Au bon vieux temps un train d’amour régnait 

Here is a jolly poem from Clement Marot harking back to the good old days before he was born when love was simple and straightforward. You could give a girl a bouquet of flowers and she would love you for 20 or 30 years. Not like in Marot’s own day when love is ruled by artifice and deception.

The point being that in Marot’s time, he actually has to make an effort to win the affections of a girl, whereas in the good old days he would just have to snap his fingers and the girls would come running.

Clément MAROT   (1497-1544)

De l’amour du siècle antique

 
Au bon vieux temps un train d’amour régnait
Qui sans grand art et dons se démenait.
Si qu’un bouquet donné d’amour profonde
C’était donner toute la terre ronde ;
Car seulement au coeur on se prenait.

Et si, par cas, à jouir on venait
Savez-vous bien comme on s’entretenait ?
Vingt ans, trente ans, cela durait un monde
Au bon vieux temps.

Or est perdu ce qu’amour ordonnait.
Rien que pleurs feints, rien que changes on oit.
Qui voudra donc qu’à aimer je me fonde,
Il faut premier que l’amour on refonde
Et qu’on le mène ainsi qu’on le menait
Au bon vieux temps.

From <http://poesie.webnet.fr/lesgrandsclassiques/poemes/clement_marot/de_l_amour_du_siecle_antique.html&gt;

Was Marot one of the four Yorkshiremen?

The Poetry Dude

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