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238 THE FOLK-SONGS OF POITOU.
"I will run out, and seek your captain kind,
Your captain kind, and your brave colonel too. I will beseech them, and implore a pardon, I will give them gold to free my lover true !"
" I am deeply grieved, my little shepherdess,
That for this grenadier you should moan and cry. Before the court of war he must soon appear, And at the drum will be condemned to die ! "
When the maiden heard the cruel words he said, Her cheeks grew white that were so rosy red.
The captain threw his arm around her waist, And kindly bade her lift her drooping head.
" Fair shepherdess, take me for your lover,
I will love you well, and free your heart from pain." Tears within her eyes, and kerchief to her face, " No, no," she said, " I cannot love again."
But the soldier or the sailor after long years of service gets leave to return to his home on a furlough or a discharge. Sometimes he is welcomed by his aged parents or his faithful wife, who recognize him with joyful surprise, in spite of his rags and wounds; and sometimes he finds that his long absence has wrought fatal changes, that his parents are dead, or his wife, deceived by false news of his death, has married again. Incidents of this latter kind are familiar in folk-song, but there is none where the story is more simply and dramatically