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BLIND GIRL OF CASTEL-CUILLE.

FROM THE GASCON OF JASMIN.

ONLY the Lowland tongue of Scotland might
Rehearse this little tragedy aright:
Let me attempt it with an English quill;
And take, 0 Reader, for the deed the will.

THE BLIND GIRL OF CASTÈL-CUILLÈ

FROM THE GASCON OF JASMIN.

I.

At the foot of the mountain height

Where is perched Castèl-Cuillè, When the apple, the plum, and the almond tree

In the plain below were growing white,

This is the song one might perceive
On a Wednesday morn of Saint Joseph's Eve:

" The roads should blossom, the roads should bloom,
So fair a bride shall leave her home!
Should blossom and bloom with garlands gay,
So fair a bride shall pass to-day!”

This old Te Deum, rustic rites attending,

Seemed from the clouds descending;

When lo! a merry company
Of rosy village girls, clean as the eye,

Each one with her attendant swain,
Caine to the cliff, all singing the same strain ;
Resembling there, so near unto the sky,
Rejoicing angels, that kind Heaven has sent
For their delight and our encouragement.

Together blending,
And soon descending
The narrow sweep
Of the hill-side steep,

They wind aslant
Towards Saint Amant,
Through leafy alleys
Of verdurous valleys
With merry sallies
Singing their chant:

* The roads should blossom, the roads should bloom,
So fair a bride shall leave her home!
Should blossom and bloom with garlands gay,
So fair a bride shall pass to-day!”

It is Baptiste, and his affianced maiden,
With garlands for the bridal laden!

The sky was blue ; without one cloud of gloom,

The sun of March was shining brightly,
And to the air the freshening wind gave lightly

Its breathings of perfume.

When one beholds the dusky hedges blossom,
A rustic bridal, ah! how sweet it is !

To sounds of joyous melodies,
That touch with tenderness the trembling bosom,

A band of maidens
Gayly frolicking,
A band of youngsters
Wildly rollicking !

Kissing,

Caressing,
With fingers pressing,

Till in the veriest
Madness of mirth, as they dance,
They retreat and advance,
Trying whose laugh shall be loudest and

merriest ;
While the bride, with roguish eyes,
Sporting with them, now escapes and cries :

6. Those who catch me

Married verily
This year shall be !"

And all pursue with eager haste,

And all attain what they pursue,
And touch her pretty apron fresh and new,

And the linen kirtle round her waist.

Meanwhile, whence comes it that among
These youthful maidens fresh and fair,
So joyous, with such laughing air,
Baptiste stands sighing, with silent tongue ?

And yet the bride is fair and young !
Is it Saint Joseph would say to us all,
That love, o'er-hasty, precedeth a fall?

0, no! for a maiden frail, I trow,

Never bore so lofty a brow !
What lovers ! they give not a single caress!
To see them so careless and cold to-day,

These are grand people, one would say.
What ails Baptiste ? what grief doth him oppress?

It is, that, half way up the hill,
In yon cottage, by whose walls
Stand the cart-house and the stalls,
Dwelleth the blind orphan still,
Daughter of a veteran old;
And you must know, one year ago,
That Margaret, the young and tender,
Was the village pride and splendor,
And Baptiste her lover bold.
Love, the deceiver, them ensnared;
For them the altar was prepared;
But alas! the summer's blight,
The dread disease that none can stay,
The pestilence that walks by night,

Took the young bride's sight away.
All at the father's stern command was changed ;
Their peace was gone, but not their love estranged

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