Au feu, au feu qui trestout mon cueur ard

A love poem from Alain Chartier, in which he is so much on love, he has been set on fire. Help, call the fire brigade, call 911 or 999, wherever you are, pour on water. ..Soon his heart will be on fire.

Alain CHARTIER   (1385-1433)

Au feu, au feu qui trestout mon cueur ard

Au feu, au feu qui trestout mon cueur ard
Par un brandon tiré d’ung doulx regard
Tout enflambé d’ardent desir d’amours !
Grace, mercy, confort et bon secours,
Ne me laissez brusler, se Dieu vous gard.

Flambe, chaleur, ardeur par tout s’espart,
Etincelles et fumee s’en part ;
Embrasé suis du feu qui croist tousjours.
Au feu, au feu !

Tirez, boutez, chassez tout a l’escart
Ce dur danger, gettez de toute part
Eaue de pitié, de lermes et de plours.
A l’aide, hélas ! Je n’ay confort d’ailleurs.
Avancez vous, ou vous vendrez* trop tart !
Au feu, au feu !

From <;

The interesting thing about this poem is that the metaphor is not at all subtle or allusive. Chartier really piles it on, describing the heat, the flames, the sparks, the smoke so that you really get a sense of the danger of a real fire. His cry for help seems all the more real as if he was really trapped in a burning building rather than smitten by the seductively smouldering eyes of his loved one.

He probably didn’t really want the fire to be put out.

The Poetry Dude


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