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.

    Beneath a bony buttonwood
    The mill’s red door lets forth the din;
    The whitened miller, dust-imbued, 15
    Flits past the square of dark within.

    No mountain torrent’s strength is here;
    Sweet Beaver, child of forest still,[26]
    Heaps its small pitcher to the ear,
    And gently waits the miller’s will. 20

    Swift slips Undine along the race
    Unheard, and then, with flashing bound,
    Floods the dull wheel with light and grace,
    And, laughing, hunts the loath drudge round.

    The miller dreams not at what cost 25
    The quivering millstones hum and whirl,
    Nor how for every turn are tost
    Armfuls of diamond and of pearl.

    But Summer cleared my happier eyes
    With drops of some celestial juice, 30
    To see how Beauty underlies,
    Forevermore each form of use.

    And more; methought I saw that flood,
    Which now so dull and darkling steals,
    Thick, here and there, with human blood, 35
    To turn the world’s laborious wheels.

[Footnote 26:  Beaver Brook was within walking distance of the poet’s home.  See The Nightingale in the Study.]

    No more than doth the miller there,
    Shut in our several cells, do we
    Know with what waste of beauty rare
    Moves every day’s machinery. 40

    Surely the wiser time shall come
    When this fine overplus of might,
    No longer sullen, slow, and dumb,
    Shall leap to music and to light.

    In that new childhood of the Earth 45
    Life of itself shall dance and play,
    Fresh blood in Time’s shrunk veins make mirth,
    And labor meet delight half way.


    There came a youth upon the earth,
      Some thousand years ago,
    Whose slender hands were nothing worth,
    Whether to plough, or reap, or sow.

    Upon an empty tortoise-shell 5
      He stretched some chords, and drew
    Music that made men’s bosoms swell
    Fearless, or brimmed their eyes with dew.

    Then King Admetus, one who had
      Pure taste by right divine, 10
    Decreed his singing not too bad
    To hear between the cups of wine: 

    And so, well pleased with being soothed
      Into a sweet half-sleep,
    Three times his kingly beard he smoothed, 15
    And made him viceroy o’er his sheep.

    His words were simple words enough,
      And yet he used them so,
    That what in other mouths was rough
    In his seemed musical and low. 20

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