Part One – The Ebony Star
Where the moonbeams touch the ocean
There dwelt a lady fair
Who rode the tides so wild in motion
With starlight in her hair.
She was once called Aphrodite
This maiden of the tides,
Mermaid, siren, selkie;
The wild water's bride.
Then one day from the heavens
There fell an Ebony Star;
A stone whose powers dwelt within
That had travelled from afar.
The maiden saw and caught it
And marvelled at the feeling
As the powers of the universe
Sent mind and heart a-reeling.
The Ebony Star pulsed in her hand
As if it too was living
It held as much power to command
as oceans unforgiving.
She paused a while to ponder
Trying to understand
Why this emblem of some yonder
World had landed in her hand.
Then she saw the sails
As many times before;
Riding on the gales
To claim some foreign shore.
The Romans were in England!
The old ways were in danger
The people under new command,
Their lands owned by a stranger.
That would never be desired
On this isle by magic sown,
But a champion was required
To see them overthrown.
The maiden knew what must be done
She was ready now to start
With all her might she smashed the stone
And exposed its glittering heart.
The Ebony Star split in twain,
The matrix fell away
Its contents fell into the brine
And shone as bright as day!
It was a metal strong as steel
And yet still feather light
She would have doubted it was real
Had it not been in her sight.
She took it in her hands once more
And gathering magic round
Conjured up a mighty sword
With blade both sure and sound.
And with that done she bid the sea
Farewell as she made her way
Through land-bound river, brook and stream,
Through every water way
Until at last she came to rest
In a lake both deep and wide
From here it was she would set the test
That would change the war-time tide
A babe, she knew, had once been found
Concealed beneath a dam
Within a bag mysteriously bound….
And this child was now a man.
She waited for great Taliesin
The child of the Radiant Brow;
The man with the water's blessing
Whom with the sword she would endow.
"A-welcome my fair bard!"
She said as he drew near
"The strangers hit poor England hard,
But at last salvation's here!"
"Take this sword and guard it well,
It is the Romans' bane!
From 'midst the starry skies it fell
And Excalibur's its name!"
"Excalibur, Star Metal,"
She put it in his hand,
"It has a score to settle
Through this unhappy land,"
"Though only a king may wield it,"
She had to make it known,
"So it's up to you to shield it
Till he claims it as his own."
"As you wish, my lady,"
The bard said, overawed,
"But how do you expect me
To know who claims the sword?"
"You must contrive to place it
Where everyone can see
But only the worthy can claim it
For their own," said she.
"The best way then, to guard the sword
Is the way it here was thrown,"
These were her final words;
"Set it in a stone!"
And so it was wise Taliesin
Obeyed the lady fair
He took the blade and struck it through
The stone in the city square.
"Let it be known that whatever hand,"
He called in sweet voice clear
"Removes the sword shall rule the land
As king for many a year!"
Hands big, hands small, hands rough, hands smooth
Tried without success.
The sword held firm – would not be moved
And no one passed the test.
Then a young boy came, his limbs stick-thin,
His hair of burnished gold.
Though his eyes held great spirit within
He was but ten years old.
Then he spied the mighty blade
And was by its beauty awed
He thought it was a terrible shame
For stone to imprison the sword.
And so he stepped up to the stone
As boldly as could be
And with a strength previously unknown
He pulled Excalibur free!
"Hail King Arthur!" the watchers roared,
"Hail!" they cried with glee
"Lo our king has claimed his sword
So England might be free!"
Arthur stood with new-found valour
And held the sword aloft
Little knowing that from that hour
His childhood was lost.
And as he stood looking o'er
His subjects, cheering loud
He felt a hand upon his shoulder
That turned him from the crowd.
It was fair Taliesin,
That bard of great renown
Who would govern Arthur's training
Until the day when he was grown.
Arthur looked into his eyes,
As bright as eyes could be-
Like those of the little bird who flies
In a lady's company.
And that's how Taliesin
'Merlin' came to be
His charge King Arthur, to train him in
The art of gallantry!