On King Arthur's Round Table at Winchester

(Sonnet VIII)

Original Text: 
Thomas Warton, Jr., Poems (London: T. Becket, 1777).
2Its rafter'd hall, that o'er the grassy foss,
3And scatter'd flinty fragments clad in moss,
4On yonder steep in naked state appears;
5High hung remains, the pride of war-like years,
6Old Arthur's board: on the capacious round
7Some British pen has sketch'd the names renown'd,
8In marks obscure, of his immortal peers.
9Though join'd by magic skill, with many a rhyme,
10The Druid frame, unhonour'd, falls a prey
11To the slow vengeance of the wizard Time,
12And fade the British characters away;
13Yet Spenser's page, that chants in verse sublime
14Those chiefs, shall live, unconscious of decay.


1] Warton wrote a description of Winchester (1750), later used as a guide-book. Winchester is traditionally connected with King Arthur, but in Warton's time the table he writes of was known to be of much later period; it is now supposed to date from the time of King Stephen, but the painted designs on it are of the Tudor period. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP.1.688; RPO 1996-2000.