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And yet Count Garci's strong right hand

Was shapely, and soft, and white ;
As white and as soft as a lady's hand
Was the hand of the beautiful knight.

In an evil day and an hour of woe
To Garci's Hall did Count Aymerique go;

In an evil day and a luckless night
From Garci's Hall did he take his flight,
And bear with him that lady bright,

That lady false, his bale and bane.
There was feasting and joy in Count Aymerique's

bower, When he with triumph, and pomp, and pride, Brought home the adult’ress like a bride :

His daughter only sate in her tower,

She sate her in lonely tower alone, And for her dead mother she made her moan. “ Methinks,” said she, “ my father for me Might have brought a bridegroom home.

A stepmother he brings hither instead, Count Aymerique will not his daughter should wed, But he brings home a leman for his own bed.” So thoughts of good and thoughts of ill Were working thus in Abba's will;"

And Argentine with evil intent

Ever to work her woe was bent ;
That still she sate in her tower alone,

And in that melancholy gloom,
When for her mother she made her moan,

She wish'd her father too in the tomb.

She watches the pilgrims and poor who wait . For daily food at her father's gate. “ I would some knight were there,” thought she,

“ Disguised in pilgrim-weeds for me! For Aymerique's blessing I would not stay, Nor he nor his leman should say me nay,

But I with him would wend away.”

She watches her handmaid the pittance deal,

They took their dole and went away;
· But yonder is one who lingers still
As though he had something in his will,

Some secret which he fain would say ; And close to the portal she sees him go, He talks with her handmaid in accents low;

Oh then she thought that time went slow, And long were the minutes that she must wait Till her handmaid came from the castle-gate.

From the castle-gate her handmaid came,

And told her that a Knight was there,

Who sought to speak with Abba the fair, Count Aymerique's beautiful daughter and heir.

She bade the stranger to her bower ;
His stature was tall, his features bold;
A goodlier form might never maid

At tilt or tourney hope to see;
And though in pilgrim-weeds arrayed,
Yet noble in his weeds was he,

And his arms in them enfold
As they were robes of royalty.

He told his name to the damsel fair,
He said that vengeance led him there;

“ Now aid me, lady dear,” quoth he,
“ To smite the adult'ress in her pride ;
Your wrongs and mine avenged shall be,

And I will take you for my bride.”
He pledged the word of a true knight,
From out the weeds his hand he drew ;

She took the hand that Garci gave,

And then she knew the tale was true, :. For she saw the warrior's hand so white, And she knew the fame of the beautiful Knight.

'Tis the hour of noon,
The bell of the convent hath done,

And the Sexts are begun ;

The Count and his leman are gone to their meat.

They look to their pages, and lo they see
Where Abba, a stranger so long before,
The ewer, and bason, and napkin bore ;
She came and knelt on her bended knee,

And first to her father minister'd she; Count Aymerique look'd on his daughter down,

He look'd on her then without a frown.

And next to the Lady Argentine

Humbly she went and knelt ;
The Lady Argentine the while

A haughty wonder felt ;
Her face put on an evil smile;
“ I little thought that I should see

The Lady Abba kneel to me
In service of love and courtesy !
Count Aymerique,” the leman cried,
'“ Is she weary of her solitude,
Or hath she quell’d her pride ?"

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