The boatman rose to the sound of his heartbeat Loud in the silent approach of the dawn He glanced through the window at mist on the lake Which hung like a shroud in the still of the morn The silver cobwebs spun with the dew Hung from the bushes in filigree splendour And water lilies asleep on the lake Were reflected so delicate, tranquil and tender. The boat man sighed as he strode through the woods To the place where his boat lay moored to a stake The hollow sound as his footsteps echoed Until the sound was lost on the lake He cast off, poling the boat from the shore Peering a head through damp clinging haze He thought that he saw strange swirling shapes A trick on the eyes that the mist often plays. So intent was the boatman on crossing the lake That he failed to notice the current that flowed Leading his boat from familiar parts He was firmly, yet somehow unknowingly, towed All at once the mist seemed to lift Sufficient to show the boatman a pool That he'd never seen in the whole of his life Unnaturally deep, black and silent, and cool. The boatman's shirt clung to his back He was sweating both from exertion and fear He had the sensation that someone was watching He felt the presence of somebody near An invisible force prevented him moving The strength of his arms was utterly sapped The twisted bushes converged round the lake Like a fish in a net he was trapped. Suddenly out of the water before him The wraith-like form of a maiden appeared Clad in shimmering radiant robes The maiden materialised as she neared The hair which finely crowned her head Was a halo of golden reflecting the sun All of the beautiful women of time Were formed all at once into one. She handed the boatman the sword she was holding Which flashed irridescent before his eyes Excalibur surely was hardly a match For a sword that simple description defies The boatman stood transfixed by her gaze Which reached to the depths of his very soul To he who could conquer the evils of life She offered herself as a whole. The maiden vanished before his gaze Leaving him clutching the sword in his fist The hairs on the nape of his neck seemed to stiffen A creature approached him from out of the mist It was powerful, huge and yet stupid indeed For it held right back and failed to attack The boatman struck at its small stupid eyes And it crashed to the ground and lay on its back. [ From: http://www.metrolyrics.com/the-vision-of-the-lady-of-the-lake-lyrics-strawbs.html ] Without a warning the sky seemed to blacken As though the sun were in total eclipse The boatman crouched low as a vast eagle swooped And a horrified cry escaped from his lips It strutted before him with pride in its bearing Admiring its talons both vicious and cruel Taking advantage the boatman struck fast And the eagle slid to the depths of the pool. The terrified boatman tried moving his boat But his pole had grown roots in the watery deep The bank grew alive with the coils of a snake And all you could hear was its slither and creep It cast an envious stare at the boatman Slid into the water and swam to the boat He stood hypnotised by its green jealous eyes As it came from the water and coiled round his throat. As its coils tightened slowly his breath came in gasps As he choked so he lifted the sword in despair As the snake was still gloating he severed its head And in death the snake's coils thrashed wild in the air The boatman wiped the sweat from his brow His heart was pounding as never before His eyes like a lizard's tongue darted around Not daring to rest for a minute or more. An involuntary shiver went up his spine As he heard the sound of eerie howls A wolf appeared on the banks of the pool Saliva dripped from its loathsome jowls Hatred smouldered deep in his eyes Which glowed like coals from Hades fire It seemed to grow as it crouched and snarled And watched as the boatman began to tire. It was almost as though the wolf had learned For it did not attack as the others had done But bided its time until the moment was right And sprang as the boatman stared into the sun But the boatman too had learned to hold back And holding his sword as though a knife He plunged it deep into the wolf's heart Then fell to his knees and prayed for his life. As he felt a hand on his shoulder he whirled To find the maiden by his side She smiled and the world seemed to open before him He tried to speak but his tongue was tied You must plunge the sword deep into my heart Lest I should crumble into dust She offered the boatman the meaning of life And love, if he could but conquer lust. She bared her breasts before his eyes The boatman still was stricken dumb He flung the sword back into the water Back to the depths from which it had come The water around him began to boil The maiden began to wither away His boat was swamped as the creatures arose And evil lived for another day.