Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday extracts: Ronsard. (Yes, it's in French!)

Quand vous serez bien vieille, au soir, à la chandelle,
Assise auprès du feu, dévidant et filant,
Direz, chantant mes vers, en vous émerveillant :
Ronsard me célébrait du temps que j’étais belle.
Lors, vous n’aurez servante oyant telle nouvelle,
Déjà sous le labeur à demi sommeillant,
Qui au bruit de mon nom ne s’aille réveillant,
Bénissant votre nom de louange immortelle.
Je serai sous la terre et fantôme sans os :
Par les ombres myrteux je prendrai mon repos :
Vous serez au foyer une vieille accroupie,
Regrettant mon amour et votre fier dédain.
Vivez, si m’en croyez, n’attendez à demain :
Cueillez dès aujourd’hui les roses de la vie.
Sonnet pour Hélène, 1587
I had to recite this for a French speech contest when I was 15. I still think it's beautiful. 

4 comments:

snafu said...

I have forgotten any French I once knew and Google is lousy at translations, so I will pass on this extract.

MorningAJ said...

There's a translation coming next week snafu - so don't worry!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Anne .. thank goodness for that - I can read it, but understanding it is another matter ... I guess I could make the effort to work it out - but sadly time is against me and now I know you're posting the translation next week that's helpful!

Well done on reciting it all those years ago .. they are years ago aren't they?! My French was terrible and having French pen-friend didn't help - who came to stay with us, and I went over to spend time with them ...

Still basic to this day .. as with other languages .. well below basic! Cheers Hilary

Stew Adams said...

"Do not wait until tomorrow."
Good advise!