Stances (Stanzas) – part 3

Standard

The concluding stanzas of the poem.

Hà ! belle ame tu es là hault
Aupres du bien qui point ne fault,
De rien du monde desireuse,
En liberté, moy en prison :
Encore n’est-ce pas raison
Que seule tu sois bien-heureuse.
 
« Le sort doit tousjours estre égal,
Si j’ay pour toy souffert du mal,
Tu me dois part de ta lumiere.
Mais franche du mortel lien,
Tu as seule emporté le bien,
Ne me laissant que la misere.
 
En ton âge le plus gaillard
Tu as seul laissé ton Ronsard,
Dans le ciel trop tost retournee,
Perdant beauté grace et couleur,
Tout ainsi qu’une belle fleur
Qui ne vit qu’une matinee.
 
En mourant tu n’as sçeu fermer
Si bien tout argument d’aimer,
Et toute nouvelle entreprise,
Que rien à mon gré je ne voy,
Et tout cela qui n’est pas toy
Me desplaist et je le mesprise.
 
Si tu veux, Amour, que je sois
Encore un coup dessous tes lois,
M’ordonnant un nouveau service,
Il te fault sous la terre aller
Flatter Pluton, et r’appeler
En lumiere mon Eurydice.
 
Ou bien va-t’en là hault crier
A la Nature, et la prier
D’en faire une aussi admirable :
Mais j’ay grand’peur qu’elle rompit
Le moule, alors qu’elle la fit,
Pour n’en tracer plus de semblable.
 
Refay moy voir deux yeux pareils
Aux siens qui m’estoient deux soleils,
Et m’ardoient d’une flame extrème,
Où je soulois tendre tes laqs,
Tes hameçons, et tes apas,
Où s’engluoit la raison mesme.
 
Ren moy ce voir et cest ouir,
De ce parler fay moy jouyr,
Si douteux à rendre responce.
Ren moy l’objet de mes ennuis :
Si faire cela tu ne puis,
Va-t’en ailleurs je te renonce.
 
A la Mort j’auray mon recours :
La Mort me sera mon secours,
Comme le but que je desire.
Dessus la Mort tu ne peux rien
Puis qu’elle a desrobé ton bien,
Qui fut l’honneur de ton empire.
 
Soit que tu vives pres de Dieu,
Ou aux champs Elisez, adieu,
Adieu cent fois, adieu Marie :
Jamais Ronsard ne t’oublira,
Jamais la Mort ne deslira
Le nœud dont ta beauté me lie.
Ah, lovely soul, you are up there
Next to the good which never fails,
Desiring nothing in the world,
In freedom, while I am in prison;
Still it is not reasonable
That you alone are fortunate.
 
“Fate ought always to be fair;
If I have suffered ill for you
You owe me part of your light.
But free of mortal ties
You alone have gained the good
Leaving me only misery.
 
While you were alive, he was the gayest,
But you have left your Ronsard alone,
Too soon returned to heaven,
Losing beauty grace and colour
Just like a lovely flower
Which lives but for a morning.
 
Dying, you could not have concluded
So well all arguments for loving
And all new undertakings,
Since I see nothing to my taste,
And all that is not you
Displeases me and I despise it.
 
If you wish, Love, for me to be
Once more under your laws,
Ordaining me a new service,
You must go beneath the earth
To flatter Pluto, and to call back
Into the light my Eurydice.
 
Or else, go up there and call
On Nature, and beg her
To make another one just as loveable:
But I greatly fear that she broke
The mould when she made her,
So as not to design another.
 
Make me see again two eyes equal
To hers, which were twin suns to me
And burned me with extreme passion,
Where I was accustomed to fall into your traps,
Your bait, your attractions,
On which even my reason got ensnared.
 
Give me back that way of looking, of hearing,
Make me enjoy that way of speaking,
So uncertain of gaining a reply.
Give me back the object of my troubles:
If you cannot do that,
go away, go somewhere else: I renounce you.
 
To Death I shall have my resort:
Death will be my help,
Will be like the goal I wish for.
Over Death you have no power
Since she has stolen your greatest good,
Which was the ornament of your reign.
 
Whether you live near to God
Or in the Elysian Fields, farewell,
Farewell a hundred times, farewell Marie:
Never shalll Ronsard forget you,
Never shall Death untie
The knot with which your beauty binds me.
 
 
 Again, there is only one variant in Blanchemain.  In the middle of the 4th stanza from the end, he changes the preposition “tu soulois tendre tes laqs / Tes hameçons, et tes apas” (‘In which you used to set your traps…’). Frankly, this seems to me (a non-native speaker) to be what Marty-Laveaux’s text should say too, since I have in my view ‘fudged’ the translation of that version, not having seen ‘tendre’ used elsewhere in the sense I’ve given it of ‘falling into’ a trap rather than ‘setting’ one.
 
For those who’d like the poem all in one place, here is a Word doc containing both versions complete.
 
 
 
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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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