Page:Marie de France Lays Mason.djvu/237

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213
The Chatelaine of Vergi

might not see you with my eyes! What ill has befallen you, that you durst prove false to me? I deemed you more faithful God take me in His keeping than ever was Tristan to Isoude. May God pity a poor fool, I loved you half as much again than I had love for myself. From the first to the last of our friendship, never by thought, or by word, or by deed, have I done amiss; there is no wrong doing, trifling or great, to make plain your hatred, or to excuse so vile a betrayal as this scorning of our love for a fresher face, this desertion of me, this proclaiming of our secret. Alas, my friend, I marvel greatly; for as God is my witness my heart was not thus towards you. If God had offered me all the kingdoms of the world, yea, and His Heaven and its Paradise besides, I would have refused them gladly, had my gain meant the losing of you. For you were my wealth and my song and my health, and nothing can hurt me any more, since my heart has learnt that yours no longer loves me. Ah, lasting, precious love! Who could have guessed that he would deal this blow, to whom I gave the grace of my tenderness who said that I was his lady both in body and in soul, and he the slave at my bidding. Yea, he told it over so sweetly, that I believed him faithfully, nor thought in any wise that his heart would bear wrath and malice against me, whether for Duchess or for Queen. How good was this love, since the heart in my breast must always cleave to his! I counted him to be my friend, in age as in youth, our lives together; for well I knew that if he died first I should not dare to endure long without him, because of the greatness of my love. The grave, with him, would be fairer, than life in a world where I might never see him with my eyes. Ah, lasting, precious love! Is it then seemly that he should publish our counsel, and destroy her who had done him no