Sonnet 60

Ny voir flamber au poinct du jour les roses,
Ny liz plantez sur le bord d’un ruisseau,
Ny son de luth, ny ramage d’oyseau,
Ny dedans l’or les gemmes bien encloses,
Ny des Zephyrs les gorgettes décloses,
Ny sur la mer le ronfler d’un vaisseau,
Ny bal de Nymphe au gazouillis de l’eau,
Ny voir fleurir au printems toutes choses,
Ny camp armé de lances hérissé,
Ny antre verd de mousse tapissé,
Ny des forests les cymes qui se pressent,
Ny des rochers le silence sacré,
Tant de plaisir ne me donnent qu’un Pré,
Où sans espoir mes esperances paissent.
                                                                           Not seeing roses on fire at the break of day,
                                                                           Nor lilies planted on the bank of a stream,
                                                                           Nor the sound of the lute, the warbling of birds,
                                                                           Nor jewels well-set in gold,
                                                                           Nor the open throat of the Zephyr [west wind],
                                                                           Nor the creaking of a ship on the sea,
                                                                           Nor the dance of Nymphs to the babbling of the water,
                                                                           Nor seeing everything blossom in spring,
                                                                           Nor an armed camp bristling with spears,
                                                                           Nor a cave carpeted with green moss,
                                                                           Nor the close-packed treetops in the forest,
                                                                           Nor the sacred silence of the rocks –
                                                                           None give me as much pleasure as that Meadow
                                                                           Where my hopes feed without expectation.


Sometimes a poem looks like it came out fully-formed, and sometimes you look at a poem and think ‘the poet clearly set himself a puzzle to work out here!’.  For me this has the look of a poem in which Ronsard wondered how long he could keep going with “Ny…” lines and ‘random’ images, while still making a satisfying poem. As my own little tribute – after all, starting the line the ame each time is easy enough – I’ve added an extra ‘No…’ in line 13…!
Just some small changes from Blanchemain’s early version: in line 3 he has “chants de luth” (‘songs of the lute’), changed above so that the ‘s’ is echoed in the second half of the line – an improvement I’d say; and the last 2 “Ny…” lines (11-12) are “Ny les Sylvains qui les Dryades pressent, /Et jà dejà les domptent à leur gré,” (‘Nor the Wood-folk who pursue the Dryads /And quickly overcome them as they wish’). Note that, in this early version, only 11 (not 12) lines begin with “Ny”!

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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