Sonnet 21

Qu’Amour mon coeur, qu’Amour mon ame sonde,
Luy qui cognoist ma seule intention,
Il trouvera que toute passion
Veufue d’espoir par mes veines abonde.
Mon Dieu que j’aime !  Est-il possible au monde,
De voir un coeur si plein d’affection,
Pour la beauté d’une perfection,
Qui m’est dans l’ame en playe si profonde ?
Le cheval noir qui ma Royne conduit,
Suivant le traq où ma chair l’a seduit,
A tant erré d’une vaine traverse,
Que j’ay grand’ peur (si le blanc ne contraint
Sa course folle, et ses pas ne refraint
Dessous le joug) que ma raison ne verse.
                                                                       Ah, that Love would sound my heart, my soul,
                                                                       He who understands my sole intent ;
                                                                       He will find that every passion
                                                                       Issuing from hope, bounds through my veins.
                                                                       God, how I love !  Is it possible in this world
                                                                       To see a heart so full of the affection
                                                                       For the beauty of her perfection
                                                                       Which I have so deeply scored into my soul?
                                                                       The black horse which draws my queen,
                                                                       Following the track on which my flesh has drawn her,
                                                                       Has wandered so far in his vain passage
                                                                       That I am very afraid (if the white horse does not restrain
                                                                       His mad rush, and subdue his steps
                                                                       Beneath the yoke) that my reason may be overturned.
Ronsard’s metaphor in the final sestet is explained thus by Blanchemain:  “By his queen he means his reason; by the black horse, a sensual and disordered appetite, leading the soul to fleshly pleasures;  by the white horse, a  truthful and moderate appetite, leading always to good governance. This allegory is drawn from Plato’s dialogue called ‘Phaedo, or Of Beauty’. ”  In Blanchemain’s edition he has “que ma royne ne verse” in the last line – the version above at least gives us a chance to make sense of Ronsard’s allegory without needing the explanatory footnote!
Just to add, ‘veufue’ is a term I’ve only ever seen in the context of publishing, and cannot be sure of the translation. Any alternatives gratefuly considered!

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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