Merlin and Vivian

Thanks to Tennyson for the structure, and six of the lines.
On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road runs by
To Camelot so grand;
And up and down the people stride,
And knights with hawks and squires ride,
but I have put it all aside,
to be in green Broceliande.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver,
Here the fountain runs forever,
Here I am not wise, nor clever,
as in Camelot so grand.
Here the oaks and here the holly,
Here the summer cloudburst's volley,
Turn my learning into folly;
Here in green Broceliande.

Deep in the forest glades they say,
That since I last came here to stay
A fine voice sings whose tone is fay,
And glimpses seen, of crimson gay
As in Camelot so grand.
But who hath seen this fairy maid?
And why should any be afraid,
Of something armed with fine brocade
Here in my dear Broceliande?

And so I slept, beneath the oak,
Until a sound half-heard sleep broke,
And still adrift with dreams awoke,
To be undone, in one swift stroke,
far from Camelot so grand.
She stood before me em'rald clad,
And her demeanour t'was so glad,
It would have melted Galahad,
Were he in deep Broceliande.

I had no hint of prophecy;
no murmer of what was to be;
My gift entirely fled from me;
All that remained was ecstasy,
far from Camelot so grand.
And so in folly I embraced,
My doom, which reached to me encase,
For I would never leave this place,
this deep greenwood, Broceliande.

And in the days that passed like hours,
I gave her spells, I gave her flowers,
But her fear grew that our two powers
Differed so greatly, love would sour us,
And I'd want Camelot so grand.
As each week passeth like a day,
I'd show her every magic way,
her apprehension to allay,
In our blessed Broceliande.

I built a keep beneath the lake,
With towers four – all for her sake.
And there the fairy troop partake
Of tournaments, which ripples make;
all like Camelot so grand.
And still, those eyes of depthless blue
Retain my senses in their hue;
And I have taught her all I knew,
Within the wood Broceliande.

And when at least, she'd all my Art,
So her false fears might now depart,
Instead she used my bewitched heart
To hold me in this cold rampart
So far from Camelot so grand.
and when the moonlight trails its wake,
The world I see upon the lake
As men make war and kingdoms shake,
Far from the wood Broceliande.

But here imprisoned fast am I,
And here I stay until I die,
Or else she rue this ill-made tie;
For only she can send me hie
to go to Camelot so grand.
Until that day I am here bound,
And only in the lake may sound
Events elsewhere, the whole world round,
beyond the wood Broceliande.

And so shall Arthur be brought low,
And so shall Mordred strike the blow,
And all those brave knights overthrow,
And Arthur to his rest must go
Away from Camelot so grand.
And here I stay for ever more,
Unless at last e'en she may thaw:
Then I shall seek some farther shore,
Away from deep Broceliande.

©Alexa Duir 2005

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