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Then if we write not by each post,
The King, with wonder and surprise,
Than e'er they did of old :
But let him know it is our tears
Should foggy Opdam chance to know,
The Dutch would scorn so weak a foe,
And quit their fort at Goree :
For what resistance can they find
From men who've left their hearts behind? With a fa la, la la, la la.
Let wind and weather do its worst,
Be you to us but kind,
Let Dutchmen vapour, Spaniards curse,
'Tis then no matter how things go.
Or who's our friend or who's our foe.
pass our tedious hours away, We throw a merry main ;
Or else at serious ombre play;
But now our fears tempestuous grow,
Sit careless at a play :
When any mournful tune you hear,
As if it sigh'd with each man's care
For being so remote:
Think then how often love we've made
To you, when all those tunes were play'd. With a fa la, la la, la la.
In justice you can not refuse
When we for hopes of honour lose
Our certain happiness;
All those designs are but to prove
With a fa la, la la, la la.
And now we've told you all our loves,
This is the French song of the eighteenth century.
A very pretty little song, "The Pigeon,” represents a young female sending a message to her lover; it begins thus:
Why tarries my love,
Why tarries my love from me?
And send him a letter by thee.
"God save the King," Thomson's "Rule Britannia," and Burns's ballad "Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled," must remain in their native language. The "Two Dogs," and the "Cottier's Saturday Night," by Burns, are particularly admired. He wrote several drinking songs; some of them describe village scenes. All these pieces, though full of humour, have not the elegance of the songs of Desaugiers.
But if Thibaut, Count of Champagne, surpassed all the English Thibauts of the thirteenth century, Beranger in the nineteenth leaves far behind him all the Berangers of Great Britain. Art detracts nothing from success with the multitude, when it is united with genuine talent. Beranger's songs, composed with as much care as Racine bestowed on his verses, and which are wrought, as it were
by a magnifying glass, have descended to the lower classes of society: the common people have learned them by heart, as scholars learn the speech of Theramenes. As La Fontaine rises to the highest style in fable, so does Beranger in song. The popularity attached to pieces written on particular occasions, to witty pasquinades, will pass away, but superior beauties will remain. You perceive in the works of Beranger, beneath a surface of gaiety, a substratum of melancholy, which belongs to whatever is sincere and permanent in the human mind. Stanzas such as these will belong to every future France, and will be repeated in every age.
Vous vieillirez, ô ma belle maitresse ;
On vous dira: Savait-il être aimable?
Objet chéri, quand mon renom futile
On leaving Dieppe, the road leading to Paris ascends rather rapidly; on the right, at the top of the hill, is seen the wall of a cemetery along this wall there is a rope-walk. One evening last summer I was sauntering upon this road: two ropemakers going backward, abreast, and balancing themselves first on one leg, then on the other, were singing together in a low tone. I listened; they were at this stanza of the "Vieux Caporal" :
Qui là-bas sanglote et regarde ?
Elle va prier pour mon ame.