A very much less-than-serious poem, on the subject of my all-time-favorite French swordsman, Cyrano de Bergerac.
“Ah ! te voilà, toi, la Sottise !/ --Je sais bien qu'à la fin vous me mettrez à bas; / N'importe. . .
Quelque chose que sans un pli, sans une tache,/J'emporte malgré vous,/et c'est. . .
C'est ?. . .
Cyrano de Bergerac, Scene 5, Act IV
He was dying for love when I first saw his face,
Poor Gascon with a nose like a cudgel of wood
So I gave him a pastry; he saw it was good,
And he wrote me a poem that was full of grace.
I read it with care as a gentleman should.
And what godlike esprit! Quel bon goût! What good taste!
But a fearsome quiver of that thing on his face
Turned my transports to silence, if anything would.
This bemusing appendage, it sets him apart,
Attracting disciples; yet from it springs his art
Of hiding beneath swirls of a rakish moustache
While he oversees others' affairs of the heart.
Well, I keep him well-fed as he plays his sad part,
Writing Christian's je t'aime's in a surge of panache.