Beauty, splendor have I seen
In that palace by the stream.
Graceful, swan-necked turrets tall.
The windows, diamonds in the wall.
Oh. Could it be? Is it true
That what's so old seems so new?
Now, put your hand through the stone.
The hall's all air, so is the throne.
Past the illusion, past the dream,
Lies the hill-fort worn and mean.
Rain makes mud of the rocky path
As men hide from the Saxon's wrath.
“This is Camelot?” someone asked.
“Arthur's home in days gone past?”
“Yes, my dear.” The illusion's gone.
“Here he lived before Avalon.”
I wrote this poem after reading the introduction to the
poetry book required for my Freshman English class. It mentioned the
Arthurian romances, which, of course, reminded me how annoying I found
them. They were so fake. The film renditions of the legend were even
worse. Fairy palaces of silk and mist surrounded by perfect gardens. I
had very little interest in the Arthurian legend until I ran across some
books in Grandpa Gill's study. In them I learned that Arthur was quite
likely real, and that the place he lived was too. Hill-forts made of
dirt and massive stones. Battles. Mud and blood running together over
the bodies. The story of Arthur wasn't a fairy tale, it was real!
copyright © Naomi Gill 2002
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