Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/116

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111
THE VIRGIN'S GOD-CHILD.

Genossa was the daughter of a mighty lord, who lived in the castle whose giant ruins are still shown on the island of Rozan, at the mouth of the Laber. Genossa lived without God, and without a wish. Her father let her grow up as do the flowers of the field, and no priest had ever approached the island, which was devoted to the Evil Spirit. Sitting upon a snow-white cow with golden horns, she wandered all the day long through the meadows and woods that lay around the shore, catching in her silken net the birds on the wing.

One day she chanced to meet a beautiful young man upon a black bull with silver horns. His approach thrilled her through and through. He spoke such wondrously sweet words to her, that she was bewitched by them. The black bull and the white cow walked so closely together, and so slowly, that they could crop the grass at their feet, and pull at the same flowers; and the blended sound of their hoofs echoed like music in the heart of Genossa.

The fisherman had at first told the tale in his own way, and with sundry pauses; but soon the words of the old ditty fell from him in their original form, and he continued without interrup-

    national lyrics, under the title, Barzas-Briez, chants populaires de la Brètagne, which have also been translated by Ad. Keller, and others whose names have escaped my memory. But the legend of Genossa is not amongst them.