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That burned and blighted where it fell!
The frantic steed rushed up the dell,
As whistles from the bow the reed;
Nor bit nor rein could check his speed
Until he gained the hill;

Then breath and sinew failed apace,
And, reeling from the desperate race,
He stood exhausted, still.

The monarch, breathless and amazed,
Back on the fatal castle gazed-

Nor tower nor donjon could he spy,
Darkening against the morning skym
But, on the spot where once they frowned,
The lonely streamlet brawled around
A tufted knoll, where dimly shone
Fragments of rock and rifted stone.
Musing on this strange hap the while,
The king wends back to fair Carlisle;
And cares, that cumber royal sway,
Wore memory of the past away.

XI

"Full fifteen years, and more, were sped,
Each brought new wreaths for Arthur's head.
Twelve bloody fields, with glory fought,

The Saxons to subjection brought;"

burning liquor was presented to that monarch is said still to be preserved in the Royal Museum at Copenhagen.

m-"We now gained a view of the Vale of St. John's, a very narrow dell, hemmed in by mountains, through which a small brook makes many meanderings, washing little enclosures of grass-ground, which stretch up the rising of the hills. In the widest part of the dale you are struck with the appearance of an ancient ruined castle, which seems to stand upon the summit of a little mount, the mountains around forming an amphitheatre. This massive bulwark shows a front of various towers, and makes an awful, rude, and Gothic appearance, with its lofty turrets and ragged battlements: we traced the galleries, the bending arches, the buttresses. The greatest antiquity stands characterized in its architecture; the inhabitants near it assert it is an antediluvian structure.

"The traveller's curiosity is roused, and he prepares to make a nearer approach, when that curiosity is put upon the rack by his being assured, that, if he advances, certain genii who govern the place, by virtue of their supernatural arts and necromancy, will strip it of all its beauties, and, by enchantment, transform the magic walls. The vale seems adapted for the habitation of such beings; its gloomy recesses and retirements look like haunts of evil spirits. There was no delusion in the report; we were soon convinced of its truth; for this piece of antiquity, so venerable and noble in its aspect, as we drew near changed its figure, and proved no other than a shaken massive pile of rocks, which stand in the midst of this little vale, disunited from the adjoining mountains, and have so much the real form and resemblance of a castle, that they bear the name of the Castle Rocks of St. John." -Hutchinson's Excursion to the Lakes, p. 121.

" Arthur is said to have defeated the Saxons in twelve pitched battles, and to have achieved the other feats alluded to in the text

Rython, the mighty giant, slain
By his good brand, relieved Bretagne;
The Pictish Gillamore in fight,

And Roman Lucius, owned his might;
And wide was through the world renowned
The glories of his Table Round.

Each knight, who sought adventurous fame,
To the bold court of Britain came,
And all who suffered causeless wrong,
From tyrant proud, or faitour strong,
Sought Arthur's presence to complain,
Nor there for aid implored in vain.

XII

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"For this the king, with pomp and pride,
Held solemn court at Whitsuntide,

And summoned prince and peer,
All who owed homage for their land,
Or who craved knighthood from his hand,
Or who had succour to demand,

To come from far and near.

At such high tide, were glee and game
Mingled with feats of martial fame,
For many a stranger champion came
In lists to break a spear;

And not a knight of Arthur's host,
Save that he trode some foreign coast,
But at this feast of Pentecost

Before him must appear.

Ah, Minstrels! when the Table Round
Arose, with all its warriors crowned,
There was a theme for bards to sound
In triumph to their string!
Five hundred years are passed and gone,
But Time shall draw his dying groan,
Ere he behold the British throne
Begirt with such a ring!

XIII

"The heralds named the appointed spot,
As Caerleon or Camelot,

Or Carlisle fair and free.

At Penrith, now, the feast was set,
And in fair Eamont's vale were met
The flower of chivalry.

There Galaad sate with manly grace,
Yet maiden meekness in his face;
There Morolt of the iron mace,p

• Deceiver.

And love-lorn Tristrem there;

P The characters named in the following stanza are all of them more or less distinguished in the romances which treat of King Arthur and

And Dinadam with lively glance,
And Lanval with the fairy lance,
And Mordred with his look askance,
Brunor and Bevidere.

Why should I tell of numbers more?
Sir Cay, Sir Banier, and Sir Bore,
Sir Carodac the keen,

The gentle Gawain's courteous lore,
Hector de Mares and Pellinore,
And Lancelot, that ever more

Looked stolen-wise on the Queen.a

XIV

When wine and mirth did most abound,
And harpers played their blithest round,
A shrilly trumpet shook the ground,
And marshals cleared the ring;

A Maiden, on a palfrey white,
Heading a band of damsels bright,
Paced through the circle, to alight
And kneel before the king.
Arthur, with strong emotion, saw
Her graceful boldness checked by awe,
Her dress like huntress of the wold,
Her bow and baldric trapped with gold,
Her sandalled feet, her ancles bare,
And the eagle-plume that decked her hair.
Graceful her veil she backwards flung--
The King, as from his seat he sprung,
Almost cried, 'Guendolen !

But 'twas a face more frank and wild,
Betwixt the woman and the child,

his Round Table, and their names are strung together according to the
established custom of minstrels upon such occasions: for example, in
the ballad of the Marriage of Sir Gawaine :-

"Sir Lancelot, Sir Stephen bolde,

They rode with them that daye,
And, foremost of the companye,
There rode the stewarde Kaye:

"Soe did Sir Banier, and Sir Bore,
And eke Sir Garratte keen,

Sir Tristram too, that gentle knight,
To the forest fresh and greene."

Upon this delicate subject hear Richard Robinson, citizen of London, in his Assertion of King Arthur:-" But as it is a thing sufficiently apparant that she (Guenever, wife of King Arthur) was beautiful, so it is a thing doubted whether she was chaste, yea or no. Truly, so far as I can with honestie, I would spare the impayred honour and fame of noble women. But yet the truth of the historie pluckes me by the eare, and willeth not onely, but commandeth me to declare what the ancients have deemed of her. To wrestle or contend with so greate authoritie were indeede unto me a controversie, and that greate."-Assertion of King Arthure. Imprinted by John Wolfe, London, 1582.

A

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