No danger! to-night he will let us alone,
As I happen to know he has guests of his own.
Who are they?
A German Prince and his train,
Who arrived here just before the rain.
There is with him a damsel fair to see,
As slender and graceful as a reed!
When she alighted from her steed,
It seemed like a blossom blown from a tree.
None of your pale-faced girls for me!
None of your damsels of high degree!
Come, old fellow, drink down to your peg!
But do not drink any further, I beg!
FRIAR PAUL sings.
In the days of gold,
The days of old,
Crosier of wood
And bishop of gold!
What an infernal racket and riot!
Can you not drink your wine in quiet?
Why fill the convent with such scandals,
As if we were so many drunken Vandals?
FRIAR PAUL continues.
Now we have changed
That law so good
To crosier of gold
And bishop of wood!
Well, then, since you are in the mood
To give your noisy humors vent,
Sing and howl to your heart’s content!
CHORUS OF MONKS.
Funde vinum, funde!
Tanquam sint fluminis undae,
Nec quaeras unde,
Sed fundas semper abunde!
What is the name of yonder friar,
With an eye that glows like a coal of fire,
And such a black mass of tangled hair?
He who is sitting there,
With a rollicking,
Devil may care,
Free and easy look and air,
As if he were used to such feasting and frolicking?
He’s a stranger. You had better ask his name,
And where he is going and whence he came.
Hallo! Sir Friar!
You must raise your voice a little higher,
He does not seem to hear what you say.
Now, try again! He is looking this way.
Hallo! Sir Friar,
We wish to inquire
Whence you came, and where you are going,
And anything else that is worth the knowing.
So be so good as to open your head.
I am a Frenchman born and bred,
Going on a pilgrimage to Rome.
Is the convent of St. Gildas de Rhuys,
Of which, very like, you never have heard.
Never a word.
You must know, then, it is in the diocese
Called the Diocese of Vannes,
In the province of Brittany.
From the gray rocks of Morbihan
It overlooks the angry sea;
The very sea-shore where,
In his great despair,
Abbot Abelard walked to and fro,
Filling the night with woe,
And wailing aloud to the merciless seas
The name of his sweet Heloise,