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Poems of Charles d'Orleans


CHARLES D'ORLEANS, who has sometimes, for no very obvious
reason, been styled the father of French lyric poetry, was born in
May, 1391. He was the son of Louis D'Orleans, the grandson of
Charles V., and the father of Louis XII. Captured at Agincourt, he
was kept in England as a prisoner from 1415 to 1440, when he
returned to France, where he died in 1465. His verses, for the
most part roundels on two rhymes, are songs of love and spring, and
retain the allegorical forms of the Roman de la Rose.


SPRING
CHARLES D'ORLEANS, 1391-1465.

[The new-liveried year.--Sir Henry Wotton.]

The year has changed his mantle cold
Of wind, of rain, of bitter air;
And he goes clad in cloth of gold,
Of laughing suns and season fair;
No bird or beast of wood or wold
But doth with cry or song declare
The year lays down his mantle cold.
All founts, all rivers, seaward rolled,
The pleasant summer livery wear,
With silver studs on broidered vair;
The world puts off its raiment old,
The year lays down his mantle cold.



RONDEL
CHARLES D'ORLEANS, 1391-1465.

[To his Mistress, to succour his heart that is beleaguered by
jealousy.]

Strengthen, my Love, this castle of my heart,
And with some store of pleasure give me aid,
For Jealousy, with all them of his part,
Strong siege about the weary tower has laid.
Nay, if to break his bands thou art afraid,
Too weak to make his cruel force depart,
Strengthen at least this castle of my heart,
And with some store of pleasure give me aid.
Nay, let not Jealousy, for all his art
Be master, and the tower in ruin laid,
That still, ah Love! thy gracious rule obeyed.
Advance, and give me succour of thy part;
Strengthen, my Love, this castle of my heart.