Child Christopher - William Morris - Страница 1 из 169


CHILD CHRISTOPHER AND GOLDILIND THE FAIR
by William Morris
1895
CHAPTER I. OF THE KING OF OAKENREALM, AND HIS WIFE AND HIS CHILD.
Of old there was a land which was so much a woodland, that a minstrel
thereof said it that a squirrel might go from end to end, and all about,
from tree to tree, and never touch the earth: therefore was that land
called Oakenrealm.
The lord and king thereof was a stark man, and so great a warrior that
in his youth he took no delight in aught else save battle and tourneys.
But when he was hard on forty years old, he came across a daughter of
a certain lord, whom he had vanquished, and his eyes bewrayed him
into longing, so that he gave back to the said lord the havings he had
conquered of him that he might lay the maiden in his kingly bed. So he
brought her home with him to Oakenrealm and wedded her.
Tells the tale that he rued not his bargain, but loved her so dearly
that for a year round he wore no armour, save when she bade him play in
the tilt-yard for her desport and pride.
So wore the days till she went with child and was near her time, and
then it betid that three kings who marched on Oakenrealm banded them
together against him, and his lords and thanes cried out on him to lead
them to battle, and it behoved him to do as they would.
So he sent out the tokens and bade an hosting at his chief city, and
when all was ready he said farewell to his wife and her babe unborn, and
went his ways to battle once more: but fierce was his heart against the


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