ODE À CASSANDRE ODE TO CASSANDRA
Pierre de Ronsard tr. Elsie Callander
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.
Sweetheart let us together go and see
If this morning's rose which opened up
Her crimson robe to Father Sun,
Has not this even shed the folds
Of her crimson dress and her damask cheek
With its colour so like your own.

Alas! Look - in how short a space
Sweetheart she has upon this place
Alas! Alas! let drop her beauty!
Oh Mother Nature harsh and strong
Since such a flower lasts scarce so long
As from the dawn to eventide.

So hear my words my own sweetheart
While your young days are in full bloom,
Gather the rosebuds of youth today -
Its fresh green newness will not stay -
As with this flower will come old age
To tarnish all your beauty.

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

Trans. Copyright © Elsie Callander 2007


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