Sonnet 38

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Si quelque amoureux passe en Anjou par Bourgueil,
Voye un Pin qui s’esleve au dessus du village,
Et là sur le sommet de son pointu fueillage,
Voirra ma liberté trofée d’un bel œil
 
Qu’amour victorieux, qui se plaist de mon dueil,
Appendit pour sa pompe et mon servil hommage :
A fin qu’à tous passans elle fust tesmoignage
Que l’amoureuse vie est un plaisant cercueil.
 
Je ne pouvois trouver plante plus estimée
Pour pendre ma despouille, en qui fut transformée
La jeune peau d’Atys dessur le mont Idé.
 
Mais entre Atys et moi il y a difference,
C’est qu’il fut amoureux d’un visage ridé,
Et moy d’une beauté qui ne sort que d’enfance.
 
 
                                                                                            If any lover passes through Bourgueil in Anjou,
                                                                                            Let him look at the pine which rises above the village,
                                                                                            And there on the top of its pointed foliage
                                                                                            He’ll see my freedom, the trophy of a fair eye
 
                                                                                            Which victorious love, who is pleased with my grief,
                                                                                            Hung up for his splendour and my slavish tribute;
                                                                                            So that it would be evidence to all passers-by
                                                                                            That the lover’s life is an absurd coffin.
 
                                                                                            I could not find a plant more valued
                                                                                            To hang up my mortal effects, for into it was transformed
                                                                                            The young skin of Atys upon mount Ida.
 
                                                                                            But between Atys and me there is a difference –
                                                                                            It is that he was in love with a lined face,
                                                                                            And I with a beauty who is just leaving childhood.
 
 For the allusion in the sestet to Atys, Remy Belleau provides us a note:  “Atys, young and merry, falling into madness from the love which he bore for Cybele, mother of the gods, was transformed into a pine.”  This is another poem which Ronsard re-worked thoroughly, changing a lot of the text without substantially changing the content! Here is his version:
 
 
Si quelque amoureux passe en Anjou par Bourgueil,
Voye un pin eslevé par-dessus le village,
Et là sur le sommet de son pointu fueillage,
Verra ma liberté qu’un favorable accueil
 
A pendu pour trophée aux graces d’un bel œil
Qui depuis quinze mois me detient en servage,
Mais servage si doux que la fleur de mon age
Est heureuse d’avoir le bien d’un si beau deuil.
 
Amour n’eust seu trouver un arbre plus aimé
Pour pendre ma despouille, en qui fut transformée
La jeune peau d’Atys sur la montagne Idée.
 
Mais entre Atys et moi il y a difference,
C’est qu’il fut amoureux d’une vieille ridée,
Et moy d’une beauté qui ne sort que d’enfance.
 
                                                                                             If any lover passes through Bourgueil in Anjou,
                                                                                             Let him look at the pine rising above the village,
                                                                                             And there on the top of its pointed foliage
                                                                                             He’ll see my freedom, which a favourable reception
 
                                                                                             Hung up as a trophy to the graces of a fair eye,
                                                                                             Which has kept me in servitude for fifteen months;
                                                                                             But a servitude so sweet that the flower of my youth
                                                                                             Is fortunate to have the benefit of so fair a grief.
 
                                                                                             Love could not have found a tree more beloved
                                                                                             To hang up my mortal effects, for into it was transformed
                                                                                             The young skin of Atys on the mountain of  Ida.
 
                                                                                             But between Atys and me there is a difference –
                                                                                             It is that he was in love with an old wrinkled woman,
                                                                                             And I with a beauty who is just leaving childhood.
 
 
 
 
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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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