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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Alba—Unknown Author (Twelfth Century)
Under the Hawthorns
Provençal Literature (The Troubadours), 1090–1290
 
Translation of Harriet Waters Preston

UNDER the hawthorns of an orchard lawn,
She laid her head her lover’s breast upon,
Silent, until the guard should cry the dawn;—
  Ah God! ah God! Why comes the day so soon?
 
I would the night might never have passed by!        5
So wouldst thou not have left me, at the cry
Of yonder warder to the whitening sky;—
  Ah God! ah God! Why comes the day so soon?
 
One kiss more, sweetheart, ere the melodies
Of early birds from all the fields arise!        10
One more, without a thought of jealous eyes!—
  Ah God! ah God! Why comes the day so soon?
 
And yet one more, under the garden wall,
For now the birds begin their festival,
And the day wakens at the warder’s call;—        15
  Ah God! ah God! Why comes the day so soon?
 
’Tis o’er! O dearest, noblest, knightliest,
The breeze that greets thy going fans my breast!
I quaff it, as thy breath, and I am blest!—
  Ah God! ah God! Why comes the day so soon?        20
 
Fair was the lady, and her fame was wide;
And many knights for her dear favor sighed;
But leal the heart out of whose depths she cried,—
  Ah God! ah God! Why comes the day so soon?
 
 
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