by Sydney Fowler Wright

I | II | III


THEY laid her in the holy ground
Where the dead kings are laid.
They wrote her tale her tomb around
That whoso knelt and prayed
Might join her name, who seeking fain
Earth's best, when showed her seeking vain,
Returned her life to God again,
And was of nought afraid.

But in a privy tower they met,
His queen and Lancelot.
Of that dark place his life had dured,
Of whom unblest his hurt had cured,
Of aught but of his faith assured,
Sufficing, recked she not.
Should she not other's death forget,
Who when wellnear its sun was set
Had love itself forgot?

"O Lancelot, in thy love," she said,
"You will not bear it blame,
When wrong that flying sleeve I read,
And tale of whispers round me spread
That joined a lowlier name
To thine, whose faith was hereward plight,
I held thee nevermore my knight,
And scorn to in like scorn requite,
Although with little heart I might,
I spake thee wrath and shame."

"O Queen," he said, "my service still,
For any tale untrue,
Is thine for guerdon fair or ill,
Thy given hest to do;
In all who only would thy will,
As ever yet you knew."

When weaker faith shall pardon need
Shall surer love forgive.
Was here her secret joy to plead,
His larger joy to give;
And yet beyond their ceasing day
A further hope may live

That when shall God his bounty share,
And none her meed shall lack,
Not she, that jealous queen and fair
Who brought his life to wrack,
Nor she, more worth, his babe who bare,
And died at Carbonac.

Allied in that new mystery,
Which none of earth may wot,
Rejoiced shall stand. But then shall He
Her nearer place allot,
Found kindred in the courts of God,
Elaine and Lancelot.

The End

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