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



By Anonymous

Translated by Louisa Stuart Costello

IN Gévaudun were brothers three,

They had one sister dear;

The cruel Baron her lord must be,

And the fellest and fiercest knight is he

In the country far or near.

He beat that lovely lady sore

With a staff of the apple green,

Till her blood flowed down on the castle floor,

And from head to foot the crimson gore

On her milk-white robe was seen.

He filled a cup with her blood so red,

A cup of silver fine:

“It was for thee this wine was shed;

Come, drink it, lady mine!”

Her robe was stained with the ruby tide

Once pure as the fleece so white;

And she hied her to the river-side

To wash in the waters bright.

While there she stood three knights so gay

Came riding bold and free.

“Ho! tell us, young serving-maiden, pray,

Where yon castle’s lady may be?”

“Alas! no serving-maid am I,

But the lady of yonder castle high!”

“O sister, sister, truly tell

Who did this wrong to thee?”

“Dear brothers, it was the husband fell

To whom you married me.”


The brothers spurred their steeds in haste

And the castle soon they gained,

From chamber to chamber they swiftly passed,

Nor paused till they reached the tower at last

Where the felon knight remained:

They drew their swords so sharp and bright,

They thought on their sister sweet;

They struck together the felon knight,

And his head rolled at their feet!