Sonnet 169

Standard
Ha, Belacueil, que ta douce parolle
Vint traistrement ma jeunesse offenser,
Quand au verger tu la menas danser
Sur mes vingts ans, l’amoureuse carolle !
 
Amour a donc me mit à son escolle,
Ayant pour maistre un peu-sage penser,
Qui sans raison me mena commencer
Le chapelet de la danse plus folle.
 
Depuis cinq ans hoste de ce verger,
Je vay balant avecque faux-danger,
Tenant la main d’une dame trop caute.
 
Je ne suis seul par Amour abusé :
A ma jeunesse il faut donner la faulte :
En cheveux gris je seray plus rusé.
 
 
 
                                                                                             Oh, Bel-Accueil [=Fair-Welcome], how your soft words
                                                                                             Came treacherously to assault my youth
                                                                                             When you led it to dance in the orchard
                                                                                             A lover’s dance for my twentieth birthday!
 
                                                                                             So Love has placed me in his school
                                                                                             With an unwise thought as teacher
                                                                                             Which, without reason, leads me to begin
                                                                                             The steps of a really foolish dance.
 
                                                                                             For five years a visitor to this orchard
                                                                                             I went dancing with False-Captivity,
                                                                                             Holding the hand of a too-wily lady.
 
                                                                                             I am not the only one abused by love;
                                                                                             You must blame my youth.
                                                                                             When my hair is white, I shall be more crafty.
 
 
 
 Bel-Accueil & Faux-Danger are well-known characters in the Romance of the Rose.   They are joined, in Blanchemain’s version, by a supplementary cast of characters: Fol-Plaisir, Erreur, Vain-Desir, Perte-de-mon-âme!  The chanson “Allegez-moi” (‘Relieve me’) is a well-known racy song of the time – there is a famous version by Josquin des Prez, for instance.
 
 
Ha ! Bel-Acueil, que ta douce parole
Vint traistrement ma jeunesse offenser,
Quand au premier tu la menas danser
Dans le verger l’amoureuse carolle !
 
Amour adonc, me mit à son escolle,
Ayant pour maistre un peu-sage penser,
Qui dès le jour me mena commencer
Le chapelet de la danse plus folle.
 
Depuis cinq ans dedans ce beau verger,
Je vay balant avecque Faux-Danger,
Sous la chanson d’Allégez-moi, Madame:
 
Le tabourin se nomme Fol-Plaisir,
La flute, Erreur ; le rebec, Vain-Desir,
Et les cinq pas, la Perte de mon âme.
 
 
 
                                                                                             Ah, fair welcome, how your sweet words
                                                                                             Came treacherously to assault my youth
                                                                                             When at first you led it to dance
                                                                                             An amorous round-dance in the orchard.
 
                                                                                             Oh Love, place me in your school,
                                                                                             Let me have for a little while wise thought as a teacher
                                                                                             Who will lead me without delay to begin making
                                                                                             A circlet for the maddest kind of dance.
 
                                                                                             For five years I have gone dancing
                                                                                             In this fine orchard with False-Captivity,
                                                                                             To the tune ‘Oh relieve me’, my Lady.
 
                                                                                             The drummer is called Mad Pleasure
                                                                                             The flute Error, the fiddle Empty Desire
                                                                                             And their short dance the loss of my soul.
 
 
 
 
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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')

3 responses »

  1. Dear Sir, thank you so much for the translation and note on this Sonnet. I am totally new to Ronsard, and this sonnet is the text used in a song by Paul Dukas that I am studying…super helpful!!!!

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