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THE FOLK-SONGS OF POITOU. 235
But Colin has a faithless mind,
Inconstant as the changing wind.
While I shamefaced must hide at home, Vainly asking when my love will come,
But my dog alone is true and kind.
The conscription, which compels the peasant, who has drawn the fatal number, to leave his native fields and his mistress, is an important and disturbing influence in the rural life of France, and finds a frequent place in its folk-song. Sometimes it is taken gayly, and the lover departs in high spirits, singing along the road to the garrison with his companions, and promising fidelity to his mistress to whom he hopes soon to return. It is thus in the gay song Voici l'Hiver Passe.
THE WINTER IT IS PAST.
The winter it is past,
The freezing frost and snow,
The springtime it has come, And to the fields we go.
Above, upon the hilltop,
The flowers bright and blue,
The little singing birds Their joyful songs renew.
They say in tender tones, In language sweet and clear,