Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French I).djvu/31

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30
THE JUGGLER OF NOTRE DAME.

Friar Marbode was, similarly, one of the most tender children of Mary.

He carved stone images incessantly, so that his beard, his eyebrows, and his hair were white with dust, and his eyes were perpetually swollen and tearful; but he was full of strength and of joy in his old age, and, visibly, the Queen of Paradise protected the declining years of her child. Marbode represented her seated in a pulpit, with a nimbus around her forehead, the orb of which was in pearls. And he was careful that the folds of her gown should cover the feet of the one whereof the prophet has said, "My beloved is like a closed garden."

At times, also, he represented her with the features of a child full of grace, and she seemed to say, "Lord, you are my Lord!"

There were also in the convent poets who composed Latin hymns in honor of the Virgin Mary, and there was even a Picardian who related the miracles of Notre Dame in ordinary terms and in rhyming verses.


III.

Seeing such a competition in praises and such a beautiful harvest of work, Barnabas lamented his ignorance and his simplicity.

"Alas!" he sighed, while he walked alone in the small garden of the convent, "I am very