The Vision of Sir Launfal eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 75 pages of information about The Vision of Sir Launfal.
name to anything so slight) of the following poem is my own, and, to serve its purposes, I have enlarged the circle of competition in search of the miraculous cup in such a manner as to include not only other persons than the heroes of the Round Table, but also a period of time subsequent to the date of King Arthur’s reign.”

PRELUDE TO PART FIRST.

    Over his keys the musing organist,
      Beginning doubtfully and far away,
    First lets his fingers wander as they list,
      And builds a Bridge from Dreamland for his lay: 
    Then, as the touch of his loved instrument 5
      Gives hope and fervor, nearer draws his theme,
    First guessed by faint auroral flushes sent
      Along the wavering vista of his dream.

    Not only around our infancy[1]
    Doth heaven with all its splendors lie; 10
    Daily, with souls that cringe and plot,
    We Sinais climb and know it not.

    Over our manhood bend the skies;
      Against our fallen and traitor lives
    The great winds utter prophecies:  15
      With our faint hearts the mountain strives;
    Its arms outstretched, the druid wood
      Waits with its benedicite;
    And to our age’s drowsy blood
      Still shouts the inspiring sea. 20

    Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us;
      The beggar is taxed for a corner to die in,
    The priest hath his fee who comes and shrives us,
      We bargain for the graves we lie in;

[Footnote 1:  In allusion to Wordsworth’s “Heaven lies about us in our infancy,” in his ode, Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.]

    At the Devil’s booth are all things sold, 25
    Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold;
      For a cap and bells our lives we pay,[2]
    Bubbles we buy with a whole soul’s tasking: 
      ’T is heaven alone that is given away,
    ’T is only God may be had for the asking; 30
    No price is set on the lavish summer;
    June may be had by the poorest comer.

    And what is so rare as a day in June? 
      Then, if ever, come perfect days;
    Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune, 35
      And over it softly her warm ear lays: 
    Whether we look, or whether we listen,
    We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
    Every clod feels a stir of might,
      An instinct within it that reaches and towers, 40
    And, groping blindly above it for light,
      Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
    The flush of life may well be seen
      Thrilling back over hills and valleys;

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The Vision of Sir Launfal from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.