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The Young Seigneur eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 148 pages of information about The Young Seigneur.

Peace reigned over every surrounding.  The broad, molten-like surface; the dusky idealizing of the lines of cottages and delicate silhouetting of the trees along the shore near them; the artistic picture of the old white farm-house, mystic-looking in the soft evening light, with its shapes of lilac-trees rioting about it and the three great oaks darkening the bank in front; the ghost of light along the distant horizon; the gentle coolness of the air; the occasional far-off echo of some cry; and the regular splash and gleam of the oars as they leave the water or dip gently in again.  A fish leaps.  An ocean steamer, low in the distance, can be descried creeping noiselessly on.  The islands and shores mirror themselves half-distinctly in the water.

A mile above, some boatful of pensive hearts are singing.  So calm is the evening that the cadences come distinctly to us, and almost the words can be plainly caught.  In a lull of their song, faint sounds of another arrive from far away.  Rising and falling, now heard and now not, plaintive and recurring, it is like the voices of spirits.

But farther, farther yet, a still more distant echo—­a suggestion scarcely real—­floats also to us.  The whole river, in its length and breadth, from Soulanges and the Lake of Two Mountains, and the tributary Ottawa, to Quebec and Kamouraska and the shores of the Gulf beyond, all is alive with plaintive sweetness, echoing from spirit to spirit, (for it is a fiction that music is a thing of lips and ears), old accents of Normandy, Champagne, and Angouleme.

The brimming Francois strikes up by natural suggestion of his dipping oars;

   A la claire fontaine
   M’en allant promener.

   I.

   Beside the crystal fountain
   Turning for ease to stray,
   So fair I found the waters
   My limbs in them I lay.

Long is it I have loved thee,
Thee shall I love alway,
My dearest. 
Long is it I have loved thee,
Thee shall I love alway.

So fair I found the waters,
My limbs in them I lay: 
Beneath an oak tree resting,
I heard a roundelay. 
Long is it, &c.

III

Beneath an oak tree resting,
I heard a roundelay,
The nightingale was singing
On the oak tree’s topmost spray. 
Long is it, &c.

IV.

The nightingale was singing
On the oak tree’s topmost spray:—­
Sing, nightingale, keep singing,
Thou who hast heart so gay! 
Long is it, &c.

V.

Sing, nightingale, keep singing,
Thou hast a heart so gay,
Thou hast a heart so merry,
While mine is sorrow’s prey. 
Long is it, &c.

VI.

For I have lost my mistress,
Whom I did true obey,
All for a bunch of roses,
Whereof I said her nay. 
Long is it, &c.

VII.

I would those luckless roses,
Were on their bush to-day,
And that itself the rosebush
Were plunged in ocean’s spray. 
Long is it I have loved thee,
Thee shall I love alway,
My dearest
Long is it I have loved thee,
Thee shall I love alway.

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