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Introduction & lines 1-132
What with her father he had shared,
460 That heard the maiden pure and fair,
Because that girl so very sweet
Had of her lord most dear the feet
Lying across her lap with care.
Once could indeed and well compare
465 Her innocent child’s quality
To the kind angels’ purity.
Of his story took she good heed
And marked and noted it indeed:
Ne’er left it from her heart, its deep,
470 E’en ‘till she went that night to sleep,
When at her father’s feet she lay,
Her mother’s too, as was her way.
When both had fallen into sleep,
Many a sigh and gasping deep
475 She from her inner heart outpoured.
For the sharp suff’ring of her lord
So great was her sorrowful pain
That from her eyes did break a rain
Upon her sleeping parents’ feet.
480 So them awoke the maiden the sweet.
And when they felt the wet tears fall,
Awoke they and began to call
And ask her what was happening
And of what kind of sorrowing
485 She could so secretly lament.
To tell them was she hesitant.
But when her father made and set
A very many pleas and threats,
That she must answer them quickly,
490 She spoke: “Ye should lament with me.
What more can do us harm greater
Than on account of our master,
That we should lose him to the grave
And with him sacrifice and waive
495 Both good honour and our demesne?
And we shall ne’er receive again
Another lord of such good weal
Who may with us as doth he deal.”
They spoke: “O daughter, right hast thou.
500 But not a bit us helpeth now
Our sorrow and our great lament.
Dear child, of this be thou silent!
‘Tis us as painful as to thee.
But sadly yet now cannot we
505 Come to his aid in any way.
‘Tis God hath taken him away:
Had any other soul this done,
He would from us our curse have won.”
Thus did they then her voice detain.
510 That night despondent she remained
And all the day that followéd.
Whate’er anyone other did,
Ne’er left this from her heart, his plight,
Until she went in the next night
515 To sleep as was her custom's way.
When she had down her body laid
In the old place in bed she knew,
Prepared she yet a bath and drew
It from her weeping eyes’ outpour:
520 Because in secret hid she bore
So deeply in her heart’s recess
The greatest and utmost goodness
That e’er have I of child heard fame.
What child would, too, e’er act the same?
525 To this herself committed she:
Should she again the morning see,
That she her life in one accord
Would give for the sake of her lord.
Then at this notion was she made
530 Of easy heart and cheery grade
And had no more a worry’s bane,
Except a fear that did her pain:
If she would to her lord confess,
That he would draw back in distress,
535 And when she should then to all three
Her plan reveal, that in them she
Would find no ready tolerance,
That one would not it countenance.
Therefore was her distress so great
540 That was her mother by its weight
And was her father roused to light
Just as on the foregoing night.