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ANCIENT PORTUGUESE BALLADS. 261
They took me as a slave to sell,
Unto their country of Salee, But neither Moor nor Mussulman
Would give a silver groat for me.
'T was only a false Jewish dog,
Who wished to have me for his slave,
He made my life a bitter pain, And beat me like a scurvy knave.
All day I wove esparto grass,
At night I turned the hard corn mill,
A wooden gag between my jaws Lest of the meal I 'd steal my fill.
But fortune brought me a kind dame,
Who pitied the sad life I led, She sent me from her table rich
Fresh meat and wine and good white bread.
She gave me all things that I asked, And something I asked not, as well,
Within Jewessa's arms I wept, But not for her the salt tears fell.
" Christian, you need not weep," she said,
" I know your grief ere it is told." " But how can I my home regain
Without a single piece of gold ? "
" If 't is to buy a horse you need, I '11 give to you my pretty mare, You need not wait to find a ship,
But take the shallop anchored there."