In dim samite was she bedight,
And on her hair a hoop of gold,
Like fox-fire in the tawn moonlight,
Was glimmering cold.
With soft gray eyes she gloomed and glowered;
With soft red lips she sang a song:
What knight might gaze upon her face,
Nor fare along?
For all her looks were full of spells,
And all her words of sorcery;
And in some way they seemed to say
"Oh, come with me!
"Oh, come with me! oh, come with me!
Oh, come with me, my love, Sir Kay!"--
How should he know the witch, I trow,
Morgan le Fay?
How should he know the wily witch,
With sweet white face and raven hair?
Who by her art bewitched his heart
And held him there.
For soul and sense had waxed amort
To wold and weald, to slade and stream;
And all he heard was her soft word
As one adream.
And all he saw was her bright eyes,
And her fair face that held him still;
And wild and wan she led him on
O'er vale and hill.
Until at last a castle lay
Beneath the moon, among the trees;
Its Gothic towers old and gray
Tall in its hall an hundred knights
In armor stood with glaive in hand;
The following of some great King,
Lord of that land.
Sir Bors, Sir Balin, and Gawain,
All Arthur's knights, and many mo;
But these in battle had been slain
Long years ago.
But when Morgan with lifted hand
Moved down the hall, they louted low;
For she was Queen of Shadowland,
That woman of snow.
Then from Sir Kay she drew away,
And mocking at him by her side,--
"Behold, Sir Knights, the knave who slew
Your King," she cried.
Then like one man those shadows raised
Their swords, whereon the moon glanced gray;
And clashing all strode from the wall
Against Sir Kay.
And on his body, bent and bowed,
The hundred blades like one blade fell;
While over all rang long and loud
The mirth of Hell.