My sweet youthfulness is gone,
my early strength is broken;
I have black teeth and white hair;
my nerves are shattered, and the veins
in my cold body are full of nothing
but reddish water instead of blood.
Goodbye my lyre! Goodbye, young girls,
once my sweet little loves!
Goodbye— I feel my end is coming;
no pastime of my youth
comes with me into Age
but fireside, bed and wine.
My head has grown too heavy
with too many years and with sickess;
on all sides, worries bite me;
and whether I go or whether I stay on,
I am always looking behind me
to see if Death is coming;
who, it seems to me, at any time
must take me down there where
I don't know what Darkness lives;
who keeps a lair open to all comers,
that is very easy to enter,
but from there no one ever returns.
Pierre de Ronsard (1524 - 1585) France
Translated by Sedulia Scott, 2010
Source: Sedulia's Translations