.I rival to the sun which I adore With that other sun. The one’s eyes Makes the heavens shine, blaze, bright, The other one honours our France. All the presents in Pandora’s box, The elements, the stars and the gods And all that which is best in Nature Have beautified the lady I adore. Only too happy if cruel fate Had not built a wall, hard as diamond, Around that heart so chaste beneath face so fair: And if my heart from my breast torn out Had not betrayed me, to see itself fixed With fiery bolts to her icy coldness. In the opening quatrain, Ronsard’s ‘this – that’ is open to different interpretations. Most likely the sun illumines the heavens (with his eyes), while Cassandre illumines France. But t coul be read the other way round, with Cassandre illuminating the heavens (with her eyes). My version is intended to allow you to read it either way! This was one of those poems that Ronsard re-wrote substantially. In that other version, the ‘correct’ reading is perhaps the other way round – that is, the sun illumines the whole earth, Cassandre illumines the heavens. But it could (of course) be simply an extension of Cassandre’s earthly illumination, beyond France to illumine the whole world. Here, as there is substantial re-writing, is that other version complete: Pareil j’egalle au soleil que j’adore L’autre soleil. Cestuy là de ses yeulx Enlustre, enflamme, enlumine les cieulx Et cestuy ci toute la terre honore. L’art, la Nature et les Astres encore Les Elements, les Graces et les Dieux Ont prodigué le parfaict de leur mieux, Dans son beau jour qui le nostre décore. Heureux, cent foys heureux, si le destin N’eust emmuré d’un fort diamantin Si chaste cuoeur dessoubz si belle face: Et plus heureux si je n’eusse arraché Mon cuoeur de moy, pour l’avoyr attaché De cloudz de feu sur le froid de sa glace. I consider equal to the sun which I adore That other sun. The one’s eyes Makes the heavens shine, blaze, bright, The other one honours the whole earth. Art, nature and the stars too, The elements, the Graces and the gods Have generously given of their best, perfection itself, In her fine day which ornaments our own. I’d be blessed, a hundred times blessed, if fate Had not built a wall, hard as diamond, Around that heart so chaste beneath face so fair: And still more blessed if I had not torn out My own heart, so that I could fix it With fiery bolts to her icy coldness.