Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 8/From the French of Malherbe

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A shortened translation of François de Malherbe's "Consolation à M. du Perier, gentil-homme d'Aix en Provence, sur la mort de sa fille" (1599)


O, father! will thy grief cease never?
Must each sad word that shall remind thee
Of fathers’ love for children blind thee
With tears for ever?

Thy sorrow for thy darling yonder—
Is it a maze where thy soul, trying
In vain to still its ceaseless crying,
Shall always wander?

Death ever strikes in cruel scorning
The fairest flowers; thy rose so cherished,
Thy rose, that like the rest hath perished,
Bloomed but one morning!

Black death, our little life’s span weighing,
Sternly works out his dread commission,
And spurning peers’ or pawns’ petition,
Disdains our praying.

Thou weepest, father! There is weeping
In lonely homes, where Squalor crouches.
Hosts cannot banish Death from couches
Where kings lie sleeping.

B. J.