Merlin’s Defeat

Nyneve, What but My Soul Suffices?

You, whom they call the Lady of the Lake,

Nyneve, my love, what shall I offer you

to appease your anger? Can it be true

you knew the Incubus, my father? Take

from me all I have, as though life did not rake

me over hellish coals . . . take then these blue

eyes, take this red heart! Take from me what few

days I boast as mine! But for Pity’s sake—


my soul, oh my soul, my soul, take mercy

on me and leave my immortal self, leave

this soul to wander wide post mortum. See!

Even Dagda grants surcease! Would you grieve

my kin? I forfeit my life’s legacy,

make me servant, but my soul give reprieve!

David M Pitchford
9 June 2008

Image depicted: “The Beguiling of Merlin” by Edward Burne Jones, 1874


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