Ode 58 – To his Muse

Grossi-toy, ma Muse Françoise,
Et enfante un vers resonant,
Qui bruye d’une telle noise
Qu’un fleuve debordé tonant,
Alors qu’il saccage et emmeine,
Pillant de son flot, sans mercy,
Le thresor de la riche plaine,
Le bœuf et le bouvier aussi.
Et fay voir aux yeux de la France
Un vers qui soit industrieux,
Foudroyant la vieille ignorance
De nos peres peu curieux.
Ne suy ny le sens, ny la rime,
Ny l’art du moderne ignorant,
Bien que le vulgaire l’estime,
Et en béant l’aille adorant.
Sus donque l’Envie surmonte,
Coupe la teste à ce serpent,
Par tel chemin au ciel on monte,
Et le nom au monde s’épend.
                                                                              TO HIS MUSE
                                                                             Grow great, my French Muse,
                                                                             And give birth to resounding poetry
                                                                             Which roars with rage like that
                                                                             Of a thunderous river overflowing its banks,
                                                                             As it ransacks and plunders,
                                                                             Mercilessly pillaging with its flood
                                                                             The treasure of the rich fields,
                                                                             The cow and the cowman too.
                                                                             And bring before the eyes of France
                                                                             A verse which can be useful,
                                                                             Shattering the old ignorance
                                                                             Of our fathers with their small curiosity.
                                                                             Do not aim at the sense or rhyme
                                                                             Or art of the ignorant moderns,
                                                                             Although the common folk value them,
                                                                             And open-mouthed give them their adoration.
                                                                             Up then and defeat Envy,
                                                                             Cut off that serpent’s head,
                                                                             That is the way to reach the heavens
                                                                             And make your name known in the world.
One minor variant in Marty-Laveaux’s edition, in line 3 where he has
Qui brusle d’une telle noise
                                                                             Which burns with rage like that
As my daughter has been translating Baudelaire, I dedicate the penultimate verse to her! Incidentally, only the second poem by Ronsard I’ve posted which begins with a ‘G’…!

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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