Monday, December 6, 2010

Contrerime XVIII

Géronte d' une autre Isabelle,
A quoi t' occupes-tu
D' user un reste de vertu
Contre cette rebelle ?

La perfide se rit de toi,
Plus elle t' encourage.
Sa lèvre même est un outrage.
Viens, gagnons notre toit.

Temps est de fuir l' amour, Géronte,
Et son arc irrité.
L' amour, au déclin de l' été,
Ni la mer, ne s' affronte.

Old man,
What earthly use
Is being honorable
With this flirt?

The tease is laughing at you
As she leads you on.
Her very lips are an insult.
Come on home.

It is time to shun love, old man,
And his peevish bow.
Tackle neither love, nor the sea
At summer’s end.

In one of Toulet's stories, Geronte is married to the much younger Isabelle.
This is an allusion to Légataire Universel of Jean-François Regnard, staged in 1708, where Geronte, old and ill, berné par son entourage falls for Isabelle who marries him for his fortune despite her feelings for someone her own age. Eraste, nephew of Geronte cannot marry her unless he makes him his Légataire Universel

1 comment:

  1. I like "Tackle neither love, nor the sea/At summer’s end."