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GAWAIN AND MARJORIE

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Author Topic: GAWAIN AND MARJORIE  (Read 332 times)
Victoria Liss
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« on: November 30, 2009, 03:00:06 am »


GAWAIN AND MARJORIE
by
OSCAR FAY ADAMS
ARGUMENT.


"See, saw, Margery Daw:
Sold her bed and lay on straw."
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Victoria Liss
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 03:00:26 am »

The first born son of Lot and Bellicent,
Gawain, in far-off days of striplinghood,--
Before men call'd him "false" or "light of love,"
And yet the same, for as the boy, the man,--
Half-aimless wandering upon a day
In sweet mid-summer of the Orcades,
Slack-footed under heat and thirst, had come
To a lone fountain in the woods, and bode,
List'ning the tinkling fall of waters cool
And watching the swift arrow-flight of birds.
Tall as a man was Gawain, yet in sooth
The prince was but a lad in years, and all
The curves of his lithe body spoke the boy;
But let a twelvemonth pass and these would pass.
So stood the time with restless Gawain, who
By fits and starts chaf'd at the island ways,
And gladly would have left the court of Lot
For lands to southward, but that Bellicent
Had pray'd him "Stay a little," and again,
"O stay!"
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Victoria Liss
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 03:00:56 am »

Now, as it hapt, to quiet lull'd
By fall of waters and by stir of leaves,
He past the gates of sleep before he knew,
And woke to find the shadows trebl'd, while
A face was looking into his with eyes
Darker than water in a sunless pool:
A maid scarce two years younger than himself.
A gown clung round her, leaving feet and arms
Bare to the summer's sun, and down her back
There roll'd the rippling blackness of her hair
That sparkl'd like the feathers of the daw.
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Victoria Liss
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2009, 03:01:32 am »

Now, as it hapt, to quiet lull'd
By fall of waters and by stir of leaves,
He past the gates of sleep before he knew,
And woke to find the shadows trebl'd, while
A face was looking into his with eyes
Darker than water in a sunless pool:
A maid scarce two years younger than himself.
A gown clung round her, leaving feet and arms
Bare to the summer's sun, and down her back
There roll'd the rippling blackness of her hair
That sparkl'd like the feathers of the daw.
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Victoria Liss
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2009, 03:01:40 am »

  "Wind, sun, and rain! and sweet the murmurs be
      Of rill and runlet tinkling to the sea:
      Yet not so sweet as sweet Love's voice to me.

      "Rain, wind, and sun! and dear the wood paths are,
      And dear the glimmering of the evening star,
      But not so dear as Love's step heard from far.

      "Sun, rain, and wind! and fair all blossoms shine;
      Fairer are moonbeams thro' the quivering vine:
      Fairer are Love's eyes looking into mine.
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2009, 03:01:48 am »


      "Fair, sweet, and dear! and light of heart am I!
      Dear, fair, and sweet! I cannot choose but cry.
      Sweet, fair, and dear! Oh, love me, or I die!"

So ran the words, and when the lute had twang'd
Itself to silence, and the song had end,
The maid had turn'd to pass adown the wood
Without a word in parting. Gawain then--
"Fair, sweet, and dear, so seems thy song to me:
What may they call thee, singer?"
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2009, 03:02:29 am »

  "Marjorie,"
The maid gave answer. Then the prince: "Thou art
No maid of Orkney, with such eyes and hair."
To which the other:
                                     "No, but since my life
Was pluckt from welter of down-streaming seas
In some wild storm, so they that sav'd me say,
None other home than Orkney have I known."
Then by degrees in question and reply,
Did Gawain learn the maiden's history,
Simple enough and like the maid herself:
For after that chance rescue from the sea,
The rough shore folk, kind after their rough kind,
Had made her welcome unto all they had,
And she, content, had dwelt with them till now.
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2009, 03:02:54 am »

