Sonnet 163

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Voicy le bois, que ma sainte Angelette
Sur le printemps resjouist de son chant :
Voicy les fleurs où son pied va marchant,
Quand à soy-mesme elle pense seulette :
 
Voicy la prée et la rive mollette,
Qui prend vigueur de sa main la touchant,
Quand pas à pas en son sein va cachant
Le bel émail de l’herbe nouvelette.
 
Icy chanter, là pleurer je la vy,
Icy sourire, et là je fu ravy
De ses discours par lesquels je des-vie :
 
Icy s’asseoir, là je la vy danser :
Sur le mestier d’un si vague penser
Amour ourdit les trames de ma vie.
 
 
 
                                                                                             Here is the wood which my holy angel
                                                                                             Makes happy during the spring with her singing;
                                                                                             Here are the flowers where her feet pass
                                                                                             When she is thinking to herself, on her own.
 
                                                                                             Here is the meadow and the languid riverbank
                                                                                             Which gain vigour from her hand as they touch it,
                                                                                             As step by step she walks, hiding in her bosom
                                                                                             The lovely jewels of the new-grown grass.
 
                                                                                             Here I see her singing, there weeping,
                                                                                             Here smiling, and there I was delighted
                                                                                             By her conversation which diverts me;
 
                                                                                             Here I see her sitting, there dancing;
                                                                                             On the loom of such wandering thoughts
                                                                                             Love weaves the threads of my life.
 
 
A beautiful poem: I love this one. Among his finest sonnets in my view, perhaps even more so in the earlier version.
 
For yes, there is (of course!) an earlier version in Blanchemain.  There are no really structural changes, just Ronsard in his age tweaking the poem. In fact, as in some other cases, I rather feel the earlier version is the better (except perhaps for line 5) and that the later changes rob it of some of its spontaneity and charm.
 
 
Voicy le bois, que ma sainte Angelette
Sur le printemps anima de son chant :
Voicy les fleurs où son pied va marchant,
Lorsque, pensive, elle s’ébat seulette :
 
Io, voicy la prée verdelette,
Qui prend vigueur de sa main la touchant,
Quand pas à pas, pillarde, va cherchant
Le bel émail de l’herbe nouvelette.
 
Icy chanter, là pleurer je la vy,
Icy sourire, et là je fu ravy
De ses beaux yeux par lesquels je des-vie :
 
Icy s’asseoir, là je la vy danser :
Sur le mestier d’un si vague penser
Amour ourdit les trames de ma vie.
 
 
                                                                                             Here is the wood which my holy angel
                                                                                             Enlivens during the spring with her singing;
                                                                                             Here are the flowers where her feet pass
                                                                                             When pensively she frolics alone.
 
                                                                                             See, here is the green meadow
                                                                                             Which gains vigour from her hand as they touch it,
                                                                                             As step by step she walks, a thief, seeking
                                                                                             The lovely jewels of the new-grown grass.
 
                                                                                             Here I see her singing, there weeping,
                                                                                             Here smiling, and there I was delighted
                                                                                             By her fair eyes which divert me;
 
                                                                                             Here I see her sitting, there dancing;
                                                                                             On the loom of such wandering thoughts
                                                                                             Love weaves the threads of my life.
 
 
 
 
 
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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 165 | Oeuvres de Ronsard

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