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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Song from ‘Drake’: ‘N’oserez vous’
By Alfred Noyes (1880–1958)
 
I
QUEEN VENUS wandered away with a cry,—
  N’oserez vous, mon bel ami?
For the purple wound in Aden’s thigh;
  Je vous en prie, pity me;
With a bitter farewell from sky to sky,        5
  And a moan, a moan, from sea to sea;
N’oserez vous, mon bel, mon bel,
  N’oserez vous, mon bel ami?
 
II
The soft Ægean heard her sigh,—
  N’oserez vous, mon bel ami?        10
Heard the Spartan hills reply,
  Je vous en prie, pity me;
Spain was aware of her drawing nigh
  Foot-gilt from the blossoms of Italy;
N’oserez vous, mon bel, mon bel,        15
  N’oserez vous, mon bel ami?
 
III
In France they heard her voice go by,—
  N’oserez vous, mon bel ami?
And on the May-wind droop and die,
  Je vous en prie, pity me;        20
Your maidens choose their loves, but I—
  White as I came from the foam-white sea,
N’oserez vous, mon bel, mon bel,
  N’oserez vous, mon bel ami?
 
IV
The warm red-meal-winged butterfly,—
        25
  N’oserez vous, mon bel ami?
Beat on her breast in the golden rye,—
  Je vous en prie, pity me,—
Stained her breast with a dusty dye
  Red as the print of a kiss might be!        30
N’oserez vous, mon bel, mon bel,
  N’oserez vous, mon bel ami?
 
V
Is there no land, afar or nigh—
  N’oserez vous, mon bel ami?
But dreads the kiss o’ the sea? Ah, why—        35
  Je vous en prie, pity me!—
Why will ye cling to the loves that die?
  Is earth all Adon to my plea?
N’oserez vous, mon bel, mon bel,
  N’oserez vous, mon bel ami?        40
 
VI
Under the warm blue summer sky,—
  N’oserez vous, mon bel ami?
With outstretched arms and a low long sigh,—
  Je vous en prie, pity me;—
Over the Channel they saw her fly        45
  To the white-cliffed island that crowns the sea,
N’oserez vous, mon bel, mon bel,
  N’oserez vous, mon bel ami?
 
VII
England laughed as her queen drew nigh,—
  N’oserez vous, mon bel ami?        50
To the white-walled cottages gleaming high,
  Je vous en prie, pity me!
They drew her in with a joyful cry
  To the hearth where she sits with a babe on her knee,
She has turned her moan to a lullaby,        55
  She is nursing a son to the kings of the sea,
N’oserez vous, mon bel, mon bel,
  N’oserez vous, mon bel ami?
 
 
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