Sonnet 2

Marie vous avez la joue aussi vermeille
Qu’une rose de May, vous avez les cheveux
Entre bruns et chatains, frisez de mille neuds,
Gentement tortillez tout autour de l’oreille.
Quand vous estiez petite, une mignarde abeille
Sur vos lèvres forma son nectar savoureux,
Amour laissa ses traits en vos yeux rigoureux,
Pithon vous feit la voix à nulle autre pareille.
Vous avez les tetins comme deux monts de lait,
Qui pommelent ainsi qu’au printemps nouvelet
Pommelent deux boutons que leur chasse environne,
De Junon sont vos bras, des Graces vostre sein,
Vous avez de l’Aurore et le front et la main,
Mais vous avez le coeur d’une fiere Lionne.
                                                                      Marie, your cheek is the crimson
                                                                      Of a rose in May, your hair
                                                                      Between brown and chestnut, twisted in a thousand curls,
                                                                      Nobly wound all about your ears.                                                                     
                                                                      When you were small, a delightful bee
                                                                      Made his tasty nectar upon your lips;
                                                                      Love left his darts in your severe eyes,
                                                                      Python made your voice unequalled by any other.
                                                                      Your breasts are like two milky mounds
                                                                      Which bloom like, in early spring,
                                                                      Two buds which surround a shrine. 
                                                                      Your arms come from Juno, your bust from the Graces,
                                                                      You have the Dawn’s brow and hand,
                                                                      But you have the heart of a proud lioness.
Many of the usual classical references here; the allusion to ‘rosy-fingered dawn’ goes back to Homer. Python is the oracle at Delphi – there’s a slightly confused mythology around Apollo and Python fighting and exactly how that affected the nature of the Delphic Oracle.
Blanchemain’s text is essentially identical apart from line 3:
                                               … vous avez les cheveux
De couleur de chastaigne, entrefrisez de noeuds
                                                                                                                    … your hair
                                                                      The colour of chestnut, twisted with curls
  [Edit:  I have returned to line 9 after reading Louise Rogers Lalaurie’s discussion paper on translation. She points out that ‘laits caillotés’ were like little blancmanges. So ‘milky mounds’ is a reasonable translation; but the image is rather of a pale blancmange, set in the shape of a mound, than simply a reference to their milky colour.]

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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