Sonnet 40

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Puis que tu cognois bien qu’affamé je me pais
Du regard de tes yeux, dont larron je retire
Des rayons, pour nourrir ma douleur qui s’empire,
Pourquoy me caches-tu l’œil par qui tu me plais ?
 
Tu es deux fois venue à Paris, et tu fais
Semblant de n’y venir, afin que mon martire
Ne s’allege en voyant ton œil que je desire,
Ton œil qui me nourrit par le trait de ses rais.
 
Tu vas bien à Hercueil avecque ta cousine
Voir les prez les jardins et la source voisine
De l’Antre où j’ay chanté tant de divers accords.
 
Tu devois m’appeler, oublieuse Maistresse :
En ton coche porté je n’eusse fait grand presse :
Car je ne suis plus rien qu’un fantôme sans corps.
 
 
 
                                                                              As you understand clearly that I hungrily feed
                                                                              On the glance of your eyes, whose rays I steal,
                                                                              A thief, to feed the sadness which rules over me,
                                                                              Why do you hide from me those eyes by which you please me?
 
                                                                              You have twice come to Paris, yet you pretend
                                                                              Never to come here, so that my suffering
                                                                              Is not lessened in seeing your eyes as I desire,
                                                                              Your eyes which feed me through the sting of their rays.
 
                                                                              You even go to Hercueil with your cousin
                                                                              To see the meadows, gardens and the spring next
                                                                              To the cave where I sang so many varying songs.
 
                                                                              You should have called for me, forgetful mistress;
                                                                              Carried in your coach I’d not have made much of a crowd
                                                                              For I am no longer anything but a ghost without a body.
  
 
 I like this poem: it’s very tightly-knit, and the last 2 lines (while still providing a sting in the tail) are so closely integrated. 
 
Nicolas Richelet comments (as transmitted by Blanchemain) that Hercueil is Arcueil, a village ‘near’ Paris – now a commune in the southern part of the city. He adds that ‘the cave’ is the grotto at Meudon (now in SW Paris) and the ‘varying songs’ Ronsard composed there are the Eclogues.
 
Blanchemain’s text varies only slightly from Marty-Laveaux’s; but 2 of the 3 lines with small changes he also prints in radically-different form in footnotes.  The minor variants are, in line 8, “par l’objet de ses rais” (‘through the property of their rays‘);  and in line 13 “Dans ton coche” (no change in meaning); the more radical changes are printed below in another full version of the poem which also includes his 3rd minor change, in the opening line.
 
 
 
Puis que tu sçais, hélas ! qu’affamé je me pais
Du regard de tes yeux, dont larron je retire
Des rayons, pour nourrir ma douleur qui s’empire,
Pourquoy me caches-tu l’œil par qui tu me plais ?
 
Tu es deux fois venue à Paris, et tu fais
Semblant de n’y venir, afin que mon martire
Ne s’allege en voyant ton œil que je desire,
Dont la vive vertu me norrit de ses rais.
 
Tu vas bien à Hercueil avecque ta cousine
Voir les prez les jardins et la source voisine
De l’Antre où j’ay chanté tant de divers accords.
 
Tu devois m’appeler, oublieuse Maistresse :
Ton coche n’eust courbé sous une masse espesse :
Car je ne suis plus rien qu’un fantôme sans corps.
 
 
 
                                                                             As you know, alas, that I hungrily feed
                                                                             On the glance of your eyes, whose rays I steal,
                                                                             A thief, to feed the sadness which rules over me,
                                                                             Why do you hide from me those eyes by which you please me?
 
                                                                             You have twice come to Paris, yet you pretend
                                                                             Never to come here, so that my suffering
                                                                             Is not lessened in seeing your eyes as I desire,
                                                                             Whose lively virtue feeds me with its rays.
 
                                                                             You even go to Hercueil with your cousin
                                                                             To see the meadows, gardens and the spring next
                                                                             To the cave where I sang so many varying songs.
 
                                                                             You should have called for me, forgetful mistress;
                                                                             Your coach would not have bent under an unusual weight
                                                                             For I am no longer anything but a ghost without a body.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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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')

One response »

  1. Pingback: Sonnet 63 | Oeuvres de Ronsard

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