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ANCIENT PORTUGUESE BALLADS. 255
" And he mounted singing, and descended weeping — I have been to the top of the main mast and have not seen any land."
" Go again to the top of the main mast to find out where we are — It will be for the last time."
" He mounted weeping, and he descended singing — I believe that we are restored to land — I have seen the tower of Babylon," etc.
A ballad, The Little Midshipman, in the popular songs of Provence, is very similar in incident and language to The Ship Catharine, with a change in the localities, the midshipman seeing Toulon and Marseilles instead of the coasts of Portugal and Spain. In later French folk-song the ballad has become a burlesque after the fashion of Mal-brook, and is known as II etait un Petit Navire. This in its turn was developed in the after-dinner song of Thackeray, "There were three sailors of Bristol city," and is an instance of the persistence of folk-song, even though changed in form and purpose. The supernatural element in The Ship Catharine is rare in Portuguese popular poetry.
THE SHIP CATHARINE.
The Catharine was a gallant ship, On which a wonder did befall