'a ruotnii-Tliu ilUo ** lilyllM*'— 
Hplriltial iiiKitlflcanco of tho M^tU V '^^ A'i'n^— Tlio N^lts not « nioro 
Allc;rury~-AnnclironlNin— llio iiloiil Artlnir— Tlio /c(y</i coniplotod— Uuitjr 
of UoMign—ttlffnlAcoiico of Individual Idyllt. 

Two groat kings, Artlmr of Knglund and Churloniagno AHimrimiMMi 

or Fnmco, woro made in tho niiddlo agO0 tho centres of {^^V^i 

two groat cycles or systoms of Itomanco. l<lach cyclo 

proRcntod its king as tho visible head of Christondom, 

and arrayed around him a foUowsliip of knights. Tho 

chief of thoso knights was in oach cycle distinguished 

ahovo his follows, and niado tho ty]>o of nmnly valour 

and chivalric virtue, Lancelot, * tho flower of chivalry ' of 

Arthur's Itoinid Tuhlo, corresponding to Orlando (or 

Itoland), tho chief of Charleniagno's INiladins : so also 

Guinevere, * tho pearl of beauty ' in Arthur's court, has 

her counterpart in her whom Milton {Par, lictj, iii. 341) 


Tho fairoMt of Iior mox, AnK<*1i(Ui, 

. . . HuiiKht by many prowoHt knights, 

ISoth Piiynlin and tho )K)ors of Charlouuiln. 

Common to both cycles aro tho ideas of far-sproading 

cuiupiost and of unity of empire under a singlo hood, 




Cliarlomagiiu's historical anncxattuiis iMiing puralluK^I hy 
a mythical expedition of Arthur, which reached as far as 
Uomo, and brought the capital of the West under his 
sway. And the career of Charlemagne, like that of 
Arthur, ends in mystery; as Arthur (acconling to the 
legendary epitaph on his tomb at Glastonbury, 'Ilic 
*jacet Arturus rex quondam roxque futunis') passes 
' to pome again/ so Charlemagne is doscrilied as sitting 
in Odenljerg, crowned and armed, till the time of his 
second coming to tleliver Christendom from Antichrist 
The resemblance of the two cycles nins into a num1x3r 
of minor details: in Imth the chief knight passes through 
a prolonged term of madness, and oven the magic brand 
Eretilibnr has its match in Charlemagne's famous sword 

Moreover, the moral systems of the two cycles are 
closely allied. In each 

Hliiiio timrtiul Faith and Courtiwy*!* clear ntar ; 

and in each '* noble men may see and learn the noble 
acts of chivalry, the gentle and virtuous deeds that some 
knights used in those days by which they came to 
honour, and how tlu^ that were vicious were punished 
and oft put to shame and rebuke *' (Caxton's Preface to 
Malory's Aforle iV Arthur), Such difference of teaching 
OS is to bo noticed liotween the two cycles may bo 
due in great part to the diflbront channels through 
which they have come down to us. Ariosto and 
Bojardo, the Italian romancists, in whoso pages we now 
read the Carlovingian story, gave the brilliant and 
vivid colour of their own times, and of the oivilijsation 
of tlio later middle agOi to the rude material they found 




in tho oarly logonds. Mnlory, the compiler of tho 
KngliHli Morio tV Arthur^ brini^H us into closer and fruRhor 
contact with tho original form and spirit of thu ancient 
Icp^ends. Thus wo find that tho Itomanco of tho Round 
Tahlo, fur ruder as a work of skill than tho Italian 
pn*sentment of Charlema^o and his Paladins, has moro 
of tho simplicity and inconsistency of childh(>o<l ; tho 
ascetic oloniont is more stron;<ly and (piaiiitly dovoloiiod; 
it presonU a higher coiice])lion of the nature of woman, 
a more distinct sense of sin, and a bmader, moro manly 
viow of human life and duty. 

Tho mythical talcs that have gathered round tho KimrArthiir 
namo of Charlemagne deal with a personage whoso 
conqiu^sts are matters of authentic history ; but reganl- 
ing Arthur little of real fact has hovn ascertained ; all 
that modem research can tell us with any certainty is 
that there was in the sixth century a war-loader in 
Britain called Artus or Arthur, who, after the departure 
of the liomans, headed the tribes of Cumbria and ! 

Strathclyde (tho old divisions of Western Britain, \ . 

stretching from the Severn to the Clyde) against tho 
encroaching Saxons from the cast and the Picts and 
Scots from the north; and that fivo or six centuries 
later " the name of King Arthur had come to stand for 
an ideal of royal wisdom, chivnlric virtue, and knightly 
prowess which was rocogniHcd alike in Kngland, FrancOi 
and (lermany." 

Tho Arthurian cycle has nflorded materials for many TiioArthurUa .| | 
romancists and poets, both English and foreign: its Kiigii«h 
development in English literature may 1>e clearly traced. 

The earliest legends of Arthur are to bo found in tho 
IFeld^ TaieSf in tho Breton and German ItumancM^ and 


1 1 




in Chronicles such m that of St GiklnB do Ruys, De 
ExcitHo liritavnm, 

Kotwoen 1130 nml 1147 CIcdlTroy of Monmouth, "the 
veracious OoollVoy," ^'avo w lon^ account of Aithur'fl 
exploits in his Jlistoria IhiUmim^ a fahulous Litin 
chronicle of the Cyniry and their kings. The popularity 
of this History gave a new currency to the storios: 
GcoflTrey's work was turned into French verse by Gaimar, 
and also, with many additional details a1)0Ut Arthur, by 
Wace, a Jersey poet The legends up to this point 
recounted deeds of mere animal courage and pas- 

About 119G Walter Map (or Mapes), a chaplain to 
Henry H., and subsequently Archdeacon of Oxford, 
gave spiritual life to the whole system of Arthurian 
romance by blending with it the legend of the Quest of 
the Ildy Graal. The *Holy Graal' (or Grail, as Tenny- 
son spells it) was, we arc told, the cup or dish used by 
Christ at the Last Supper, and subscr|ucntly by Joseph 
of Arimathea to catch the blood of Christ as He was 
hanging wounded on the cross. The word grail, old 
French graal, low Latin gradale, is allied to the Greek 
Kpijnljp, a cup. The derivation otSancgraal, from Sanguis 
realis ( ^ the real blood of Christ), is erroneous, and arose 
from a wrong spelling and division of letters, sancgraal 
'being mistakenly written san grad, and then sang real 
Joseph brought the dish with him to Glastonbury, 
in England, where it was lost;* the search for it, the 

* There is still preserved in the cathedral of Genoa a hexagonal 
dish, of the colour and brilliance of emerald ; it is called Sacro 
Ca/iNO, and local traditions maintain Uiat this is the original 


<QuoAt of tho Holy Grail/ was uTulortakon by many 
of tho knights of tho Kound Tablo, and to somo of 
thorn a Mi;;ht of it, acconii>anio(l by tho holy fuicramont 
and tho Koal ProHonco of (JhriHt, was granted. Tho 
lo^ond ihiiH 1>ocamo an allo^ory of a man*H striving after 
a perfect kiiowlodge of Truth and of (Joil, to bo gained 
only by a life of ideal purity. (8eo Tennyson's Idyll of 
The Holy GraU,) From tho introduction of tho Grail 
legend wo must dato the olevation of King Arthur to 
tho place he has since held as a Christian monarch 
ruling over an essentially religious people. 

In 1470 Sir Thomas Malory (or * Malleor/ as Tennyson 
calls him) used the materials he found in " many noble 
volumes; . . in Welsh bo many and also in French and 
some in English *' for the making of his " book of King 
Artlnir and of his noble knights of the Kound Table." 
The book is called by Caxton, who printed it in 1485, 
" thys noble and Joyous book entytled le Morto 
Darthur"; and in his preface thereto the printer says 
that it contains " many joyous and pleasant histories and 
noble and renowned acts of humanity, gentleness and 
chivalry." Malory's book is for the modem reader the 
most accessible and best known storehouse of Arthurian 
legend. Upon this Tennyson has founded some of his 
Idi/lls of the King, The closeness with which the poet 
has in many instances followed his original is illustrated 
by tho parallel passages quoted from Malory in the 
Notes at the end of this volume. 

Other poets have taken, or thought of taking, Arthur 
as the ccmtral hero of their chief work. Spenser, in his 
Faerk Queene^ makes 'Prince Arthuro' the tyi»o of 
* magnificence,' t.^ 'noblo doing'; and under tho figure 



of Arthure's knights roprcsonto tho various virtues 
striving heavenwards and heliKHl on thoir way by their 

Milton originally intended to take as the heroes of a 
great national epic — 

indigcnaii rcgoii . . . 
Artiiriitm|iio ctintn mih tcrrin Itrlla nioveiitcin, 

but, sharing the common doubt of nuist writers in tho 
scvcntecntit and eighteenth centuries as to *^ who he was 
and whether any such reigned in history," n;jectod the 
Ilmiful TMe as a subject in favour of the Loss of Paradise. 

JMackmore wrote two epics — Prince ArOiur^ in ten 
books, and King Arthur^ in twelve liooks. 

Dryden produced a dmmatic opera which he entitled 
King Arthur^ but it was really nothing more than an 
allegory of the events of the reign of Charles II. In his 
Essay on SiUire he gives a melancholy account of a pro- 
]ect<$d epic, with either King Arthur or Edward the 
Black Prince as hero. In alhision to those writers, Sir 
Walter »Scott, in his IntrodvrHon to Mannian^ tells how 
tho "mightiest chiefs of British song" felt tho fascina- 
tion of the Arthurian legends ~ 

Tlicy glomn tlirnii;;Ii SiicnRcr^M clfiii ilrcatn. 
And mix in MiltoiiH liciivuiily tlicmo; 
And Dryden, in iinniortAl Htniin, 
Had raised the Taldo Rouml again, 
But that a riluild king and court 
Uade him toil on to make tliem sport. 

Scott himself felt a similar attraction towards this 
*' ancient minstrel strain." He edited, with notes, 
Thomas tho Rhymer's metrical romance, Sir Triskemt 


anrl introilucccl into his own Bridal of Trietinaine a story 
of King Artliur's lovo for a fairy princess. 

In 1838 liacly Charlotte Guest piililishcd TkeMMnogionf 
a translation into English of the Welsh legends contained 
in ** the red book of Horgorst," which is in the library of 
Jesus Colli«gc, Oxford. From the Mabinogion Tennyson 
has taken the story of his Idyll of Oeraini and Enid* 

In 1848 Bulwor-Lytton produced an epic, in six- 
lined stanzas, entitled King Arthur, 

On Tennyson the Arthurian Komance began, very ^Jj^**"*^ 
early in his life, to exercise a strong fascination. We pSSJST*"** 
are told that, when quite a Ijoy, he chanced upon a copy 
of Malory's book, and often with his brothers held 
mimic tournaments after the fashion of knights of the 
Round Table. 80 early as 1832 he published The Lady 
of ShaloUt the incidents of which afterwards formed the 
framework of the Iayi4 f Jilaine. Ten years later his 
Marin d^ Arthur apj)cared ; an introduction to this poem 
represented it as a fragment of a long epic, all the rest 
of which, as being *' faint Homeric echoes, nothing 
worth," the author had thrown into the fira Five years 
previously to this publication Walter Savage Lander, 
who had heard the Mortc d* Arthur read aloud from 
manuscript, wrote : '' It is more Homeric than any 
poem of our time, and rivals some of the noblest poetry 
in the Odyssea;" Two shorter Arthurian poems. Sir 
Galaliad and Lancelot and Guinevere, were contained in the 
same volume with Morte d^Artliur, The first issue of 
Idf/lh of Hie King, comprising only four Idylls — Enid, 
Vivien, Elaine, and Guinevere — appeared in 1859. The 
remaining Idylls were published at intervals between 
1869 and 1872, with the exception of Balin and Balan, 


xxxvi INTHODUeriON TO 

'an introduction to Merlin and Vivien,* contained with 
other poems in a volume given to the world in 1885. 
The original fragment, Marie iiCAriliur, now forms ])art of 
the last Idyll, The Passing of Arthur, 
Tii^tttto^ * Idy] V from cc^os, tl^vkkiov, ' a little picture/ was the 
title originally used in Greek Literature for short pic- 
turesque poems, such as the Idylls of Theocritus the 
Sicilian (ac. 280); these generally depict common in- 
cidents in the life of simple folk in country or in town — 
the loves and jealousies of shepherds, tlie toils of fisher- 
men, or siglit-seeingii in a great city. Later imitators of 
Theocritus (Vergil, for example) took rural life almost 
exclusively as the scenery of their Idylls: hence 'idyllic' 
is now generally understood as implying nn idealised 
nisticity, the simplicity of the country without its coarse- 
ness. So Tennyson calls the shepherd lovu-song, quoted 
by Ida in The Princcsa, ** a small sweet Idyl," ^ and has 
given the title of '* English Idylls " to poems like his 
Dora, The Gardener's Daughter, and Sea Dreams. But the 
term • Idyll ' may rightly be used of any * picture poem,' 
that is, a poem which gives a highly-wrought and com- 
plete representiition of any scene of life and has for 
motive one leading sentiment. The Idi/lls of the King 
are not pastoral poems : they are of a loftier and nobler 
strain and are informed with a more serious purpose. 
Each Idgll is complete in itself as presenting a separate 
picture, but each at the same time fdls its place in a con- 

^The old spelling wm tdt/t, with ono /. Tlio clouhlo /, which 
better recalls the Greek original, served when first adopted to 
disUngaish heroic descriptive poems from piutorais like those of 
Theocritus. This distinction is no longer observed, the modem 
spelling idjfU being in general ase. 


nccted series grouped round a central figure. The 
twelve books of the IdijUs of the Kina form one great 
Poem, characterised by Epic unity of design and gran* 
deur of tone : they present a full cycle of heroic story 
and have a rightful claim to be known as the " Epic of 
The spiritual significance which is seen to be so The niiritti^ 

*' deeply interfused " through this great poem, now that tii?/(fyf/< ^ 

it can be studied as a completed work of art, was "*'^* 

naturally not so evident in the detached instalments 

first pubh'shcd. They were regarded as ** rich pictorial 

fancies taken, cort^iinly not at random, but without any 

really cohca^nt design, out of a great magnxine of 

romantic story ^ (Ilutton, Lilerarif Kmiys)^ and were read 

with deh*ght for their <* exquisite magnificence of stylo,** 

as Swinburne calls it, the eluliorate melody of rhythm, 

tho richness and truth of illustration, and the grandeur 

of tone that marked them. And, indeed, apart from 

any secondary significance which they are meant to 

contain, the lover of poetry and romance will always 

feel the intrinnic charm both in the form and in the 

substance of these tales of ** wonder and woe, of amorous 

devotion and fierce conflict and celestial vision." It is 

for the story and the style that each Idyll should firat 

Ik) read; their 'moral' is best reserved for separate, 

sul)seciuent consideration. Accordingly, the reader of 

this vohimo has in the Notes been referred to this 

Introduction for explanation of any significance doeiusr 

than that which is evident on the surface of the poems. 

This significance is never obtruded by the poet, and it is 

only in his epilogue To the QvLeen that he tells us of the 

grand moral purpose which is now recognised as clearly 


and consistently ninning tbrougli tho wholo S(;t of Idylls. 
He there descriUos tho work as — 

an ol«l ini|)erfcct talc, 
Ncw-olil, and Mhadowhig iSonBC at war with Soul, 
Kathcr than that gray king, whoso namo, a ghost, 
Streams like a cloud, nian-shapcd, from mountain peak, 
And cleaves to cairn and cromlech still ; or him 
Of OcoRroy's book, or him of MalIeor*s, one 
Touched by the adultrous finger of a time 
That hover*d between war and wantonness. 
And crownings and dethronements. 

The King Arthur of the Idylls is something more than 
a model of kingly virtue and knightly prowess, and the 
story of the founding and Uie dissolution of the liound 
Table is not solely a narrative of romantic ndventuro, 
and of the loves, the ]»assions, and the sins of knights 
and ladies. These Idylls relloct the eternal struggle in 
the life of mankind of good against evil, of the spiritual 
against the sensual element of our nature ; that conflict 
which 8t. Paul (Bible, Jtoni, vii. 13) describes as the law 
in our members warring against the law of our mind. 
A personal friend of the ))oet's, Mrs. Thackeray Ritchie, 
daughter of Thackeray, himself also an intimate friend 
of Tennyson's, has written as follows regarding the 
sco{M) of the Idf/lls : ** If In Memoriam is the record of a 
human sold, the Idijfh mean the history, not of one man 
or of one generation, but of a whole cycle, of the fuith 
of a nation failing and fulling away into darkness. * It 
is the dream of man coming into practical life, and 
ruined by one sin.* liirth is a mystery, and death is 
a mystery, and in tho midst lies the table-land of life, 
and its struggle and performance." Tho IdylU them- 


solves aro not devoid of definite, oat8|x>kcn testimony to 
their own inner meaning. In Ouinevere Arthur himself 
recounts how on founding the Order of the Round Table 
he made his knights swear 

" To rovoronce thn king, as if ho wore 
Tlioir conscioiicoy aiid tlioir conBcionco as thoir king,^ 

and later in the same Idyll the repentant queen, recog- 
nizing at laAt the height of Arthur's purity, cries 

"Ah, great and gentle lord 
Who wast, as is the conscience of a saint 
Among his warring senses, to thy knights." 

Yot the poem is not a mere allegory. Arthur and his Tho Mjfttinnn 
knights and the ladies of his court are not abstractions aU^^wx. 
of ideal qualities : they are real men and women, with 
human feelings and trials and conflicts : they do repro* 
sent and embody certain virtues and vices, but these 
qualities work and live in thoir work and their lives. 
Some purely allegorical figures are, indeed, introduced, 
as that of the Lady of the Lake personifying Keligion ; 
and in the visions of Percivul in The Holy Grail there is 
more of symltolism than reality. But these figures and 
visions are clearly distinct from the human persanoi of the 

Arthur, then, is a man in whom the higher instincts 
of his nature dominate the lower, and whose whole life 
is governed by the law within. lie is, as Guinevere too 
late acknowledges, *Hho highest and most human too.** 
The kingdom which *' for a space " he establishes, and 
which in spite of downfall he will come to establish 
again, is the rule of conscience ; and in his coming, his 


fouiulation of tho lioniul Ta1)Io '*for lovo of Qod and 
men/' his continuod endeavour to keep \m knights true 
to their vows, his faihiro, and his mysterious passing 
ivhich is not death, wo sco a reflection of the eonflict 
otenially waged in human life between tho spirit and 
tho flesh **wit]i tho lusts thereof/' Arthur*s visible 
onomies aro the hcatlion, whom he overcomes ; but moro 
subtle foes than the heathen are tho evil passions and 
tho mystic delusions of his own Christian court and 
housohoM, which in tho ond prevail over and ruin his 
" ))oundloss puriK)so." 
Aimchroniiim Teuuyson's disavowal of an historical intention such as 
«2ihofitoiYin is clmractoristic of the true Kpic, has beon quoted above. 
TonaSmm. Indeed, tho legends th<!mselyes, as read in ^lalory's book, 
make no pretence to chronological truth: even Malory's 
setting of tho stories belongs to times near his own 
rather than to the times which he tells of, to the age of 
chivalry and tho CruHades rather than to tho rude 
simplicity of tho real Arthui*'s era, to tho twelfth 
rather than to tho sixth century. Tho author of tho 
Idtflls in his turn has gone still further, and whilo pro- 
serving from Malory the scenic accessories of tilt and 
tournament and heraldic device, as well as tho chivalric 
virtues of courtesy and reverence for womanhood, has 
placed the court of Arthur in a mental and moral atmos- j 
phero not far remoto from that in which the i>oet's own I 
contemporaries move. As tho i>omp and circumstance | 
and tho refinement of chivalry in Malory's compilation n 
aro foreign to tho times of tho ancient British war-loader, h 
80 tho 8elf*questioning of Tristram and the philosophies f > 
of Dagonot, for example, in The Last Ihumameni, arc a^ 
development quite beyond the purview of Malory's times. ■ 





Tennyson haa takon tho dim ixsrsonagos of tho early 
annaln, flurroun<lo(l as ho found thorn in Malory by tho 
romantic glamour and mysticism of a lator ago, and 
has idoalisod them still further to suit his own i)Ootic 
purpose and tho advanced thought of tho nineteenth 

It must not, however, tx) forgotten that the idea of ][J^|,^^ 
Arthur as a tyjK) of half-divine manhood an<l supremo Mp&!S!n of** 
kinglincss is no invention of Tennyson's. "Flos liegum Sirontoi«ri, 
Artunis/' Arthur tlie Flower of Kings, tlio motto 
prefixed to the Idt/lh, is a phrase from the old 
chronicler, Joseph of Kxeter^ who also writes, '*Tho 
old world knows not his i)eor, nor will the future show 
UH his equal : he alone towers over all other kings, bettor 
than the past ones, and greater than those that are to 
be.'' Caxton, in his preface to Malory's Morie Darthur^ 
uses simihir Iangua<{e: *'For in all ])laces, Gliristian and 
heathen, he is taktM) for one of the nine worthy, and tho 
fii'Ht of tlte throe Cliristiun men.'' This halo of spiritual 
glory is, both in the Chronicles and in Malory's book, 
crossed and blurred by sin and shame; but such a stigma 
is inconsiHtent with tlie ideal ]K!rfection also ascribed to 
Arthur's character, and even in Malory's presentment it 
leaves no taint on the king's later career. Afl^er tho 
elevation of the older stories, by the blending with them 
of the Christian mysticism of the Sangraal legends, tho 
unearthly excellence of the king is tho stronger element, 
and over-rules the admixture of crime and retribution. 

It is this view of Arthur that Tennyson has adopted; Tonnynon'ii 
md it was necessary to reject the inconHiMtent evil beforo of tiio ll!u!!a' 
any coherent design of tho character could be formed for Arthur, 
tho purpose of a modern Arthuriad. One hint is given 



of Iiuman frailty in Arthur in oarly lifo : sco Merlin mid 
Vivien. The "pure severity of perfect light" in which 
in manhood the ''blameless king and stainless man" of 
Tennyson's Idt/lls moves, as in his proper element, is the 
natural development of the loftier spirit infused in the 
tenth century into the old Chroniclers' conception of 
Arthur's character : the new leavon was bound to work 
until it had leavenc<l the whole lump. 

nnMAjwia The Jdtflls of the King as now publiHiied comprise the 

comrioto JDcdicadon to the Prince Consort 

IleriMiftcr tlirough aU timc8 AllK-'rl llio (!uoil^ 

— J7i« Coming of Arthur — ten Idylls grouped together 
under the general title of Tlie Itouml liable — The Passing 
of Arthur and an epilogue To the Queen. The fu-st 
Idyll and the last are thus separated from the ten 
intermediate poems, and deal, the one with the birth 
of Arthur and his founding of the great Order, and 
the other with the king's last battle and his passing 
from earth. They thus differ in subject from the Idylls 
treating of Arthur's knights and the ladies of his court, 
and this difference is marked in their style, which is 
iutentionally archaic. 
£ri«rBtltlM ^^^ ^I)<' uiii^y of design of the whole scries of Idi/lh 
'^^ clearly appears: it is seen not only in the gradually 

developed story of one great sin and its spreading taint, 
but also in incidental features. Thus the story in its 
course runs through the seasons of one complete year, 
the phases of Nature in their succession forming a back- 
ground for the successive scenes of the poem. In The 
Coming of Arthur we read that it was on the '' night of 
the new year " that Arthur was bom. Gareth, in the 
next Idyll, starts on his quest of glory at the dawn of a 


spring morning; tho melody of birds sounds around him, 
and undor foot 

Tlio livo groon liail k{n<Uc(l into flowoiv, 
For it wna post tho tiino of Kaatonlay. 

Thd marriage of Arthur and Guinevcro (described in 
The Coming of Arthur) takes place amid tho flowers in 
May. In The Maniage of Ocraint and its continuation, 
Ocrainl awl Enid^ the action of the charnctors begins *' on 
a summer mom/' and later in the poem wo come to tho 
mowera at work, while the sun blazes on the turning 
scythe. Summer is further advanced in Bdin and Balan 
and in Merlin and Vivien : at the outset Merlin, as ho 
crosses the fields, is " foot-gilt '' with " blossom-dust/' and 
in the concluding scene a summer tempest breaks over- 
head. In Lancelot and Elaine the blossoming meadow has 
given place to a field that ** shone full-summer/' and wo 
read of 'Hhe casement standing wide for heat" The 
summer is not yet past in the next two Idylls: it is " on 
a summer night'' that the vision of the Holy Grail appears 
to the assembled knights. Pelleas and Etarre is the lost 
of the summer Idylls: the sun beats "like a strong man" 
on the young knight's helm, and, later, we have tho 
mellow moon and the roses of the waning season. In 
Tlie Last Tmimament autumn, with its "yellowing woods'* 
and " withered leaf,'' succeeds, and tho scene closes 
** all in a death-dumb, autumn-dripping gloom." The last 
of tho Eonnd Table Idylls shows us Guinevere's flight 
at a time wlien the white mist of early winter clings to 
the dead earth. And, finally, the last weird battle in 
The Passing of Arthur is fought 

when tho groat light of hoavon 
Bum'd at hit lowott in Um) rolling yoar. 





I • 



Tlio woundod king is carriod at niidiiiglit across rod 
covered with the ico of the dead of winter; and 1 
passes away from earth when the mystic year has rollc 
full circle. The *'now Sun'' now rises to usiior in 
** now year/' and a diflferent era : 

Tliu oUl onlur chuiigoth, yielding pluco to now. 

spirittmi The more particular significance of the incidents an 

v^ktdming characters in the first Idyll, The Cominrf of Arthur, mn 
ffdrtkur. ^^^ ^ considered. The mystery of Arthur's birt 
]K)ints to the searchings of heart, the difficulties, and tli 
doubts which ever accompany any human conception < 
the origin of spiritual authority and of duty; and tli 
different views taken of that mystery aptly represcr 
the varieties of soil upon which the seed of any nc' 
gospel must fall. Some will always be found who tal 
and act in direct opposition to him who would lea 
them to higher things, and to say, as the scribes ( 
Jerusalem said of Christ, '* He hath Beelzebub, and b 
the prince of the devils casteth he out devils " : — 

For there be those who hate him in their hearts, 
CaU him bascbom, and since his ways are sweet 
And theirs are bestial, call him less than man. 

In contrast with such base-minded foes we have th 
dreamy belief of the spiritually-minded mystic 

And there bo those who deem him more than man, 
And dream him dropp'd from heaven, 

—for the mystic is always "seeking for a sign/' am 

prone to look for the immediate inter|>osition of suiiei 

natural agency. 

Another class of minds, which may be placed midwa; 

« between the base opponents and the mystic believers, i 


roprcsontcd by Ikxlivorc. This honest knight troubles 
himself but little with doubts or ]K>rtents, and sees no 
reason to question or prove the truth of a message which 
comes to him with the sanction of common sense and at 
the same time satisfies his own ideal. His recognition 
of the significance of the message and its higher aspects 
may be dim and partial, but his obedience is thorough 
and piiicticsil. To this class also Bellicent belongs: 
although, woman-like, she feels a curiosity which she asks 
Merlin to satisfy regarding the reiK>rtcd wonders of 
Tho sliiniiig driigon and tlio iiakod child, 

yet speaking of the king to her .son she says that she 

doubted him 
No inoro than ho himself. 

