Study Guide

The Defence of Guenevere Lines 139-141

By William Morris

Lines 139-141

"Never within a yard of my bright sleeves
Had Launcelot come before: and now so nigh!
After that day why is it Guenevere grieves?

  • The speaker insists that Launcelot had never been close to her before – never even "within a yard" of the "sleeve" of her dress.
  • Of course, now they were pretty close.  They were kissing
  • She asks herself why, after a totally awesome day like that, "Guenevere" should be sad?
  • This is the first time Guenevere's name has been mentioned in the poem, other than in the title. Guenevere finally identifies herself. (In King Arthur stories, her name is usually spelled "Guinevere," but you probably already know that.)

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