Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, GUINEVERE TO LANCELOT, by ROBERT BATSON

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First Line: Woman is crowned, but man in truth is king
Last Line: Upon my crown. Drown it, ye snows and sleet!
Subject(s): Lancelot Du Lac; Love

WOMAN is crowned, but man in truth is king.
I am a queen, but when my vassals bring
Fruit to my lips it is not fruit to me.
While bitter bread would be a feast with thee,
And each breath tremble into ecstasy;
But Fate forbids the dear delight to be.
I am a queen, but Love of queens is lord;
I am a queen, but fettered by a cord
Tight as the silk the Cupids pressed around
The boar, destroying Adon with a wound,
Found guilty by the Loves, and slain when found;
Condemned by Venus to a death renowned.
I am a queen; be merciful to me,
My subject Lancelot. Thee alone I see;
All else is fading from my swimming eyes.
That which in me was queen is dead or dies,
But what was woman lives the more, and sighs
Like weary babe athirst at midnight cries.
A queen commands not heart, but lip and knee.
Poor little queen, why must thou royal be?
Knight of the smile and voice so blinding sweet,
Is not rank ice, and passion melting heat?
Wipe off the flakes that stain thy whiter feet
Upon my crown. Drown it, ye snows and sleet!

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