Girl Reporter

Girl Reporter

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Heart Wants - A Paean To Pedro and Inez

The Coronation of Inez

Ohhh!, I just learned the story about Pedro and Inez of Portugal!!! First the story, then the poem:

In 1339, Crown Prince Pedro of Portugal, at the age of nineteen, was wed to Constance of Castile, then sixteen, the daughter of the cousin of the King of Castile. This marriage cemented an alliance between the two Iberian powers. King Afonso IV of Portugal, Pedro’s father, was pleased. 

But as always in love, things got complicated. Pedro married Constance, but did not fall in love with her: instead, he fell in love with one of her handmaidens, Inés Pérez de Castro. Their affair was no secret, and the two had four illegitimate children. The affair jeopardized Portugal’s relationship with Castile, and Afonso IV tried everything he could to split up his son and Inés, but nothing worked. When Constance died in 1349, Pedro refused to marry anyone but Inés, who was not considered worthy of being the future Queen of Portugal. 

Afonso IV got desperate, and in January, 1355 he sent three assassins after Inés at the Monastery of Santa Clara in Coimbra, where she was cut down in cold blood. Rather than settle the matter, however, Pedro, in a rage, rebelled against his father, dragging the country into civil war. Although the two did reconcile, Pedro never forgave his father. 

After he assumed the throne in 1357, Pedro announced that he had wed Inés in secret, and openly recognized their previously illegitimate children. He even ordered her body dug up so that the Portuguese nobles could swear loyalty to her. He managed to capture two of the three assassins his father had sent to kill her: according to legend, he ripped their hearts out with his bare hands. 

Pedro ordered that the body of his beloved be entombed in an ornate sarcophagus inside the elegant Monastery of Alcobaça. His own tomb is across from her, supposedly so that when they both rise for judgment day, the first thing they see will be each other. 

In addition to the operas, the story has been the inspiration for plays, at least two movies, books and more. This timeless love story is part of Portugal’s national heritage and references to it can be seen all throughout Portugal. 

The Story of Pedro and Inez 

And now, even a poem by Squeeky!!!

The Heart Wants
A Paean To Pedro and Inez

She sits now, upon the Throne
Royal rings rattle on bone.
A Macabre Kiss of Fealty
Testifies to Reality.
The Heart wants what the Heart wants.

Truly affirms, the Law of Kings
Cannot compel all things.
Cannot command the Tide or Sea
Nor banish love by Royal Decree.
The Heart wants what the Heart wants.

Swears not the Grave, nor even Death
Can extinguish Love’s Breath.
Confirms by Rite of Genuflection,
Love’s eternal Resurrection.
The Heart wants what the Heart wants.

Girl Reporter

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