Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/184

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drew nigh, and bade us halt. Some of us kissed them on the mouth, and those who were kissed lost their understanding and reeled about like drunken men. But worse befell those who had suffered themselves to be embraced by these women; they were powerless to extricate themselves from the latter's arms, and we beheld their fingers changed into boughs and twigs."[1]

I will here call your attention to the Roumanian song about cholera, which comes in the shape of an ugly old woman to Vîlcu, and Vîlcu entreats it thus: "Take my horse, take my weapons, but give me still some days so I may once more see my children, which are as dear to me as the light of the sun." But the old woman stretches forth her bony arms, folds Vîlcu to her bosom, presses her pallid lips to his, and, in a death-dealing kiss, takes his life, whereupon she departs with a mocking laugh. The Roumanian text is here very strong:

Gură pe gură punea,
Buze pe buze lipĭa,

Zilele i le sorbĭa.

  1. Retranslated from the Danish of the Text.