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And when Saint Martin's tide comes round, and millers take their toll,
The priest that prays for Moringer shall have both cope and stole."
It was the noble Moringer to climb the hill began,
"Now help me, every saint in heaven that can compassion take,
To gain the entrance of my hall this woful match to break."
His very knock it sounded sad, his call was sad and slow,
For heart and head, and voice and hand, were heavy all with woe ;
And to the warder thus he spoke: "Friend, to thy Lady say,
A pilgrim from Saint Thomas-land craves harbour for a day.
"I've wander'd many a weary step, my strength is well-nigh done,
And if she turn me from her gate I'll see no morrow's
I pray, for sweet Saint Thomas' sake, a pilgrim's bed and dole,
And for the sake of Moringer's, her once loved husband's soul."
It was the stalwart warder then he came his dame before,
'A pilgrim, worn and travel-toil'd, stands at the castle-door;
And prays, for sweet Saint Thomas' sake, for harbour and for dole,
And for the sake of Moringer, thy noble husband's soul."
The Lady's gentle heart was moved, "Do up the gate," she said,
"And bid the wanderer welcome be to banquet and to bed;
And since he names my husband's name, so that he lists to stay,
These towers shall be his harbourage a twelvemonth and a day."
It was the stalwart warder then undid the portal broad,
It was the noble Moringer that o'er the threshold strode;
"And have thou thanks, kind heaven," he said, "though from a man of sin,
That the true lord stands here once more his castlegate within."
Then up the halls paced Moringer, his step was sad and slow;
t sat full heavy on his heart, none seem'd their lord to know;
He sat him on a lowly bench, oppress'd with woe and
Now spent was day, and feasting o'er, and come was evening hour,
The time was nigh when new-made brides retire to nuptial bower;
"Our castle's wont,", a brides-man said, "hath been both firm and long,
No guest to harbour in our halls till he shall chant a song."
Then spoke the youthful bridegroom there as he sat by the bride,
'My merry minstrel folk," quoth he, "lay shalm and harp aside;
Our pilgrim guest must sing a lay, the castle's rule to hold,
And well his guerdon will I pay with garment and with gold."
"Chill flows the lay of frozen age," 'twas thus the pilgrim sung,
"Nor golden meed, nor garment gay, unlocks his heavy
Once did I sit, thou bridegroom gay, at board as rich as thine,
And by my side as fair a bride with all her charms was mine.
'But time traced furrows on my face, and I grew silver-hair'd,
For locks of brown, and cheeks of youth, she left this brow and beard;
Once rich, but now a palmer poor, I tread life's latest stage,
And mingle with your bridal mirth the lay of frozen age."
It was the noble Lady there this woful lay that hears, And for the aged pilgrim's grief her eye was dimm'd with tears;
She bade her gallant cupbearer a golden beaker take, And bear it to the palmer poor to quaff it for her sake.
It was the noble Moringer that dropp'd amid the wine A bridal ring of burning gold so costly and so fine: Now listen, gentles, to my song, it tells you but the sooth,
'Twas with that very ring of gold he pledged his bridal truth.
Then to the cupbearer he said, "Do me one kindly deed,
And should my better days return, full rich shall be thy meed;
Bear back the golden cup again to yonder bride so gay,
And crave her of her courtesy to pledge the palmer grey."
The cupbearer was courtly bred, nor was the boon denied,
The golden cup he took again, and bore it to the bride; “Lady,” he said, "your reverend guest sends this, and bids me pray,
That, in thy noble courtesy, thou pledge the palmer grey."
The ring hath caught the Lady's eye, she views it close and near,
Then might you hear her shriek aloud, "The Moringer is here!"
Then might you see her start from seat, while tears in torrents fell,
But whether 'twas for joy or woe, the ladies best can tell.
But loud she utter'd thanks to Heaven, and every saintly power,
That had return'd the Moringer before the midnight hour;
And loud she utter'd vow on vow, that never was there bride,
That had like her preserved her troth, or been so sorely tried.
"Yes, here I claim the praise," she said, "to constant matrons due,
Who keep the troth that they have plight, so steadfastly and true;