The Isle of Avalon.*

The breeze that crisps the shining sea,1
To fragrance-breathing haunts repairs2
On violet-mantled hill and lea,3
And garnered store of sweetness bears4
Through the high palace halls upon5
The fairy Isle of Avalon.6
Gate, tower and wall and minaret,7
Crowning the height whose crimson base8
The placid argent wavelets fret,9
Flash in the sun’s outrivalled face :10
Gem-fraught the sculptured mansion on11
The lustrous Isle of Avalon.12
The warrior, pure of heart and hand,13
Whose blood hath stream’d for right oppressed,14
Uplifted by a white-stoled band,15
With charm of song is lulled to rest,16
’Mid rosy bowers, aye, blooming on17
The verdure of far Avalon,18
There spring abides ; but ’tis not ours19
That pierces oft with winter’s sting ;20
The tranquil sky, sweet air and flowers21
Reveal the bliss old poets sing :22
The golden age hath ever shone23
Amid the fields of Avalon.24
The balmy air with healing fraught25
Dispels the host of mortal ills ;26
The power of death it brings to naught,27
And keenest anguish quickly stills.28
All sorrow he forgets anon29
Who dwells in happy Avalon.30
Thus Fancy paints thee now, sweet isle !31
As faith of old thine image cheered ;32
But thoughts that gave thee birth beguile33
Still countless hearts by trouble seared,34
Foreseeing sorrow’s phantoms wan35
Fade in some joy-lit Avalon.36

* Not that described by Tennyson, but in “ Fairy
mythology,” page 71.