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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.


King Arthur’s Funeral

By Thomas Warton (1728–1790)

WHEN Arthur bowed his haughty crest,

No princess, veiled in azure vest,

Snatched him, by Merlin’s potent spell,

In groves of golden bliss to dwell,

Where, crowned with wreaths of mistletoe,

Slaughtered kings in glory go:

But when he fell, with wingéd speed,

His champions, on a milk-white steed,

From the battle’s hurricane,

Bore him to Joseph’s towered fane,

In the fair vale of Avalon:

There, with chanted orison,

And the long blaze of tapers clear,

The stoléd fathers met the bier:

Through the dim aisles, in order dread

Of martial woe, the chief they led,

And deep intombed in holy ground,

Before the altar’s solemn bound.

Around no dusky banners wave,

No mouldering trophies mark the grave:

Away the ruthless Dane has torn

Each trace that Time’s slow touch had worn;

And long o’er the neglected stone

Oblivion’s veil its shade has thrown.