All passes. — Only strong art
Passes to eternity.
The bust
Survives the city.

And the austere coin
That a workman finds
Reveals an emperor.

[Tout passe. — L’art robuste
Seul a l’éternité,
     Le buste
Survit à la cité.

Et la médaille austère
Que trouve un laboureur
     Sous terre
Révèle un empereur.]

Théophile Gautier (1811-1872) French poet, writer, critic
“L’Art,” l. 41ff, Émaux et Camées (1852)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

Everything passes. --
Only robust art is eternal.
The bust outlives the city.

And the simple coin
Unearthed by a peasant
Reveals the image of an emperor.

All passes, Art alone
Enduring stays to us;
The Bust outlasts the throne, --
The Coin, Tiberius.
[Austin Dobson, "Ars Victrix" (1876), in imitation]

Everything passes -- Robust art
Alone is eternal.
The bust
Survives the city.

Everything disappears -- Robust art
   alone is eternal:
      The Bust survives the city.

Everything passes away. -- Robust Art
   Alone has eternity;
      The bust
   Survives the city.

Added on 7-Apr-22 | Last updated 7-Apr-22
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