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La Chatelaine de Vergi - part 3
(By Yasbeau de Vergi as appeared in the November 1989 Bolt)

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La Chatelaine de Vergi - part 3

The duke was distressed
And was unable to sleep
Because of the knight that he liked well,
Since he believed he had done him wrong
And by rights should have lost his friendship,
And for the entire night he lay awake.
The next day he rose early,
And had brought before him he
Whom his wife had brought him to hate,
Although he had done no wrong.
At once he took him to one side, alone,
Only the two of them.
"Indeed," he said, "it is greatly troubling
That you sir have prowess and beauty,
And of loyalty you have none.
On this you have greatly deceived me,
Since I have for a long time believed
That you were of good faith,
Loyal, at least, towards me, so that I
Have borne great love for you. I know not
How such a traitorous thought came to you,
To plead with my duchess and
To ask of her her love.
You have done a most treacherous deed,
What worse thing could be found!
Be gone now from my land,
Because I banish you without doubt,
And I deny and forbid it to you,
Never to return, now or ever, because
As I say from this day onward,
If you are caught here, know
That I will make you hang for it."
When the knight heard this, with anger
And with troubled spirit all his limbs trembled.
It was of his lady-friend he thought,
Whom he knew that he could not be with
If he could not go to and fro
And return to that land
From which the duke vowed he was forbidden.
And also, it grieved him greatly that
For a disloyal traitor his sire took him, and wrongly.
So great was his suffering.
That he believed someone had dealt him a traitorous death blow.
"Sire," he said, "in the name of God all-merciful,
Do not believe, do not think for a minute
That I would ever have been so daring.
That for which you wrongly blame me
I never thought on, not a day or an hour.
A wrong has been done by whoever said this to you."
"It is of no use to deny it,"
Said the duke, "for hardly is there doubt of it's truth.
She herself told me
In what manner and what way
You pleaded and demanded her, like
A covetous traitor;
And such things did you speak of
Perhaps, that she keeps silent."
"My lady has said what pleases her,"
Said he, who was much aggrieved.
"It is of no use to deny it.
Nothing I might say would help me,
Nor is there anything which I would not do
So that I may be believed
That this never happened."
"So there is," said the duke, "upon my soul."
At this he remembered his lady,
Because truly he felt assured
That she had said
That never had anyone been heard to say
That he had another love.
Then the duke said to the knight,
"If you want to pledge it
BY your loyal oath
That you will tell me faithfully
That which I will ask you,
By your answer will I be certain
If you have done or not
That of which I suspect you."
He who above all craved and desired
To turn away his lord's anger,
Which was borne against him without due,
And who dreaded such a loss
As to leave the land
Where she was that was most dear to him.
Answered that without contradiction
He would do what the duke had said.

To be continued....

 Page last updated 12/28/99