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VIII "My blissful one
 "My blissful one, may this be true. Pardon if I speak ill," I prayed:
"Art thou the queen o' the heaven's blue,
To whom earth's honour shall be paid?
We believe in Mary, of grace who grew,
A mother, yet a blameless maid;
To wear her crown were only due
To one who purer worth displayed.
For perfectness by none gainsaid2,
We call her the Phoenix3 of Araby,
That flies in faultless charm arrayed,
Like to the Queen of courtesy."
"Courteous4 Queen," that bright one said,
And, kneeling, lifted up her face:
"Matchless Mother and merriest Maid,
Blessèd Beginner of every grace."
Then she arose, and softly stayed,
And spoke5 to me across that space:
"Sir, many seek gain here, and are paid,
But defrauders are none within this place;
That Empress may all heaven embrace,
And earth and hell in her empery;
Her from her heritage none will chase,
For she is Queen of courtesy."
"The court of the kingdom of God doth thrive
Only because of this wondrous6 thing:
Each one who therein may arrive,
Of the realm is either queen or king;
And no one the other doth deprive,
But is fain of his fellow's guerdoning,
And would wish each crown might be worth five,
If possible were their bettering.
But my Lady, from whom our Lord did spring,
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