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Poem by Eleanor Farjeon

The Quest

A Knight rides forth upon a Quest,
And his young Squire follows after;
The Knight's eyes dwell on a star's white crest,
And the Squire's eyes dwell on laughter.

"What of the Quest that claims our swords?"
The young Squire asks his master.
The Knight says, "'Tis too high for words,"
And they speed their horses faster.

A beggar hails them: "Alms! alms, Sir Knight,
Or loose my life with your dagger!"
The Knight sees only a star's white light,
And the Squire's purse pays the beggar.

A sturdy robber the highroad bars:
"Sir Knight, our debts we'll settle!"
The Knight hears only the song of stars,
And the Squire's blade wins the battle.

A lady looks from a castle wall:
"Sir Knight, in pity stay thee!
Untrammel me who lie here in thrall,
And I in love will pay thee."

The Knight is set on a goal heaven-high
Where a silver star is risen,
And the young Squire it is springs by
To free the maid from prison.

"Take, good Sir Knight, my pleasure and pride,
The meed of valiant striving!
Here wait the lips of your glad bride
Whose name is Joy-of-Living."

Starward, starward the rapt Knight goes,
The star's true image missing.
The lady laughs like a lovely rose
And the Squire's lips do the kissing.

"What, boy, are you my love doth woo?
What's he that would not woo it?"
"He's John-a-Dreams-o'-Dering-do,
And I'm Dick-up-an'-Do-it."

Eleanor Farjeon

Eleanor Farjeon's other poems:
  1. Sonnets. 1. Man Cannot Be a Sophist to His Heart
  2. Sonnets. 9. Love Needs not Two the Render It Complete
  3. Two Choruses from Merlin in Broceliande
  4. Wild Hyacinth
  5. Sonnets. 10. What is this anguish then that always stands

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Aleister Crowley The Quest ("A part, immutable, unseen")
  • Robert Service The Quest ("I sought Him on the purple seas")

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