Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
 
Extracts from The Defence of Guenevere: Ladies’ Gard (from Golden Wings)
By William Morris (1834–1896)
 
MIDWAYS of a walled garden,
  In the happy poplar land,
  Did an ancient castle stand,
With an old knight for a warden.
 
Many scarlet bricks there were        5
  In its walls, and old grey stone;
  Over which red apples shone
At the right time of the year.
 
On the bricks the green moss grew,
  Yellow lichen on the stone,        10
  Over which red apples shone;
Little war that castle knew.
 
Deep green water fill’d the moat,
  Each side had a red-brick lip,
  Green and mossy with the drip        15
Of dew and rain; there was a boat
 
Of carven wood, with hangings green
  About the stern; it was great bliss
  For lovers to sit there and kiss
In the hot summer noons, not seen.        20
 
Across the moat the fresh west wind
  In very little ripples went;
  The way the heavy aspens bent
Towards it was a thing to mind.
 
The painted drawbridge over it        25
  Went up and down with gilded chains,
  ’Twas pleasant in the summer rains
Within the bridge-house there to sit.
 
There were five swans that ne’er did eat
  The water-weeds, for ladies came        30
  Each day, and young knights did the same,
And gave them cakes and bread for meat.
 
They had a house of painted wood,
  A red roof gold-spiked over it,
  Wherein upon their eggs to sit        35
Week after week; no drop of blood,
 
Drawn from men’s bodies by sword-blows,
  Came ever there, or any tear;
  Most certainly from year to year
’Twas pleasant as a Provence rose.        40
 
 
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