Sonnet 8

Standard
Hé n’est-ce, mon Pasquier, hé n’est-ce pas grand cas ?
Bien que le corps party de tant de membres j’aye,
De muscles, nerfs, tendons, poumons, arteres, faye,
De mains, de pieds, de flancs, de jambes et de bras,
 
Qu’Amour les laisse en  paix, et ne les navre pas,
Et que luy pour son but opiniastre essaye
De faire dans mon coeur une eternelle playe,
Sans que jamais il vise ou plus haut ou plus bas ?
 
S’il estoit un enfant sourd, volage, aveuglé,
Son coup ne seroit point si seur ne si reiglé.
Ce n’est pas un enfant : car ses traits sans mesure
 
Ne se viendroyent ficher tousjours en mesme lieu.
Apollon tire droit : mais Amour est un Dieu,
Qui sans viser aux coeurs, y frappe de nature.
 
 
                                                                      Oh my Pasquier, isn’t it reasonable? Isn’t it?
                                                                      Since my body is an association of so many members,
                                                                      Made of muscles, nerves, tendons, lungs, arteries,
                                                                      Of hands, feet, torso, legs and hands,
 
                                                                      That Love should leave them in peace, and not hurt them,
                                                                      And that he should persistently try, as his goal,
                                                                      To make an everlasting wound in my heart,
                                                                      Without always aiming either higher or lower?
 
                                                                      If he were a deaf, fickle, blind child,
                                                                      His blows would not be so accurate nor so regular.
                                                                      He isn’t a child; for his countless darts
 
                                                                      Would not then happen to fix themselves always in the same place.
                                                                      Apollo aims straight; but Love is a god
                                                                      Who, without aiming at the heart, hits it naturally.
 
 
 
Remy Belleau tells us, “he addresses this madrigal to [Estienne] Pasquier, French and Latin poet, and famous advocate in the Court of the Parliament of Paris.”  It was Pasquier who wrote to Ronsard, in 1555, “In good faith, there was never seen in France such a glut of poets. I fear that in the long run people will weary of them. But it is a vice peculiar to us that as soon as we see anything succeeding prosperously for any one, everybody wants to join in” (from Guizot’s ‘A Popular History of France from the Earliest Time’)
 
Blanchemain makes another of his bizarre labelling decisions here: he decides to label this a Madrigal Iin his version it consists of 4 quatrains), and consequently his numbering of subsequent sonnets slips against the Marty-Laveaux text which I am using.  (It’s a pity he earlier retained 6b’s title of madrigal, while printing a version which is a sonnet, as otherwise the numbering would have re-converged at this point!) 
 
The change to madrigal involves adding 3 lines – lines 9, 11 and 15 below. Although (in my view) lin 15 clarifies the thought in the final lines, the additions to the previous ‘stanza’ are really just padding. I can’t say that overall this is an uimprovement on the sonnet version! 
 
Although the first 2 quatrains remain the same, here is the whole poem in its ‘madrigal’ form as presented by Blanchemain:
 
 
Hé n’est-ce, mon Pasquier, hé n’est-ce pas grand cas ?
Bien que le corps party de tant de membres j’aye,
De muscles, nerfs, tendons, poumons, arteres, faye,
De mains, de pieds, de flancs, de jambes et de bras,
 
Qu’Amour les laisse en  paix, et ne les navre pas,
Et que luy pour son but opiniastre essaye
De faire dans mon coeur une eternelle playe,
Sans que jamais il vise ou plus haut ou plus bas ?
 
Il n’est tel en mon coeur qu’on le feint  en peinture.
S’il estoit un enfant sourd, volage, aveuglé,
Il ne feroit en l’ame une telle ouverture,
Et son coup ne seroit si seur ne si reiglé.
 
Ce n’est pas un enfant : car ses traits sans mesure
Ne se viendroyent ficher tousjours en mesme lieu.
Qu’est-ce donc que de luy, mon Pasquier ! c’est un Dieu,
Qui, sans viser aux coeurs, y tire de nature.
 
 
                                                                      Oh my Pasquier, isn’t it reasonable? Isn’t it?
                                                                      Since my body is an association of so many members,
                                                                      Made of muscles, nerves, tendons, lungs, arteries,
                                                                      Of hands, feet, torso, legs and hands,
 
                                                                      That Love should leave them in peace, and not hurt them,
                                                                      And that he should persistently try, as his goal,
                                                                      To make an everlasting wound in my heart,
                                                                      Without always aiming either higher or lower?
 
                                                                      He is not in my heart, like they make out in paintings.
                                                                      If he were a deaf, fickle, blind child,
                                                                      He would not make such an incision in my soul,
                                                                      And his blows would not be so accurate nor so regular.
 
                                                                      He isn’t a child; for his countless darts
                                                                      Would not then happen to fix themselves always in the same place.
                                                                      How is it then, Pasquier, that this is a god
                                                                      Who, without aiming at the heart, shoots it naturally.
 
 
 
Advertisements

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')

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s