Du Bellay (1522-1560): To the Winds, from a Winnower

Translated by Timothy Adès

D’un Vanneur de Blé aux Vents

A vous troppe legere,
Qui d’aele passagere
Par le monde volez,
Et d’un sifflant murmure
L’ombrageuse verdure
Doulcement esbranlez,

J’offre ces violettes,
Ces lis et ces fleurettes,
Et ces roses icy,
Ces vermeillettes roses,
Tout freschement écloses,
Et ces œilletz aussi.

De vostre double halaine
Eventez ceste plaine,
Eventez ce sejour:
Ce pendant que j’ahanne
A mon blé, que je vanne
A la chaleur du jour.

To you lighter than light
Who with fugitive flight
At liberty flutter,
Who lovingly ruffle
The sheltering verdure
With sibilant murmur:

I offer these violets,
Lilies and flowerets,
Roses I hold,
These little red roses
Newly unfurled,
And pink gillyflowers.

Let a breath of your breeze
Come play on the plain
As long as I stay,
Come play as I strain
At my winnowing-fan
In the heat of the day.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

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