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ANCIENT PORTUGUESE BALLADS.
So tall his stature seemed to rise,
The stoutest heart would feel affright.
" If you 're a demon, as you seem, This sacred cross bids you avaunt. If your lost soul you would redeem, The holy priest shall masses chant."
" I 'm not an imp from hell's domain ; The holy cross I do not fear ; I 'm not a soul that waits in pain, For a redeeming mass to hear.
" But Dom Aleixio's ghost am I
To save you from a deadly strife ; There seven men in ambush lie,
With naked swords to take your life."
" Indeed ! then by the living God, And by the Virgin Mary's grace, Were they twice seven, on the sod I would not yield a foot of space.
"Come on, come on, you sneaking band, And show your valiance in the light; With good sword in each valiant hand, See, mine is ready for the fight.
" If weaponless is one of you,
To him my own sword I will lend ; With this good dagger, keen and true, I can right well my life defend."
As thus she spoke these words of pride, The hermit off his robe did throw :