New Poems by Sangharakshita

This section contains recent (1999-2002) poems, not
previously published in any media.


Three Arthurian Poems

1) The White Hawthorn

A Recollection of Burne-Jones' 'The Beguiling of Merlin'

If it could speak, the white hawthorn,
What would it say?
Merlin and wily Vivien
Wandered this way

If it could speak, the white hawthorn,
What could it tell?
Vivien wrested from Merlin
A mighty spell

If it could speak, the white hawthorn,
What then the sound?
With the spell Vivien pent Merlin
Far under ground

If it could speak, the white hawthorn,
What were the sighs?
Female beauty can overbear
Even the wise


2) Love and Duty

Guinevere loved the King
Much less than she esteemed,
And so of gallant Lancelot
She dreamed and dreamed and dreamed.

One day the dream became so deep
That it was dream no more,
And she and gallant Lancelot
Stood on a lonely shore,

And standing on that lonely shore
They heard a dreadful sound,
A sound as of the Crack of Doom,
As split the Table Round;

And thus the lawless passion
Of Arthur's guilty queen
Broke up the goodliest fellowship
That e're on earth was seen.

Let love and duty coincide,
Lest both of them be hurled
To ruin, and the Crack of Doom
Be heard around the world.


3) The Cell of Glass

Merlin, in his cell of glass
Imprisoned, sees the centuries pass;
Sees the nations come and go
Like clouds in Autumn, fast or slow;
Sees cities rise and cities fall
Like flowers in Springtime, one and all.
Grieved or rejoicing, inly wracked,
He sees, and sees - but cannot act.