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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 260



LETTER FROM ELSIEBEDE TO BERENGARIA. " Elsiebede to the most honored Queen Berengaria. My noble mistress will pardon the wife of Saif Addih if she intrude upon her gracious attention the story of the changes that have befallen one whom Allah (blessed be his name) hath raised from the low estate of a servant, to the dignity of sole wife of the monarch of the East. Though the voice of love charmed my ear, and made my heart tremble with sweet delight, yet tears overflowed my eyes when it was told me I should look no more upon the face of her whose fostering care had sustained my youth, and brought me to the land of my kindred. My beloved lady and her valiant lord have departed for their own land, but still I hear their names echoed from the base of Oarmel, to Damascus the garden of delights. The Arab horseman threatens his steed with the weight of King Eichard's arm, the Saracen mother hushes her babe with the fear of the Melech Eic, and blesses her daughter with the benison, 1 Allah make thee fair as Berengaria.' But ' The strength of the mighty and the charm of the lovely availeth naught, since death, the terminator of delights, waiteth at the threshhold of every dwelling.' Scarce could the vessels that bore the croises have reached the shores of Frangistan, when Disease, more potent than even the sword of the lion-hearted Plantagenet, laid its hand upon Saladin the Powerful, the Elustrious, and his life was * consumed beneath its burning touch. Then the black banner that awoke thy terrors at the first sight of Palestine, and that so often like the wing of Azrael, waved over the fields of the slain, by his last command, was rolled in the dust, and the shroud that was to wrap his body in the grave, was borne aloft in the sight of his peo-ple, while the imams and muezzins cried aloud with an ex-ceeding bitter cry, 1 Behold all that remains to the mighty Saladin, the prince of the thousand tribes, the vizier of Egypt, the conqueror of Syria, the Emperor of the East. Behold oh man, and prepare to die !' BERENGARIA OF NAVARRE. 271


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