We began our last day in the French countryside with a visit to the Saint-Cosme Priory. This has been a religious site since at least the year 1000AD. It was a way station for pilgrims on their way to Compostela and was known as a healing site in its own right due to the presence of the reliquaries of the twin doctors, Saint Cosme and Saint Damien. The site is now a picturesque collection of preserved, renovated, and ruined buildings honoring the most famous prior, Renaissance poet Pierre de Ronsard.
Here our guide is telling us about the poet, Pierre de Ronsard, next to his grave site, rediscovered during archaeological digs in 1933. Apparently, every French school child learns at least one poem by Ronsard.
One of his most famous poems, Ode à Cassandre, uses the rose as a metaphor for the brevity of life. Here are some of the lines of the English translation that we were given:
Beloved, let us go and see if the rose,
which this morning had unfurled
her crimson gown to the Sun,
Has not lost this evening
The folds of her crimson gown
And her complexion that resembles your own.
To honor this poem, the grounds of the Saint-Cosme Priory are planted with many roses. The cold wet spring in France meant that not many were blooming there, but we did get to see this pretty rose bush with petals fallen from the previous night’s rain.
This was such a lovely setting that I had a hard time choosing just a few photos for my blog post. I put more photos up on my Flickr page: Joy’s Photostream.
It’s Paris in July! There has been a bit of activity at the host sites in the last week. Check out the link list at Book Bath, Paris in July Week 1, and the post highlighting some Paris in July posts at Thyme for Tea, Paris in July – Week 2 wrap up.
I’m linking this post to the regular Monday event, Dreaming of France, at An Accidental Blog. This week, Paulita tells us about the movie Molière. Check her link list for more French-themed posts.