Dank fogs and foul mists from the poisoned deepThickened above strange pools, aglimmerWith shapeless white moons elf-dismembered, dimmerThan snakes that through the sombre brushwood creep.Where grey breaths mingled in slow danceMen's faces flashed in one fierce glance.The cold bleak fury of the sudden lanceTore them like paper masks: so whiteThey vanished in the night.A mad wind hurried from the eastWhirling afar the cloudgates fleeced.The chill grey dawn spread out behind.From clarion wild and throbbing tremulous drumWent up a cry of Arthur come.Proud, with proud princely lips, he rodeWhere the dim-wreathèd vapours flowed.Between the banners green and goldWere calm bluff face and silent eyesAnd thick lank hair driven red along the wind.A thousand knights and spearmen boldAbout their monarch tramped and wheeled.The tangled lance, like bristles in black field,Pierced the grey torment of the storm-swept skies.O'er Camelot Town by trumpet soundA white sun burnt like burnished brass,And bronze-cheeked horsemen turban-crownedO'er-swarmed the plain, and swept aroundSpeared thick as bladed grass.A Queen they brought to Arthur's handTo spare the wasting of their land.Lo! stately amid white foaming ostrich plumesWent ponderous elephants vermilion-dyed,Pricked on by shrill calls from their oiled black grooms.Then, in a golden tower's mauve-curtained pride,Moved forth dark Guenivere to meet the King.Her monster, by his Nubian driver reined,Being knelt, two mutes drew back the tasselled string,And opened to the wind's warm dallying:Soft sensual carven face like ivory, stainedA warm tea-brown, rich carmine-painted cheeks,Fading in smooth green where the shadow-streaksEnfolded bulbous curves of purple lips,And lustrous eyes like lacquered almond-slipsSet in a fringe of fine jet lashes, aglowWith dusky splendour. Whereupon right lowThe King, ruthless no more, bent him in greeting,While sombre horns and wailing kettledrums beatingNoised o'er the ground bass shouts of Arthur's menA strange barbaric hum. Among the crowdGreat Launcelot (long, horse-cheeked, and swarthy-browed,His black hair ringed with red gold) paused, drew rein,Tamed the proud hoofs and turning in the way,Towards Camelot's ivory gates, led back the wide array.Through the lone temple courts boomed the loud gongs,Harrying down dim ways (as winds that o'erGrey flagstones drive the yellow beech-leaf throngs)Quaint-motioned priests in mystic vestiture,To where stood clumped, the innermost shrine before,A phalanxed heap of knights, chanting responseTo low crooned songs, like the myriad moan of gnats.And ever anon as the bell of beaten bronzeClanged out, the great round golden priestly hatsSwayed slowly forward to the crimson mats.Forth leapt the Dusky Queen 'mid the host of them gathered.Dancing she whirled her round, mocked with keen criesTheir muttered charms, their hierarch saffron-feathered,Their great bronze mask. Forthwith the burning eyesOf Galahad took the challenge. Gawaine the wiseBlazed up beside the throne in sudden wrath:Whom Arthur with a look made pause. Ghost paleGrew all men. Lo! on the wind, a fiery pathTrod by three flaming spirits. RatheBore they against the King the Holy Grail:
Then fled. And where the sacred veilHad hung behind the altar, a strange land layBeckoning men's inquisition. Unamazed,Eager to cleanse their fane, three knights sprang up,Pledged hilted swords to quest that cup,Spurred steed and went forth on their threefold trail.Then turned the King where Modred the prince, wry-faced,Hugging his dreamed ideals, drew hood and gazed.Sir Launcelot's soul moved in some Eastern worldO'er whose buff cliffs, trees cone-trunked, preenedDark purplish bulks. Long trailing spray-lines greened,Beaded with pink blooms, fell from willows gnarled,Across a crimson mauve-flecked stream.The tawny round sun, half adreamWith nard, twixt violet poplars dropped its beamOn thick lush grass, whence rose a whiteSlim naked girl, alightWith lemon, limmed with pink, who shedRich orange hair from her proud head.But where he rode was dry curst ground.Grey-bellied clouds went wallowing on all day.No living thing he met, but layEver brown dung on fields as bareAs chiselled copper, hedged in squareBy straggling brushwoods, spiked with trees,Not blighted like the roadway's stumps,But crookt like crazy chimneys sweep's-broom crowned.Dusk brought a rattling hail. His kneesShook, and his bleeding face, ice-bit,Fled screaming through the raw mad wind that splitHis whole beer-coloured world to clod-like lumps.A low moon filled the violet sky:So red and pale it hung at dawnIt made the tall grass wave mast-high:But when Sir Galahad spurred by
