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Idylls of the King

Lord Alfred Tennyson

Book Overview: 

Idylls of the King, is a cycle of twelve narrative poems by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson which retells the legend of King Arthur, his knights, his love for Guinevere and her tragic betrayal of him, and the rise and fall of Arthur's kingdom. The whole work recounts Arthur's attempt and failure to lift up mankind and create a perfect kingdom, from his coming to power to his death at the hands of the traitor Mordred. Individual poems detail the deeds of various knights, including Lancelot, Geraint, Galahad, and Balin and Balan, and also Merlin and the Lady of the Lake. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .At once Sir Lancelot's charger fiercely neighed,
  And Death's dark war-horse bounded forward with him.
  Then those that did not blink the terror, saw
  That Death was cast to ground, and slowly rose.
  But with one stroke Sir Gareth split the skull.
  Half fell to right and half to left and lay.
  Then with a stronger buffet he clove the helm
  As throughly as the skull; and out from this
  Issued the bright face of a blooming boy
  Fresh as a flower new-born, and crying, 'Knight,
  Slay me not: my three brethren bad me do it,
  To make a horror all about the house,
  And stay the world from Lady Lyonors.
  They never dreamed the passes would be past.'
  Answered Sir Gareth graciously to one
  Not many a moon his younger, 'My fair c. . . Read More