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Harold : the Last of the Saxon Kings — Volume 08 by Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton
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BOOK VIII.


FATE.



CHAPTER I.


Some days after the tragical event with which the last chapter closed,
the ships of the Saxons were assembled in the wide waters of Conway;
and on the small fore-deck of the stateliest vessel, stood Harold,
bareheaded, before Aldyth, the widowed Queen. For the faithful bard
had fallen by the side of his lord; . . . the dark promise was
unfulfilled, and the mangled clay of the jealous Gryffyth slept alone
in the narrow bed. A chair of state, with dossel and canopy, was set
for the daughter of Algar, and behind stood maidens of Wales, selected
in haste for her attendants.

But Aldyth had not seated herself; and, side by side with her dead
lord's great victor, thus she spoke:

"Woe worth the day and the hour when Aldyth left the hall of her
fathers and the land of her birth! Her robe of a queen has been rent
and torn over an aching heart, and the air she has breathed has reeked
as with blood. I go forth, widowed, and homeless, and lonely; but my
feet shall press the soil of my sires, and my lips draw the breath
which came sweet and pure to my childhood. And thou, O Harold,
standest beside me, like the shape of my own youth, and the dreams of