Sonnet 7

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Bien qu’il te plaise en mon coeur d’allumer,
Coeur ton sujet, lieu de ta seigneurie,
Non d’une amour, ainçois d’une Furie
Le feu cruel pour mes os consumer:
 
Le mal qui semble aux autres trop amer,
Me semble doux, aussi je n’ay envie
De me douloir :  car je n’aime ma vie,
Sinon d’autant qu’il te plaist de l’aimer.
 
Mais si le Ciel m’a faict naistre, Madame,
Pour ta victime, en lieu de ma pauvre ame,
Sur ton autel j’offre ma loyauté.
 
Tu dois plustost en tirer de service,
Que par le feu d’un sanglant sacrifice
L’immoler vive aux pieds de ta beauté.
 
 
 
                                                                       Although it pleases you to light in my heart –
                                                                       The heart which is your subject, the place you rule –
                                                                       Not the fire of love, so much as the cruel fire
                                                                       Of a Fury, to consume my bones:
 
                                                                       This evil which seems too bitter to other men
                                                                       Seems sweet to me, I even wish
                                                                       To be unhappy;  for I do not love my life
                                                                       Except so far as you please to love it.
 
                                                                       But if Heaven had me born, my Lady,
                                                                       To be your victim, in place of my poor soul
                                                                       I offer on your altar my loyalty.
 
                                                                       You should rather take its service
                                                                       Than offer it up to the fire of bloody sacrifice,
                                                                       Alive, at the feet of your beauty.
 
 
 Another poem substantially re-touched by Ronsard in the various printed editions: here is an alternative text.
 
 
Bien qu’à grand tort il te plaist d’allumer,
Dedans mon coeur, siège de ta seigneurie,
Non d’une amour, ainçois d’une Furie
Le feu cruel pour mes os consumer,
 
L’aspre tourment ne m’est point si amer,
Qu’il ne me plaise, et si n’ay pas envie
De me douloir,  car je n’aime ma vie,
Sinon d’autant qu’il te plaist de l’aimer.
 
Mais si le Ciel m’a faict naistre, Madame,
Pour estre tien, ne gesne plus mon ame,
Mais prends en gré ma firme loyauté.
 
Vaut-il pas mieux en tirer de service,
Que par l’horreur d’un cruel sacrifice
L’occire aux pieds de ta fière beauté ?
 
 
                                                                      Although, a great wrong, it pleases you to light
                                                                       Within my heart, the seat of your rule,
                                                                       Not the fire of love, so much as the cruel fire
                                                                       Of a Fury, to consume my bones:
 
                                                                       That harsh torment is in no way so bitter
                                                                       That it does not please me, and I even wish
                                                                       To be unhappy;  for I do not love my life
                                                                       Except so far as you please to love it.
 
                                                                       But if Heaven had me born, my Lady,
                                                                       To be yours, no longer trouble my soul
                                                                       But willingly accept my fixed loyalty.
 
                                                                       Is it not worth more to take its service
                                                                       Than through the horror of a brutal sacrifice
                                                                       To slay it at the feet of your proud beauty ?
 
 
 
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About fattoxxon

Who am I? Lover of all sorts of music - classical, medieval, world (anything from Africa), world-classical (Uzbek & Iraqi magam for instance), and virtually anything that won't be on the music charts... Lover of Ronsard's poetry (obviously) and of sonnets in general. Reader of English, French, Latin & other literature. And who is Fattoxxon? An allusion to an Uzbek singer - pronounce it Patahan, with a very plosive 'P' and a throaty 'h', as in 'khan')

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