Sonnet 64

Si j’ay bien ou mal dit en ces Sonnets, Madame,
Et du bien et du mal vous estes cause aussi :
Comme je le sentois j’ay chanté mon souci,
Taschant à soulager les peines de mon ame.
Hà, qu’il est mal-aisé, quand le fer nous entame,
S’engarder de se plaindre et de crier merci !
Tousjours l’esprit joyeux porte haut le sourci,
Et le melancholique en soy-mesme se pâme.
J’ay suivant vostre amour le plaisir poursuivy,
Non le soin, non le dueil, non l’espoir d’une attente.
S’il vous plaist ostez-moy tout argument d’ennuy :
Et lors j’auray la voix plus gaillarde et plaisante.
Je ressemble au mirouër, qui tousjours represente
Tout cela qu’on luy monstre et qu’on fait devant luy.
                                                                              If I have written good or bad things in these Sonnets, my Lady,
                                                                              You are the cause both of good and bad ;
                                                                              As I felt them so I have sung of my cares,
                                                                              Seeking to sooth the pain in my soul.
                                                                              Oh how difficult it is, when the blade cuts into us,
                                                                              To keep oneself from weeping and calling for mercy !
                                                                              The joyous spirit always keeps its head high beneath cares
                                                                              And the melancholic man swoons within himself.
                                                                              In seeking your love I have sought pleasure,
                                                                              Not care, not sadness, not the hope of expectation.
                                                                              If you please, take from me all the claims of worry
                                                                              And then my voice shall be more sprightly and pleasing.
                                                                              I am like a mirror, which always shows
                                                                              Everything that you show it and do before it.
Ronsard left this last poem untouched between versions.
But it would be uncharacteristic to end the book without a variant, so you may be interested to know that Marty-Laveaux’s edition has the tailpiece “Fin du premier livre des Sonnets d’Helene” (‘End of the first book of Helen’s sonnets’), while Blanchemain’s earlier edition signs off “Fin du premier livre des Sonnets pour Helene” (‘…book of the Sonnets for Helen’)!
As usual I have collected all my texts and translations – Marty-Laveaux edition only – into one document available here.

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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