HEUREUX QUI, COMME ULYSSE ... HAPPY THE TRAVELLER ...
Joachim du Bellay tr. Thomas D. Le

Heureux qui, comme Ulysse, a fait un beau voyage,
Ou comme cestuy là qui conquit la toison,
Et puis est retourné, plein d'usage et raison,
Vivre entre ses parents le reste de son aage!

Quand revoiray-je, helas, de mon petit village
Fumer la cheminée: et en quelle saison
Revoiray-je le clos de ma pauvre maison,
Qui m'est une province, et beaucoup d'avantage?

Plus me plaist le sejour qu'ont basty mes ayeux,
Que des palais Romains le front audacieux:
Plus que le marbre dur me plaist l'ardoise fine,

Plus mon Loyre Gaulois, que le Tybre Latin,
Plus mon petit Lyré, que le mont Palatin,
Et plus que l'air marin la doulceur Angevine.

Happy he who, like Ulysses, explored the earth,
Or he who had conquered the Golden Fleece,
And who had now come home wise of the world
To live his life among his own in bliss.

Alas, when will I see of my village again
The chimney smoke, and in what season of the year
Behold the croft of yon my humble home and dear,
To me a kingdom great and yet a great deal more?

Sweeter to me my forefathers' abode
Than great Rome's palaces' bold brassy front,
My fine slate roof than its hard granite build,

My Gallic Loire than its Tiber Latin,
My small Liré than its Palatine Hill,
My sweet Anjou than its salt air marine.

Click here 4 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. Copyright © Thomas D. Le 2004


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