A vous, troppe légère,

Today we return to the 1500s with a poem from Joachim du Bellay, this time not about Rome or the poet’s absence from France, but a simple pastoral scene in which a peasant working the wheat fields, separating the wheat from the chaff, appreciates the breeze which makes his work more pleasant. So it is probably an early autumn poem, when the heat of the summer has passed but it is still very good to be outdoors.

D’un vanneur de blé aux vents

A vous, troppe légère,
Qui d’aele passagère
Par le monde volez,
Et d’un sifflant murmure
L’ombrageuse verdure
Doucement esbranlez,

J’offre ces violettes,
Ces lis et ces fleurettes,
Et ces roses icy,
Ces vermeillettes roses,
Tout freschement écloses,
Et ces oeilletz aussi.

De vostre doulce haleine
Éventez ceste plaine,
Éventez ce séjour,
Ce pendant que j’ahanne
A mon blé que je vanne
A la chaleur du jour.

Joachim du Bellay

From <http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/d-un-vanneur-de-bl-aux-vents/&gt;

The first stanza is addressed to the wind, which gently rustles through the trees and bushes and which pushes the clouds slowly through the sky. The “troppe legere” of the first line seems to indicate the clouds as they are flying across the horizon.

The second stanza sees the peasant offering the wind various types of flowers – violets, lilies, roses, carnations – are these flowers which he has separated from the wheat as part of his work, or are they just flowers which he has picked because they are pretty and caught his eye. The poem does not say, but the words reinforce the sense of contentment and satisfaction with the ambiance, the weather and the activity of the peasant.

The third stanza again addresses the wind directly, asking it to keep on blowing gently over the plain and the peasant while he does his work in the heat of the day, to refresh him and make his day more pleasant.

You could easily imagine this poem as a painting by one of the great pastoral painters.

The Poetry Dude


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