Sonnet 42

Il ne sera jamais, soit que je vive en terre,
Soit qu’aus enfers je sois, ou là-haut dans les cieus,
Il ne sera jamais que je n’aime trop mieus
Que myrthe ou que laurier la feuille de lierre.
Sus elle cette main qui tout le coeur me serre
Trassa premierement de ses doigts gracieus
Les lettres de l’amour que me portoient ses yeus,
Et son coeur qui me fait une si douce guerre.
Jamais si belle fueille à la rive Cumée
Ne fut par la Sibylle en lettres imprimée
Pour bailler par écrit aus hommes leur destin,
Comme ma Dame a paint d’une espingle poignante
Mon sort sus le lierre: é Dieu, qu’amour est fin!
Est-il rien qu’en aimant une Dame n’invente.
                                                                              It will never happen. Whether I live on earth
                                                                              Or am in hell, or up above in the heavens,
                                                                              It will never happen – I will always love, better
                                                                              Than myrtle or laurel, the leaves of the ivy.
                                                                              Upon them, that hand which so grips my heart
                                                                              First traced with her graceful fingers
                                                                              The letters of that love which her eyes bore me
                                                                              And her heart, which made on me such sweet warfare.
                                                                              Never was so beautiful a leaf on the Cumaean shores
                                                                              Imprinted with letters by the Sibyl
                                                                              To open out for men their fate in writing,
                                                                              As my Lady with a sharp pin painted
                                                                              My destiny on the ivy; oh God, how shrewd is love!
                                                                              Is there nothing which a Lady in love cannot contrive?!


 Another sonnet ‘retranchée’, this time with less reason. I find this light and charming and well up to the standards Ronsard set himself! As well as a very good classical reference – the Sibyl did after all write her prophecies on leaves – there is that very arresting and unusual beginning. One of the ‘lesser’ poems well worth knowing.

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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