"Has love's sweet glance your heart ne'er warmed?"
Asked Branwen, of the witch transformed.
"Indeed I have," was her reply,
"And that is why I will deny
Your plea that I undo the spell
That made your lady's heart to swell
With love for valiant Sir Tristan.
For if her love for husband's man
- King Mark's best knight, I hear - is true,
Then whatsoever spell I do,
She'll only grieve her love that's lost
Much more than what her sins will cost."
This was Poeta Atlantiae's May 2009 poem, used to announce a contest on the theme of medieval romances at Sapphire Joust in the Acorn newsletter. It uses octosyllabic couplets, used in French romances from Marie de France on into at least the 14th century. It purports to be a fragment of a lost episode of "Tristan and Isolde," in which Branwen, Isolde's maid whose failure to safeguard a magic potion started their tragic love, seeks out a witch to undo the magic spell.