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THE BLIND GIRL OF CASTEL-CUILLÈ.

FROM THE GASCON OF JASMIN.

1.

At the foot of the mountain height

Where is perched Castèl-Cuillè, When the apple, the plum, and the almond-tree

In the plain below were growing white,

This is the song one might perceive On a Wednesday morn of Saint Joseph's Eve:

“ The roads should blossom, the roads should

bloom, So fair a bride shall leave her home! Should blossom and bloom with garlands gay: So fair a bride shall pass to-day!”

This old Te Deum, rustic rites attending,

Seemed from the clouds descending;

When lo! a merry company
Of rosy village girls, clean as the eye,

Each one with her attendant swain, Came to the cliff, all singing the same strain; Resembling there, so near unto the sky, Rejoicing angels, that kind Heaven has sent For their delight and our encouragement.

Together blending,
And soon descending

The narrow sweep

Of the hill-side steep,

They wind aslant

Towards Saint Amant,

Through leafy alleys
Of verdurous valleys
With merry sallies
Singing their chant:

“The roads should blossom, the roads should

bloom, So fair a bride shall leave her home!

Should blossom and bloom with garlands gay, So fair a bride shall pass to-day!”

It is Baptiste, and his affianced maiden,
With garlands for the bridal laden!

The sky was blue; without one cloud of gloom,

The sun of March was shining brightly, And to the air the freshening wind gave lightly

Its breathings of perfume.

When one beholds the dusky hedges blossom, A rustic bridal, ah! how sweet it is!

To sounds of joyous melodies,
That touch with tenderness the trembling bosom,

A band of maidens
Gayly frolicking,
A band of youngsters
Wildly rollicking!

Kissing,

Caressing,
With fingers pressing,

Till in the veriest

Madness of mirth, as they dance,
They retreat and advance,
Trying whose laugh shall be loud-

est and merriest; While the bride, with roguish eyes, Sporting with them, now escapes and cries : 66 Those who catch me

Married verily
This
year

shall be !"

And all pursue with eager haste,

And all attain what they pursue,
And touch her pretty apron fresh and new,

And the linen kirtle round her waist.

Meanwhile, whence comes it that among
These youthful maidens fresh and fair,
So joyous, with such laughing air,
Baptiste stands sighing, with silent tongue?

And yet the bride is fair and young!
Is it Saint Joseph would say to us all,
That love, o'er-hasty, precedeth a fall ?

O no! for a maiden frail, I trow,
Never bore so lofty a brow!

What lovers ! they give not a single caress !
To see them so careless and cold to-day,

These are grand people, one would say. What ails Baptiste? what grief doth him op

press?

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