A cart drives northwards through the dying light,
the aging Sage of Arthur holds the reins.
his passenger doth try his weary brains;
the horse draws on towards the coming night.
The lad, young Trefor, rescued from the knife,
is clearly in the cunning wizard’s debt;
but earnestly he badgers Merlin yet,
as if the Mage were threatening his life.
“Where are you going, O sorcerer Sage?
Your exploits have made you the talk of the age.
Though you speak of the Christ and establish his reign,
are you not in all truth a black sorcerer, plain?”
“I will be driving, you impudent lad,
to far Arthur’s realm, where the people make glad
that the magic of Merlin established their King,
yet the bells of great churches now piously ring.
What makes you think that my purpose is black?
The long years of darkness I’ve put at my back,
and although I once served the earth, water, and sky,
after Uther I met, I put all those things by.”
“Uther was surely not one to convert
a sorcerous mage from the wood to his hurt;
for all know that he courted the Lady Igraine,
who was wife to Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, his bane.”
“Fie! With your questions you waste all my time!
Your logic is quite without reason or rhyme;
no intent had King Uther my conscience to prod,
but instead ‘twas his actions that drove me to God!”
“Time we have plenty; the horse must be fed,
this night by the stream we must both make our bed.
So if all through the night you are busy with schemes,
then I’ll ride with you silent, and leave you to dreams.”
“Yes, we must rest; and if you will desist
from pestering Merlin, and promise to list,
then because you are chosen for purposes grim,
he will tell you much more than you wanted of him.”