French Love Poem – “Ode à Cassandre” by Pierre de Ronsard

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

This poem – written in the 16th century for King Charles IX’s court – is a very well done exercise of style.
Based on a quite common image – a girl and a rose – Ronsard manages to create a graceful and sensual poem that glorifies the game of seduction.

“Ode à Cassandre” by Pierre de Ronsard – written in the 16th century for King Charles IX’s court – is one of the most famous French poems. Since it’s rather short, many French kids learn in at school – to this day, I still know it by heart!

This very famous French poem is read twice (enunciated and natural recordings) + detailed explanation of the vocabulary in easy French + analysis of the poem + author’s life + transcript with the English translation in my audiobook “Easy French Poetry”.

Easy French Poetry

Most famous and classic French poems read and analysed in everyday French.

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More Details & Audio Samples

1- “Ode à Cassandre” by Pierre de Ronsard

Mignonne, allons voir si la rose
Qui ce matin avait déclose
Sa robe de pourpre au Soleil,
A point perdu cette vesprée (old spelling for vêprée)
Les plis de sa robe pourprée,
Et son teint au votre pareil.

Las ! voyez comme en peu d’espace,
Mignonne, elle a dessus la place
Las ! las ses beautés laissé choir !
Ô vraiment marâtre Nature,
Puis qu’une telle fleur ne dure
Que du matin jusques au soir ! (old way for jusqu’au)

Donc, si vous me croyez, mignonne,
Tandis que votre âge fleuronne
En sa plus verte nouveauté,
Cueillez, cueillez votre jeunesse :
Comme à cette fleur la vieillesse
Fera ternir votre beauté.

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2- “Ode à Cassandre” by Pierre de Ronsard – English Translation

Sweetheart, let’s see if the rose
That this morning had open
Her crimson dress to the Sun,
This evening hasn’t lost
The folds of her crimson dress,
And her complexion similar to yours.

Ah! See how in such short space
My sweetheart, she has on this very spot
All her beauties lost!
O, so un-motherly Nature,
Since such a beautiful flower
Only last from dawn to dusk!

So if you believe me, my sweetheart,
While time still flowers for you,
In its freshest novelty,
Do take advantage of your youthful bloom:
As it did to this flower, the doom
Of age will blight your beauty.

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 25+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Come to Paimpol and enjoy an exclusive French immersion homestay with me in Brittany.

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