Lanval: the alternative ending



The play is over, that is true,

But I have plans for all of you.

The story true now must be told,

The tale of Guinevere the bold.

Her reputation did precede her:

The rumour mill works fast at court,

But knights, though grudgingly, could not

Dispense with such a skilful leader.

To her protection duly thronged

Barons of England and beyond.

Within three years she was, no lies,

The sovereign of the British Isles.

She ruled with such charm and devotion,

Brexit was not even an option.

As for Sir Lanval, in this story

Her proud heart soon forgot its quarry.

As for the knights, they felt just fine

As long as there was food and wine.

To Tryamour now let us turn,

A gentle lady nobly born.

She was not arrogant enough

To just blind people for a laugh,

And could, without undue denial,

Appreciate a worthy rival.

She often dined after it all

In Guinevere’s illustrious hall.

Dame Tryamour, when not at court,

Took gardening as her sport.

She grew such gorgeous aubergines

The like of which had not been seen

Since Eve in Eden toiled.

In making jams she reigned supreme,

And Lanval often could be seen

Snacking upon the spoils.

A keen observer could espy

Geoff watching from some hidden place

With doleful eyes and amorous sighs

As Lanval duly stuffed his face.

What then of our eponymous knight?

You’d think his life was pure delight,

But he, though popular with chicks,

Was not a fan of politics.

He turned his steps to Tryamour

And spoke to her with heavy heart,

“As much as we’ve been close before,

My dear, it’s better that we part.

Whatever fire my chest did hold

Had these past years gone grey and cold.

Tryamour smiled and answered him,

“We did not know each other then.

A decent tumble in the hay

A year ago, held far more sway

Than it does now. And I admit

We are far from a perfect fit,”

Encouraged by her words, the knight

Sprang up and spoke with great delight,

“I would be happy, but, my dear,

You let me joust just once a year!

I languish here in your fine bower

Among crochet, pastries and flowers,

And equally in your high court

I feel that I am welcome not.

In any case, I wish to journey

Abroad, and with brave knights to tourney,

And camp beneath the open sky.

I’ll go anon. Keep safe. Goodbye!”

Thus, once again Lanval rode forth

With Geoffrey and a handsome horse.

And it befell one autumn night

Bad weather caught them in their search

For eligible knights to fight

And they took shelter in a church.

They were exhausted from their voyage

And Geoff finally plucked up his courage

To say the words long overdue,

“Lanval, I have a thing for you.”

But I’ll omit graphic depictions

Because this isn’t slash fanfiction.

In all, it should suffice to say –

In Lanval, everyone is gay.

So, Geoffrey and his handsome knight

Have yet to brave many a fight;
They’ll venture through both thick and thin,

And my tale ends as theirs begins.

I hope this ending pleases you,

And now, adieu, adieu, adieu.


30.06.2017, York

Photo credit: Skye McAlpine Walker


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