Thursday, April 07, 2016
A Man Born to Die
Mortal am I, man born to die;The same, tr. Charles Graves:
Certain am I, in time, death must
Prevail, just as, most surely, I,
Do what I may, will turn to dust.
I know the years that I have had: 5
But those that I have yet to spend,
I know not, whether good or bad,
Nor when my age will reach its end.
Wherefore I tell you, wrack and woe,
Who gnaw my heart: "Be off! Adieu! 10
Be off, as far as you can go,
For naught have I to do with you."
At least, before I die, I pray
One day, whatever may betide,
That I may laugh, and dance, and play, 15
With Love and Bacchus by my side.
I'm a man that's born to die,The French:
And sure I am I do not know
How to cheat death and fail to lie
As dust within the grave below.
I know well the years I've had 5
But those to come I do not know.
I know them not, the good or bad,
Nor know the time that I must go.
Therefore, trouble, fly away,
That gnaws my heart so frequently; 10
Fly far from me, fly far, I pray,
I have no business with thee.
Ah! may I at my ease one day
At least, before I come to die,
Leap and laugh and dance and play 15
With Bacchus and with Love, say I.
Je suis homme nay pour mourir,From his Oeuvres (Paris: Gabriel Buon, 1584), p. 367:
Je suis bien seur que du trespas
Je ne me sçaurois secourir
Que poudre je n'aille là bas.
Je cognois bien les ans que j'ay: 5
Mais ceux qui me doivent venir
Bons ou mauvais, je ne les sçay,
Ny quand mon âge doit finir.
Pour-ce fuyez-vous-en esmoy,
Qui rongez mon cœur à tous coups, 10
Fuyez-vous-en bien loin de moy,
Je n'ay que faire avecque vous.
Aumoins avant que trespasser,
Que je puisse à mon aise un jour
Jouer, sauter, rire et danser 15
Avecque Bacchus et Amour.
The ode is an imitation of Anacreontea 40.