Sonnet 28

Si j’estois seulement en vostre bonne grace
Par l’erre d’un baiser doucement amoureux,
Mon cœur au departir ne seroit langoureux,
En espoir d’eschaufer quelque jour voste glace.
Si j’avois le portrait de vostre belle face,
Las ! je demande trop ! ou bien de vos cheveux,
Content de mon malheur je serois bien heureux,
Et ne voudrois changer aux celestes de place.
Mais je n’ay rien de vous que je puisse emporter,
Qui soit cher à mes yeux pour me reconforter,
Ne qui me touche au cœur d’une douce memoire.
Vous dites que l’Amour entretient ses accords
Par l’esprit seulement, je ne sçaurois le croire :
Car l’esprit ne sent rien que par l’ayde du corps.
                                                                               If I were only in your good graces
                                                                               Through the gain of a sweetly-loving kiss,
                                                                               My heart would not pine at your parting,
                                                                               In the hope that one day it might melt your ice.
                                                                               If I had a picture of your fair face –
                                                                               Oh, I ask too much! – well then, of your hair,
                                                                               Content in my misfortune I would be happy
                                                                               And would not want to change places with the gods.
                                                                               But I have nothing of yours which I could take with me,
                                                                               Which could be dear to me and bring me comfort,
                                                                               Or could touch my heart with a sweet memory.
                                                                               You say that Love maintains its ties
                                                                               Through the spirit alone; I cannot believe it;
                                                                               For the spirit feels nothing without the body’s help.
 I love the idea of a portrait of the back of Helen’s head being all he can hope for; and the last line is wonderful!

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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