|Share page||Visit Us On FB|
ANCIENT PORTUGUESE BALLADS. 253
" The Countess says her orisons, but soon she will be dead, And in a single moment's space her soul will pass away."
" Oh, let me say a final prayer to bid the world good-night." " Make haste to say it, my beloved, for daybreak I can see." " Oh, God and Virgin Mary blest, I cannot pray aright; It is not death afflicts me so, but shameful treachery.
" I pity you more than myself, for your base cowardice ; With your own hand you take my life, though reason there
is none Except the wicked princess' hand will pay the shameful price. May God forgive you at the hour you stand before his
" Oh, let me say my last farewell to all I 've loved so dear, The flower of Alexandria, the roses red and white, The little tender violets, the fountain waters clear, I 've tended you with love and care ; the princess' hand will blight.
" Give me my child, fruit of my womb, in my weak arms to
hold, That he may feed upon the breast that swells with its last
breath. It is my blood that he will drink, that runs so faint and cold. Drink, little infant, drink the milk that's tinged with bitter
death. To-day you have a mother dear, who loves you tenderly, To-morrow a step-mother harsh, of loftiest degree."
The great church bell tolls heavily. Ah, Jesus, who is dead ? The infant's lips by miracle this wondrous answer made :