Sweetheart, come let us see if the rose

Mignonne alors voir si la rose… is a famous poem by 16th Century poet Ronsard.

William Hawley has this translation:

Mignonne, come let us see if the rose
Which this morning opened
Her robe of crimson to the sun,
Has not already lost, at evening,
The folds of her crimson robe,
And her complexion, so like your own.

Harper’s rimes are quite nifty. Yet, I’m not sure I like it best.

See, Mignonne, hath not the Rose,
That this morning did unclose
Her purple mantle to the light,
Lost, before the day be dead,
The glory of her raiment red,
Her colour, bright as yours is bright?

All roses shot on location yesterday in the beautiful Rose Garden of L’Haÿ les Roses, South of Paris. A must-see.

The Scottish version is my favourite, by Jim Munro

Lassie, come an’ see if yon rose
That opened at day-brek an’ chose
Its best goon to show to the sun,
Still wears, noo in the gloamin’ grey
The saft faulds o’ her finery
An’ fresh complexion like yer ain.

And the original version

Mignonne, allons voir si la rose
Qui ce matin avoit desclose
Sa robe de pourpre au Soleil,
A point perdu ceste vesprée
Les plis de sa robe pourprée,
Et son teint au vostre pareil.

The French is quite challenging even for native speakers.

Photos – May 2019 – L’Haÿ les Roses.

Yann Gourvennec
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