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The stateliest of her altar shrines, the King
So Dubric said; but when they left the shrine
1 Knighthood, knights.
“Blow trumpet, for the world is white with May ! Blow trumpet, the long night hath roll'd away! Blow thro’ the living world ‘Let the King reign !'
"Shall Rome or Heathen rule in Arthur's realm? 375 Flash brand and lance, fall battle ax on helm, Fall battle ax, and flash brand! Let the King
“Strike for the King and live! his knights have
heard That God hath told the King a secret word. Fall battle ax, and flash brand ! Let the King
“Blow trumpet! he will lift us from the dust. Blow trumpet ! live the strength and die the lust! Clang battle ax, and clash brand. Let the King
“Strike for the King and die! and if thou diest, The King is king, and ever wills the highest. 385 Clang battle ax, and clash brand ! Let the King
"Blow, for our Sun is mighty in his May! Blow, for our Sun is mightier day by day! Clang battle ax, and clash brand! Let the King
"The King will follow Christ, and we the King, In whom high God hath breathed a secret thing. Fall battle ax, and clash brand! Let the King
So sang the knighthood, moving to their hall. There at the banquet those great lords from Rome, The slowly fading mistress of the world, Strode in and claim'd their tribute as of yore. But Arthur spake: “Behold, for these have sworn To wage my wars, and worship me their King; The old order changeth, yielding place to new; And we that fight for our fair father Christ, Seeing that ye be grown too weak and old To drive the heathen from your Roman wall, No tribute will we pay.” So those great lords Drew back in wrath, and Arthur strove with Rome.
And Arthur and his knighthood for a space Were all one will, and thro' that strength the King 405 Drew in the petty princedoms under him, Fought, and in twelve great battles overcame The heathen hordes, and made a realm and reign’d.
QUESTIONS FOR STUDY
Describe the picture, lines 20-35.
Describe the wedding, lines 336–364.
Which is the more pleasing to your taste, a story as told by Malory, or as told by Tennyson?
Gather all the facts you can about chivalry, and write a story of “A Knight of Old.” Describe his dress, his equipment, his castle, and some of his adventures.
Give in order the several proofs that convinced King Leodogran that Arthur was King Uther's son.
Were they natural or supernatural ?
Has this any relation to the character of Arthur and his mission in the world?
THE PASSING OF ARTHUR
The end of King Arthur's long reign, according to the legend, was no less remarkable than its beginning.
After a long and glorious life, filled with triumphs, following ofttimes defeats, and with gleams of joy interspersed with sorrows, he was attacked in var by bitter enemies and traitorous knights. Of his last hours, the poet tells in The Passing of Arthur.
That story which the bold Sir Bedivere1
1 Sir Bedivere. See The Coming of Arthur, line 138.
All day long the noise of battle rollid
Then spake King Arthur to Sir Bedivere: