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Thro' the raised vizor beam'd the fearless eye,

The limpid mirror of a stately soul ;
Bright with young hope, but grave with purpose high ;

Sweet to encourage, steadftist to control ;
An e3'e from which subjected hosts might draw.
As from a double fountain, love and awe.


The careless curl, that from the helm escaped.
Gleamed in the sunlight, lending gold to gold.

The features, clear as by a chisel shaped,
Made manhood godlike as a Greek's of old ;

Save that, in hardier, bolder lines, looked forth

The soul that nerves the warchild of the North.



O'er tlie light limb, and o'er the shoulders broad,
The steel flowed j^liant as a silken vest ;

Strength was so suple that like grace it showed,
And force was only by its ease confest ;

Even as the storms in gentlest water sleep,

And in the ripple flows the mighty deep.

Now wound his path beside the woods that hang

O'er the green pleasaunce of the sunlit plain.
When a young footstep from the forest sprang,

And a light hand was on the charger's rein ;
Surprised, the adventurer halts, — but pleased surveys
The friendly face that smiles upon his gaze.

Of all the flowers of knighthood in his train.

Three he loved best; young Caradoc the mild,
Whose soul was filled with song; and frank Gawaine,(')

Whom mirth for ever, like a fnirj child,
Lock'd from the cares of life ; l^ut neither grew
Close to his heart, like Lancelot the true.


Gawaine when gay, and Caradoc when grave.
Pleased : but young Lancelot, or grave or gay.

As yet life's sea had roll'd not with a wave

To rend the plank from those twin hearts away;

At childhood's gate instinctive love began

And warm'd with every sun that led to man.

book: I. 43


The same sports lured them, the same hibours strung,
Tlie same son^^ thrill'd them with the same deliiiht ;

Where in the aisle their maiden arms had hung,
The same moon lit them thro' the watchful night ;

The same day bound their knighthood to maintain

Life from reproach, and honour from a stain.

cm. .
And if the friendship scarce in each the same,

The soul has rivals where the heart has not ;
So Lancelot loved his Arthur more than fame,

And Arthur more than life his Lancelot.
Lost here Art's mean distinctions ! knightly troth,
Frank youth, high thoughts, crown'd Nature's kings in


" Whither wends Arthur ?" " Whence comes Lancelot ?''
" From yonder forest, sought at dawn of day.''

'' Why from the forest ?" " Prince and jjrother, what,
When the bird, startled, flutters from the spray.

Makes the leaves quiver? What disturbs the rill

If but a zephyr floateth from the hill ?


"And ask'st thou why thy brothers heart is stirr'd
By every tremor that can vex thine own ?

What in that forest had'st thou seen or heard ?
What was that shadow o'er thy sunshine tiirown ?

Thy lips were silent, — be the secret thine;

But half the trouble it conceal'd was ui/ne.

* Lancelot was, indeed, the son of » king, but^ dethroned and a tribn^arv o^e.
The popular history of his infancy 'Vili be tol^^m a subsequent book.



'' Did danger meet thee in that dismal lair ?

'T was mine to face it as thy heart had done.
'T was mine — " ^'0 brother," cried the King, "beware,

The fiend has snares it shames not man to shnn;
Ah, woe to eyes on whose recoiling sight
Opes the dark ^v^orld beyond the veil of light !


" Listen to Fate ; — till to his own loved May
Comes back Bal-Huan in his amber car,*

The horns blithe music and the hound's deep bay,
With choral joy may fill Cwm-Penllafar,-}-

On spell-bound ears the Teulu'r'sJ song may fall,

Love deck the bower and mirth illume the hall —


" But thou, thou, my Lancelot, shalt mourn,
And miss thine Arthur in thy joyless soul ;

In vain for thee Pencynnyd§ wind his horn,
And liquid sunshine sparkle from the bowl ;

Love lose the smile, and song the melody :

This knows my heart — so had it mourn'd for thee !

* BAL-HuAy, the sun. Those heaps of stone found throughout Britain (Cru-
giau, or Carneu), were sacred to the sun in the Druid worship, and served as bea-
cons in his honour on May eve. May was his consecreted month. The rocking-
stones which mark these sanctuaries were called amber stones.

f Cvrm-Penllafar, the Vale of Melody — so called (as Mr. Pennant suggests)
from the nnjsic of the hounds when in full cry over the neighbouring Kock of the
Hunter — is iu Caernarvonshire. If we place Carduel in Monmouthshire, we must
suppose some oiher vale to have the same name. In the pronunciation Cwm-
Penllafar, and othet Welch words, Uie reader will have the goodness to observe,
that the w in Welch ig a vowel, corvesponding in sound to the double o (ooj

in ''good," and, when wu'n the circumile.x (vv), to the oo in ''mood."
^ Teuluwr, the Harper, or \iard of the Hall.
§ Pkncynnyu— the Head Huntsi^an.

BOOK I. 45


'^ Alone I go ; — submit ; since thus the Fates
And the great Prophet of our race ordain ;

So shall we drive invasion from our gates,

Guard life from shame, and Cymri from the chain ;

No more than this my soul to thine may tell —

Foro ive, — Saints shield thee !— now thv hand— farewell !"


'' Farewell ! Can danger be more strong than death —
Loose the soul's liids:, the grave-surviving vow ?

Wilt thou hud fragrance even in glory's wreath,
If valour weave it for thy single brow?

No — not farewell ! What claim more strong than brother

Canst thou allow ?" — '' My Country is my Mother !'' —


Answered the King, and at the solemn words

Rebuked stood Friendship, and its voice was still'd ;

As when some mighty bard with sudden chords
Strikes down the passion he before had thrill'd.

Making grief awe ; — so rush'd that sentence o'er

The soul it master'd ; — Lancelot plead no more,


But loosing from the hand it clasp'd, his own,
He waved farewell, and turn'd his face away :

His sorrow only by his silence shown —

Thus, when from earth glides summer's golden day,

Music forsakes the boughs, and winds the stream ;

And life, in deep'ning quiet, mourns the beam.


1 *' While Cymri's dragon from the Roman's hold

Spread with calm wing o'er Carduel's domes of gold.'^

Page 18, stanza iv.

The Carduel of the fabliaux is not easily ascertained : it is here
identified with Caerleon on the Usk, the favourite residence of
Arthur, according to the Welch poets. This must have been a
city of no ordinary splendour in the supposed age of Arthur,
while still fresh from the hands of the Roman ; since, so late as
the twelfth century, Giraldus Cambrensis, in his well-known de- '
scription, speaks as an eye-witness of the many vestiges of
its former splendour. " Immense palaces, ornamented with
gilded roofs, in imitation of Roman magnificence, a tower of
prodigious size, remarkable hot baths, relics of temples," &c.
(Giraldus Cambrensis, Sir R. Hoare's translation, vol. i. p. 103.)
Geoffrey of Monmouth (1. ix. c. 12,) also mentions, admiringly,
the gilt roofs of Caerleon, a subject on which he might be a little
more accurate than in those other details in his notable chronicle,
not drawn from the same ocular experience. The luxurious
Romans, indeed, had bequeathed to the chiefs of Britain, abodes
of splendour and habits of refinement which had no parallel in
the Saxon domination. Sir F. Palgrave truly remarks, that
even in the fourteenth century the edifices raised in Britain by
the Romans were so numerous and costly as almost to excel any
others on this side of the Alps. Caerleon (Isca Augusta) was
the Roman capital of Siluria, the garrison of the renowned


Second or Augustan legion, and the Palatian residence of the
Pra.>tor. It was not, however, according to national authority,
founded by the Romans, but by the mythical Belin Mawr,
three centuries before Caesar's invasion. It is scarcely neces-
sary to observe, that the dragon was the standard of the Cymry,
(a word, by the way, which 1 trust my Welch readers will for-
give me for spelling Cymri).

2 "With naked bosoms rushed on .shrinkinLT Rome."

Page 26, stanza xxxvi.

The worthy Geoffrey of Monmouth cannot contain his admi-
ration for that British valour which enabled Lucan to indulge
the celebrated sneer at Caesar : —

"Territa qiisesitis ostendit tern;a Britannis/'

'^ admirable !" exclaims Geoffrey—" admirable then the race
of Britons, wdio twice put to flight him who had submitted the
whole world to him !" (Lib. iii. cap. 3.)

3 "A slender drawhridg-e swung from brink to brink,

Alone gives fearful access to the place."

Page 28, stanza xliii.

In old fortresses, it is not unusual to find some upper story oi
a tower without other approach than the kind of drawbridge de-
scribed in the text; and which, at the pleasure of the inmate ol
the tower, gave or denied communication with the opposite bat-
tlements. One of the most perfect specimens of this defence
(not more against an invading enemy than against the mutiny
of the garrison) is to be seen in a small castle in the kingdc^m
of Sardinia, between Lucca and Genoa. The tower occu})iecl
by the commander has such a drawbridge for its sole acceSvS.

4 "There sate the wizard on a Druid throne^

AVhere sate Duw-Iou ere liis reign was lost."

Page 28, stanza xIt.

Duw-Iou, (the Taranus of Lucan,) the most solemn and au-


gust, though not the most popular of the Druid divinities an-
swering to the classic Jupiter. Indeed, in the Roman time, he
took the name of Jou-pater. The present Caerdydd was called
lou-papan, the most ancient town in Siluria (Arthur's special
heritage). By the Cromlechs of Duw-Iou is usually found a
huge stone, the pedestal or chair of the idol, — in those more
corrupt times wdien idols were admitted into the sublime creed
of the Druids. ~

5 "Which Ileus the Guardian taught the Celt to wield."

Page 36, stanza Ixxvii.

Heus is the same deity as Esus, or Hesus, mentioned in
Lucan, the Mars of the Celts. According to the Welch triads,
Heus (or Hu — Hu Gadarn ; i. e. the mighty Guardian, or In-
spector) brought the people of Cymry first into this isle, from
the summer country called Defrobani, (in the Tauric Cherso-
nese) over the Hazy Sea (the German Ocean). Davies, in his
Celtic Researches, observes that some commentator, at least as
old as the twelfth century, repeatedly explains the situation of
Defrobani as "that on which Constantinople now stands."
" This comment," adds Davies, " would not have been made
without some authority ; it belongs to an age which possessed
many documents relating to the history of the Britons w^hich are
now no longer extant."

It would be extremely important towards tracing the origin
of the Cymry, if authentic and indisputable records of such tra-
ditions of their migration from the East can be found in their
own legions at an age before learned conjecture could avail
itself of the passages in Herodotus and Strabo, which relate to
the Cimmerians, and tend to identify that people with our Cym-
rian ancestors. We find in the first (1. i. c. 14,) that the Cim-
merians, chased from their original settlements by the Nomadic
Scythians, came to Lydia, where they took Sardis (except the
citadel). In this account Strabo, on the authority of Callis-
thenes and Callinus, confirms Herodotus.

In flying from their Scythian foes, the Cimmerians took their


course by the sea-coast to Sinope, and the Cimmerian Bosphorus,
and as, after this flight, the ohl Cimmerian league was broken
up, and the tribes dispersed, this gives us the evident date for
such migrations as Hu Gadarn is supposed to head ; and the
coincidence between Welch traditions (if genuinely ancient) and
classical authority becomes very remarkable. For the additional
corroboration of the hypothesis thus suggested, which is atTorded
by the identity between the Cimmerians of Asia and the ('imbri
of Gaul, see Strabo (1. vii. p. 424, the Oxford edition, 1807).
It is curious to note in Herodotus (I. iv. c. 11) that the same
domestic feuds which destroyed the Cymrian empire in Britain
destroyed the Cimmerians in their original home. While the
Scythians invaded them, they quarrelled amongst themselves
whether to fight or fly, and settled the dispute by fighting each
other, and flying from the enemy.

6 "Yet from thy loins a race of kings shall rise,

Whose throne shall shadow all the soas that floAV."

Page 39, stanza Ixxxvii.

The prediction of Diana to the posterit}- of the Trojan Brutus
(when she directed him towards Britain) was somewhat more
magnificent than Merlin's promise to Arthur.

** Sic de prole tua regos nascentvir; ct ipsis
Totius terrse subditus orbis erit.''

Galf. Mon. lib. i. c. xi.

And frank Gawaine

AYhom mirth forever, like a fairj child,
Lock'd from the cares of life."

Page 42, stanza xcix.

Some liberty, in the course of this poem, will be taken with
the legendary character, less perhaps of the Gawalne of the
Fabliaux, than of the Gwalchmai (Hawk of Battle) of the Welch
bards. In both, indeed, this hero is represented as sage, cour-
teous, and eloquent; but he is a livelier character in the Fabliaux
than in the tales of his native land. The characters of many
of the Cymrian heroes, indeed, vary according to the caprice of



the poets. Thus Kai, in the Triads, one of the Three Diademed
chiefs of battle, and a powerful magician, is, in the French ro-
mances, Messire Queux, the chief of the cooks ; and in the Ma-
binogion,* he is at one time but an unlucky knight of more
valour than discretion, and at another time attains the dignity
assigned to him in the Triads, and exults in supernatural attri-
butes. And poor Gawaine himself, the mirror of chivalry, in
most of the Fabliaux is, as Southey observes, *' shamefully ca-
lumniated" in the Mort d'Arthur as the ''false Gawaine."
The Caradoc of this poem is not intended to be identified with
the hero Caradoc Vreichvras. The name was sufficiently com-
mon in Britain (it is the right reading from Caractacus) to allow
to the use of the poet as many Caradocs as he pleases.

The reader will bear in mind, that the hero of this poem is
neither the Arthur of the Mabinogion nor of GeofTry of Mon-
mouth. He is rather the Arthur of the Fabliaux ; of fairy legends
and knightly song. The Author takes the same liberty as that
assumed not only by the Trouveres and Romanticists, but by
Ariosto and Spencer, viz., of surrounding the heroes of the fifth
or sixth century with the chivalrous attributes of the thirteenth
or fourteenth. It will be seen in Book II. that he has also taken
a license with chronology, equally common with the poets that
suo-crest his models, and has advanced somewhat the date of
the (so called) Saxon Heptarchy; making the Mercians already
the formidable neighbours of the Cymrians. Reasons for this
will be assigned hereafter. Meanwhile it is superfluous to ob-
serve that all strict accuracy of detail would be out of character
in a poem of this kind, the very nature and merit of which con-
sist in wilful defiance of mere matter of fact.

If any apology be due for the classical allusions scattered
throughout the poem, the Author can only remind his readers
that this mixture of the Classical wath the Gothic muse, is the

* I cannot quote the Mahin'^gion without expressing a grateful sense of the ob-
ligations Lady Charlotte Guest has conferred upon all lovers of our early literature,
in her invaluable edition and tran!>laiion of that interesting collection of British


common characteristic of the chivalrous poetry of the middle
ages. And this attachment to precedent must also be his ex-
cuse (as the poem proceeds) for a somewhat liberal indulgence
in the old-fashioned and elaborate form of simile, prefixed by
the *^As whens" and " So whens" favoured by the earlier poets.
The unwelcome task of self-explanation thus entered upon,
the Author may as well complete his trespass upon the reader's
indulgence, and allude briefly to two charges brought against
the style or mannerism of "The New Timon," since that of this
poem may be equally open to them ; and the vindication is im-
portant to establish his aim in either poem, rather to err by too
formal a deference to the elder schools of verse, than by con-
scious imitation of the peculiarities most in fashion with the
modern. The first objection, indeed, would be scarcely worth
noticing, if it had not been gravely urged as an affectation and
a novelty, viz., a more frequent use of the capital letter than is
common at present. If this be an affectation, at least it is a vene-
rable one; and the reader has only to turn to the earlier editions
of our standard authors, to find ample and illustrious precedents
for that mode of emphasis. Take the following examples, chosen
at hazard : —

•'Ye careful Angels, whom eternal Fate
Ordains on Earth and human Acts to wait —
Who turn with secret Power the restless Ball,
And bid alternate Empires rise and fall."

TttOMso.v— Edit. 1774.

Open next the Baskerville edition of Congreve : —

Heartwell. — " I confess you that are Woman's Asses bear s^reator
Burdens; Are forced to undergo Dressing, Dancing, Singing, Sighing,
Whining, Rhyming, Lying, Grinning, Cringing, and the Drudgery of
Loving to boot." — Congreve, Bask. Edit. a. d. 1761, i. p. 17.

In these instances the capital letter is prefixed to every sub-
stantive. Such was, at one time, the established rule, but it
ceased to be invariable during the earlier half of the last cen-
tury, when writers of the same date, whose books were pub-
lished by the same bookseller, and printed by the same printer,


will be found to vary the rules by which the capital is employed ;
and it is remarkable, that where the arrangement and detail of
the letter-press were left solely to the printer, the capital is rarely
used when compared with those works either inspected by the
author or reprinted exactly according to the copy he had pre-
pared for that purpose. Thus, in Baskerville's edition of Mil-
ton, the capital is but little more frequent than it is in books
published now-a-days ; while, in his edition of Shaftesbury care-
fully and minutely printed from the original documents be-
queathed by the author, the capital is lavished as liberally as it
is in his edition of Congreve, to which the same observation

If we open the earlier editions of Pope, we find that, in com-
parison with his contemporaries, he is singularly select, and often
nicely discriminating in his employment of the capital.* His
general rule seems to have been to apply it to the noun of most
importance to the picture or description the verse was intended
to convey. I take but a few instances at hazard from an early

"Goddess and Queen to whom the powers belong
Of dreadful Magick and commanding Song."

Pope's OJyssy.

"A Palace in a woody vale they found." — Ibid.

"Fierce o'er the Pyre by fanning breezes spread." — Ibid.

Thus, in the lines first quoted, magic and song are the special
attributes of the goddess ; and, as such, they take the capital.
Again, the feature that distinguishes one woody vale from an-
other is the palace ; and the capital P honours the distinguish-
ing feature of the scene. The spreading flames of the Pyre form

* That Pope (]i(l not disdain thoughtrul attention to this small, hut not unim-
portant, detail in the arts of polished composition, is clear to any one acquainted
with his MSS. In his familiar correspondence, for example, he sometimes (pro-
hably from early habit) misapplies the capital even to ordinary adjectives in their
common signification, as Cowley and Wycherly had done before him ; but this will
never be found the case in the works he prepared himself for publication and re-
vised through the press.


the prominent image in another description ; and so, also, pyre
takes the large P.

It would be impossible to open any of the primitive editions
of our acknowledged classics in style, prose, or verse, but what
we shall find an use, more or less liberal, of so facile a means
to intimate a distinction or mark an emphasis.

Without vindicating the lavish indulgence of this literal orna-
ment, habitual to our ancestral models, I venture to think, at
least, that in all correct compositions a capital is appropriate.

First, — to every substantative that implies a personification.
Thus war, or fame, or peace, may in one line take the small
letter as mere nouns, and assume a different sense in another
line, when the use of the capital indicates that they are raised
into personifications.*

If Gray had written

"But knowledge to their eyes its ample page
Rich with the spoils," &c.

knowledge would have been properly spelt with the small k ;
but as he wrote her ample page, and knowledge is thus intended
to be a personification, the capital K was, in the earlier editions,
properly employed. 'J'his rule is clear.f All personifications
may be said to represent proper names : love with a small 1
means but a passion or affection ; with a large L, Love repre-

* So, in "The New Timon," there occurs the following hne. **Ease on the
wing and Labour at the wheel," and as it was facetiously asked by some critic,
" why Labour should be spelt with a big L and wheel with a little w." Simply
because Labour is here evidently a personification, and wheel is not.

The use of the capital, according to this rule, will be more or less frequent, ac-
cording as the habit of personification is more or less indulged by the author. This
last depends not only on the inclination of the author to regard things objectively,
but also on the choice of his subject. Narrative poets necessarily personify ideas
more often than didactic ones.

f It is invariable with Gray, if we examine the editions printed in his life-time;
and his authority in all matters of scholarship and accurate taste is perhaps, next
to Milton's, the best in the language. In my use of the capital Gray has been my
model, and I do not think I have used it in a single sentence where it would not
have been used by him.


sents some mythological power that presides over the passion or
affection, and is as much a proper name as Venus, or Eros, or
Camdeo, &c. &c.

Secondly — it is submitted that a capital may be properly pre-
fixed to an adjective used as a noun : as the Far, the Unknown,
the Obscure.* The capital here but answers the use of all
printed inventions in simplifying to the reader the Author's in-
tention. If I write with a small o, " He passed thro' the ob-
scure," the reader naturally looks for the substantive that is to
follow^ the adjective : if I prefix the capital, " He passed thro'
the Obscure," the eye conveys to the mind, without an effort,
the author's intention to use the adjective as a substantive. The
capital in such instances should be employed rarely, because
the change of the adjective into a substantive ceases to be an
elegance when abused by frequent adoption. The same rule
holds good where a phrase stands in the sense of a single noun,
and implies a personification distinct from the ordinary use of
the words. Thus if I write " Nature is the principle of life," I
should use the small p and the small 1, because the phrase merely
conveys an assertion ; but if I write only " the Principle of Life,"
meaning thereby to imply Nature, I should employ the capital
to Principle and Life, because the phrase is not used in the or-
dinary sense, but stands for the personification of Nature as an
active power.

It is in conformity with these rules — which I find it difficult
to suppose that any accurate grammarian can dispute — that I
have made use of this very ancient, and very innocent privilege ;
indulging in but rare exceptions ; founded on the same princi-
ple, viz., of conveying by the readiest sign possible the Author's
intention, and calling the notice of the reader to what the Author
considers a distinction, worth while to notice, in the delicate and
subtle varieties of meaning in which the same words may be

* So Pope :

*' Spencer himself affects the Obsolete."

liniiat. of Ilor. b. ii.


I will take but one instance in illustration of such exceptions.
If, in some allusion, I write " of Nymphs that wander over the
fork'd hill," and I print the last two words as they are printed
above, the adjective, in the ordinary rapid course of reading,

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