دانلودThe red round moon was gone.Beyond the slimy dust-green fordAn angel with a flaming swordSmote him so that his hair lay flaxen-whiteAcross translucent brows. His twin blue eyesBurnt like dark beads in that unearthly light.Thence sprung an elvish world, where he saw rise'Mid cloudy phantom-whorls, vast forms that strodeAll dumbly through the gloom, till spectral foesEntangling, slew them. Æons he abodeTo learn the truth thereof. Far other rodeGawaine (clipped black moustache, short parrot nose,Brown mobile eyes and solid massive throatRaised to a delicate chin) whose linked-mail coatBore brawny chest, and quick short sturdy limbs.Gaily he went: snuffed the horizon's rimsDay in, day out. Sometimes great shouldering downsThrust broad half-tilted fields up, o'er whose crownsDense woodland sprawled, here green, here ochre, umberedWith sun. Thence flowed wide shades of blue. Lo! slumberedMaroon-tiled cots, dark elms splashed on buff lanes!Or again, between faint cloud-whifts, quivered blownBright brick-red trees, long, slim, and forward thrownLagging their branches, as a lady trainsPlumed fans in hastening. Last o'er Camelot black,The blood-red sun flared out like a torch flame puffed back.Silently through the open gates he passed.The dark night eddied round him: only hereAnd there a glimmering flicker of lamplight castPale yellow rays on tier by climbing tierOf dim arcades and palaces built sheerAgainst the stars. An unshaped monstrous dreadStalked through his mind as he through that lone town.Beside a green drawn blind with covered headA figure moved, and stopped him. Looking downHe knew the Queen's face in that mask of brown,With red dulled eyes weeping most piteously."Art thou come back," she cried, "Gawaine my Lord?The King is in dire need. Ai, woe is me,Such weird I drew upon him. Mark the abhorredBut now slew Isolde as we sat at cardsAnd taunted me with Launcelot's lust, that howlsNightlong amid the streets with riotous pardsStark mad, and dog-like rends the guardsSent out to apprehend him. Modred prowlsWith Mark among the filthy cowlsO' the lewd folk. One seeks friends, the other prey--Tristram that loved the White Queen; even as IOf old yon Launcelot, ere the doltish King"--Hot Gawaine rose upon her blabbering."Thou gilded sow, wouldst thou the Throne befoulWith this vile ordure?" Towered his mace on highAnd smashed her skull out like a poisoned fly.A gust of wind drove on and shook the doorWide open. Leaping red lights flungQuick shapes on broken plaster walls, that boreWhite guttered candles in wire sockets hung.Gawaine beheld brute-faces bunched
Fierce-eyed, while two breathed wrestlers crunchedHard sand with bare feet. One vast torso hunched,Thick knotted red limbs tightly drawn,Swayed like a hairy fawnO'er his swart foe, who (with smooth skinDull ivory colour) wriggled inAnd on a sudden thrust his knifeSharp in his breast. The mighty Tristram fellOx-like to earth. They turned pell-mellIn flight, the babbling bousy crew.King Mark, with purring eyes of blueAnd earth-brown hair, slipped on his cloakAnd went. But Gawaine seeing the placeClear, one red moment sensed the coming strife.That Mark or Modred from the Great King's yokeShould think to purge the realm, made reelHis scorn. Therewith a dark shape clutched him. SteelFlashed in his thigh. Moonwhite blazed Launcelot's face.By massive columns ivory-fernedWhere clouds of floating perfume hung,Rare spice o'er scented wines rich-urnedA thousand golden braziers burned,While exquisitely rungStrange liquid notes from mellow flutesPlayed faintly for the miming mutes.'Mid stools of sandal-wood in dim lit ringWhite slaves and tawny silken cats stretched proneO'er gorgeous Persian stuffs, where the Ancient KingLay dreaming on his splendid sombre throne.Along the ebon stairs, gold traceriesWrought delicately. Whereby, quaintly garbed,Three crooked dwarfs strove still to draw his eyes,With ape-like mocks and garrulous mimicries,By peacocks, under twisted bill-blades barbed.A sudden cry broke out. The smart quick treadOf hurrying men was heard. Lo! At their headModred the Prince with fifty torchbearersPaced up before the King: spoke out with terseBrief words the Kingdom's wrongs, since lust was nowSole law. There stood he passionate, neck bent low,Tense white face thrust against the King's, in coldContempt of all his doing. Arthur's holdStiffened upon his sword. "The Night goes ill,"He cried, "When the bright moons flee!" And straightway, doffedHis plumed effeminacy, he towered aloftShouting his challenge through the great hall, untilBlow after fierce blow beat him to the ground. . .When the red flames were dimmed, rank mist swirled all around.April, 1917.