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 ("Tandis que l'étoile inodore.") 

 While bright but scentless azure stars 
 Be-gem the golden corn, 
 And spangle with their skyey tint 
 The furrows not yet shorn; 
 While still the pure white tufts of May 
 Ape each a snowy ball,— 
 Away, ye merry maids, and haste 
 To gather ere they fall! 
 Nowhere the sun of Spain outshines 
 Upon a fairer town 
 Than Peñafiel, or endows 
 More richly farming clown; 
 Nowhere a broader square reflects 
 Such brilliant mansions, tall,— 
 Away, ye merry maids, etc. 
 Nowhere a statelier abbey rears 
 Dome huger o'er a shrine, 
 Though seek ye from old Rome itself 
 To even Seville fine. 
 Here countless pilgrims come to pray 
 And promenade the Mall,— 
 Away, ye merry maids, etc. 
 Where glide the girls more joyfully 
 Than ours who dance at dusk, 
 With roses white upon their brows, 
 With waists that scorn the busk? 
 Mantillas elsewhere hide dull eyes— 
 Compared with these, how small! 
 Away, ye merry maids, etc. 
 A blossom in a city lane, 
 Alizia was our pride, 
 And oft the blundering bee, deceived, 
 Came buzzing to her side— 
 But, oh! for one that felt the sting, 
 And found, 'neath honey, gall— 
 Away, ye merry maids, etc. 
 Young, haughty, from still hotter lands, 
 A stranger hither came— 
 Was he a Moor or African, 
 Or Murcian known to fame? 
 None knew—least, she—or false or true, 
 The name by which to call. 
 Away, ye merry maids, etc. 
 Alizia asked not his degree, 
 She saw him but as Love, 
 And through Xarama's vale they strayed, 
 And tarried in the grove,— 
 Oh! curses on that fatal eve, 
 And on that leafy hall! 
 Away, ye merry maids, etc. 
 The darkened city breathed no more; 
 The moon was mantled long, 
 Till towers thrust the cloudy cloak 
 Upon the steeples' throng; 
 The crossway Christ, in ivy draped, 
 Shrank, grieving, 'neath the pall,— 
 Away, ye merry maids, etc. 
 But while, alone, they kept the shade, 
 The other dark-eyed dears 
 Were murmuring on the stifling air 
 Their jealous threats and fears; 
 Alizia was so blamed, that time, 
 Unheeded rang the call: 
 Away, ye merry maids, etc. 
 Although, above, the hawk describes 
 The circle round the lark, 
 It sleeps, unconscious, and our lass 
 Had eyes but for her spark— 
 A spark?—a sun! 'Twas Juan, King! 
 Who wears our coronal,— 
 Away, ye merry maids, etc. 
 A love so far above one's state 
 Ends sadly. Came a black 
 And guarded palanquin to bear 
 The girl that ne'er comes back; 
 By royal writ, some nunnery 
 Still shields her from us all 
 Away, ye merry maids, and haste 
 To gather ere they fall! 


Poem by Victor Hugo
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