Sonnet 6

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Douce belle amoureuse et bien-fleurante Rose,
Que tu es à bon droit aux amours consacrée !
Ta delicate odeur hommes et Dieux recrée,
Et bref, Rose tu es belle sur toute chose.
 
Marie pour son chef un beau bouquet compose
De ta feuille, et tousjours sa teste en est parée :
Tousjours ceste Angevine, unique Cytherée,
Du parfum de ton eau sa jeune face arrose.
 
Ha Dieu que je suis aise alors que je te voy
Esclorre au poinct du jour sur l’espine à requoy,
Aux jardins de Bourgueil pres d’une eau solitaire !
 
De toy les Nymphes ont les coudes et le sein,
De toy l’Aurore emprunte et sa jouë et sa main,
Et son teint la beauté qu’on adore en Cythere.
 
 
 
 
                                                                      Soft, pretty, fair-flowering Rose of lovers,
                                                                      How rightly you are dedicated to love!
                                                                      Your delicate scent refreshes men and gods,
                                                                      And in short, o Rose, you are the loveliest of all things.
 
                                                                      Marie makes a fair chaplet for her head
                                                                      From your blooms, and her head is always adorned with it;
                                                                      And this lady from Anjou, herself Cytherea, always
                                                                      Bathes her young face with the perfume of your water.
 
                                                                      Oh God, how content I am when I see you
                                                                      Blossoming at the break of day on the thorn when I need you,
                                                                      In the Bourgueil gardens near a lonely spring!
 
                                                                      The Nymphs have arms and breasts of your hue,
                                                                      Dawn borrows it for her cheek and hand,
                                                                      And the beauty they worship in Cythera borrows it for her complexion.
 
 
 
Cytherea, a name for Venus who was ‘born’ in Cythera, we have met before; similarly ‘rosy-fingered’ Dawn. The gardens at Bourgueil (in the Loire region) are those of the abbaye Saint-Pierre, now ruined but once famous for its vast gardens.
 
This is one of those sonnets re-worked in detail by Ronsard; Blanchemain’s version in full below with changes marked:
 
 
Douce belle gentille et bien-flairante Rose,
Que tu es à bon droit aux amours consacrée !
Ta delicate odeur hommes et Dieux recrée,
Et bref, Rose tu es belle sur toute chose.
 
La Grâce pour son chef un chapelet compose
De ta feuille, et tousjours sa gorge en est parée :
Et mille fois le jour la gaye Cytherée,
De ton eau pour son fard sa belle joue arrose.
 
Ha Dieu que je suis aise alors que je te voy
Esclorre au poinct du jour sur l’espine à requoy,
Aux jardins de Bourgueil pres d’un bois solitaire !
 
De toy les Nymphes ont les coudes et le sein,
De toy l’Aurore emprunte et sa jouë et sa main,
Et son teint ceste là qui d‘Amour est la mère.
 
 
 
                                                                      Soft, pretty, noble and fair-flowering Rose,
                                                                      How rightly you are dedicated to love!
                                                                      Your delicate scent refreshes men and gods,
                                                                      And in short, o Rose, you are the loveliest of all things.
 
                                                                      Grace makes a fair chaplet for her head
                                                                      From your blooms, and her throat is always adorned with them;
                                                                      And a thousand times a day the joyful Cytherea,
                                                                      Bathes her fair cheek with your water as her make-up.
 
                                                                      Oh God, how content I am when I see you
                                                                      Blossoming at the break of day on the thorn when I need you,
                                                                      In the Bourgueil gardens near a lonely wood!
 
                                                                      The Nymphs have arms and breasts of your hue,
                                                                      Dawn borrows it for her cheek and hand,
                                                                      And she who is the mother of Cupid borrows it for her complexion.
 
 
 
 
 
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