‘Come, list to the lay of the olden time,’
A troubadour sang on a moonlit stream:
‘The scene is laid in a foreign clime,
‘A century back–and love is the theme.’
Love was the theme of the troubadour’s rhyme,
Of lady and lord of the olden time
‘At an iron-barred turret, a lady fair
‘Knelt at the close of the vesper-chime:
‘Her beads she numbered in silent prayer
‘For one far away, whom to love was her crime.
‘Love,’ sang the troubadour, ‘love was a crime,
‘When fathers were stern, in the olden time.
‘The warder had spurned from the castle gate
‘The minstrel who wooed her in flowing rhyme–
‘He came back from battle in regal estate–
‘The bard was a prince of the olden time.
‘Love,’ sand the troubadour, ‘listened to rhyme,
‘And welcomed the bard of the olden time.
‘The prince in disguise had the lady sought;
‘To chapel they hied in their rosy prime:
‘Thus worth won a jewel that wealth never bought,
‘A fair lady’s heart of the olden time.
‘The moral,’ the troubadour sang, ‘of my rhyme,
‘Was well understood in the olden time.’