Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LEPER, by ANATOLE LE BRAZ



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THE LEPER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Monna keryvel looks toward the west
Last Line: "lo, thy bridegroom waits -- monna, it is death!"
Subject(s): Death; Leprosy; Life; Tears; Wind; Dead, The; Lepers


MONNA KERYVEL looks toward the west;
She must call her sheep; lamb is calling ewe.
See her cross of gold that a priest has blessed
-- Monna Keryvel in her gown of blue!

From the golden west comes a cavalier;
Monna Keryvel gallantly he greets;
Son of Earl is he by his guise and gear
And his mellow mouth spilling honeyed sweets.

Monna Keryvel was both ware and wise!
Was she wise and ware with her cavalier?
Now her merry heart melteth 'neath his eyes;
Soon her eyes shall shed bitter tear on tear!

Melts her merry heart, bitter tear on tear,
And the winds of night all the heavens dispart.
When into the west rides the cavalier
In her eyes shall brim Monna's welling heart.

Chanticleer has sung, sung the morrow's smart;
Monna Keryvel saith unto her mother:
"Sick is thy poor child, Mother, sick at heart;
'Tis the ill accurst; yea, it is none other!"

"Monna, grieve not now! Grieve not now for it!
Thou shalt have a house, yea, and to it keep,
High upon the heath, new as doth befit,
Where in secret hour thou alone may'st weep.

"There'll be time to weep in thy lonely house
-- Summer, winter, spring, day and night for thee;
And the folks will say: One who mourns her spouse
There abides and weeps him she lost at sea!"

"On the lonely heath bitter will life be.
For the love of God, give me, I beseech,
Serving man or maid, one to wait on me,
Mend my fire and bake and my linen bleach."

"Monna, thou wilt have neither man nor maid;
In thy lonely house lonely thou must live,
Where the wind of woe rageth unallayed
On the lofty moor, furious, fugitive!"

* * * *

"Deck thee in thy best! Wear thy cross of gold,
Monna Keryvel of the Lonely Heath!
Comes a cavalier, jubilant and bold.
Lo, thy bridegroom waits -- Monna, it is Death!"





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