David Russell Mosley
2 June 2014
On the Edge of Elfland
Dear Friends and Family,
Last week I posted some notes on my writing processes as well as the first two chapters of my Faërie Romance. I also promised to post my alliterative Arthurian poem. I certainly have not mastered the Anglo-Saxon alliterative verse style. My poem lacks the proper caesura in each line and the lines themselves are too irregular. Still, I post it here for your thoughts and comments. It is my first real foray into narrative poetry.
Arthur Comes to Windermere
Comes King Arthur and his cousin Gawain,
Two men might in mirth and in battle,
To the lake locally called Windermere
One day long before the darkening of Camelot.
The fenced fiercely on the fells together
And sang sweetly in the valleys below,
Wending their way downward to the lake Windermere.
A beautiful woman, brightly adorned, came begging,
‘Good lords,’ said the lass, ‘Please come save us.’
‘Pray,’ said Arthur, ‘What problems have thee, pretty maiden?’
‘My father has fought the beast, but has foundered.
His steel was not quick enough to kill the creature.’
‘Come, Cousin,’ said Gawain, ‘let us kill the craven
Monster. Many needs such as these must we knights
Undertake.’ ‘Tis true!’ cried Arthur ‘Tell us where
The beast takes it board and bed and we shall banish it.’
Thus the knights went forth following the Lady.
Down the fells they followed her right to the Lake.
‘Here haunts the beast of hell,’ said she pointing to the Water.
At the edge they spied a sword and shield but no man to whom they belonged.
They saw no sign of knight nor serpent.
Arthur then did declaim, ‘I will dive into the deep,
And seek out this serpent and will draw it forth.
Then you and I, Gawain, with our God’s protection,
Will defeat the beast and free the region.’
Gawain tried to dissuade his dear Cousin and King,
But Arthur had disrobed and dove his sword at his side.
Gawain prayed God would protect his noble and good servant.
Long it seemed they waited by the Lake, Gawain and the Lady.
Suddenly splashing forth out of the water came the Serpent.
Arthur was at its side attacking with his sword Excalibur.
Gawain drew his axe and gave the beast gruesome wounds.
Together the two cousins triumphed over the Serpent.
Its corpse they carried to the craggy shore.
The whole village welcomed the virtuous knights,
And they were fairly feasted for their fierce might.
It is said the serpent had spawned ere it died
And that its sons and daughters can be seen this day.
With Arthur, Gawain, and their ilk gone, Who
Will discover and defeat them for us, none can say.
David Russell Mosley