Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sleeping in Houses of Great Writers of the Past

Not many writers have the opportunity to sleep in a house that belonged to a great writer of the past, so I count myself extremely privileged to have spent a night in Sarceau, the chateau that belonged to the French poet Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585). This photograph is of the library in the room I slept in. The exterior can be seen on the home page of the Sarceau website:

In November 2003 I was a guest of Francois Fouquet Dubois, whose mother's family purchased Sarceau in the 1830s. Francois is an excellent painter. Images of some of his works are displayed on his website:

Here is an English translation (not done by me) of one of Pierre de Ronsard's poems:


I send you here a wreath of blossoms blown,
And woven flowers at sunset gathered,
Another dawn had seen them ruined, and shed
Loose leaves upon the grass at random strown.
By this, their sure example, be it known,
That all your beauties, now in perfect flower,
Shall fade as these, and wither in an hour,
Flowerlike, and brief of days, as the flower sown.

Ah, time is flying, lady--time is flying;
Nay, 'tis not time that flies but we that go,
Who in short space shall be in churchyard lying,
And of our loving parley none shall know,
Nor any man consider what we were;
Be therefore kind, my love, whiles thou art fair.

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