Sonnet 82

Je meurs, Paschal, quand je la voy si belle ,
Le front si beau, et la bouche et les yeux,
Yeux le logis d’Amour victorieux,
Qui m’a blessé d’une fleche nouvelle.
Je n’ay ny sang, ny veine, ny moüelle,
Qui ne se change :  et me semble qu’aux cieux
Je suis ravy, assis entre les Dieux,
Quand le bon-heur me conduit aupres d’elle.
Ha ! que ne suis-je en ce monde un grand Roy ?
Elle seroit ma Royne aupres de moy :
Mais n’estant rien il faut que je m’absente
De sa beauté dont je n’ose approcher,
Que d’un regard transformer je ne sente
Mes yeux en fleuve, et mon cœur en rocher.


                                                                                             I die Paschal when I see her looking so lovely
                                                                                             Her brow so fine, her lips and eyes,
                                                                                             Her eyes the home of conquering love
                                                                                             Who has wounded me with a new arrow.
                                                                                             I have neither blood nor vein nor marrow
                                                                                             Which is not changed, and it seems that to heaven
                                                                                             I’ve been swept up, sat between the gods,
                                                                                             When good fortune brings me near to her.
                                                                                             O, how am I not a great king in this world?
                                                                                             She should be my queen beside me –
                                                                                             But being nothing I have to take myself away
                                                                                             From her beauty which I dare not approach,
                                                                                             Which with a glance I feel change
                                                                                             My eyes into rivers, my heart into stone.


 Blanchemain acknowledges here that (as with several other poems in his edition) he is cheating! His version comes from 1564 – after the 1560 edition he uses – because it wasn’t yet written in 1560; yet he prefers to include it than to stay strictly with the contents of that ‘first edition’. Nevertheless he preserves ‘first thoughts’ which Marty-Laveaux replaces with later thoughts…
In this case, though, the differences are minor:  in line 3, her eyes are “le sejour d’Amour” (‘the resting place of Love’); and in line 10 “Elle seroit toujours aupres de moy” – ‘She should be always beside me’ (implicitly, rather than explicitly, as queen).
Another variant sometimes encountered does away with the troublesome ‘Paschal’ of line one:  “Je meurs helas…” (‘I die, alas, …’). Paschal is (perhaps) Pierre de Paschal, royal historian, (1522-1565).

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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  1. Pingback: Sonnet 81 | Oeuvres de Ronsard

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