Four young men*
in Verses to men
Autoédition - 1920 - Royaume-Uni
Peggy Webling (1871-1949) est une femme de lettres
britannique connue surtout pour son adaptation théâtrale
du Frankenstein de Mary Shelley. Dans son
recueil de poèmes Verses to men, elle en
consacre un aux « quatre jeunes hommes »
de qui, très jeune fille, elle est tombée amoureuse. Une
passion scandaleuse, laisse-t-elle supposer, d’autant
plus qu’encouragée par ses parents… Ce n’est que dans
les tout derniers vers qu’elle révèle l’identité de ces
hommes: les quatre mousquetaires, bien sûr.
Très bien tourné,
joliment écrit, ce petit poème est un charmant hommage à
l’impression produite par les héros de Dumas sur un cœur
de petite fille.
Merci à Mihai-Bogdan
Ciuca de m’avoir signalé ce poème.
I can recall an era when
I fell in love with four young men!
I worshipped and admired them — hush!
I'd like to whisper, with a blush,
Although perchance I'll be derided,
All the passion was one-sided.
My father brought them to our house ;
I sat as quiet as a mouse
The while he called them each by name,
And told my mother how he came
To know them well — years acquainted —
And very cunningly he painted
The kind of men they were, and she
(Without a single thought of me),
Declared they should no longer roam,
And so they made themselves at home
Within our house, with welcome hearty,
Henceforth we boarded all the party!
They slept within the misty gloom
Of corners of the drawing-room.
They joked and sang for our delight,
And entertained us every night,
Each with each in friendship vying
To make us laugh, or set us crying,
With stories of their skill in fight —
For they were soldiers — and the might
Of love. Ah me! 'Twas love that stirred
My little heart, and every word
Made me love them more, and glory
In the splendour of their story.
But when I praised them and I raved
Of all the dangers they had braved,
My father yawned, my mother smiled
And said that they were "rather wild,"
While both declared their fights and passion
Were very fine, if out of fashion.
But I was faithful to romance,
The kind my lovers knew in France.
Yes, I was faithful to the Four,
Indeed I loved them more and more —
I love them still, why not confess it?
Although perhaps you wouldn't guess it,
For I am very changed since then,
But they have never changed — young men
They will remain, from age to age,
The heroes of a noble page,
Full of joy, and dash, and pathos,
Oh, my D’Artagnan and Athos!
Oh, my Porthos, oh, the bliss
Of loving you, my Aramis !
Take my homage and my cheers —
Brave, immortal Musketeers!