Monday, February 28, 2005

Drawing Near to Faerie

The Queen of Drum flees her pursuers:

Far over the piled hills, and past
the Hills she knew, she travelled fast;
She found a valley like a cup
With moonshine to the brim filled up,
So pure a sweep of hollow ground,
Treeless, with turf so short around
That not one shadow there could fall
But, smooth like liquid, over all,
Night's ghastly parody of day,
The lidless stare of moonlight lay.
Down into it, and straight ahead,
A single path before her led,
--A mossy way; and two ways more
There met it on the valley floor;
From left and right they came, and right
And left ran on out of the light.
And near that parting of three ways
She thought there was a silver haze,
She thought there was a giant's head
Pushed from the earth with whiteness spread
Of beard beneath and from its crown
Cararacts of whiteness tumbling down.
Then she drew near, tip-toed in awe,
And looked again; this time she saw
It was a thornbush, milky white
That poured sweet smell upon the night.
And nearer yet she came and then,
Bathed in its fragrance, looked again,
And lo! it was a horse and rider,
Breathing, unmoving, close beside her
More beautiful and larger
Than earthly beast, that charger,
Where rode the proudest rider;
--Rich his arms, bewitching
His air--a wilful, elfin
Emperor, proud of temper,
In mail of eldest moulding
and sword of elven silver,
Smiling to beguile her...

~C.S. Lewis, Narrative Poems, "The Queen of Drum", lines 153 - 191 (1969)

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