Bel aubepin, fleurissant,

Pierre de Ronsard evidently loved nature, and natural scenes of beauty and charm are central to many of his poems. This particular piece, exuberantly describing a flowering hawthorn and the vitality of life forms in and around it conveys a real sense of enjoyment of nature. It reminds me a bit of one of those Disney movie scenes, for example in Bambi, where the woodland creatures frolic around the water hole with massive grins all over their faces. It is nice to read a truly happy poem.

Here goes….

Bel aubépin, fleurissant,
Le long de ce beau rivage,
Tu es vêtu jusqu’au bas
Des longs bras
D’une lambruche sauvage.

Deux camps de rouges fourmis
Se sont mis
En garnison sous ta souche.
Dans les pertuis de ton tronc
Tout du long
Les avettes ont leur couche.

Le chantre rossignolet
Courtisant sa bien-aimée,
Pour ses amours alléger
Vient loger
Tous les ans en ta ramée.

Sur ta cime il fait son nid
Tout uni
De mousse et de fine soie,
Où ses petits écloront,
Qui seront
De mes mains la douce proie.

Or vis gentil aubépin,
Vis sans fin,
Vis sans que jamais tonnerre,
Ou la cognée, ou les vents,
Ou les temps
Te puissent ruer par terre.

Pierre de Ronsard
Odes IV 

From <;

The poem first introduces us to the hawthorn tree, addressed as a person, an old friend perhaps, in flower, on the river bank with green arms reaching down. Then in turn we see descriptions of the ants swarming under the bark, the nesting birds, the nightingale singing love songs in the branches and bringing up its young in a nest at the top of the tree. The final stanza calls for the hawthorn tree to live forever, and never be knocked down by storms, winds or weather of any kind. It is a celebration of life – the life of the tree, of the birds, animals and insects it supports and the joy and sustenance it brings to all.

A beautiful poem which makes me feel glad at heart.

The Poetry Dude


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