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Regrets XXXV




mockup
Joachim du Bellay
translated by David Slavitt

After its many voyages, Dillier,
the ship comes home to be drawn up on the shore,
and the ox that for years has plowed its furrows for
the farmer is unyoked at last in the way
the tired old horse is put out to pasture to graze
before its wind is broken and its back.
So does the cavalryman hang up his tack,
puts war behind him and has a few peaceful days.

But I, who have all this time known nothing but pain,
ill luck, frustration, regrets, and hopes that proved vain,
have grown old, little by little, here by the River
Tiber and cannot hope anymore for good
to knock on my door — and if it did I would
turn it away as a joke more cruel than clever.




The Regrets of Joachim Du Bellay, Northwestern University Press, 2003.



Regrets XXXV


La nef qui longuement a voyagé, Dillier,
Dedans le sein du port à la fin on la serre :
Et le boeuf, qui longtemps a renversé la terre,
Le bouvier à la fin lui ôte le collier :

Le vieux cheval se voit à la fin délier,
Pour ne perdre l'haleine ou quelque honte acquerre :
Et pour se reposer du travail de la guerre,
Se retire à la fin le vieillard chevalier :

Mais moi, qui jusqu'ici n'ai prouvé que la peine,
La peine et le malheur d'une espérance vaine,
La douleur, le souci, les regrets, les ennuis,

Je vieillis peu à peu sur l'onde ausonienne,
Et si n'espère point, quelque bien qui m'advienne,
De sortir jamais hors des travaux où je suis.


Return to Recurrence in Another Tongue:
An Anthology of Translations






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