BALLADE DE PARISBALLADE DE PARIS
Eustache Deschampstr. James Kirkup
Quant j'ay la terre et mer avironnée,
Et visité en chascune partie
Jherusalem, Egipte et Galilée,
Alixandre, Damas et la Surie,
Babiloine, le Caire et Tartarie,
Et touz les pors qui y sont,
Les espices et succres qui s'i font,
Les fins draps d'or et soye du pays,
Valent trop mieulx ce que les François ont:
Riens ne se puet comparer a Paris.

C'est la cité sur toutes couronnée,
Fonteine et puis de sens et de clergie,
Sur le fleuve de Saine située:
Vignes, bois a, terres et praerie.
De touz les biens de ceste mortel vie
A plus qu'autres citez n'ont;
Tuit estrangier l'aiment et ameront,
Car, pour deduit et pour estre jolis,
Jamais cité tele ne trouveront:
Riens ne se puet comparer a Paris.

Mais elle est bien mieulx que ville fermée,
Et de chasteaulx de grant anceserie,
De gens d'onneur et de marchans peuplée,
De touz ouvriers d'armes, d'orfaverie;
De touz les ars c'est la flour, quoy qu'on die:
Touz ouvraiges a droit font;
Subtil engin, entendement parfont
Verrez avoir aux habitans toudis,
Et loyaulté aux euvres qu'ilz feront:
Riens ne se puet comparer a Paris.
When that I have the earth with all the seas
made visit to it in its every part -
Jerusalem, Egypt and Galilee,
Babylon and Cairo and Tartary,
And their several ports,
With all the sweets and spices tasted there,
Each country's finest cloths of gold and silk,
Better by far than any found in France:
Nothing with Paris can ever be compared.


She is the city honoured above all,
Fountain and well of reason and of arts.
Upon the River Seine well situate:
With vineyards, woods, meadows and smiling plains,
With all the gifts this mortai life can bring,
No other city so endowed;
All those from foreign lands who visit her
Love and shall love her charm and gaiety.
For there was never city with such gifts:
Nothing with Paris can ever be compared.

For she is better far than all your wallèd towns
With castles all of highest ancestry;
Thronged with honourable men and merchants,
Many craftsmen of arms and jewellery:
Of all the arts she remains the flower -
Whatever other may declare;
Subtlety of work, deep intelligence,
You shall find always in her citizens,
With pride in all the marvels they create:
Nothing with Paris can ever be compared.

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Trans. Copyright© James Kirkup 2002


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