Tony Cousins: ‘From Du Bellay’

From Du Bellay
Heureux qui, comme Ulysse

Fortunate, like Ulysses, to have journeyed
Nobly—or like the victor of the Fleece—
And then to have come back, seasoned and wise,
To spend your days amidst your family.

When shall I see again, alas!, smoke rising
From my hamlet’s chimneys? In what season,
See the walled vineyard of my poor house—
To me a province, and much more beside?

I prefer the house my forebears made,
To Roman palaces with bold facades.
To hard marble, I prefer fine slate:

My Gallic Loire to the Roman Tiber;
My little Liré to the Palatine;
And Anjou’s gentleness to the sea air.

Tony Cousins

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