CONTRERIMES - IV COUNTER-RIMES - IV
Paul-Jean Toulet trans. A.C.Clarke

Ces roses pour moi destinées
.........Par le choix de sa main
Aux premiers feux du lendemain
.........Elles étaient fanées.

Avec les heures, un à un,
.........Dans la vasque de cuivre,
leur calice tinte et delivre
.........Une âme à leur parfum

Liée, entre tant, ô Ménesse,
.........Qu'à travers vos ébats,
J'écoute résonner tout bas
.........Le glas de ma jeunesse.

She picked these roses out for me
.........herself. They didn't last.
One by one, by dawn next day,
.........they'd given up the ghost.

Each hour, in the copper bowl
.........another drooped its head
like the chime of a clock; the soul
.........locked in its perfume fled.

The same with me: through all
.........your blandishments, you women,
I hear my youth's death-knell
.........tolling deep down.

For a translation into Scots click pftouc4S.htm

Trans. Copyright © A.C.Clarke 2009


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