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"Le temps a laissé son manteau" is a poem by French poet Charles d’Orléans (1394 – 1465).  The title can be translated to English as "The Season Has Cast Off Its Coat".  It’s about Winter turning into Spring. 

Here you can hear the poem, read the original in French and follow along with an English translation.

MP3 Recording of Le temps a laissé son manteau

Le temps a laissé son manteau
By Charles d’Orléans

Le temps a laissé son manteau
De vent, de froidure et de pluie,
Et s’est vêtu de broderie,
De soleil luisant, clair et beau.

Il n’y a bête, ni oiseau
Qu’en son jargon ne chante ou crie :
"Le temps a laissé son manteau."

Rivière, fontaine et ruisseau
Portent en livrée jolie,
Gouttes d’argent d’orfèvrerie,
Chacun s’habille de nouveau :
Le temps a laissé son manteau.

English Translation:

The Season Has Cast off its Coat

The season has cast off its coat 
of wind, cold and rain,
And dressed up in embroidery
of glistening sunshine, clear and beautiful.

There isn’t an animal or bird
That in its own language doesn’t sing or shout:
"The season has cast off its coat."

Rivers, fountains and brooks
Wear pretty clothing,
Drops of silver from the smith,
Everyone gets dressed in new clothes:
The season has cast off its coat.

You can hear a short analysis of this poem in French here.  In her analysis, Camille at French Today mentions how French kids learn this poem as an example of old French.  (The spelling above is modernized.)  It’s one of the oldest French poems and it’s often the first poem in anthologies of French poetry. 

Here you can hear the poem sung by Yves Beaupérin.

Enjoy!

Mama Lisa

Credits: MP3 recording by Caroline Sophie.  English translation by Lisa Yannucci.  Sketch by Lila, colored by Lisa.

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This artilce was posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 at 9:34 pm and is filed under Charles d'Orléans, Countries & Cultures, France, French, Languages, Poems, Poems about Spring, Poetry, Poetry about the Seasons, Poetry about the Weather, Poets. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “A French Poem by Charles d’Orléans – "Le temps a laissé son manteau"”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Below is the old French spelling of this poem and an alternate translation as found in “The North American review, Volume 32″ (1831).

    Le Temps a laissé son manteau
    De vent, de froidure et de pluye,
    Et s’est vestu de broderie
    De soleil luisant, clair et beau.

    II n’y a beste, ni oyseau
    Qu’ en son jargon ne chante ou crye.
    Le Temps a laisse son manteau
    De vent, de froidure et de pluye.

    Riviere, fontaine et ruisseau
    Portent en livree jolie
    Gouttes d’ argent d’ orfavrerie;
    Chascun s’ habille de nouveau;
    Le Temps a laisse son manteau
    De vent, de froidure et de pluye.

    English Translation:

    Now Time throws off his cloak again
    Of ermin’d frost, and cold and rain,
    And clothes him in the embroidery
    Of glittering sun and clear blue sky.

    With beast and bird the forest rings,
    Each in his jargon cries or sings:
    And Time throws off his cloak again
    Of ermin’d frost, and cold and rain.

    River, and fount, and tinkling brook
    Wear in their dainty livery
    Drops of silver jewelry;
    In new-made suit they merry look;
    And Time throws off his cloak again
    Of ermin’d frost, and cold and rain.

    In some versions of this poem, every time there’s the line, “Le Temps a laisse son manteau”, it’s followed by “De vent, de froidure et de pluye.”

  2. irmide valcin Says:

    I am looking for a poem called Creation written by James Weldon Johnson translated in French. I would like to know if anyone has ever translated this poem in French.

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