Last modified on 19 May 2014, at 12:35

Eustache Deschamps

Eustache Deschamps (or Eustache Morel; 1346 – c. 1406) was a prolific French poet and satirist. He was the principal disciple of Guillaume de Machaut, and in his turn a great influence on Christine de Pizan, Jean Froissart, and Geoffrey Chaucer.

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  • Poete hault, loenge d'escuiye,
    En ton jardin ne seroie qu'ortie.
    • High poet, pride of the English squires,
      I would be just a nettle in your garden.
    • "Grant translateur, noble Geoffroy Chaucier" line 31; text and translation from Ian S. Laurie and Deborah M. Sinnreich-Levi (eds.), David Curzon and Jeffrey Fiskin (trans.) Eustache Deschamps: Selected Poems (London: Routledge, 2003) pp. 70-71.


  • Aussi tost vient à Pasques limaçon.
    • The snail will get to Easter just as soon.
    • "Moult se vantoit li cerfs d'estre legiers", line 10; text and translation from Brian Woledge (ed.) The Penguin Book of French Verse, 1: To the Fifteenth Century (Harmondsworth: Penguin, [1961] 1968) p. 238.


  • Tuit estrangier l'aiment et ameront,
    Car pour deduit et pour estre jolis,
    Jamais cité tele ne trouveront:
    Riens ne se puet comparer a Paris.
    • All strangers love her, will always find her fair,
      Because such elegance, such happiness,
      Will not be found in any town but this:
      Paris is beyond compare.
    • "Quant j'ay la terre et mer avironnée", line 17; text and translation from Ian S. Laurie and Deborah M. Sinnreich-Levi (eds.), David Curzon and Jeffrey Fiskin (trans.) Eustache Deschamps: Selected Poems (London: Routledge, 2003) pp. 62-63.


  • Se tout le ciel estoit de feuilles d'or,
    Et li airs fust estellés d'argent fin,
    Et tous les vens fussent pleins de tresor,
    Et les gouttes fussent toutes florin
    D'eaue de mer, et pleust soir et matin
    Richesses, biens, honeurs, joiaux, argent,
    Tant que rempli en fust toute la gent,
    La terre aussi en fust mouillee toute,
    Et fusse nu, – de tel pluie et tel vent
    Ja sur mon cors n'en cherroit une goutte.
    • If all the sky was made of gold leaf, and the air was starred with fine silver, and treasure borne on all the winds, and every drop of sea-water was a florin, and it rained down, morning and evening, riches, goods, honours, jewels, money, till all the people were filled with it, and I stood there naked in such rain and wind, never a drop of it would fall on me.
    • "Se tout le ciel estoit de feuilles d'or", line 1; text and translation from Brian Woledge (ed.) The Penguin Book of French Verse, 1: To the Fifteenth Century (Harmondsworth: Penguin, [1961] 1968) p. 236.

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