“Why do you tell me these strange, secret things?
Such knowledge as this has been hidden from kings;
yet you tell me of this as if all must be shown
to a colt who is not even yet fully grown!”
“While you were fettered and chained on the stone,
I spoke with the Lord who at once made it known
that your fate is to banish the last of the night
from the Kingdom of Logres; that this is your fight.”
“Thanks be to God! Yet how can this be so?
I lay on the slab a few hours ago,
and I know not the way of the sword or the lance,
neither wisdom in counsel, nor even in dance!”
“Mighty is He, and His purpose will stand;
there’s nothing that stops a mere lad in His hand.
If he serves the dear Lord with the whole of his heart,
he will vanquish the strong, and make evil depart.”
“What must I do then? And how am I able,
when God could have chosen from all the Round Table?
I’m good with the horses and courteous in word,
but to fight against evil seems wild and absurd!”
“There on the slab you have fought and prevailed;
though death was at hand, your true heart had not quailed.
There is many a knight who is brave in the battle,
yet could not have faced to be slaughtered like cattle.”
“Surely you know how your words come to pass?
The future, they tell me, to you is like glass;
it is said that the thought of all things that will be
is as well known to you as a fish knows the sea.”
“All I can say is what God wants to tell;
and anything else must be gathered from hell!
He reveals what is good for King Arthur to know,
and for anything else, I must not further go.
Wait! For the cherubim enter my view;
they bring me a message that must be for you!
Now be silent and still, for the Lord will declare
certain things you need know; so take heed, and prepare.
To me, the future seems as clear as glass;
the Spirit tells me things no others see.
I know the things my Master shows to me,
and everything He sows will come to pass.
An oracle to those who seek His face,
I long ago abandoned magic means;
and afterwards, became as one who gleans
the things his Master says should be his place.
I’m now content with what the Lord reveals;
each sorcerer that seeks a Shade to hark
will only hear deceptions in the dark,
whatever he may think hears his appeals.
My heart’s desire is but to serve the King;
ask not of me, except what He will bring.
My task, to tell you tales about the Fay,
those secret servant shiny shimm’ring things
that fly before the Lord on glimmering wings,
and ever weave his purpose night and day;
mistake them not for fallen angels fell,
that once did cause this realm to live in fear;
since Arthur’s reign began, instead draw near
the fierce and faithful horde that shackle hell.
Through them, God rules the waters and the air,
the earth, and all that under it may rest;
they go about their work with joy and zest,
e’en though they steer the world, they have no care!
If you could see these ones as praise they sing,
your eyes would see them fly before the King!”
So saying, Merlin closed his weary eyes,
and Trefor thought it best to leave him there.
He tended to the feeding of the mare,
and thanked the Lord the prophet’s words were wise.