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THE NORMAN BARON.
Dans les moments de la vie où la réflexion devient plus calme et plus profonde, où l'intérêt et l'avarice parlent moins haut que la raison, dans les instants de chagrin domestique, de maladie, et de péril de mort, les nobles se repentirent de posséder des serfs, comme d'une chose peu agréable à Dieu, qui avait créé tous les hommes à son image.
THIERRY: CONQUÊTE DE L'ANGLETERRE.
In his chamber, weak and dying,
And the castle-turret shook.
In this fight was Death the gainer,
Written in the Doomsday Book.
By his bed a monk was seated,
From the missal on his knee ;
And, amid the tempest pealing,
Rang for the Nativity.
In the hall, the serf and vassal
Sang the minstrels and the waits.
And so loud these Saxon gleemen Sang to slaves the songs of freemen, That the storm was heard but faintly,
Knocking at the castle-gates.
Till at length the lays they chaunted Reached the chamber terror-haunted, Where the monk, with accents holy,
Whispered at the baron's ear.
Tears upon his eyelids glistened,
Turned his weary head to hear.
“Wassail for the kingly stranger Born and cradled in a manger ! King, like David, priest, like Aaron,
Christ is born to set us free !"
And the lightning showed the sainted
" Miserere, Domine!”
In that hour of deep contrition,
Justice, the Avenger, rise.
All the pomp of earth had vanished,
And the truth wore no disguise.
Every vassal of his banner,
By his hand were freed again.
And, as on the sacred missal
And the monk replied, “ Amen!”
Many centuries have been numbered
Mingling with the common dust :
But the good deed, through the ages
Unconsumed by moth or rust.