Le Temps a Laissié Son Manteau


Limbourg Brothers Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

In spring the beautiful rondeau of Charles d’Orléans sings in my head.

Le temps a laissié son manteau
De vent, de froidure en de pluye,
Et s’est vestu de brouderie,
De soleil luyant, cler et beau.


Il n’y a beste, ne oyseau,
Qu’en son jargon ne chante ou crie:
Le temps a laissié son manteau !

Riviere, fontaine et ruisseau
Portent, en livree jolie,
Gouttes d’argent d’orfaverie,
Chascun s’abille de nouveau:
Le temps a laissié son manteau.

From Charles d’Orléans Poésies ed. Pierre Champion, Librairie Honoré Champion 1971.

Nature has taken off her coat of wind, of rain and of cold, and has dressed in embroidery, in bright and beautiful sun. There is no beast or bird, which in his own tongue not sings or shouts: nature has taken off her coat. River, fountain and creek dress, in beautiful livery, drops of silver, everyone dresses in new: nature has taken off her coat.

Charles d’Orléans lived from 24 November 1394-5 January 1465. He became Duke of Orléans at a very young age, after the murder of his father Louis d’Orléans in 1407. He was captured at the Battle of Agincourt and lived as a hostage in England during 25 years. The last years of his life, he lived in Blois on the Loire River. He wrote rondeaux, chansons and ballades. I first heard about him through the wonderful biographical novel by Dutch author Hella Haasse: Het Woud der Verwachting or In a Dark Wood Wandering.

Another beautiful poem for this time of year:

En regardant ces belles fleurs
Que le temps nouveau d’Amours prie,
Chascune d’elles s’ajolie
Et farde de plaisans couleurs.


Tant enbasmees sont de odeurs
Qu’il n’est cueuer qui ne rajeunie,
En regardant ces belles fleurs.


Les oyseaus deviennent danseurs
Dessuz mainte branche flourie,
Et font joyeuse chanterie,
De contres, deschans et teneurs,
En regardant ces belles fleurs.

Watching the beautiful flowers that the new era of Love invites, they are all glad and full of beautiful colors. They are so full of perfume that everybody with a heart is happy. The birds are dancers under many flowering branch. And sing for joy, high and low. Watching these beautiful flowers.

He also wrote in English:

Ayens the comyng of may
That is full of lustynes,
Let us leve all hevynes
As fer as we can or may.


Now is tym of myrth and play;
Wynter weth hys ydylnes
Is discomfet as y ges,
And redy to fle a way.
Ayens the comyng of may.


Wherfore, ladys, I yow pray
That ye take in yow gladnes,
And do all your besynes
To be mery nyght and day.
Ayens the comyng of may.

I love his poems. Some are happy. Some introvert and melancholic. Charles d’Orléans has written his poems nearly 600 years ago. However, I could still feel the joy and the grief of the poet. In the same way as I feel joy and grief.

Wikipedia Charles Duke of Orléans
Charles De Orléans Poésies Ed. Champion
Hella Haasse In a Dark Wood Wandering

About A M Zénon

I love all great art and music and literature.
This entry was posted in Joy, Lifelong Love, Literature, Poetry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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