Lancelot-Guinevere love (1300 AD)

a poem by rm shanmugam chettiar, India

Guinevere was the wife of King Arthur,
The legendary ruler of Briton,
Who led the defense of Briton ably
Against Saxon invaders in the late
5th century and was hailed in folk songs.
Arthur married her, stung by her beauty,
In spite of a warning from his man Merlin
That Guinevere would be unfaithful to him. 1

Sir Lancelot was a knight belonging
To the Round Table and the most trusted
Knight of king Arthur in the battlefield.
He was known for his valour and posture.
When Guinevere was abducted by a design,
Arthur entrusted to Lancelot the job
Of undertaking a journey of hurdles
And fetching his queen safely from the spot. 2

Lancelot encountered many challenges.
He battled three axe bearing man squarely,
Lifted a heavy stone slab of a tomb,
Fought against an overly prideful knight
And crossed a bridge made with sharp swords.
He discovered Guinevere in the castle.
He fought men and broke into the tower.
He returned with her to reach King Arthur. 3

Guinevere acquainted with Lancelot,
Whose bravery and chivalry she was
An eyewitness to and was drawn to him.
A villainous and fatally flawed woman,
She was portrayed for the illicit love
She exhibited to the king’s knight.
Lancelot and Guinevere loved each other
And gave themselves to each other heart and soul. 4

Arthur took no notice of the growing
Attachments between the queen and Lancelot
In the very first, duly weighed by the trust.
The courtly love they ardently pursued
Lacked corporal lust and retained blushes.
The king accused his wife of adultery
And banished Lancelot, who left with heavy heart.
Eventually, the queen returned to the king. 5

Failing to produce an heir and unable
To be with her man, she went to depression.
Following the death of Arthur, the queen
Entered a convent and served as a nun.
The story of Guinevere was floated
Suggesting that women, the married ones,
Were expected to be high in moral
Than the men during medieval period. 7

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