Ode (1)

Je suis homme né pour mourir ;
Je suis bien seur que du trespas
Je ne me sçaurois secourir
Que poudre je n’aille là bas.
Je cognois bien les ans que j’ay,
Mais ceux qui me doivent venir,
Bons ou mauvais, je ne les sçay,
Ny quand mon âge doit finir.
Pour-ce fuyez-vous-en, esmoy,
Qui rongez mon cœur à tous coups,
Fuyez-vous-en bien loin de moy.
Je n’ay que faire avecque vous.
Au moins, avant que trespasser,
Que je paisse à mon aise un jour
Jouer, sauter, rire et dancer
Avecque Bacchus et Amour.
                                                           I am a man born to die;
                                                           I’m quite sure that from death
                                                           I cannot save myself
                                                           From going below as dust.
                                                           I know exactly how old I am,
                                                           But the years which should still come to me,
                                                           Good or bad,I know not,
                                                           Nor when my time will end.
                                                           Therefore begone, care,
                                                           You who gnaw my heart at every opportunity,
                                                           Begone far from me,
                                                           I have nothing to do with you.
                                                           At least before dying
                                                           Let me spend a day at my ease
                                                           Playing, leaping, laughing, dancing
                                                           With Bacchus and Love.
Blanchemain puts at the front of his edition of the ‘Odes retranchées’ this poem. It starts so strongly, and that opening line cries out to be quoted regularly and often! I wonder why Ronsard removed it from later editions?  Perhaps it is because the last stanza is relatively weak and unfocused – but only relatively.

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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