“Taliesin before Guinevere”

The time has come for us to part,
My lady, and for me to go my way.
May the Master keep you near His heart
And bless the costs you pay.
My soul is troubled at the sight
Of what lies in your fate.
Seek ever for the truth and right
That the Lord may make you great.

The ten-hour candle flickers.
Its length is nearly spent.
The feast is coming to an end:
So rich a time was lent.
Bless me, Highness, ere I go;
An empire hangs within the scales.
The candle dims upon your face.
It before your beauty pales.

Taliesin stands before the royal seat,
His helm in his hands, his shoes off his feet.
Taliesin kneels, his head to the floor,
Then bows himself out of the high-barred door.

This is another old poem in my series surrounding the Matter of Britain, and yet another incompatible take on Taliesin’s last farewell to Camelot. Reading it again, I strongly suspect I’d been reading one of the two collections of poetry by Milne, since the meter is similar to one I remember him using in several favorite poems and is quite a departure from both the blank verse that I usually use nowadays and the “free verse” ignoring meter I often wrote in at the time.

As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, suggestions, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. (In other words, if you liked this poem, or you didn’t like it, or it made you think of something, or … please leave a comment to let me know.) If you liked this, you can follow this blog, which includes one of my poems every Friday, or read other poems I’ve written here on my blog (starting with yesterday’s archive installment, since the full archive is by now, at well over a hundred poems, somewhat daunting); I’d especially like to know, as part of my preparations for a collection, which poems you think are my best. You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.

This poem is also mirrored on my wiki.


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