Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE GILLYFLOWER OF GOLD, by WILLIAM MORRIS (1834-1896)



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THE GILLYFLOWER OF GOLD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A golden gillyflower today
Last Line: Hah! Hah! La belle jaune giroflee.
Subject(s): Knights & Knighthood; Love


A GOLDEN gillyflower to-day
I wore upon my helm alway,
And won the prize of this tourney.
Hah! hah! la belle jaune giroflee.
However well Sir Giles might sit,
His sun was weak to wither it,
Lord Miles's blood was dew on it:
Hah! hah! la belle jaune giroflee.
Although my spear in splinters flew
From John's steel-coat, my eye was true;
I wheeled about, and cried for you.
Hah! hah! la belle jaune giroflee.
Yea, do not doubt my heart was good,
Though my sword flew like rotten wood,
To shout, although I scarcely stood,
Hah! hah! la belle jaune giroflee.
My hand was steady, too, to take
My axe from round my neck, and break
John's steel-coat up for my love's sake.
Hah! hah! la belle jaune giroflee.
When I stood in my tent again,
Arming afresh, I felt a pain
Take hold of me, I was so fain --
Hah! hah! la belle jaune giroflee.
To hear: "Honneur aux fils des preux!"
Right in my ears again, and shew
The gillyflower blossomed new.
Hah! hah! la belle jaune giroflee.
The Sieur Guillaume against me came,
His tabard bore three points of flame
From a red heart: with little blame --
Hah! hah! la belle jaune giroflee.
Our tough spears crackled up like straw;
He was the first to turn and draw
His sword, that had no speck nor flaw, --
Hah! hah! la belle jaune giroflee.
But I felt weaker than a maid,
And my brain, dizzied and afraid,
Within my helm a fierce tune play'd, --
Hah! hah! la belle jaune giroflee.
Until I thought of your dear head,
Bowed to the gillyflower bed,
The yellow flowers stained with red; --
Hah! hah! la belle jaune giroflee.
Crash! how the swords met, "giroflee!"
The fierce tune in my helm would play,
"La belle! la belle jaune giroflee!"
Hah! hah! la belle jaune giroflee.
Once more the great swords met again,
"La belle! la belle!" but who fell then?
Le Sieur Guillaume, who struck down ten; --
Hah! hah! la belle jaune giroflee.
And as, with mazed and unarmed face,
Toward my own crown and the Queen's place
They led me at a gentle pace, --
Hah! hah! la belle jaune giroflee.
I almost saw your quiet head
Bowed o'er the gillyflower bed,
The yellow flowers stained with red, --
Hah! hah! la belle jaune giroflee.




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