Lovers of the poems of William Morris will rejoice to hear that Mr. Punch's collection of Lost Masterpieces includes one really choice fragment of his work which has hitherto never appeared in print. It is couched in the agreeable jargon peculiar to what may be called Kelmscot Verse, and the completed poem was intended to form part of a volume to be called A Defence of Wardour Street, and other Poems:—

So from the castle gate, wherethrough
The autumn mist full coldly blew.
They ’gan to ride and no word said.
She mused, “’Twere better I were dead
Than thus mv lord should frown on me.”
“Gramercy, sweet my lord,” quoth she,
“Meseems our steeds go prickingly.”
No word Sir ABLAMOUR replied,
But with a groan he left her side,
Spurring his horse as though in pain
The while. And silence fell again.

Whereat she let her wimple fall,
And fastened well her snood withal,
While down her poor wan cheek perdie
The big tears rolled incessantly,
And “Ah,” she sighed, “and welladay,
I know not what to say.”

So they two rode across the plain,
Nor ever stayed nor yet drew rein
Till, travel-stained and cross,
God wot, They clattered into Camelot.

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“Lost Masterpieces.” Punch (25 November 1903): 365.

Last modified 4 April 2008