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I give into thine hand
The buckler and the brand,
“When thou hast made thee wise
In the sad lore of sighs, When the world's visions fail thee and forsake,
Return, return to me,
And to my Haunted Tree; The charm hath bound thee now; Sir knight,
Sir Isumbras, in doubt and dread,
From his feverish sleep awoke,
Under the ancient oak.
And, “ Tell me, boy,” quoth he,
Beneath the greenwood tree ?”— “ Ere thou didst sleep, I chanced to throw
A stone into the rill ;
Is on its surface still :
Ere thou didst sleep, thou bad’st me sing
King Arthur's favourite lay;
Has hardly died away."
“ How strange is sleep!" the young knight said,
As he clasped the helm upon his head,
To his gloomy tower rode slowly back: “ How strange is sleep! when his dark spell lies
On the drowsy lids of human eyes,
And one there was, most dear and fair,
He struck with his spear the brazen plate
They spread the board, and they filled the bowl, · And the phantoms passed from his troubled soul.
Sir Isumbras was ever found
Where blows were struck for glory; There sate not at the Table Round
A knight more famed in story: The king on his throne would turn about
To see his courser prancing; And, when Sir Launcelot was out,
The queen would praise his dancing : He quite wore out his father's spurs,
Performing valour's duties
Avenging injured beauties,
And rescuing people's daughters
And whales that walk the waters.
And giants by the dozen;
They called himo“ Merlin's Cousin.”
A score of steeds, with bit and rein,
Stood ready in his stable ;
An ox was every morning slain,
And roasted for his table.
And crowned with praise and laurel,
And tilted in his quarrel ;
In very rugged verses ;
And rings, and cups, and purses.
And he loved a Lady of high degree,
Faith’s fortress, Beauty's flower ; A countess for her maid had she,
And a kingdom for her dower; And a brow whose frowns were vastly grand,
And an eye of sunlit brightness,
Of most bewitching whiteness ;
Could most divinely prattle
And all the bliss of battle.