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La Chatelaine de Vergi - part 4
(By Yasbeau de Vergi as appeared in the December 1989 Bolt)

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La Chatelaine de Vergi - part 4

He thought only on
That about which the duke was worried.
In his trouble, he thought not of
That which the duke wished to ask,
Of nothing except this request.
The oath in this manner
He made, the duke received his faith.
And the duke then said to him;
"Know that by honest truth,
That because I have loved you
Before, with all my heart,
I could not
Of you believe such misdeeds, nor such shame
As the duchess told me;
Nor so much could I hold it to be true,
If this did not make me believe
And put me in great doubt:
It is that I look upon your countenance
And your attention to yourself and other things;
Because of this one knows well
That you are in love, whoever she may be;
And when elsewhere was not perceived
A beloved damsel or lady,
I thought it was my lady,
Who told me that you entreated her.
I cannot be convinced,
For there is nothing that can be done,
Unless I believe that it is thus;
If you do not tell me that elsewhere
You have in some place a beloved,
So as to leave me in no doubt of it, and
To know the whole truth of it.
And, if you do not want to do this,
As a liar you must go forth
From my lands, without delay!"
He did not know which resolution to take,
Since the choices seemed so awful
That one and the other seemed to look upon death.
Because, if he spoke the honest truth,
Which he would say if he did not break his oath,
To death he sentenced himself; if he did such evil
As to break the covenant
That he held with his lady,
He was certain that he would lose her
If ever she learned of this.
And, if he did not tell the duke the truth,
A broken oath it would be and a broken faith,
And he would lose the land and his Love.
Yet he would not be concerned with his country
If he could keep his lady,
Whom above all else he feared to lose.
And because he had memories
Of the great joy and solace
That he had had in her arms,
He thought, if he did her a disservice
And by his misdeed lost her,
Since he could not take her with him,
How could he live without her? He was at such a point
As the Chatelain of Couci
Who, having in his heart nothing but love,
Said in a verse of a song:

     By the Lord, Love, how difficult it is for me to part from
     The sweetest solace and the company
     And the joy I took in her sweet face
     She who has been my companion and my friend

     And when I think on her simple courtesy,
     And the sweet word that she often spoke,
     How can my heart or my body endure?
     Surely it is too awful to remain!

To be continued ....

 Page last updated 12/28/99