Friday, 4 February 2011

Des alisiers rougis

I was wandering about the house in the small hours when I came upon a book I have had for many years; Perles de la Poésie Française, the 7th edition published in 1906.

Idly opening it somewhere around the middle, I read the first verse of a poem called Les Paysans by André Theuriet and discovered a reference to the wild service tree in the last line:

Le village s’éveille à la corne du pâtre,

Les bêtes et les gens sortent de leur logis;

On les voit cheminer sous le brouillard bleuâtre,

Dans le frisson mouillé des alisiers rougis.

I have done a transliteration, trying to keep the feel of the original:

The whole village wakes to the shepherd's horn,

And the beasts and the people come out of their home places;

Under the blue tinted mist they move, weary and worn

Among the wet shiver of the autumn red sarveses.

I have used the dialect word 'sarveses' for 'alisiers' as 'services' is ambiguous without a wider context.

The poet, André Theuriet, seemed particularly keen on the alisier as illustrated in some of his novels (see my blog entry here for 14 January 2010).