In tlio Coronation scene many of the details have a 
distinctly symbolic reference. The ** three fair queens," 
with tho light from the pictured cross falling upon them, 
probably typify the three Christian virtues, Faith, Hope, 
Cliarity. Mage Merlin, **who knew the range of all 
their arts/' may aptly symbolize the Intellect: his 
knowledge ranges over all human philosophy, but, as his 
fate, described in Merlin and Vivien^ shows, it is know- 
ledge without moral restraint or spiritual strength. 

Tho Lady of the Lake, who stands near Merlin, 
'' knows a subtler magic than his own," inasmuch as the 
power of Religion* is based on deeper and stronger 

* In tho Idyll of Oareth and Lj/nelte a description is given of a 
statue of tho Lady of the Lake, standing on the keystone of a gate 
of Cuiuch»t : the figure Is endralliHhed with many Christian om- 
hlonis; its anas are strotcliod out like a cross, droiNi of liaptismal 
water flow from its hands, from which alio hang a oonser and a 
•word, and the "soorod fish'* floats on its breast. The last 



foundations than tlioso of any philosophy that scionco 
can toach. She is clothed in wliito, the colour of purity : 
incense, the emblem of adoration, curls about her : her 
face is half hidden in the ''dim religious light'' of the 
holy place : her voice mingles with the hymns, and, like 
the voice of the great multitude saying Alleluia, heard 
by St John in the Kcvelation, sounds ** as the voice of 
many waters'': her dwelling is in eternal calm, where 
storms cannot rench her: and as our Lonl walked on 
the (lalilean wavt's and stillml their tumult, she can pass 
over the troubled waters of life and calm them with her 

The sword which she gives to Arthur is cross-hilted : 
sec Note to The Cominrj of Ariliur^ 1. 285, It is the 
"sword of the s]»irit," to l>o used against the su|)orstitions 
and falsehoods of heathendom. Its jewelled ornament, 
like the Urim and Thummim of the Jewish high ])riost, 
is emblematic of mystic help and guidance from a 
heavenly source. 

The inner significance of the po<;m is further illustrated 
by Merlin*s riddling res])on8e to Bcllicent's cpiestion and 
by Leoilogran's dream about Arthur, lK)th of which are 
treated of in the Notes : also by the '' dark sayings from 
of old," which speak of the king ; these represent the 
vague oracular forecasts which, after the advent of any of 
the world's great teachers, are often said to have gone 
before it. 

omblom was ono in use among tho early Christians: noticing that 
the initial letters of the phrase, 'Ii^oi/t \pi<rrbt GeoO "Viot 2iin^/>, 
formed the word IX8T2, fish, they adopted the word and the 
form of a fish as Cliristian symbols. These may be seen cut on 
tombs in ths C»tacomlis of Rome. 

n)YLi;8 OF THK KINO. xlvii 

Before proceofling to the secondary significance of Spiritual 
Tfie PtimtM of Arthur, it will bo convenient to trace the tho ••Round 
clovolopmcnt of the design of tlie {toem through tho 
interme<Iiate group of Llylls. 

In Oardk and LynrUe tho goKlen ago of Artliur's 
reign is (htpicted, before tho taint of moral ]M)iRon in tho 
sin of Lancelot and Guinevere has begun to be felt. 
The vows of utter hardihood, utter gentleness, utter 
faitlifulness in love, and uttermost o1)edience to the king 
are loyally kept by the whole Onler, and tnio chivalry 
ildurislies in all its splendour. Gareth himself is full of 
the cnthuHinHm of youth and of eagerness to serve the 
true king, willing to accept the humblest duty for tho 
sake of glory. Ills achievement, tho deliverance of tho 
captivo of Castle Perilous, is something more than a 
specimen of the work of the Kound Table in redressing 
human wroug : it is also an image in nn'in'aturo of tho 
'* boundless purpose of tho king," tho deliverance of tho 
soul from bondcago to the flesh. 

In The Mairiage of Geraint and Geraint and Enxd^ which 
were originally printed as one Idyll, tho taint of impurity 
first shows itself; suspicions of his wife's honour are bred 
in Geraint's mind by rumours of tho queen's unfaithful- 

In Balin and Balan, these rumours have gained greater 
currency and strength, and the final catastrophe, the 
death of tho two brothers, is due to the shattering of their 
faith in Guinevere's purity. 

The taint comes into clearer light in Merlin and Vivien. 
The ** vast wit and hundred winters " of the great En- 
chanter, shrewdness and knowledge and long experience, 
unsupported by moral strength, are powerless to with- 


stAncI the seductions of fleshly hists. In these four Idylls 
the seeds of sin are sown. 

In the next, Lancelot an/l Elaine, the bitter fruit 
ripens: the death of Elaine, the "simple heart and 
sweet,'' is directly due to Lancelot's false truth to his 
guilty passion for the queen. 

In Tlie Ilohj Grail a new clement of failure is intro- 
duced: the knights, misled by vague dreams and mystic 
enthusiasm, desert the plain and practical duties of 
common life to '' follow wandering fires," and tnie faith 
is lost in tlie delusions of superstition. 

Pelleas and Elfirre shows us the pure and loyal trust 
of a young life turned to bittorncMH and despair by sad 
exiierienco of the prevaih'ng corruption. 

The triumph of the senses is complete in The Last 
Tournament: Tristram, the victor in '*Tho Tournament 
of the Dead Innocence," openly scon*s at the king and his 
vows, and the glory of the Round Table is no more : 
one faithful follower is left to Arthur, and he is the 
court fool. 

In Ouinevere we see that sin has done its work, and the 
smouldering scandal breaks and blazes before the people : 
the Order is splintered into feuds, the realm falls to ruin, 
and Arthur goes forth to meet his mysterious doom. 
•/^In^nceoi "^'^^ concluding Llyll, Tfie Passing of Arthur, t^Jls o( 
TAc /vuMNf the last battle and the end of Arthur's earthly life. The 
king's ''sensuous frame is racked with ])angs that conquer 
trust," but there is no lessening of fortitude, no weaken- 
ing of will — 

'* Nay, God, my Clirist, I puss but cannot dio." 
In the conflict that precedes the last dread hour 
confusion and " formless fear " may fall upon the soul 



when it stands forlorn amid the wrecks of its lofty 
piir|>08cs, and prepares to face the unknown future. 
But though Arthur sees full well the failure of all tho 
purix)ses of his throne, his faith is not shaken : he cau 
still say 

" King am I, whatsoovor bo their cry," 

and' tho last stroke with Uxcaliburi which slays a 
traitor, fitly crowns a life of kingly and knightly achiovo- 
mcnt The lines which follow, from 

So uU (lay long tho noiHO of Inittlo roHM, 
down to 

And on the niuro tho wailing died awny, 

formtid tho original fnigmcnt Aforie d! Arthur, Tho 
symbolism in tins portion of the Idyll is less promincnt| 
nn<l tlie story is told with Homeric simph'city and direct- 
ness. Kxcniibur, when now no use rcniains for it on 
earth, is rccl:iimed by tho Lady of the Lake, that it may 
equip tho king in other regions ; for tho life and energy 
of the soul do not end when it passes from earth. Tho 
cries of triumphant acclaim, sounding from beyond tho 
limit of the world, to welcome the wounded king to his 
isle of rest and healing, recall Lcodogran*s vision of tho 
king standing crowned in heaven. Arthur's earthly 
realm may '^reel back into tho beast/' and his Round 
Tablo may bo dissolved ; but his purity is untarnished, 
his honour is without stain, and tho ideal which ho has 
striven to realize has lost none of its inward vitality and 
significance. As ho passes from earth to "vanish into 
light," he already gives a forecast of his return as tho 
representative of the new chivalry, when he shall como 
With all good things, and war shall bo no more. 

I ■ 

I ' 




1 t 

f 1 1 





TiKt)DoaiiAK, tho Kiiij^ of Caiiiulianl, 
JIiul Olio fair (liiii>(1iU*r, ami noiiu otiior chili] ; 
AikI mIio waM iainmt of nil HchIi ou oartli, 
(iiiiiioverc, and in her hin onu fleli^ht 

For many a [wity kin^ oro Arthur canio 
lulled in thiH iHlo, and cvor va^nn^ war 
Vau:]\ u))on other, waHtc<l all the land ; 
And Htill from time to time tho heathen host 
Swann'd ovcrHcao, and harried what wan left 
And HO there grew great tmcts of wildcmcHS, 
Wherein the l»ca8t wan ever more and more, 
But man wan lesM and leHH, till Arthur came. 
For firHt AureliuH lived and fought and diinl, 
And after him King Uther fought and ilied, 
Ihit cither fail'd to make tho kingdom one. 
And after thcHo King Arthur for a s\)f\cc^ 
And thro' tho puiHHanec of his Tahle Kound, 
Drew all their ))ctty princedoms under him, 
Their king and luwd, and made a realm, and roign'd. 


And thus tho land of Camoliard was wnHtc, 
Thick with wot woods, and many a beast therein, 
And none or few to scare or chaso tho beaHt ; 
So that wild <log, and wolf and boar and bear 
C A 




Camo iii;(1it nn<l clay, ami ror>tc<I in the ficlclH, 

AikI wallowM ill tho ^anlciiH of tliu King. 

Anil ever and anon the wolf woulil Htcal 

Tlic diilflivn and ilovour, bnt now and then, 

I lor own brooil lont or dead, lent hvr fiorcc teat 

To hnnian HUckh'n;(H ; and the chihircn, liouHod 

In her foul den, there at their meat wonld gmwl, 30 

And nioek their foHteronother on four feet. 

Till, HtraightenM, they grew u]> to wolMikc men, 

Wonte than tho wolven. And King I/eo<h»gran 

Groaned for the Roman legiouH here again. 

And Ctesar'M eagle : then his brother king, 

Urien, asHtiilM him : lant a heathen horde. 

Reddening the nun with HUioke and earth with bloofi. 

And on the H]>ike that Hplit the motherV heart 

Stilting the child, brake on him, (ill, ania>:ed, 

lie knew not whither ho Mhould turn for aid. 40 

Rut — for he heanl of Arthur newly crown'd, 
Tho' not without an uproar made by tlioHO 
Who cried, * Ho in not Uther'H Hon ' — the King 
8ent to him, Haying, ' Arine, and help uh thou 1 
For here between the man and 1>eaHt we die.' 

And Arthur yt^t had done no deed of arniH, 
But heard tho call, and came : and Ciuincvero 
SIckkI by tho caHtlo walln to watch him ikihh ; 
Rut ninco ho neither wore on helm or nhield 
The golden Hyndxil of hin kinglihmHl, 60 

Rut ro<le a nimplo knight among liiM knightH, 
And many of thcMo in richer arniH than he, 
Sho rniw him not, or niarkM not, if hIio naw, 
One among many, tho' Ium face wan Ijaro. 
Rut Arthur, looking tlownwanl an ho pant, 
Felt the light of her eyes into Iiih life 
Smito on tho midden, yet ro<lo on, and pitchM 


ITiM tviitA Ix^Hido tlio foroHt Tliun ho dmvo 

Tlio licatlicii ; after, bIcw Uio bcaHt, mid fell'd 

The forcHt, letting hi the miii, and made 60 

Broail {KithwayH for the hunter and the kniglit 

And BO returned. 

For while he HngorM there, 
A doubt that ever nmouhlcHd in tlio hearts 
Of thoHo great Lords and Barons of his rcahn 
Flash'd forth and into war : for moHt of these, 
CoIIeaguing with a score of [Hitty kings, 
Made head agiiiuHt Iiini, cr}'ing, * Who is he 
That ho should nde us ? wlio hath ]>roveu him 
King Uther's son 7 foi* lo I we look at him, 
And find nor face nor bearing, limbs nor voicei 70 

Aro like to thrise of Uthor whom wo knew. 
This irt tho son of fJorloYs, not tlio King ; 
This is the son of Anton, not tho King.' 

Anti Arthur, ]>assing thence to kittle, felt 
Tmviiil, nnd throi^s and agonies of the life. 
Desiring to bo join'd with (Juinevcro ; 
And thinking as ho rcnle, 'Ilor father ssid 
That theix; between tho man and IwiiHt they dia 
Shall I not lift her from this land of Iwahts 
Up to my throne, and sido by side with me ? 80 

What happinoHK to reign a lonely king, 
Vext— O yo stai-s that shuddor over mo, 

earth that soundoHt hollow under me, 

Vext with waste divams? for saving I be join'd 
To her that is the fairest under heaven, 

1 seem as nothing in tho mighty world. 
And cannot will my will, nor work my work 
Wholly, nor make myself in mine own rcnlm 
Victor and lord. Hut were I join'd with her, 

Then might wu livo together as one life, 00 



And reigning with one will in everything 
Ilavo power on this dark land to lighten it, 
And ))ower on thiM dead world to make it live' 

Tlieivafter— as he H))onkH who JoIIm the talo— 
When Arthur readiM a fiehl-of-lNittlo bright 
With pitched ))aviliun8 of hiH foe, the world 
Wai« all BO clear about him, that ho Aaw 
Tlic Anmlleflt rock far on the faintest hill, 
And even in high day the morning ntar. 
So when tlio King had set liiH iMinner brnad, 100 

At once from either Hide, with trum|)ct-bIaHt, 
And flhoutfi, and clarionfl ahrilling unto blood, 
Tlie long-lanced battle let their horHCs run. 
And now the Barons and tlie kings prevailM, 
And now the King, as here and there that war 
Went swaying ; but the Powers who walk the world 
Made lightnings and great thunders over him, 
And dazefl all eyes, till Arthur by main nn'glit, 
And mightier of his hands with every blow, 
And leailing all his knighthood threw the kings 110 
CarAdos, Uricn, Cnullemont of Wales, 
Claudias, and Clarianco of Northunilierland, 
Tlio King Rrandagoras of I^alangor, 
With Anguisant of £rin, Morganoro, 
And Jjot of Orkney. Then, iMiforc a voice 
As dreadful ns the shout of one who sees 
To one who sins, and deems himself alone 
And all the world asleep, they swerved and brake 
Flying, and Arthur cnllM to stay the brands 
Tliat liack'd among the flyers, * IIo I they yield ! ' ISO 
So like a painted battle the war stood 
Silenced, the living quiet as the dead, 
And in the heart of Arthiir joy was lord. 
He laugh'd upon his warrior whom he loved 
« And hcmottr'd most 'Tliou dost not doubt me King, 





So well tliino arm hath wrought for mo to*day.* 

*Sir and my liej(e/ he cried, 'the fire of God 

DfiHcendM upon theo in the battle-field : , 

I know theo for my King 1' Whereat tho two, 

For each had waiiled either in tho fight, laO 

Sware on tho fiolil of death a deathleiw love. 

And Arthur Haiti, ' Man's wonl i8 G*od in man : 

Lot chanco what will, I tniHt theo to tho death.* 

Then quickly from tho foughten field he sent 
UlfiuH, and BraAtian, and Bedivere, 
His new-made knights, to King Leodogran, 
Saying, * If I in aught have served thee well, 
Give me thy daughter Guinevere to wife.' 

Whom when he heanl, Leodogran in heart 
Debating — ' How should I that am a king, 140 

Ilowever much he holp mo at my need. 
Give my one daughter saving to a king. 
And a king's son ?' — lifted his voice, and call'd 
A honry man, his chamlierlain, to whom 
He trusted all things, and of him required 
His counsel : * Knowest thou aught of Arthur's birth I* 

Then s|)ako the hnary ehaniberlain and said, 
'Sir King, there are but two old men that know : 
And each is twice as old as I ; and one 
Is Merlin, the wise man that ever served 160 

King Uther thro' his magic art ; and ono 
Is Merlin's master (so they call hin)) Bleys, 
Who taught him magic ; but tlie si^holar ran 
lieforo tho master, and so far, that Blcys 
Laid magic by, and sat him down, and wrote 
All things and whatsoever Merlin did 
In ono great annal-book, where after-years 
Will learn the secret of our Arthur's birth.' 


To wlioni tlio Kiii^ lAMNUij^mn ro|iIie(l, 
*0 friend, had I In'on hol|HMi liiilf an wi*ll 100 

By tlim King Artliur oh by thee to-day, 
Then bca-st and man had had their share of rae : 
But summon here befora us yet once more 
Ulfins, and Biustins, and Beiiivere.' 

Tlien, when thoy came Wfuro him, the King Haid, 
' I have seen the cuckoo chased by lesHer fowl, 
And reason in the chase ; but wherefore now 
Do these your h>rtls stir up the heat of war, 
Some calling Arthur bom of Gorlois, 
Others of Anton ? Tell me, ye yourselves, 170 

Hold ye this Arthur for King Uther's son V 

And Ulftus and Brastias answerV], * Ay/ 
Then Bedivere, the first of all his knights 
Kin'ghted by Arthur at his crowning, sp;ike — 
For Ixild in heart and act and word was he, 
Whenever slander breathe<I against the King — 

* Sir, there lie many rumours on this hcail : 
For there be those who hate him in their hearts, 
Call him baseborn, and since his ways are sweet, 
An<l theirs are bestial, hold him less than man : 180 

And there lie those who deem him more than man, 
And dream he dropt from heaven : but my belief 
In all this matter— so ye care to learn— 
Sir, for ye know that in King Uther's time 
The prince and warrior GorloYs, ho that hehl 
Tintagil castle by the Cornish sea, 
Was wedded with a winsome wife, Ygerne : 
And daughters had she bonie him,— one whereof, 
Lot*8 wife, the Queen of Orkney, Bellicent, 
Hath ever like a loyal sister cleaved 100 

To Arihnr,»but a aon she had not borne. 



And Utiicr coMt ii]N>n lier vyvn of lovo : 
Dill hIio, n NUiiilcMH wifi! U) CjorloYn, 
8(1 loatluMl the brij^lit iliHiioiiour of Iiih love, 
That GorloYs and King Utiier went to war : 
And overthrown was GorloYn and slain. 
Then (Jthcr in his wrath and heat besieged 
Ygerne within Tintagil, where her men, 
Seeing the mighty swanu about their walls, 
Ijcft her and iltHl, and Uther entcr'd in, 200 

And theixs was none to call to but himself. 
"f ^o, coinftasHVl by the ]K)Wer of the King, 

f Knforce<l she was to wud him in her tears, 

And with a shameful swiftness : afterwaixl. 
Nut many moons, King Uther died himself, 
M(»aniiig aixl wailing for an heir to rule 
After him, lest the realm should go to wrack. 
And that same night, the night of the new year, 
liy reason of the bitterness and grief 
That vext his mother, all before his time, 210 

Was Arthur born, and all as soon as bom 
JX*liver*d at a secret postern-gate 
To Merlin, to be hoi den far apart 
Until his hour should come ; because the lords 
Of that fierce day wcixj as the loixls of this, 
WiM beasts, and surely wouM have torn the child 
i Piecemear among them, had they known ; fur each 

t But sought to rule for his own self and hand, 

J And many hated Uther for the sake 

Of (JorloYs. Wherefore Merlin took the child, 220 

And gave him to Sir Anton, an old knight 

And ancient friend of Uther ; and his wife 

Nurseil the young prince, and rear'd him with her own ; 

And no man knew. And ever since the lonis 

Have fo\ighten like wild beasts among themselves, 

So that the realm has gone to wrack : but now, 

This year, when Merlin (for his hour had come) 


Bi*ouf(ht Arthur forth, and Hot him in the hull, 

Prochiiniing, " Hero iH Uthcr's heir, your king/' 

A hundrofl voices cried, ** Awny with him ! 230 

No king of oura t a Ron of GorloYs he. 

Or oIho the child of Anton, and no king, 

Or cImo IwiHclmrn." Yet Merlin thro' hiH craft, 

And ivhilo tho ])Co))lu clamour'd for a king, 

Hail Arthur crown'd ; but after, the great Uirds 

Banded, and so brake out In oiien war.' 

Tlien while the King delKited with hiniAcif 
If Arthur were the child of HhaniefulncHH, 
Or liorn the mn of (JorloYf), after cleath. 
Or Uther's fion, and born liefore hiH time, 240 

Or whether there were truth in anytln'ng 
Said by thcHc three, there came to Canielianl, 
With Gawain and young Mo«lrcd, her two souh. 
Lot's wife, the Queen of Orkney, Ik'lliceni ; 
Whom as he could, not an he would, the King 
Made feast for, saying, as they sat at meat, 

' A doubtful throne is ice on summer seas. 
Ye come from Arthur's court. Yictor his men . 
Keport him 1 Yea, but ye— think ye this king — 
So many those that hate him, and so strong, 250 

So few his knights, however brave they be — 
Hath bmly enow to hold his foemen down V 

•O King,' she cried, 'and I will toll thee ; few. 
Few, but all brave, all of one mind with him ; 
For I was near him when the savage yells 
Of Uthcr's pecrngo died, and Arthur sat 
Crown'd on the daYs, and his warriors crlcMl, 
" Bo thou tho king, and we will work thy will 
Wh^ lovo thee." Then tho King in low deep tones, 
Ami simple words of great authority, 2fX) 



])oiiii<] them by m Mtrait vowb to hifi own solf, 
Tliat wlioii they rofic, kni^htofl from kneeling, aome 
AVcro |ifilo AH at tho fiaHsing of a ghost, 
iSoiiiu IhiNhM, and otlierH (]a«Ml, nn one who waken 
] hilf-hlindctl at tlio conn'ng of a light 

' Hut wlicn ho MiNiko ami checr'd Iiih Table Round 
With largo, divine*, anfl comfortablo wonla, 
]l<»y«)n(l my tongue to tell thee— I beheld 
From eye to eye thiti* all their Onler flash 
A momentary likencHs of the King : 270 

Ami ere it left their faeeM, tint/ tho cross 
And tliOHu an»uml it and the Cinicified, 
Down from tho caMemcnt over Arthur, smote 
Flame-colour, vert and azure, in three rays, 
One falling u|K>n each of three fair ciuecns, 
Who stood in silence near his throne, the friends 
or Arthur, gazing on him, tall, with bright 
Sweet faces, who will help him at his netul. 

* And there I saw mage Merlin, whose vast wit 

And hundre<l winters are but as the hands 280 

Of loyal A^assals toiling for their liege. 

* And near him stood the Lady of the Lake, 
Who knows a subtler magic than his own — 
Clothe<l in white samite, mystic, wonderful. 
She gave the King his huge cross-hiltc<l sword, 
Whereby to drive the heathen out : a mist 

Of incenHo curlM about her, nnd her face 

Wcllnigh was hidden in the minster gloom ; 

Ihit there wns heard among tho holy hymns 

A voice ns of the waters, for she dwells 280 

Down in a deep ; cnim, whatsoever storms 

May shake tho world, and when tho surface rolls, 

Hath power to walk the waters like our Lonl. 



•Tlicre likewise T l)e)K>M Kxcalibur 
Bcfoi-e liiiu at liin crowning lK»nio, the Rword 
That rose from out the bosom of the hike, 
And Arthur mwM aeifwH ami (iMik it— rich 
With jewels, elfiu Urim, on the hilt, 
Hcwililerin<^ heart ami eve—the blade ho bright 
Tliat men arc blinded by it — on one Hide, 300 

Graven in the ohlest tonj^ue of all this world, 
''Take me,** but turn the blade and ye Hhall see, 
And written in tho H|K»cch ye R|H*ak vonrMelf, 
*'(! mc away !" And muI was Arthur'if face 
Taking it, but old Merlin counMell'd him, 
'*Take thou and strike ! the time to cast away 
Iri yet far-ofT/' 80 this great brand the king 
Took, and by thin will lM.*at hiri foemen down.' 

Thereat IxKxlogran rejoiced, but thought 
To sift his doubtingH to the last, and askM, 310 

Fixing full eyes of (| nest ion on her face, 
*Thc swallow and the swift are near akin, 
But thou art closer to this noble prince, 
Being his own dear sistiT ; ' and she wiiil, 
* Daughter of Chuioli's and Vgerne am I ;' 
*And therefore Arthur's sister?' askM the King. 
8hc answer'd, * These be secret things,' and sign'd 
To those two sons to ])ass, and let them be. 
And Gawain went, and breaking into song 
Sprang out, and foIlowM by his flying hair 320 

Ran like a colt, and leapt at all ho saw : 
But Modrc<l laid his ear licsido the doors, 
And there halMieanl ; the same that afterwanl 
Struck for the throne, and striking found his doom. 

And then the Queen made answer, * What know 1 7 
For dark my mother was in eyes and hair, 
And dark in liair and eyes am I ; and dark 


,' ■ 


Was GoHoYr, yea and dark wan Utiier too, 

Wclliii;;!! to blacknet48 ; but tliU King is fair 

Ik;yond tlio race of Britons and of men. 390 

Moreover, always in my mind I hear 

A cry frnni out the dawning of my life, 

A mother weeping, and I hear her say, 

•* O that ye had some biYithcr, pretty one. 

To guanl tiiee on the rough ways of the world.*" 

* Ay,* said the King, 'an*! hear ye such a cry I 
But when did Arthur cliance U]x>n thee first?* 

*0 King I' she crieir, 'and I will tell thee true : 
He found mo first when yet a little maid : 
Jk*aten I ]ia<l lieen for a little fault 340 

Whereof 1 was not guilty ; and out I ran 
And (lung myself down on a liank of heath, 
And hated this fair world and all therein. 
And wept, and wishVl that I were deiul ; and he— 
I know not whether (»f himself he came. 
Or brought by IMeilin, who, they say, can walk 
Unseen at plensure — he was at my side. 
And s|)ake sweet words, and comforted my hearty 
And diietl my tears, being a child with me. 
And many a time he came, and evermore 360 

As I grew greater grew with me ; and sad 
At times he seemM, and sad with him was I, 
Stem too at times, and then I loved him not. 
But sweet again, and then I loved him well. 
And now of late I see him less and less. 
But those first days had golden hours for mo, 
For then I surely thought he would bo king. 

* But let me tell thee now another tale : 
For Bleys, our Merlin's master, as they say. 

Died but of late, and sent his cry to me, 360 


To hear liiin 8|>cak Wfon* lie left IiIh life. 

Shrunk h'ke a fairy chan^elin^ lay the nmgo ; 

And when I cnlcrM told me that hiniHoIf 

And ^ferlin ever Rorved alnxit the Kin^;, 

ITther, Wforo he die<I ; ami on the night 

When IJther in 'i'inta^il ]mHt away 

Moaning and wailing for an heir, the two 

Loft the Htill King, and ]NUiMing forth to lireathe, 

Then from the caHtle gateway by the chiiAm 

DoHcemling thro* the diHmal night — a niglit 370 

In which tlie ImnndM of heaven and earth were loMt— 

Ikdiehl, HO high n)Kin tlie dreary iUm^im 

It ReemM in heaven, a Rliip, the Hha|ie thereof 

A dragon wingM, and all from Htem to ntern 

Bright with a nhining jK^ople on the deekH, 

And gone aa noon aM Hcen. And then the two 

l)ro)it t4) tlie eove, and watch'd the great Hoa fall, 

Wave after wave, eaeh mightier than the lant, 

Till lant, a ninth one, gathering half the deep 

And full of voiceH, Mlowly nme ami plnngefl •')80 

Koaring, and all the wave wna in a llamo : 

And down the wave and in the ttame w*aa borno 

A naked liaW, and rcxio to Merlin^M feet. 

Who Htoo))t and eatight the haln*, ami cHimI **TIio King t 

Hero iM an heir for Uther ! " And the fringe 

Of that great breaker, nweeiiing up the Htran<l, 

Lash'd at the wi%;irfl aH he H|iake the won], 

And all at oneo all n>und him rose in firt*, 

So that the chilil and ho were clotheil in firo. 

