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And would to none I had granted boon
For haply then I should love aright,
"Yet it ill suits my knightly tongue
The hand that claimed it, cleared in fine
"Earl Walter was a brave old earl,
He rose up to defend.
"Oh, calm below the marble grey
The slanderer lied: the wretch was brave—
"Earl Walter's glaive was steel,
With a brave old hand to wear it, And dashed the lie back in the mouth Which lied against the godly truth And against the knightly merit:
The slanderer, 'neath the avenger's heel,
"I would mine hand had fought that fight And justified my father!
I would mine heart had caught that wound And slept beside him rather!
I think it were a better thing
Than murdered friend and marriage-ring
"Wail shook Earl Walter's house;
As the earl did on his bier:
'And bring the avengèd's son anear!
"I came, I knelt beside her bed;
Her calm was worse than strife:
A boon! Of that sweet child we make
"I said, 'My steed neighs in the court, My bark rocks on the brine,
And the warrior's vow I am under now
To free the pilgrim's shrine;
Jiriczek, Englische Dichter.
But fetch the ring and fetch the priest
And rule she wide from my castle on Nyde
"In the dark chambère, if the bride was fair,
Ye wis, I could not see,
But the steed thrice neighed, and the priest fast prayed,
And the bride rose from her knee
"My page, my page, what grieves thee so,
Was in thy lady's case:
But she laid down the silks she wore
And wept the page, but laughed the knight,
"Well done it were for thy sister,
But not for my ladye!
My love, so please you, shall requite
The page stopped weeping and smiled cold—
That womanhood is proved the best
Yet is it proved, and was of old,
He smiled no more, he wept no more,
"Oh, womanly she prayed in tent,
And her little hand, defiled with blood,
-"Well done it were for thy sister,
But for my lady, she shall pray
Not dread for me but love for me
No casque shall hide her woman's tear-
-"But what if she mistook thy mind
"Look up-there is a small bright cloud Alone amid the skies!
So high, so pure, and so apart,
The page looked up-the cloud was sheen-
Then dimly dropped his eyes away
Ha! who rides there?- the page is 'ware,
Though the cry at his heart is still: And the page seeth all and the knight seeth none, Though banner and spear do fleck the sun, And the Saracens ride at will.
He speaketh calm, he speaketh low,-
"Now nay, now nay, ride on thy way, Thy faithful page precede.
For I must loose on saddle-bow
"Ere night I shall be near to thee,—
The knight smiled free at the fantasy,
Had the knight looked up to the page's face,