The Young Knight: A Parable

A poem by Charles Kingsley

A gay young knight in Burley stood,
Beside him pawed his steed so good,
His hands he wrung as he were wood
With waiting for his love O!

'Oh, will she come, or will she stay,
Or will she waste the weary day
With fools who wish her far away,
And hate her for her love O?'

But by there came a mighty boar,
His jowl and tushes red with gore,
And on his curled snout he bore
A bracelet rich and rare O!

The knight he shrieked, he ran, he flew,
He searched the wild wood through and through,
But found nought save a mantle blue,
Low rolled within the brake O!

He twined the wild briar, red and white,
Upon his head the garland dight,
The green leaves withered black as night,
And burnt into his brain O!

A fire blazed up within his breast,
He mounted on an aimless quest,
He laid his virgin lance in rest,
And through the forest drove O!

By Rhinefield and by Osmondsleigh,
Through leat and furze brake fast drove he,
Until he saw the homeless sea,
That called with all its waves O!

He laughed aloud to hear the roar,
And rushed his horse adown the shore,
The deep surge rolled him o'er and o'er,
And swept him down the tide O!

New Forest, July 12, 1847.

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