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Pierre de Ronsard

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OiseauOde à Cassandre Oiseau

Mignanne, allons voir si la rose
Qui ce matin avoit desclose
Sa robe de pourpre au soleil,
A point perdu ceste vesprée
Les plis de sa robe pourprée,
Et son teint au vostre pareil.

Las! voyez comme en peu d’espace,
Mignonne, elle a dessus la place
Las! Las! Ses beautez laissé cheoir !
O vrayment marastre Nature,
Puis qu’une telle fleur ne dure
Que du matin jusques au soir !

Donc, si vous me croyez, Mignanne,
Tandis que vostre âge fleuronne
En sa plus verte nouveauté,
Cueillez, cueillez vostre jeunesse:
Comme à ceste fleur la vieillesse
Fera ternir vostre beauté.


Ode to Cassandre
Christiane Guise's Translation © 1999

Mignonne, come and see if the rose
Who, early morning, unfolded
Her crimson dress in the warm sun,
Has not lost yet this eventide,
The smooth folds of her scarlet dress
And her softness so much like yours.

Las! See how in so little time,
Mignonne, she has shed her beauties
On the ground, Las! Las! They have gone.
O you harsh and unkind Nature
Tell us why this pretty flower
Lasts no more than a single day!

So, if you believe me, Mignonne,
While your age is still flowering
In your greenest novelty,
Enjoy, enjoy your fleeting youth
As it does to this flower,
Old age will tarnish your beauty.


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