My lady the queen, let nothing disturb you.
Your fate is as great as his,
Your destiny as high, and these troubles
Merely the pricking of rose thorns.
Beauty is not an easy path.
I look down upon the citadel of Camelot
From my place in the garden with Guinevere.
The wall is not in place, the people not in homes.
I see the knights’ banners on the breeze:
The dragon of Arthur the king, first and largest;
A fish for Percival the fair, swimming in the sky;
A golden lion for Lancelot the paragon of honor,
A swan for Bors the loving, and by some trick
A cross for the knight of Merlin’s Seat.
These I see above the unlaid foundations
And the half-high defenses of the city of Camelot
As I walk with the queen among the flowers.
My lady, I have seen another great destiny:
Not yours, but another as great.
One shall come, through a misguided devotion to you,
Who alone shall be worthy of the highest quest.
This is one of the earlier poems in my series set in the Arthuriad, both in when I wrote the first version of it (as I can tell from the structure—distinct sections alternating between narration and monologue were the most common structure in the series early on) and by internal chronology. I made some slight but thorough revisions when I overhauled the series several years ago, and then cleaned it up further before posting it today.
I always welcome your comments, critique, suggestions, or any other feedback on this poem or any other part of my work. (In other words, if you like it, if you don’t like it, if something “works”, if something “doesn’t work”, if it makes you think of something or someone, etc., please comment and say so!) If you like this, you can follow this blog, which includes one of my poems every Friday; you can also read other poems I’ve written here on this blog (or if that list is too intimidating, I’m posting more manageable subsets each week, such as yesterday’s installment, so you can just start with those). I’d particularly like to know which poems you think are my best.