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Merlin intervenes

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The tale of Merlin

“My mother was a maiden –
or so the courtiers said;
but what she sadly told me was
one forced her to his bed.

And so I was begotten;
but yet it pleased the king
to send away his daughter fair,
like an accursed thing.

He sent her to a convent,
and there she did me bear;
but everyone believed that she
espoused a devil there.

The nuns believed me harmless,
and taught me all they could.
I spent my days in reading books
more than an infant should.

My knowledge waxed so greatly,
the Abbess thought it Fay;
and when I was but thirteen years,
she sent me on my way.

And so I sought the castle,
wherein lay power and might;
I had no cause but cold revenge,
to right my mother’s slight.

The courtiers found me cunning
in every trick of hand;
I soon became the king’s own fool,
the finest in the land.

But whilst I mummed and flattered,
I wove wise words with wit;
and soon the king would turn to me,
whenever he saw fit.

Three years I served as counsel;
I served as general four;
but once completely in his trust,
betrayed the king the more.

My mother was a maiden;
her father was the king.
Her father was my father too,
a plain unnatural thing.

I lived to serve my grievance,
and cursed my father’s breath.
I plotted with his enemies,
then led him to his death.

Bereft of any purpose
or home to call my own,
for thirty years I slumbered deep
beneath a sorcerous stone.

On waking, I decided
to seek the wizard, Blaise,
who taught me all his magic arts,
and many pagan ways.

King Uther sought my service;
he needed all my skill,
and through it he seduced Igraine –
but all against my will.

I saw I was a sinner
the equal of my sire;
and there and then repented sore
within my heart, entire.

I sought the blessed Saviour,
and gave to him my life,
in deep and sore repentance for
the Duke of Cornwall’s wife.

It came to me to follow
a long and arduous plan;
to raise a king who rights would bring
for each and every man.

So once I was the guardian
of Uther’s secret son,
I spent his childhood teaching him
how justice should be done.

He learned about the Saviour,
the King of all the earth;
but Arthur yet knew naught about
his secret regal birth.

At last, when Arthur ripened,
I made him Logres’ king;
and all my life this penitence
has been a hidden thing.”

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