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ANCIENT PORTUGUESE BALLADS. 275
We are three sisters, young and gay, Our cheeks and eyes the likeness show ;
In broidering we spend the day, Or teach each other how to sew.
The youngest, in her youth elate,
The fancy took, one summer night, To pass the orange garden gate,
With two flambeaux to give her light.
She wore a pretty page's suit,
That showed her shape so trim and neat; In light, fair hands she held a lute,
And colored shoes adorned her feet.
She strutted up and down the road,
With mimic of a martial stride.
" Fair maidens here have their abode ;
Which of the three shall be my bride ? "
Upon the balcony we leant,
And laughed to see her gallant guise ;
At length the torches' flame was spent; The moon had risen in the skies.
As to the gate her way she took
When all her sportive tricks were done,
She saw with sudden startled look A hermit on a bench of stone.
" Father, what do you here ? " she cries. He answered not, but stood upright;