“Roger will be with us. His father’s castle is only a few leagues from ours, and he is going to leave Roger at our home for a year or more while he is away.”
This made it quite perfect. Roger rejoiced openly at the prospect of going back to England. In stray moments Eleanor wondered a little how Lady Ebba liked it. She rather doubted whether Lady Adelicia would be as content there as her mother.
When they rode away from the old Norman gateway for the last time Eleanor laughed gleefully: “I don’t care where we go, mother,” she whispered, “we’ve the roots and seeds from your garden, and we shall have a tapestry chamber!”
O the Castle of Heart’s Delight!
The winds of the sunrise know it,
And the music adrift in its airy halls,
To the end of the world they blow it—
Music of glad hearts keeping time
To bells that ring in a crystal chime
With the cadence light of an ancient rime—
Such music lives on the winds of night
That blow from the Castle of Heart’s Delight!
O the Castle of Heart’s Delight
Where you and I go faring—
Heritage dear of love and toil,
Guerdon of faith and daring.
For all may win to the ancient gate,
Though some are early and some are late,
And each hath borne with his hidden Fate,—
For never a man but hath his right
To enter his Castle of Heart’s Delight!
THE FAIRIES’ WELL
What a beautiful place this is,” Lady Philippa said softly. She was standing with her husband near the great stone keep, looking out across a half-built wall at the hills and valleys of his wilderness domain. It was one of those mornings of early summer when the air is cool yet bright with sunshine, and the unfolding beauty of the world has something of heaven in it. Birds were singing everywhere, and the green of new leaves clothed the land in elvish loveliness. “Your England is very fair, Gualtier.”
“It is good that you find it so, love,” answered the knight. He had had misgivings a-plenty in bringing his gently-bred Provencal wife to this rough country. Often he had to be absent from dawn to moonrise, riding on some perilous expedition. He and his little force of men-at-arms and yeomen were doing police work on the Welsh border, and no one ever knew just when the turbulent chiefs of those mountains would attempt a raid.
Lady Philippa never complained. She ruled her household as he ruled his lands, wisely and well. She called her husband Gualtier instead of Walter, because he liked it, and sang to her lute the canzons and retronsas of her country, but she seemed to love his England as he did. She talked to the woodcutters’ wives and the village women and farm people as if she had played in childhood about their doors. In fact the knight had a shrewd notion that if he had been a bachelor the taming of his half-British, half-Saxon peasantry would have been far less easy.