By way of postface
Poets have the floor
By way of postface, poets have the floor. A certain François
Villon, a French poet who was born in 1431 and died in 1463, and Gabriele d'Annunzio, an Italian
poet, who was bor, in 1863 and died in 1938.
Tell me now in what hidden is Lady Flora the lovely Roman? Where's
Hipparchia, and where is Thais, Neither of them the fairer woman? Where is Echo, beheld
of no man, Only heard on river and mere,-- She whose beauty was more than human?... But
where are the snows of yester-year?
Where's Heloise, the learned nun, For whose sake Abeillard, I ween, Lost
manhood and put priesthood on? (From Love he won such dule and teen!) And where, I pray
you, is the Queen Who willed that Buridan should steer Sewed in a sack's mouth down the
Seine?... But where are the snows of yester-year?
White Queen Blanche, like a queen of lilies, With a voice like any
mermaiden,-- Bertha Broadfoot, Beatrice, Alice, And Ermengarde the lady of Maine,-- And
that good Joan whom Englishmen At Rouen doomed and burned her there,-- Mother of God,
where are they then?... But where are the snows of yester-year?
Excerpt from the "Testament", the Ballad of gone ladies
English translated by Dante Gabriel
Rossetti - a Victorian painter and writer, 1828-1882-.
«Think about it now, pretty glover girl You have been a novice
until now; And you, Blanche, the cobbler girl, The time has come for knowing yourself.
Grab to your right and at your left; Do not spare one man, I beg you, For old women have
no value nor status, No more than do devalued coins.
«And you, the noble sausage girl, Who are a so agile dancer,
Guillemette, the tapestry girl, Dont despise your master: Soon you will have to
shut up shop. When you will become old, withered, You will have no more use than an old
priest, No more than do devalued coins.
«Jeanneton, the bonnet girl, Beware that your friend does not
deprive you; And Katherine, the purse girl, Dont send men away; For the
unattractive one should not provoke Their bad grace, but smile to them. Ugly old age does
not arouse love, No more than do devalued coins..
Excerpt from the "Testament", the Ballad of the "Belle Haulmière"
to loose women
And so says the "Belle Haulmière", the
helmet maker, now procuress:
English translation by: (c)Jeay and
Magnificent bosoms, the point so strongly raised, on which I let my head
rest at the first light of the day, in the supreme exhaustion of the pleasure, I become
numb and I die;
Voluptuous undulations, feline curves, up valley that my fingers linger
over in ryth, as of the nerves of the lyre's crescent;
Teeth under the bite of which I easily submit, mouth more sanguine than a
wound, it's sweet to me to wilt for you.
"Bei seni da la punta erta fiorenti, su cui mi cade a l'alba il capo
stanco allor che ne' supremi abbattimenti de 'l piacere io m'irrigidisco e manco;
reni feline pe' cui solchi ascendo lascivamente in ritmo con le dita come
su nervi di falcate lire;
denti sotto a' cui morsi acri mi arrendo, bocche sanguigne piú di
una ferita, pur m'é dolce per voi cosí sfiorire."
Excerpt from "Love verses", Spring Sonnets
Source of the excerpt in French: Carlo Ferrero
in "Les Cinq Sens d'Eros".
Source of the excerpt in Italian: the Italian website
Translated into English by Irene Silberstein for iSkiv Ltd.