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Which was my pride for thou rememberest how | Yet now, I charge thee, quickly go again,
In those old days, one summer noon, an arm
To him replied the bold Sir Bedivere : "It is not meet, Sir King, to leave thee thus, Aidless, alone, and smitten through the helmA little thing may harm a wounded man ; Yet I thy hest will all perform at full, Watch what I see, and lightly bring thee word."
So saying, from the ruined shrine he stept
By zigzag paths, and juts of pointed rock,
There drew he forth the brand Excalibur
Then spake King Arthur to Sir Bedivere : "Hast thou performed my mission which I gave? What is it thou hast seen? or what hast heard?"
And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere: "I heard the ripple washing in the reeds, And the wild water lapping on the crag."
To whom replied King Arthur, faint and pale: "Thou hast betrayed thy nature and thy name, Not rendering true answer, as beseemed Thy fealty, nor like a noble knight: For surer sign had followed, either hand, Or voice, or else a motion of the mere. This is a shameful thing for men to lie.
As thou art lief and dear, and do the thing
I bade thee, watch, and lightly bring me word."
Then went Sir Bedivere the second time Across the ridge, and paced beside the mere, Counting the dewy pebbles, fixed in thought; But when he saw the wonder of the hilt, How curiously and strangely chased, he smote His palms together, and he cried aloud :—
"And if indeed I cast the brand away, Surely a precious thing, one worthy note, Should thus be lost forever from the earth, Which might have pleased the eyes of many men. What good should follow this, if this were done? What harm, undone? deep harm to disobey, Seeing obedience is the bond of rule. Were it well to obey then, if a king demand An act unprofitable, against himself? The King is sick, and knows not what he does. What record, or what relic of my lord Should be to after-time, but empty breath And rumors of a doubt? but were this kept, Stored in some treasure-house of mighty kings, Some one might show it at a joust of arms, Saying, King Arthur's sword, Excalibur, Wrought by the lonely maiden of the Lake. Nine years she wrought it, sitting in the deeps Upon the hidden bases of the hills.' So might some old man speak in the after-time To all the people, winning reverence.
But now much honor and much fame were lost."
So spake he, clouded with his own conceit, And hid Excalibur the second time, And so strode back slow to the wounded King.
Then spoke King Arthur, breathing heavily: "What is it thou hast seen? or what hast heard!"
And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere: "I heard the water lapping on the crag, And the long ripple washing in the reeds."
To whom replied King Arthur, much in wrath: Ah, miserable and unkind, untrue, Unknightly, traitor-hearted! Woe is me! Authority forgets a dying king,
Laid widowed of the power in his eye
I will arise and slay thee with my hands."
Then quickly rose Sir Bedivere, and ran, And, leaping down the ridges lightly, plunged Among the bulrush-beds, and clutched the sword, And strongly wheeled and threw it. The great brand
Made lightnings in the splendor of the moon, And flashing round and round, and whirled in an arch,
Shot like a streamer of the northern morn,
And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere: "Sir King, I closed mine eyelids, lest the gems Should blind my purpose, for I never saw, Nor shall see, here or elsewhere, till I die, Not though I live three lives of mortal men, So great a miracle as yonder hilt. Then with both hands I flung him, wheeling him; But when I looked again, behold an arm, Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful, That caught him by the hilt, and brandished him Three times, and drew him under in the mere."
So saying, from the pavement he half rose, Slowly, with pain, reclining on his arm, And looking wistfully with wide blue eyes As in a picture. Him Sir Bedivere Remorsefully regarded through his tears, And would have spoken, but he found not words; Then took with care, and kneeling on one knee, O'er both his shoulders drew the languid hands, And rising bore him through the place of tombs.
But, as he walked, King Arthur panted hard, Like one that feels a nightmare on his bed When all the house is mute. So sighed the King, Muttering and murmuring at his ear "Quick, quick!
I fear it is too late, and I shall die."