And once a damsel from King Arthur's court
Had taught her songs; she knew not what they meant,
But lov'd to sing them to the damsel's lute.
She ceased and turn'd on Gawain a full face,
And crying, "An it please you, sir, farewell,"
Was gone as lightly as the thistle-down
Is blown along upon a summer breeze.
Then Gawain, rising, strode back slow to court,
Musing the while upon the maid whose hair
Outmatch'd the daw's for blackness, and whose eyes
Gleam'd like the water in a sunless pool,
And on the morrow sought the forest fount,
And on the the morrow after, and again
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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2009, 03:03:11 am »

Until a week was past, yet never saw
Her whom he would, and day by day grew sick
At heart, till all the court had talk of it.
The queen alone, out of her mother wit
At last made happy hazard of the cause,
And drew from him the story of his love;
And, for she hoped this love might keep the prince
At Orkney ever, set herself to find
The maid, and finding, brought her to the court
To serve as maid of honour till the time
Were ripe for her and Gawain to be wed.
Then, thinking, "All is well for them and me,"
Bided content.
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Victoria Liss
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2009, 03:03:28 am »

 Months sped till twelve wore past,
And still Maid Marjorie bode at the court;
And Gawain likewise bode, till through his blood
Ran sudden promptings like to drive him hence
Ere long, forgetful of Maid Marjorie
Or Bellicent. Now, as it hapt, there came
Rumours of Arthur to the Orkney court,
And how he beat the heathen down, and how
He fain would build a kingdom in the south
And rear a throne and reign for love of Christ,
And how all brave knights crav'd to serve with him.
This Gawain heard, and, fir'd with knightly zeal,
Past in an hour from boy to man, and took
His armour from the hall, and girt his sword
Upon his thigh, mounted his horse and rode
Away to Arthur in the far southwest,
With scarce a word of parting.
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Victoria Liss
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2009, 03:03:31 am »

 Months sped till twelve wore past,
And still Maid Marjorie bode at the court;
And Gawain likewise bode, till through his blood
Ran sudden promptings like to drive him hence
Ere long, forgetful of Maid Marjorie
Or Bellicent. Now, as it hapt, there came
Rumours of Arthur to the Orkney court,
And how he beat the heathen down, and how
He fain would build a kingdom in the south
And rear a throne and reign for love of Christ,
And how all brave knights crav'd to serve with him.
This Gawain heard, and, fir'd with knightly zeal,
Past in an hour from boy to man, and took
His armour from the hall, and girt his sword
Upon his thigh, mounted his horse and rode
Away to Arthur in the far southwest,
With scarce a word of parting.
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Victoria Liss
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2009, 03:03:54 am »

  Then the maid,
Who until Gawain went knew not her heart,
Felt that her heart was reft from her, and droopt
Like some dark lily in an August noon;
And all the court were ware and pitied her,
Save one, who fain had drawn Prince Gawain's love
To her, and failing, hated all men sore,
But most the maid in favour at the court.
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2009, 03:04:12 am »

Slow wan'd the months, and scant the tidings brought
Of Gawain till a year had past, and then
A rumour blown about the court proclaim'd
The prince was yet with Arthur, and was made
One of the Table Round, and now was fam'd
As much for conquest in the court of Love
As service in the field or tournament.
Many a noble maid, so blew about
The word, had caught the young knight's fancy, caught,
But failed to hold, save for a week or month,
And he had gone his way and left the maid
To grieve, and all men call'd him "light of love,"
"False Gawain," too, but naught did Gawain care.
Now when the accusing whisper reach'd the queen,
She laid command no tongue should tell the tale
To Marjorie; but one, the vengeful maid
Past o'er by Gawain, brought the flying word
To Marjorie, and, fierce with spite, told all.
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2009, 03:04:27 am »

This when the damsel Gawain first had lov'd
Heard but still clung to hope, she straightway came
To Bellicent beseeching that the queen
Would grant her escort of some faithful squire,
That she might go herself to Arthur's court
Of Camelot; and pitying Bellicent,
Making no question, knowing well the cause,
Granted the boon, but swell'd it till the maid
Was 'compani'd befitting one of rank.
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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2009, 03:04:40 am »

Then followed weary days, for first there came
The passage over seas, and journey rough
By ways of peril next, until they drew
Nigh unto Arthur's city of the West,
The hundred-tower'd Camelot.
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