Open main menu

Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/314

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

evening when they came into a little garden under the king's window, they began to sing—

"Pire, pire, pire!
The sun and the moon are bright and clear,
But she who feeds us is still more fair."

Now the king, hearing this goose-music every evening, ordered Ciommo to be called, and asked him where, and how, and upon what he fed his geese. And Ciommo replied, "I give them nothing to eat but the fresh grass of the field." But the king, who was not satisfied with this answer, sent a trusty servant after Ciommo, to watch and observe where he drove the geese. Then the man followed in his footsteps, and saw him go into the little straw shed, leaving the geese to themselves; and going their way, they had no sooner come to the shore than Marziella rose up out of the sea; and I do not believe that even the mother of that blind boy who, as the poet[1] says, "desires no other alms than tears," ever rose from the waves so fair. When the servant of the king saw this, he ran back to his master, beside himself with amazement, and told him the pretty spectacle he had seen upon the stage of the seashore.

The curiosity of the king was increased by what the man told him, and he had a great desire to go himself and see the beautiful sight. So the next morning,

  1. Scruttendio, an old poet, who was called the Neapolitan Petrarch.