Clothed with his breath, and looking, as he walked,
Then saw they how there hove a dusky barge, Dark as a funeral scarf from stem to stern, Beneath them; and descending they were ware That all the decks were dense with stately forms, Black-stoled, black-hooded, like a dream, - by these
Three Queens with crowns of gold, — and from
Or, clotted into points and hanging loose,
So like a shattered column lay the King;
From spur to plume a star of tournament,
Then loudly cried the bold Sir Bedivere:
But the other swiftly strode from ridge to ridge, | Where shall I hide my forehead and my eyes?
For now I see the true old times are dead,
But now the whole Round Table is dissolved
And slowly answered Arthur from the barge :
I have lived my life, and that which I have done
Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
The fourth week was beginning, the third already past,
The Cid and his companions they are now agreed at last.
"The water is cut off, the bread is wellnigh spent,
To allow us to depart by night the Moors will not consent;
To combat with them in the field our numbers are but few;
Gentlemen, tell me your minds; what do you think to do?"
Minaya Alvar Fañez answered him again :
"We are come here from fair Castile to live like banished men ;
There are here six hundred of us, beside some nine or ten.
It is by fighting with the Moors that we have earned our bread;
In the name of God that made us, let nothing more be said,
Let us sally forth upon them by the dawn of day."
The Cid replied, "Minaya, I approve of what
You have spoken for the best, and had done so without doubt."
Both for themselves and those who call them The Moors that were within the town they took
For so the whole round earth is every way
So said he, and the barge with oar and sail Moved from the brink, like some full-breasted
That, fluting a wild carol ere her death,
The gates were then thrown open, and forth at once they rushed.
THE SALLY OF THE CID FROM THE The outposts of the Moorish host back to the
CASTLE OF ALCOCES.
FROM "THE POEM OF THE CID."
THEY fain would sally forth, but he, the noble Cid, Accounted it as rashness, and constantly forbid.
camp were pushed ;
The camp was all in tumult, and there was such
Of cymbals and of drums, as if earth would cleave in sunder.
There you might see the Moors arming them- | And many a Moorish shield lie shattered on the selves in haste, plain, And the two main battles how they were forming The pennons that were white marked with a fast; crimson stain, Horsemen and footmen mixt, a countless troop The horses running wild whose riders had been and vast. slain.
The Moors are moving forward, the battle soon | The Christians call upon St. James, the Moors
"My men, stand here in order, ranged upon a line! Let not a man move from his rank before I give the sign."
There were thirteen hundred of them slain on a little spot of ground.
Minaya Alvar Fañez smote with all his might, Pero Bermuez heard the word, but he could not He went as he was wont, and was foremost in the refrain. He held the banner in his hand, he gave his There was Galin Garcia, of courage firm and horse the rein; clear;
"You see yon foremost squadron there, the Felez Munioz, the Cid's own cousin dear; Antolinez of Burgos, a hardy knight and keen,
thickest of the foes,
Noble Cid, God be your aid, for there your banner Munio Gustioz, his pupil that had been ;
Let him that serves and honors it show the duty that he owes."
Earnestly the Cid called out, "For Heaven's sake, be still!"
The Cid on his gilded saddle above them all was
There was Martin Munioz that ruled in Mont
There were Alvar Fañez and Alvar Salvador; Bermuez cried, "I cannot hold," so eager was his These were the followers of the Cid, with many will. others more, He spurred his horse and drove him on amid the In rescue of Bermuez and the standard that he Moorish rout; bore.
They strove to win the banner, and compast him Minaya is dismounted, his courser has been slain, He fights upon his feet, and smites with might
The Cid came all in haste to help him to horse again. He saw a Moor well mounted, thereof he was full fain;
Through the girdle at a stroke he cast him to the plain;
He called to Minaya Fañez and reached him out the
"Mount and ride, Minaya, you are my right hand; We shall have need of you to-day, these Moors
will not disband!"
Minaya leapt upon the horse, his sword was in his hand,
Nothing that came near him could resist him or withstand;
All that fall within his reach he despatches as he goes.
The Cid rode to King Fariz, and struck at him three blows;
The third was far the best, it forced the blood to flow:
stream ran from his side, and stained his arms below;
The King caught round the rein, and turned his back to go.
There you might see the breastplates, how they The Cid has won the battle with that single blow.
were cleft in twain,
By an anonymous translator in the appendix to SOUTHEY'S translation of " The Chronicle of the Cid."