A Cassandre

This is one of the first poems I ever memorized.

A Cassandre

Mignonne, 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 !
Ô vrayment marastre Nature,
Puis qu’une telle fleur ne dure
Que du matin jusques au soir !

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

Pierre de Ronsard

Ode to Cassandra

Sweetheart, let’s see if the rose
That this morning had open
Her crimson dress to the Sun,
This evening hasn’t lost
The folds of her crimson dress,
And her complexion similar to yours.

Ah! See how in such short space
My sweetheart, she has on this very spot
All her beauties lost!
O, so un-motherly Nature,
Since such a beautiful flower
Only last from dawn to dusk!

So if you believe me, my sweetheart,
While time still flowers for you,
In its freshest novelty,
Do take advantage of your youthful bloom:
As it did to this flower, the doom
Of age will blight your beauty.

Translator unknown

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