Academic journal article Chicago Review

From Les Amours De Cassandre (1552)

Academic journal article Chicago Review

From Les Amours De Cassandre (1552)

Article excerpt

Translated by Henry Weinfield


In the same way, Phoebus, you used to bewail

The sadness that Love now decrees that I feel,

When lovesick and banished you sang on the shores

Of the Xanthus, fair river near Ilion s towers.

Plucking your blandishing lyre in vain,

Streams, flowers, and woods you enchanted again

And again, but the beauty that made your soul wounded

Was not moved at all by the music you sounded.

There, from your pallor the flowers were made pale,

There, from your tears would the rivulets swell,

There, your vain hopes made you live in despair.

Now Love makes me grieve for the very same name-

Near the town of Vendôme on the shores of the Loir,

Like a Phoenix reborn from my sorrow's own flame.


I'd gladly be Ixion on his wheel

Or Tantalus in the waters down below,

If I could hold her naked and could know

That beauty which even the angels can't excel.

No torments sent by fate, if that were so-

Even the rock I had to push uphill

That always rolled back down-would lay me low,

Even the vulture making of me a meal.

To touch her rounded breast-or even see-

Would lift me from a lover's destiny

Unto the majesty of kings of Asia. …

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