html website builder

The summer day was long and hot;
King Arthur rode from Camelot;


And worn with court-craft, sought repose
Among the groves where Ivel flows.


There, whiles he lay in shadows dim,
A wondrous sight appeared to him.


A shadow drifted toward the king--
A clouded, human-seeming thing,


A futile, fleeting, feeble shape
With listless arms and mouth agape,


Devoid of purpose, force or will--
The foolish half-man, Keudawd Pwyll,


That quavered out in plaintive key:
"Great king, arise, and strive with me!"


Loud laughed the champion, "Ho! ho! ho!
Shall Arthur strive with such a foe?"


The form that seemed of vapor spun
Waxed huge and black against the sun,


Of goodly girth and ample height,
A burly carl of brawn and might


That voiced a challenge bold and free:
"Arise, O man, and strive with me!"


Still paltered Arthur. "Nay!" he said.
"What need of strife? My hardihead


"Is proved and known; and peace is best
In summer's glow. So let me rest!"


Gigantic swelled that gruesome form,
His head a cliff, his brows a storm;


All ruth, all guile he cast away;
He spurned the monarch where he lay


And bellowed forth in evil glee:
"Thou fool! Arise and strive with me!"


Then Arthur rose for very shame.
He grappled, strove, and overcame;


But deep it made his heart to groan
Before that wight was overthrown;


And sore he taxed his vaulted strength
Before the giant lay his length!


So panted Arthur: "Aye! forsooth,
He called me 'Fool'--and spoke the truth.


"Yea, 'fool!' to scorn a feeble foe
While false indulgence made him grow!"


Boast not thy strength. Make no delay.
That foeman waxes day by day.


Strike swift! let cravens flinch or flee
If Half-Man Habit challenge thee!