Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/445

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423
WOOING BY PROXY.

"A knight came riding that way to see.
'What do you here alone?' said he.
'Count you the greenest branches,
Or the golden, yellow roses?'

'I count the greenest branches not,
And I pluck the golden roses
By my lover I am forsaken,
No tidings my ears awaken,'

"'Art thou by a lover forsaken?
No tidings your ears awaken?
In Zealand's vales he doth rest
Where other fair dames have caressed him.'

"'In Zealand's fields he doth rest him,
Where other fair dames have caressed him.
I pray that Heaven his guard may be
Among those ladies fair and free.'

"'What took he then from his arms so bold?
A chain it was of red, red gold.
'Fair child, this chain will I give you,
Forget you the love who did leave you.'

"'And were the chain but once so long
That it hung from Heaven to earth along,
Much rather I would it should fail me,
Than love for another avail me.'

"But the blood of the knight was fiery too.
'Fair child,' he cried, 'take heed what you do.
You are my true and rightful wife.
No other shall be my own for life.'"