Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > France
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X.  1876–79.
Gathering the Cocoons
Frédéric Mistral (1830–1914)
(From Mirèio)
Translated by Harriet W. Preston

WHEN the crop is fair in the olive-yard,
  And the earthen jars are ready
For the golden oil from the barrels poured,
  And the big cart rocks unsteady
With its tower of gathered sheaves, and strains        5
And groans on its way through fields and lanes;
When brawny and bare as an old athlete
  Comes Bacchus the dance a-leading,
And the laborers all, with juice-dyed feet,
  The vintage of Crau are treading,        10
And the good wine pours from the brimful presses,
And the ruddy foam in the vats increases;
When under the leaves of the Spanish broom
  The clear silkworms are holden,
An artist each, in a tiny loom,        15
  Weaving a web all golden,—
Fine, frail cells out of sunlight spun,
Where they creep and sleep by the million,—
Glad is Provence on a day like that,
  ’T is the time of jest and laughter:        20
The Ferigoulet and the Baume Muscat
  They quaff, and they sing thereafter.
And lads and lasses, their toils between,
Dance to the tinkling tambourine.

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