Page:Mistral - Mirèio. A Provençal poem.djvu/265

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Canto XII.]
239
DEATH.

And, by her smiling lips, you might have guessed
That yet she spake. Only the Santen pressed
About the sleeper in a mournful band,
And, with a taper passed from hand to hand,
Signed the cross o'er her. While, as turned to stone,
The parents gazed on what themselves had done.

To them her form is all enrayed with light.
Vainly they feel her cold, they see her white:
The awful stroke they comprehend not now.
But, soon as Vincen marked the level brow,
The rigid arms, the sweet eyes wholly veiled,
"See you not she is dead?" he loudly wailed.

"Quite dead?" And therewith fiercely wrung his hands,
As he of old had wrung the osier-strands,
And threw his naked arms abroad. "My own!"
He cried, "they will not weep for you alone:
With yours, the trunk of my life too they fell.
'Dead' was I saying? 'Tis impossible:

"A demon whispered me the word, no doubt!
Tell me, in God's same, ye who stand about,—
Ye who have seen dead women ere to-day,—
If, passing through the gates, they smile that way.
Her look is well-nigh merry, do you see?
Why do they turn their heads away from me,