Then Dagonet sang from the broken music of his mind, the shadow of the song that Tristam had made:
In the plume of foaming splendor,
past the fecund water reads,
Shot the bark of fair Ettaine,
Whom the people of that region,
Where the lady lost her reason,
And never came to her full season,
Called the maid of Astolat.
Through the fair idyllic splendor,
past the fields of verdant green,
traveled sorrow without measure,
in the bark of maiden-treasure,
that with its solemn passing,
put end to all their laughing,
and to their joyous dancing,
upon Mid-Summer’s Day.
To Caer Leon the river wended,
through the forests of the king,
where the silent beasts bore witness,
In the woods unbroken stillness,
through the vaulted gloom,
a picture of the tomb,
that swollen like a womb,
waited for the lily maiden.
Through the gates of Merlin’s marvel,
past the straining crowds of men,
went the sullen barge of sable,
as Lancelot beneath the gable,
spoke with his loyal queen,
and told her where he’d been,
how in Astolat he’d seen,
that very same young maiden.
On the quay King Arthur pondered,
as the sullen barge went by,
carrying its vacant cargo,
to be interred upon the morrow,
and called his loyal knight,
who marveled o’re the sight
and swore with all his might
He’d never wronged the maiden.
Upon the high and kingly forehead,
sat the shadow of a frown,
and Lancelot his eyes did lower,
fearing Arthur’s eye’s would glower,
but the rebuke never came,
his eyes remained the same,
but Lancelot in shame,
left upon the morrow.