Sonnet 197

Ren moy mon cœur, ren moy mon cœur, mignarde
Que tu retiens dans ton sein arresté :
Ren moy, ren moy ma douce liberté,
Qu’à tes beaux yeux, mal-caut, je mis en garde :
Ren moy ma vie, ou bien la mort retarde,
Qui me poursuit en aimant ta beauté
Par ne sçay quelle honneste cruauté,
Et de plus pres mes angoisses regarde.
Si d’un trespas tu payes ma langueur,
L’âge à venir maugreant ta rigueur,
Dira sus toy : De ceste fiere amie
Puissent les oz reposer durement,
Qui de ses yeux occis cruellement
Un qui l’avoit plus chere que sa vie.
                                                                                             Give back my heart, give it back, darling,
                                                                                             That you’re keeping locked in your breast –
                                                                                             Give it back, and give me my sweet liberty
                                                                                             Which, caught by your lovely eyes, I now put on guard.
                                                                                             Give me my life, or else slow death
                                                                                             Which pursues me in loving your beauty
                                                                                             By some well-meaning cruelty,
                                                                                             And consider my agonies more closely.
                                                                                             If you pay me for my pining with death,
                                                                                             The age to come, cursing your harshness,
                                                                                             Will say of you:  May the bones of this
                                                                                             Proud lover rest uncomfortably,
                                                                                             Who with her eyes cruelly killed
                                                                                             One who held her dearer than his life.
Not the best of Ronsard’s “Rends-moi” poems, though I like lots of the parts!  Blanchemain has as the last word of the first line “pilarde” (‘thief’) which seems better to me – another late change Ronsard made which made things worse… 😦
In line 6 he has “Qui me devance en aimant ta beauté” (‘Which anticipates me / which advances on me’).
Blanchemain also notes a pretty vindictive alternative for the final couplet, in a footnote:
La terre soit à son corps ennemie,
Et vif et mort soit tousjours en tourment !
                                                                                             May the earth be hostile to her body,
                                                                                             And living or dead may she be always in torment!

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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