And prc!4cntly thereafter follow'd calm, 300 

Free sky and Rtara : ** And thiM Hame child,'' ho said, 

** In ho who reigiiH ; nor could I |)art in peaco 

Till thifl wero t(»ld." And Raying thin the 8eer 

Went thro* the atrait and dreadful paw of death, 

Not evor to bo questionM any moro 

Save on the further side ; but when I mot 



Merlin, an<l amIcM liiin if tlicm) thiiipt wero truth— 

Tlio Nliiiiin^ (Ini^dii niid tho linked cliihl 

JK*H(*eiifiiii;{ ill tlio t^iory of tlio hoiih— 

JIo liui;(1iM AH iM 1mm wont, niul anNWi»i**(l mo 400 

In riddling tiipletH of old time, aihI foiid : 

* ' *' Kniiii rain, and huh ! a rainbow in the sky 1 

I A young man will bo wiMcr by and by ; 

An old man's wit may wander ere ho dio. 

I?ain, rain, niid sun I a rainbow on the lea t 
And truth is tluH to me, and that to thco ; 
And truth or cl(»thc<l or naked let it lie. 
j ! Rain, Kiin, and niiii ! and the free bloHKOin blows : 

Sun, rain, ami huh ! and where in he who known? 
From tho great tleep to the givat deep he gocB." 410 

I . 


'So Merlin riihliing aiigei*'d me ; but thou 
Fear not to give thin King thine only ehild, 
Guinevere : ho great InihIh of him will ning 
Hereafter ; and dark nayingn from of old 
]?unging and ringing thro' tho inindH of men, 
And echo'd by old folk boHide their firoH 
For comfort after their wage- work in done, 
Speak of the King ; and Merlin in our time 
Hath H))oken alHo, not in jent, and Hworn 
Tho' men may wound hiin that ho will not dio, 420 

Ihit |mHH, ngain to come ; and then or now 
Utterly smite tho heathen underfoot, 
Till those and all men hail him for their king.' 

She 8j)ako and King Leodogran rejoiced, 
But n\ufling ' Shall I answer yea or nay 7' 
Doubted, and drowsed, noddeil and slept, and saw, 
Dreaming, a slope of land that over grow, 
Field after field, up to a height, tho peak 
Ilaase-hidden, and thorcon a phantom king, 



Now Ifioniin;;, aihI how Icmt ; aimI on i\\o k1o|)g 430 

The flwoifl roMf>, the hind foil, the herd wuh (h'ivon, 

Fire ^dhniwed ; and all the land from nM)f antl nVk, 

In driflH of Hniokc lK*fure a rollin;^ wind, 

8treaniM to the |M'ak, and ndn;^led with the ha%o 

And made it thicker ; while tlic phantom king 

Sent out at timeH a voice ; an<l here or there 

Stood one who pointed towaiil the voice, the rest 

Slew on and bnrnt, cryin/^^, * No kin^ (»f ourH, 

No Hon of Uther, and no kin^^ of ourn ;' 

Till with a wink IiIh dream wiim changed, the haxe 440 

1X*Mcende<l, and the Nolid enrth iK'came 

Am nothing, but the King Ht«)o<l out in heaven, 

CrownVl. And I^codogran awoke, ami ncnt 

UlfiuH, and JtraHtiart and ISedivere, 

Back to the court of Artliur auHwcring yea. 

Then Arthur eliargcd hin warrior whom he loved 
And lionour'd moMt, Sir Ijincelot, to ride forth 
And bring tlio Queen ;— and watch'd him from the gntes: 
And Lancelot ]>aHt away among the (lowerH, 
(For then was latter A])ril) and retuni'd 450 

Among the ilowcrs, in May, with (Guinevere. 
To whom nrriveil, by ))ubric the high naint, 
CIn'ef of the church in liritain, and lK»fol^» 
TIic RtatclicHt of her altar-Hhrinos, the King 
Tliat morn was married, while in stainless white, 
Tlie fair beginners of a nobler time, 
And glor}*ing in their vows and him, his knights 
Stood round him, and rejoicing in his joy. 
Far shone the fields of May tliro' o|K>n door, 
The sacred altar blossfimM white with May, 400 

The Sun of May dcsccndcMl on their King, 
They gazed on all earth's beauty in their Queen, 
Boird incense, and there past along the liymns 
A voice as of the watem, while the two 


8waro at tlio Hliriiiti.of Clirinl a ilcaUiIcw lovo ; 

AihI Arthur Hai<l, * IVlioM, tliy <lfNiiii ih iiiino. 

lift cliaiicti what will, I lovo tlivo tfi the death !' 

To whom iho Qiiihmi iTplitMl with (lnM>))iii^' ^-y^ 

* Kin^ and my lord, I lovo thco to tho death 1' 

And holy Duhric Hpread hin handH and H]iake, 470 

' Hei^n ye, and live and lovo, and make tho world 

Other, and may thy Queen be one with thee, 

And all thin Order of thy Tablo Kound 

Fuini the ItTiundleHH |nir))OHe of their King t' 

So Duhric Raid ; hut when tlioy left the Hhrino 
Croat [#onlH from Home before tho ix>rtal Htood, 
In ficornful HtillnesH gazing uh they ]>aMt ; 
Then while they |)aced a eity all on fire 
With Hun and cloth of gold, the tnnniK'tH blew, 
And Arthur^H knighthood nang l)eforo the King :— 480 

* Blow trumpet, for tho worhl ih white with May ; 
Blow trumpet, the long night hath ix>ll'd away ! 
Blow thro* the living world — ** Let tho King reign." 

*8Imll Home or JFcalhen rule in Arthur'n realm? 
FhiMh brand and lance, fall battleaxe U)K>n helm, 
Fall iNiltlo'ixe, and IhiHli brand I Let tho King reign. 

' Strike for tho King and live! Iu'h knightn havolieard 
Tliat God hath told the King a secret word. 
Fall battleaxe, and fla8h brand ! Let the King reign. 

* Blow trumpet ! he will lift uh from tho dunt. 400 
Blow trumpet ! live the Htrength and die the luNt 1 

( *Iang battleaxe, and claMh brand ! Let tho King rcigii. 

' Strike for the King and die ! and if thou diest, 
Tlie King is King, and ever wills the highest 
Clang battleaxe, and clash brand ! Let the King reign. 


* Blow, for our Sun irt nii;{lit.y in Iiih May I 
Blow, for our Sun Im nii^liticr day liy ilay ! 
Clang battlcaxc, and claHli brand I Lot the King I'eigii. 

*Tlie King will follow diriHt, and wo tlio King 
In whom high Cod hath hivathcd a Hcrrot tiling. AOO 
Fall battlvaxc, and flaMli brand ! Let the King reign.' 

So sang the knighthood, moving to their hall. 
There at the lianquet those great LonlH from Borne, 
riie Hlowly -fading mistress of the world, 
Strode in, and claimM their tribute as of yore. 
But Arthur spake, *BehohI^ for thoKc have sworn 
To wage my wars, and worship me tlioir King ; 
The old orih*r changuth, yielding place to new ; 
And wo that tight for our fair father (/hrist. 
Seeing that ye lie grown too weak and old 510 

To drive the heathen from your Koman wall. 
No tribute will we |Niy :' so those great lonls 
Di*ew back in wrath, ami Arthur strove with Bomo, 

And Arthur and his knighthood for a s|nu:o 
Wore all one will, and thiV that strength the King 
Drew in the \wity iirinceiloms under him, 
Fought, and in twelve great iNvttles overcnmo 
Tlie heathen hordes, and made a realm and reign*d. 


That story wliicli tlio bf)ld Sir Bcdivcrc, 
FirHt nmdc mid latcMt left of aU tho kiiighta, 
Tolfl, wlicu the man wom no ntoro than a voico 
In tlio whito winter of hiH a^o, to thoHO 
With whom ho dwelt, now faceH, r^hcr minds. 

For on their march to weHtward, Iksdivere, ' 
Who Hlowly iNiced amon^ the Rlnmberin^ hoati 
Heanl in Ium tent tho moaningH of tho King : 

'I found Ilim in tho Hhining of tliQ Htars, 
I niark'd Ilin) in the flowering of IVw fichlsi 
lint in Ilin ways with men I find Ilim not. 
I wage<l His wai*8, and now I ]»aNs and die. 
O mo ! for why is all around us hero 
Ah if Homo loMHer gcHl hail made tho world, 
Hut had hot force to Hhn)X} it ait he would, 
Till tho High Owl behold it from Iwyond, 
And enter it, and make it l)oautifid ? 
Or cIho as if the world wore wholly fair, 
Hut that these cycH of men are dense and dim. 
And have not i)owcr to see it as it is : 
Perchance, bocatiso wo see not to the close ;— 
For J, being simple, thought to work His will. 
And have but stricken with tho swoixl in vain ; 

B 17 




h «» 


And all wliorcoii 1 IcanM in wife nn<l friend 
Is traitor to my |ioaco, and all my realm 
RccIh l>ack into tlio l)caHt, and in no nioro. 
My C«n<l, thon liant for^ttcn mo in my flcaili : 
Nay--Go<l my (JliriMt — T jianH Unt Hhall not die' 


Tlien, ere the lant weird Iwittle in the we»t, 
Tliere came on Arthur Hlee|)in;(, (iawain killM 30 

In Lancelot's war, the ^lioMt of Oawain Mown 
Along a wamlering wind, and jmHt hw ear 
Went alirilling, 'Hollow, hollow all delight I 
Hall, King ! to-morrow thou Hhalt pass away. 
Farewell ! there is an isle of rest for thee. 
Anil I am blown along a wandering wind, 
And hollow, hollow, lioUow all delight' 
And fainter onward, like wihl binls that change 
Their season in the night and wail their way 
From cloud to cloud, down the long wind the dream 40 
Shrill'd ; but in going mingled with dim cries 
Far in the moonlight haze among the hillS| 
As of some lonely city sack'd by night. 
When all is lost, and wife and child with wail 
Pass to new lords ; and Arthur woke and callM, 
'Who sjNike ? A dream. O light u])on the wiml, 
Tln'nc, Oawain, was the voice — nru these dim cries 
Thine? or doth all that haunts the waste and wihl 
Mouni, knowing it will go along with me 7' 

Tin's heanl the bold Sir Be«livere and s|iako : 60 

'O me, my King, let fiasM whatever will, 
Elves, and the harmless glamour of the field ; 
But in their stearl thy name and glory cling 
To all high places like a golden cloud 
For ever : but as yet thou shalt not pass. 
Light was Oawain in life, and light in death 
Is Oawain, for the ghost is as the man ; 



And caro not thou for drcanm from him, but 

I hear thu Hto)w of Mo<lrc(l in the wcHt, 

And with him many of thy )»coplc, and knighta 00 

Onco thine, whom thou haMt loved, but ^roMier grown 

Tlian heathen, spitting at their vowh and theo. 

Hight well in heart they know thee for the King. 

Arise, go forth and conquer as of old.' 

Then spake King Arthur to Sir Bcdivcre : 
' Far other is this luittle in the west 
Whereto we move, than when we strove in youth, 
And brake the petty kings, and fought with Rome, 
Or thnist the heathen from the Homan wall. 
And shook him thro' the north. Ill doom is mine 70 
To war against my people and my knights. 
The king who fights his people fights himself, 
r An<l they my knights, who loved me once, the stroke 

Tliat strikes them dead is as my death to me. 
Yet let us hence, and fnul or feel a way 
Thro' this blind haze, which ever since I saw 
One lying in the dust at Almesbury, 
Hath foldefl in the ixisses of the world.' 

Tlien rose the King and moved his host by night, 
And ever push'd Sir .Modred, league by league, 80 

Back to the sunset bound of Lyonncssc — 
A land of old uphcaven from the abyss 
By fire, to sink into the abysH ngain ; 
Where fragments of forgotten peoples dwclt^ 
And the long mountains endo<l in a coast 
Of ever-shifting sand, and far nway 
The phantom circle of a moaning sea. 
There the pursuer could pursue no more, 
And he that fled no further fly the King ; 
.And there, that day when the great light of heaven 90 
Bum'd at his lowest in the rolling year, 



On the waste sand by the waste sea they closed. 

Nor ever yet had Arthur fought a fi^ht 

Like this last, dim, weird battle of the west. 

A deathwhite iiiiHt slept over sand and sea : 

Whereof the chill, to him who breathed it, drew 

Down with his blood, till all his heart was cold 

With fonuloHH fear ; and ev'n on Arthur fell 

Confusion, since he saw not whom he fought. 

For friend and foe were shadows in the mist, 100 

And friend slew friend not knowing whom he slew ; 

And some had vinions out of golden youth, 

And some beheld the faces of oM gluMts 

Ijook in ujion the battle ; and in the mist 

Was many a nuble deed, many a Inisc, 

And chance and craft anfl strength in single Hghts, 

And ever and anon with host to host 

Shocks, and the splintering spear, the hanl mail hewn, 

Shield -breakings, and the clash of brands, the crash 

Of battleaxes on shattered helms, and shrieks 110 

After the Christ, of those who falling down 

Look'd up for heaven, and only saw the mist ; 

And shouts of heathen and the traitor knights. 

Oaths, insult, fdth, and monstrous blasphemies, 

Sweat, writhings, anguish, labouring of the lungs ' 

In that close mist, and cryings for the light, 

Moans of the dying, and voices of the dead. 

Last, as by some one deathbed after wail 
Of sulfcring, silence follows, or thi*c/ death 
Or deathlike swoon, thus over all that shore, 120 

Save for some whisi^er of the seething seas, 
A dead hush fell ; but when the dolorous day 
Grew drearier towanl twilight falling, came 
A bitter wind, clear from the North, and blew 
Tlie mist aside, and with that wind the tide 
# Rose, and the palo King ghinced across the field 





Of battio : but no niaii was moving there ; 

Nor any cry of Christian heard thereon, 

Nor yet of licathen ; only tlio wan wave 

Brake in among dead faces, to and fro 130 

Swaying the hel|)lcHS hands, and up and dowu 

Tumbling the hollow helmets of the fallen, 

And Hhiver*d brands that once had fought with RoniOi 

And rolling far along the gloomy sliores 

The voice of days of old and days to be. 

Then »\ytike King Arthur to Sir Bedivere, 
And whiter than the mist that all day long 
Ilad held the field of battle was the King : 


' nearest thou this great voice that shakes the world, 
And wastes the narrow realm whereon we move, 140 
And beats upon the faces of the dead. 
My dead, as tho' they had not died for me 7 — 
O Bedivere, for on my heart hath fall'n 
Confusion, till I know not what I am, 
Nor whence I am, nor whether I be King. 
Behold, I seem but King among the dead.' 

Then Hpiikc the bold Sir l^diveru : 'My King, 
King everywhere ! and ho the dcivd have kings. 
There alHo will I worwhlp thee as King. 
Yet still thy life is whole, and still I live 160 

Who love tliee ; but who hates thee, he that brought 
The heathen 1)ack among us, yonder stands, 
Modreil, unharm'd, the tniitor of thine house.' 

Then spake the King : * My house hath been uiy 
But call not thou this traitor of my house 
Who hath but dwelt beneath one roof with me. 
My \\o\xw are rather they who swaro my vows, 


f » 

liiiipi . I wM" »i' « "1 1 " 'J ' ' ^^ -^ •• -U ' - ' - ' .^yig W 


Yea, even while they brake them, ownVl me King. 

And well for thee, saying in my dark liour, 

When all the piir]K)rt of my throne hath fail'd, 160 

That quick or dead thou holdcRt me for King. 

King am I, whatsoever be their cry ; 

And one last act of kinghooil shnlt thou see 

Yet, ere I ])ass.* And uttering this the King 

Made at the man : then Modred smote his liege 

Hard on that helm which many a heathen sword 

Had beaten thin ; while Arthur at one blow, 

Striking the last stroke with Excalibur, 

Slew him, and all but slain himself, he fell. 

So all day long the noise of battle roU'd ^^ 170 
Among the mountains by the winter sea ; 
Until King Arthur's Table, man by man, 
Had fall'n in Lyonnesse .ibout their lord, 
King Arthur. Then, because his wound was deep, 
The bold Sir Bedivere uplifted him. 
And bore him to a chajiel nigh the field, 
A broken chancel with a broken cross, 
Tliat stood on a dark strait of barren land : 
On one side lay the Ocean, and on one 
Lay a great water, ami the moon was full. 180 

Then sjiake King Arthur to Sir I3e<livere : 
*Tl)e sequel of to-day unHohlem nil 
The goodliest fellowHhip of famous knights 
Whereof this world holds reconl. Such a sleep 
Tliey sleep— the men I loved. I think that we 
ShftU never more, at any future time, 
Delight our souls with talk of knightly deeds, 
Walking about the gardens and the halls 
Of Gamelot, as in the days that were. 
I perish by this people which I made,— 190 

' Tho' Merlin aware that I should come again 



To rule once more ; but, let what will be, be^ 

I am BO deeply smitten thro' the helm 

That without help I cannot last till mom. 

Thou therefore take my bi-and Excalibur, 

Which wan my ]>ri(Ic : for thou rcmcnibcrest how 

In those old days, one summer noon, an arm 

Hose up from out the liosom of the lake. 

Clothed in white sann'te, mystic, wonderful. 

Holding the sword— and how I row'd across 200 

And took it, and have worn it, like a king ; 

And, wheresoever I am sung or told 

In aftertime, this also shall be known : 

But now delay not : take Kxcalibur, 

And Hing him far into the mi(hllc mere : 

Watch what thou sciist, and lightly bring me word.* 

To him replicfl the bold Sir Bedivere : 
' It \H not meet, Sir King, to leave thee thus, 
AidlcHs, alone, and smitten thro' the helm — 
A little thing may harm a wounded man ; 210 

Yet I thy hc8t will all ))erform at full. 
Watch what I see, and lightly bring thee word.' 

So Raying, from the ruin'd shrine he stept. 
And in the moon athwart the ]>laco of tombs, 
Where lay the nn'ghty bones of ancient men. 
Old knights, and over them the sea-wind sang 
Shrill, chill, with (lakes of foam. He, stepping dowu 
By xig/ag ]NithK, and juts of pointed rock, 
Came on the Hhining levels of the lake. 

There drew ho forth the bmnd Kxcalibur, 220 

And o'er him, drawing it, the winter moon. 
Brightening the skirts of a long cloud, ran forth 
And sparkled keen with frost against the hilt : 
For all the haft twinkled with diamond sparks, 

LUI l|l | il MJ.l l l l wiiH ii HP, l| JH If. l ll I LI II i i l. l .Hl|J.l, i B^Hl|,i i 


Myriads of t()|Kv/.-li;;lit8, ami jacinth- work 

Of Hubtlost jewellery. lie gaze<l no loii;^ 

Tliat both hJH eyes were daxzletl as ho stood, 

This way and that dividing the swift mind, 

In act to thi*ow : bnt at the last it seem'd 

])etter to leave KxcMih'bur conceal'd 230 

There in the many-knotted waterdagR, 

That whistle<l Htiir and dry alioiit the niar^^o. 

80 strode he back slow to the wounded King. 

Then M|»ako Kin|; Arthur to Sir liedivcre : 
'llast thou ])erforni'd my mrMsion which I gave? 
What is it thou hast seen 7 or what hast heard 7* 

And answer made the bohl Sir licdivcro : 
'I licard the ripple washing in the reeds, 
And the wild water lapping on the cmg.' 

To whom replied King Arthur, faint and pale : 240 
'Thou hast betray'd thy nature and thy name. 
Not rendering true answer, as beseem'd 
Thy fiialty, nor like a noble knight : 
For surer sign had followed, either hand. 
Or voice, or else a motion of the mere. 
This is a shameful t'tsing for men U) lie. 
Yet now, I charge thee, (piickly go again. 
As thou art lief and dear, and do the thing 
I bade thee, watch, and lightly bring mo word.' 

Tlion went Sir Ik>divere the second time 200 

AciY)ss the ridge, and pAcc<l Wsiilo the mere, 
r4)unting the df^wy |>el>bl(<H, HxM in thought; 
]lut when he saw the wonder of the hilt. 
How curiously and stmngely chased, he smote 
^ Ilia palms together, and he cried aloud : 






'And if iiidood I emit tlio brand away, 
Siiroly a )>rcciou8 thing, ono worthy note, 
Should thiiH bo loHt for over from tho cartli, 
Whicrli nnVht have plcaiicil tho oyc8 of many meiL 
What g(HNl Hhoiild follow thiM, if this wore done? 200 
What harm, undone 7 Deep harm to dinoboyi 
Seeing olicflieneo in the bond of rule. 
Were it well to olwy then, if a king ficmand 
An act unprofitable, againut hiniHcIf ? 
Tlie King iH sick, and knows not what ho does. 
What recunl, or what relic of my lord 
Should Iks to aftcrtime, but empty breath 
And rumours of a doubt 7 But were this kept, 
Stored in some troasure-liouHo of nu'ghty kings. 
Some one might hIiow it at a joust of arms, 270 

Saying, "King Arthur's 8w<»rfl, Excalibur, 
Wrought by the lonely maiden of tho J^ko. 
Nine years she wrought it, sitting in the deeps 
U|K>n the hidden Ijohos of the hiiW 
So might some old man s])cak in the aftertirae 
To all the people, winning reverence. 
But now much honour and much fame were UmU 

So spake he, cloude<l with his own conceit. 
And hid Excalibur the second time, 
And so strode back slow to tho wounded King. 280 

Tlien s)K)ke King Arthur, breathing heavily : 
' What is it thou hast seen 7 or what hast heard ?' 

And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere : 
' I heani the water lapping on tho crag. 
Ami the long ripple waHliing in tho reeds.' 

To whom replied King Arthur, much in wrath : 
* Ah, misemblo and unkind, untrue, 



flitly, traitor-hearted ! Woe ia nie ! 
Toriiy fur^'eU a dying king, 
aid widow'd of tlie ]>owcr in his eye 200 

That bowM the will. I fU'O thee what thou art. 
For thou, the latcflt-left of all my knightii, 
In whom should meet the ofTiccs of all, 
Tliou wouldat betray me for the precious hilt ; 
Either from lust of gold, or like a girl 
Valuing tho giddy pleasure of the eyes. 
Yet, for a man may fail in duty twice. 
And the third time may prosper, get thco henco : 
But, if thou sixiro to ding Kxcalibur, 
I will arise and slay thee with my hands.* 300 

Tlien quickly rose Sir Ik^divere, and ran. 
And, leaping down tho ridges lightly, ]ilunged 
Among the bulrush 1)eds, and clutcliM the swonl, 
And strongly wheelM ami threw it. Tho great brand 
Made lightnings in the s]>lendour of the moon, 
And (lashing round ami round, and whirled in an arch. 
Shot like a streamer of tho northern morn. 
Seen where the moving isles of winter shrx;k 
By night, with nciises of the Northern Sea. 
So Hash'd and fell the brand Kxcalibur : 310 

But ere he dipt the surface, iymo an arm 
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful. 
And caught him by the hilt, and brandished him 
Tliree times, and drew liim under in the mere. 
And lightly went tho other to the King. 

Tlion Bpoko King Arthur, drawing thicker breath : 
' Now SCO I by thino eyes that this is done. 
Spoak out : what is it thou hast heanl, or seen ?' 

And answer nuu\e the Ijold Sir Bedivcre : 
'Sir King, I closed mine eyelids, lest tho gems 320 


Should blind my iHirpoao, for I never saw, 
Nor ttliall HOC, hero or clficwhcre, till I die, 
Not tho* I live three livc8 of morUl men, 
80 ^rcat a miracle aM yonder hilt. 
Tlien with 1)oth liandM I (lung him, wheeling him ; 
But when I lookVl aji^ain, behold an arm, 
Clothed in white namite, myntic, wonderful, 
That caught him by the hilt, and bnuidisird him 
Tlireo timcH, and draw him under in the more*' 

And nuHWor made KU\g Arthur, breathing Imrd : 330 
*My end drawA nigh ; 'Iih time that I were gono. 
Make broad thy shouldcra to receive my weighty 
And bear me to the margin ; yet I fear 
My wound hath taken cold, and I shall die.' 

80 Haying, fmm the ]>avcmcnt he half ix>se, 
81owly, with ]Niiu, reclining on liirt arm. 
And looking wiHtfuIly wilh wide blue eyes 
Ah in a picture, llim Sir ]iedivere 
Ilcmoi>fofully rcgaixled thro' hin tcara, 
And would have H))okcn, but ho found not words ; 340 
Then took with care, and kneeling on one knee, 
O'er l)oth hin nhouldcrH drew the languid handa, 
And rining l)oru him thro' the ])lace of tombis. 

But, an he walk'd. King Arthur ])antcd hard. 
Like one that feels a nightmare on his bed 
When all the house is mute. So sigh'd the King, 
Muttering and murmuring at his ear, 'Quick, quick ! 
I fear it is too late, aiid I Mhall die.' 
But the other swiftly sti^ode from ridge to ridge. 
Clothed with his breath, and lookinor, as ho walk'd, 350 
liiirger than human on the frozen hills. 
Ho Iicard the deep behind him, and a cry 
Before. His own thought drove him like a goad. 



Dry clanird his IiarnctM in tlio icy cavca 

And liarren chasms, and all to left and right 

Tlic bare black clitF clangVl round him, as he based 

His feet on juts of slipjiery crag that rang 

Sliarp-smitten with the dint of armed heels— 

And f»n a sudden, lo ! the level lake, 

And the long glories of the winter moon. 300 

Then saw tliuy how there hove a dusky barge, 
Dark as a funcnil scarf from stem to stern, 
IkMieath them ; and descending they were ware 
That all the decks were dense with stately forms, 
liiack-stoled, black-hoo<le<], like a dream— by these 
Three Queens with cmwns of gold : and from thorn roso 
A cry that shivered to the tingling stars, 
And, OS it were one voice, an agony 
Of lamentation, like a wind that shrills 
All night in a waste land, where no one comes, 370 

Or hath come, since the making of the world. 

Tlien murmurM Arthur, ' Place me in the barge.' 
So to the large they came. There those three Queens 
Put forth their liamls, and took the King, and wept 
Dut she, that rose the tallest of them all 
And fairest, laid his head ujmn her lap, 
And loosed the shatterd casque, and chafed his han<ls. 
And eallM him by his name, complaining lou<l. 
And <lro]))iing bitter tears against a brow 
Striped with dark blood : for all his face was white 380 
And colourless, and like the withered moon 
Smote by the fresh beam of the springing east ; 
And all his greaves and cuisses dasli'd with drops 
Of onset ; and the light and lustrous curls — 
That made his forehead like a rising sun 
High from the dais-throne— were parch'd with dust ; 
^ Or, clotted into points and hanging loose, 



Mix'd with tho knightly growth that fringed his ]fp«, 

80 liko a shattor*tl column lay the King ; 

Not like tliat Arthur who, with lance in rcat, 300 

From Rpur to plume a atar of tournament, 

Shot thro' the lifit8 at Oamolot, an<l charged 

Before tho eyes of ladicH and of kinga. 

Tlien loudly critnl tho UAd Sir IkMlivcro : 
' Ah ! my lionl Arthur, whither Hliall I goY 
Where Rliall I hide my forehcail and my eyeaf 
For now I hoc the true old timeH are dead, 
Whon every morning hmught a noble chance. 
And every chance hixiught out a nohle knight. 
Such tinicfl have lM*cn not nince the light tiiat led 400 
The holy KIderH with the gift of myrrh. 
Ihit now the whole Jtound Table in difwolved 
Which wan an image of the mighty workl. 
And I, tho laAt, go forth comiNinionlem, 
And the days darken round me, and the years, 
Among new men, strange faces, other minda.' 

