Home  »  library  »  poem  »  From an “Elegy”

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

From an “Elegy”

By Clément Marot (1496–1544)

THY lofty place, thy gentle heart,

Thy wisdom true in every part,

Thy gracious mien, thy noble air,

Thy singing sweet, and speech so fair,

Thy robe that does so well conform

To the nature of thy lovely form:

In short, these gifts and charms whose grace

Invests thy soul and thee embrace,

Are not what has constrainèd me

To give my heart’s true love to thee.

’Twas thy sweet smile which me perturbed,

And from thy lips a gracious word

Which from afar made me to see

Thou’d not refuse to hear my plea.


Come, let us make one heart of two!

Better work we cannot do;

For ’tis plain our starry guides,

The accord of our lives besides,

Bid this be done. For of us each

Is like the other in thought and speech:

We both love men of courtesy,

We both love honor and purity,

We both love never to speak evil,

We both love pleasant talk that’s civil,

We both love being in those places

Where rarely venture saddened faces,

We both love merry music’s measure,

We both in books find frequent pleasure.

What more is there? Just this to sing

I’ll dare: in almost everything

Alike we are, save hearts;—for thine

Is much more hard, alas! than mine.

Beseech thee now this rock demolish,

Yet not thy sweeter parts abolish.