Sonnet 55

Je sens de veine en veine une chaleur nouvelle,
Qui me trouble le sang et m’augmente le soing.
Adieu ma liberté, j’en appelle à tesmoing
Ce mois qui du beau nom d’Aphrodite s’appelle.

Comme les jours d’Avril mon mal se renouvelle :
Amour qui tient mon Astre et ma vie en son poing,
M’a tant seduit l’esprit que de pres et de loing
Tousjours à mon secours en vain je vous appelle.

Je veux rendre la place en jurant vostre nom,
Que le premier article avant que je la rende,
C’est qu’un cœur amoureux ne veut de compagnon.

L’amant non plus qu’un Roy de rival ne demande.
Vous aurez en mes vers un immortel renom :
Pour n’avoir rien de vous la recompense est grande.

                                                                              I feel flowing from vein to vein a new warmth
                                                                              Which troubles my blood and increases my cares.
                                                                              Farewell my freedom, I call to witness it
                                                                              This month which is called by the fair name of Aphrodite.
                                                                              Like the days in April my illness renews itself;
                                                                              Love who holds my Star and my life in his grasp
                                                                              Has so seduced my spirit that from near and far
                                                                              I am always calling you to my aid – in vain.
                                                                              I want to surrender this role while swearing on your name
                                                                              That the first point before I give it up
                                                                              Is that a lover’s heart wants no companion.
                                                                              The lover, like a King, demands no rival.
                                                                              You shall have immortal renown through my verse,
                                                                              A great repayment for having nothing from you!
Technically I’m breaking my rule here: the above is the Blanchemain version of the poem not the version in the late editions. The only difference is in line 10, which in the late version ends “…que de la rendre” (‘…before giving it up’). Why not print that & show the variant? I follow one of the modern editors who could see no reason for the change other than an early editor ‘correcting’ Ronsard’s French “…que je la rende”:  but, as he points out, it’s not incorrect – it’s a subjunctive. Maybe the early editor simply had an aversion to the subjunctive…
The reference to Aphrodite is, however, a little unusual:  Ronsard usually names his gods after the Roman (Latin) version not the Greek.

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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