The Quest

(1882)

In years long past we met a while and vowed 
   Light vows we scarcely knew of—she and I­
Made compact sweetly, that if Life allowed,
   I, as true knight should bear her by and bye,
To some strong castle fairy guarded—there
   To be my Queen—and there live out the years'

Allotted in all love: but now I hear
  The burden of a thousand hopes and fears
Spring from those words—I knight am old and worn;
  'Tis long time since I saw my Lady's face,
And she perchance is dead, and I am sworn
  To seek her out in whatsoever place 
They laid her. Have thou pity on my woe, 
  And tell me if she be alive or no.