Lancelot's Bane by Geeta Boodansingh


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They say that love is a blessing,
An exalted thing,
And if one were to behold you, my lady
Your heavenly frame,
One would wonder why I curse its very name

Or would they understand my suffering?
This torment that burns my very soul,
This desperate, dark longing

But this that we call love lady,
Is a cursed thing
A black spell bewitching us both,
Poison from a serpent’s sting

And I whom men hail as valiant and strong
Crumble, weakened before it, prostrate
A slave, helpless to its wrong

What once was beautiful
Now a vile and bitter thing,
That compels me to betray
Lord and king

By day I embrace him,
He calls me brother,
In the dark of night I caress you,
You call me lover

Words like a dagger through my heart,
Bleeding, but the blood shed shall not be mine,
Snake am I, venom festering, killing slowly
Alas, the death shall not be mine

Oh Guinevere, fair lady!
Forgive me for coveting thee
For only grief has come of this love,
Too blind I was to see,
Caught in my abominable lust
Dominated by savage envy

My Lord Arthur,
Suffer not your rage on one so fair
Let me this burden, this badge of shame bear
Release her, I pray thee
Or know this tainted love of mine turned to wrath

I ride now, like a storm hard and fast
bearing her away from flames that would consume,
Haunted eyes stare at me, a soul long cast
into fires that would offer no redemption

Across the channel, war they bring
Vengeance, betrayal’s price
Arms I raise now against my king

But the death blow shall come from Camelot,
Before the darkened walls,
Not by my hand, but yet by my bane
My lord and king falls

Oh, love, cursed is thy name!
Black are the days ahead
My lord has gone,
My lady followed,
No forgiveness can I ask of the dead

Penance I must offer,
Prayers for redemption,
Alone at this alter
Only death will give salvation.

Love black and vile
Has brought only pain
Birthed death and sorrow
Mine, my lady and my lord’s bane.