Page:Female Prose Writers of America.djvu/232

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202
FRANCES S. OSGOOD.


Nor feel my heart exulting beat
 With sweet, impassioned joy the while.

The deepest wrong that thou couldst do,
 Is thus to doubt my faith professed;
How should I, love, be less than true,
 When thou art noblest, bravest, best?

The tones of the Lady Loyaline’s voice were sweet and clear, yet so low, so daintily delicate, that the heart caught them rather than the ear. De Courcy felt his soul soften beneath those pleading accents, and his eyes, as he gazed upon her, were filled with unutterable love and sorrow.

How beautiful she was! With that faint colour, like the first blush of dawn, upon her cheek with those soft, black, glossy braids, and those deep blue eyes, so luminous with soul! Again the lady touched her lute—

For thee I braid and bind my hair
 With fragrant flowers, for only thee;
Thy sweet approval, all my care,
 Thy love—the world to me!}}

For thee I fold my fairest gown,
 With simple grace, for thee, for thee!
No other eyes in all the town
 Shall look with love on me.

For thee my lightsome lute I tune,
 For thee—it else were mute—for thee!
The blossom to the bee in June
 Is less than thou to me.

De Courcy, by nature proud, passionate, reserved, and exacting, had wooed and won, with some difficulty, the young and timid girl, whose tenderness for her noble lover was blent with a shrinking awe, that all his devotion could not for awhile overcome.

At the time my story commences, he was making preparations to join the Crusaders. He was to set out in a few days, and, brave and chivalric as he was, there were both fear and grief in his heart, when he thought of leaving his beautiful bride for years, perhaps for ever. Perfectly convinced of her guileless purity of purpose,