Collected Poems
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LANCELOT
When she looked up to see him, he was gonej
And that was all she saw till she awoke
In her white cell, where the nuns carried her
With many tears and many whisperings.
" She was the Queen, and he was Lancelot, "
One said. " They were great lovers. It is not good
To know too much of love. We who love God
Alone are happiest. Is it not so, Mother? " .
" We who love God alone, my child, are safest, "
The Mother replied; " and we are not all safe
Until we are all dead. We watch, and pray. "
Outside again, Lancelot heard the sound
Of reapers he had seen. With lighter tread
He walked away to them to see them nearer;
He walked and heard again the sound of thrushes
Far off. He saw below him, stilled with yellow,
A world that was not Arthur ' s, and he saw
The convent roof; and then he could see nothing
But a wan face and two dim lonely hands
That he had left behind. They were down there,
Somewhere, her poor white face and hands, alone.
" No man was ever alone like that, " he thought,
Not knowing what last havoc pity and love
Had still to wreak on wisdom. Gradually,
In one long wave it whelmed him, and then broke
Leaving him like a lone man on a reef,
Staring for what had been with him, but now
Was gone and was a white face under the sea,
Alive there, and alone always alone.
He closed his eyes, and the white face was there,
But not the gold. The gold would not come back.
There were gold fields of corn that lay around him,
But they were not the gold of Guinevere
Though men had once, for sake of saying words,
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