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Roussel - Réponse d'une épouse sage

Réponse d'une épouse sage

Roussel (1927)

<Connaissant, seigneur, mon état d'épouse,
Tu m'as envoyée deux perles précieuses
Et, moi, comprenant ton amour,
Je les posai froidement sur la soie de ma robe,
Car ma maison est de haut lignage,
Mon époux capitaine de la garde du Roi,
Et un homme comme toi devrait dire:
<Les liens de l'épouse ne se défont pas>.
Avec les deux perles, je te renvoie deux larmes
Deux larmes - pour ne pas t'avoir connu plus tôt>.


from Herbert Giles' English translations of Chang-Chi.

Reply from a faithful wife


"Knowing, sir, my status as wife,
you sent me two precious pearls
and I, understanding your love,
placed them coolly on the silk of my dress,
for my house is of high lineage,
my husband, captain of the King's guard,
and a man such as you should say:
"The bonds of a wife are not to be untied".
With the two pearls, I send you back two tears;
Two tears - for not having known you sooner".

© translated by Christopher Goldsack

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