Page:Marie de France Lays Mason.djvu/137

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113
The Lay of Milon

giving her love again in return for her own, and swearing that he would never depart therefrom any day of his days. Beyond this courteous answer Milon bestowed on the messenger costly gifts, and made him promises that were richer still.

"Friend," said he, "of your charity I pray you that I may have speech with my friend, in such a fashion that none shall know of our meeting. Carry her this, my golden ring. Tell her, on my part, that so she pleases she shall come to me, or, if it be her better pleasure, I will go to her."

The messenger bade farewell, and returned to his lady. He placed the ring in her hand, saying that he had done her will, as he was bidden to do.

Right joyous was the damsel to know that Milon's love was tender as her own. She required her friend to come for speech within the private garden of her house, where she was wont to take her delight. Milon came at her commandment. He came so often, and so dearly she loved him, that in the end she gave him all that maid may give. When the damsel perceived how it was with her, she sent messages to her friend, telling him of her case, and making great sorrow.

"I have lost my father and all his wealth," said the lady, "for when he hears of this matter he will make of me an example. Either I shall be tormented with the sword, or else he will sell me as a slave in a far country."

(For such was the usage of our fathers in the days of this tale).

Milon grieved sorely, and made answer that he would do the thing the damsel thought most seemly to be done.

"When the child is born," replied the lady, "you must carry him forthwith to my sister. She is a rich dame, pitiful and good, and is wedded to a lord of North-