And slowly answered Arthur from the barge : 
*The old onlcr changeth, yielding place to new, 
And Go<l fulfds himself in nmny ways. 
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world. 410 

Comfort tliysclf : what comfort is in me ? 
I IiHvo lived my life, and that which I have done 
May lie within hinisulf make pure I but thou. 
If thou shouldst never see my face again. 
Pray for my soul. More things ai-e wrought by prayer 
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice 
Kise like a fountain for me night and day. 
For what arc men better than sheep or goats 
Tliat nourish a blind life within tho brain. 
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer 420 

Both for themselves and those who call them friend 7 


— -^^^ — — ^— -^■-- . ,1 - ^. . .. 


For 80 tlie whole round cai-tli is every way 

Bound by gold cliains about the feet of God. 

But now farewell. I am going a long way 

With these thou secst — if indcc<l I go 

(For all my mind is clouded with a doubt)— 

To the island-valley of Avilion ; 

Where falls not h.ail, or rain, or any snow, 

Nor ever wind blows loudly ; but it lies 

Deep-meadow'd, happy, fair with orchard lawns 430 

And bowery hollows crownM with summer sea, 

Where I will heal me of my grievous wound.' 

So said he, and the barge with oar and sail 
Movefl from the brink, like some full-breasted swan 
That, (luting a wild carol ere her doath, 
Jlunies her pure cold plunio, and takes the (IckmI 
With swarthy wel>s. I^ong stood Sir Bediveixj 
Revolving many memories, till the hull 
Look'd one black dot against the verge of dawn, 
I An<l on the mere the wailing died away. 440 

But when that moan had past for evermore, 
Tlie stillness of the dead world's winter dawn \ j 

Amaze<l him, and he groan VI, 'Tlie King is gone.' ' 
And therewithal came on him the weini rhyme, 
* From the great deep to the great deep he goes.' 

Wliereat he slowly tum*d and slowly clomb 
The last hard footstep of that iron crag ; 
Thence mark'd the black hull moving yet, and cried, 
' He passes to be King among the dead. 
And after healing of his grievous wound 450 

He comes again ; but— if he come no more — 
O taie, be yon dark Queens in yon black boat. 
Who shriek'd and wail'd, the three whereat we gazed 
. On that high day, when, clothed with living light. 



Tliey stood before hw tliroue iu silence, frieiids 
Of Artliur, who should help him at his need 7' 

Tlien from the dawn it secm'd there came, but faint 
As from 1)eyond the limit of the world, 
Like the last echo bom of a great cry, 
Sounds, as if some fair city were one voice 400 

Around a king returning from his wars. 

Tliereat once more he move<l about, and clomb 
Ev'n to the highest he could climb, and saw, 
Straining his eyes beneath an arch of hand, 
Or thought ho saw, the speck that bare the King, 
Down- that long water opening on the deep 
Somewhere far ofT, pass'on and on, and go 
From li*HH to less and vanish into light. 
And the new sun rose bringing the now year. 






]. LeodOfirran, the Xing of Oamellard. Tlicso namoa are 
variouHly Rijolt I/jodcj^nmnco. T.<oo<lo};uii, Lodogroiiti, aiicl Camo 
liul, Cuinolyanlo, (Jftiiiolyanl, Caincliard in Mulory*ii Alortl 
tV Arthur, uiid other minor Icgondary works. A nolo in 
Wriglit'a edition of Nfalory nayH, *'Can)oliai'(l in ap|)aroiit]y tho 
iliHtrict callcil Cnrnirl'uU in the Knglinh metrical romance ©f 
Merlin^ on tlio lx)nler of which was a town called firockonlio 
(? Hrecknock). Further on in the samo \toQm tho capital of 
Cannuliilo in wiid to 1k) Carohaiso." 

4. Oulnevere... delight Scan 

Guinc|voro, and | in \\6v \ his t'mo | doUghtj. 

Tho pauHc after tlio wonl 'Ciuincvcro* gives emphasis to the 
name and importance to the character. OeofTroy of Af onmoiith in 
his lI'iHtory oftht /irifotis spells tho name Ouanlmmara, and statcii 
that the liwly was ** dcscendeil from a noblo family of Romans, and 
educated under Duke (^ador of (/ornwall, and surpassofl in beauty 
all tlio women of tho island. " The fcdlowing spellings of tho name 
are also found —Ciuonhara, Ocnnro, Owenhwymr, Oaynor, Quono- 
ver, and (juinover. 

5. For many a petty king. OeofTroy of Monmouth gives 
accounts of tho reigns of Krutus (grandson of Ascanius) and his 
tlireo sons, Locrino, Albanach, and Caml>cr; Loir, Bolinus 
(brother of Brcnnus, tho conqueror of Rome), Cassibelaunus, 
Arviragus, Lucius, Basianus, Carasaius, Asclopiodotus, Coel, 
Octavius, Maximianus, Constantino, Vortigcrn, and Constan- 
tino's sons Aurclius, Ambrosius, an<l Uther. 

13. For first Aureliu8...died. Tlio reign of Aurelius (callotl 
'Aurolius Kmrys' in (Jarcth and LynetU) ocoupios tho fiftli 


^ppipp^nipii .wniuu 'i i l UHJ" m l u ip u w iiiM: 


book of QeofTroy's Clironiclo. After defeating Vorticcrn 
ho conquers the Saxohh, Ueliendft HengiHt, and, by Merlin's 
aid, transports the great stones ealled * The (slant's Dance ' from 
Kildaro in Ireland to Salisbury Plain, \('here ho erects them as 
a monument to the Hritish chiefs slain by Ilengist. Finally ho 
is poisoned by a iSaxon. At his death there a])pear8 a wonderful 
comet, from which issue two long and brilliant rays, together 
with a fairy form much resembling a dragon. 

14. And aft^r him Kinff Uttaer. The sixth 1>ook of the 
Chronicle contains the reign of Utlier. His first act after his 
election to the crown is to cause two golden dragons to Iks nmdo 
in imitation of that which he had seen in Uther*s comet's tail ; 
one of these he solemnly oflcrs up in the church at Winchester, 
and takes the other as the royal standard ; whence ho was 
aftenfi'ards called Pen-Dragon or Dragon's head. [See the des- 
cription in Cvintvcre of Arthur's crest, '*Tho Dragon of the 
great Pendragonship."] After comiuering revolters in the 
northern provmccs, Uther goes rounci all the Scottish nations, 
and reclaims that rel>ellious people from their ferocity. Ho 
then overcomes Gorlois, Duke of ComM'all, and marries his 
widow, Igema. After other liattles, ho is poisoned by the 
Saxons, and buried at Stonehenge near his brother Aurelius. 

16. for a fpaca. A hint is given in these M'ords of the failure 
which in the end is to overtake the M'ork of Arthur's life. 

17. Malory's words are, ** Ihit within few veares after King 
Arthur wonno all the North, Scotland and all that were under 
their obeysance. Also a part of Wales held against King 
Arthur, but heo overcame them all, as heo did the remnant, and 
all through tho noble prowesse of himselfe and his knights of tho 
Round Table." Table Round, the order of knightTiooil esta- 
blishe<l by King Arthur. It tocik its name from a largo round 
table at which tho king and his knights sat for meals. Such 
a table is still preserved at Winchester as having belonged to 
King Arthur. Some accounts say that thero wero liK) seats at 
the table, and that it was originally constructed to imitato the 
shape of the world, which long after Arthur's time was supposed 
to bo flat and circular in form ; see Guinetxre ;— 

*' But I was first of all tho kinp who drew 
Tho knighthoml errant of this realm and all 
Tho realms together under me, their Head, 
In that fair Order of mv Table Round, 
A glorious Company, tho flower of men 
To servo as model for tho mighty world 
And 1)0 tho fair 1)cginning of a time "— 

Wo are further told that this tablo was originally constructed by 
Merlin, the wisarrl, for Uther Pendragon, who presented it to 
J^odogran, but that on Arthur's marriage with Loodogran's 

NOTES. 35 

(laugh tor, tho tablo and 100 knights witli it woro sent to Arthur 
with <Juiiiovoro an a wo«liIinff |ftft that itliouhl ploaiio him inoro 
than a gnuit of h^nd. Ono or tiio scats was calIo<l tho Sirae (t.e. 
scat) Perihwt [soo The LaM Tonmamtni] liocauso it swailowccl 
up anv uudiasto norson who sat in it. (Salahad tho Puro iras 
tlio only knight who could occupy it with safety. Other accounts 
sav tliat tho Round Tahlo was constructod in imitation of tlio 
tahlo usc<l 1>y Christ and His disciples at tlio lAst Supper ; that 
it contained 13 scats, and that tlie scat originally occupied by 
ChriMt was always empty except when occupied hy tlio Troly 
Grail. Other Kings and Princes )>osidcs Arthur nad Round Tablet. 
In tho reign of Kdward I. Roger do Mortimer established a 
Roun<l Table for the furthoranco of warlike pastimes, and King 
Ktlward III. is said to have done tho same. * To hold a Round 
Table ' came to moan little more than to hold a tournament, 

Tho knights of tho Round Tablo whose deeds are told in 
The, IdylU of the, King, are— 

liedivere,,,.** First made and latest loft of all tho knights ; " 
Lancelot,.,, ** His wan'ior whom he lovVl and honoured most ; " 
*(Jatoain. ...'* A reckless and irreverent knight was he ;" 
*J/oc/re<J. ...'* Struck for the throne, and striking found hia 

doom ; " 
^(fartlh, ,,,** Underwent the sooty yoke of kitchcn-vassalaffo ;*' 

Kat/, '* No mellow master of tho meats and drinks ; " 

Oeraint, ..." A tributary prince of Devon ; " marrie<l to Knid ; 

Jtnlin •• The Savage ; '* and Balan, his brother ; [Pure ; " 

JWciiHil, .,,**W\\om Arthur and his knighthood cafrd The 
Oalahcul....** But I. Sir Arthur, saw tho Holy Grail;" 

liorH ' ' A s(i uaro-se t man and honest ; * ' of Lancelot's kin ; 

Prik(M, ...** Of tlio Isles ; '* enamoured of Etarre; 
7*rM/mm....*'0f tho Wootls ; " slain by Mark, Isolt*s husband. 
AIho Uffim, /imMttatf, Valence, ami Sayramorf. 

24. rooted, grubl>cd up by tho roots tlio corn, etc. 

20. thA wolf... doTOur, a common occUrrenco to this day In 
parts of India. 

28. lent ... four feet. Many authentic records of wolf* 
roared chiMrcn in comparativoly mo<lcrn times are to lie found. 
A gooil accoinit of a half-wild Imy, captured in a wolfs den, is 
given in Dr. Ilall's Jmiffte Ufa in India, wlicre the description of 
tho boy's liabitH tallies witli Uiat given in the text of tho habits 
of his forerunners in (*auioliarde. Cf. the tale of Romulus and 
Remus and tlio ancient iKiliuf in the existence of tho woro-wolf, 
or loHp'ijarou, a bogie, half -man, half- wolf, that devoured 
chihlron. Giraldus Cambronsis tells us that Irishmen can 
"change into wolves." 

*8<ms of Lot and UoUicout, and m called Arthur's nopbowa 



32. wolf-llkd men. Cf. Ocrahif and Kmd, of iNitKlit knighU t^ 

•• Stript from the tlirco ilciul wolvcn of woman lx>rn 
1*lio tlirco guy suits of armour which they woro." 

31. mock ...four foot, go on all fours liko tho wolf that hod 
■ucklccl them. 

34. Groan*d for, eagerly longed for. 

IVi, hU brother king, Vrien, callcil 'Rlon* in Mrrltn and 
•Uryenco* or • Hyencoi king of North Wales ' liy Malory. 

30. a heathen horde, called iSaracens in Aferlin and hy Malorv ; 
in reality thev were ))erhaps Norsemen, *'tho heathen of the 
Kortheni 8ea (Orraint and Enid) and Saxons. 

38. And on the splko ... amaied. Notice the alliteration ; tho 
dominant letters are «/>, A*, and t ; all sharp, hanl sounds. 

4.1. Ho U not Uther*f son. l*or tho reason of these doubts, see 

54. tho' hli fiace was bare, t.^. his visor, the face-pieco of his 
helmet, was raised. A hint is, pcrhaim, here given that(iuincvcre 
ought to have instinctively knuMn at sight of Arthur's face that 
ho was Gofl's ' highest creature here ' ; but, as she says of herself, 
in the Idyll that ucars her name, her 

" false voluptuous pride, that took 
Too easily impressions from below, 
Would not look up " 

to recognize the height of Arthur's purity. 

iSO. Folt .. life. In this line the first, second, and (ifth foot are 
trochees, as is also the Hrst foot of the next lino :— 

«« Felt tho I light of I her /'yes | into | his life 
Smite on | the si\d-|den." 

Such variations from tho usual iambic regularity— "discords * 
dear to the musician " (Sen I)rfnmfi)'-^i;Wc strength and emnhasis 
and prevent monotony. For otiier exam]ilGM, see <ieneral Intro- 
dnction, p. xix. Malorv says simply, "And there had King 
Arthur the iirst siglit of <fucnever, daugliter unto King Loo« 
degraunce, and ever after ho love<l her." 

02. For while. For intro<luees the reason of his return. 

05. for most . . . kings. Seo below, lines 1 10- U o, for tho names 
of some of them. 

72. tho ion of Qorloii. Oorlois is called by Geoflfrey of Mon- 
mouth 'dux Comnhifff* and by Malory *duko of Tintagel' in 
'Comewayle.* "Tho small town of Tintagcll, in Cornwall, is 
situated on tho coast of tho Bristol ('hannel, a1>out four miles 
^from Camelfonl. Tlie niins of tho castle, which had l>ecomo so 
oolobratod in medioval ronwneo, are still seen on tho brow of a 

N0TK8. 37 

rock, iNvrily iiMiilatiNl, ovor]cN»kiiif$ tho Ma" (Noio in Wriffht'a 
Malory). Hoo Iwlow, linos \M'*220. 

73. the fon of Anton. Hoe liolow, Hnoi 220-2S23. Malory 
Havs, «* Well," Miid Morliii, ** I know a lonl of youm (Uthor's) in 
til 18 land that U a )NiNHing tnio nian and a faithful, and ho lUial 
havo tho nouriMhin>( of your chiM ; his nainc is Sir Kctor, and hoo 
is lonl of a falro livulylnKNl in many parts of Kngland and Wales." 
In tho Knglish Mrrlin this lonl is ciJlcil *8ir Antour.* 

7A. TraYail ...of the lifo. Ah in tho hirtli of a ohild, so it is 
natural that in tho birth of first lovo thoro should bo a painful 
sonso of yearning and a strong dlMtiirlNUico of a man's wholo 
boing. 8o Adam, siieaking of Kvo (Milton, /'. L. viii. 630) aays:— 

" hero ]NiSAion first, I foil, 
Commotion strange." 

81. WHat happiness ... lonely Xing. Cf. Adam's complaint in 
Paradise, !\L. viii. 304./i :— 

'* In Hfilitudo 
What happiness ? Who can enjoy alono T '* 

82. ye stars that shudder. Cf. Falima .*— 

'* O Ijovo, lyive, Lovo I withering might! 
O Sun, that from thy noonday height 
Shudderest when I strain my sight." 

83. earth ... under me. So, in The Prinees9, the "doubts " 
and " haunting sense of hollow shows " that vex the Prince, die 
out when tho woman ho loves yields herself up to him in answer 
to his prayer, 

" Accomplish thou my manhooil and thyself ; 
Jjiy thy sweet hands in nuiio and trust in mo.*' 

84. for saying I be joln'd . . . make it live. Tho idea that woman 
is tlio ccMtipluiiioiit of man so that only in wedded happiness can 
mairs ideally iicrfect slate Ix) found and that onlv In such a 
union can the pur|KNie of his life be rightly fulHUod is tho main 
' morivl ' of The PriucenH : soo tho last canto. 

\ 04. as he speaks... tale. Tho narrative is now rosumod by 

tho poet. 

Or>. noldof-battle bright... star. With this bright picture of 
Arthur's great iMittle nt the foundation of his realm contrast that 
in 7*Afl Pwininff of Arthur of tho "last dim, M'cird liattlo of the 
west," whcro tho death-white mist and confusion dulled the 
hearts of all. 

103. The long-lanced... run. Cf. Malory i. 13, <*T1ion either 
battailo let their horses runno as fast as tho^r might," and i. 16, 
'* All these fortie knightes rcxlo on afore, with gref«t sporos on 
their thyghos, and spurred thoyr horses myghtoly as fast asthoyr 




hones might niiiiio.*' battle, tho main Ixxly of an army. Cf. 
Soott, The Lady of the l^kt^ vi. IG :— 

" Tlioir lNir1)C(l Iiomcnicn, in the rear, 
Tho stern hatUiliu cmwncfl." 

let, here used in the Hcnno of iiia</r, rnuMcd, Cf. tlie common use 
of /oMen in Ovrumn, and (Jcraint ami huid, i.:^- 

" 11icn tlie goo<l King gave orders to let blow 
His horns for hunting on the morrow mom." 

105. as hers and there ... swaying, as tlie chief struggle swerved 
now to one part of the field, now to anotlier. 

100. the Powen... world. So in (luinn^rt we read of i\w 
'* signs and miracles and wonders " tluvt sliowcd tlie syninathy of 
Nature with Arthur at the founding of the Round Table, and 
how the land was full of life— 

"so glad were spirits and men." 

110. tbe kings Car&dos . . Orlmey. TIicho names are all to Ik) 
fouml in Malory, where (in Wright's edition) thcv are siielt 
Carados, Urirnce ("of tho land of ftore"), Crn(fclmont (or 
Croflelmans), Claurianco (or Clarianco), llrandcgoris, Angusance 
(or AngwvMince), Morganore (**soncyall with the king of tho 
hundnMl knights"), and lx)t. (jootrrey of Monmouth calls 
Anguisant * Anguselus, King of the Scots.' 

120. * Ho ! tbey yield ! ' Cf. Malory, i. 1 A : " With that came 
Morlvn U|)on a crcat black horse, and sayde to King Arthur, 
' Ye have never done ; have ye not done ynough ? of three score 
thouwmd ye have left on lyve but fiftcene thousand ; it is tymo 
for to save ho — '." ' Ho ' is the fonnal exclamation used by a 
oommandcr in liattle or the umpire in a tournament to order a 
cessation of hostilities : cf. Mallory, x. 44 1 "Therewith tho haut 
prince cried Ho; and then they went to lodging." 

121. like a painted battle. Cf. Coleridge, Tht Ancitnt 
Marintr ;— 

" As idle as a painteil ship, 
U|Km a (Nunted ocean." 

Obeorvo tho accents in this line — 

" Hti like a painte<l IMttlo tho wdr stoiSd '* 

—whore tho two accented syllables at the end of tho line weight 
tho rhythm and slow it down to pre|Niro tho representiUivo |niuso 
after "Siloncod," in tho next lino. Koo Oenoral Introduction, 
p. xviii. 

124. hii warrior ... meet. Sir Jjoncelot of tho Lake; soo 
below, linos 446, 7. 

127. the fire of Ood ... battle-fleid. Cf. LoMcdU and MHoimt, 
* where Lancelot again says of Arthur 

KOTKS. 39 

'* in hill Iioiiilioii war tlio firo of God 
Kills him : I iicvor saw liis liko ; Uioro livM 
No greater leiwlur.** 

129. Wbereat the two ... deathloff Ioto. In the days of 
chivalry it wan a oomnion ciiMtfini for two knitflita to Bwoar to 
each otiicr a defcMiNivo and ollunHivo alliance, and Uicy woro thon 
ctMinl/ffUnm jurat it sworn brothers. 

132. Man's word U Ood in man. This expression occurs again 
in DtUin and Ikilan, So in JIaroid, ii. 2, '* Wonls are the man." 

135. Ulfloi, and Braitiai, and Bedivero. Scan 

«* OlliuB I and ]{n'i8|ti(U | and Ikkljivdro.'* 

Linos conuKwod of pro|>cr names often take license in their aoan- 
sion : cf. Verg. Ocortj, i. 4.*I7 :— 

« OlAucr» I ut PAndlim^A:' H \ InO|0 Mr*Il|certiu. ' 
UlfiiiH HcomH to bo the r^itiiiixod form of the Knglish *wolf.' 
" (fcnffrcy of Monmouth callfl him Ulfimtn dt /firarfulocL In the 
Ciirly Krencli romances it is UUtm^ and the £//^fM of the English 
editions may bo a mere miBreacling ' (Note in Wright's Malory). 

141. help. Cf. hol/tcHt line IGO, 1>clow. 

150. Merlin ... art. ''According to (jcofTroy of Monmouth (lib. 
vi. cc. IH, 10) Merlin had l>cen court magician since the titno 
of Vortigirn, who had cauHcd him to 1>o sought as the only one 
capable of relieving him out of the diflioultv Tie ha<l enoountoro«l 

Jin raJHing a caHtlu on SaliHbury Plain" (Note in Wright's 
Malory). WcIhIi traditiouH h)>cU the name Mereddin and narrate 
tliat ho was tho liard of KmryH Wlcdig, the Ambrosius of Saxon 
history, 1)y wIioho command he built Stonehcnge. *'The true 
history of Merlin Hccms to 1)e tliat he wan Imrn liotween the yearn 
470 and 480, and during the invasion of the Saxon took the namo 
of Am1)rose, wln'cli i)rcccdcd liiH namo of ^^erlin, from tho success- 
ful leader of tliu HritonSi Ambroniufi AurelianuSi who was his 
JirHt chief and fmm whoHO Hcrvice he piu<Hed into that of King 
Arthur, the southern leader of tho Ib'itouH" (Morley, Kn*iluSi 
Writtrtt, i.). Malory introducea Merlin somewhat abruptly as 
called in to help Ulhor in hiM love Hickncss for the fair Igrayno. 
Tliis he does on condition tliat Uthcr and Igrayne's son snail bo 
given up as soon as Iforn into hin keeping "for to nourish thero 
an I will have it, for it HJiall l>o your worship and the childes 
availo as much as tho child is worth." Merlin is represented in 
Xfrriin and Vivien as tho Hon of a demon and also as **the groat 
Knchantor of the Time," and again as 

** the moht famouH man of all thoHO times, 
Merlin, who knew the range of all their arts. 
Had built the King hia havens, sliips, and halls, 
Was also Bard, and know the starry heavens ; 
The people call'd him Wijsard— " 



ir)2. Mdrlln*f master ... Bleys. UluiHO, ItloyHc, or Blaiiio, ao* 
cording to tho IcL'tMid of Jfir/hi, wiih n holy livniiit who had 

})rotcctcd the inothtT of Merlin from tho (ionil who wan Merlin's 
atlior and had undortak(*n MrrlinV education frcHU infancy. 
Malory tolls us how Merlin, after Arthur'n great hattlo againHt 
the kingii, took liiN leave of King Arthur *'for to goe nee IiIh niaHtor 
liloiHC which dwelt in XorlhundK.*rland^; Merlin gave HleiHo an 
account of the fight, " and no HlevMo wrote the hattiivio word hy 
wordo as Merlyn toldo him, how it l»ogan, and by whom, and iu 
like wine howe it Mas ended and who had the worst. All the 
UataylcN that were done in Arthurs daycs Merlyn caused Hleyso 
his master to write them." 

l&l. latbim down. Ilhn is here, hy origin, in tho dativo caso ; 
such * reflexive datives' with intrauMitivo verhs wore very comnion 
in old Knglish ; for examples see Maetxnor, Kuf^, Oram, vol. ii. 
pn. 64, Ci. Cf. (JCnone, 150, ** rent thee sure," and Scott, Lay 
q/the Lwit MiitMfrrl, ii. 2, " S|K*cd thee what thou hast to do." 

100. bolpen half as well ... of me. Meaning, of course, that 
tho chaml>erlain's help had, in fact, licen less than no help at all. 

160. I have seen ... chase, the reason 1)cing that the young 
cuckoo, having Wen hatched in the nest of tho IcHser fowl, tries 
to oust the ofTHpring of the right/ul owner; cuckoos' eggs aro 
often found in tho nests of MUialTer hirds. The King asks if tho 
lonls have any reason for thinking Arthur has 1>een put in posses* 
sion of a throne to which ho has by hirth no right. Cf. llarold : 
Hhow-tlny at Hntth. /IW*ry ;— **Tiio cuckoo ... Crying with my 

false egg I overwhelm The native nest." 

17*1. Then Bedlyere ... the Xing. Tho character of Rcdivero, 
who, in Tht PaMtuff of Arfhur, is tho King's last com|Kinion — 
"First made and latest left of all the knights" — is distinctly and 
consistently painted. Ho is a plain, blunt, honest soul, who 
troubles himself little alraut the doubts and diflicultics which 
beset the belief of others in the right of Arthur's kingship. Ho 
takes no account of any supeniatural claim, sweeps away all tho 
mystery with which some would surround Arthur's birth, and 
gives a simple, natural and, to himself at all events, a satisfactory 
account of Arthur's iNirentago. Com|Miro his conduct in The 
PoMtiny qy Arthw, where, M'lien oven tho King Is shaken by 
doubts and inward r|ueHtionings, ho will have none of them, 
where ho cares nothing for ghosts and dreams, and reckons all 
mystio portents as tho harmless glamour of tho field. Ho feels 
that Arthur is his truo king, and having onco mado up his mind 
on tho yioint despises all rumours and novor sworvos from un* 
questioning loyalty. 

178. For there be ... haiebom. 8oo Intrmluotion to tho IdyiU, 

# 181. Amd there be ... firom hearen. See Introduction. 

NOTES. 41 

182. but my belief. An iniiUiiice of the fiyntax known oe iho 
'* |)on«luiit iioiiiiii<aivo *' ; the noun * Iwliof * iM loft ' hanging/ as 
it wuro, with no vorh to rc*Ht on, owing to a change of oonetruo- 
tion after tho nuntcnco him Iwon iMgiin. 

184. Sir, for ye know, oto. For often Iwginii a promiiod etory t 
of. linofl .*r>8, 9, ImIow, and Tht PwmiHy qfArthwr^ 0. So yip in 
(irook and tnim in Latin. 

187. Ygerne. "For kIio wan called a fair lady and a ptuwiiig 
wiMu, and Iiur name wiui callcil Igraino " (Malory, i. I). 

188. Oaughten had ehe borne. Thono aro called by Malory 
MargawM), Klniiio, and Morgan lo Kay; the last named "woa 
put to Huhool in a nunnery, and there Mho learned so much that 
■lie wan a groat dork of nigromancy. '* 

104. tbe bright dlehonour. An oxamnlo of the figure of epooch 
called * oxymoron * ; cf. Horace's SjdeuJide mtndaXf and Laneeioi 

and Idahit : — 

*' Hin lionour rooted in diwlionour Htood 
And faith unfuithful kept liim falnoly true.** 

20-1. afterward ... After him. Malory makei Uther etinrivo 
Arthur^M liirth nearly two yoam. 

210. aU before hie time. "All" is an adverb ■•« quite' or 
• much.' 

211. all at soon as bom. " AU *'» ' just.* 

212. X>oliTer*d ... postern-gate. "Then when the lady waa 
delivered, tlie king counnanded two knights and two laclioa to 
take the child i>ound in a ch>th of gold, and that ye deliver him 
to what TH>or man ye meet at the ^Kwtern gate of tho eastlo. So 
the child was deliverod unto Merlin " (Malory, i. 3). 

217. for each ...hand. "Then stood tho realm in groat jeopardy 
long while, for every lord that was mighty of men made him 
strong, and many wend to have been king " (Malory, L 3). 

