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76 ST. GEOBGE AND THE DKAGON.
And after he hath suckt my gore, Your land shall feel the grief no more."
" What hast thou done, my daughter dear, For to deserve this heavy scourge ?
It is my fault, as may appear,
Which makes the gods our state to purge ;
Then ought I die, to stint the strife,
And to preserve thy happy life."
Like mad-men, all the people cried, " Thy death to us can do no good ; Our safety only doth abide
In making her the dragon's food." " Lo ! here I am, I come," quoth she, " Therefore do what you will with me."
" Nay stay, dear daughter," quoth the queen, " And as thou art a virgin bright, That hast for vertue famous been,
So let me cloath thee all in white ; And crown thy head with flowers sweet, An ornament for virgins meet."'
And when she was attired so, According to her mother's mind,
Unto the stake then did she go,
To which her tender limbs they bind ;
And being bound to stake a thrall,
She bade farewell unto them all.