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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Good Counsel
By Pierre de Ronsard (1524–1585)
 
Translation of Katharine Hillard

NOT to rejoice too much at Fortune’s smile
            Nor at her frown despair,—
This makes man happy, and he lives meanwhile
            Without or fear or care.
 
Like Time himself, borne by his sweeping wings,        5
            All things else pass away;
And fifty sudden summers and sweet springs
            Flit by us like a day.
 
Cities and forts and kingdoms perish all
            Before Time’s mighty breath;        10
And new ones spring to life, like them to fall,
            And crumble into death.
 
Therefore let no man cherish the vain thought
            Of an immortal name,
Seeing how Time itself doth come to naught,        15
            And he shall fare the same.
 
Arm thyself then with proud philosophy
            Against the blows of fate;
And with a soul courageous, firm, and free
            The storms of life await.        20
 
 
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