Théophile de Viau: Lament for Clairac (From French)

Théophile de Viau's hometown of Clairac was a bastion of Protestantism in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, and in May of 1621, during the Huguenot rebellions, four thousand Protestant rebels held the city against a siege by Louis XIII under the slogan Ville Sans Roy, Soldats Sans Peur "City With No King, Soldiers With No Fear." The rebels had not prepared adequately for a siege, and the city of Clairac, faced with imminent famine after two weeks, surrendered to Louis XIII who summarily executed the rebel leaders and gave his men leave to massacre, terrorize, rape and torture the populace. 
In 1622, Clairac was held briefly by Huguenot rebels again, and even more thoroughly devastated by urban warfare, and also by the Huguenots themselves just before they left it to the Catholics. In the spring of that year, Théophile revisited the city of his birth to find it largely ravaged and ruined, much of the surviving population traumatized and living in abject poverty, and still engaged in the task of identifying and burying their numerous dead. Funerals would have been a numbingly common sight.
Théophile was born to a Huguenot family, and indeed studied at the Protestant university at Saumur, though he had converted to Catholicism shortly before writing this poem. 

Lament for Clairac
Théophile de Viau (1590 – 1626)
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click to hear me recite the original in early 17th century French

Sweet place where I adored Phyllis of yore,
Sun-hallowed walls that held my soul in charms,
Today beneath our sundered roofs no more
Than bloody spoils for prideful men at arms,

Cloth of the altar gone in smoke and scorned,
Temple in ruins, mysteries undone,
Horrific relicts of a city burned,
Men, horses, palaces, buried as one. 

Deep moats packed with debris from shattered walls,
Tableaux of horror, shrieks and burials,
River where blood runs endlessly on by, 

Slaughterfields where the wolves and crows gorge free,
Clairac! For the one birth you gave to me
How many, many deaths you make me die.

The Original:

Sacrez murs du Soleil où j'adoray Philis,
Doux sejour où mon ame estoit jadis charmee,
Qui n'est plus aujourd'huy soubs nos toits desmolis
Que le sanglant butin d'une orgueilleuse armee;

Ornemens de l'autel qui n'estes que fumee,
Grand Temple ruiné, mysteres abolis,
Effroyables objects d'une ville allumee,
Palais, hommes, chevaux, ensemble ensevelis;

Fossez larges et creux tous combles de murailles,
Spectacles de frayeur, de cris, de funerailles,
Fleuve par où le sang ne cesse de courir,

Charniers où les Corbeaux et loups vont tous repaistre,
Clerac pour une fois que vous m'avez fait naistre,
Helas! combien de fois me faictes vous mourir.

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