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La Chatelaine de Vergi - part 10
(By Ysabeau de Vergi as appeared in the July 1990 Bolt)

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La Chatelaine de Vergi - part 10

But never was there a chance
Before the feast of Pentecost,
Which was the first time
That the Duke held such a full court,
And asked all the ladies of the land.
And of all whom he invited,
His niece was the first,
She who was the Chatelaine of Vergi.
And when the duchess saw her
At once all her blood began to simmer
At her whom of all the world she hated most,
But she knew how to conceal her anger,
And to give her a warmer welcome
Than she had ever done before;
But she had a great desire to speak
Of that which she held in her angry heart,
And the delay caused her much anguish.
Then on the day of the Pentecost,
When the tables were cleared away,
The duchess led the ladies
Into her own chamber
So they could take themselves aside
To array themselves in a festive fashion for the carols.
Then the duchess, seeing her chance,
Could no longer contain her words.
Thus she said, as if in jest,
"Chatelaine, you must make yourself very pretty,
Because you have as acquaintance such a fair and gallant one!"
And she answered simply;
"I know not of what acquaintance
You think, my lady, since
By choice no lover would I have
Who is not above all honorable
To me and to my lord."
"I grant you that," said the duchess,
"But you are a good mistress,
To have taught such a duty
To your little dog."
The ladies heard the story,
But did not know to what this referred.
And they left with the duchess,
For the carols were beginning.
The Chatelaine remained.
Her heart was troubled with anguish and worry,
And she was pale and without color.
Into a dressing room she went
Where a young maid was lying
At the foot of the bed,
And she could not be seen.
She let herself fall on the bed,
This most unhappy lady,
And she wailed and lamented
And said, "Ah! My Lord, have mercy!
What could it mean,
That my lady chastise me
For training my little dog?
She knew it through no one,
This I know well except through him
Whom I love and who has betrayed me.
And how would he have told her
If he was not already intimate with her,
And loved her without a doubt
More than me whom he has betrayed?
I see well that he loves me not,
When he has broken our pledge.
Sweet Lord! And I loved him so,
As much as one could love,
And I could not think of another
For an hour, a day, a night;
When he was my joy, my pleasure,
My delight, my ease,
My solace and my comfort.
How devoted I was to him
In thought, even when I saw him not.
Ah! My love! How is this possible,
That to me you have been false?
I believed you would be more loyal
To me, Lord help me,
Than Tristan was to Yseult.
And I loved you far more,
May god have pity on me,
Than I loved myself.

To be continued.....

 Page last updated 12/28/99