I might as well be king of rainy lands -
Wealthy and young, but impotent and old,
Who scorns the troupe of tutors at his feet
And dallies with his dogs and other beasts.
Nothing can cheer him - game or falconry -
Not even subjects dying at his door.
The comic jingles of the court buffoon
Do not amuse this twisted invalid.
His regal bed is nothing but a tomb,
And courtesans, who dote on any prince,
No longer have the antics or the clothes
To get a smile from this young rack of bones.
The alchemist who made him gold cannot
Attend his soul and extirpate the flaw;
Nor in those baths of blood the Romans claimed
Would bring an old man's body youthful force,
Can scholar's knowledge bring to life a corpse
With Lethe's putrid water in its veins.
Přeložil James McGowan