Sonnet 4

Je ne suis point, ma guerriere Cassandre,
ny Myrmidon, ny Dolope soudart,
ny cet Archer, dont l’homicide dard
tua ton frere et mist ta ville  en cendre.
Un camp armé pour esclave te rendre
du port d’Aulide en ma faveur ne part,
et tu ne vois au pied de ton rempart
pour t’enlever mille barques descendre.
Helas!  je suis ce Corébe insensé,
dont le cueur vit mortellement blessé,
non de la main du Gregeois Penelée:
Mais de cent trais qu’un Archerot vainqueur
par une voye en mes yeux recelée,
sans y penser me tira dans le cueur.
                                                                       I am not at all, my warlike Cassandra,
                                                                       a Myrmidon or a sweaty Aetolian,
                                                                       nor that Archer [Philoctetes] whose murderous dart
                                                                       killed your brother [Paris] and burned your town [Troy] to ashes.
                                                                       An armed force to deliver you as a slave
                                                                       is not leaving Aulis to suit me
                                                                       and you won’t see at the foot of your walls
                                                                       a thousand ships descending to steal you away.
                                                                       Alas!  I am that maddened Coroebus [Cassandra’s lover]
                                                                       whose heart lives with a mortal wound,
                                                                       not from the hand of Peneleos
                                                                       but from a hundred wounds which the little Archer [Cupid],
                                                                       overcoming me through a glance received by my eyes,
                                                                       without a thought has shot into my heart.
 An extended reference to Homer’s Iliad, as the Greeks (Myrmidons and Aetolians among them) sailed from Aulis to Troy, to recover Helen who had been taken by Paris. The Trojan Cassandra was a daughter of King Priam; her lover Coroebus was killed by Peneleos; the modern lover of Cassandre (Ronsard himself) is of course being killed by love…

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