O Merlin in your crystal cave
Deep in the diamond of the day,
Will there ever be a singer
Whose music will smooth away
The furrow drawn by Adam's finger
Across the memory and the wave?
Or a runner who'll outrun
Man's long shadow driving on,
Break through the gate of memory
And hang the apple on the tree?
Will your magic ever show
The sleeping bride shut in her bower,
The day wreathed in its mound of snow
and Time locked in his tower? - Edwin Muir (1927)
The rocking of the boat and the scrape of its hull against land brings Arthur slowly back to awareness.
It’s bright all around him, too bright to open his eyes, so he listens for a little while to the sound of water and begins to assess his condition.
In careful sequence he tests his extremities, and finds fingers and toes and hands and feet and arms and legs all in order.
His head feels muzzy with sleep or unconsciousness, but this is hardly a new feeling, so he lets it alone.
In the distance, carried as though over miles, he catches a faint sound like someone sobbing, and he begins to remember.
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