Et le palle Citron derobé de ta main,
Doux present amoureux, que je loge en mon sein
Pour leur faire sentir combien je sens de braise.
Quand ils sont demy-cuits, leur chaleur je r’appaise,
Versant des pleurs dessus, dont triste je suis plein :
Et de ta nonchalance avec eux je me plain,
Qui cruelle te ris de me voir à mal-aise.
Oranges et Citrons sont symboles d’Amour :
Ce sont signes muets, que je puis quelque jour
T’arrester, comme fit Hippomene Atalante.
Mais je ne le puis croire : Amour ne le veut pas,
Qui m’attache du plomb pour retarder mes pas,
Et te donne à fuir des ailes à la plante.
Hundreds and hundreds of times a day I kiss the orange And the pale lemon stolen from your hand, A sweet love-gift, which I keep at my breast To make them feel how burning-hot I feel. When they are half-cooked I shall calm their heat again By pouring on them the tears which fill me, sad as I am; And I shall moan of your uncaring with them, Since you cruelly laugh seeing my discomfort. Oranges and lemons are symbols of Love; They are mute signs with which some day I may Stop you, as Hippomenes did Atalanta. But I cannot believe it; Love does not want it: He ties leaden weights to me to slow my steps But gives you wings on your feet to flee with.
Atalanta famously said she would only marry the man who could beat her at running. Hippomenes obtained 3 golden apples from Venus (goddess of love!) and dropped one in front of Atalanta every time she looked like beating him – so that she would stop, allowing him to win the race and her hand in marriage. Here Blanchemain offers only one minor variant in his earlier text: in line 8 Helen laughs “de me voir en mal-aise” (no substantive impact on the translation). However, he also footnotes a completely different & rather weaker line 2, “Et le citron qui part de vostre belle main” (‘And the lemon which came from your fair hand’).