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ANCIENT PORTUGUESE BALLADS. 279
" Come, take your sweet-voiced mandolin, And sing in tune the while you play The gentle song your father made In honor of St. John's fair day."
Is such a woman from God's hand ?
Her heart is harder than a stone. Her son must die at morning's light;
She bids him sing in joyous tone.
" O, what a lovely day,
The bright day of St. John When youths and maidens sweet
Their shining garments don ; They smile as hand in hand,
They move with dancing feet, Some bearing blushing roses,
And some the basil sweet. How sad it is for me
In prison cell to lie, And never see the sun
That sparkles in the sky."
The King, who rode his courser white, That he might view the royal chase,
Reined in his steed and loitered there With silent wonder in his face.
"What voice divine is that I hear, That fills the air with melody ? Is it the angels in the sky, Or magic sirens in the sea ? "