Page:Female Prose Writers of America.djvu/236

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Thou who wreath’st, with flattering art,
Poison-flowers to bind my heart!
Give me back the rose you stole!
Give me back my bloom of soul?

“Name thy wish, fair child. But tell me first what good genius has charmed thy lute for thee, that thus it sways the soul?”

“A child-angel, with large melancholy eyes and wings of lambent fire—we Franks have named him Love. He led me here and breathed upon my lute.”

“And where is he now?”

“I have hidden him in my heart,” said the boy, blushing as he replied.

“And what is the boon thou wouldst ask?”

The youthful stranger bent his knee, and said in faltering tones—“Thou hast a captive Christian knight; let him go free, and Love shall bless thy throne!”

“He is thine—thou shalt thyself release him. Here, take my signet with thee.”

And the fair boy glided like an angel of light through the guards at the dungeon-door. Bolts and bars fell before him—for he bore the talisman of Power—and he stood in his beauty and grace at the captive’s couch, and bade him rise and go forth, for he was free.

De Courcy, half-awake, gazed wistfully on the benign eyes that bent over him. He had just been dreaming of his guardian angel; and when he saw the beauteous stranger boy—with his locks of light—his heavenly smile—his pale, sweet face—he had no doubt that this was the celestial visitant of his dreams, and, following with love and reverence his spirit-guide, he scarcely wondered at his sudden disappearance when they reached the court.

“Pure as Aurora when she leaves her couch,
Her cool, soft couch in Heaven, and, blushing, shakes
The balmy dew-drops from her locks of light.”

Safely the knight arrived at his castle-gate, and as he alighted