Sonnet 8

Standard
Tu ne dois en ton cœur superbe devenir,
Ny braver mon malheur, accident de fortune :
La misere amoureuse à chacun est commune :
Tel eschappe souvent qu’on pense bien tenir.
 
Tousjours de Nemesis il te faut souvenir,
Qui fait nostre avanture ore blanche ore brune.
Aux superbes Tyrans appartient la rancune :
Comme ton serf conquis tu me dois maintenir.
 
Les Guerres et l’Amour se semblent d’une chose :
Le veinqueur bien souvent du veincu est batu,
Qui paravant fuyoit de honte à bouche close.
 
L’amant desesperé souvent reprend vertu :
Pource un nouveau trophee à mon mal je propose,
D’avoir contre tes yeux si long temps combat.
 
 
 
                                                                                You should not become proud at heart,
                                                                                Nor disdain my misfortune, the accident of fate;
                                                                                The wretchedness of love is common to all –
                                                                                So a man often loses what he expected to hold on to.
 
                                                                                You must always remember Nemesis
                                                                                Who makes our love now white, now black.
                                                                                Malice is for proud tyrants;
                                                                                You should treat me as your vanquished slave.
 
                                                                                War and Love seem alike in one way:
                                                                                The winner is very often beaten by the loser
                                                                                Who beforehand fled in shame, speechless [with fear].
 
                                                                                The despairing lover often regains courage;
                                                                                Therefore I offer a new trophy to my sickness,
                                                                                For having fought so long against your glances.
 
 
The image of a lover erecting a trophy (sacrifice) in a temple for his love goes back at least to Horace’s famous ode. I imagine the themes elsewhere in the poem – love and war, Nemesis – are as old. What’s important (as in Horace’s ode) is what the poet does with them!
 
Blanchemain’s version varies throughout from this text; though he footnotes the version above in the first and last ‘stanzas’.  Here’s the earlier version complete, with changes marked:
 
 
 
Tu ne dois en ton cœur superbe devenir,
Pour me tenir captif : cela vient de fortune :
A tout homme mortel la misère est commune :
Tel eschappe souvent qu’on pense bien tenir.
 
Tousjours de Nemesis il te faut souvenir,
Qui fait nostre avanture ore blanche ore brune.
Aux tigres, aux lyons appartient la rancune :
Comme ton serf conquis tu me dois maintenir.
 
Les Guerres et l’Amour sont une mesme chose :
Le veinqueur du vaincu bien souvent est batu,
Qui paravant fuyoit de honte à bouche close.
 
Soit que je sois captif sans force ni vertu,
Un superbe trophée au cœur je me propose,
D’avoir contre tes yeux si long temps combatu.
 
 
 
                                                                                You should not become proud at heart
                                                                                At holding me captive; that’s the result of fate.
                                                                                To every mortal man wretchedness is common –
                                                                                So a man often loses what he expected to hold on to.
 
                                                                                You must always remember Nemesis
                                                                                Who makes our love now white, now black.
                                                                                Malice is for tigers, for lions;
                                                                                You should treat me as your vanquished slave.
 
                                                                                War and Love are one and the same:
                                                                                The winner is very often beaten by the loser
                                                                                                      [order of words only is changed]
                                                                                Who beforehand fled in shame, speechless [with fear].
 
                                                                                Even if I’m a captive, powerless and without courage,
                                                                                I yet offer a proud trophy to my heart,
                                                                                For having fought so long against your glances.
 
 
 
 
 
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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')

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