Thursday, January 29, 2015

From My Commonplace: Let the King Reign!

One of the books currently under discussion over at the Ambleside Online Forum is Tennyson's Idylls of the King, a poetic re-telling of the King Arthur legend.  I've never been a big poetry person (although reading it aloud daily with my children these past several years is helping)…I even had to ask someone to explain to me exactly what it meant that the Idylls are written in blank verse!  But now that I've gotten into it, I'm finding that I really love it.  Here's one bit from the end of "The Coming of Arthur" to whet your appetite.  This is what is sung by his knights after Arthur's marriage to Guinevere:
"Then while they paced a city all on fire
With sun and cloth of gold, the trumpets blew,
And Arthur's knighthood sang before the King: -
'Blow, trumpet, for the world is white with May!
Blow trumpet, the long night hath roll'd away!
Blow thro' the living world – 'Let the King reign!"
'Shall Rome or Heathen rule in Arthur's realm?
Flash brand and lance, fall battle-axe upon helm,
Fall battle-axe, and flash brand! Let the King reign!
'Strike for the King and live! his knights have heard
That God hath told the King a secret word.
Fall battle-axe, and flash brand! Let the King reign!
'Blow trumpet! He will lift us from the dust.
Blow trumpet! Live the strength, and die the lust!
Clang battle-axe, and clash brand! Let the King reign!
'Strike for the King and die! And if thou diest,
The King is king, and ever wills the highest.
Clang battle-axe and clash brand! Let the King reign!
'Blow, for our Sun is mighty in his May!
Blow, for our Sun is mightier day by day!
Clang battle-axe, and clash brand!  Let the King reign!
'The King will follow Christ, and we the King,
In whom high God hath breathed a secret thing.
Fall battle axe, and clash brand!  Let the King reign!"
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "The Coming of Arthur" Lines 478-501, Idylls of the King
Beautiful, isn't it?

In My Bookbag This Week:
Devotional/Theological: Revelation, with a commentary The Final Word (Wilmshurst)
Practical Christian Living: Ourselves (Mason)
Book Discussion Group Titles: Inferno (Dante), Idylls of the King (Tennyson), The Everlasting Man  (Chesterton)
On Education: The Abolition of Man (Lewis), How to Read a Book (Adler)
Special Interest: The New World (Churchill)
Novel/Biography/Memoir: Heatherley (Thompson)
Read-Alouds with the Children: Little House on the Prairie (Wilder), The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Lewis), Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold (Benge)
*In the interest of full disclosure, Inferno and The Abolition of Man are currently on the back burner, at least until I finish The Everlasting Man.  I got a little too excited and bit off more 'heavy' books than I could chew at one time.   I do intend to finish them eventually, though, so in the pile they stay. :)

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  1. I almost joined this book discussion. I downloaded it onto my kindle and everything, but got a little intimidated (because like you, I've never been a big fan of poetry - thank you public school, ha), and joined the other discussion instead. One of these days I may take it on, though :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. The end is so fun. And then I remember we don't have earthly Kings here LOL

    I'm having a hard time not putting other things into my book bag. Totally identify with adding too many heavy things :)

  3. Oops, forgot to subscribe to comments.