Sonnet 10

Ce siecle où tu nasquis ne te cognoist Helene :
S’il sçavoit tes vertus, tu aurois en la main
Un sceptre à commander dessus le genre humain,
Et de ta majesté la terre seroit pleine.

Mais luy tout embourbé d’avarice vilaine,
Qui met comme ignorant les vertus à desdain,
Ne te cognut jamais : je te cognu soudain
A ta voix, qui n’estoit d’une personne humaine.

Ton esprit en parlant à moy se descouvrit,
Et ce-pendant Amour l’entendement m’ouvrit
Pour te faire à mes yeux un miracle apparoistre.

Je tiens (je le sens bien) de la divinité,
Puisque seul j’ay cogneu que peut ta Deité,
Et qu’un autre avant moy ne l’avoit peu cognoistre.


                                                                                This age in which you were born does not recognise you, Helen;
                                                                                If it knew your virtues, you would have had in your hand
                                                                                A sceptre to exercise power over humankind,
                                                                                And the earth would have been filled with your majesty.
                                                                                But it is completely besotted with wicked avarice
                                                                                And like a fool holds virtues in disdain,
                                                                                And never recognised you; I recognised you suddenly
                                                                                By your voice, which was not that of an ordinary mortal.
                                                                                Your spirit disclosed itself as you spoke with me,
                                                                                And at that Love opened my understanding
                                                                                To make you appear as a miracle to my eyes.
                                                                                I have been granted you by the godhead, I truly sense it,
                                                                                Since I alone have known what power your divinity has,
                                                                                And that none before me had succeeded in knowing it.


Blanchemain’s text is identical except that the opening line begins “Le siecle…” (‘The age…’)

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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