2*2.1. rcar'd him ... own. Malorv calls yonng Arthur Sir 
Kay's " nourishcil hrothcr," and tells how on learning his real 
])areiitiigo he says of his foHtcr father, " Yo aro the man in tho 
world that I am moHt lieholding to and my goo<l lady and mothor 
your wife, that as well as her own hath fostered me and kept.'* 

2:i0. A hundred ... basebom. " Home of the kings had manrol 
of NIcrlin's words and deemed well that it should 1)0 as ho said t 
and some of tlicm laughe<l him to scorn, as King Lot t and mora 
other called him a witch " (Malory, i. 6). 

2.34. elamour'd for a king. " And at the feast of Pontoeoet 
all manner of men assayed to pull at the sword that would assay, 
but none might prevail but Arthur ; and he pulled it out afora 
all tho lords and commons tlmt were there, wherefore all tho 





oommons cried at onco, Wo will bavo Arthur unto our king *' 
(Malory, i. 5). 

245. aa he could ... would, as lilKsratly as his broken fortunes 
allowed, not as lilicrally as bo would bave wisbed. 

247. ice on lummer seat, as littlo likely to endure as ice that 
has floated into the wanntb of southern Heas. IceliergH fr(M|uently 
float from the Arctic reuinns so fur south as to t>o ineltiid bv the 

I warm (Julf Stream. Cu Coventry Patmoro's A ff tfd in the Jlowr, 

.\ xi.2: 

j '* An ice1»erg in an Indian sea." 

2.'>2. Hath body enow, has strcn^ah enough, whether of arm, or 
mind, or foU(»wing. ThouKhout the Ittyth, IVnnvson uses tlio 
old form * enow *: it was originally a plural form of 'enough.* 

t 25.T Xlnff...and, etc., i.f. <*0 King, (listen) and (thon) I 

\ will toll," etc. Tennyson frequently uses this ohl form, a con« 

t junction immeiliatcly following an invwa^ion. 

\ 257. dale, fnim the same ror>t as r/iV, aAd meaning originally a 

i quoit, then a round platter, then a high tablo, then a canopy 

over a high table or throne, and llnally tho raised platform on 

which a high table or a throne stands. 

250. In low deep tonei ... coming of a light Theso lines aro 
often quoted as the fmest in tho jKiem. 

261. fo f trait tows. ^/mrV and /t/nW aro doublets, i.e. wonls 
of the same (or a similar) meaning from one root. Those vows 
aro briefly enumerated in dartth and LffnrtU ;— 

" my knights aro sworn to vows 
Of utter hardihood, utter gentleness. 
And, loving, utter gentleness in lovo. 
And uttermost olicdience to the King,*' 

I See Tristram's account of these vows in The Lout ToumametU, 

\ 262. some Were ]>ale...fftaoft, being struck with awe at the 

i aoleninity of the vows they had sworn. 

: TGX Some flnsh'd, as fired by noble enthusiasm for lofty dee<lf • 

f 264. othen daied ... light, dazxled, as it were, by the bright* 

I ness of the revelation of a new life and duties in store for them, 

which at first they could only [Mirtl]^ understand. A picture of 
i this life and its duties is given in Ouinevtre : — 

' *' I made them lay their hands in mine and swear, 

* To reverence tho King as if he were 

t Their conscience, and their conscience as their King, 

i To break the heathen and uphold the Christ, 

To ride abroad redressing human wrongs, 
To spoak no slander, no, nor listen to it, 
To honour his own word as if his God's, 









To loarl Awoot lives in nurost chastity, 
To lovo ono maiden only, cloavo to hor. 
And worship hor by voars of noblo deeds, 
Until they won her. 

201, larfiTO, sublime. comfortable, comforting, chooring $ 
Tennyscm has 'uomfortablo words' n^ain in The Low.f'n TeUe 
and in (^mni Mnry^ v. *i. So in the Connnunion Horvico in tho 
Kn^liNh I'rayiT lUM>k : ** I Tear what comfortable wonls our Aftviour 
Christ saith to all that truly turn u> him." 

*2lii% From eye ... llkeneis of the Xing. Cf. Tht J My Orail ••— 

''and this (hilahad when ho hoard 
My sister's vision, fill'd mo with amasu) ; 
Ills eyes l>ecame so like hor own, they seem VI 
Hers, and himself her brother more than I." 

27*1. Down Arom the oasoment, i.e., through tho ghuw of tbo 
** storied window rielily dight " with the picture of Ulirist on tho 


274. Tert, and axure, heruldio names for ^roon and blue. In 
early legends tlie dinbrent colours are somotnnes Bupposocl to be 
symiKilic of various virtues or feelings. Huis rea, "colostiAl 
rosy red, Love's proper hue," as Milton calls it, typified Lovo, 
grcctif Hope, and Uiif., Truth or Faith. 

275. throe fair queoni. See Introduction. On tho dock of a 
dark kargo which 1>cars Arthur away after his last l»attlo in The 
PoHHinii of Arthur^ there also stooil *' black -stoled, black -hoodocl** 
** three c|ucens with crowns of gnhl " who ** put forth their hando 
and took the king and wept." Jlodiverc asks if they 1)0 not 

** tho three whereat wo ffazcd 
On that high day, when clothed with living light, 
They stood licfore the throne in silence, friencM 
Of Arthur, who should help him at his need T " 

See noto to Thr. Pantivg qf Arthur^ lino 36G. 

270. mage Merlin. See note to 1. 150, above. 

282. Lady of tbe Lake. For Malory's account of "How 
Arthur by the mean of Merlin gat Excalibur his sword of tho 
Lady of the Lake," seo his MorU d' Arthur, i. 23. 

283. Who knows ... Lord. See Introduction. 

284. Clothed . . wonderfoL *' And in the midst of the lako 
Arthur was ware of an arm clothed in white samito " (Malory). 
See also the description of the fmding and the casting away of 
Kxcalibur in The PoMsinff of Arthur, where this line is repeated 
as a ' permanent epithet ' of tlie arm that arose from the lako. 
■amite is a rich silk stuHT interwoven with gold or silver thread ; 
derived from Gk. hex, six, and milOH, thread of the warp, liter- 
ally 'woven of six threads'; cf. dimity, Tennyson hae 'red 

m m n\ ■ i i wp RU i .ii i m m ^hwm^^wjiii 


samito' and * blackest sainito' in Lancelot atid EtatM, and 
' crimson sainiio * in The Holy OraiL 

285. hli huge cross -bilted sword. The cross-shapcd liilt of 
the swords of Christian knights, symlKiHc of tlicir religious 
belief, was often used as a sacred emblem upon which oaths 
were taken, and which sometimes reminded them of their vows. 
Malory (xiv. 0) tells of Sir Percivale how, when sore tempted, 
" by advcnturo and ^raco ho saw his sword Ho upon the ground 
all naked, in whoso jiommel was a red cross, and the sign of tho 
cnicifix tlierein, and licthought him on his knighthoml, and his 
promise made toforehand unto the goo<l man. Then ho made 
tho si^ of the cross in his forehead, and therewith the pavilion 
turned up so down, and then it changed unto a smoke and a 
black cloud, and then he was adred." 

2S6. a mist... Lord. For tho allegorical significance of this 
description see Intnxluction ; and cf. the <icbcription of the 
gato of tho Lady of tho I^ike in Oareth and Lynrtte* 

290. A Toiot at of the waters. Cf. liiblo, liev, xiv. 2, ** And 
I hoard a voico from Heaven, as tho voice of many waters." 
Cf. also Lawclol and Elaine ;» 

'* tSho chanted snatches of mysterious hymns, 
Hoanl on tho winding waters.'* 

for ftae dwells ... world. It is a scientific fact that oven tho most 
violent storms afTcct only the surface of tho ocean, leaving its 
depths undi8turl)cd. 

2aT Hath power ... Lord. Cf. Bible, MatL xiv. 25, *<And 
In tho fourth watch of tho night Jesus went unto them, walking 
on the sea." 

204. Sxcalibur. In Malory's Morte d' Arthur, ii. 3, the I^dy of 
the Lako, who had given Arthur tho sword, says ** llie name of it 
is Excalibur, that is as much to say as Cut-steel." According to 
the Knf{lish romance Merlin^ the sword boro the following 
inscription {— 

•• Ich am y.hote Kscalalioro, 
Unto a king a fair tresoro i" 

and it is added :— 

<< On Inglis is this writing, 
Kervo steel and iron and al thing." 

In the French Af^rlin it is said that tho name is a Hebrew word 
meaning ' trcs chcr et acier for,' which is, perhaps, a printer's 
niis>correction of the true reading Hrancher ocier ct fer,' carve 
stoel and iron. Cf. Malory, iv. 9:— "And then he (Arthur) 
deemed treason, that his sword was changed ; for his sword bit 
not steel as It was wont to do." The name is also written 

NOTRS. 45 

Stealthore and CaiUmm, In Oooffroy of Monmouth's Ckronieie 
wo roofl how "Arthur himiiolf, droRfiod in a brcastplato worthy 
of flo tfrcat a king, placon on hia hcacl a gohlon holmot engraved 
with the semblance of a dragon. Over his shoulders he throws his 
shield called Prhoen, on which a picture of Holy Mary, Mother 
of God, constantly recalled her to his memory. Oirt with Co/t- 
bum, a most excellent swonl, and fabricated in the isle of 
Avalon, ho graces his right hand with the lance named Pan. 
This was a long and broail spear, well contrived for slaughter. ** 
Merlin informed Arthur that Kxcivlibur's scabbard was ''worth 
ten of the sword, for while ye Iwvo the scabliard upon vou ye 
shall lose no blooil, Ik) ye never so sore wounde<l '* (Malory, i, 
23). Arthur ha«l also a second-liost sword, Clartnt; and in 
Merltn, ii. 0, he is dcscrUicd as capturing the Irish king Ryance'e 
"excellent sword Afartmdoite,** Gawain also had a "good 
sword,** called UaXathw* 

The notion of cnchanteil armour is found in many old poeta 
and roniancers of various nations. In tlie ^faha/^aral the magio 
Ik)W of Arjuuii is dcHcriliod under the name Oawliifa, and Mukta 
Phalakotu in tliu Knthtl Snrit Stitfnm (uhup. 115) is Drosontod by 
8iva with a sword named InrinrMe, The names oi^somo of the 
most celebrated of these enchanted woniMins are given below t— 

AH*s swonl, Xu[fikar, 

Cit'Hiir*s „ Ci'ocra Mor9, 

Churlonmgno*s „ La Joyfum, 

linnoclot's „ Arowuli\ihL 

Orlando's „ JJiirimlajM* 

Siegfried's „ Jialmnng. 

TlieCid's „ Colada. 

A list of some thirty-five such weapons is given in Browor'f 
Diet, qfPhniHe ami tMc^ «.v. HwonL Cf. I^ngfellow*! lines:— 

" It is the sword of a good knight, 

Tho' liomcspun 1h3 his niivil ; 
What matter if it )io nc»t hight 

Joj/riuir., Cotaftut Durhidale, 
KxciilUtar^ or AronwUifht" 

Sponsor (A' Q* Ii. 8. 10) calls Artlnir's sword MorfUbtrt, 

*J07. rich With Jowelf. Cf. the description in The PoMing qf 
Arthur, II 2'2\-*J2ih 

•21)S. olfln Urim, fairy jewellery of mystic significance. So in 
Milton, Par, Lost, vi. 700, 701, of tlio armour ot tho Son of God t 

" He in celestial panoply all arm'd 
Of radiant Urim, work divinely wrought." 

Cf. the description of tlie ** breastplate of judgment *' made for 
the high priest, Bible, Kxodn% xxviii. l/i-.IO:— •* And thou shalt 
put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim \ 

P ii j j iii J l i i M.j B w i i i n fi^ii is mm iii n l u i I I ■■ n. I. II II I .f i l l . ■ i imf. ii AliJij i;! 


and they shall be upon Anron*8 heart when lie goeth in licforo 
the Lonl ; and Aaron shall l>car the judgment of the children 
of Israel upon his heart Ijeforo the I^rd continually*': also 
Xumbert, xxvii. 21, Deut, xxxiii. 8, Ezra, ii. G3, and 1 Sam. 
xxviii. 6: — *'And when Saul enquired of the Lord, the Lord 
answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by 
prophets.*' The Urim and Thummim seem to have been a 
mysterious contrivance in or on the High Priest's breastplate, 
which was supposed to give oracular responses; it consisted, 
according to some authorities, either of the four rows of precious 
stones upon which the names of the twelve tri1>es of Israel were 
inscribeci, or of three precious stones, one of M'hich, by some 
peculiar appearance on it, indicated * Ves,' another * No,' M'hilc 
the thinl implied that the answer was neutral. Urim means 
Light, and Tliummim, Truth. 

290. tho blado ... by it. Cf. Onrffh and Lymttt .*— 

'* but this was all of that true steel 
Whereof they forged tho brand Kxcalibur, 
And lightnings played aliout it in the storm." 

Cf. Malory, i. 7» '*Then he drew his sword Kxcalibur, but it 
was so bright in his enemies eyes that it gave light like thirty 
torches." iSo also in Tht Pannng of Arthur when Kxcalibur was 
cast away, it 

" Made lightnings in tho splendour of the moon." 
300. on one tide ... If yet far off. See Introduction. 

312. The •wallow...d6ar ilstor. Though not in the interro. 

Sative fonn, this statement is meant to suggest a question and a 

319. And Oawain ... half heard. Tlio distinction here sug- 
gcste<l between tiic natures of Oawaino and Mmlred is carried 
out in tho other Idylls. For a sketch of tho characters of tho 
two brothers sco Thn Pwwwff of Arthur, notes to 11. Xi and CO. 
In C/NiiMrerealHoMo<lrc<rs eaves-dropping i>ro|iensity is noticed i — 

** M<Nlrcd still in green, all car all eye, 
Climb'd to the high top of the ganlon wall 
To spy some scci-et scandal if he might." 

324. Stniok for tho throne .. doom. 8eo (ininevere and The 
Pwmintj of A rth wr. 

329. fkir ... of men. Arthur's fairness of complexion is alluded 
to in The. Pamnii of Arthur; see lines 337i '*with wide blue 
eves," and 384, **his liglit and lustrous curls." The ancient 
Britons were generally of a light complexion, and * blonde as 
on Knfflishwoman * is still used in Franco as a description of 
nnniuM fairness. 

830. *' A/ ... and hoar yo," ** Is it so and do you hoar.' 

NOTIW. 37 

rock, iNvrtly inHuliitod, ovorlookhi;;; tiio soa*' (Noio in Wright** 
Malory). Suu 1k)1ow, linos 1H4-S32U. 

73. the fon of Anton. Soo Ixilow, liiioR 2220-223. Malory 
nays, •• Well," fwii<l Merlin, ** I know a lonl of yours (Uthor's) in 
this land that is a ]NiHHing truo man and a faithful, and ho nhal 
havo tho nouriHliin>( of your child ; his name is Sir Kotor, and lioo 
is lord of a fairo livuIyliofNl in many {lartsof Kngland and Walot.*' 
In tho Kuj^UmIi Mrrfin i\m lonl \h called *8ir Antourt' 

7A. Travail ... of tho Ufo. Ah in tho birth of a child, so It is 
natural that in tho hirth of first lovo thoro should bo a painful 
sonso of yearning and a strong diHturlNUico of a man's wholo 
boing. So Adam, H|)caking of Kvo (Milton, /'. L, viii. 530) saya:— 

" hero iNission iirst, I foU, 
Commotion strange." 

81. What taapplnosB ... lonoly King, Cf. Adam*s complaint in 
Paradiso, P.L. viii. 304./i :— 

** In Holitudo 
What happiness ? \Vho can on joy alono T *' 

82. ye stars that shudder. Cf. Futima .*— 

*• O Ijovo, Jyive, Lovo I O withering might! 
O Sun, that from thy noonday height 
Shuddcrcst when I strain my sight." 

83. earth ... under me. So, in The Prineeaa, the "doubts ** 
and " haunting sense of hollow shows '* that vex tho Prince, die 
out when tho woman ho loves yields herself up to bim in answer 
to his prayer, 

** Accomplish thou mv manhooil and thyself ; 
Jjiy thy sweet hands in mino and trust in mo." 

84. for saying I be join*d . . . make it live. Tho idea that woman 
is the coni])1umont of man so that only in wedded happiness can 
man*H ideally |)orfeut state Ix) found and that onlv In such a 
union can the pur|KNio of his life bo rightly fulfiUou is tho main 
' moral ' of The Prime^H : soo tho last canto. 

04. as he speaks... tale. Tho narrative is now resumed by 
tho poet. 

05. neld-of-battlo bright... star. With this bright picture of 
Arthur*R great iMittle at tho foundation of his realm contrast that 
in The PoMimj of Arthur of tho *Miu»t dim, woinl Imttlo of tlie 
west," where tho death- white mist and confusion dulled tho 
hoarts of all. 

10.1. The long-lanced... run. Cf. Malory i. 13, **Thon oithor 
battaile lot their horses runno as fast as they might," and i. 16, 
" All those for tie knightos nxlo on aforo, with grc^t spores on 
their thyghos, and spurred thoyr horses myghtoly as fast as tkeyr 



hones might niiino." battle, the main body of an army. Cf. 
Soott, The Lady of the lAtke, vi. IG :— 

*' Tlieir iNirlicil liomemcn, in the rear, 
The stem liatUvlia ci'owncd.'* 

lei, hero nneil in the hchho of iiia</r, rnuHttL Cf. the common UM 
of /oMen in Cfcrmnn, and Ocraint ami h'uidf {.:>- 

" llicn the gocMl Kin^ gave orders to let blow 
His horns for hunting on the morrow morn.'* 

105. as here and there . . . f waylng, as the chief struggle swerved 
now to one part of the field, now to anotlier. 

100. the Powen... world. So in Onhtntre. we read of the 
'* signs and miraolcs and wonders " tliat sltowcd the syninathy of 
Nature with Arthur at tlie founding of tiie Round Taulo, and 
how the land was full of life— 

"so gliul were spirits and men." 

110. the kings Car&dos . . Orlmey. TIicho names are all to 1k) 
found in Malory, where (in Wright's edition) thev are siielt 
Carados, Urirnce ("of the land of fiore"), Crncfclmont (or 
Cradelmans), Clauriance (or Clarianco), Rrandcgoris, Angusance 
(or AngwyMUice), Morganore ('*soneyaII with the king of the 
hundred anights"), and Ixit. (joofrrey of Monmouth calls 
Anguisant * Anguselus, King of the Scots.' 

120. • Ho ! they yield ! ' Cf. Malory, i. ir> : «« With that came 
Morlvn upon a great black horse, and saydo to King Arthur, 
' Ye have never done ; have ye not cUhio ynough ? of three score 
thousiind ye have left on lyve but fiftcene thousand ; it is tymo 
for to save ho — '." ' Ho ' is the fonnal exclamation used by a 
commander in luittle or the umpire in a tournament to order a 
cessation of hostilitirs ; cf. Mallory, x. 44 1 *' Therewith the haut 
prince cried >fo; and then they went to lodging." 

121. like a painted battle. Cf. Coleridge, TKt Anetenl 
Marino* ;— 

'* As idle as a painted ship, 
U|Km a |NUnted ocean." 

Obeorvo the accents in this line— 

•< Hti like a painted battle the wdr sto<kl " 

—where the two accented syllables at the end of the line weight 
the rhythm and slow it down to pre|Nire the representi^tive )Niuso 
after "Silenced," in the next lino. Koo Oonoral Introduction, 
p. xviii. 

124. hlf warrior ... meet. Sir I^ncelot of the Lake ; sec 
below, linos 446, 7* 

127. tlie fire of Ood ... battle-field. Cf. LoMcdoi and IHaint^ 
* where Lancelot again says of Arthur 

NOTES. 40 

a quoHtion Mimilar to Qiioon 1to1Iicont*8 horo, has much In eonimon 
with Merlin's inyHtorifMiH rcHiMHiHo. Cf. ]mrticularly tho aoor'a 

** And hero Ih tnith $ 1m t lui it plciuto thoo not, 
Tiiko thou tho truth ivh thou hiiL;t tohl it mo 7 " 

409. From the SToat deep ... he ffoes. According to tho Triads 
of ItartltHm^ ''Animutod livingH havo thrco StatcH of Kxistonco, 
tliat of Inciioation in tho (ii^cat l>cop or liOWCMt Point of Kxist- 
onco ; that of LilN^rt^ in tho Stato of Humanity ; and that of 
LovO| which in hapjunoHH in Hoavon." Cf. Dt Prt^undia; The 
Tioo GreetiiiffM, i., or hirth and death— 

** Out of tho deep, my chihl, out of tho doop 

To that last doop where wo and thou aro still.'* 

and CroBsiwj the liar : — 

" When that which drew from out the boundless deep 
Turns again home." 

Cf. also Outnetfere : — 

*' And that his grave should 1)0 a mystery 
From all men, like his hirth." 

4 1 7. wage-work. For examples of alliteration in double words, 
see (jenoral IntrtNluction. Cf. hazf'huMt'n^ 1. 4*Jtl, l)eIow. 

420. will not die . . . come again. Tho Itelicf in a 'second coming ' 
is found in many of tho legunds of ancient horooM, «.f/, in those of 
Charloma^nL*, litirluvroHHib, Desmond, SelNistian of iiraxil. Mal- 
ory, xxi. 7. writcM, '* Yet some men say in many parts of Kng- 
land that King Arthur is not dead, hut had hy the will of our 
IjtrtX iIcHU in anolhor ])lace. And men Mv)r that ho shall como 
again, and lie Hliall win tho holv croHs. I will not sivy it shall Ix) 
HO, imt rather I will wvy, here in this world he changed his lifo* 
Ihit many men Miy that there is written ufion his tomb this vorsOy 
*' Hie jacet Arthurus Hex quondam Uexf|Uo futurus." 

420. a phantom king . . . Orown*d. Mr. Ilutton, Literary Enmyti^ 
remarks on this dream, "... tho dream in whicli he mingles tho 
story of tho actual wars of Arthur against tho heathen with tho 
rumours of tho still struggling passions of his roliellious subjoots, 
and yet augurs that tho grandeur of the king will survivo oven 
the history of his deeds— is a splendid omlMxliment of Tennyson's 
drift throughout tho poem. Orant that a perfect king is a 
phantom of tho human imagination, yet it is a phantom whloh 
will haunt it long after what we call tho real earth shall havo 
disHolvod ... Like all true authority, that of the ideal king la 
hitlden in mystery, but the image of his glory in tho heavens 
survives the crumbling of his kingdom on earth." 

440. Ilowen ... latter AprlL Notice tho appropriateness of tho 




]r)2. Merlin*! master ... Bleyi. lilciNo, KIovho, or Rlaiiio, ao* 
cording to tlio loL'cuifl of Mrrtin, wiih a lioly licniiit who had 

})rott*ctcMl tlio iiiothcr of M<^i'liii from tlio fionu who waa Merlin'f 
nthcr aiifl ha<1 iiiiilorUikoii MiTliii*H ctlucatioii from iiifniicy. 
Malory tolls uh how Merlin, after Arthur^ fivvni iNvttlo a^uiiiHt 
the kiiigK, took Iiin leavo of Kiii^ Arthur "for to ^ck) hoo IiIh iiiiiRtor 
liloiHC which flwclt in Norlhumlicrlan«l**; Merlin ^'ava UleiHo an 
account of tho light, " ami no lilevMO wrote the hutUvvlo woni l>y 
worclc an Morlyn toldo him, how It liogan. and by whom, and i\\ 
like wIko howe it waM endod and who had the womt. All tho 
UatayloM that were done in Arthurs dayoM Morlyn cauitod liloyso 
his maittcr to write thom.*' 

15a, sat him down. Ifim \h here, hy origin, in tho dative caHo ; 
such 'reilexivo dativoH ' with intriuiMittvo verlM wore very common 
in old KngliHli ; fcir cxamploH hco Maotxncr, Kuf/, Oram, vol. ii. 
pp. 64, G.'i. Cf. (JCnoHC^ ICO, " rent thoo Huro," and Scott, Lay 
pftht LomI MiiiMtni, ii. 2, '* iSjwcd thco what thou hast to do." 

IGO. bolpen half ai well ... of me. Meaning, of cour8o, that 
tho chaml)erlain*H help had, in fiict, l)ccn Iohm than no help at all. 

16(k I have leen ... chate, the reason l>cing that tho young 
cuckoo, having licen hatched in tho noHt r>f the loHMer fowl, tries 
to oust tho oUHpring of tho righi/ul owner; cuckoos' eggs aro 
often fcmnd in tho nests of smaller hirds. Tho King asks if tho 

lords iiavo any retvson tor ininking Arthur has ijccn pui ni posses* 
sion of a throne to which ho has hv hirtli no right. Cf. Harold : 
Show-day at /intffr. y|W*ry ;— ••The cuckoo ... Crying with my 
false egg I overwhelm Tho native nest." 

17*1. Then Bediyere ... the King. Tho character of Ikdivcro, 
who, in The PoMintj of Arthur^ is tho King's last com[)anion — 
"First made and latest left of all the knights" — is distinctly and 
consistently painted. lie is a plain, lilunt, honest soul, who 
troubles bnnsclf little alx>ut tho doubts and difficulties which 
beset the belief of otlicrs in the right of Arthur's kingship. Ho 
takes no account of any supernatural claim, sweeps away all tho 
mystery with which some would surround Arthur's birth, and 
gives a simnlo, natuiid and, to himself at all events, a satisfactory 
account oi Arthur's isirentago. Comjiaro his conduct in Tht 
PoMiny q; Arthur ^ where, wlien oven tho King is shaken by 
doubts and inward questionings, ho will have none of them, 
whoro ho caros nothing for ghosts and dreams, atul reckons all 
mystic portents as tho harmless glamour of tho field. IJo fools 
that Arthur is his tnio king, and having onco mado up his mind 
on tho fioint dcspisos all inimours and novor swerves from un» 
questioning loyalty, 

178. For there be ... haiebom. 8oo Introduction to tho IdyiU. 

181. AmA there be ... firom heaTen. Soo Introduction. 


N0T15S. 51 

authoritv IiimI 1)coii licfttowcfl on him and Mnctlon given to his 
" lKiun«irf!ii8 purpa8o " by Hocrot revelation from heaven. 

409. Tlie King wUl foUow ... King. Cf. St. Paul's woras, 
Uihlo, 1 Cor, xi. I : — ** Ik) ye followera of nie, even as I also am 
of Christ." 

60.3. The slowly-fading... world. In the fifth century (about 
411) the hiMt of the Uonian legions was withdrawn from Britain. 
Homo needed all her sfihlierH at homo : the (aoth was on hor 
track, and as an empire she was already on the wane. 

/jO(i. 'Bshold ... i>ay.* Mah>ry, v. 2, tells **how the kings 
and lords promised to King Arthur aid and help against the 
Romans." Arthur's reply to the demand for truago is thus 
given: "I will that ye return unto vour lonl and Irocuror of 
the Common Wcid for the Homans and say to him, Of his demand 
and commandment I set nothing, and that I know of no truago, 
no tribute that I owe to him, ne to none other earthly prinoo, 
Christian ne heathen ; but I pretend to have and occupy tho 
sovereignty of the empire, wherein I am ontitleil by tho right of 
my predecessors, sometime kings of this land." 

511. your Roman walL Agricola drew a line of military 
stations across the interval, about 40 miles in length, between 
the Firth of Forth and the Clyde ; in the reign of Antoninus 
Pius this line was afterwards fortified by a turf rampart, 
erected on foundations of stone. The Emneror Hadrian causorl 
a ram^Kirt of earth to Iks erected liotwoen Newcastle and Carlisle, 
and Septimius 8overus had a stone wall built pandlel to Hadrian's 
rampart ami in the same locality. Considerable traces of those 
walls may still l>e seen. 

