A Chapter by Debbie Barry

A poem about King Arthur.




May 2, 1990

On a night of snow
At Christmastide
A child cried
His first breathing.

A child of kings,
Begat on a queen,
He was given away
At his birthing.

The child was lodged
Amid humble folk,
Hid from the eyes
Of ambition.

By sea and by land,
As was the Sword,
He was moved safe
To the Wildwood.

Begotten in sin,
Though a b*****d not,
Fostered in kindness
As a younger son.

Then into his youth
Came a prophet disguised
To teach a kinglet
As befitted a king.

To the Isle of Glass,
Led by a white stag,
Pursuing a white hound,
He went to his destiny.

The Sword of the Emperor,
Crafted for kings,
Lay hid in the castle
Under the lake.

The boy became man
Braving death and darkness,
Led by the omens
To prophecy's filling.

The sword he raised
Above the waters,
And hid it in fire
In a place of the gods.

An old king dying
Fought the black tide -
Called for his son
To take up his sword.

In sight of all gathered
King's sword to king's son
Passed as a signing
In the midst of the battle.

Later the feasting,
And a sinning in innocence.
Then the declaring
Of the lost heir.

False omen and treachery
Smote the king;
The prince stood calm
Before his kingdom.

Then to the Wildwood
To take from the flames
The Sword lying shrouded
On the perilous altar.

In fire and power
He came to his kingdom,
Dispelling the dark
And uniting the land.

© 2017 Debbie Barry

Author's Note

Debbie Barry
I wrote this when I was 21. Initial reactions welcome.

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Added on November 9, 2017
Last Updated on November 9, 2017
Tags: poem, poetry, king arthur, arthurian, legend, myth, excaliber

My Youngish Adult Poetry


Debbie Barry
Debbie Barry

Clarkston, MI

I live with my husband in southeastern Michigan with our two cats, Mister and Goblin. We enjoy exploring history through French and Indian War re-enactment and through medieval re-enactment in the So.. more..