*Muses Note – This week’s story is by a new guest writer, Joseph Pickett.*
Once in Britain of old, so the story is told,
A son of the Pendragon rose up to lead the fold
’Gainst the Saxon who marched with red sword on the land.
This warlord known as Arthur made a stand so bold.
’Midst the horrors of war, Arthur reached out his hand,
As he took for his wife the fairest of the land.
Guinevere was her name, for her he would have died.
She was the fire that flared on the brand in his hand.
Innocent Perceval from the Great Forest came,
Though he knew not his father, he honoured his name.
Brave Lancelot, Arthur’s friend, stayed firm by his side,
The greatest knight of all, as could ne’er be denied.
Together, valiantly, many heathens they slew,
And so gave crumbling Britain a new source of pride.
Yet bad blood will out and from the King’s loins had sprung,
The darkest soul any man has e’er called his son.
Mordred great mischief sought; in the Queen’s eyes he gleaned,
A love for Lancelot that lay hidden unsung.
Perceval fought bravely with his with simple valour,
And, though tactless, did defend his lady’s honour.
In his father’s mind Mordred painted an ill scene,
Telling of Arthur’s favourite’s love for the Queen.
The angered King banished his friend to Brocéliande.
In battles did he try to forget this grim spleen.
The greatest knight crossed the sea leaving Camelot,
Whose people heard far tales of brave Sir Lancelot;
While in Britain, Arthur tried to hold back the foe,
But Mordred’s words had already started the rot.
Perceval leant on his lance and gazed at the snow.
In drops of blood melting it, his lady did show.
In his friend’s long exile, Arthur’s war did ill go;
As ’gainst Brocéliande the tide of war did flow.
So to Camelot Arthur did bid him one day,
Yet in Lancelot’s presence, the Queen’s face did glow.
Though our two knights, so lethal, could chase foes away,
When their hearts loved one woman, they melted away,
’Til one morn Arthur fell, and the lady did sing:
“In far Avalon rests our once and future king.”
Simple Perceval went home to his kind mother’s side,
And there told of his deeds and presented his bride.
About the author:
Born in Leicestershire, England, Joseph moved to Nantes, France, at the age of six, and was captivated by the many Breton and Angevin castles close by. He first fell in love with historical fiction when he read Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series. He also found inspiration in medieval works such as Chrétien de Troyes’ prose Perceval and the unknown poet’s verse Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Having been intrigued over the years by the connections between France and England, William the Conqueror seemed a natural subject. Thus his first novel, Becoming the Conqueror, was born. Joseph currently lives in London, where he works in government communications by day and writes by night. Find out more on www.josephtpickettauthor.com or on his Facebook page.