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King Arthur’s Last Request : The legendary British warrior makes ready for his final journey, leaving Sir Bedivere with one last duty to perform.
King Arthur’s Last Request

Extracted from ‘The Passing of Arthur’, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892).

‘The Passing of Arthur’ is the last of twelve poems forming ‘The Idylls of the King’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Mortally wounded in his victory over Mordred, Arthur now prepares to depart for the Isle of Avilion (Avalon), and has some last words of counsel for Sir Bedivere, the only surviving Knight of the Round Table.

“I HAVE liv’d my life, and that which I have done
May He within himself make pure! but thou,
If thou shouldst never see my face again,
Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
Rise like a fountain for me night and day.

“For what are men better than sheep or goats
That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them friend?
For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.

“But now farewell. I am going a long way
With these thou seëst — if indeed I go
(For all my mind is clouded with a doubt) —
To the island-valley of Avilion;
Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow,
Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies
Deep-meadow’d, happy, fair with orchard lawns
And bowery hollows crown’d with summer sea,
Where I will heal me of my grievous wound.”

Extracted from ‘The Passing of Arthur’, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892).

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