Sonnet 72



This is the final sonnet of book 2, although there are some further ‘stanzas for Helen’ following it  – – which are therefore technically the last Helen poem! 
A fin que ton honneur coule parmy la plaine
Autant qu’il monte au Ciel engravé dans un Pin,
Invoquant tous les Dieux, et respandant du vin :
Je consacre à ton nom ceste belle Fontaine.
Pasteurs, que vos troupeaux frisez de blanche laine
Ne paissent à ces bords : y fleurisse le Thin,
Et tant de belles fleurs qui s’ouvrent au matin,
Et soit dite à jamais la Fontaine d’Heleine.
Le passant en Esté s’y puisse reposer,
Et assis dessus l’herbe à l’ombre composer
Mille chansons d’Helene, et de moy luy souvienne.
Quiconques en boira, qu’amoureux il devienne :
Et puisse en la humant, une flame puiser
Aussi chaude qu’au coeur je sens chaude la mienne.
                                                                      So that your reputation may go throughout the countryside,
                                                                      So it can rise to the heavens, engraved on a pine tree,
                                                                      Calling on all the gods and pouring out wine –
                                                                      I consecrate to your name this lovely fountain.
                                                                      Shepherds, may your flocks clad in white wool
                                                                      Pasture on these banks; may thyme flourish there
                                                                      And so many fair flowers as open in the morning,
                                                                      And may it be named forever the fountain of Helen.
                                                                      The passer-by in summer may rest there,
                                                                      And sitting on the grass in the shade, compose
                                                                      A thousand songs about Helen, and remind her of me,
                                                                      Whoever drinks from your water, let him become enamoured;
                                                                      And in drinking it in, may he draw a flame
                                                                      As hot, as I feel my own flame hot in my heart.
Blanchemain offers a variant of the opening line:
A fin que ton renom s’estende par la plaine …
                                                                      So that your renown may extend throughout the countryside …
He also has a different 3rd line in the second quatrain:
Et la fleur, dont le maistre eut si mauvais destin,
                                                                     And the flower whose master had so bad a fate
The master who “had so bad a fate” is either Narcissus (Blanchemain’s preference) or Hyacinth.

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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