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272 ANCIENT PORTUGUESE BALLADS.
She leans against the sacred wood, —
" By God and Saint Marie, This holy place should be my guard,
Oh, do no wrong to me."
The false knight was too base of heart
To feel God's sacred grace. He throws his arms around her form
In strong and fierce embrace.
In mad and furious wrestle,
Their struggling arms are wound ;
The maiden's strength is crushed by his : She 's cast upon the ground.
But as she falls she pulls the dirk,
That in his belt she spies ; She strikes it deep to his false heart,
And out the black blood flies.
" Oh, pilgrim maid, I beg and pray By God and Saint Marie, Tell not of my dishonored death, Or how you *ve punished me."
" I '11 tell the tale in your own land, And in mine vaunt it too, How such a villain, false and base, With his own blade I slew."
She pulls the cord that swings the bell ; It makes a solemn din. " Oh, hermit, pray that God may save This soul that dies in sin,