ODE À CASSANDRE TO CASSANDRE
Pierre de Ronsardtr. Stan Solomons
Mignonne, allons voir si la rose
Qui ce matin avait déclose
Sa robe de pourpre au soleil,
A point perdu cette vesprée
Les plis de sa robe pourprée,
Et son teint au votre pareil.

Las! Voyez comme en peu d’espace,
Mignonne, elle a dessus la place,
Las, las ses beautéz laissé cheoir!
O vrayment marastre Nature,
Puisqu’une telle fleur ne dure
Que du matin jusques au soir!

Donc, si vous me croyez, mignonne,
Tandis que vostre âge fleuronne
En sa plus verte nouveauté,
Cueillez, cueillez vostre jeunesse:
Comme à ceste fleur, la vieillesse
Fera ternir vostre beauté.
Darling, come see the rose so red,
Which this morn timidly had spread
Her mantle to the eye of day.
Come see if she has lost this e'en
Her crimson pleated robe's soft sheen,
That same blush which on your cheek plays.

See how in but a paltry hour
She has let fall her ailing flower.
Her beauty lies there in the dust!
Alas! How cruel is Mother Nature,
Since such a blossom can endure
Only from trembling dawn to dusk.

Darling you must indeed believe,
Whilst innocence within you cleaves
The bud and blooms in purity,
Garner the gifts of tender youth,
For, like this flower, age in sooth
Will sadly spoil and tarnish beauty.

Click here 5 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. Copyright © Stan Solomons 2006


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