AVANT LE TEMPS TES TEMPES
FLEURIRONT ...
BEFORE THEIR TIME YOUR TEMPLES
WILL TURN GREY ...
Pierre de Ronsard tr. Harry Guest


'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.


"Before their time your temples will turn grey,
Few years will pass until your race is run,
Your day will fade before the setting sun
While lured by hope your mind mislays its way.

Your verse will wither without winning me,
My destiny will engineer your fall,
My love ungranted cause your death and all
Your sighs get jeered at by posterity.

You'll be a laughing stock for all the world,
Have built on the uncertainty of sand
And tried in vain to decorate the sky."

Thus spoke the nymph whose charms I can't withstand
Just as the heavens to seal her words unfurled
A bolt of lightning as my augury.

Trans. Copyright © Harry Guest 2006


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