Winter advances and Paris
Has not yet seen snow,
But always a heavy gray sky,
Sometimes lightened by rain.

Hypochondriac fogs
Bring the latest debtors.
They arrive from London,
Like raging fashions.

Phoebus offers us
Rare visits,
To warm up aristo-sciatics,
Along the Côte d’Azur.

Oh that snow should fall,
Snow, pure as lovers’ hearts,
Twisting in magnificent whirlwinds,
Formidable torment!

Snow, almost confetti
For schoolboys, when evenings
Usher them out of schools,
And Jesuit lycées.

With your lilac flowers,
Snow, why do you not adorn,
Remote Parisian streets,
The lawns of squares?

Snow has self-esteem:
Paris, vile and pestilent,
Merits nothing,
Merits nothing white.

We see it in mountains
And on distant plains,
In Puritan towns,
We see it in the countryside,

Covering all with its coat,
Its whiteness so pure,
From the thatched roof of a hovel,
To the polished slate of a château.

In towns, it surveys,
With sepulchral whites,
Roofs of bourgeois tile,
And cathedral clocks.

If snow is now
Provincial or rustic,
And in Paris abstains,
Snow is thus identical

With the honest customs,
And traditions that they retain,
And outmoded outfits,
Which in provinces remain.

orig. Henry J-M Levet