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La Chatelaine de Vergi - part 9
(By Ysabeau de Vergi as appeared in the June 1990 Bolt)

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La Chatelaine de Vergi - part 9

And the duke took such pity on her,
That he said to her, "My lovely sister,
I would rather not suffer at any price
Either your anger or your ire.
But, know that I cannot tell
That which you wish me to tell you
Without doing too great a villainy."
And she answered right away,
"Sire, do not speak to me of it,
Because I see well that it seems
You do not trust in me enough
To keep your counsel;
And know that it is a great surprise to me.
Have you ever heard that a great or small
Secret that you have confided in me
Has ever been discovered through me?
And I tell you, in good faith,
Never in my life will it happen."
When this was said, she began again to cry.
And the duke gathered her in his arms and kissed her,
And was in his heart so uneasy,
That he was at the end of his wits;
And he could no longer resist.
Then he said to her, "Beautiful lady,
I know not what to do, by my faith,
Because such is my trust in and belief in you
That I must hide nothing from you
Of what my heart knows;
But I pray you do not speak a word of it.
Know, and so much I say to you,
That, if I am betrayed by you,
You will die for it."
And she said, "I agree with this wholly!
It could never be
That I could do you wrong."
He who loved her therefore believed her,
And thought that what she told him
Was the Truth. Then the story
Of his niece he told,
As he learned it from the knight,
And how he was in the orchard
In the hiding place where there was none but the two
When the little dog came to them;
And of the lovers' comings-together.
He told the truth,
And he kept nothing back from her
Of what he had heard and seen.
And when the duchess heard
That the knight loved one more lowly,
And because of this he had rejected her,
Dead and despised she felt.
But of this she showed no sign,
And granted and promised
To the duke to so keep these doings secret,
That, if they were through her discovered,
He might hang her on the gallows.
And the duchess was most anxious
To speak to her whom she hated,
Since from this hour she knew
That she was the love of he
Who had caused her shame and grief,
Because, as was her thought,
He had not wanted to be her lover.
And she held as her design
That, if she saw the place and time,
Then to the niece of the duke she would speak.
She would tell her at once,
Nor would she keep secret
Such words as would break her promise.

to be continued....

 Page last updated 12/28/99