Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LA BELLE SANS MERCI, SELECTION, by ALAIN CHARTIER



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LA BELLE SANS MERCI, SELECTION, by            
First Line: As late all pensively I rode
Last Line: In which my heart must ever bide.'


AS late all pensively I rode,
Like one with sick and aching breast,
Laden with Sorrow's heavy load,
Of lovers all, the wofullest;
Since with his dart has Death opprest,
And snatched my mistress from my side,
And left me lonely and distrest,
With melancholy for my guide.

Then said I: 'Since no more, I trow,
Shall rhyming joy or solace lend,
Since I must laughter now forego
For tears which life alone shall end,
Yet I my time somehow must spend,
Since I nor solace feel nor case,
Whether in writing or to send
What neither me nor others please.

'Who is there would my will constrain
And force of happy things to write?
My pen could not such theme attain,
Nor my tongue tell of them aright,
Nor my lips shape to laughter bright;
My eyes would speak in other sense,
And my heart show, in their despite,
The truth by tears which issued thence.

'To other lovers it belongs
Who still can hope, though grief molest,
To utter ballads, lays, and songs,
Each one as he may think it best.
My lady, in her last behest
(God keep her soul) when nigh to death,
My heart of joyance dispossest,
Which with her lies the shroud beneath.

''Twere fit my voice henceforth were mute;
speech--weariness is o'er me cast--
I leave to those whom it may suit
To use their time; my own is past.
Fate has my coffer robbed at last,
Where had I heaped my treasure long,
And all the wealth which I amassed
In the good time when I was young.

'Love ruled my heart with boundless might.
If wrong I did, God's grace I pray;
If well, I thence have no delight,
It gives me nought nor takes away.
For since did Fate my lady slay,
With her has every joyance died;
Death does a limit round me lay,
In which my heart must ever bide.'





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