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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X. 1876–79.


Captain Rance, 1525

By Old French Song

Anonymous translation

WHEN Bourbon saw Marseilles,

Unto his troops said he,

“I wonder now what captain

Within that town may be?

“I care not half a crown

For any man in France,

If only within that town

Be not the Captain Rance.”

Then up the Mont Coulombe,

The narrow passage through,

They all together clombe,

And on their fingers blew.

Saying, with weary knees,

“Let us all courage take;

Should we cut down these trees,

We might a passage make.”

O noble Seigneur Rance!

To you our thanks be paid

For the welcome that in France

You to the Bourbon made.

With cannon-shot amain,

Likewise artillery,

You drove him back again,

As far as Italy.