Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Merlin and Nimue
The Beguiling of Merlin, Edward Burne-Jones, c.1874
First, a happy Lammas to you all. Mary has a wonderful post for the day. Go visit her blog and enjoy.
In the Arthurian legends, this day is associated with the imprisonment of Merlin by Nimue. It's a myth any seeker should contemplate.
"Nimue, the daughter of Dionas, was a maiden of great skill, having the blessing of Diana and the wisdom of the Lady of the Lake's realm within her. The combination of her beauty and otherworldly skills drew the love of Merlin, who knew no maiden of his own kind. Merlin taught her many wondrous things, for she was an insatiable student of enchantment. Her only desire was to learn Merlin's deep wisdom, yet he was sparing of his study and busy in affairs of state. One day she asked how to make a tower without walls and Merlin, unthinking, taught her. While he lay sleeping, Nimue made a circle of her wimple about him and, walking nine times about it, raised up a tower of glass. When he awoke, he protested: 'Sweet love, why have you done this?' Nimue smiled, 'Now you will do my bidding and teach me all you know, for you cannot leave here unless I will it.' 'That will never be,' said Merlin, 'for I will not teach you any more, lest you wreak enchantment upon the kingdom.' And so it was that Merlin remained a prisoner in the glass castle. And though Nimue frequently entered to entreat his tutoring, Merlin ever refused her."
From The Arthurian Book of Days, Caitlin and John Matthews, Macmillan Publishing Co., 1990.