Élégie – part 2

Standard
De moy par un destin sa beauté fut cognue :
Son divin se vestoit d’une mortelle nue,
Qui mesprisoit le monde, et personne n’osoit
Luy regarder les yeux tant leur flame luisoit.
Son ris et son regard et sa parole pleine
De merveilles, n’estoient d’une nature humaine :
Son front ny ses cheveux, son aller ny sa main.
C’estoit une Deesse en un habit humain,
Qui visitoit la terre, aussi tost enlevee
Au ciel, comme elle fut en ce monde arrivee.
Du monde elle partit au mois de son printemps
 « Aussi toute excellence icy ne vit long temps.
 
Bien qu’elle eut pris naissance en petite bourgade,
Non de riches parens ny d’honneurs ny de grade,
Il ne faut la blasmer : la mesme Deité
Ne desdaigna de naistre en trespauvre cité :
« Et souvent sous l’habit d’une simple personne
« Se cache tout le mieux que le destin nous donne.
 
Vous qui veistes son corps, l’honorant comme moy,
Vous sçavez si je mens, et si triste je doy
Regretter à bon droict si belle creature,
Le miracle du Ciel, le miroër de Nature.
 
O beaux yeux, qui m’estiez si cruels et si doux,
Je ne me puis lasser de repenser en vous,
Qui fustes le flambeau de ma lumiere unique,
Les vrais outils d’Amour, la forge et la boutique.
Vous m’ostastes du cœur tout vulgaire penser,
Et l’esprit jusqu’au ciel vous me fistes hausser.
 
J’apprins à vostre eschole à resver sans mot dire
A discourir tout seul, à cacher mon martire,
A ne dormir la nuict, en pleurs me consumer :
Et bref, en vous servant j’apprins que c’est qu’aimer.
Car depuis le matin que l’Aurore s’esveille,
Jusqu’au soir que le jour dedans la mer sommeille,
Et durant que la nuict par les Poles tournoit,
Tousjours pensant en vous, de vous me souvenoit.
 
Vous seule estiez mon bien, ma toute, et ma premiere,
Et le serez tousjours : tant la vive lumiere
De vos yeux, bien que morts, me poursuit, dont je voy
Tousjours le simulachre erreur autour de moy.
 
Puis Amour que je sens par mes veines s’espandre,
Passe dessous la terre, et r’atize la cendre
Qui froide languissoit dessous vostre tombeau,
Pour r’allumer plus vif en mon cœur son flambeau,
Afin que vous soyez ma flame morte et vive,
Et que par le penser en tous lieux je vous suive.
Through destiny her beauty was recognised by me;
Her divinity clothed itself in a mortal cloud
Yet scorned the world, and none dared
Look in her eyes so brightly there flame shone.
Her smile and her look and her words full
Of wonders were not those of a human nature;
Nor her face and hair, her way of walking, her hands.
She was a goddess in human garments
Who visited the earth and was lifted up to heaven
As soon as she had arrived in this world.
She left the world in the month of her springtime:
“Just so, all excellence lives not long here.”
 
Though she was born in a small hamlet,
Not of rich parents, with honour and status,
You must not censure her: God himself
Did not scorn to be born in a very poor city.
“And often beneath the clothes of a plain person
Hide all the better things that fate has to give us.”
 
You who saw her body, honouring it like me,
You know if I lie, and if it is right that
I should sadly miss that fair creature,
The wonder of Heaven, the mirror of Nature.
 
O fair eyes, you who were so cruel and so sweet to me,
I cannot stop thinking of you
Who were the only source of my light,
The true weapons of Love, his smithy and shopfront.
You took away from my heart all vulgar thoughts,
And you made my spirit rise up to heaven.
 
I learned in your school to dream without saying a word,
To discourse all by myself, to hide my suffering,
Not to sleep at night, to wear myself out with tears;
In short, in serving you I learned what it is to love.
For, from the morning when Dawn awakes
Until the evening when day comes to rest in the sea,
And while night turns around the Pole Star,
Always thinking of you, [Love] always called you to my mind.
 
You alone were my good, my all, my first –
And you always will be, so much does the bright light
Of your eyes, though they are dead, pursue me, whose
False semblance I see always around me.
 
So, may Love which I feel spreading through my veins,
Go beneath the earth and revive the ashes
Which languish cold beneath your tomb,
To re-light its flame more brightly in my heart
So that you are my flame, dead as alive,
And that I may follow you everywhere in thought.
 
 
Two variants in Blanchemain for this section:  both at the end of stanzas.  At the end of the 2nd stanza above (“Bien qu’elle…”) Blanchemain has the following:
 
« Et souvent sous l’habit d’une simple personne
« Le ciel cache les biens qu’aux princes il ne donne.
 
 
                                                                              “And often beneath the clothes of a plain person
                                                                                Heaven hides the good things that it does not give to princes.”
 
Then, at the end of the 4th stanza above (“O beaux yeux…), the last line becomes “Et fistes mon esprit aux astres eslancer” (‘And made my spirit bound up to the stars‘).
 
 
 
 
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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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