Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/147

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Folklore of the Azores. 131

wings, and promised them a fair daughter ; but said that to cure the king of his pride he must not look upon his daughter until she reached the age of twenty, nor must she be seen by any man. The genius added, I myself will look after her, and will build for her Seven Cities of marble and ivory. Each day of the week she will inhabit one of them, and she shall have palaces of gold and precious stones. Around them I shall build bronze walls, so high that no man can climb them. When the princess is twenty years old the walls will fall down, and you can then go in and kiss your daughter; but woe to you if you touch those sacred walls before the appointed time." So it happened. A beautiful princess was born, and named Verdazul (Green and Blue). The genius transported her to the Seven Cities of marble and ivory, and here she lived in great splendour, growing in beauty until she reached the age of eighteen. Meanwhile the king's pride had revived. His desires were fanned by his evil genius, and at last he was persuaded that it was insulting to his dignity that he should be prevented from seeing his daughter. So in spite of Queen Brancaroza's remonstances he set out, not deterred by the howling of the wind or the trembling of the ground. He travelled seven days and seven nights, and at last saw before him the bronze walls. Being exhausted he fell asleep, and dreamed of the pleasant sights and sounds inside these ramparts. When he awoke he raised his sword, but the earth trembled, and he hesitated. Urged on, however, by the evil genius, he struck the wall with his sword. Instantly the wall was shattered to bits; the earth opened with flames and thunderings and the whole country went down into the ocean, leaving but a few bits of land here and there. Where the Seven Cities stoop is now this lake, and the marble and ivory palaces are under the water. On stormy nights the ghost of Verdazul is seen to glide over the water. The lake is divided by a causeway into two parts, which keep the memory of Verd- azul by being one blue and one green ; or else, some say

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