Sonnet 35

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Tousjours pour mon sujet il faut que je vous aye :
Je meurs sans regarder vos deux Astres jumeaux,
Vos yeux, mes deux Soleils, qui m’esclairent si beaux,
Qu’à trouver autre jour autre part je n’essaye.
 
Le chant du Rossignol m’est le chant d’une Orfraye,
Roses me sont Chardons, torrens me sont ruisseaux,
La Vigne mariee à l’entour des Ormeaux,
Et le Printemps au cœur me rengrege la playe.
 
Mon plaisir en ce mois c’est de voir les Coloms
S’emboucher bec à bec de baisers doux et longs,
Dés l’aube jusqu’au soir que le Soleil se plonge.
 
O bienheureux Pigeons, vray germe Cyprien,
Vous avez par nature et par effect le bien
Que je n’ose esperer tant seulement en songe !

 

 
 
 
                                                                               I must always have you for my subject ;
                                                                               I will die if I cannot see those twin stars of yours,
                                                                               Your eyes, my two suns, which shine on me so beautifully
                                                                               That I make no effort to find other light in another place.
 
                                                                               The song of the nightingale is to me that of an osprey,
                                                                               Roses are thistles to me, torrents calm streams;
                                                                               The vine wedded around the elms
                                                                               And the Spring aggravates the wound in my heart.
 
                                                                               My pleasure in this month is to watch the doves
                                                                               Mouths touching beak to beak with long, sweet kisses
                                                                               From dawn to evening, when the sun sinks.
 
                                                                               O happy pigeons, true seed of Cyprus,
                                                                               You have by nature and feeling that good
                                                                               Which I dare not hope for, even in dreams!

 

  
 
 
The ‘seed of Cyprus’ or ‘offspring of Venus’ in line 12 is of course a reference to Venus’s birth on the island. 
 
Blanchemain offers us a couple of variants in the first half of the poem:
 
 
Tousjours pour mon sujet il faut que je vous aye :
En peinture, pour voir vos deux Astres jumeaux,
Vos yeux, mes deux Soleils, qui m’esclairent si beaux,
Qu’à trouver autre jour autre part je n’essaye.
 
Le chant du Rossignol m’est le chant d’une Orfraye,
Roses me sont Chardons, torrens me sont ruisseaux,
La Vigne mariee à l’entour de Ormeaux,
Et le Printemps sans vous m’est une dure playe.
 
 
                                                                              I must always have you for my subject ;
                                                                              In a painting, that I may see those twin stars of yours,
                                                                              Your eyes, my two suns, which shine on me so beautifully
                                                                              That I make no effort to find other light in any other place.
 
                                                                              The song of the nightingale is to me that of an osprey,
                                                                              Roses are thistles to me, torrents calm streams;
                                                                              The vine wedded around the elms
                                                                              And the Spring without you are for me a terrible wound.
 
 
I can’t say this is an occasion when I’d go back to the earlier version in preference to the last thoughts in Marty-Laveaux!  I assume the strange ‘de’ in line 7 of Blanchemain’s version is a typo, since I can think of no sensible grammatical reason for the hiatus in the line, and the hiatus doesn’t make it sound better as poetry…
 
 
 
 
 
 
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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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