arthurian folklore

There’s an old bit of folklore which states that when Britain is in its greatest hour of need, King Arthur and his knights will return to save the day.

Now, if this were true, you have to consider that Arthur didn’t come back to fight Napoleon, or Hitler, or Thatcher.

Which, if the legend is true, raises the question: what is coming in the future which is even worse?

you are inky obsidian, sharp-edged and shining
sewing jagged secrets into jagged scars
under your skin.
you are fire-forged fury.

you are the gleam of dragons’ scales as they fight
high in the hidden hills where you are sleeping
and dance to the druids’ drums when
they are looking away from this world.

you are the summer solstice sun, burning bright
over the homes and halls of your ancestors and descendants
and as the year turns to winter you too will shift
like the leaves - from green to brown to bare bone
you are the desperate cry of the prince’s old tongue
as he hurls himself towards glory and gaping wounds
and the shadows on the hillsides roar with him
and you laugh with bloodied teeth and dreams

you are the child of the forest, the valleys, the lonely hilltops
you are the son of magic and mystery and mayhem
you are the prince of shadows and the ghost-lord of old
and your fingers are still strong on your sword.

—  a song for the raven king; or: folklore archetypes - the sleeping king who was and will be

Original Drawing - Aubrey Beardsley “Le Morte d`Arthur - XIII Chapter Heading Design” 1894, Ink drawing by Plum leaves
Via Flickr:
Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (1872-1898) English illustrator and author. His drawings in black ink were influenced by the style of Japanese woodcuts, 163 x 89 mm., Ink drawing Sold at Sotheby’s Auctions. ‘Le Morte D'Arthur’ (1485) by Sir Thomas Malory (c.1405-71) Reworking of traditional tales about the legendary King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.