(FROM THE BRETON.)
As I was washing, the stream hard by,
Sudden I heard the death-bird’s cry.
“Wot you, Tina, the story goes,
You are sold to the Lord of Jauioz!”
“Is’t true, dear mother, the thing I’m told?
Is’t true that to Lord Jauioz I’m sold?”
“My poor little darling, nought I know,—
Go, ask your father if this be so.”
“Father, dear father, say is it true
That Lord Jauioz I am sold unto?”
“My darling daughter, nought I know,
Go, ask your brother if it be so.”
“Lannick, my brother, oh, tell me, pray!
Am I sold to that Lord the people say?”
“You are sold to that Lord the people say,
You must up and ride without delay;
You must up and ride to his castle straight,
For your price has been paid by tale and weight:
Fifty crowns of the silver white,
And as many crowns of the gold so bright.”
“Now tell me, tell me, mother dear,
What clothes is’t fitting I should wear?
My gown of grain, or of grey, shall’t be,
That my sister Helen made for me?
My gown of grain, or my gown of white,
And my bodice of samite so jimp and tight?”
“Busk thee, busk thee, as likes thee best,
Small matter, my child, how thou art drest.
A bonny black horse is tied at the gate,
And there till the fall o’ the night he’ll wait, —
Till the fall o’ the night that horse will stay,
All fairly saddled to bear thee away.”
Short space had she rode when the bells of St. Anne,-
Her own church bells — to ring began.
Then sore she wept, as she sat in selle:
“Farewell, Oh sweet St. Anne, farewell!
Farewell, dear bells of my own countrie,
Dear bells of the church I no more shall see!”
As on she rode by the lake of Pain,
‘Twas there she saw of ghosts a train, —
A train of ghosts all robed in white,
That in tiny boats on the lake shone bright,—
A crowd of ghosts — that all for dread
Her teeth they chatter’d in her head.
As on she rode through the valley of Blood,
The ghosts stream’d after like a flood;
Her heart it was so sad and sore,
That she closed her eyes to see no more;
Her heart it was so full of woe,
That she fell in swoon as she did go.
“Now, draw anigh, and take a seat,
Until ’tis time to go to meat.”
The Baron he sat in the ingle-place,
And black as a raven was his face;
His beard and hair were white as snow;
Like lighted brands his eyes did glow.
“I see — l see a maiden here,
That I have sought this many a year.
My bonny May, wilt come with me,
One after one my treasures to see;
From room to room to see my store,
And count my gold and silver o’er!”
“Oh, better I’d bruik with my minnie to be,
Counting faggots with her, than gold with thee.”
“Come down to the cellar, ladye mine,
To drink with me of the honey-sweet wine.”
“Sooner I’d stoop to the croft-pool brink,
Where my father’s horses go to drink.”
“Come with me from shop to shop, my fair,
To buy a mantle of state so rare.”
“Oh, better I’d bruik a sackcloth shift,
An ’twere my mother’s make and gift.”
“Ye’ll come with me to the wardrobe straight,
For a trimming to trim your robe of state.”
“Better I’d bruik the white lace plain,
That my sister made me, my own Elaine.”
“May mine — May mine — if your words be true,
It’s little love I shall have of you!
I would that blister’d had been my tongue,
Ere my fool’s head ran on a lernan young—
Ere my fool’s hand wasted the good red gold,
For a maiden that will not be consoled.”
“Dear little birds, I pray you fair,
To hear my words, high up in air;
You go to my village, and you are glad,
I may not go, and I am sad.
The friends that are in my own countrie,
When you shall see them greet from me,—
Oh! greet the good mother that me bare,
And the sire that rear’d me with love and care,—
Oh! greet from me my mother true:
The old priest that baptised me too;—
Oh, bid them all farewell from me,
And give my brother my pardon free.”
Two months or three had pass’d away,
All warm abed the household lay,—
All warm abed and sleeping light
Upon the middle of the night.
No sound without, no sound within,
When a gentle voice at the door came in:
“My father, my mother, for God’s dear sake,
Due prayer for me the priest gar make.
And pray you, too, and mourning wear,
For your daughter lies upon her bier.”