Chanson (38a)

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Mon soin, amoureux esmoy,
Voyez combien de merveilles
Vous parfaites dedans moy
Par vos beautez nompareilles.
 
De telle façon vos yeux,
Où tousjours mon cœur s’en-vole,
Vostre front imperieux,
Vostre ris vostre parole
 
Me bruslent depuis le jour
Que j’en eu la cognoissance,
Desirant d’extreme amour
En avoir la jouyssance :
 
Que sans l’aide de mes pleurs
Dont ma vie est arrosée,
Long temps a que les chaleurs
D’Amour l’eussent embrasée.
 
Au contraire vos beaux yeux,
Où tousjours mon cœur s’en-vole,
Vostre front imperieux,
Vostre ris vostre parole
 
Me gelent depuis le jour
Que j’en eu la cognoissance,
Desirant d’extreme amour
En avoir la jouyssance :
 
Que sans l’aide des chaleurs
Dont mon ame est embrasée,
Long temps a que par mes pleurs
En eau se fust espuisée.
 
Voyez donc mon doux esmoy,
Voyez combien de merveilles
Vous parfaites dedans moy
Par vos beautez nompareilles.
 
 
                                                                      My care, love’s upset,
                                                                      See how many wonders
                                                                      You perfect within me
                                                                      Through your matchless beauty.
 
                                                                      In such a way your eyes
                                                                      To which my heart always flies,
                                                                      Your imperious brow,
                                                                      Your smile, your words
 
                                                                      Have been burning me since the day
                                                                      When I first knew them,
                                                                      Wishing with extreme passion
                                                                      To have the pleasure of them;
 
                                                                      So that without the aid of my tears
                                                                      With which my life is bedewed,
                                                                      Long since the heats
                                                                      Of Love would have set me ablaze.
 
                                                                      On the contrary, your fair eyes
                                                                      To which my heart always flies,
                                                                      Your imperious brow,
                                                                      Your smile, your words
 
                                                                      Have been freezing me since the day
                                                                      When I first knew them,
                                                                      Wishing with extreme passion
                                                                      To have the pleasure of them;
 
                                                                      So that without the aid of the heats
                                                                      With which my soul is burning,
                                                                      Long since my plaints
                                                                      Would have been exhausted in water.
 
                                                                      See then my sweet agitation,
                                                                      See how many wonders
                                                                      You perfect within me
                                                                      Through your matchless beauty.
 
 
Another of Ronsard’s experiments with repetition and contrast to help shape the form of the poem: an opening and closing stanza respond closely; and then 2-3-4 is matched by 5-6-7.  The earlier Blanchemain version is surprisingly little different: a big change in the opening of the ‘refrain’, verses 2 & 5, but otherwise only a couple of minor variants.  One of those is the very opening: “Mais voyez, mon cher esmoy !” (Ah see, my dear trouble!’); the other in the 6th stanza, where in line 3 he writes “Desirant par grande amour” (‘Wishing in great passion‘). Interestingly the later thoughts (above) show Ronsard eliminating the subtle diffrence between this line in verse 6 and its equivalent in verse 3.
 
The refrain in the 2nd & 5th stanza is adapted as follows:
 
 
… De telle façon vos yeux,
Vostre ris et vostre grace,
Vostre front et vos cheveux,
Et vostre angélique face,
 
Me bruslent depuis le jour  …
 
 
                                                                      … In such a way your eyes,
                                                                      Your smile and your grace,
                                                                      Your brow and your hair,
                                                                      And your angelic face
 
                                                                      Have been burning me since the day
 
 
Interestingly, the original poem by Marullus offers a very different, more complex, set of structural links between the first and second half.  His scheme is broadly 6+6+1, or more precisely  (3+3)+(2+1 wrapped around 3)+1… Ronsard simplifies and restructures the respondences between the two halves; but it’s interesting how, reading the two, the simplicity/complexity of those respondences ‘feels’ pretty equivalent, so that both ‘feel’ like 2 corresponding halves, with a tailpiece or wrapper around them. Here’s Marullus for you to consider, another of his more famous poems:
 
 
Sic me blanda tui Neaera ocelli,
sic candentia colla, sic patens frons,
sic pares minio genae perurunt,
ex quo visa mihi et simul cupita es,
ut, ni me lacrimae rigent perennes,
totus in tenues eam favillas.
Sic rursum lacrimae rigant perennes,
ex quo visa mihi et simul cupita es,
ut, ni blanda tui Neaera ocelli,
ni candentia colla, ni patens frons,
ni pares minio genae perurant,
totus in riguos eam liquores.
O vitam miseram et cito caducam !
 
 
                                                                      Your eyes have so consumed me, my alluring Neaera,
                                                                      Your white neck, your open brow,
                                                                      Your cheeks equal to vermilion,
                                                                      For which you were seen and loved by me all at once,
                                                                      That unless my continual tears numb me
                                                                      I shall turn entirely into scattered ashes.
                                                                      So may my continual tears numb me again,
                                                                      Since you were seen and loved by me all at once,
                                                                      So that neither your eyes consume me, my alluring Neaera,
                                                                      Nor your white neck, nor your open brow,
                                                                      Nor your cheeks equal to vermilion,
                                                                      And I turn entirely to running water.
                                                                      O wretched life, destined for quick death!
 
 
 
 
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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')

One response »

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

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