Idylls of the King

Illustrations by

George Wooliscroft Rhead, & Louis Rhead

from Tennyson's Idylls of the King: Vivien, Elaine, Enid, Guinevere. New York: R. H. Russell, 1898.

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Last updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 15:26.

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Table of Contents

"Lancelot and Elaine"

And Arthur came, and Labouring up the pass . . .
And Lancelot bode a little, till he saw Which were the weaker; then he hurl'd into it Against the stronger . . . .
. . . and on the mount Of Badon I myself beheld the King Charge at the head of all his Table Round . . . .
. . . and I saw him, after, stand High on a heap of slain, from spur to plume Red as the rising sun with heathen blood . . .
For silent, tho' he greeted her, she stood Rapt on his face as if it were a God's.
There two stood arm'd, and kept the door; to whom, Akk up the marble stair, tier over tier . . .
Elaine, the lily maid of Astolat, High in her chamber up a tower to the east Guarded the sacred shield of Lancelot . .
But the wild Queen, who saw not, burst away To weep and wail in secret
So toward that shrine which then in all the realm Was richest, Arthur leading, slowly went . . .
Lancelot, whom the Lady of the Lake Stole from his mother--as the story runs--
Her face was near, and as we kiss the child . . .
Saying which she seized, And, thro' the casement standing wide for heat, Flung them, and down they flash'd, and smote the stream.

"The Marriage of Geraint"

Wroth to be wroth at such a worm, refrain'd From even a word . . .
Here by God's rood is the one maid for me.
. . . thrice They clash'd together, and thrice they brake their spears.
And lo! it was her mother grasping her To get her well awake . . .
Look'd the fair Queen, but up the vale of Usk, By the flat meadow, till she saw them come . . .
O me, I fear that I am no true wife!

"Geraint and Enid"

Then tending her rough lord, tho' all unasked, In silence, did him service as a squire . . . .
Your leave, my lord, to cross the room, and speak To your good damsel there who sits apart . . . From even a word . . .
. . . and she cast her arms About him, and at once they rode away.
Then Enid waited pale and sorrowful, And down upon him bare the bandit three.
. . . and her desolation Came upon her, and she wept beside the way.
. . . the King himself . . . show'd an empty tent allotted her.

"Merlin and Vivien"

So fixt her fancy on him; let him be.
He saw two cities in a thousand boats All fighting for a woman on the sea.
A little glassy-headed hairless man . . . .
And shrieking out 'O fool!' the harlot leapt Adown the forest . . . .
O Merlin, tho' you do not love me, save, Yet save me!
And after that she set herself to gain Him, the most famous man of all those times . . . .
And Vivien answer'd smiling saucily . . . .
We could not keep him silent, out he flash'd And into such a song, such fire for fame . . . .
. . . he lay as dead And lost to life and use and name and fame.
O Master, shall we call him overquick To crop his own sweet rose before the hour?
And Vivien followed . . . .
She took the helm and he the sail; the boat Drave with a sudden wind across the deeps,

"Guinevere"

And lo, he sat on horseback at the door! And near him the sad nuns with each a light Stood . . .
. . . but she to Almesbury Fled all night long by glimmering waste and weald. . .
. . . The dragon of the great Pendragonship Blaze, making all the night a stream of fire.
And saw the Queen who sat betwixt her best Enid,and the lissome Vivien . . .
I did not come to curse thee, Guinevere . . .
. . . Gone--my lord Gone thro' my sin to slay and to be slain!
And then they rode to the divided way, There kiss'd, and parted weeping . . .
Stammering and staring: it was their last hour . . .
Yea, little maid, for am I not forgiven?
Will the child kill me with her innocent talk?
Pray and be pray'd for; lie before your shrines; Do each low office of your holy house . . .

"Lancelot and Elaine"

Arthur Finds the Crown of Diamonds

The Tournament at Camelot

Arthur Leading the Charge at Mount Badon

Arthur at Mount Badon

Elaine Worships Lancelot

Elaine's Barge Arrives at Camelot

Elaine with Lancelot's Shield

Guinevere's Jealousy

Elaine's Funeral

The Lady of the Lake Steals Lancelot

Lancelot Nursed by Elaine

Guinevere Scorns Lancelot's Gift

"The Marriage of Geraint"

Geraint Insulted by a Dwarf

Geraint's Love for Enid

Geraint Jousting

Enid Awakened by Her Mother

Guinevere Watches for Geraint and Enid

Enid's Misunderstood Words

"Geraint and Enid"

Enid Helps Geraint to Arm

Earl Limours' Feast

Enid and Geraint Reconciled

Geraint Faces Three Assailants

Geraint Wounded

Arthur and Enid

"Merlin and Vivien"

Lancelot as Arthur's Ambassador to Guinevere

Sea Battle for a Beautiful Woman

The Wizard Who Formerly Owned Merlin's Book of Magic

Vivien's Triumph

Lightning Frightens Vivien

Merlin

Vivien Smiles Saucily

A Young Man Sings of Fame

Vivien's Spell

Vivien's Accusations of Those at Camelot

Vivien

Merlin and Vivien

"Guinevere"

Arthur Leaves the Nunnery

Guinevere Flees to Almesbury

Guinevere's Last Glimpse of Arthur

Guinevere with Enid and Vivien

Arthur Forgives Guinevere

Guinevere after Arthur's Departure

Lancelot and Guinevere's Parting Kiss

Lancelot and Guinevere

Guinevere Forgives the Novice

Guinevere and the Novice

Guinevere as a Nun

This web edition published by:

eBooks@Adelaide
The University of Adelaide Library
University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005