Chanson (31a)

Amour, dy je te prie (ainsi de tous humains
Et des Dieux soit tousjours l’empire entre tes mains)
   Qui te fournist de fleches ?
Veu que tousjours colere en mille et mille lieux
Tu pers tes traits és cœurs des hommes et des Dieux,
   Empennez de flammeches ?
Mais je te pri’ dy moy ! est-ce point le Dieu Mars,
Quand il revient chargé du butin des soldars
   Tuez à la bataille ?
Ou bien si c’est Vulcan qui dedans ses fourneaux
(Apres les tiens perdus) t’en refait de nouveaux,
   Et tousjours t’en rebaille ?
Pauvret (respond Amour) et quoy ? ignores-tu
La rigueur, la douceur, la force, la vertu
   Des beaux yeux de t’amie ?
Plus je respan de traits sus hommes et sus Dieux,
Et plus d’un seul regard m’en fournissent les yeux
   De ta belle Marie.
                                                                      Love, tell me I beg (may power over all humans
                                                                      And the gods be always in your hands)
                                                                        Who supplies you your arrows?
                                                                      Since always in a passion, in thousands and thousands of places,
                                                                      You lose your darts in the hearts of men and gods,
                                                                        Feathered with little flames?
                                                                      Go on, I beg you, tell me! Is it perhaps the god Mars,
                                                                      When he comes back bearing the booty of soldiers
                                                                        Killed in battle?
                                                                      Or is it Vulcan, who in his furnaces
                                                                      (After you’ve lost yours) makes you more of them afresh
                                                                        And always resupplies you with them?
                                                                      Poor man (replies Love), why?  Don’t you know
                                                                      The severity and softness, the power and virtue
                                                                        Of your girl’s lovely eyes?
                                                                      The more I scatter my darts upon men and gods,
                                                                      The more are provided to me, with a single look,
                                                                        By your fair Marie’s eyes.
Another of Ronsard’s charming translations of Marullus. Blanchemain’s version has only minor textual variants, though this does include a change in the first line!  In the middle of the second stanza the soldiers have been “occis” (‘slaughtered’) in battle; line 1 becomes “Amour, dy-moy, de grace (ainsi des bas humains…)” – ‘Love, tell me please (may power over humans below…)’
In fact it is (as usual) wrong to call this a translation: it is a re-imagining by Ronsard of the original, it’s structure and shape re-worked even as many of the ideas remain the same. And of course it is another case where the concision of the Latin poem expands into glorious profusion in Ronsard! Ironically, Marullus restricted himself to 14 lines, 4+4+4+2 in sense-units – – gosh, a sonnet!  Here’s Marullus:
“Cum tot tela die proterve spargas,
tot figas sine fine et hic et illic
infensus pariter viris deisque,
nec unquam manus impotens quiescat,
quis tot spicula, tot, puer, furenti
letales tibi sufficit sagittas ?
Cum tot aethera questibus fatiges,
tot spargas lacrimas et hic et illic
infensus pariter viris deisque,
nec unquam madidae genae serescant,
quis suspiria crebra, quis dolenti
tam longas tibi sufficit querelas ? “
“At tu nec mihi tela, dum Neaera est,
nec curas tibi crede defuturas.”
                                                                      “Since you wantonly scatter so many arrows in a day
                                                                      And endlessly hit so many [victims] on all sides,
                                                                      Inimical equally to men and gods,
                                                                      And your hand never rests powerless;
                                                                      Who supplies you so many darts  and so many
                                                                      Lethal arrows in your passion, my boy?
                                                                      Since you tire the heavens with so many complaints
                                                                      And spread so many tears on all sides
                                                                      Inimical equally to men and gods,
                                                                      And their wet cheeks never dry;
                                                                      Who supplies you these frequent sighs and
                                                                      Such continuous complaints for the weeping [lover]?”
                                                                      “I will not lack arrows, while Neaera is here,
                                                                      Believe me, nor will you lack troubles.”

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')

One response »

  1. Pingback: Ronsard as translator: the Epigrams of Marullus « Oeuvres de Ronsard

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