The Modernist Web
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ford Madox Ford
George Bernard Shaw
William Butler Yeats
The Sixth Canto
The Sixth Canto
THE tale of thy deeds Odysseus!” and Tolosan
Ground rents, sold by Guillaume, ninth duke of Aquitaine;
Till Louis is wed with Eleanor; the wheel . . .
(“Conrad, the wheel turns and in the end turns ill”)
And Acre and boy’s love . . . for her uncle was
Commandant at Acre, she was pleased with him;
And Louis, French King, was jealous of days unshared
This pair had had together in years gone;
And he drives on for Zion, as “God wills”
To find, in six weeks time, the Queen’s scarf is
Twisted a-top the casque of Saladin.
“For Sandbrueil’s ransom.” But the pouch-mouths add,
“She went out hunting, and the palm-tufts
“Give shade above mottled columns, and she rode back late,
“Late, latish, yet perhaps it was not too late.”
Then France again, and to be rid of her
To brush his antlers: Poictiers, Aquitaine!
And Adelaide Castilla wears the crown.
Eleanor down water-butt, dethroned, debased, unqueen’d.
Unqueen’d five rare long months,
And face sand-red, pitch gait, Harry Plantagenet,
The sputter in place of speech,
But King, about to be, King Louis! takes a queen.
“E quand lo reis Louis lo entendit
mout er fasché”
And yet Gisors, in six years thence,
Was Marguerite’s. And Harry
In pledge for all his life and life of all his heirs
Shall have Gisors and Vexis and Neauphal, Neufchastel;
But if no issue, Gisors shall revert
And Vexis and Neufchastel and Neauphal to the French crown.
Si tuit li dol el plor el marrimen
were set together they would seem but light
Against the death of the young English King,
Harry the Young is dead and all men mourn, a song,
Mourn all good courtiers, fighters, cantadors.”
And still Old Harry keeps grip on Gisors
And Neufchastel and Neauphal and Vexis;
And two years war, and never two years go by
but come new forays, and “The wheel
“Turns, Conrad, turns, and in the end toward ill.”
And Richard and Alix span the gap, Gisors,
And Eleanor and Richard face the King,
For the fourth family time Plantagenet
Faces his dam and whelps, . . . and holds Gisors,
Now Alix’ dowry, against Philippe-Auguste
(Louis’ by Adelaide, wood-lost, then crowned at Etampe)
And never two years sans war.
And Zion still
Bleating away to Eastward, the lost lamb,
Damned city (was only Frederic knew
The true worth of, and patched with Malek Kamel
The sane and sensible peace to bait the world
And set all camps disgruntled with all leaders.
“Damn’d atheists!” alike Mahomet growls,
And Christ grutches more sullen for Sicilian sense
Than does Mahound on Malek.)
The bright coat
Is more to the era, and in Messina’s beach-way
Des Barres and Richard split the reed-lances
And the coat is torn.
(Moving in heavy air: Henry and Saladin.)
(The serpent coils in the crowd.)
The letters run: Tancred to Richard:
That the French King is
More against thee, than is his will to me
Good and in faith; and moves against your safety.
Richard to Tancred:
That our pact stands firm,
And, for these slanders, that I think you lie.
Proofs, and in writing:
And if Bourgogne say they were not
Deliver’d by hand and his,
Let him move sword against me and my word.
Richard to Philip: silence, with a tone.
Richard to Flanders: the subjoined and precedent.
Philip a silence; and then, “Lies and turned lies
“For that he will fail Alix
“Affianced, and Sister to Ourself.”
Richard: “My father’s bed-piece! A Plantagenet
“Mewls on the covers, with a nose like his, already.”
In the Name
Of Father and of Son Triune and Indivisible
Philip of France by Goddes Grace
To all men presents that our noble brother
Richard of England engaged by mutual oath
(a sacred covenant applicable to both)
wed Alix but whomso he choose
We cede him Gisors Neauphal and Vexis
And to the heirs male of his house
Cahors and Querci Richard’s the abbeys ours
Of Figeac and Souillac St. Gilles left still in peace
Alix returns to France.
Made in Messina in
The year 1190 of the Incarnation of the Word.
Reed lances broken, a cloak torn by Des Barra
Do turn King Richard from the holy wars.
And “God aid Conrad
“For man’s aid comes slow,” Aye tarries upon the road,
En Bertrans cantat.
And before all this
By Correze, Malemort
A young man walks, at church with galleried porch
By river-marsh, pacing,
He was come from Ventadom; and Eleanor turning on thirty years,
Domna jauzionda, and he says to her
“My lady of Ventadom
“Is shut by Eblis in, and will not hawk nor hunt
“Nor get her free in the air,
nor watch fish rise to bait
“Nor the glare-wing’d dies alight in the creek’s edge
“Save in my absence, Madame.
‘Que la lauzeta mover’
“Send word, I ask you, to Eblis,
you have seen that maker
“And tinder of songs, so far afield as this
“That he may free her,
who sheds such light in the air.”