Sonnet 164

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Certes mon œil fut trop avantureux
De regarder une chose si belle,
Une vertu digne d’une immortelle,
Et dont amour est mesmes amoureux.
 
Depuis ce jour je devins langoureux
Pour aimer trop ceste beauté cruelle :
Cruelle, non, mais doucement rebelle
A ce desir qui me rend malheureux :
 
Malheureux, non, heureux je le confesse,
Tant vaut l’amour d’une telle maistresse,
Pour qui je vy, à qui seule je suis.
 
En luy plaisant je cerche à me desplaire :
Je l’aime tant qu’aimer je ne me puis,
Bien que pour elle Amour me desespere.

 

 
 
                                                                                             Indeed my eye was too adventurous
                                                                                             In looking at a thing so beautiful
                                                                                             Virtue worthy of a goddess
                                                                                             With whom even love is in love.
 
                                                                                             Since that day I’ve become lethargic
                                                                                             From loving too much this cruel beauty –
                                                                                             Cruel, no, but sweetly rejecting
                                                                                             My desire, which makes me unhappy –
 
                                                                                             Unhappy, no, happy I confess it
                                                                                             So much the love of such a mistress is worth,
                                                                                             For her I live, whose alone I am.
 
                                                                                             In pleasing her, I aim to displease myself;
                                                                                             I love her so much that I can’t love myself,
                                                                                             Although love for her makes me desperate.

 

 
 
 Blanchemain has in line 11 “Pour qui je vis…” (‘For her I live…’); I have assumed that the spelling chosen by M-L above has the same meaning, though it could perhaps mean ‘For whom I watch’?
 
More significantly, the last tercet is substantially different in the earlier (Blanchemain) version:
 
 
Je l’aime tant, qu’aimer je ne me puis,
Je suis tant sien, que plus mien je ne suis,
Bien que pour elle Amour me desespere.
 
                                                                                             I love her so much that I can’t love myself,
                                                                                             I am so much hers that I’m no longer mine,
                                                                                             Although love for her makes me desperate.
 
 
 
 
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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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  1. Pingback: Sonnet 165 | Oeuvres de Ronsard

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