517. twelve great battles. Homo of these battles are enumer- 
ated and described in Laueeloi and HUaine* 






Tho incIclcnUi in Ariliur*ii CArcer tliAt immcdiAtcly prcccdcil 
hia death arc briefly tlicM. 1'ho ciuccii, Ciiiiiicvoro, hiul left tho 
king*H court, nnd tied to hiding At tho nunnery of AnicHhury, 
owing to tho diBCOvcry by the treachcrouH MrNired, tho king*M 
nephew, of her love for Lancelot. King Arthi\r had gone to 
Attack Lancelot in tho north ; during Iiih ahHoneo Modred had 
raiHod A revolt, and had had hiniHelf crowned king. Tho king 
inarched south, and purmicd Mo<lred to tho went crNVHt. On hia 
way ho stopped at AnicHhury, and had tho farewell interview 
with tho ropcMitant queen ho lieautifuUy deHcri)»ed in tlio Idyll of 
Ouinenrt, Tho king then marches westward in pursuit of 

1. That story ... minds. Those linos form a second and ox* 
planatory title to tho poem, tbo bold Sir Bodiroro. ' ikild ' is 
what is callo<l a ' permanent epithet,' sinco it is nearly always 
used by the poet along with the name of Bcdivero. So, in Homer, 
Achilles is AiwAys 'swift-footed,' And in Vergil, i^Cneas is always 
* pious', and in Scott's l.ayoflht La$l Min>*tref, William of Do- 
loraino is always 'good at need/ In The Coming of Arthur 
Bodivcre's iKildness shows itsolf specially in his defonco of 
Arthur's right to tho throne :— 

*'For bold in heart and act and word was ho. 
Whenever slander breathed against tho King." 

For other noints in lk*divoro't charootor see linos TiO^O-l, ICOmI, 
250*277i below. And notes, 

2. Fint mad* and latest left. Cf. The Conung qf Arthur : • 

<<Then Ikdivrro, tho first of all his knights 
Knighted by Arthur At his crownings" 

In MAlory's ^fortf. tVArthnr^ xxi. 4, wo road how at tho end of 
his last grcAt liattle King Arthur "lookod alK>ut him and thoro 
WAS hoo warro tliat of nl his boost and f»f al his ^|ood knights, 
wero loft no moo alivo but two knights, that was Sir Luoan tho 
butler and Sir liedivcre his brotlior, and they were right sore 
woundod") and in the next clmtiter Sir Lucan's death Is 
dosorilxHl, *' therewith tho noble Knight's heart 1)rast," so that 
Bedivoro was loft as tho solo survivor of all Arthur's knights. 

8. wbsn ths man ... voios, when oxtremo old ago had left 
Boclivoro only strength enough to toll tho talo of his post life. 
Cfi tho Latin vox tt praUrea nihiL 

NOTRS. 53 

5. other minds, uiiRyinpathotio min<lfi, dirToront in fooling from 
tlioHo of IkMlivuro'M fellows in tlio "truo old iiino«" that wore 
iIwmI; of. II. m').400, liolow. 

0. For on thoir march. *For' intrrMluccii tho fnctfi which fonn 
tliu Hulmt4inco of 1icdivoro*H story and which may bo ciillod tho 
roaHou why ho had a story to toll, to westward. Soo bolow, 
I. 59 and note. * 

7. Who ilowly ... Kins:. Dcdivoro, passing in tho quiot night 
through tlio slutn)>cri ng camp, ovoriicard Arthur in his tent 
mourning over tho failure of his purposes. 

0. Z found Him . . . find Him not. Arthur cannot understand why 
the glory and {Kiwcr of (JcmI should lie so clearly manifested in tho 
works of nature, in the viNihlo hcauty of heaven and earth, whilo 
His dealings willi mankind seem full of mystery and contradiction. 
Arthur had fought in («o<rs cause and founded the Round Tahlo 
for '* love of (lod and men " i was ho now to die amid tho ruins 
of his life's wru'k ? 


1.1. for why. In Old Knglish we have a Utrni forwhy ov /orwhi 
( = Ixjcause), where why or whi is the old instrumental case of tho 
relative ])ronoun who. The ex]>rossion foi* why, used, as horo, as 
an equivalent to the interrogative whrre/ore, is met with in old 
lKilla<l poetry and in modern imitations of it, as in Cowper*s Johi 
Oilpin, 11211-12 :- 

** Tfo lost them sooner than at first ; 
For whyT-tliey were too hig." 

In /farfter*H Mwjaziui'. for December 188.3, Mrs. Anno Thackeray 
Ritchie writes, "Tlie first 'Idyll' and the last, I have heard Mr. 
Tennyson say, are intentionally more archaic than the .others." 
This archaiMUi is noticeable in the stu<liod severity and simplicity 
of the dioti«in generally as well as in tho use of such old forms or 
words as ftfi'ichii, VfthraiHiu, (iff h fly, hrnf, Ikf; in the repetition of 
'nermanuut eiiltliets,' whether com]K>sed Of single words as in 
'*lM)M Sir Iteuivere,' or of wliolc lines as **('l()thed in whito 
fMiniite, mystio, wonderful { " also in tho formal introduotion to 
each s|>eeeli, as 

** 'i*lien s)Niko ICing Arthur to Sir Bodivero" 
** To him iHiplicd the Inild Sir Uedivero.*' 

14. lOBBor God So tlio (inostio heresy taught that 
(lod was a being far removed from all rare for this world, ImiUi 
ureal iiig and governing it by infi'rior |Miwers or beinus sent forth 
by lliui, one of whom they iield to lie the *^Vr)rd* or thu 
* Wisdom ' of (jod. 'J'hls notion was adopted frmn the IMatonio 
Uvminrf/tiM, losser, the double eoni|Ninitivo f(»rm, is generallv use<l 
as the coin])arative of ' less,* the adjective. In 8haks|M3re, * losaor ' 
is sometimes an ailvorb, as in "Others that lessor hato him." 


54 THK PA8.S1N(2 OV ARTlIUli. 

10. Cf. Tcnnyiion, 7'A« Anrinit tSafff. :— 

" lint Noino ill yoiiilor city litild, my boh, 
That noiio hut (icmIn could huild thiM houno of oun, 
So ItoAutiful, VANt, variouH, h<» licyond 
All work of man, vet, liko all work of man 
A licauty with duHsct— till 'I'liat which knowM, 
An<l iH not known, hut felt thro* what wo fuel 
Within ourHolvcN \h highcHt, Nhall dcHcond 
On thin half-<lccfl, and Nhaiio it at tho lawt 
Acconlinf( tf) tho IlighcNt in the lli^hnfit.** 

firom beyond, from HIh neat in tho highcHt hcavcnn. 

10. But that... to tho dose. Cf. CowiM;r*ii hymn Ixigiuning 
*' God moves in a myHtcriouii way," CHiiecially tho lines 

" Dlind unl>clicf in sure to orr 
And 8CAn 1 1 in work in vain/' 

and OemitU and Kiiidt ii. :— 

** purblind racu of miHcrahIo men, 
Hr)W many among us at tliiM very hour 
Do forgo a lifo-long trrnihle for ouraclvcs, 
]W taking true for false, or falno for true ; 
l^rc thro' the feeble twilight of thiM world 
Groping, how many, until wo pass and reach 
That other, where wo see as wo are seen.'* 

Also The Ancient Sa/jf: — 

" My son, the world is dark with griefs and graves, 
»So dark that men cry out against the licavens. 
Who knows but that the darkness Iks in man? 
The doors of Night may be the gates of Light. 

• f • • « t 

And we, the poor earth's dying race, and vet 
No phantoms, watching from a phantom shore 
Await the last and largest sense to make 
The phantom walls of this illusion fade 
And show us that the world is wholly fair." 

24. And all ..poaco alludes specially to the treachery of 
Quinovoro and r^ncelot. 

20. Keoli ... beait Cf. The Coming of Arthur^ 10-12 :*- 

" And so there grew great tracts of wilderness 
W*herein tho l>cast was over more and more 
Rut man was less and less, till Arthur aimo," 

and The IamI Toumamenf, 122-.'> :— 

" Or whence the fear lest this my realm, uprear*d 
By noble deeds at one with noble vows, 
'From flat confusion and brute violences 
« Reel back into the beast and be no more.*' 


N0TK8. 5S 

Cf. uImo In Mnn* oxviii, t— 

** Till at tlio Innt nrrwo iho man ; 
Who thnivo ami Imiiicliud from olimo to oUmo 
Tho herald of a highor rooo 
t • t • t • 

Movo upward, working out tho boast 
And lut tho a|M) and tiger dio." 

Many Mhnilar {NutMagoH might lio ciuotoil to nhow that Tonnyaon 
viowM Nature and Society *' with tlio eyo of tho ovolutiouiiit." 

127. My Oo<l...doath. Ofun|iaro tho doH|Nviring ory of David, 
liible, PmhuHf xxii. 1, whon he **coni))hiin8 in groat discourago* 
ment/' ** My (^nI, my iUnX^ wliy hast thou fomakon mo?"— aery 
which iH re]M!atc<l by Cliritit on tlio CVohs : boo Matthew^ xxvif. 
40, and Murk\ xv. .')4. in various luirts of Thr, IdylU qf The 
Kim an analogy is suggoHtcd ))ctwcen tho life of Christ and that 
of the idoal Knig ; common to both are tho mystic origin, tho un- 
ceasing struggle against evil, tho seeming failuro, tho *agony»* 
tho * ijassing, to come again.' Cf. Oarelh and A^ic/Ze, 116 :— 

'* Follow the deer? follow tho Christ, tho King." 

Cf. also lino 157, below, and note ; and Lwkslty Hall Sixty Ytan 

" Forward till you sco tho highest Human Nature is divine.** 

*' King Arthur stands out as a mystic incarnation, a Christ-roan 
pure, noble, un-orring : coming mysteriously into the world, and 
vanishing mysteriously, according to tho prophecy of Merlin: 

* From tho great deep to tho groat deep he goes.' 

Ho is the perfect flower of purity and chivalnr, and the kingdom 
he seeks to found is tho very kingdom of Christ upon earth ** 
(Dawson's The Makers o/Moumi bntilinh), 

28. Z pass... not die. Kvcn in the extremity of his despair 
Arthur has faith in the fulfilment of tho prophecy resarding his 
mysterious doom made by Merlin, * the wise man ; leo The 
Coming of Arthur ^ 418, 9: — 

*' And Merlin in our time 
Hath si>okon also, not in jest, and sworn 
Tho' men may wound him, that ho will not die, 
Hut pass again to come." 

20. weird battle. See tho description of tho battle, below, 
lines 06- 1.35. 

.30. Oawain was brother of Mo<tred and Oaroth and nephew of 
King Arthur, 1>cini/ son of his sister, '* Lot's wife, the Queen of 
Orkney, lielliccnt. 

31. killed in Lancelot'! war. Malory, MorU d* Arthur^ xxL 
2, thus describes Gawain's death: *<And then was the nobltt 



kniffht sir Gawaine found in a great boato lying more than halfo 
dcffld ...< My uncle King Arthur,' said sir Gawaine, ' wit ye well 
that my dcathcs day is come and all is through mine owno hasti- 
ncsse and wilfulncsse, for I am smitten upon the old wound that 
sir Launcclot du I^ko gave me, of the which I fccio that I must 
die.' And so at the liourc of noono sir Gawaine betooko his soulo 
into the hands of our I^rd God. " 

31. the ghost of Oawain. TIic heading of Malory's Morte tV 
Arthur, xxi. 3, is " How after nir Ciawnine's goast apiicared unto 
King Arthur, and warned him that he should not fight as at Uiat 
day. The amtcaranco of such visions, significant oi coming evil, 
before a fatal fight, is often narrated in old chronicles : cf. the 
vision of >Samuel a])pcaring to Saul at Kndor liefore his last liattlo 
and death, and that of Ctusar to linitus liefore I'hilinni, and those 
of the Norman Saints to Harold liefore Scnlac {j/arqld, v. 1). 
Malory makes Arthur have a dream also liefore his first great fight 
for the th rone . blown . . . wandering wind. In liante's rtirqatorio^ 
Canto v., the punishment of "carnal sinners" is thus described:— 

'* The stormy blast of hell 
With restless fury drives the spirits on, 
Whirl'd round and dash'd amain with soro atmoy. 
When they arrive liefore the ruinous sweep, 
' There shrieks are heanl, there lamentations, moans, 
And blasphemies 'gainst the goo<l Power in heaven. 
I understood that to this torment sad 
The carnal sinners are condumn'd, in whom 
Reason by lust is sway*d " (Gary's Translation). 
Somewhat similar is the idea in Vergil, J^n, vi. 140: — 

*' aliae panduntur inanes 
Suspense; ad ventos." 

32. Hollow all doUgbt. Gawain's diameter is gradually de- 
veloped in the IdylU, At first we have a bright, frank, impulsive 
boy; see Tht Coming of Arthur, 310-21 :— 

"And Gawain went, and breaking into song 
Sprang out, and follow'd by his flying hair 
Kan like a colt, and leapt at all he saw." 

Later {Garelh and Lynette) he appears as a knight of brilliant 
achievements : — 

" The shield of Gawain blaason'd rich and bright. " 

' In Lancelot and Elabie wo find the first hint of tho taint of 
disloyalty :— 

*' Gawain, sumamcd The Courteous, fair and strong, 
And after lAiicelot, Tristram, ami (ieraint 
And Garetli, a good knight, but therewithal 
Sir Modretl's brother, and tho child of Lot» 
« Not often loyal to his word." 

NOTES. 57 

The aamo Idyll says that his "wonted courtesy'* was 
" Courtesy with a touch of traitor in it." 

In Tht Holy Grail his want of lofty aim and serious purpose 
is contrasted with his ready impulsiveness : we read how, when 
the kniglits took oath to ride a twelvemonth and a day in cjucst 
of the (jrail, '*Oawain swore, and louder than the rest, but that 
soon growing '*much awearicd of the quest," he renounced it 
and s[ient his year in dalliance ; and how, su1)8ec|nently, in "foolish 
words— A reckless and irreverent knight was he," he ridiculed 
all such enterprises. 

And finally, in Pelican and Etarre — though at first there 
flashed through his heart 

" The fire of honour and all noble deeds "— 

all noble inimilso is disHinatcd by the first shock with temptation; 
although I'clleas knows hiiu for the one "wliom men call light 
of love," he trusts his pledged troth, only to find hiniMlf 
treacherously lietraycd — 

" Alas that ever knight should be so false." 

It is only after Oawain*s death that his spirit discovers and 
mourns the worthlcMNiicHS of the carthlv duhglits which in his 
lifetime he had put alK)ve Iiis loyalty ancf his duty. The gnuliwl 
lowering of ( *awuin's character is symliolic of tliat moral degenera- 
tion of tlio whole order of the Round Table which spoiunl the 
pur|K>Bo of Arthur*s life. 

The older chroniclers, before Malory, ffive Oawain a much 
nobler cliaractcr, making him almost Lancelot's equal. 

.35. an isle of rest, " the island valley of Avilion " of line 427| 
below. So in Homer, Od, xi., the shade of Tiresias foretells to 
Odysseus : - 

" »So peaceful shalt thou end thy blissful days 
And stciil thyself from life by slow decays." (Pope.) 

lid. waU tholr way. Cf. the Canto from The Pwgalorio 

of Dante, quotetl above : — 

"As cranes, 
Chanting their dolorous notes, traverse the sky, 
Stretched out in long array, so I beheld 
Spirits ; who came loud wailing, hurried on 
By their dire doom." (Gary.) 

Cf. also ir«)ui. //. iii. .3, and Vcrg. yhhu x. 2G4. 

41 . Bhriird ; but . . . cries. Notice the circct of the unusual break, 
denoted by the semicolon, after the fii-st half- foot ; the reader is 
brought to a surldcn ikiusc, as if to listen to the shrill wail of the 
flying spirit. For other examples of this rhythm see General 
IntitMluction, p. xix. ; and cf. Horn. //. i. 52, /SdXX', altl M... 



43. As of tome ... lords. With this similo in illustrution of 
cries of defeat and despair, contrast the one contained in lines 457* 
461, below, ** Then from the dawn, etc,** which descrilio the jubi* 
lant cries welcoming King Arthur to his isle of rest. 

46. light upon tho winO. Cf. Dante, Puryatorio, v. 72-4 :— 

"Bard ! willingly 
I would address those two together coming 
Which seem so light Itcforo the wind.** (Gary.) 

48. all that haunts ... wild. So, in (inincrtrt^ the Queen 

'* Y\ei\ all ni^lit lon^ by glinnnrring wuhIo and weald, 
And hoard the H)uritK of the wanto and weald 
Moan as she lied, or ihrnight she heard them moan." 

In the same Idyll, in a dcHcrint ion of the nigns and niiraeloii and 
wonders which marked tho fountling of tho Uound Table, tho 
gladness of **H|)iritH and men,** of ** tlie little elves,'* the "fairy* 
circle** and *' merry blrNited things ** is siiecially dwelt upon. All 
creation sym]»athi/.cd with Arthur's noble pur|Kiscs at tho outsot, 
and now n^ounis his failure. 

40. go along with mo, bo involved in my ruin. 

51. lot pass ... field. Ikdiverc's unimaginative and practical 
nature has no care for anything which ho cannot bco and touch 
and account for ; all else ho regards as of no significance, or, at 
most, as harmless. 

53. thy namo ... cloud. Cf. Tht LaM Totmmmtnl ;— 

** the knighU, 
fllorying in each now glory, set his namo 
High on all hills and in tho signs of heaven,'* 

and To tht Qmcut at tlic en<l of tho ItltfllM .*— 

" that gray king, whose namo, a ghoHt 
StreaniH liko a cloud, man-shaiicd, iwm mounUiiu peak, 
And cleaves to cairn and cnnnlcch still.'* 

' Arthur's Seat ' is tho namo given to the lofty hill near T'Min* 
burgh and to other '* high places" in various {wirts of (ireat 
Hritain ; certain cmndochs in (tlamorgau and in Ilcrofontshiro 
aro known as * Arthur's Stones.' 

50. Light was Oawain. Unworthy of tnist or serious regard. 

50. Modred. In Guinevere Arthur calls him 

" tho man they call 
My sister's son — no kin of mine, who leagues 
With I^rds of tho White Horse, heathen and knights. 
Traitors " 

and again, in lines 155-R, lielow, disclaims kinship with him, 
Modred's character is paintcil throughout tho Idyih in tho dark- 
est ooloun. Eron in boyhood his moan and troachorous nature 

NOTEa 59 

is hinted at in contrast with tho f ranlcnoss of tho young Gawain ; 
800 Tht Comvifj of Arthur, 322, 3 :— 

'* But Mmlrcd laid his oar against tho door, 
And there half heard." 

Again, in Garelh awl Li/nei(e, 25-32, Gawain*s hearty acknow- 
ledgment of young CJaroth*s prowess brings into strong relief 
Modred's ungraciousness : — 

" Though McNlred biting his thin lips was mute, 
For he is always sullen. " 

M(Mlro<rs Nhield in Arthur's Hall was "blank as death," for ho liiul 
done no nobledced, wliilui Jawuin'H wim ** bliuonod rich and bright.** 
In the last lino of J'rffcan ami Ktnrrc — 

** And iModred tliought, * Tlie time m hard at hand *** 

— a hint is given that Mo<lred hiul lieen secretly nourishing 
treacherous thout^hts agivinst tlio king ; and, finally, in QniHtvcrt, 
wo read tliat it is Mod red 

'* that like a subtle beast 
Jjay couchant with his eyes upon tho throno 
Heady to spring, waiting a chance." 

The success of his traitorous scheming and his open rebellion 
bring the tale of his base life down to the date of tho "last weird 
battle." In the west. Malory tells how, when Modred and liis 
party had fled to Canterbury, after being worsted by Arthur 
in a gi*t!.'vt liattio on " Barcndowne " (? Barham-down, near 
i CanteiTiury, where are still rcniains (}f an ancient burial-place), 

" tiie noble king drew hint with liiH luMist downe unto tlio soi^ 
side wcHtward unto Salisbury." In Mfrfin we read that find- 
ing Modred had retreated into Wales Arthur proceeded west- 
ward as far as Salixbury, whence he issued orders for assembling 
a fresh army« which was to meet him at Whitsuntide, and then 
continued \m march Htill further into tho West, whcro Mmlrcd 
with ids force was ready to encounter him. Oeoflroy of Mon- 
mouth Ktatos that Modred made his last stand in Cornwall on the 
river Camhiila, called Camh/nn in the Vita JHerlini, In Laya- 
mon*s tinU tlie place is calleil CameJ/prd. 

fi3. Right well ... Xing. Tlie doubU as to Arthur*! rightful 
title to the throne, which arose out of the mystery of his birUi, 
find frequent exprcHsion in The Comiiitj of Arthur* Tlie ••many 
rumours cm this heiul" are dcscrilxjd l)y Bedivoro (11. 175-230), 
Who gives his own matter-of-fact account of the affair, which is 
no mystery to his simple and loyal heart. Lancelot is the first 
to acknowledge Arthur's title (II. 127-0) : — 

*• • Sir and my liege,' he cried, • the fire of God 
Descends upon theo in the battle-field ; 
I know theo for my king.^" 



In Oareth and LyneUe Bclliccnt, Arthur's eistor, referring to the 
doubts of those 

" who deem him not, 
Or will not deem him wholly proven king/' 

adds, as to her own belief, 

" Albeit in mine own heart I knew him king.'* 

After this, little is said of these doubts until, as we read in The 
LaM Tournamnil^ tlieir vows ** began to gall the knighthood," 
and they asked whence 

*' Had Arthur right to )>ind them to himself 7" 

This loss of faith, the result of the gradual weakening of the moral 
fibre of the Order, presages the final catastrophe. 

G7. when wo itroTe... north. "Arthur's glorious wars" are 
enumerated and, some of them, briefly deHcril>cd by I^ucelot in 
Jjanceiol and Eiaine, the RomAn wall, see The Coming </ ^ rfhur, 
L fill and note. 

73. And they my knights. An instance of the construction 
known as the ** pendent nominative " ; owing to a change of syntax 
in the middle or the sentence, tlie nominative ' they ' is left with* 
out A verb. Cf. The Coming o/ Arthur, 1. 18Z 

77* Ontljring ... Almesbury. See ^uniefcre ;— 

" nrono from olT her scat she fell 
And grovelleti with her face against the ilcmr." 

Ambrose-lmry, Anibrcsliurv, Almesbury, or Amcsbury, in Will- 
shire, 7} niilcs from Salisbury, possessed an ancient ablicy of 
ISenodictino nuns, to which, as the old chronicles relate, 
Guinevere had fled after her fall. 

78. Hath folded ... world. Has covered my path in life with 
darkness and confusion, 

81. Lyonnesta. A fabulous country, an cxtenHJon of Cornwall 
to the south and wchI, Miid to l>o now I'ovored by the sea. Inhere 
is still extant near fund's Knd a tnidition that the Scilly Isles 
were once |iart of the mainland ; similarly, in |Nirts of Ireland, 
the lielief exists that a large tmrtion of the island was swalloweil 
up by the sea and occasionally comes to the surface. The name 
is sometimes written Leonnoys. 

87. phantom eirolo alludes to the distant sea-hoHxon, vague 
and ill defined ; it is called " sea-circle " in ICnoeh Artien ; Cf. 
UlyMCM, 10, 2():— 

" Whcwo margin fiules 
For ever and for over when I move ;" 

also Shelley, JCuganean IlilU, 10, and Verg. JCn, iii. 400. 

90. whin %h% great ...lowMt, i.e. in midwinter. Notice the 
«ppropriatone8B of the seasons to the various events in Arthur's 



career. In TKe Coming of Arthur it is in '* tho night of the new 
year *' that Arthur is bom. When he is married to Guinevere, 

'* Tho sacred altar blossomed w]iito with May." 

Ill The Holy Grail it is "on a summer night" that the vision 

appears and tho qucat is undertaken. The date of The LaM 

Tonniamenl is placed in the *' yellowing autumn tide." Guine- 

j[ vero*s flight taKcs place when the white mist of early winter 

slirouds "tho dead eartli." The final catastrophe is now fitly 
accomplished at midnight in the dead of winter, the most 
sombre, most comfortless hour and season. 

01. rolling year. CLUiiin voltfttUibuHannis(VQrgi\fjEn,i,f^). 

I ] 0.3. Kor ever yet ... west. Malory's account is as follows i— 

"and never was there Mceno a more dolofullcr l>attaile in no 
CliriHUiii land, for Uicro was but raHhingand riding, foyiiing and 
stricking, and many a grim word wan there HiK>kon either to other, 
and many a deadly Htroko ... And tIniH they fought all tho loncf 
day, and never stinted till tli9 noble kniglitn were laid to the cola 
ground : and ever they foiiglit till it wafi nigh night, and by that 
time was there an hundred thouwind laid dead upon tho doune.** 
The following dcHcrit)tioii from Le. Mori Arthnr^ (editod by Mr. 
Kurnivall from the Harleian M.S. No. 22.')2in the British MuMum) 
gives a gootl idea of the style of the old iK)et:— 

** Arthur of iNiUiylu nouyr bliiune 
To dclo woundyM wykko and wydo, 
Kro the morow that it bogaune, 
Tylle it wim ncre the nightM tydo ; 
There was many A spcru Hi)cnto, 
And many a thro word they spake, 
Many A brondo was bowyd and )>ente. 
And many a knightt/i holme they brake 
UycluN lioImeH they Roire and rent 
The Hvch6 rowtcH gan to-gcdyr Ilayke 
And thousand v|K)n the iKJiite, 
Tho boldest or evyn was made Uyght mcko. 
. • • • • 

As nyr lucaii de iMitolur sto<lo 

He Hcy folk vixm playiit's hye, 

liold barons of bone and blode, 

They Uefte theym besaiint, brocho, and l)oe.** 

05. A deathwhlte mist. 8o, in Ouineirni, 

" Tlie white mist, like a face-cloth to tlie face, 
(ylung to the dead earth and the land was still" 

In Merlin and Vivien Merlin has a presage of 

" An ever^moaning l)attle in the mist 
World-war of dying flesh against the life." 





Coniraiit with llio (IcncripUnii of ** ilim liint, dim, woinl iNiiilo" 
tlio hrilliaiit ])lctiiro of ArUtiir*ii iimfe hiiiio in Thf. Cominy o/ 

** When Aitliiir rcnoliM » ndfl-of-lNittlo bright 
With iiitchM iHivilioiiH of Imh foo, tho worl<l 
Was all HO clciir alioiit him, that ho saw 
The smallest rock far on tho faintest hill 
And oven in higli flay tho morning star. '* 

Tlicso are only two out of numerf>us ocaisiotis that may lio 
found in tho Mi/ffM when tho sym])athy of external naturo with 
tho actions and emotions of man is vividly pictured. 

08. formleu, vague, ill-dcfmed, olijcctlcHs. 

100. For Mend and fo« ... roloei of tho dead. With tho wholo 
of this description may lie conntarcd tliat of another ' weird ' 
Imttlo in 7*A^ PrinrtM, In Ik^Ui |Nuwagcs are fcmnd good ox- 
amplcB of roprcscntativo rhvthm and of words whoso sound 
ooliooi tho sonso. Thus in 7*A«* Prinrr^ wo find 

"until thoy chmed 
In conflict with tho crash of shivering iHilnts '* 


" And all tho plain — hrandj maco, and shaft, and shield — 
ShockM, like an iron*clanging anvil bang'd 
With hannnors*' 

which havo a close rhythmical and vorlml aflinity to lino 188, 

** Shocks, and tho splintoring spear, tho hard mail hown," 

and tho following lines, 

10.1. old ffhosts, siKJCtros of foes or friends long dead ) of. Tht 
J*rinctM ;— 

** I scemM to move in old memorial tilts 
And doing Uittlo witli forgotten ghosts.** 

100. Bhield-broakings ... holme. These linos recall tho war* 
song of Arthur's knighthood at his marriago in The Cominy f\f 

" Flash brand and lanco, fall liattloaxo u|K)n helm. 
Clang liattloaxo and crash brand, lot the King reign." 

