Sonnet 206

Fier Aquilon horreur de la Scythie,
Le chasse-nue, et l’esbranle-rocher,
L’irrite-mer, et qui fais approcher
Aux enfers l’une, aux cieux l’autre partie:
S’il te souvient de la belle Orithye,
Toy de l’Hiver le ministre et l’archer,
Fais à mon Loir ses mines relascher,
Tant que ma Dame à rive soit sortie.
Ainsi ton front ne soit jamais moiteux,
Et ton gosier horriblement venteux
Mugle tousjours dans les cavernes basses :
Ainsi les bras des chesnes les plus vieux,
Ainsi la terre et la mer et les cieux
Tremblent d’effroy, quelque part où tu passes.
                                                                              Noble north wind, horror of Scythia,
                                                                              Pursuer of the naked, shaker of rocks,
                                                                              Stirrer of the seas, you who bring close
                                                                              On one side hell, on the other heaven;
                                                                              If you remember the fair Orithyia,
                                                                              O agent and archer of Winter,
                                                                              Make my Loir relax her complexion
                                                                              As my Lady goes out upon her bank.
                                                                              Then, may your brow never be damp,
                                                                              May your terribly windy throat
                                                                              Bellow still within deep caverns;
                                                                              Then may the arms of the ancient oaks,
                                                                              Then may the earth and sea and sky
                                                                              Tremble in fear, wherever you pass.
By contrast with several recent posts, here we have a poem which remains unchanged between early and late editions!  Blanchemain offers us a footnote explaining the reference to Orithyia:  this “is the name of a daughter of king Erechtheus, with whom the North Wind Boreas was in love and whom he ravished”. To which we might add that their sons were Calaïs and Zetes, the winged heroes who joined the expedition of the Argonauts.

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