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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

A Madrigal: To Astræa

By Pierre de Ronsard (1524–1585)

Translation of Katharine Hillard

WHY those engraven agates dost thou wear,

Rich rubies, and the flash of diamonds bright?

Thy beauty is enough to make thee fair,—

Beauty that love endows with its own light.

Then hide that pearl, born of the Orient sea:

Thy grace alone should ornament thy hand;

Thy gems but serve to make us understand

They take their splendor and their worth from thee.

’Tis thy bright eyes that make thy diamonds shine,

And not the gems that make thee more divine.

Thou work’st thy miracles, my lady fair,

With or without thy jewels; all the same,

I own thy sovranty: now ice, now flame,—

As love and hatred drive me to despair,—

I die with rapture, or I writhe in shame,

Faint with my grief, or seem to tread on air.