Page:Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.djvu/31

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13


L'ARBRE FÉE DE BOURLEMONT
SONG OF THE CHILDREN

Now what has kept your leaves so green,
  Arbre Fée de Bourlemont?
The children's tears! They brought each grief,
  And you did comfort them and cheer
  Their bruisèd hearts, and steal a tear
    That, healèd, rose a leaf.

And what has built you up so strong,
  Arbre Fée de Bourlemont?
The children's love! They've loved you long
  Ten hundred years, in sooth,
They've nourished you with praise and song,
And warmed your heart and kept it young—
  A thousand years of youth!

Bide always green in our young hearts,
  Arbre Fée de Bourlemont!
And we shall always youthful be,
  Not heeding Time his flight;
And when, in exile wand'ring, we
Shall fainting yearn for glimpse of thee,
  O, rise upon our sight!

The fairies were still there when we were children, but we never saw them; because, a hundred years before that, the priest of Domremy had held a religious function under the tree and denounced them as being blood-kin to the Fiend and barred them from redemption; and then he warned them never to show themselves again, nor hang any more immortelles, on pain of perpetual banishment from that parish.

All the children pleaded for the fairies, and said they were their good friends and dear to them and never did them any harm, but the priest would not listen, and said it was sin and shame to have such friends. The children mourned and could not be comforted; and they made an agreement among themselves that they would always continue to hang flower-