Madrigal (55a)

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Si c’est aimer, Madame, et de jour et de nuict
Resver, songer, penser le moyen de vous plaire,
Oublier toute chose, et ne vouloir rien faire
Qu’adorer et servir la beauté qui me nuit :
 
Si c’est aimer de suivre un bon-heur qui me fuit,
De me perdre moy-mesme et d’estre solitaire,
Souffrir beaucoup de mal, beaucoup craindre et me taire,
Pleurer, crier merci et m’en voir esconduit :
 
Si c’est aimer de vivre en vous plus qu’en moy-mesme,
Cacher d’un front joyeux une langueur extrême,
Sentir au fond de l’ame un combat inegal,
Chaud, froid, comme la fiévre amoureuse me traitte :
Honteux, parlant à vous, de confesser mon mal :
 
Si cela c’est aimer, furieux je vous aime :
Je vous aime, et sçay bien que mon mal est fatal :
Le cœur le dit assez, mais la langue est muette.
 
 
 
                                                                              If it is love, my Lady, both day and night
                                                                              To dream, ponder, think of how to please you,
                                                                              To forget everything and want to do nothing
                                                                              But adore and serve the beauty which harms me;
 
                                                                              If it is love to pursue a happiness which runs from me,
                                                                              To lose myself and be alone,
                                                                              To suffer much harm, to fear much and be silent,
                                                                              To weep, call for mercy and see myself rejected;
 
                                                                              If it is love to live in you more than in myself,
                                                                              To hide with a happy face my extreme pining,
                                                                              To feel in the depths of my soul an unequal combat,
                                                                              Hot and cold as love’s fever treats me;
                                                                              Too shy in speaking with you to confess my illness;
 
                                                                              If that is love, I love you madly;
                                                                              I love you, and well know that my illness is mortal:
                                                                              My heart speaks enough, though my tongue is silent.
  
 
One of those Ronsardian ‘madrigals’, a sonnet with extra lines – here an extra couple of lines in the penultimate tercet.  And what a lovely poem it is.
 
Blanchemain has only one minor difference, in line 14 where he has “si cela est aimer” instead of “si cela c’est aimer”.  The change is purely to the sound of the line (and this time the smoother effect of avoiding hiatus between the vowels “cela_est” is the improvement Ronsard sought.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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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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