Lamorak and the Queen Morgause of Orkney

Hued from the livid everlasting stone
the queen's hewn eyelids bruised my bone;
my eyes splintered, as our father Adam's when the first
exorbitant flying nature round creation's flank burst.

Her hair was whirlwind about her face;
her face outstripped her hair; it rose from a place
where pre-Adamic sculpture on an ocean rock lay,
and the sculpture torn from its rock was swept away.

Her hand discharged catastrophe; I was thrown
before it; I saw the source of all stone,
the rigid tornado, the schism and first strife
of primeval rock with itself, Morgause Lot's wife.

I had gone in summer at the king's word to explore
the coast of the kingdom towards the Pole; the roar
of the ocean beyond all coasts threatened on one hand;
on the other we saw the cliffs of Orkney stand.

Caves and hollows in the crags were filled with the scream
of seamews nesting and fleeting; the extreme theme
of Logres rose in harsh cries and hungry storms,
and there, hewn in a cleft, were hideous huge forms.

(Lines 1 - 20)

Charles Williams
Taliessin through Logres (1938)

Note: Lamorak was the son of King Pellinore and in some legends the brother of Percivale. He was one of the strongest Knights of the Round Table. Lamorak was the lover of Morgause, whose husband King Lot of Orkney had been killed by Lamorak's father, Pellinore. 

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