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266 ANCIENT PORTUGUESE BALLADS.
" Your love and riches tempt me not. Both love and riches wait for me. Accursed be the fatal lot
That brought me o'er the sad, salt sea.
" I spurn a soul that turns to God, A heart for me that suffers pain. Be happy in the paths you 've trod, And love a youth who loves again."
When these sad words the captive said, With sudden wrath she turned away.
In seven days the knight was dead. Was it her deed ? No one can say.
The epoch of the Crusades is beyond the limit of the popular ballads which have been preserved, although it is probable that they may have had their foundation in originals of that date. The story of the return of the spouse from the Holy Land, and his making himself known after various trials of his wife's fidelity, is a common one in the ballads of all European nations, and is of a character to appeal to the dramatic instincts of the popular poets. Close resemblances to the ballad of The Fair Princess can be found in German, French, and Spanish popular poetry, and the theme itself of course dates back to the return of Ulysses, and to the ballads which were the origin of the Odyssey.