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FOLK-SONGS OF LOWER BRITTANY. 213
folk-lore of Brittany is particularly rich in stories and legends of the sea, composed by the fishermen to while away the long hours of the passage to Newfoundland or the nightwatches in the misty seas of Iceland; or embodying the mysterious and superstitious terrors of the fishermen of the coast in the face of storms and foaming reefs; and the impress of supernatural power in the ocean and the storm is very strong upon the imaginations of the Breton people. But the sailors themselves, like the laborers in the fields, do not seem to have the inspiration and poetical gift to put their thoughts into song. M. Luzel has been able to collect but a comparatively few of genuine sailor songs, and these are mostly tavern choruses or rude and commonplace chants, with but very little of the salt of the seas and the voice of the breeze in them. The women sometimes chant at the spinning-wheel songs of warning against the dangers and perils of becoming a sailor's wife, of which the following is an example : —
DO NOT MARRY A SAILOR.
Maidens young, who wish to wed, Take advice from an old head.
If you marry, as you say, Do not take a sailor gay.
If you take a sailor gay,
You will sorrow night and day.