Sonnet 31

Ostez vostre beauté, ostez vostre jeunesse,
Ostez ces rares dons que vous tenez des cieux,
Ostez ce docte esprit, ostez moy ces beaux yeus,
Cet aller, ce parler digne d’une Deesse :

Je ne vous seray plus d’une importune presse
Fascheux comme je suis : vos dons si precieux
Me font en les voyant devenir furieux,
Et par le desespoir l’ame prend hardiesse.

Pource si quelquefois je vous touche la main,
Par courroux vostre teint n’en doit devenir blesme :
Je suis fol, ma raison n’obeyt plus au frein,

Tant je suis agité d’une fureur extrème.
Ne prenez, s’il vous plaist, mon offence à desdain,
Mais douce pardonnez mes fautes à vous-mesme.


                                                                               Take off your beauty, take off your youth,
                                                                               Take off those rare gifts that you received from Heaven,
                                                                               Take off that learned mind, take off those fair eyes,
                                                                               That way of walking, of speaking worthy of a goddess;
                                                                               I will no longer be as offensive, as importunately
                                                                               Demanding, as I am; your gifts so precious
                                                                               Make me, as I see them, become mad
                                                                               And through despair my soul gains boldness.
                                                                               So, if sometimes I touch your hand,
                                                                               You should not become pale with anger;
                                                                               I am mad, my reason no longer obeys the curb,
                                                                               So stirred am I by extreme passion;
                                                                               Do not hold my offence, I beg, to scorn;
                                                                               But sweetly pardon my faults towards you.


 Again, no changes from Blanchemain’s earlier text.  In the final line, depending on your punctuation around ‘douce’, the meaning can be as above or the line could become ‘But, sweet one, pardon…’
A note on the maddening business of translation: that first stanza! Is it ‘remove your beauty’? ‘Take away your beauty’? I’ve used ‘Take off’ to reflect the use of the verb in ‘taking off’ clothes; perhaps if we lived a few hundred years ago ‘Doff your beauty’ would have been best…

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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