Spring is here and to celebrate the renewal of life, nothing is better than a beautiful French poem about a rose. Let us introduce you to Pierre de Ronsard, a Renaissance French poet who wrote delicate and beautiful odes such as “Mignonne allons voir si la rose”.
The Poem and Song
Pierre de Ronsard (1524 – 1585) was a Renaissance French poet called “prince of poets”. “Mignonne allons voir si la rose” is a one of his most famous poems and was written in 1545. A delicate ode paying tribute to the beauty of women and nature, it was put into music in the 16th century by Jehan Chardavoine.
The poem is devoted to Cassandre Salviati, the daughter of an Italian banker who he fell in love with.
The French lyrics
ODE A CASSANDRE
Mignonne, allons voir si la rose
Qui ce matin avait déclose
Sa robe de pourpre au soleil,
A point perdu cette vesprée,
Les plis de sa robe pourprée,
Et son teint au vôtre pareil.
Las ! voyez comme en peu d’espace,
Mignonne, elle a dessus la place
Las ! las ! ses beautés laissé choir !
Ô vraiment marâtre Nature,
Puis qu’une telle fleur ne dure
Que du matin jusques au soir !
Donc, si vous me croyez, mignonne,
Tandis que vôtre âge fleuronne
En sa plus verte nouveauté,
Cueillez, cueillez votre jeunesse :
Comme à cette fleur la vieillesse
Fera ternir votre beauté.
Sweetheart, come let us see if the rose
Which this morning unfolded
Its crimson dress to the sun
Has lost, at evening,
The folds of its crimson dress
And its colour, so like your own.
Alas! See how in such a short a time,
Sweetheart, she has let
her beauty fall from above!
Nature is truly cruel
When such a flower only lasts
From dawn to dusk!
So if you would believe me, Sweetheart,
While your young age is in flower
In its greenest freshness,
Gather, gather your youth.
Since age will tarnish your beauty
As it has faded this flower.
Find out more about Spring in France.