Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

An Extensive Investigation Into The Sources And Inspiration Of National Folk Song

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THE FOLK-SONGS OF POITOU.             239
told, or where the conduct of the unfortunate hus­band shows such pathetic refinement of feeling, than in La Femme du Marin, which is one of the best-known and popular of the old songs of Poitou. The air is charmingly soft and melancholy, and the words display a skill in melody which the most accomplished poet might envy. A more felicitous verse can hardly be found in the whole annals of folk-song than this : —
Quand le mariu revient de guerre,
Tout doux. Quand le marin revient de guerre,
Tout doux. Tout mal chausse", tout mal vetu, Pauvre marin du reviens tu ?
Tout doux.
It is hardly necessary to apologize for the imper­fection of an attempt to render such a flower of poetry into another language.
When the marine came from the war,
Good and kind. When the marine came from the war,
Good and kind. With ragged coat and battered shoe.
1 I have translated marin as " marine " instead of sailor, as in the last verse it is said that he goes back to his " regiment."
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III