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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Siren with the Heart of Ice
By Jacques Jasmin (1798–1864)
 
From ‘Françonette’: Translation of Harriet Waters Preston, in ‘Troubadours and Trouvères’

THOU whom the swains environ,
  O maid of wayward will,
O icy-hearted siren,
The hour we all desire when
  Thou too, thou too shalt feel!        5
Thy gay wings thou dost flutter,
Thy airy nothings utter,
While the crowd can only mutter
      In ecstasy complete
        At thy feet.        10
Yet hark to one who proves thee
  Thy victories are vain,
Until a heart that loves thee
  Thou hast learned to love again!
 
Sunshine, the heavens adorning,        15
    We welcome with delight;
But thy sweet face returning
With every Sunday morning
    Is yet a rarer sight.
We love thy haughty graces,        20
Thy swallow-like swift paces;
Thy song the soul upraises;
  Thy lips, thine eyes, thy hair—
        All are fair.
Yet hark to one who proves thee        25
  Thy victories are vain,
Until a heart that loves thee
  Thou hast learned to love again!
 
Thy going from them widows
  All places utterly.        30
The hedge-rows and the meadows
Turn scentless; gloomy shadows
  Discolor the blue sky.
Then, when thou comest again,
Farewell fatigue and pain!        35
Life glows in every vein.
  O’er every slender finger
      We would linger.
Yet hark to one who proves thee
  Thy victories are vain,        40
Until a heart that loves thee
  Thou hast learned to love again!
 
Thy pet dove, in his flitting,
  Doth warn thee, lady fair!
Thee, in the wood forgetting;        45
Brighter for his dim setting
  He shines, for love is there!
Love is the life of all:
Oh, answer thou his call,
Lest the flower of thy days fall,        50
  And the grace whereof we wot
      Be forgot!
For, till great love shall move thee,
  Thy victories are vain.
’Tis little men should love thee:        55
  Learn thou to love again.
 
 
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