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252 ANCIENT PORTUGUESE BALLADS.
" Wait, wait, Count Yanno, kill me not, but let me go and hide In my dear father's distant house, where I can dwell apart.
" There I will live a maid again, and keep my true troth-plight ; There I will rear this infant, and guard him from all sin ; Though sorrow lies between us two, he '11 be my dear delight, And I '11 be faithful to my love as I have always been."
" How can that be, my best beloved, it is the king's black will Within that gilded basin there to see your severed head." " Wait, wait, Count Yanno, kill me not, I have a refuge still; The cloistered nuns will guard me, when to their cells I 've fled.
" My bread be measured by the ounce, my drink quench not
my thirst, Then speedily my death will come, nor will the princess
know." " How can that be, my best beloved, since in that basin curst I must thy severed head before the king and princess show."
" Enclose me in a dungeon dark, where neither sun nor moon Shall light the hours I count by sighs until my life has fled." " How can that be, my best beloved ? the hour will come full
soon When in that gilded basin there the king must see your
The king knocked harshly at the door as these last words
were said : " If the Countess still is living, quick, quick, make haste to