Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lamorak and the Queen Morgause of Orkney (III)

When from the sea I came again to my stall
King Arthur between two queens sat in a grim hall,
Guinevere on his right, Morgause on his left
I saw in her long eyes the humanized shapes of the cleft.

She sat the sister of Arthur, the wife of Lot,
four sons got by him, and one not.
I heard as she stirred the seamews scream again
in the envy of the unborn bastard and the pride of canonical Gawaine.

I turned my eyes to the lords; they sat half-dead.
The young wizard Merlin, standing by me, said:
'Balin had Balan's face, and Morgause her brother's.
Did you not know the blow that darkened each from other's?

'Balin and Balan fell by mistaken impious hate.
Arthur tossed loves with a woman and split his fate.
Did you not see, by the dolorous blow's might,
the contingent knowledge of the Emperor floating into sight?

'Over Camelot and Carbonek a whirling creature hovered
as over the Adam in Eden when they found themselves uncovered,
when they would know good as evil; thereon it was showed,
but then they must know God also after that mode.'

Taliessin through Logres (1938)
Charles Williams

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