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Franco Sacchetti

Caccia

ONCE, deep in thought, I, passing 'neath some trees,
Beheld a troop of maidens gathering flowers;
One cried: 'Ah look'; another: 'Nay, see these,'
'What hast thou there? ' 'I doubt not lily-showers.'
'And here, I trow, are violets blue.'
A rose — woe's me, a thorn hath pricked my finger through! '
'Alas, alas! '
What's that in the grass? '
'A cricket.' 'Make haste,
Here are salads to taste.'
'No, no! '
'But it's so.'
97 'Thee and thee I will show
Where the mushrooms do grow:
And this is the way
For the wild-thyme spray.'
'Come homewards, it darkeneth and soon it will rain,
It lightens, it thunders, hark! vespers again! '
'But it's early still! '
'Lend an ear if you will.'

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Ballata

'O LITTLE shepherdesses fresh and fair,
Say whither do you come so soft and rare?
Say, whither lies the land where you were born,
Where sweeter fruits than any do betide?
With radiant smiles your faces you adorn,
Yet neither gold nor silver is your pride,
I trow Love fashioned you with him to bide,
Angels you seem yet tattered raiment wear! '
'We live upon a hill beside some trees;
Humble our cot, we sleep in tiny bed
Both one and all together at our ease
When homewards we our gentle flocks have led
At eventide; by nature we are fed
Day after day in flowery meadows fair.'
95 'Your loveliness might well indeed make moan,
Which only among hills and vales is seen,
Though the proud cities of the world would own
It worthy to hold honourably, I ween!
Poor lassies, had you not far happier been
Out of these woods in more refinèd air? '

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On a Wet Day

As I walked thinking through a little grove,
Some girls that gathered flowers came passing me,
Saying -- "Look here! look there!" delightedly.
"O here it is!" "What's that?" "A lily? love!"
"And there are violets!"
"Farther for roses! O the lovely pets!
The darling beauties! O the nasty thorn!
Look here, my hand's all torn!"
"What's that that jumps?" "O don't! It's a grasshopper!"
"Come, run! come, run!
Here's bluebells!" "O what fun!"
"Not that way! Stop her!"
"Yes! this way!" Pluck them then!"
"O, I've found mushrooms! O look here!" "O, I'm
Quite sure that farther on we'll get wild thyme."

"O, we shall stay too long; it's going to rain;
There's lightning; O! there's thunder!"
"O shan't we hear the vesper bell? I wonder."
"Why, it's not nones, you silly little thing!

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