Page:Mistral - Mirèio. A Provençal poem.djvu/168

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[Canto VII.

The soil part silently before the share,
And its dark bosom to the sun lay bare:
The comely mules, ne'er from the furrow breaking,
Toiled on as though they care and thought were taking
For what they did. With muzzles low they went,
And arching necks like bows when these are bent,

And hasted not, nor lagged. Followed along—
Eye on the mules, and on his lips a song—
The ploughman, with one handle only guiding.
So, in the realm where we have seen presiding
Our old friend Ramoun, flourished every thing,
And he bare sceptre like a very king.

Now says he grace, and lifts his eyes above,
And signs the holy cross. The laborers move
Away to make the bonfire ready. These
Bring kindling; those, the boughs of dark pine-trees;
And the old men alone at table staying,
A silence fell. But Ambroi brake it, saying,—

"For counsel, Ramoun, am I come to thee;
For I am in a great perplexity
Thou only canst resolve. Cure see I none.
Thou knowest, Master, that I have a son
Who has been passing good until this day,—
It were ingratitude aught else to say;