A flno contrast may l>o noted liotwoon tho Jubilant stniin in this 
song, prompted by faith in tho King and his mission, and tho 
ocho of ho]K)lcss constornation arising from tho despairing shocks 
of this dim battlo and tho 


*' shrieks 
After tho Christ, of those who falling down 
' LookM up for hoaron, and only saw tho mist." 


1 1 4. moiiBtrotti blaiphemlei . So {n tlio ImIUo of Armagoclflon, 
liililo, /ift^, xvi., inuii ** bliiNplioinod tlio iiaino of (M,** Ammgoil- 
doii lion licoii tlioii;<lit to )m) typiad of tlio ^foiit fiiinl coiitoHt lio- 
twooii gfNNl and uvil in tliiM world, and, no far, in of a ■iiiiilar 
•iirnilicanco to this 

*' Imttio in tho Woat^ 
Where all of high and holy dies away.'* {To tht Queeit.) 

110. or ibro' doath, cither bocauae of death. 

120. Notice the appropriateness of tho dominant letter *■' in 
this line, representing the sibilant plash of the waves. 

120. tbe wan wavo. Cf. ' wan water,* Uareih and LyneiU. In 
I Lt Mori Arthur wo have the lino 

'* Hut watros dope and wawes wanno." 

See line 2.*^, )>olow, and note. 

1.12. bollow belmett, empty, having fallen ofl* the hoada of tho 

l.l/). Tbe TOloa ... to bo. The ocean has frequently lioon usocl 
in litoratnro as a symlK>l of Time and Kteniity. Cf. Shako. 
Sonuf.tMt Ix. 1, 2:— 

*' rJko as tho wiivcN miiko towards the pebbled shore. 
So do our niinntCH haHtcn to their end." 

and Uyron's •* Addrcsn to the Ocean,*' CfiUde IfaroUl, Iv. i— 

" The image of Ktcrnity.** 

UO. wastca ... movo. Tlio sea slowly eating into tho sboro ia 
an apt ty|H) of (rwpvM fdax rnmnit *'l'iine that oats things awav/ 
Collon says i ** 'I'iinc is the most subtle of depredators and l>y 
appearing to take nothing is |)onnittod to take all," 

M.'l. for on my heart ... Klnfl:. In the throes of tho last droail 
struggle, as liis nhyHical strength ebbs low, the king's "sensnoua 
frame Is racked witli )N^*igs tliat conquer trust" (lu Mttii, v.)« 
and he begins almost to doubt tho significance of his own mystio 
origin and tlie divine sanction of his '* boundless purpose." 

147. Kinff ovorywhere ... house. Bcdivere's simple loyalty ia 
no prey to doubt ; bin practical tem|H)r finds no room for dis- 
ouHsion while work remains to Ik) done, but insists on prompt 
action with what powers are still available. 

lAT. My house... TOWS. Cf. Bible, Lukt, xii. 40, 50, *<AnfI 
he strotuiiod forth his hand to liis disciploH and said, 'Behold 
my mother and my brethren ! ' For whosoever sluvll do the will 
of my Katlicr wliich is in heaven, the same is my brother, and 
sister, and mother." 

170. So all daylong. Tlio original fragment ^^ror/ecT/fwAur 
began at tliis point. Tlio lines *' So all day long ... King Arthur," 
which introduced tho shorter ])oom, are bore retaineil, to servo, 
perhaps, as a sort of recapitulation of the lines now prefixo«l, 



that tlio reader's attention may bo concentrated on the last scene 
which follows. 

17*2. Xing Anhttr*s tuble, the knixhts of the Round Table. 
See note to Tkf. Comtntj o/Art/nir, 1. 17. man by man, one after 

177. chancel, the cnftteni and most sivcred portion of a church, 
fonnerly always separated from the main part of the building by 
a screen of lattice work (I^at. cancdlx^ cross-liars). 

178. strait, a narrow tongue of land ; the word is more usually 
applied to a narrow passage in the ocean. 

180. a great water. Since the poet wishes to represent the 
general impression produced by the view from the chapel, he 
avoids all rictail, and uses the vague words * a water ' instead of 
' a lake.' The Itcholder would not at first sight notice whether it 
was a lake or a broad river ; all he would l>e conscious of would bo 
a spreading sheet of water of size and shape unknown ; and the 
picture is presented to the reader just as it would first strike tlio 
eye of Sir Re<livere. Subscfiuently, where no such instantaneous 
impression is depicted, the words *mcre* and 'lake* are used. 
Cf. 1 >erwciitf/Yi/rr, C«ala Wnter^ etc. tbe sequel, what follows as 
the result of this day's fight. 

182. unsolders, disunites, breaks into pieces. Sofder (from tho 
same root as nolifi) is a kind of metallic cement for uniting the 
surfaces of metals ; it is often coni])OKtMl of zinc (or silver) and 
eop])er. It is sometimes sfielt and pronounced tiodihr or ttninfrr, 

lK.1. fellowship, confederation, united liand (of knights of tho 
Round Table). 

184. whereof ... record, of all the fellowships of M'hich, etc. 
■neh a sleep. The comparison of death to sleep is very 
common in Homer, Vergil, and other classical poets. Thus 
Homer, //., ii. 241, has «roif(i^aro x^^f^^*^ Oir¥0¥, * he slept an 
Iron sleep*; cf. Vergil, jfCn,, x. lAt, ftrrtnn vrrfti MomnuM, and 
Moschuss dHpfJtwa vtrfpurw Cw¥w, See also In Mtm.^ Ixvii., 
"Sleep, death's twin brother." So in the Rible, Acin, vii. GO, 
Stephen " fell on sleep." Cf. cemtUry, literally 'sleeping-])lace.' 

189. Camelot, the city where Arthur held his court, now 
identified with a village called Qnten Camtl, in Somersetshire, 
where remains of the vast entrenchments of an ancient town aro 
still to Ih) seen. The traditions of Queen Camel still presence 
tho name of Arthur ; the bridge over the river Ciimel is called 
' Arthur's Rridge,' and thero is a spring in the neighlK)urhood 
calIo4l 'Arthurs Well.' A description of Arthur's mysterious 
hall at Camelot is given in tho Idyll of Tht Holy Orail in the 
lines beginning-^ 

** brother, had you known our mighty hall, 
« Whioh Merlin built for Arthur long ago," 

NOTES. 66 

](K). X perlih ... made, my lifo, ami with it all my noblo 
piiriioHcii, iM limii^Iit to ruin by thoHO whom I was the first to 
form into ono pooplo. Sco The Comiwj qf Arthur ;— 

'* Itut cithor fuilud to mako tho kingdom one. 
And after tlioKO Kin^ Arthur for a sniico, 
And throuf^h tho puiHwinco of his Taido Hound| 
Drew all their potty princedoms under him, 
Their king and hc<id, and made a realm, and reigned.** 

101. Merlin. Sec The Cominff of Arthur, note to I. 150. The 
Idyll of Merlin and Vivien gives an account of Merlin's fate. 
8co also Matthew Arnold's Tristram and Jaevlt, 

192. let wli&t will be, be, whatever my future may be. 

195. Excalibur. See The Coming of Arthur, note to line 294. 

199. clothed in white samite. See The Coming of Arthur^ 
L 2S4 and note. The recurrence of this line recalls the 'per- 
manent epithets ' notico<l under 1. 6. 

202. sung or told, celebrated in song or story. ^ 

205. fling him. Arthur regards the magic sword as a person 
endowed with life and power of its own. mere, lake or pool; 
tho wonl originally moant ' that which is dead,' hence a dosort, 
waste, or sUignant t)oo1 ; cf. Uit. mare an<l 8k t. marti, a dosori, 
from mr<, to die ; aiso French mare and English marnh, 

200. seest, a diMsyllahle. lightly, nimbly or quickly. Malory's 
words arc— "My lord, said Sir JJcdcvero, your commandment 
shall bo done, and lightly (I will) bring you word again.'* 
'Lightly' in tliiH acnso is common in 8|>cnHur'8 Faery Queen. 

211. best, from O. E. fid^n, command; — commonly written 
with tho prolix ttehrHf. The I is an added letter as in whita-t, 
Chaucer uses hrnt, ** tlio Hccond hettt of Go<l," Pardoner's Tale, 
185; Sp«n»cr, h\ Q. vii. 18, has ** holy Aca*M," and tho word is 
frequently UHcd by ShakHpero: see The Tempest, i. 2. 274; iiL 1, 
37i etc. ; it occura also in PvJfrM and Ktarrt, *' acted her host.'* 
at full, to the utmost, thoroughly. 

215. mighty bones. Tlie I)ones of tho Danish invaders heaped 
up in part of tho church building at liytho are abnormally 
largo-si/xsd, and seem to show that *' there wore giants in those 
days." As noted al)ovo, there are still extant traces of ancient 
tombs at liarham*down. 

218. by sig-sag ... rocks. The short, sharp vowel sounds and 
tho numorouH dental letters in this lino, making it broken in 
rhythm and diflicult to pronounce, are in fine contrast with tho 
broad vowcIh and liquid letters which mako the next lino run 
smoothly and easily ofT tho tongue. Tho sound in each lino 
exactly echocH the BonHo ; tho crooked and broken path leads to 
tho smooth and level shore. 



219. levels. The plural is prolNibly sii^gcsiod hv iho I^tiii 
plural, artjtiora, Itriiiiloy iiugj^cHtH, tM}r]iii])H t4Mi iii({ukiiouHlv, 
tluit iho pool may Iks hinting that wliat lcN>kfi, whou noon frcim tho 
high ground, "a groat wator," lioconics a Noricii of flaHhing eur- 
faces to tho oyos of a man standing on tlio shore 

223. keen with firott, clear in tho frosty air. 

225. topas-lightf. Tlio tonax is a jowcl of various colours, 
yellow, or grcon, or hluc, or brown, t'crhaps from 8kt. /a/MM, 
nro. jadBtti, anotlior form of hyneinth^ a precious stone of tlio 
colour of tlie hyacinth ilower, blue and purple, (/f. Tht Comtnif 
t^ Arthur, 207-0. 

220. subtlest, most skilfully wrought, or in a most intricate 

228. this way ... mind. This expression is an imitation of 
Vergil, yfSn, viii. 20, Atqite animum nunr hue cflrremt nunc dundit 
iilue, * And he divides his swift mind now this way, now that.* 
Cf. Homer, //. i. IKH, i¥ 84 ol ^op ... 8id¥dixa lupnitp^tp, 

220. in act to throw, an expression much used by Po^o in his 
translation of the Iliad. Cl. 7/. iii. 340, (l^prvro xaXi^^^i which 
Pbpo renders— 

** Atroidcs then his massy lance prepares, 
In act to throw." 

231. water-fligs, aquatic phints of the genus Irin, 

233. so strode back slow. Thcso words are all accented, and 
the line thus Incomes heavy and slow to pronounce ; the rhythm 
thus echoes the heavy slow steps of Sir Iksdivere. 

238. washing in the reeds— lapping on the crag. It has l)cen 
remarked that these two phrases mark exactly "the <liflbrcnco of 
sound produced by water swelling up against a permeable or 
impermeable liarricr.** The water would splash softly through 
the reeds, but would make a sharper sound when striking against 
the impenetrable rock. Lap means, generally, to ' lick up with 
the tongue, as a dog drinks'; and hence, as here, to 'make a 
sharp sound as a dog does when drinking.* Malory's wonls 
are, " I saw nothing but the waters wap (? beat) and the waves 
wan (T ebb).'* [But in the Lt Mori Arthur ^ Bcdivere answers 
that he sees nothing 

*'But watres depe and wawes wanne." 

May not the * wap ' in Malory be a printer's error for ' deep * ? 
If so, 'wan' also is an adjective, as in 'wan wave,' line 120, 

241. betrayed thy nature, been false to thy instinctive sense of 
honour and to tlgr title of knight. Malory says, " And thou 

li . .-^ .- ».-E:!S¥^;r^?! a ll^ 


NOTKS. 67 

art namofl a noMo knight, and would botray me for the riohos of 
the Mwortl." 

243. tUlty^ a doiililot otfMily, 

24a ai thou art lief and dear. Copied from Malory. Lit/ ia 
from tho name root as /ove, and moans brlovetl, Shakspero 
(2 //f ftry VI. i. 1. 28) has * alder 'U</eMi,' doarost of all 

2n2. oountlnf ... pebblei. In tinios of grave moment, whon 
tho mind {h aliMorlioil in deep contemplation of some event of suiF* 
passing im|M)rtiinco, tho huiihcm often mechanically employ them* 
■olvos in noticing trilling objects : cf. Mmtd^ ii. 2. 8;— 

** Strange, that the mind, when fraught 
With a paHHi<m so intouHO 
One would think that it well 
Might flrown all life in tho eye — 
Tliat it should, by lieing so overwrought. 
Suddenly Mtrike on a Hhar|)er sense 
For a Mhell or a flower, little things 
Which olso would have lieun past ity !'* 

2n(. cbatod, engraved. Chnnrd is a contraction of enrhtuieti t 
literally, inrnnrd^ or *enoloHcd in a ease or cover '| honoOy 
'covered with engraved ornament.' 

2.^17. one worthy note, i.e. ' a thing worthy of noto» a notable 

2.'>8. should thue be lost, ought (according to natural expeota* 
tion) to lie lost. 

202. the bond of rule, the tie uniting the ruled to tho ruler, tho 
connecting link lietween a king and his subjects, which alono 
makes systematic government poHHible. 

20(1. what record ... kept. For all his loyalty the worth v 
Bcdivere can only jNirtially recognise the scope of Arthur^i 
purpose and life-work. Unless some material and [wilpablo rolio 
of the King is preserved, ho thinks no traco of his deeds will 
remain for imsterity. 

207. empty breath, unsubstantial, impalpable report. 

208. rumonre of a doubt, vague traditions of a mythical 

270. joust (or JiMf), a tournament or sham Oght; literally, 
a 'meeting together,' from Lat. jiixta^ near, close. 

272. maiden of the Lake. See The Coming of Arthur, 282-20.^ 
Malnry thus dcscrilnss Arthur's fimt meeting with this lady : 
'* With that they saw a damsel going on the lake. What damsel 
is that 7 said Arthur. That is the Lady of the Lake, said Merlin \ 



and within that lake is a rock, and therein is as fair a palace as 
any on earth, and richly licHccn." The I^ady of the I^ko is in 
some of the romances identified with Vivien. I^ncelot is called 
' Jjancelot of the Jiiike * from his having been educated at this 
la<1y*s court ; see the Idyll of fMurelof. avd Klniuet where the 
Lady is said to have stolen I^ncelot from his mother's arms. 

270. winning reverence, gaining respectful admiration from his 
hearers for this romantic story, now ... were lost, would bo lost 
if I wcro to throw the sword away. 

278. clouded with bit own conceit, his power of clearly dis- 
tin^uisning right from wrong 1)cing oliscurcd by his own false 
notion, conceit = conception, notion. 

280. and so itrode, etc. The fref|ucnt repetition of singlo 
lines should lie noticed ; it is Homeric. 

281. ipoke. Varied from Mpakc, almvo, to prevent monotony. 

287. miserable, mean, base. 

289. Authority ... wilL When the commanding look that 
inspires awe and ol)cdience passes from the eye of a king, ho loses 
therewith his autliority over his subjects. A critic has remarked 
that this personification (of authority) is ** thoroughly Shake- 
spearian ; it assists the imagination without distressing the 
understan<ling, as when dwelt on and expanded in detail ; 
deepening the impresHioii of the sentiment by giving along with a 
true thought a grand piciuro " (]Mmley*s KuMai/n). Cf. Kli7iil)eth*s 
wonls to Cecil : ** MfuU," she exclaimed, " is mwtl a M'ord to l)o 
addressed to princes? Little man, little man, thv father, if ho 
had l)een alivo, durst not have used that word, but thou hast 
gro>iii presumptuous, liccauso thou knowest that I shall dio " 
(Ungard, Hint, of England, vi. dlG). Cf. also Queen Alary, v. 5 : — 

** The Queen is dying or you dare not say it." 

200. laid widow*d, helplcHHly Insreft. Tennyson uses this IkiUI 
moUiphorical word again in his In Mfniorinm, xvii., **niy 
tvidowM race,*' an<l Ixxv., ** My heart, tlunigh widow*d/* and in 
Queen Mary, i. 6, '*widowM channel." 

20.3. offlcei, sorviccs, duty ; cf. Lat. officium* 

200. fflddy, frivolous, transient 

208. prosper, succeoil in doing his duty. 

3(K). with my handi. ]*erhafm Iwcause ho had now no sword \ 
or, more pmbably, thcso wonls aro intnNluccd in iniitiitioii of 
Homor's graphic insertion of s|K!cino details \ cf. wm^Iv l^it 
ftaxfA fii8d9, * ho went taking long ste|)S with his feet. ' Notice tho 
touch 01 human nersonality in tho king's sharp anger ; otherwiso 
Arthur is generally roprosontod by Tennyson as a rather colour- 


less being, and as almost " too goo<l for human naturo'i daily 
food." Guinovoro in Lancelot wia Elaine calls him 

*' tho faultless king, 
Tho pasHionato porfoction/' 

.301. then quickly rose, etc. "Everv wonl tolki of rapid, 
aKit^ito<l, dotcnnined action, refusing to clally with temptation *' 

304. wheerd, swung it round over his head. 

305. made lightnings, made a succession of brilliant flashes. 

.306. and flashing ... in an arch. ** A splendid instance of 
sountl nuMWunng to HcnHC, which tho older critics made so much 
(if ; tho nddiiioiuil Hyllublo (in tho last foot, in dn ilrch) which 
breaks tho niciiBuro and neccssiUitcs an increased rapidity of 
uttunmco, scoinin^ to cxnrcsH to the ear the rush of the sword 
up its paraliolic curve *' (Urindcy). 

.307. streamer of the northern mom, tonpic of light shooting 
from the horizon ; one form of tho Aurwa JJorealis, Cf. Soott, 
I.culy o/lhe Lake^ iv. 9 : — 

'* Shifting like flashes darted forth 
By tho red streamers of the north." 

.308. moving isles of winter, floating icebergs. Observe how 
tho poot in three lines presents a complete picture of one of 
nature's grandest phenomena, thus introducing a most vivid 
simile without interrupting the flow of tho narrative. Kotico 
tho compression of style, shook, collide. 

311. dipt, went below. To dip generally means ' to put under 
the surface *; here ' to go under.' 

31G. drawing thicker breath, breathing more heavily as being 
nearer death. 

317. now see I by thine eyoi. Arthur had no noe<l now to ask 
of llodivcro if he luul ol)cyed the command ; the expression of 
the kni},'ht*s eyes told enough, Tho sudden exclamation is vory 

.323. three lives of mortal men. Homer (Or/y«. iii. 245) says of 
NcHior that he had been kiiiu <1uring three generations of men. 
In hiter times NcHtor was called TfKylfxaif, 

.334. my wound ... cold. Malory's words are, "Alas, tho 
Wound in your head hath caught much cold." 

335. half rose, slowly, with pain. The two long syllables at 
the end of one line, and tho [nvuhos after the first and second foot 
of the next line, admirably represent the slow and intormptod 
effort of tlio wounded king to rise. 



3.77. wiBtftilly, with eager longing. Winl/nl in probably b^ 
origin a niiKHiiclliiig of witih/uly from the mistaken idea that it 
was connected witli O. £. iriff, know. 

338. as in a picture, as the eyes of a painted portrait often 
have a fixed and expectant gaze. Cf. /I'.^schylus, Agamemtionf 
240, &t i¥ ypaifHkitt ' She (Iphigenia) cast at each of those who 
sacrificed a piteous glance, gazing as (ont) in a jncture,* 

345. nightmare. A fiend or witch, supnosed to cause ovil 
dreams. Skolton has ** Medusa, that mare (t.f. that hag). 

3.'K). dothed with his breath, enveloped as by a cloak in a 
mist caused by his own damp breath clinging round him in tho 
frosty air. 

351. larger than human. Cf. tho Idyll of Ouinevert:-^ 

" The moony vaiiour rolling round the king. 
Who seeme<l tlio phantom of a giant in it» 
Knwound him fold by fold.'' 

Cf. also Dream of Fair Women, 1. 87» and tho Latin humano 
major (Ovid, Fanli ii. 503). 

35.'i. like a goad. The remorse he felt for his disolKHlioncOi 
and the fear that tho king might suddenly dio, urged him on as 
a goad urges oxen. 

354. hameis, originally, as here, body armour. 

. 356. bare black clilT clanged. Olwcrvo the alliteration and 
the numlier of accented monosyllables succeeding each other, 
thus representing the successive roverlicrations of sound. Words- 
worth {SkxUiny) has a passage er|ual)y full of sound :— 

••With the din 
Smitten, the precipices rang aloud, 
The leafless trees and every icy crag 
Tinkled like iron." 

based, planted ; tho word is generally used in a metaphorical 

358. dint of armed heels, the tread of iron-shod heels. 

36.3. wart, aware; cf. Bible, Aeis, xiv. 6: ••They were ware 
of it'' 

364. dense, thickly crowded. 

365. bladk-itoled. The tifolf! was a long loose rol)0 reaching to 
the feet Cf. ••In stoles of white" (.ViV daluhud). With this 
description contrast that of tho ship in Tht Coming </ AHkwr^ 
874-5 :— 

" And all from stem to stem 
* Bright with a shining people on the dooka,'* 

NOTKa 71 

like a dream. Ae uneiMrihly and indietinct ae images eeen in » 

3G6. tliree Queena. See The Ckming qfArihur, 27M t— 

** Three fair Queene, 
Who stood in silence near liis throne, the friends 
Of Arthur, gazing on him, tall, with bright 
Sweet faces, who will help him at his need." 

Malory says, " One was King Arthur's sister, Queen Morgan lo 
Fay ; the other was the Queen of Northgales ; the third was the 
Queen of the Waste Lands." 

3G7. shirered to the tingling stars, thrilled as it mounted 
through the air and reached the stars that trembled in response. 
Cf. 7'Ae May Queen ;— 

'* Then seemed to go right up to hearen and die among the stars ** 

and (Ewme, 1. 215 : — 

*' Between the loud stream and the trembling stars." 

mountains whose natural power of echo is heightened by the 
silence of nii^ht, the clearness of the winter air, and the harden* 
ing efTccts of frost. Such a cry, at such a time, and in such » 
place, would thrill from rock to rock, from summit to summit, 
till it sccmvd to pierce the sky in a hurtling storm of mulU* 
tudinous arrow sounds, and die away in infinitely distant pidaa* 
tions among the stars." 

370. where no one comes. "The moumfulness of the feeling 
a man would experience in such a place, from the sense of utter 
isolation and sterilitv, is blended with the naturally sad wail of 
the wind over a wide waste, and the addition thus becomes no 
mere completion of a thought of which only part is wanted for 
illustration .... but gives a heightening of sentiment 
without which the illustration would be incomplete and less im* 
pressive " (Brimley). Compare Keats's — 

" Undescribed sounds 
That come a- swooning over hollow grounds 
And wither wearily on barren moors." 

375. rose the tallest ... fairest, rose above the others in heiffht 
OS she stood, Malory says, ** Morgan le Fay • . • • tnat 
was as fair a lady as any might l)e." 

381. like the withered moon, like the moon when its light Is 
fading before the early beams of the rising sun. Cf« FcUima •^— 

** Faints like a dazzled morning moon." 


|H|||^PPPIpgpy^Pip_p||_a^^^HBH^H^^Hi^l^«l,««VT^^ViW.< K.iwiBit VN^i^ 

72 TliK PA8.S1N(JI OF AlVHIUii. 

Also Sholloy, Ode to the Skiflark, I.t-IG :~ 

'* Keen AS nro the arrows Of that silver sphcro 
Whoso iiitoiiso lamp narrows In the white dawn clear." 

383. greaTOB, annour for the lower piirt of the legs : derivation 
uncertain., ouisses, armour for the thighs: I^at. roarri, thigh. 
daibed with drops of onset, sjilaHhod with drops of blooil from 
Uio encounter, (/f. The PrinccM ;— 

''Though duflhod with death, 
He reddens what ho kifwes." 

"'Onset' is a very generic term, iH)etic lieciiuse removed from 
ftU vulgar associations of common mrlance, and vaguely Mug« 
gestive not only of war*s |K>m|> ana circuniHUiuce, hut of higli 
deoils also and heroic arts, smce onnet lielongH to mettle and 
daring; the word, for viuit and shadowy connoUition, is akin to 
Milton's grand alwtriM;tion, ' Fttrofr/iMrr/i/fiiff/Hliono,'or iShciley's 
' Where the earthquake demon tauglit her ^nniff ruin*" (ItiMlon 
Noel in The Conffm/torury Jtcview), Cf. The LnH Tournament:^ 

" Boltetl his IxMly with her white emhvaeej* 

384. light and lustroui, fair in colour and shining. Arthur is 
descrilic<l in The Comiwj qf Arthur as "fair beyond the race of 
Britons and of men.'* 

385. like a rising sun. Tlie fair bright locks are compared 
with the rays surrounding tlic disc of the rising suto. Cf. Mdton, 
P. L. iii. OIW :- 

" Of lieiiming sunny rays a golden tiar 
Circled his head, nor less his locks behind 
Illustrious on his shoulders.** 

Arthur is thus describc<l in The Lant Totirttatncnt ;— 

" That victor of the Pagan throned in hall, 
His hair, a sun that rayc<l from off a brow 
Like hillsnow high in heaven, the steoMduo eyes, 
Tlie golden Ijcard that clothed his lips with light.'* 

d TUhonw:-' 

"Thy dim curls kindle into sunny rings.'* 

386. high from the dals-throno, as he sat on the throne elevated 
on the dais or platform. 

392. shot through the liiti, as a brilliant meteor or 'shooting* 
•tar glances across the sky. 

306. my forehead and mine ejree. This definite specification' 
of separate items, instead of using the general term 'fiice,' is true 
to the Homeric pattern ; soo 1. 300, almvo. 

400. the light ... myrrh. Arthur is compared with the star in 
t^e East which appeared at Christ's birth to tho Magi, or Wise 



NOTKS. 73 

Moil, and lorl thorn to Bothlohom, wlioro they proHoiitotI to tho 
iiuw-lN>rit (*hil(l niruriiigs of gold, frankiiicoiiso, aiid myrrh. Soo 
Uil>lo, MtUlhcw^ ii. 11, 

403. imaffo of the mighty world. **Aliio Merlin mivflo tho 
Tioiind Talilo in tokoiiiiii( of tho roiindnoNH of tho world, for by tlio 
1l«>iind 1'ahlo in tho world Hi^nifioil hy riuht. For nil tlio world, 
(yiiriHtian iind hwithon, roimir unto tho lionnd Tahlo, and whon 
thoy ura choHon to l>o of tlio folIowBhip of tho Hound Tahlo, tlioy 
think thoiii inoro hlofiHo<l and inoro in wonthip than if thoy IiimI 
Kotton hulf tho world " (Malory). Tho l>oliof that tho world was 
tn form roiiinl and flat, like tho top of a round tablo, provailotl 
ovon af tor tho glolio had boon circnmnavigatod. Soo ColH'mbH9 ^— 

'* for at last thoir iri^hnoMOB 
Woro half'aHMuro<l thiu earth might bo a sphere.'* 

40 }. oompanlonloBB. Malory*B wortU aro, **Ah, my Lord 
Arthur, what Hhall Ikjcoiho of mo now yo go from mo and louvo 
mo hero aloiio among mine onomioB ? '* 

405, the dayfl darken, tho future socniB dark and droary. 

