Published in 1544, Scève’s “Délie, objet de plus haute vertu” is a cycle of 449 poems, an endless examination of the physical and spiritual pains of an impossible love.
This poem was written in 16th century French… So the French it features is “old French”: it’s quite different form the French spoken today, or even the way we’d spell French now…
I’ll do my best to read the poem, but I’m not a 16th century French expert… So please be indulgent with me…
1 – French Poem Transcript
Quand l’oeil aux champs est d’esclairs esblouy,
Luy semble nuict quelque part qu’il regarde:
Puis peu à peu de clarté resjouy,
Des soubdains feuz du Ciel se contregarde.
Mais moy conduit dessoubs la sauvegarde
De ceste tienne, et unique lumière,
Qui m’offusca ma lyesse premiere
Par tes doulx rayz aiguement suyviz,
Ne me pers plus en veue coustumiere.
Car seulement pour t’adorer je vis.
Learn French with the most famous French poems, such as “Demain, dès l’aube”, “La Cigale et la Fourmi”, “Parfum Exotique” with my Classic French Poetry audiobooks.
- French poem read twice,
- explanation of the text and the meaning,
- life of the author’s life (Hugo, La Fontaine, Baudelaire…)
in simple French with English translation.
3 – English Translation of the French Poem
When the eye is in the fields dazzled by lightnings,
It seems to be night wherever it looks:
Then gradually he finds back clarity
Adn is happy with the lights of Heavens
And I leave under the protection
Of this which is yours, and unique light,
Which gave me my first happiness
Because I followed your sweet rays of light,
I no longer get lost in regular sights.
For only to adore you I live.
You’ll find many more classical French poems with French transcript, English translation and slower and faster audio recording in my free French poetry section.