The Tourney

A poem by Alfred Tennyson

Ralph would fight in Edith’s sight,
For Ralph was Edith’s lover,
Ralph went down like a fire to the fight,
Struck to the left and struck to the right,
Roll’d them over and over.
‘Gallant Sir Ralph,’ said the king.

Casques were crack’d and hauberks hack’d,
Lances snapt in sunder,
Rang the stroke, and sprang the blood,
Knights were thwack’d and riven, and hew’d
Like broad oaks with thunder.
‘O what an arm,’ said the king.

Edith bow’d her stately head,
Saw them lie confounded,
Edith Montfort bow’d her head,
Crown’d her knight’s, and flush’d as red
As poppies when she crown’d it.
‘Take her Sir Ralph,’ said the king.

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