Friday, May 25, 2018

Odo Enters Nesta's Bedchamber.

Even now, Midsummer’s highest sun, it past the sunset when the feast arrived in flaggèd Nod. A woman led dame Nesta to her quarters for the time. It was a room within, and overlooked it to a little atrium it seemed to her. Difficult to tell it, for Selene was almost new. Two girls attended to her with some of nightclothes, and they helped her wash within a basin that they brouwt. The chamberpot was emptied. Then the girls abade her for the night and shut the wooden door with iron wrought in black. She kept a candle lighted, and pulled up her covers round her neck; the mantle of the swan. She fingered through the vulgate on the table, poured herself a glass of wine, and thought she fondly of her brother and her pa, some nearly forty leagues away in sweet Le Mans.

Were it not too long before the door came open. There t'were Bishop Odo of Bayoux. The hour--!

“Know ye, girl, the lineage of Christ?”

“My lord, that is a queer way to begin your conversation. For every girl in Christendom knows well that Christ from Mary, she a virgin, be.”

“In Matthew, Chapter one, the truth revealed that all the generations down from Abraham to David, they are fourteen generations; and David then bequeathèd down to Bablyon were likewise fourteen generations; and Babylon to Christ was born were also fourteen generations.”

“Neatly does Our Lord do work upon this mortal soil.”

“Neatly does He work his wonders,” Bishop Odo did assent.

“But fourteen, fourteen, fourteen, and then fourteen more make up the year 1066, my jeune corbeau, and have we now the fourth in these, the August chapters of our Lord.

Nesta counted off in contemplation and came up with many more than four fourteens of generations ere between the birth of Christ and this,1066. 

She smirked a little, but she kept her trump well-hid, for now. His wee fowl game can barely count, she thought.

Odo found the thread she spindled out. “Of course, in ancient days, the generations stretched out longer than they do today. Today, a life is measured ten and score of three; but eld Methuselah were-”

“-Nine hundreds, three score and another nine,” the dam recat. He smiled and he nodded his approval of her catechism whacht.

Odo then approached the fodder’s blèached foot, the flaxen silage covered up by flaxen linen broidered up and light. He stepped forth like a Tom, at turns he supplicating and enticing, sorceling his little prey. A little upturned-corner on his lips here in the candle-light; and narrower then were his eyes, which never strayed from herupon.

“I’ve had a dream, not unlike the dream was giv’d to ere our Joseph, and our Virgin, in those days, a thousand years ago.” 

Friday, May 18, 2018

"You Married, Imogen?" OR "Romantic Love"

In which Imogen is caught flirting with Bishop Odo, and furthermore, her squire Nesta calls her out on it.

“You married, Imogen?”

“Aye. With a son by marriage take’d to me. This by the Duke, and by the Duke’s decree.”

“And naught but duty does this marriage bring, my Genny?”

“Naught, but loyalty confirmed. The Duke, when roosted so to play Alquerques prefers to know the pieces extant to him, and so where those pieces lay.”

“But dam, to lay with bridegroom misbegot; to play Alquerques in life for Will the Duke; to sacrifice your fruit of precious youth; what of the benefits to you to pay with all the Lord hast vested to your case- what gain, my dam, hast you to show, if may?”

Imogen was silent and showed sullenness abroad.

“And then, what’s now your tenders do alight upon Bayeux. This I saw, my dam! Your pretty cockles up and warmed, and with his nearly in within you-“


“-His hands within yours held, I mean to say, and pinkness wrought from humor-wonts he draw’d from you this pretty afternoon today. It puts the lie to bridegroom’s well in hand that you should lay!”

“Do you, Ness... do you fancy that some other’s eyes fell so upon our sweet conspiracy?” She cast about with furtive brow and glances then. 

“The men? Whacht sees a man? A thing. We are a thing! A scrummy[1] Breton egg we be to them up in their saddle riding, looting booty from the cities and the towns they overrun! Aye, mayhap they see it, Imogen. But put their feeble wit to contemplation of the thing? They no more wonder why the river stones prefer to smoothen up in time, as wonder they what’s in our brains. You taught me so y’self, my pretty dame.” 

Imogen relaxed, though naught has she known then she’d tightened up. “Aye, right. You’re right. You’re right."

“Why d’you let the Bishop in, my Gen? Why him, of all the men?

“Why not the Bishop, Nesta? Has he not fair tongue, and cheek, and wealth and comfort, and magnanimity?”

“Fair tongue? Mean tongue, methinks.”

“Bite yours! Speak not so brazenly about fair Odo in me presence, not again!” 

Nesta grinned. “You fancy him for truly, don’t you Genny-dam?”

She blushed. 

Nesta smiled to her own, and turned away her face from ere the dame. For her own part, dame Imogene felt sorely for to strike her squire all about the ear. But with her good civility displayed, she well refrained. 

“Imogen, why dost our truly heart make fool of brains and eyes?”

“God’s will, methinks,” said Imogen. “God willest us to make our fatal mark against our better natures when He paves the Heavens and the Earth for future men to tread.”

“This makes much sense as any other thing’s been writ about romantic love,” did Nesta then assent. She wondered how it felt to be so take’d by Cupid and his Seraphim. She knew it not, herself.

[1] Delicious morsel