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Edmond Rostand: in French


Vie et Oeuvre d'Edmond Rostand
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from Cyrano de Bergerac

Last in a parody of Marlowe—shout
summing it up, “Did that outrageous snout
launch all those ships with a blast and carry on
till it sneezed down the towers of Ilion?”
That is a sketch of what you might have said
had you been even moderately bred.
For any man, not stinking of the stable
where you were born, had certainly been able
to decorate  with breeding's natural empery,
in this great company, my rough extempore.
But had you done so, the fourth line, my lord,
would have been puctuated with my sword.
For though I mock myself with flawless verve,
my imitators get what they deserve.
Edmond Rostand