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Poetry by Robert Stone:
Translation, Ballade des dames du temps jadis



Ballade des dames du temps jadis

a translation by Robert Stone
of the poem by Francois Villon

But where is now the lovely land
That falls beneath the Roman knees
Of Flora who has beauty grand
As Alcibiades;
And where is now the grove of trees
Within which Echo - free - holds sway
Uncursed by beauty's rivalries?
And where are snows now passed away?

And where is she who has command
Of such great knowledge - Heloise,
Whose lover was for love unmanned
And made a monk of Saint Denis;
And where is she who seeks ill ease
With Buridan and yet one day
His drowning in a sack decrees?
And where are snows now passed away?

And where Queen Blanche, like lilies bland,
Whose siren voice enchants the breeze;
Where Ermengarde whose able hand
Rules well so much between the seas;
Where Joan of Arc, whom traitors seize
And sell for English lords to slay;
Most worthy Virgin, where are these?
And where are snows now passed away?

My Prince, the answer ever flees,
Seek not to ask where now are they
More hopefully than this you please
And where are snows now passed away?

Translated by Robert Stone, September 1-2, 1959
The next earlier Robert Stone poem Infatuation: A Sonnet A sonnet.



This story was posted on 2010-02-14 10:09:32
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