Sonnet 22

Que ne suis-je insensible ? ou que n’est mon visage
De rides labouré ? ou que ne puis-je espandre
Sans trespasser le sang, qui chaud subtil et tendre
Bouillonnant dans mon cœur me trouble le courage ?
Ou bien, en mon erreur que ne suis-je plus sage ?
Ou, pourquoy la raison qui me devroit reprendre,
Ne commande à ma chair sans paresseuse attendre
Qu’un tel commandement me soit enjoint par l’âge ?
Mais que pourroy-je faire, et puis que ma maistresse,
Mes sens, mes ans, Amour, et ma raison traistresse
Ont juré contre moy ? las ! quand mon chef seroit
Aussi blanc que celuy de la vieille Cumee,
En la tombe jamais mon mal ne cesseroit,
Tant l’Astre eut contre moy son influence armee.
                                                                                             Why am I not insensible? Or why is my face not
                                                                                             Furrowed with lines? Or why can I not scatter
                                                                                             My blood without dying, the blood which bubbling
                                                                                             Hot and delicate in my heart makes my courage falter?
                                                                                             Or rather, why in my error am I not wiser?
                                                                                             Or why does reason, which should hold me back,
                                                                                             Not give orders to my flesh instead of waiting, lazily,
                                                                                             Until a similar order is forced on me by age?
                                                                                             But what can I do, since my mistress,
                                                                                             My senses, my age, Love and my treacherous reason
                                                                                             Have taken oath against me? Alas, when my head is
                                                                                             As white as that of the old Cumaean [Sybil],
                                                                                             Even in the tomb my troubles will not cease,
                                                                                             So strongly-armed is the influence my Evil Star has over me.
Blanchemain offers 2 variants of the final tercet. One is in a footnote, where he offers Marty-Laveaux’s version above but with “Encor dans le tombeau mon mal ne cesseroit” as the penultimate line – the meaning is essentially unchanged.
The other is a substantive replacement of the whole tercet, and he also re-punctuates the preceding tercet so that the meaning is slightly modified:
Mais que pourroy-je faire ?  et puis que ma maistresse,
Mes sens, mes ans, Amour, et ma raison traistresse
Ont juré contre moy,  las !  quand mon chef seroit
De vieillesse aussi blanc que la vieille Cumée,
Si est-ce que jamais le temps effaceroit
Ceste beauté que j’ay dans le cœur imprimée.
                                                                                             But what can I do?  Since my mistress,
                                                                                             My senses, my age, Love and my treacherous reason
                                                                                             Have taken oath against me, alas, when my head is
                                                                                             As white with age as the old Cumaean [Sybil],
                                                                                             So is it that time will never wipe away
                                                                                             This beauty which I have imprinted in my heart.

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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