Bring down my woolen shawl, Elude,
And your pipe, and the blackberry wine.
Wrap them in the quilt, Elude,
And come to the river
With your pretty white smile, your black moustache,
And your long hair ahangin’ in your eye.
First time I saw the one my soul loves
I was sixteen, and could have had a beau
From any in Dudierville.
I’d walked to Alderic
To buy the cotton
For my spring dress
And I saw him playing with a dog
Outside his father’s shack—
A black-haired, thin, barefoot and shirtless boy.
I said to him, bonjour; he only stared.
My father has three horses in Dudierville,
Each one big and dappled, like their sire.
We have no horse, Elude,
And between here and Dudierville
Lies a half day’s walk,
Three thorny miles, the short way.
Foolish to walk to the dance, Elude;
Tonight we take the boat.
I saw how you smiled at Suzette á Ralph
At the last dance.
When we left you were drunk,
And I went on ahead to make a path through the thorns
So you could walk easy.
When we were inside the cabin
You took me in your arms
And told me I was soft to hold.
There were thorns in my dress;
You drove them to my flesh, Elude,
But I held my peace.
I know that you are false, Elude.
Sit up in front, my love, and row.
Make the way easy;
You draw my heart after you.