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The King's Sword


King Mark I I dreamt my husband
discovered us am forgave us and asked
among spindled Hellebore that we return to
elm leaves and put forged Logres, I his wife,
his naked sword in Tristan his son,
between us softly hot there to grow old
not to wake us. beds, in peace without
He ruined me— now this long loneliness
how could my love laid God knew when all
be equal to his? between he had to talk to
He had fin'amor, naked was Logos. I thought
mine was fol. lovers I bathed and toweled
I hid the weapon in my newborn child.
and resolved then cold Brangien pardoned
to win her back dew me and brought
by slaying giants— to us salt and plain
Toriax, Beliagog—, rust wine with no charm
and monsters; as except drunkenness.
the flesh-eating they She combed my hair
mare Xanthus, tremble. and the ash harp
the Monoceros, My was unstrung and
part-horse, blade could not sing
part-elephant, severs. my betrayal. I woke
woman's gaze; Once in tears and turned
next I would find I to tell Tristan
the Sangrail killed, but beside me
and bring her that now just the template
glory as a gift: I of his prone body
where if not spare and a snake-track
in Morois, without that shone faintly
Forest of Love? mercy. in red dust.

D. Nurkse

Love in the Last Days: After Tristan and Iseult
Alfred A. Knopf


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