Darling, each morning a blooded rose
Lures the sunlight in, and shows
Her soft, moist and secret part.
See now, before you go to bed,
Her skirts replaced, her deeper red —
A colour much like yours, dear heart.
Alas, her petals will blow away,
Her beauties in a single day
Vanish like ashes on the wind.
O savage Time! that what we prize
Should flutter down before our eyes —
Who also, late or soon, descend.
Then scatter, darling, your caresses
While you may, and wear green dresses;
Gather roses, gather me —
Tomorrow, aching for your charms,
Death shall take you in his arms
And shatter your virginity.
Pierre de Ronsard (1524 – 1585) France
Translated by Robert Mezey
Source: The Penguin Book of Love Poetry, edited by Jon Stallworthy, Penguin, 1976