Page:Marie de France Lays Mason.djvu/238

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wrong? When I gave him my love without grudging, I warned him plainly, and made covenant with him, that he would lose me the self same hour that he made our tenderness a song. Since part we must, I may not live after so bitter a sorrow; nor would I choose to live, even if I were able. Fie upon life, it has no savour in it. Since it pleases me naught, I pray to God to grant me death, and so truly as I have loved him who requites me thus to have mercy on my soul. I forgive him his wrong, and may God give honour and life to him who has betrayed and delivered me to death. Since it comes from his hand, death, meseems, is no bitter potion; and when I remember his love, to die for his sake is no grievous thing."

When the chatelaine had thus spoken she kept silence, save only that she said in sighing,

"Sweet friend, I commend you to God."

With these words she strained her arms tightly across her breast, the heart failed her, and her face lost its fair colour. She swooned in her anguish, and lay back, pale and discoloured in the middle of the bed, without life or breath.

Of this her friend knew nothing, for he sought his delight in the hall, at carol and dance and play. But amongst all those ladies he had no pleasure in any that he saw, since he might not perceive her to whom his heart was given, and much he marvelled thereat. He took the Duke apart, and said in his ear,

"Sire, whence is this that your niece tarries so long, and comes not to the dancing? Have you put her in prison?"

The Duke looked upon the dancers, for he had not concerned himself with the revels. He took his friend by the hand, and led him directly to his wife's chamber. When he might not find her there he bade the knight seek her boldly in the tiring chamber; and this he did