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Le deuxième chant du Coryphée (Coryphee's Second Song)

par Alexandre Dumas père

(in Act V, scene iii of Caligula)

De roses vermeilles
Nos champs sont fleuris,
Et le bras des treilles
Tend à nos corbeilles
Ses raisins mûris.

Puisque chaque année,
Jetant aux hivers
Sa robe fanée,
Renaît couronnée
De feuillages verts;

Puisque toute chose
S'offre à notre main,
Pour qu'elle en dispose,
Effeuillons la rose,
Foulons le raisin.

Car le temps nous presse
D'un constant effort!
Hier, la jeunesse,
Ce soir, la veillesse,
Et demain, la mort.

Étrange mystère!
Chaque homme à son tour
Passe solitaire
Un jour sur la terre;
Mais pendant ce jour...

De roses vermeilles
Nos champs sont fleuris,
Et le bras des treilles
Tend à nos corbeilles
Ses raisins mûris.

translated by Frank J. Morlock

(in Act V, scene iii of Morlock's translation of Caligula)

Red roses
Flower in our fields
And from the vines
Sweet raisins
Fill our baskets.

Since each year
Throwing to winter
It's faded dress
Crowned again
With green foliage.

Since all things
Offer themselves
To our disposing hand
The rose sheds its leaves
We press the grape.

For time presses us
With a steady pressure
Yesterday, youth
Tonight, old age
And tomorrow, death.

Strange mystery
Each man in his turn
Has a solitary day
On this earth
But during this day

Red roses
Flower in our fields
And from the vines
Sweet raisins
Fill our baskets.

translated by F. W. Reed


Bright the crimson roses blow,
Blooming all our fields athwart;
Grapes in trellised clusters grow,
Soon they in our baskets show,
By our hands so featly brought.

Seeing that each passing year,
Flinging to the winter gray
That so faded mantle sear,
Comes revived and crowned dear
with it leafage green and gay.

Seeing thus how all that grows
Freely to our hands doth shape,
For all doth she dispose,
Strip we gladly then the rose,
Gaily trample on the grape.

And because Time urges on,
Yea to effort constantly;
Yesterday we youth did con,
Age to-night is us upon,
Death tomorrow is to be.

Strange is then the mystery;
Each man in his turn appears,
Solitary passes he,
On the earth one day to be;
But throughout this day this cheers:

Bright the crimson roses blow,
Blooming all our fields athwart;
Grapes in trellised clusters grow,
Soon they in our baskets show,
By our hands so featly brought.


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