The Last Companion
You cannot imagine how lonely it was.
So many were dead, or were lost to my sight:
with Lancelot a hermit, our good Queen a nun,
young Galahad finding the mystical Grail,
and Gawain long gone, and great Merlin entrapped…
Those not lying cold on the last battlefield
are sleeping with Arthur deep under a hill –
as good as dead, now, to my sore, empty heart –
the edge of a hill, though I dare not say where
for fear of the foolish who’d go to disturb…
and I, who have witnessed so many great things,
(weak Bedevere, last of our close Company),
am keeping the faith, and ride, spreading the word,
to old, broken villas, and smoky dark halls:
instructing the bards to remember the King:
our High King, our Arthur, commander and friend:
his splendour a light to quench cruel Saxon dark,
till even the pagan will see his true worth.
My work – useful, vital – can fill the long days.
But you cannot imagine how lonely I am.