Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

(1840 - 1922 / England)

Ghost Of The Beautiful Past - Poem by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

Ghost of the beautiful past, of the days long gone, of a queen, of a fair sweet woman.
Ghost with the passionate eyes, how proud, yet not too proud to have wept, to have loved, since to love is human.

Angel in fair white garments, with skirts of lawn, by the autumn wind on the pathway fluttered,
Always close by the castle wall and about to speak. But the whisper dies on her lips unuttered.

Yellow leaves deep strewn on the sward, dead leaves of a far--off glorious summer.
Yea, the leaves of the roses she plucked, petal by petal, with beating heart, for him the delayed loved comer.

Why doth she weep thus year on year? He hath tarried long, ah me, a thousand desolate years.
Why doth she weep? She hath wept enough. For see, dark down in the gardens dim, a lake. It is filled with her tears.

If I should ask her name, her title with men? But I need not ask it. I know it, alas, of old, though of old unspoken.
Is there another name but one for that face divine, for those sad sweet lips, like a bow unbent, like a bent bow broken?

No, it is none but her's, the Queen, the beloved of all, the beloved of one, when the Table Round was set in thy mead, Carleon.
None but hers, who was Guenevere, when the trumpets blew and the knights full clad rode down to joust at noon, with their clamorous shout, ``The Queen!''

Doth she remember all, or is all forgotten, pennon proud and lance in rest, the thunder of hoofs and the light swift tread of the foremost runner?
Dareth she raise her eyes, those passionate eyes, at the crowd that gazed? None of them all might meet her look, save he, her one true passionate knight, who adoring won her.

Surely, surely, she seeth; she knoweth all; she is no lost vision of death.
She hath still a smile deep hidden. She hath a name on her lips. She shall sigh, she shall speak, she shall move, when the light winds breathe from the Western Seas with the Spring that quickeneth.

Oh, she shall laugh and sing, though the shadow of Death be a cloud behind her!
Oh, she shall love! Though the dragon of grief keep watch, he shall sleep when the trees in the mead grow green, and awaking he shall not find her.

Read me a sweeter meaning, O Lady, O thou whom I serve, of this pictured story.
Read. Nay the tale is told. To it's truth I swear, by my sword, by my knightly faith, by the fame of the King and the Table Round, and the souls of the Saints in glory!


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010



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