The Vision of Sir Launfal eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 124 pages of information about The Vision of Sir Launfal.



    There was never a leaf on bush or tree, 240
    The bare boughs rattled shudderingly;
    The river was dumb and could not speak,
      For the weaver Winter its shroud had spun,
    A single crow on the tree-top bleak
      From his shining feathers shed off the cold sun; 245
    Again it was morning, but shrunk and cold,
    As if her veins were sapless and old,
    And she rose up decrepitly
    For a last dim look at earth and sea.


    Sir Launfal turned from his own hard gate, 250
    For another heir in his earldom sate;
    An old, bent man, worn out and frail,
    He came back from seeking the Holy Grail;
    Little he recked of his earldom’s loss,
    No more on his surcoat was blazoned the cross, 255
    But deep in his soul the sign he wore,
    The badge of the suffering and the poor.


    Sir Launfal’s raiment thin and spare
    Was idle mail ’gainst the barbed air,
    For it was just at the Christmas time; 260
    So he mused, as he sat, of a sunnier clime,
    And sought for a shelter from cold and snow
    In the light and warmth of long-ago;
    He sees the snake-like caravan crawl
    O’er the edge of the desert, black and small, 265
    Then nearer and nearer, till, one by one,
    He can count the camels in the sun,
    As over the red-hot sands they pass
    To where, in its slender necklace of grass,
    The little spring laughed and leapt in the shade, 270
    And with its own self like an infant played,
    And waved its signal of palms.


    “For Christ’s sweet sake, I beg an alms;”—­
    The happy camels may reach the spring,
    But Sir Launfal sees only the grewsome thing, 275
    The leper, lank as the rain-blanched bone,
    That cowers beside him, a thing as lone
    And white as the ice-isles of Northern seas
    In the desolate horror of his disease.


    And Sir Launfal said,—­“I behold in thee 280
    An image of Him who died on the tree;
    Thou also hast had thy crown of thorns,—­
    Thou also hast had the world’s buffets and scorns,—­
    And to thy life were not denied
    The wounds in the hands and feet and side; 285
    Mild Mary’s Son, acknowledge me;
    Behold, through him, I give to Thee!”

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