He said: " The shadows darken down, "
— The night is near at hand.
Now who's the friend will follow me
— Into the sunless land?

" For I have vassals leal and true,
— And I have comrades kind,
And wheresoe'er my soul shall speed,
— They will not stay behind. "

He sought the brother young and blithe
— Who bore his spear and shield:
" In the long chase you've followed me,
— And in the battle-field.

" Few vows you make; but true's your heart,
— And you with me will win. "
He said: " God speed you, brother mine,
— But I am next of kin. "

He sought the friar, the gray old priest
— Who loved his father's board.
The friar he turned him to the east
— And reverently adored.

He said: " A godless name you bear,
— A godless life you've led,
And whoso wins along with you,
— His spirit shall have dread.

" Oh, hasten, get your guilty soul
— From every burden shriven;
Yet you are bound for flame and dole,
— But I am bound for heaven. "

He sought the lady bright and proud,
— Who sate at his right hand:
" Make haste, O Love, to follow me
— Into the sunless land. "

She said: " And pass you in your prime?
— Heaven give me days of cheer!
And keep me from the sunless clime
— Many and many a year. "

All heavily the sun sank down
— Among black clouds of fate.
There came a woman fair and wan
— Unto the castle gate.

Through gazing vassals, idle serfs,
— So silently she sped!
The winding staircase echoed not
— Unto her light, light tread.

His lady eyed her scornfully.
— She stood at his right hand;
She said: " And I will follow you
— Into the sunless land.

" There is no expiation, none.
— A bitter load I bore:
Now I shall love you nevermore,
— Never and nevermore.

" There is no touch or tone of yours
— Can make the old love wake. "
She said: " But I will follow you,
— Even for the old love's sake. "

Oh, he has kissed her on the brow,
— He took her by the hand:
Into the sunless land they went,
— Into the starless land.
Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.