Monday, August 22, 2011

Poem: Translation of Ronsard's "Quand vous serez bien vieille"

“When you are old and spinning by the fire”

When you are old and spinning by the fire

And sucking the last warmth out of its flame,

You’ll hum in a clear voice my poem’s refrain,

And you’ll recall my words and my desire.

And any maid you have will start awake,

hearing in her dreams my voice and name,

And for a moment spring will have come again

and revived the curve of your immortal neck.

I’ll be long underground, my spirit fled,

The scent of myrtle pillowing my head,

And you’ll be heading that way by and by—

Will you regret the chill with which you heard

My love’s complaint and uttered not a word?

Don’t risk the long years of regret, my love, let’s fly.

The original, and a few other possible translations can be found here

As always, comments, criticisms, and so on are always welcome.

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