Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BROKEN PITCHER, by WILLIAM EDMONSTOUNE AYTOUN



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THE BROKEN PITCHER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It was a moorish maiden was sitting by a well
Last Line: How he met moorish maiden beside the lonely well.
Alternate Author Name(s): Bon Gaultier (With Theodore Martin)
Subject(s): Spain; Women


IT was a Moorish maiden was sitting by a well,
And what that maiden thought of, I cannot, cannot
tell,
When by there rode a valiant knight, from the town
of Oviedo --
Alphonso Guzman was he hight, the Count of
Desparedo.
"O maiden, Moorish maiden! why sitt'st thou by
the spring?
Say, dost thou seek a lover, or any other thing?
Why gazest thou upon me, with eyes so large and
wide,
And wherefore doth the pitcher lie broken by thy
side?"
"I do not seek a lover, thou Christian knight so gay,
Because an article like that hath never come my
way;
But why I gaze upon you, I cannot, cannot tell,
Except that in your iron hose you look uncommon
swell.
"My pitcher it is broken, and this the reason is --
A shepherd came behind me, and tried to snatch a
kiss;
I would not stand his nonsense, so ne'er a word I
spoke,
But scored him on the costard, and so the jug was
broke.
"My uncle, the Alcayde, he waits for me at home,
And will not take his tumbler until Zorayda come.
I cannot bring him water, -- the pitcher is in pieces;
And so I'm sure to catch it, 'cos he wallops all his
nieces."
"O maiden, Moorish maiden! wilt thou be ruled by
me?
So wipe thine eyes and rosy lips, and give me
kisses three;
And I'll give thee my helmet, thou kind and cour-
teous lady,
To carry home the water to thine uncle, the
Alcayde."
He lighted down from off his steed -- he tied him to
a tree --
He bowed him to the maiden, and took his kisses
three:
"To wrong thee, sweet Zorayda, I swear would be
a sin!"
He knelt him at the fountain, and dipped his hel-
met in.
Up rose the Moorish maiden -- behind the knight
she steals,
And caught Alphonso Guzman up tightly by the
heels;
She tipped him in, and held him down beneath the
bubbling water, --
"Now, take thou that for venturing to kiss Al
Hamet's daughter!"
A Christian maid is weeping in the town of Oviedo;
She waits the coming of her love, the Count of
Desperedo.
I pray you all in charity, that you will never tell
How he met Moorish maiden beside the lonely well.




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