Sonnet 41

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Comme je regardois ces yeux, mais ceste fouldre,
Dont l’esclat amoureux ne part jamais en vain,
Sa blanche charitable et delicate main
Me parfuma le chef et la barbe de pouldre.
 
Pouldre, l’honneur de Cypre, actuelle à resouldre
L’ulcere qui s’encharne au plus creux de mon sein,
Depuis telle faveur j’ay senty mon cœur sain,
Ma playe se reprendre, et mon mal se dissouldre.
 
Pouldre, Atomes sacrez qui sur moy voletoient,
Où toute Cypre, l’Inde et leurs parfums estoient,
Je vous sens dedans l’ame. O Pouldre souhaitee,
 
En parfumant mon chef vous avez combatu
Ma douleur et mon cœur : je faux, c’est la vertu
De ceste belle main qui vous avoit jettee.
 
 
 
                                                                              As I looked upon those eyes, or rather those lightning-bolts
                                                                              Whose explosion of love never flashes out in vain,
                                                                             Her graceful white and delicate hand
                                                                              Perfumed my hair and beard with powder.
 
                                                                             O Powder, the gift of Cyprus, immediately dissolving
                                                                              The ulcer which burrows into the deepest crevice of my breast,
                                                                              Since receiving this favour I have felt my heart whole,
                                                                              My wound recover, my ills dissolve.
 
                                                                              O Powder, holy grains which flutter upon me
                                                                              In which are all of Cyprus, the Indies and their perfumes,
                                                                              I feel you within my soul. O much-deired powder,
 
                                                                              In perfuming my head you have defeated
                                                                              My sadness and my heart; I’m wrong, it was the virtue
                                                                              Of that fair hand which shook you.
  
 
 
 Cyprus here is associated with Venus’s cult. One of Ronsard’s more artificial conceits; but a well-formed poem, and one which remained unchanged from Blanchemain (early) to Marty-Laveaux (late) editions;  though it appeared in the Amours diverses (1578) before being re-located to Helen!
 
 
 
 
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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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