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LEODOGRAN, the King of Cameliard,

Had one fair daughter, and none other child; And she was fairest of all flesh on earth, Guinevere, and in her his one delight.

For many a petty king ere Arthur came Ruled in this isle, and ever waging war Each upon other, wasted all the land; And still from time to time the heathen hos Swarm'd overseas, and harried what was left. And so there grew great tracts of wilderness,

Whorein the beast was over more and more,
But man was less and less, till Arthur came.
For first Aurolius lived and fought and died,
And after him King Uther fought and died,
But either fail'd to make the kingdom one.
And after theso King Arthur for a spaco,

And thro' the puissance of his Table Round,
Drow all their potty princedoms under him,

Their king and head, and made a realm, and


And thus the land of Cameliard was waste,
Thick with wet woods, and many a beast therein,
And none or few to scare or chase the beast;
So that wild dog, and wolf and boar and bear
Came night and day, and rooted in the fields,
And wallow'd in the gardens of the king.
And over and auon the wolf would steal

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The children and devour, but now and then,

Hor own brood lost or dead, lont her fierco toat
To human sucklings; and the childron, housed
In her foul den, thero at their meat would growl,
And mock their foster-mother on four foot,
Till, straighten'd, they grow up to wolf-like mon,
Worso than the wolves. And King Leodogran
Groan'd for the Roman legions here again,
And Caesar's cagle: then his brother king,
Rience, assail'd him: last a heathen horde,
Reddening the sun with smoke and earth with


And on the spike that split the mother's heart
Spitting the child, brake on him, till, amazed,
Ho know not whither he should turn for aid.

But for ho heard of Arthur newly crown'd, Tho' not without an uproar made by those


Who cried, 'He is not Uther's son'—the king Sent to him, saying, 'Arise, and help us thou! For here between the man and beast we die.'

And Arthur yet had done no deed of arms, But heard the call, and came: and Guinevere Stood by the castle walls to watch him pass; But since he neither wore on helm or shield The golden symbol of his kinglihood, But rode a simple knight among his knights, And many of these in richer arms than he, She saw him not, or mark'd not, if she saw, One among many, tho' his face was bare. But Arthur, looking downward as he past, Felt the light of her eyes into his life Smite on the sudden, yet rode on, and pitch'd His tents beside the forest. And he drave The heathen, and he slew the beast, and fell'd

The forest, and let in the sun, and made

Broad pathways for the hunter and the knight;

And so return'd.

For while he linger'd there, A doubt that ever smoulder'd in the hearts Of those great Lords and Barons of his realm Flash'd forth and into war: for most of these Made head against him, crying, 'Who is ho

That he should rule us? who hath proven him


King Uther's son? for lo! we look at him,

And find nor face nor bearing, limbs nor voice,
Are like to those of Uther whom we know.

This is the son of Gorloïs, not the king;
This is the son of Anton, not the king.'

And Arthur, passing thence to battle, felt Travail, and throes and agonies of the life,

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