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


By Alfred de Musset (1810–1857)

Translation of Andrew Lang

AGAIN I see you, ah, my queen,—

Of all my old loves that have been,

The first love and the tenderest;

Do you remember or forget—

Ah me, for I remember yet—

How the last summer days were blest?

Ah, lady, when we think of this,—

The foolish hours of youth and bliss,

How fleet, how sweet, how hard to hold!

How old we are, ere spring be green!

You touch the limit of eighteen,

And I am twenty winters old.

My rose, that mid the red roses

Was brightest, ah, how pale she is!

Yet keeps the beauty of her prime;

Child, never Spanish lady’s face

Was lovely with so wild a grace;

Remember the dead summer-time.

Think of our loves, our feuds of old,

And how you gave your chain of gold

To me for a peace-offering;

And how all night I lay awake

To touch and kiss it for your sake,—

To touch and kiss the lifeless thing.

Lady, beware, for all we say,

This Love shall live another day,

Awakened from his deathly sleep:

The heart that once has been your shrine

For other loves is too divine;

A home, my dear, too wide and deep.

What did I say—why do I dream?

Why should I struggle with the stream

Whose waves return not any day?

Close heart, and eyes, and arms from me;

Farewell, farewell! so must it be,

So runs, so runs, the world away.

The season bears upon its wing

The swallows and the songs of spring,

And days that were, and days that flit:

The loved lost hours are far away;

And hope and fame are scattered spray

For me, that gave you love a day,

For you that not remember it.