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The Chapel in Lyonesse

All day long and every day, From Christmas-Eve to Whit-Sunday, Within that Chapel-aisle I lay, And no man came a-near.
Naked to the waist was I, And deep within my breast did lie, Though no man any blood could spy, The truncheon of a spear.
No meat did ever pass my lips Those days.
Alas! the sunlight slips From off the gilded parclose, dips, And night comes on apace.
My arms lay back behind my head; Over my raised-up knees was spread A samite cloth of white and red; A rose lay on my face.
Many a time I tried to shout; But as in dream of battle-rout, My frozen speech would not well out; I could not even weep.
With inward sigh I see the sun Fade off the pillars one by one, My heart faints when the day is done, Because I cannot sleep.
Sometimes strange thoughts pass through my head; Not like a tomb is this my bed, Yet oft I think that I am dead; That round my tomb is writ, "Ozana of the hardy heart, Knight of the Table Round, Pray for his soul, lords, of your part; A true knight he was found.
" Ah! me, I cannot fathom it.
[He sleeps.
All day long and every day, Till his madness pass'd away, I watch'd Ozana as he lay Within the gilded screen.
All my singing moved him not; As I sung my heart grew hot, With the thought of Launcelot Far away, I ween.
So I went a little space From out the chapel, bathed my face In the stream that runs apace By the churchyard wall.
There I pluck'd a faint wild rose, Hard by where the linden grows, Sighing over silver rows Of the lilies tall.
I laid the flower across his mouth; The sparkling drops seem'd good for drouth; He smiled, turn'd round towards the south, Held up a golden tress.
The light smote on it from the west; He drew the covering from his breast, Against his heart that hair he prest; Death him soon will bless.
I enter'd by the western door; I saw a knight's helm lying there: I raised my eyes from off the floor, And caught the gleaming of his hair.
I stept full softly up to him; I laid my chin upon his head; I felt him smile; my eyes did swim, I was so glad he was not dead.
I heard Ozana murmur low, "There comes no sleep nor any love.
" But Galahad stoop'd and kiss'd his brow: He shiver'd; I saw his pale lips move.
There comes no sleep nor any love; Ah me! I shiver with delight.
I am so weak I cannot move; God move me to thee, dear, to-night! Christ help! I have but little wit: My life went wrong; I see it writ, "Ozana of the hardy heart, Knight of the Table Round, Pray for his soul, lords, on your part; A good knight he was found.
" Now I begin to fathom it.
[He dies.
Galahad sits dreamily; What strange things may his eyes see, Great blue eyes fix'd full on me? On his soul, Lord, have mercy.
Ozana, shall I pray for thee? Her cheek is laid to thine; No long time hence, also I see Thy wasted fingers twine Within the tresses of her hair That shineth gloriously, Thinly outspread in the clear air Against the jasper sea.

by William Morris
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