Page:Mistral - Mirèio. A Provençal poem.djvu/82

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56
[Canto III.
MIRÈIO.

"But on a certain morn, I mind it well,—
Forgive me, dear, that I the tale should tell!—
'Twas Tuesday: I bad gathered sticks that day,
And, fagot on my hip, had won my way
Almost to La Crous-Blanco, when I 'spied
You in a tree, with some one by your side

"Who chatted gayly. A little form he had"—
"Whence did he come?" they cried. "Who was the lad?"
Said Noro, "To tell that were not so easy,
Because among the thick-leaved mulberry-trees he
Was hidden half; yet think I 'twas the clever
Vincen, the Valabregan basket- weaver!"

"Oh!" cried the damsels all, with peals of laughter,
"See you not what the little cheat was after?
A pretty basket she would fain receive,
And made this poor boy in her love believe!
The fairest maiden the whole country over
Has chosen the barefoot Vincen for her lover!"

So mocked they, till o'er each young countenance
In turn there fell a dark and sidelong glance,—
Taven's,—who cried, "A thousand curses fall
Upon you, and the vampire10 seize you all!
If the good Lord from heaven this way came,
You girls, I think, would giggle all the same.