Idyls of the King

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Ticknor and Fields, 1866 - Arthurian romances - 178 pages
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Page 168 - To lead sweet lives in purest chastity, To love one maiden only, cleave to her, And worship her by years of noble deeds, Until they won her; for indeed I knew Of no more subtle master under heaven Than is the maiden passion for a maid, Not only to keep down the base in man, But teach high thought, and amiable words And courtliness, and the desire of fame, And love of truth, and all that makes a man.
Page 69 - Merlin, overtalk'd and overworn, Had yielded, told her all the charm, and slept. Then, in one moment, she put forth the charm Of woven paces and of waving hands, And in the hollow oak he lay as dead, And lost to life and use and name and fame. Then crying ' I have made his glory mine...
Page 136 - ... puts an end to pain : I know not which is sweeter, no, not I. ' Love, art thou sweet ? then bitter death must be : Love, thou art bitter ; sweet is death to me. 0 Love, if death be sweeter, let me die. 'Sweet love, that seems not made to fade away, Sweet death, that seems to make us loveless clay, 1 know not which is sweeter, no, not I.
Page 14 - Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel and lower the proud; Turn thy wild wheel thro' sunshine, storm, and cloud; Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate. "Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel with smile or frown; With that wild wheel we go not up or down; Our hoard is little, but our hearts are great. "Smile and we smile, the lords of many lands; Frown and we smile, the lords of our own hands; For man is man and master of his fate. "Turn, turn thy wheel above the staring crowd; Thy wheel and thou are shadows...
Page 116 - Their plumes driv'n backward by the wind they made In moving, all together down upon him Bare, as a wild wave in the wide North-sea, Green-glimmering toward the summit, bears, with all Its stormy crests that smoke against the skies, Down on a bark, and overbears the bark, And him that helms it, so they overbore Sir Lancelot and his charger, and a spear Down-glancing lamed the charger, and a spear Prick'd sharply his own cuirass, and the head Pierced thro' his side, and there snapt, and remain'd.
Page 111 - As when a painter, poring on a face, Divinely thro' all hindrance finds the man Behind it, and so paints him that his face, The shape and color of a mind and life, Lives for his children, ever at its best...
Page 168 - To reverence the king, as if he were Their conscience, and their conscience as their king. To break the heathen, and uphold the Christ; To ride abroad, redressing human wrongs; To speak no slander, no, nor listen to it; To lead sweet lives, in purest chastity; To love one maiden only, cleave to her, And worship her by years of noble deeds Until they won her...
Page 141 - Farewell, sweet sister,' parted all in tears. Then rose the dumb old servitor, and the dead, Oared by the dumb, went upward with the flood — In her right hand the lily, in her left The letter — all her bright hair streaming down — And all the coverlid was cloth of gold Drawn to her waist, and she herself in white All but her face, and that clear-featured face Was lovely, for she did not seem as dead, But fast asleep, and lay as though she smiled.

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