Sonnet 30

L’arbre qui met à croistre a la plante asseuree :
Celuy qui croist bien tost, ne dure pas long temps,
Il n’endure des vents les souflets inconstans :
Ainsi l’amour tardive est de longue duree.

Ma foy du premier jour ne vous fut pas donnee :
L’Amour et la Raison, comme deux combatans,
Se sont escarmouchez l’espace de quatre ans :
A la fin j’ay perdu, veincu par destinee.

Il estoit destiné par sentence des cieux,
Que je devois servir, mais adorer vos yeux :
J’ay, comme les Geans, au ciel fait resistance.

Aussi je suis comme eux maintenant foudroyé,
Pour resister au bien qu’ils m’avoient ottroyé
Je meurs, et si ma mort m’est trop de recompense.


                                                                               The tree which sets itself to grow is surely grounded,
                                                                               But one which grows quickly does not last long,
                                                                               It cannot endure the varied blows of the winds;
                                                                               Just so, a slow love is long-lasting.
                                                                               My troth was not given you from the first day;
                                                                               Love and Reason, like two duellists,
                                                                               Skirmished together the space of four years;
                                                                               In the end, I lost, overcome by fate.
                                                                               It was fated, by the decision of the heavens,
                                                                               That I should serve but love your eyes;
                                                                               Like the Giants, I resisted heaven.
                                                                               But, like them, I am now overwhelmed;
                                                                               For resisting the good that they had granted me
                                                                               I must die, and yet my death is too much reward for me.
One of this little cluster of sonnets where Blanchemain has the same text as the late versions.  The Giants resisting the gods are familiar from many mythologies (the frost giants – hrímþursar – & giants of Jotunheim in Norse mythology for instance) but Ronsard is clearly referring back to classical mythology. Whether he is being specific about the Thracian giants who fought with Heracles and the gods in the ‘gigantomachy’ familiar from many vase paintings, or referring rather to the Titans who ruled before the gods, and who were defeated by Jupiter, is perhaps not important.

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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