Sonnet 19

Tant de fois s’appointer, tant de fois se fascher,
Tant de fois rompre ensemble et puis se renoüer,
Tantost blasmer Amour et tantost le loüer,
Tant de fois se fuyr, tant de fois se chercher,
Tant de fois se monstrer, tant de fois se cacher,
Tantost se mettre au joug, tantost le secouer,
Advouer sa promesse et la desadvouer,
Sont signes que l’Amour de pres nous vient toucher.
L’inconstance amoureuse est marque d’amitié.
Si donc tout à la fois avoir haine et pitié,
Jurer, se parjurer, sermens faicts et desfaicts,
Esperer sans espoir, confort sans reconfort,
Sont vrais signes d’Amour, nous entr’aimons bien fort :
Car nous avons tousjours ou la guerre, ou la paix.
                                                                              So many times caring for each other, so many times irritated with each other;
                                                                              So many times breaking up, then getting back together;
                                                                              So often condemning Love, an so often praising him;
                                                                              So often walking away from each other, so often seeking each other;
                                                                              So many times seeing each other, so many times hiding from each other;
                                                                              So often submitting to the yoke, so often shaking it off;
                                                                              Avowing our love then disavowing it;
                                                                              These are signs that Love has come close and struck us.
                                                                              A lover’s inconstancy is the mark of being in love.
                                                                              If then hating and having compassion at the same time,
                                                                              Making and breaking promises, oaths sworn and unsworn,
                                                                              Hoping without hope, comfort without return,
                                                                              [If these] are true signs of Love, then we are deeply in love!
                                                                              For we are always at war or at peace.
Blanchemain’s text is identical; here was a poem that satisfied the older Ronsard as well as the younger!  And indeed, it has a lovely balance: the first half in pairs of contrasting half-lines, the second half taking the idea further, again with contrasting pairs – or rather, incompatible pairs! – but in a freer form. Lovely – one of my favourites.

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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