Sonnet 137

Standard
Oeil dont l’esclair mes tempestes essuye,
Sourcil, mais ciel de mon cœur gouverneur,
Front estoilé, Trofee à mon Seigneur,
Où son carquois et son arc il estuye :
 
Gorge de marbre, où la beauté s’appuye,
Menton d’albastre, enrichy de bon heur,
Tetin d’ivoire où se loge l’honneur,
Sein dont l’espoir mes travaux desennuye :
 
Vous avez tant apasté mon desir,
Que pour souler la faim et mon plaisir,
Cent fois le jour il faut que je vous voye :
 
Comme un oiseau, qui ne peut sejourner,
Sans sur les bords poissonneux retourner,
Et revoler pour y trouver sa proye.

 

 
 
                                                                                             Eye whose flash wipes away my outbursts,
                                                                                             Eyebrow, the heaven which directs my heart,
                                                                                             Starry brow, trophy for my Lord
                                                                                             Where he hides his quiver and his bow;
 
                                                                                             Throat of marble where beauty rests,
                                                                                             Alabaster chin enriched with happiness,
                                                                                             Bust of ivory where honour lives,
                                                                                             Breast the hope for which makes light my labours;
 
                                                                                             You have fed my desire so
                                                                                             As to satisfy my hunger and my pleasure,
                                                                                             And a hundred times a day I have to see you;
 
                                                                                             Like a bird which cannot rest
                                                                                             Without returning to the fishy banks
                                                                                             And flying again to find there its prey.
 
 
 
 For me, this is one of those poems which is better in conception than execution: somehow it fails to ‘lift off’.  Ronsard clearly had some difficulties with it; Blanchemain’s version has variant readings all over the place – yet this earlier version too doesn’t quite work.
 
 
Oeil, qui mes pleurs de tes rayons essuye,
Sourcil, mais ciel des autres le greigneur,
Front estoilé, trophée à mon seigneur,
Où son carquois et son arc il estuye :
 
Gorge de marbre, où la beauté s’appuye,
Col albastrin emperlé de bonheur,
Tetin d’yvoire où se niche l’honneur,
Sein dont l’espoir mes travaux desennuye:
 
Vous avez tant apasté mon desir,
Que pour saouler ma faim et mon plaisir,
Et nuit et jour il faut que je vous voye,
 
Comme un oiseau, qui ne peut sejourner,
Sans revoler, tourner, et retourner,
Aux bords connus pour y trouver sa proye.
 
 
                                                                                             Eye, which with your glance wipes away my tears
                                                                                             Eyebrow, by heaven the greatest of all
                                                                                             Starry brow, trophy for my Lord
                                                                                             Where he hides his quiver and his bow;
 
                                                                                             Throat of marble where beauty rests
                                                                                             Neck of alabaster pearled with happiness
                                                                                             Bust of ivory where honour is stationed
                                                                                             Breast the hope for which makes light my labours
 
                                                                                             You have fed my desire so
                                                                                             As to satisfy my hunger and my pleasure,
                                                                                             And night and day I have to see you again
 
                                                                                             Like a bird which cannot rest
                                                                                             Without flying again, turning and turning about
                                                                                             Over well-known territory to find there its prey.
 
 
 
Advertisements

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 135 | Oeuvres de Ronsard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s