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superstition, and devoted herself to her husband and her family in a very different way from what she had done before.

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“Here you may see, ladies, the good sense of the husband, and the weakness of one who was regarded as a woman of strict propriety. If you attend well to this example, I am persuaded that, instead of relying on your own strength, you will learn to turn to Him on whom your honor depends."

“I am very glad,” said Parlamente, “ that you are become the ladies' preacher; you would be so with better right if you would address the same sermons to all those you hold discourse with.”

“Whenever you please to hear me,” he replied, “I assure you I will speak the same language to you."

“ That is to say,” observed Simontault, “ that when you are not by he will talk to a different purpose.”

“He will do as he pleases,” said Parlamente, “but, for my own satisfaction, I would have him always speak thus. The example he has adduced will at least be of service to those women who think that spiritual love is not dangerous; but to me it seems that it is more so than any other."

“I cannot think, however,” remarked Oisille, “that one should scorn to love a man who is virtuous and fears God; for, in my opinion, one cannot but be the better for it."

“I pray you to believe, madam,” rejoined Parlamente, “that nothing can be more simple-willed and easy to deceive than a woman who has never loved; for love is a passion which takes possession of the heart before one is aware of it. Besides, this passion is so pleasing that, provided one can wrap one's self up in virtue as in a cloak, it will be scarcely known before some mischief will come of it."

“What mischief can come of loving a good man?” said Oisille.

“There are plenty, madam,” replied Parlamente, “who pass for good men as far as ladies are concerned; but there are few who are so truly good before God that one may love them without any risk of honor or conscience. I do not believe that there is one such man living. Those who are of a different opinion, and trust in it, become its dupes. They begin this sort of tender intimacy with God, and often end it with the devil. I have seen many a one who, under color of talking about divine things, began an intimacy which at last they wished to break off, but could not, so fast were they held by the fine cloak with which it was covered. A vicious love perishes and has no long abode in a good heart; but decorous love has bonds of silk so fine and delicate that one is caught in them before one perceives them.

“According to your views, then,” said Ennasuite, “no woman ought ever to love a man. Your law is too violent; it will not last." “I know that,” replied Parlamente; “but for all that, it is desirable that every woman should be content with her own husband, as I am with mine."


(Translations by Andrew Lang.)



WITHIN the sand of what far river lies

The gold that gleams in tresses of my Love ?

What highest circle of the Heavens above
Is jeweled with such stars as are her eyes ?
And where is the rich sea whose coral vies

With her red lips, that cannot kiss enough?

What dawn-lit garden knew the rose, whereof
The fled soul lives in her cheeks' rosy guise ?

What Parian marble that is loveliest,
Can match the whiteness of her brow and breast?

When drew she breath from the Sabæan glade ?
Oh, happy rock and river, sky and sea,
Gardens, and glades Sabæan, all that be

The far-off splendid semblance of my maid !


The high Midnight was garlanding her head

With many a shining star in shining skies,

And, of her grace, a slumber on mine eyes,
And, after sorrow, quietness was shed.
Far in dim fields cicalas jargonèd

A thin shrill clamor of complaints and cries;

And all the woods were pallid, in strange wise,
With pallor of the sad moon overspread.

Then came my lady to that lonely place,
And, from her palfrey stooping, did embrace

And hang upon my neck, and kissed me over;
Wherefore the day is far less dear than night,
And sweeter is the shadow than the light,

Since night has made me such a happy lover.



The Winds are invoked by the Winnowers of Corn

To you, troop so fleet,
That with winged wandering feet

Through the wide world pass,
And with soft murmuring
Toss the green shades of spring

In woods and grass,
Lily and violet
I give, and blossoms wet,

Roses and dew;
This branch of blushing roses,
Whose fresh bud uncloses,

Wind flowers too.
Ah, winnow with sweet breath,
Winnow the holt and heath,

Round this retreat;
Where all the golden morn
We fan the gold o' the corn

In the sun's heat.

A Vow to HEAVENLY VENUS. We that with like hearts love, we lovers twain,

New wedded in the village by thy fane, Lady of all chaste love, to thee it is We bring these amaranths, these white lilies, A sign, and sacrifice; may Love, we pray, Like amaranthine flowers, feel no decay; Like these cool lilies may our loves remain, Perfect and pure, and know not any stain; And be our hearts, from this thy holy hour, Bound each to each, like flower to wedded flower.


APRIL, pride of woodland ways,

Of glad days,
April, bringing hope of prime
To the young flowers that beneath

Their bud sheath
Are guarded in their tender time.


April, pride of fields that be

Green and free,
That in fashion glad and gay
Stud with flowers red and blue,

Every hue,
Their jeweled spring array.

April, pride of murmuring

Winds of spring,
That beneath the winnowed air
Trap with subtle nets and sweet

Flora's feet,
Flora's feet, the fleet and fair.

April, by thy hand caressed,

From her breast
Nature scatters everywhere
Handfuls of all sweet perfumes,

Buds and blooms,
Making faint the earth and air.

April, joy of the green hours,

Clothes with flowers
Over all her locks of gold
My sweet Lady; and her breast

With the blest
Buds of summer manifold.

April, with thy gracious wiles,

Like the smiles,
Smiles of Venus; and thy breath
Like her breath, the gods' delight,

(From their height
They take the happy air beneath).

It is thou that, of thy grace,

From their place
In the far-off isles dost bring
Swallows over earth and sea,

Glad to be
Messengers of thee, and Spring.

Daffodil and eglantine,

And woodbine,

Lily, violet, and rose,
Plentiful in April fair,

To the air,
Their pretty petals do unclose.

Nightingales ye now may hear,

Piercing clear,
Singing in the deepest shade;
Many and many a babbled note

Chime and float,
Woodland music through the glade.

April, all to welcome thee,

Spring sets free Ancient flames, and with low breath Wakes the ashes gray and old

That the cold Chilled within our hearts to death.

Thou beholdest, in the warm

Hours, the swarm
Of the thievish bees that fies
Evermore from bloom to bloom

For perfume,
Hid away in tiny thighs.

Her cool shadows May can boast,

Fruits almost
Ripe, and gifts of fertile dew,
Manna-sweet and honey-sweet,

That complete
Her flower garland fresh and new.

Nay, but I will give my praise

To these days,
Named with the glad name of her
That from out the foam o' the sea

Came to be
Sudden light on earth and air.

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