LE TRÉSORIER DE LA SAINTE-CHAPELLE THE PAYMASTER OF THE SAINTE-CHAPELLE
Boileau trans. Peter Dean


Dans le réduit obscur d’une alcove enfoncée,
S’éleve un lit de plume á grands frais amassée;
Quatre rideaux pompeux, par un double contour,
En défendent l’entrée á la clarté du jour.
Lá, parmi les douceurs d’un tranquille silence,
Régne sur le duvet une heureuse indolence.
C’est lá que le prélat, muni d’un déjeuner,
Dormant d’un léger somme, attendait le diner.
La jeunesse en sa fleur brille sur son visage;
Son menton sur son sein descend á double étage;
Et son corps, ramassé dans sa courte grosseur,
Fait gémir les coussins sous sa molle épaisseur.


In the dim deep recess of a scooped-out alcove,
There’s a great feather-bed, puffed up soft fit for Jove:
With its four massive curtains, with their double overlap,
That forbids the least glimpse of bright daylight, mayhap.
There, amidst the sweet soothings of silent tranquillity,
Blissful indolence reigns in its cushioned serenity.
It’s where you’ll find the prelate, replete from his lunch,
Takes his afternoon nap, dreams of dinner he’ll munch.
Every pore in his face glows with youth in its flower;
With his soft double chin on his breast sinking lower;
And his body hunched up in its squat bulkiness
Makes the cushions cry out at his flabby impress.

Trans. Copyright © Peter Dean 2007


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