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Fragments of the lofty strain
For not with arras, made in painful loom,
But with pure gold, it all was overlaid, Wrought with wild antics, which their follies played
In the rich metal as they living were: A thousand monstrous forms therein were made,
Such as false Love doth oft upon him wear; For love in thousand monstrous forms doth oft appear.
And all about the glistering walls were hung
With warlike spoils and with victotorious prayes Of mighty conquerors and captains strong,
Which were whilom captived in their days
To cruel love, and wrought their own decays.
Their swords and spears were broke, and hauberks rent,
And their proud garlands of triumphant bays
Trodden to dust with fury insolent, To show the victor's might and merciless intent.
The warlike maid, beholding earnestly The goodly ordinance of this rich place,
Did greatly wonder, nor did satisfy Her greedy eyes by gazing a long
But more she marvelled that no footing's trace Nor wight appeared, but wasteful emptiness
And solemn silence over all that space: Strange thing it seemed that none was to possess So rich purveyance, nor them keep with carefulness.
And as she looked about, she did behold
How over that same door was likewise writ,
"Be bold, be bold," and everywhere, "Be bold;
That much she mused, yet could not construe it
Then those who went with Gareth were amazed,
One crying, "Let us go no further. lord.
Here is a city of Enchanters, built By fairy Kings." The second echoed him, "Lord, we have heard from our wise men at home
To Northward, that this King is not the King,
But only changeling out of Fairyland, Who drave the heathen hence by sorcery
And Merlin's glamour." Then the first again, "Lord, there is no such city anywhere, But all a vision."
Gareth answered them With laughter, swearing he had glamour enow