400. other mlndi, unBympathotio minds, diiToront from thoeo I 
have known. 

408. the old ... to new, a lino often quote<l. It occum also in 
The Cominij of Arthur^ r>08, whon tho king Ih dom*rilKNl as rofue- 
in^ to give tribute to Hoinu, on tho ground that "the Blowly 
fading iniHtrcHB of the world " had had her day, and must gtvo 
place to a now and Btrongcr powor. Cf. In Mem. Prol. :— 

"Our little BystcniH have thoir day, 

Thoy have their day and cease to be." 

400. God ... ways, Ood liaa many methods of occomplishincr on 
earth HiH purposes, which are nart of His nature, anti often lays 
ahido tho methods lie has boon UBing to rophico them by 

410. lest one .. world, lest men's hearts, relying too much upon 
old established usage, should stagnate and grow slothful for want 
of change, and thus a lifeless formalism should take the place of 
active l^licf and vigorous endeavour. 

411. comfort thyself, etc. Malory's words are, "Comfort thy- 
self, said the king, and do as well as thou maycst, for in mo is no 
trust to trust in. For I will unto tho vale of Avilion to heal mo 
of my grievous wound ; and if thou hoar never more of mo, pray 
for my soul," 

412. that which .. . pure, may CJod acno])t my work and, alworb- 
ing it, as it woro, into Himself, purify it of all its unworthy 



417. likt a fountain. Cf. ICitoch Ardm ;— 

"Prayer ... 
Like fountains of swoot watort in tlio Boa.** 

410. tliat nourish ... brain, wlioso Imito nature is blind to any- 
thing outnido or aliovo what thvy can ostiniato by instinct or 
material sense. Cf. Shaks. AtU, and CUo, iv. 8. 21 :— 

" A brain that nourishes our nerves.*' 

422. every way, on all sides. 

423. bound 1^ ff old diains ... feet of God. Cf. l/arolU, iii. 2:- 

A breath that fleets liuyond this iron world 
And touches Ilhn that made it.'* 

The notion of the earth l>eing attached to heaven bv a golden 
chain perhaps originated in the iKissiigc in Homer's liitult viiL 
19-30; cf. Plato, Theat, 153. Frequent allusions to this sup- 
position are to be found scattered throughout English literature. 
Thus llacon in his Adtxinccmnit of Learning^ i. 1. 3, says, '* Ac- 
cording to the allegory^ of the poctM the highest link of nature's 
chain must needs Cd tied to tlie foot of Jupiter's chair " : cf. 
Aih, qffj, ii. vi. 1. Jeremy Taylor writes ** Faith is the golden 
chain to link the i^nitcnt sinner to C<od." Cf. also "'This is 
tho ffoldcn chain of love, whereby the whole creation is bound 
to the throne of the Creator " (Hare) ; and 

" She held a great cold chaine ylincked well, 
Whose upper ena to highest heven was knitt." 

—Spenser, F,Q, ii. vii. 4G. 

*' Hanging in a golden chain 
This iiendant world." -Milton, P. L. ii. 1051. 

" It (true love) is a golden chain let down from heaven, 
Whose links are bright and even. 
That falls like sleep on lovers." 

— Jonson, Lovt^n Martyr. 

*' For, letting down the golden chain from high, 
He drew his audience upward to the sky." 

— Dryden, Uharaeter of a Good Parson, 

427. island-valley of Avllion. Avilion, or, as it is otherwise . 
spelt Avelion, or Avalon (*' doxing in the Vale of Avalon," 
Ptiiart of Art), is supposed to have ueen the name of a vallev in 
the neighbourhood ot Glastonbury, the town in Somersetshire 
where Joseph of Arimathea is said to have first lande<l from his 
boat with the Holy Orail. [See the Idyll of The Holy GraU.] 
Avilion is called an island as being nearly surroundea by the 
" river's embraoemcDt.'' Cf* Drayton, Palyolbiont iii. i— 



NOTES. 76 


*' O throo times famous islo I whore is that place that might 
[/ ISo with thyself com]mro<l for glory and delight 

Whilst Cikistoiibiiry sUxmI T " 

iSnmo romancoR, however, make it an ocean island *' not far on 
this side of the terrestrial Paradise," and represent it aa tho 
alKNle of Arthur and Morgitn Le Kay. (>ompare with thcso 
myths the accounts of the ''Islands of the Blest/* the "Fortu- 
nate Islands" of (a reck and lloman legends, whither tho 
favourites of the Omls were eonvcye<l without dying (see Uly99ta^ 
1. 03) ; also the Ulcs of the " Flying Island of 8t. Brandan," 
and of tho **Circ«n Islands of the Ocean" in Sou they *■ MaHoc. 
Many legends tell of various enchanted islands, and tho nomos 
of a nuinlicr of them may Imj found in tho Voyatjt qf MaeUlumt* 
* Avilion * is said to mean ' Islo of Apples/ from tho Breton auo/, 

428. where falls ... loudly. Of. the description of the abode of 
tho Oods in Tennyson's fjucrtliuH : also the accounts of Elysium 
in Homer, Odyn. iv. 506 and vi. 42, and Lucretius, Dt Htrum 
NcU. iii. 20, and Bion, iii. 16. ' 

430. deep-meadow*d, a translation of tho Greek fiaBiSKeipun, 
'with rich fertile meadows,* Homer, //• ix. 161. liappy. Cf. 
Vcrgirs Itflfu^^ * happy (i.e. plenteous) harvest.' orohard 
lawns, grassy plots with fruit trees growing on them. 

431. crown'dwith summor sea, ringed round with stomilen 
waves as witli a coronet. Cf. Homer, Odyn, x. 195, irtpl r^or 
ir6yror iar€4fd¥iarait ' Round the island tho sea lies like a crown.* 
The surrounding sea is elsewhere {Maud, iv. 6) called by 

"The silent sapphtre-spangled marriage ring of tho land.** 

With "sunmier sea" compare Wordsworth's 

" And all was tranquil as a summer sea." — (SkcUtng,) 

4.35. ere her death. The tradition that the swan previously to 
her death sin^ a sweet song is one of long standing. Cf. 
/ Vergil, '...qualis trajcctus tcmnora pcnn& Cantatolor.' See 7*Ae 

Dyintj Sioan ; also Shaks. OlheliOt v. 2, '* I will pla^ the swan and 
die in music," and many other passages. Mr. Nicol says of tho 
Cycnus Mumicw^ "Its note rcsemidcs the tones of a violin, though 
somewhat higher, l^^ach note occurs after a long interval. Tem 
muHic presages a thaw in Iceland, and hence one of its groatest 

436. ruffles her pure cold plume, unfolds her white elear wing* 
feathers, takes the flood, strikes the water. 

437. swarthy wohs, alluding to the dark colour of tho swan's 
webbed feet. 


TiiK PA.s.siN(a OF Airriiuu. 

438. raTOlTlnfc many memoriei. Cf. tlic I^itiii muHa animo 
vtvolvcHBt 'ruvolviiig many thiiigs in Iiih niiml.' 

439. one black dot, a singlo speck of block on tho bright honsson 
whcro tho clay was clawning. The Imrgo carries Arthur awav to 
vanish in tho Kait, *' whcnco all religions aro said to spring.*' 

445. *From tho great ... gooi.' Tho woinl rhvmo occurs in 
Merlin's " riihlling triplets of oUl time"; soo The Cwniny q/ 
Arthur, 400, 10 an<l note. 

4/(3. the three ... need. See 1. lUW, alKivc, and note. 

4(X). ailf ... wart. Contrast this unitcil cry of triumph ami 
welcome with tho dim cries of desjNiir in lines 41-45, and with 
the **agf>ny of lamentation," "as it were one voice,'* in linos 
308-0, above. 

404. Straining ...hand. »So in S«)phc>cleH, (Kdifnui C<ffonevM, 
lOAO, Theseus giuscs after a king who is also ^sissing away in 

Xup* di't/xwro Kpar&t* 

400. And the new ... new year. The cycle of tho mystic year 
is DOW complete fnmi Arthur's birth — 

** that same night, the night of tho now year, 
Was Arthur lK>n>— 

to. his |Nuwingaway bcforo the dawn of another now year, and 
from this point 

"Tlio old order cliungoth, yielding phwo to now." 



X TO ' 


rilE NOTl 


AlmcBbury, • 


Know, • 

■ • 



AnU>n, Sir, • 

• 37 


• ■ 





Arthur'H Hoat, 






• 74 

Koulty, • 

• • 



For why, 

• ■ 





■ • 





IVattlo, • 


lUMlivuro, Sir, 40, 52, CI 
Hloys, • 

», 03, 07 


Cjawaiii, Sir, 

• 46, 0fi,/(O 



• • 

. • 


Cainblaii, U., 



■ • 



CanioHanlo, • 





Chain, liiiidii)^ cartli t 

heaven, • 


- 74 


IfeHt, • 


• ■ 




ChanjLj'uIing, • 

. 47 
. 07 

IIo, . 

• ■ 





Cfiniin^, Hoeond, - 



CroHN* hilled, 
**CrowiiM with Biniunc 


Tnvi«ihility, mnRio, 
iMlandH of tho lUost, 




• 72 





• ■ 





Joust, - 




!)ativo, rolloxivo, • 


^^ • 

** Deep, tlio grwit," 



Deep-nicadow'd, - 

• 75 




KinpfH, iKjforo Arthur, 



Dubrio, • 


Knighto of Round Table, 








Liikoi Liuly of tho, 


Lt Mori Arthur^ 


LuvuU, • 




May, joyouineM of. 
More, • 
Merlin, • • 
Modrod, Sir, • 


Nightmaro, • • 
Ninth wave, • 
Kominative, pendent. 


Port, . 













- 70 

• 47 

• 41, 00 



Rest, isle of, • • • 57 
Roman wall, • • • 51 
Rome, anilNuuuMloni from, 50 
Round Tabic, • • 34, 73 
Do.t KnighU of, 35 



Suuund coining, 





Swan Hinging at death, 

SwonU, enchanted, 



Tabic, Round, 




UlfluN, 8lr, 
Urirn, • 
Urini, • 
Utiior, • 


• 34, 73 




Wap, • 
Waie, • 
Wave, ninth, 
WiHtfiilly. . 
Wolf*reared children, 











The/o/iowiti^ Voiufncs^ Globe Svo, are retufy or in preparation* 

ADDISON- -Bklkotionh vuom thx Si'kutatou. \\y K. Dkiokton. 

2m. (1<I 
-TiiK Dk Oovkulky I'APKim. Boleotod from ibo Spootator. Bjr 

K. Dkuiiiton. 
BAC0N--1«;hhaym. liy F. O. Skuiy, M.A. 811. ; mwoiI, ^ UO. 
— TiiK Advanokmknt ok Lkaiinimo. By F. 0. Sklbt, BI.A. 

Bookl., 2ii. ])ook IL, 4«. Gd. 


M.A. Cs. 
— Spkkcii on Amkrioan Taxation ; 8i*kkoii on Conoiliatiok with 

Amkkica; Lkitkh it> tiim Hhkuikkm ur Bkihtoi*. By V. O. 

Kki.iiy, M.A. :fM. (kl. 
COWPKR-TiiK Tahk. Jiook IV. ]iy W. T. Wkiiii, M.^ li. 
~Kki.kot J«irrrKiiH. Bv W. T. Wkiiii, M.A. 2m. Gtl. 

HKI.KOTIONH KiioM. liy W. T. Wkhh, M.A. 2m. (Ul. 

DRYDEN— .SklkctUatiukh-Aiihalom andAciiitoimiki.; TiirMbuaL| 

Mao Flkuknok. liy J. OhCkton Colli nh. 1m. Utl. 
GOLDSMITH TiiK Tiiavkllkh aihI Thk Dkhkutkd Villaor. By 

Aktiiuu BAUUKrr, B.A. U. SM. Thk Tiiavkllkh and Thm 

liKMKUTKI) ViLLAOK, NO|MirAi»ly, Im. COoIi, lOWtiil. 

ORAY— J'oKMH. By .loiiN JliiAimiiAW, LUU. In. ()«l. 


F. J. KowK, M.A., aihI W. T. Wkiiii, M.A. In. Utl. 
JOHNSON— LiKK OK MiLi'ON. By K; J>kiuiito.s. li. Od. 

lilKK OK DllYDKN. By 1*. TXTKUHKN, D.80. 

IiiKK OK )»oi'K. By r. Thtkiimkn, li.80. 

LAMU -Khhayh ok Klia. \\s N. L. Uallward, M.A., and S. 01 

llli.l., B.A. :fM. ) Howcd, 2m. (Wl. 
MACAULAY— Khhay on Addihon. By Prof. J. W., M.A. 

[/n Mcy'rcM. 
— — Khhav on I/)iii) (^LiVK. By K. Dkioiiton. 2m. 
— ^Khhav on Wakkkn JIahtinoh. By K. UKKiimiN* Sn. Gil 
— — Khhay on Bohwkll'h Likk ok JoiiNHON. liy B. F. WiNUii, BI.A. 

2m. (ill. 
MALORY— MouTK D'AUTiiuii. K<liiod by A. I\ MautiN, M.A. 

[ /ft tAePrfM. 
HILTON— ]*auai)ihk Loht, liooKH L and II. By Michakl 

Maomillan, B.A. 1m. IKl. BookM I. and II., In. 3d. eaoh) MW«d 

1m. oaoh. 


By W. Bkll, M.A. In. i)(l. 
— — GoMUH. liy W. Bkll, M.A. 1m. .'id. ; Mowod, li. 
•^-Samhon Aoonistkh. Jiy II. M. Pkkoival, M.A. 2m. 
— Tkactatk ok Education. By Prof. K. K. Mounm, M.A. 1m. Od. 
POPE— Khhay on Man. EpiHtlcM I.-IV. By K. K Mouhib, M.A. 

iM. IMI. 

SCOTT— TiiR Lady ok tiik Lake. By O. H. Stuart, M.A* 
2m. Gd. ; Rcwed, 28. Canto I., Mowod, Od. 

—Thk Lay ok thk Lamt Minhtiikl. By O. H. Stuart, M.A., 
and K. H. Kl.T.ior, B.A. 2m. Canto I., Mewed, 9d. Canto« I.-IIL 
anl IV.-VI., Moiiarately, 1m. 3d. each; Mewed, 1m. eaoh. 

■ ■ J'^^^^^ . * - -i'<' 


ASH, reyolvinic many memories. Of. ilio I^aiti miiUa auimo 
revolvttis, *rovoiviiig niuiiy tilings in IiIh mind.' 

439. one black dot, a singlo speck of l)laclc on tho liright horizon 
where tlio (lay was dawning. Tho liargo carries Arthur away to 
vanish in tho Kivst, ** whenco all religions are said to spring." 

445. *Flrom the groat ... goes.* Tho wcinl rhvmo occurs in 
Merlin's *' riddling triplets of old time"; seo The Cotnintf cj 
Arthur^ 400, 10 and note, 

453. tho throe ... need. 8co 1. 3G0, above, and note. 

4(iO. as if... wan. Contrast this united cry of triumph and 
welcome with the dim cries of despair in lines 41-45, and with 
the "agony of lamentation/' "as it were one voice," in lines 
368-9, above. 

464. Straining ...hand. 8o in »Sophoclcs, (Edi/nts Colonetu, 
1650, Theseus gazes after a king who is also passing away in 
mystery — 

469. And tho now ... new year. Tho cycle of tho mystio year 
is now complete from Arthur's birth — 

*' that same night, tho night of tho now year, 
Was Arthur Ijoni— ^' 

to hU iNissing away before tho dawn of another now year, and 
from this {mint 

''Tlio old order olmngoth, yielding place to now." 


Almoflbury, • 
Anton, Sir, • 
Arthur's 8cat, 


Idittlci • • • • 
IkMlivoro, Sir, 40, 52, 58, 
Uluyii, . . . . 


Camblun, K., 

(^uneliiinlc, • 


Cliaiii, l»{n(1in}{ cnrth to 

licavon, • 
ClianguHng, - 
Coming, soconrl, • 
" CrownM with iiummor 



DaVj! • 

Dativo, refloxivo, • 

"Deep, tho great," 

1)(!op-nica(lowM, • 


Dubrio, - 







03, 07 










Enow, • 

Fealty, - 
For why, 

■ • 

Caawain, Sir, • 
Guinovoroy • 





1 1 arnoss, 

1 f UHt, 


Tnvifiibility, ma^^io, 
iHlnndn of the Rlont, 

Joust, • 



• 72 

• in 

• 70 



Kings, iKjforo Arthur, • 
Knights of Hound Table, 








Lake, Lady of thO| 


Lt Mori Arthur f 


Lewis, • 




May, joyoutnoM of, 
Moro, • 

Merlin, • • • 
Modrod, Sir, • 








Nightmare, - 
Ninth wave, - 


Part, • 


Nominative, pendent, • 41, 60 



Rest, isle of, • • • 57 
Roman wall, • • 51 

Rome, amlNuwadoni from, 50 
Round Table, • . 34, 73 
l>o.t KnighU of, 35 


Samite, • 

Second coming, 

SiNiko, • 

S|ioke, - 

Stole, • 

Strait, - 

Swan singing at death, 

Swords, enchanted, 



1 able. Round, 




UlBus, Sir, 
Uricn, • 
Urim, - 
Utlicr, • 


• 34, 73 




Wap, • . . 
Wuio, - 
Wave, ninth, 
WiHtfiilly, . 
Wolf-roared children, 









The following Volumes^ Globe Svo^ are ready orinpreparaiiim. 


-TiiK Dk OovKHtKY I'APKim. Bolootod from Uio Spootator. Bjr 

K. Dkiuiiton. 
BACON-Khhayh. Hjr F. O. Sklby, M. a 8«. ; ■owo«1, 3ik Od. 
— TiiK Advanokmknt ok Lkaunino. By F. 0. Sklby, ILA. 

liook I., 2ii. Duok II., 4a. Gd 
BURKE—Kkkucotionh on thm FuKNCii Rkvolution. By F. 0. Sblbt, 

M.A. Os. 


Amkiuua; Lkttkii ix) tiik Hiikuikkh of JiumTOL. By F. O. 

Ski.hy, M.A. .'to. Gd. liooklV. By W. T. Wbdb, M.A U. 

Sklkot Lkttkhs. By W. T. Wkbd, M.A 2ii. Gd. 

Sklkctionh Fiioic. IJy W. T. Wkbb, M.A. 28. Gd. 

DRYDEN—SklkctSatirks— Absalom ANnAciiiTOFHKL; ThkMkdal; 

Mac Flkcknor. By J. Ghurtok Collinh. Ib. 9d. 
GOLDSMITU-Tiik Travkllkk and The Dkhkrted Viluiok. By 

Arthur Barrxtt, B.A Is. 9d. Thk Travkllbr And Thi 

Dk.skutki> Villaok, separately, Is. each, sewed. 
GRAY— 1*0KMH. By John JiRADHHAW, LL.D. Is. Od. 


F. J. UoWK, M.A., and W. T. Wkiib, M.A. Is. Od. 
JOHNSON— LiKK OK Milton, liy K. ]>kiohto.n*. li. Od. 
LiKK OK Drydkn. By P. Pktkrmkn, D.8a 

LIKK ok )*0I»K. By 1*. PhTKIlMKNy D.So. 

LAMU -Khhayh ok Ki.ia. By N. L. Uallward, M.A., and 8. 01 

IIiiJ., B.A. Ms.; ituwed, 2h. Gd. 
MAGAULAY— Khhay on Adihhon. By Prof. J. W. Halkh, M.A. 

— Kmmay on I/)Rii Clivk. By K. Dxkihton. 2m. 

— ^Khhav on Wauukn Hamtinoh. Ity K. Dkiohi^in. 2«. Od. 

—Khhay on JiOHWKLL'H LlKK OK JOIINHON. Hy li. F. WlNUM. M.A. 

2m. G«1. 
MAL0iKir--MoRTK D'Arthur. Edited by A. P. Martin, M.A 



Macmillan, B.A. Is. Ud. Books I. and II., Is. 3d. eaoh| aewed 

Is. each. 
•— L'ALLKORO, II PknHKUOHO, LyOIDAS, AR0AI)K8, Sonnktb, to 

By W. lULL, M.A. In. Dd. 
— — GoMUH. By \V. Bkll, M.A. Is. 3d. ; sowed, li. 
•-— Samhon Aoonihtkh. Jly II. M. Pkrcivai., M.A. 2s. 
— Tractatk ok KhUCATioN. ]ty Prof. E. K. Morrih, Af.A. K Od. 
POPE— Khhay on Man. Ki»iNtlcs I.-IV. By U. K. Morrih, M.A* 

1h. Ud. 
SCOTT— Thk Lady ok thk Lake. By O. li. Stuart, M.A* 

2n. 0<I. ; hcwimI, 2n. Canto I., sowed, Od. 
^— Thk Lay ok thk Laht Minhtrkl. By O. H. Htuart, M.A., 

and K. W, Klliot, B.A. 2m. Canto L, sowed, \W. Cantos I.*IIL 

ani IV.-VL, Hu|»aratoly, In. .Sfl. eaoh ; sewed. Is. eaoh. 



BCOTT^MARNioif. Hy Miorail Maomillan, ]i.A. 3i.) mwoO, 2i. (kL 
— KoKKiiT. hy tho Miine. Sg.| Mwml, 2n. 0«1. 

SHAKESPEARE— Thr Tbm pkst. By X. Dkiohion. li. 9d. 
— »MucH Ai)o ADOPT Nothing, hy tho namo. 2i. 
—A MiimuMMKii NiOHT*H Drkam. hy tho namo. li. fkL 

TiiK Mkrcmant op Vknioe. By tho mmo. li. 9(L 

—As You LiKK It. By tho mme. !■. Ud. 
— TwKLKTH NiOHT. By the aame. 1h. 9d. 
— Thk Wintbb'h Talk. By the aamo. 2f. 
—Kino John, hy tho aaine. la. 9d. 
"^ KiCHARii IL By tho name. U. IKl. 

Hknry IV. Tart I. hy the naroo. 2s. 6d. { lowod. 2n, 

— Hknry IV. Tart II. hy tlio Mime. 2s. Gd. ; scwod, 2s. 

IlKNRY V, By tho same. Is. Ucl. 

—Richard III. By 0. H. Tawnky, M.A. 2s. 6(1.) sowed, 2b. 

-Hknry VIII. By K. Dkiohton. Is. Od. 

-CORIOLANUS. By tho same. 2m. Gd. ; sewed, 2s. 

-ROMKO AND Julikt. By tho same. 2s. 6d. } sowed, 2s. 

•JUMUH Camar. By the same. Is. Od. 
— Maodrth. By tho same. Is. Od. 
— Hamlkt. By tho same. 2s. Gd.; sewed, 2s. 
— Kino Lkar. By tho same. Is. Od. 

Othbux). By the same. 2s. 

-Antony and Olropatra. By tho same. 2s. Gd. \ sowod, 2s. 
— Cymiikunk. By tho same. 2s. G<l.; sewed, 2n, 

SOUTHEY— Likr oir Nklbon. By Miohakl Macmiu«an, B.A. 3s.) 
sewed, 2m. Gd. 

SPENSER— Thk Farrir Qurrnr. Book L By II. M. Pkuoival, M. A. 

3s.; sewed, 2s. Gd. 
— Thr Shkphrard'r Oalrndab. By Prof. 0. H. Hkrpord, LittD. 

TENNYBON-Sblrctions. By F. J. Uowr, M.A., and W. T. 
Wrbr, M.A. 3i. 6d. Also in two i>arts, 28. Gd. each. Part L 
Recollections of tho Arabian Nights, Tho Lady of Hhalott, Tho 
liOtos-Katers, Dora, UlyHMCs, Titbonus, The Lord of Burleigh, The 
Brook, Ode on tlio Death of tho Duke of WoHington, Tho Me* 
vcngc.— Part II. (Knone, The Palace of Art, A lirram of Fair 
Women, Morto d'Arthur, Sir Galahad, Tho Voyage, Dometor and 

— MoRTR D'Arthur. By tho same. Is. 

-Enoch Ardrn. By \V. T. Wkbr, M.A. 2s. Gd. 

Atlmrr'm Firld. By >V. T. Wkbb, M.A. 2n. (kl. 

—Thr ]*rincrm.s. hy Pkroy M. Wallack, M.A. Ss. Gd. 

»— Thk Comino oy Arthur; Thr Pahhino oir Arthur. By F. 
•T. ROWR, M.A, 2m. Gd. 

— — Oarkth and Lynkttk. By 0. 0. Maoaui«ay, M.A. 2m, Gd. 

— ThkMarriaokokUkraint; OkraintandKnid. Bvsamo. 2s.Gd. 

Lanoki/)T and Klainr. By F. J. Rowr, M.A. 2m. Gd. 

—-Thr Holt Grail. By O. 0. Maoaulat, M.A. 2s. Gd. 

QuiNRVRRR. By O. a Maoaulat, M.A. 2s. Gd. 

CHOSEN ENGLISH— Being Seleotions from Wordsworth, Byron, 
Sliolloy, Lamb, Heott Jiy A. Rllih, B.A. 2s. Gd. 

POEMS OF ENGLAND. A Seloetlon of KngHsh Patrfbtio Poetij. 
By U. B. Oboror, M.A., and A. Sidowiok, M.A. 2m. Od. 


•/ • 

I I 


4 4 







Almosbury, • 
AtiUm, Sir, - 
ArUiur'H Moat, 


Uattio, - . • • 
litHlivoro, Sir, 40, 52, 68, 
Uloys, . . . • 

Cainhlan, U., 

CiiiiKslianlo, • 


Chain, liinding cnrtli to 

licaven, - 
Cliaiigcling, • 

CoillillKi HOOOMll, • 

**CrownM witli Riimiiior 



Dativo, ronoxivo, • 

•M)eop, tlio great," 

I)<!oi>«incadowM, • 


Dubrio, • 




Know, • 

• ■ 





• • 






Koalty, • 

• • 


Kor why, 

• ■ 



• • 




03, 07 

Ciawaiii, Siri 

. 46, M, 50 


■ ■ 



• • 

. 72 



• • 





m J 



• 75 



• • 

. 70 


IfuHt, • 





■ ■ 








Tnvifiibility, mnKio, 



iHlaiidH of tho lUost, 

• 75 

w ' 




• ■ 



Joust, • 

• • 








Kinfffl, iKjforo Arthur, 



KnighU of Hound Table, 35 







LiikOf Lady of Uio, 


Lt Mori Arthur^ 


Levuli, • 




May, joycmnieM of, 
More, ... 
Morlin, • • 
Modrad, Sir, • 


Nlghtmaro, • • 
Ninth wave, • 
Nominativo, pondont, 


Part, . 




• 50 

- 46, 4H 



41, (K) 



Rest, Ule of, • • • 57 
Roman wiiU, • - • AI 
Rome, anilNUwadorn from, TiO 
Round Table, • - 34, 73 
Do., KnighU of, 35 


iSaiiiito, • 

Socuiid coining, 

SjNiko, • 

tSiMiko, • 

Stole, • 

iStriiit, • 

8wan Hinging at death, 

iSwords, cnclianted. 



Ta1)]c, Round, 




UlHuM, 8ir, 
Urion, • 
Urini, • 
Utlier, • 


• 34, 73 





Wap, • 
Waie, • 
Wave, ninth, 
WiHtfully. . 
Wolf-reared children,