Sunday, 21 July 2013

Pierre de Ronsard - Sonnet To Helene

Pierre de Ronsard
(Prince of poets:)

  (Photo; French poet Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) and Cassandre Salviati, engraving for 1552 edition of "Amours")
 Sonnet To Helene
When you are truly old, beside the evening candle,
Sitting by the fire, winding wool and spinning,
Murmuring my verses, you’ll marvel then, in saying,
“Long ago, Ronsard sang to me, when I was beautiful.”

There’ll be no serving-girl of yours, who hears it all,
Even if, tired from toil, she’s already drowsing,
Fails to rouse at the sound of my name’s echoing,
And blesses your name, then, with praise immortal.

I’ll be under the earth, a boneless phantom,
At rest in the myrtle groves of the dark kingdom¹:
You’ll be an old woman hunched over the fire,

Regretting my love for you, your fierce disdain,
So live, believe me: don’t wait for another day,
Gather them now the roses of life, and desire.
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