Louise, have you forgotten yet
The corner of the flowery land,
The ancient garden where we met,
My hand that trembled in your hand?
Our lips found words scarce sweet enough,
As low beneath the willow-trees
We sat; have you forgotten, love?
Do you remember, love Louise?
Marie, have you forgotten yet
The loving barter that we made?
The rings we changed, the suns that set,
The woods fulfilled with sun and shade?
The fountains that were musical
By many an ancient trysting tree—
Marie, have you forgotten all?
Do you remember, love Marie?
Christine, do you remember yet
Your room with scents and roses gay?
My garret—near the sky ’twas set—
The April hours, the nights of May?
The clear calm nights—the stars above
That whispered they were fairest seen
Through no cloud-veil? Remember, love!
Do you remember, love Christine?
Louise is dead, and, well-a-day!
Marie a sadder path has ta’en;
And pale Christine has passed away
In southern suns to bloom again.
Alas! for one and all of us—
Marie, Louise, Christine forget;
Our bower of love is ruinous,
And I alone remember yet.
I be pareld most of prise,
I ride after the wild fee.
Will ye that I should sing
Of the love of a goodly thing,
Was no vilein’s may?
’Tis all of a knight so free,
Under the olive tree,
Singing this lay.
Her weed was of samite fine,
Her mantle of white ermine,
Green silk her hose;
Her shoon with silver gay,
Her sandals flowers of May,
Laced small and close.
Her belt was of fresh spring buds,
Set with gold clasps and studs,
Fine linen her shift;
Her purse it was of love,
Her chain was the flower thereof,
And Love’s gift.
Upon a mule she rode,
The selle was of brent gold,
The bits of silver made;
Three red rose trees there were
That overshadowed her,
For a sun shade.
She riding on a day,
Knights met her by the way,
They did her grace:
‘Fair lady, whence be ye?’
’France it is my countrie,
I come of a high race.
’My sire is the nightingale,
That sings, making his wail,
In the wild wood, clear;
The mermaid is mother to me,
That sings in the salt sea,
In the ocean mere.’
’Ye come of a right good race,
And are born of a high place,
And of high degree;
Would to God that ye were
Given unto me, being fair,
My lady and love to be.’
All the maidens were merry and wed
All to lovers so fair to see;
The lover I took to my bridal bed
He is not long for love and me.
I spoke to him and he nothing said,
I gave him bread of the wheat so fine;
He did not eat of the bridal bread,
He did not drink of the bridal wine.