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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
On Pierre Ronsard’s Book of Love
By José-Maria de Heredia (1842–1905)
 
Translation of Maurice Francis Egan

IN Bourgueil’s pleasaunce many a lover’s hand
  Wrote many a name in letters big and bold
  On bark of shady tree; beneath the gold
Of Louvre’s ceiling, love by smiles was fanned.
What matters it? Gone all the maddened band!        5
  Four planks of wood their bodies did enfold;
  None now disputes their love, or longs to hold
Their dried-up dust,—part of the grassy land.
All dead. Marie, Hélène, Cassandra proud,
Your bodies would be nothing in their shroud,—        10
  Lilies and roses were not made to last,—
If Ronsard, on the yellow Loire or Seine,
  Had not upon your brows his garlands cast
Of myrtle and of laurel not in vain.
 
 
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