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And yet Count Garci's strong right hand
Was shapely, and soft, and white ;
In an evil day and an hour of woe
In an evil day and a luckless night
That lady false, his bale and bane.
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 ;
And in that melancholy gloom,
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;
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 ;
At tilt or tourney hope to see;
And his arms in them enfold
He told his name to the damsel fair,
“ Now aid me, lady dear,” quoth he,
And I will take you for my bride.”
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,
And the Sexts are begun ;
The Count and his leman are gone to their meat.
They look to their pages, and lo they see
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 ;
A haughty wonder felt ;
The Lady Abba kneel to me