Thrift store

I bought an old book in a thrift store I wandered into today. The book had this poem in it.


The tales of Celtic love and Trojan deed,
On printed page this cloudy noon retold -
How lusterless they are, how dull and old!
Lost dreams the grail, the cup of Ganymede.
In weariness I stir, and cease to read.
The maid before me lifts her hand to hold
A loosened lock : her fingers on its gold
Move like soft doves that brush wings as they feed.

Then cloudy curtains part, the sun breaks clear;
A shaft of fire falls on the gentle maid:
It is a twinkled beam from Hector's spear,
Or yet a glorious spike from Arthur's blade.
Helen, Iseult, and queenly Guinevere!
I see now why the Old tales cannot fade.

-- Francis C. Cook

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