Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/73

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Again, fair Mara, white and red, walked by the spring and tended her sheep:

See a young and handsome suitor comes riding up on horseback,
Shouting: "God's peace be thine, fair Mara, white and red.
Tell me, canst thou offer me a draught of cold clear water;
Tell me, can the basil ever verdant here be gathered,
And may I snatch a kiss from thee, fair Mara, white and red?"

W. F. H.

But straightway comes the answer from fair Mara, white and red:

"I charge thee, handsome laddie, to horse and ride hence quickly,
Wouldst thou drink of this cool fountain, thou must hither come some morning,
For cold and clear's the water in the hours of early dawn.
Wouldst thou gather from the bushes, thou must hither come at mid-day,
For the flower-trees smell the sweetest about the noon-tide hour.
Wouldst thou kiss the beauteous Mara, then hither come at evening,
At evening sighs each maiden who finds herself alone."

W. F. H.

In another Servian ballad we find the same glorification of the stalwart young lover, the same contempt for, and detestation of, old men who go a-wooing.

High upon a mountain's slope once stood a maiden,
Mirroring her lovely image in the stream,