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

“I WOULD marry my daughter dear;

But she shall keep from the band away,

Who scour the country far and near,

And pounce from their rock like birds of prey.

Mère Colette is too wise, I trow,

To give her daughter to such as thou.”

The pretty maid at the lattice stood,

The moon was dancing along the stream;

“I see a band from the distant wood,—

O mother, look how their lances gleam!”

Mère Colette is full of glee,

Her daughter the young lord’s bride shall be.

“Those are the king’s bold knights who ride,

And they are come the band to seize,”—

The pretty maiden smiled aside:

“The king has no such knights as these.”

Mère Colette to her bed is gone,—

The young maid sits at her window lone.

Midnight sounds from St. Jean’s deep bell,

Arms are clashing and swords are bright,

Mère Colette has rested well

Not to hear the sounds that night:

Mère Colette has but sorry cheer,—

The Routiers have stolen her daughter dear!