Monthly Archives: April 2013

Sonnet 2

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Quand à longs traits je boy l’amoureuse estincelle
Qui sort de tes beaux yeux les miens sont esbloüis :
D’esprit ny de raison troublé je ne joüis,
Et comme yvre d’amour, tout le corps me chancelle.
 
Le cœur me bat au sein, ma chaleur naturelle
Se refroidit de peur : mes Sens esvanouis
Se perdent tout en l’air, tant tu te resjouis
D’acquerir par ma mort le surnom de cruelle.
 
Tes regards foudroyans me percent de leurs rais
La peau le corps le cœur, comme pointes de trais
Que je sens dedans l’ame : et quand je me veux plaindre,
 
Ou demander mercy du mal que je reçois,
Si bien ta cruauté me reserre la vois,
Que je n’ose parler tant tes yeux me font craindre.
 
 
 
                                                                            When in long draughts I drink in the lovely twinkling
                                                                             Of your two fair eyes, my own are dazzled;
                                                                             Troubled, spirit and reason abandon me
                                                                             And as if drunk with love my whole body staggers.
 
                                                                             My heart beats in my breast, my natural warmth
                                                                             Chills with fear; my vanished senses
                                                                             Vanish entirely into the air, and yet you rejoice
                                                                             In gaining a name for cruelty through my death.
 
                                                                             The lightning of your eyes pierces me, their rays cutting
                                                                             My skin, body, heart, like arrow-points
                                                                             I feel in my soul; and when I start to complain
 
                                                                             Or beg mercy for the ills I receive,
                                                                             Your cruelty grips my voice so tightly
                                                                             That I dare not speak, your eyes make me so afraid.
 
 
 
In Blanchemain’s earlier version, line 7 begins “Se perdent dedans l’air” (‘Vanish into the air‘);  and line 10 becomes “Tout le corps, tout le cœur, comme pointes de trais” (‘…their rays cutting / My whole body, my whole heart, like arrow-points’).  In both cases I find the later version slightly better!
 
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Sonnet 1

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It’s been too long since my last post!  Not quite back in the swing of things, but let’s start the Helen sonnets.

Ce premier jour de May, Helene, je vous jure
Par Castor par Pollux, vos deus freres jumeaux,
Par la vigne enlassee à l’entour des ormeaux,
Par les prez par les bois herissez de verdure,
 
Par le nouveau Printemps fils aisné de Nature,
Par le cristal qui roule au giron des ruisseaux,
Par tous les rossignols, miracle des oiseaux,
Que seule vous serez ma derniere aventure.
 
Vous seule me plaisez, j’ay par election,
Et non à la volee aimé vostre jeunesse :
Aussi je prens en gré toute ma passion,
 
Je suis de ma fortune autheur, je le confesse :
La vertu m’a conduit en telle affection,
Si la vertu me trompe adieu belle Maistresse.
 
 
 
                                                                                  On this first day of May, Helene, I swear to you
                                                                                  By Castor and by Pollux, your two twin brothers,
                                                                                  By this vine laced about the elms,
                                                                                  By the meadows, by the woods bristling with greenery,
 
                                                                                  By the new Spring, eldest son of Nature,
                                                                                  By the crystal waters tumbling in the lap of the streams,
                                                                                  By all nightingales, the miracle among birds, – [I swear]
                                                                                  That you alone shall be my last affair.
 
                                                                                  You alone please me: I have, by choice
                                                                                  Not by some sudden impulse, fallen in love with your youth;
                                                                                  And too I wish for all my passion,
 
                                                                                  I am the author of my fortune, I confess it:
                                                                                  But virtue brought me into such a state of love;
                                                                                  If virtue deceives me, then farewell fair mistress.
 
 
 
 
In Blanchemain’s version, the second quatrain has a number of changes:
 
 
Par le Printemps sacré, fils aisné de Nature,
Par le sablon qui roule au giron des ruisseaux,
Par tous les rossignols, miracle des oiseaux,
Qu’autre part je ne veux chercher autre aventure.
 
                                                                                  By holy Spring, eldest son of Nature,
                                                                                  By the sand tumbling in the lap of the streams,
                                                                                  By all nightingales, the miracle among birds, – [I swear]
                                                                                  That I shall try to gain no other elsewhere.
 
 
 
He also footnotes an alternative for the penultimate line:
 
 
La vertu qui vous pleige en est la caution
 
                                                                                  But the virtue I pledge to you is what safeguards it;