À la Fontaine Bellerie (Odes 2, 9)

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O Déesse Bellerie,                                                                  O goddess Bellerie [“of the lovely smile” perhaps]
Belle Déesse cherie                                                               Goddess fair and dear 
De nos Nimphes, dont la vois                                              Of our nymphs, whose voices
Sonne ta gloire hautaine                                                       Sound your glory on high
Accordante au son des bois,                                                In harmony with the sound of the woods
Voire au bruit de ta fontaine,                                                And of the murmur of your fountain too;
Et de mes vers que tu ois.                                                     Goddess also of my verse which you know.               
 
Tu es la Nimphe eternelle                                                     You are the eternal nymph
De ma terre paternelle,                                                          Of my homeland
Pource en ce pré verdelet                                                      And so in this verdant meadow              
Voi ton Poëte qui t’orne                                                          Look on your poet who honours you  
D’un petit chevreau de laict,                                                  With a small suckling kid                    
A qui l’une & l’autre corne                                                      With its two young horns                
Sortent du front nouvelet.                                                      Newly sprung from its forehead.                
 
Sus ton bord je me repose,                                                  I lie down on your banks
Et là oisif je compose                                                            And there idly compose,
Caché sous tes saules vers                                                 Hidden under your willows, some                                                    
Je ne sçai quoi, qui ta gloire                                                Sort of verse to announce
Envoira par l’univers,                                                            Your glory throughout the universe,
Commandant à la memoire                                                Lodging it in memory
Que tu vives par mes vers.                                                  So that you will always live through my verse.
 
L’ardeur de la Canicule                                                         The heat of the dog-days
Toi, ne tes rives ne brule,                                                      Burns neither you nor your banks
Tellement qu’en toutes pars                                                 Since in every part  
Ton ombre est epaisse & drue                                            You provide shade deep and dense      
Aus pasteurs venans des parcs,                                         For the shepherds coming from the fields,          
Aus beufs las de la charue,                                                 For the oxen freed from the plough,
Et au bestial epars.                                                                And for our scattered livestock.
 
Tu seras faites sans cesse                                                   You will unceasingly be called
Des fontaines la princesse,                                                  Princess of fountains
Moi çelebrant le conduit                                                       By me celebrating the spring
Du rocher persé, qui darde                                                  In the pierced rock, from which gush forth  
Avec un enroué bruit,                                                           With a hoarse sound
L’eau de ta source jazarde                                                  The chattering waters of your fount    
Qui trepillante se suit.                                                           Which splashing chase one another.
 
 
There is an earlier version of this ode too:  Ronsard made detailed changes most of the way through, so here is the whole poem in its earlier state:
 
 
O fontaine Bellerie,                                                                 O fountain Bellerie
Belle fontaine cherie                                                              Fountain fair and dear 
De nos Nimphes, quand ton eau                                        Of our nymphs, when your water
Les cache au creux de ta source,                                        Hides them in the hollow of your spring
Fuyantes le Satyreau,                                                            As they flee from the satyr
Qui les pourchasse à la course,                                          Who pursues them in the hunt
Jusqu’au bord de ton ruisseau                                            Right to the edge of your stream
 
Tu es la Nimphe eternelle                                                     You are the eternal nymph
De ma terre paternelle,                                                          Of my homeland
Pource en ce pré verdelet                                                     And so in this verdant meadow              
Voi ton Poëte qui t’orne                                                          Look on your poet who honours you  
D’un petit chevreau de laict,                                                  With a small suckling kid                    
A qui l’une & l’autre corne                                                      With its two young horns                
Sortent du front nouvelet.                                                      Newly sprung from its forehead.                
 
L’Été je dors ou repose,                                                         In summer I sleep or lie down
Sur ton herbe, où je compose                                             On your bank, where I compose,
Caché sous tes saules vers                                                 Hidden under your willows, some                                                    
Je ne sçai quoi, qui ta gloire                                                Sort of verse to announce
Envoira par l’univers,                                                            Your glory throughout the universe,
Commandant à la memoire                                                Lodging it in memory
Que tu vives par mes vers.                                                  So that you will always live through my verse.
 
L’ardeur de la Canicule                                                         The heat of the dog-days
Ton vert rivage ne brûle,                                                       Burns not your green banks
Tellement qu’en toutes pars                                                 Since in every part  
Ton ombre est epaisse & drue                                            You provide shade deep and dense      
Aus pasteurs venans des parcs,                                         For the shepherds coming from the fields,          
Aus beufs las de la charue,                                                 For the oxen freed from the plough,
Et au bestial epars.                                                                And for our scattered livestock.
 
Iô ! tu seras sans cesse                                                        Lo, you will be unendingly
Des fontaines la princesse,                                                 Princess of fountains
Moi çelebrant le conduit                                                       As I celebrate the spring
Du rocher persé, qui darde                                                 In the pierced rock, from which gush forth  
Avec un enroué bruit,                                                           With a hoarse sound
L’eau de ta source jazarde                                                  The chattering waters of your fount    
Qui trepillante se suit.                                                           Which splashing chase one another.
 
 

You can read Tony Kline’s verse translation of this second version here.

 
 
 
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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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