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Les Quatre Saisons - The Four Seasons

Rating: 4.0
Le printemps — la saison quand l'agréable tiédeur
Recommence, apportant avec lui son bonheur,
La saison quand les feuilles vertes apparaissent
Sur les mêmes arbres qui nous toujours connaissent.

L'été, belle saison d' la chaleur du soleil,
De la lumière revivifiant le réveil,
Les nuages et ça se succèdent à tour
De rôle; saison de jeunesse et d'amour!

Puis l'automne, saison du feuillage tombant,
Temps qui me fait penser au bref temps s'écoulant,
La plus douce saison des tous, à mon avis; —
Hélas! Est-ce moi, ou est trop courte la vie?

Et finalement, oui, vient le gel de l'hiver,
En vain pour la neige de mes rêves j'espère;
C'est la fin de l'année, et il sera mon sort
A la fin de ma vie, j'atteindrai — la mort.

Translation into English verse (not literal) .

The spring is the season of freshness and calm,
Revivification of its own sweet balm,
When the longwaited leaves on their trees reappear,
Reaffirming the life that they show every year.

Next, the summer, the season the sun spreads his rays,
With lifegiving fire the sky sets ablaze,
The clouds and he fight in the heaven above,
In the summer, the season of youth and of love!

Next, the autumn, the time when the leaves start to fall,
And I think my short life hardly takes place at all;
This my favourite season, both mellow and ripe,
Alas! 'tis too short; 'tis too short, just like life.

And at last, the last season to come and to go,
Yes, the winter, when fondly we dream it will snow;
'Tis the end of the year, and I sigh a sad breath —
At the end of my life, I shall reach — death.

(Tuesday,1st November,2005.)
David Mitchell 04 November 2005
'J'attendrai' in the last line was a typing error for 'j'atteindrai'.
5 1 Reply
Simon Whild 04 November 2005
Refreshing to see a poem written in French. I loved the mood and feel. It was a good chance to blow the dust off my French too! Lovely.
2 2 Reply
David Mitchell 03 November 2005
To explain Peter A. Crowther's comment: I originally wrote 'les feuilles verts réapparaissent' and 'le neige'; these have since been corrected.
3 1 Reply
Peter A. Crowther 02 November 2005
Hi David, The only comments I can make on the French are two nit-picks - it should be 'les feuilles vertes' and 'la neige' - both are feminine.
4 1 Reply
Ernestine Northover 01 November 2005
That ending sounds so very final David, it gives one a slight shudder, but the poem itself is very good. Sincerely Ernestine.
3 1 Reply
David Mitchell 01 November 2005
If anyone wishes to improve the French of this poem, or has any comments on it or the translation, I would be grateful for them.
3 2 Reply

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