Pierre de Ronsardtr. James Kirkup (tanka)
'Avant le temps tes tempes fleuriront,
'De peu de jours ta fin sera bornée,
'Avant le soir se clorra ta journée,
'Trahis d'espoir tes pensers periront:

'Sans me flechir tes escrits fletriront,
'En ton desastre ira ma destinée,
'Pour abuser les poètes je suis née,
'De tes souspirs nos neveux se riront.

'Tu seras fait du vulgaire la fable,
'Tu bastiras sur l'incertain du sable,
'Et vainement tu peindras dans les cieux.'

Ainsi disoit la Nymphe qui m'affolle,
Lorsque le ciel, tesmoin de sa parolle,
D'un dextre éclair fut presage à mes yeux.
"Your temples, before
their time, will be white with may,
whose fall before long
shall be your wintry omen;
ere dusk fall, your day shall fade,

your calculations,
deceived by hope, all collapse;
your verses vanish -
no loss to me, for my fate
shall be fixed by your demise.

Because I was born
to be the curse of poets,
and our offspring shall
laugh your sighings all to scorn.
You shall become the butt of

the meanest rabble,
for having built your castles
all upon the sand:
and in the sky your old daubs
will never fetch a penny!"

Thus spoke the Nymph who
drives me wild, when, witness to
her words, the heavens
at a single lightning flash
blind me with their predictions.

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Trans. Copyright © James Kirkup 2003

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