Thursday, 30 October 2014

Sur la Mort de Marie - Pierre de Ronsard

Just as one sees, upon a branch, the rose in May,
to whose first flowered loveliness rich looks are lent,
with brighter organdies the very skies resent,
while dawn with tears will sprinkle it at break of day,

So will, in love and gracefulness, the petals stay
to haunt the trees and gardens round with sweetest scent,
but, in the undue heat and drumming rain's descent,
they one by one unfurl, and fade and fall away.

So you, for all the expectations of your youth,
though earth and sky in homage speak but frankest truth,
respond to fate, and like them in the dust repose.
These are the obsequies that tears and grief assume:
a bowl of milk, a basket topped with fragrant bloom:
so shall in life and death your body bloom but rose.

Pierre de Ronsard (1524 – 1585) France
Translated by Colin John Holcombe

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