by Pierre de Ronsard (1524 - 1585)
Translation © by David Wyatt

Du grand Turc je n'ai souci
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Du grand Turc je n'ai souci, 
Ni du grand Soudan aussi; 
L'or ne maîtrise ma vie, 
Aux Rois je ne porte envie; 

[J'ai souci tant seulement 
De parfumer cointement 
Ma barbe,]1 et qu'une couronne 
De fleurs le chef m'environne. 

Le soin de ce jour me point, 
Du demain je n'en ai point. 
Qui, bons Dieux! pourrait connaître 
Si un lendemain doit être? 

Vulcain, en faveur de moi, 
Je te pri', dépêche-toi 
De me tourner une tasse, 
Qui de profondeur surpasse 

Celle du vieillard Nestor; 
Je ne veux qu'elle soit d'or, 
Sans plus fais-la-moi de chêne, 
Ou de lierre, ou de frêne. 

Ne m'engrave point dedans 
Ces grands panaches pendants, 
Plastrons, morions, ni armes: 
Qu'ai-je souci des alarmes, 

Des assauts ou des combats? 
Aussi ne m'y grave pas 
Ni le Soleil, ni la Lune, 
Ni le jour, ni la nuit brune, 

Ni les Astres radieux: 
Et quel soin ai-je des cieux, 
De leurs Ours, de leur Charrette? 
D'Orion ou de Boète? 

Mais peins-moi, je te supplie, 
D'une treille le repli 
Non encore vendangée; 
Peins une vigne chargée 

De grappes et de raisins; 
Peins-y des fouleurs de vins, 
Le nez et la rouge trogne 
D'un Silène et d'un ivrogne. 

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Leguerney: "Je n'ai souci que d'aimer/ Moi-même, et me parfumer/ D'odeurs" ; further changes may exist not noted above.

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (David Wyatt) , "I don't care about the Grand Turk", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
I don't care about the Grand Turk
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
I don't care about the Grand Turk
Nor the Great Sudan
Gold is not master in my life
I have no envy of kings.

[In fact my only care is
To perfume calmly
My beard]1, and put a crown
Of flowers around my head.

Today's care is enough for today
For tomorrow I don't care at all.
Who, by the gods, could even be sure
That tomorrow will really come?

Vulcan, while you favour me
I beg you hurry
To make me a cup
Which in its volume surpasses

That of old Nestor2.
I want only that it be of gold
Without any fiddly fittings of oak
Or ivy or ash

Engrave me within it none of
Those great swinging plumes,
Breastplates, helmets or weapons:
What do I care about battle's alarms

Or assaults or fighting?
Also don't engrave on it for me
Sun or Moon
Day or dark night

Nor radiant stars:
What do I care for the heavens
The Great Bear3, Auriga,
Orion or Boötes?

Instead, paint me I beg
The meanders of a climbing vine
Not yet harvested;
Paint a vine heavy

With bunches of grapes,
Paint there the treading of the grapes
The nose and the red face
Of a Silenus and a drunkard.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Legeurney: "My only care is to love / Myself, and to perfume myself / With scent"
2 Nestor's proverbially huge cup is described in the Iliad:
     When that cup was full,
     another man could hardly lift it from the table
(translation by Ian Johnston, mala.bc.ca)
3 or Big Dipper

Authorship

  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2012 by David Wyatt, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
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