The romantic poems of twelfth-century French poet Chretien de Troyes were of immense influence across Europe - widely imitated, translated, and adapted. Giving rise to a tradition of story-telling that continues to this day, the poems established the shape of the nascent Arthurian legend. In this outstanding new translation of Lancelot, Burton Raffel brings to English-language readers the fourth of Chretien's five surviving romantic Arthurian poems. This poem was the first to introduce Lancelot as an important figure in the King Arthur legend. Lancelot tells of the adulterous relationship between the knight and his mistress, Guinevere, the wife of King Arthur. Thematically this poem differs from Chretien's other romances - Lancelot and Guinevere's love is a serious crime against their king, Lancelot casts aside his knightly ideals and reputation for the sake of his beloved, and Arthur is endowed with a weaker personality. Raffel has created an original three-stress metric verse form that captures Chretien's swift-paced narrative and lively, sparkling Old French. A consummate translator, Raffel enables the modern reader and the reader who is unfamiliar with French to appreciate the beauty of Chretien's original.