Sonnet 143

Standard
Ce ris plus doux que l’oeuvre d’une abeille,
Ces dents, ainçois deux rempars argentez,
Ces diamans à double ranc plantez
Dans le coral de sa bouche vermeille :
 
Ce doux parler qui les ames resveille,
Ce chant qui tient mes soucis enchantez,
Et ces deux cieulx sur deux astres antez,
De ma Deesse annoncent la merveille.
 
Du beau jardin de son jeune printemps,
Naist un parfum, qui le ciel en tous temps
Embasmeroit de ses doulces aleines.
 
Et de là sort le charme d’une voix,
Qui touts ravis fait sauteler les bois,
Planer les montz, et montaigner les plaines.

 

 
 
                                                                                             This smile, sweeter than bees’ honey
                                                                                             These teeth like two silvery ramparts,
                                                                                             These diamonds planted in double rows
                                                                                             In the coral of her crimson lips,
 
                                                                                             This sweet speech which re-awakens souls
                                                                                             This song which holds my fears enchanted
                                                                                             And these two heavens above two stars
                                                                                             Announce the miracle which is my Goddess.
 
                                                                                             From the beautiful garden of her youthful springtime
                                                                                             Is born a perfume, which heaven at all times
                                                                                             Would perfume with its sweet breath.
 
                                                                                             And from thence issues the magic of a voice
                                                                                             Which makes the woods, completely charmed, jump for joy,
                                                                                             Makes mountains plains, and plains mountains.

 

 
 
 
 Though the metaphors seem plain enough, one of Ronsard’s early editors felt the need to explain that (for instance) that in line 7 he means ‘the eyebrows which are vaulted like the sky, and hence two heavens’; and also to explain the way Ronsard verbalizes nouns in the last line so that “planer” means ‘to make a plain’ and “montaigner” means ‘to make mountains’. It’s a reminder that French has never been a language comfortable with new words or new uses of old words!
 
Blanchemain has a number of small variants; it’s probably easiest to see them in the context of the whole:
 
 
Ce ris plus doux que l’œuvre d’une abeille,
Ces doubles lys doublement argentez,
Ces diamans à double rang plantez
Dans le corail de sa bouche vermeille ;
 
Ce doux parler qui les mourans esveille,
Ce chant qui tient mes soucis enchantez,
Et ces deux cieux sur deux astres entez,
De ma Deesse annoncent la merveille.
 
Du beau jardin de son printemps riant,
Sort un parfum, qui mesme l’Orient
Embasmeroit de ses doulces haleines ;
 
Et de là sort le charme d’une voix,
Qui tout ravis fait sauteler les bois,
Planer les monts, et montaigner les plaines.
 
 
 
                                                                                             This smile, sweeter than bees’ honey
                                                                                             These double lilies doubly silvered,
                                                                                             These diamonds planted in double rows
                                                                                             In the coral of her crimson lips,
 
                                                                                             This sweet speech which would awaken the dying
                                                                                             This song which holds my fears enchanted
                                                                                             And these two heavens above two stars
                                                                                             Announce the miracle which is my Goddess.
 
                                                                                             From the beautiful garden of her smiling springtime
                                                                                             Comes a scent, which would even perfume
                                                                                             The Orient with its sweet breath.
 
                                                                                             And from thence issues the magic of a voice
                                                                                             Which makes the woods, completely charmed, jump for joy,
                                                                                             Makes mountains plains, and plains mountains.
 
 
 
 
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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: Sonnet 144 | Oeuvres de Ronsard

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