Quand Vous Serez Bien Vieille

Quand Vous Serez Bien Vieille

When you are older still, men will not hear
How you were once the idol of the bars,
How your lips mapped red countries through young heads
And little poets swore your eyes were stars.
Staying awake, though full of cold and sleep,
When leaves are blowing in your avenue
You will recall a lover of good things
Who, when he spoke of goodness, spoke of you,
Recall our noon, how our great evening shrunk
To midnight whispers traveling the wires,
And our dark plot in kingdoms of the sun
Where we have lived to bury our desires.


  1. Quite lovely. But you tricked me; I clicked in expecting a poem in French. Perhaps you should translate this into French, then, and bless it with an English title...? ; )

    Mais certainement la beauté ici est plus que suffisante. Merci.


    1. Its an allusion to Ronsard: "Quand vous serez bien vieille au soir à la chandelle/ Assise auprès du feu devidant et filant..."

  2. I translated the original Ronsard's poem "Pour Hélène" ("Quand vous serez bien vieille…") and believe me, it was that easy: it was written in 16th century French… (something like translating Shakespeare into… modern Hindi…)

    Here it is (Pity you can't hear it !)

    Po Helena

    Wan vu ve so seni, be vespen ki kirèl
    Sedan za ner de foj, divindan id nilan,
    Ve dezo mi verse santan, inmirvizan :
    Ronsard festizì ma foram wan i sì bel!

    Davos vu v’avo nun serva, we, da oran,
    Od u longi labòr san ʒa mij insopan,
    Be de rum mi nomi ve ʒe ne sia veko,
    Id ki anmorli lob ve vi nom bundezo.

    I ve so ude ter, fantòm ane kose,
    I ve nemo mi res ude mirti came;
    Vu ve so be foja u senina krupan ,

    Ruplojan id mi liam id vi stol nizspekad.
    Ʒive, is vu kre ma, id varte ne domòr :
    Plike ʒe odia ʒa de roze vi ʒivi.

  3. Oops !

    Of course I meant "it was NOT that esay…"