Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

See and share Beautiful Nature Photos and amazing photos of interesting places

Read Poems by Isaiah Zerbst

Isaiah Zerbst Avatar Isaiah Zerbst - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below are poems written by poet Isaiah Zerbst. Click the Next or Previous links below the poem to navigate between poems. Remember, Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth. Thank you.

List of ALL Isaiah Zerbst poems

Best Isaiah Zerbst Poems

+ Fav Poet

The Lily Maid of Astolat

The knight of knights, Sir Lancelot,
From far away in Camelot,
Went by a way that he knew not
And thus, by chance, spied Astolat
With sunset's gleam upon her tow'rs:
T'was there he met the maid Elaine,
With hair as golden fields of grain-
A lily in the springtime rain-
The fairest of the flow'rs.

With her he left his fearsome shield;
That of her brother, Torre did wield:
At last to her desire did yield
To wear her favour on the field-
A sleeve of red with pearls.
Then to the diamond joust away,
Lavaine and he rode to the fray,
Departing at the break of day
To fight with kings and earls.

She took the shield and lightly step't
Up where she watched as off they leapt,
And there the mighty emblem kept
Beside the bed in which she slept;
The mystic azure lions traced:
She never left it there, it seemed;
She watched by day, at night she dreamed;
She woke each morn as sunlight gleamed
From it to light her lovely face.

Sir Lancelot, wounded, won the prize-
His shield still mirrors her azure eyes;
Not knowing if he lives or dies,
Nor knows she yet the place he lies.
But lo! There comes the knight Gawain;
He bears the prize to he who won,
Not finding him, his quest is done;
The prize he leaves, both mount and run-
But she to find where he is lain.

Sir Torre and she their horses drave,
'Till long at last they found a cave,
The knight within, and near the grave:
Elaine her greatest efforts gave
To save him from death's gaping door.
Through dawn or twilight lightly glides
The lily maid to where he hides
And by his wasted form abides,
His olden glories to restore.

Some months had passed, and whole once more
He offered half his treasure store,
A kingdom's land, or three, or four,
But none of this she cared ought for-
She wanted him, and him alone:
But no, another held his heart.
E'en though it tore hers right apart
Without a glance did he depart;
He left her there to groan.

Without a parting kiss goodbye
She sulked about, but would not cry;
She sicker grew as days crawled by
Until she knew that she would die,
And of a heart that broke:
She sang "A Song of Love and Death"
With wondrous voice but halting breath;
Her heart in song she openeth-
Of never-dying love she spoke.

"My love undying e'er shall be
Though love has been the death of me:
Though sweet is love in company,
One cannot love, the other flee-
I now depart to sweetest bliss.
I wish I knew, but I cannot
If death is sweet as love is not,
When all my pain I have forgot-
As death bestows his frozen kiss."

Her final words of love she wrote
And sealed them in a little note
To place beside her in the boat
Which she desired her body float
To far away in Camelot:
Then with a pretty little sigh
Her soul to realms unknown did fly-
In such a manner chanced to die
The lily maid of Astolat.

Bathed in the misty morning light,
Arrayed in dress of purest white,
Boat decked about with black samite,
Her letter clasped to bosom tight,
A lily close beside it borne,
She drifted down the silent stream;
As if but lost in pleasant dreams,
For on her fairest face was seen
The faintest smile, bright as morn.

No sound of drip or rush or splash
Was heard within that samite sash,
Naught caused that bark to rock or dash;
The waves becalmed their muffled crash
As by them slipped the lily maid:
For all who saw were sore amazed
And soundlessly they paused and gazed
'Till Camelot's walls the boat had grazed,
At which it stopped and firmly stayed.

King Arthur saw her queenly bed,
The letter by her golden head;
To all the court her words he read,
And this is what the missive said:
"My noble lord, Sir Lancelot,
No parting kiss to me you gave,
Therefore I came from o'er the grave-
Bestow it now my soul to save.
The lily maid of Astolat."

Sir Lancelot, heartbroken too
Knelt by her side her will to do,
His arms about her shoulders threw
And to his own her lips he drew-
'Twas love by love at last returned.
But love, once lost cannot be found,
And life, once lost is claimed by ground
That wraps his heartless arms around
A heart that once with passion burned.

Above her grave a statue stands,
A note and lily in her hands
Which says to all of distant lands,
"Love, e'er your loved has loosed the bands
That tie them to this life and breath;
Love, e'er the storm has swept away
The pure, the good of yesterday,
And left in place but lifeless clay
When love is scorned and lost to death."



{Written by Isaiah Zerbst on the nineteenth of August, in the year of Our Lord, two thousand and fourteen;
Published on the twenty-first of the same.}

NextLast

Post Comments

Please Login to post a comment

 
  1. Date: 8/22/2014 1:04:00 AM

    OH Isaiah...what a dream of a write...Oh...how sad and beautiful. You have done this so amazingly well! :) That part when Lancelot finally holds me...oh...I could cry. A love spurned does bring the shadow of death....Great write. I'd love to write something for this contest. I will try...perhaps. I've been inspired.

Back