Resources on poetry by the poets themselves

Tennyson's Morte D'Arthur

Walking by the side of one of Rivington's Lakes today and I was dazzled by the morning light upon the water. The dogs and I had to stop walking as everything shone so brightly that we could see nothing but this near white light and then we moved forward a little and were gifted by a second vision where the trees seemed to be saluting this light and then tenderly laying their branches out across the water and it felt like a greeting somehow and a like a surge of grace.

Like knowing you are here. Really here. And how precious that is.

And then I remembered reading Morte D'Arthur by Tennyson with Mrs Baxendale for O level in an extension hut at school and I can still feel the surge of that miraculous salutation from the Lake.

Animation.

Presence.

Spiritual Connection.

Daring.

Then quickly rose Sir Bedivere, and ran, [10]
And, leaping down the ridges lightly, plunged
Among the bulrush-beds, and clutch'd the sword,
And strongly wheel'd and threw it. The great brand
Made lightnings in the splendour of the moon,
And flashing round and round, and whirl'd in an arch,
Shot like a streamer of the northern morn,
Seen where the moving isles of winter shock
By night, with noises of the northern sea.
So flash'd and fell the brand Excalibur:
But ere he dipt the surface, rose an arm
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
And caught him by the hilt, and brandish'd him
Three times, and drew him under in the mere.
And lightly went the other to the King.
Then spoke King Arthur, drawing thicker breath:
"Now see I by thine eyes that this is done.
Speak out: what is it thou hast heard, or seen?"
And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere:
"Sir King, I closed mine eyelids, lest the gems
Should blind my purpose, for I never saw,
Nor shall see, here or elsewhere, till I die,
Not tho' I live three lives of mortal men,
So great a miracle as yonder hilt.
Then with both hands I flung him, wheeling him;
But when I look'd again, behold an arm,
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
That caught him by the hilt, and brandish'd him
Three times, and drew him under in the mere."

Reading Tennyson's words all those years ago gave me the words to find and then to know the exhilaration of this morning's sudden gift.

For the words' white samite' leapt up into my mouth, as fresh and miraculously alive as they had been 30 years ago.

'White samite'

The most tender spell....