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320 FOLK-SONGS OF ROUMANIA.
Then he heareth the lovers laughing pass, And the soldier asks once more : " Are these not the voices of them that love,
That love and remember me ? " " Not so, my hero," the lovers say : " We are those that remember not ; For the spring has come and the earth has smiled,
And the dead must be forgot." Then the soldier spake from the deep, dark grave : " I am content."
A spindle of hazel-wood had I; Into the mill-stream it fell one day, — The water has brought it me back no more.
As has been said, the underlying and predominant element of these Roumanian folk-songs is melancholy, and rarely, if ever, in those of any nation, is the sorrow of death and parting more vividly and powerfully expressed. The voices speak from beyond the grave, but they seem to intensify rather than lighten the grief, and the calm and beauty of nature bring no consolation to the stricken heart, but only deepen the agony. This dirge for a child will speak to every one who has known anguish, as with the voice of the wailing wind: —
The river went weeping, weeping, Ah, me, how it did weep ! But I would never heed it, The weeping of the river,