The version above gives little clue that in its earliest form the sonnet had a completely different ending! What I find fascinating is that both endings look like an organic part of the finished poem – yet one is grafted on, turning the end of the poem in a very different direction. There are also a couple of lesser changes early on; here’s the whole thing in that early version: Dedans un pré je veis une Naïade, Qui comme fleur marchoit dessus les fleurs, Et mignotoit un bouquet de couleurs, Echevelee en simple verdugade. Dès ce jour-là ma raison fut malade, Mon front pensif, mes yeux chargez de pleurs, Moi triste et lent : tel amas de douleurs En ma franchise imprima son œillade. Là je senty dedans mes yeux couler Un doux venin, subtil à se mesler Au fond de l’âme, et, depuis cet outrage, Comme un beau lis, au mois de juin, blessé D’un rais trop chaud, languit à chef baissé, Je me consume au plus verd de mon âge. Within a meadow I saw a Naiad Who like a flower walked upon the flowers And cosseted a bouquet of colours, Half-dressed in just her petticoat. Since that day my reason has become sick, My brow thoughtful, my eyes full of tears, Myself sad and slow; such a mass of ills Her glance Imprinted on my freedom. There I felt running into my eyes A sweet poison, subtly in-mixing itself Deep in my soul, and since that assault Just as a fair lily in the month of June, struck By too warm a ray [of sunshine], droops with its head down So I am consumed in the bloom of my youth. EDIT: Some commentators would have it that the ‘meadow’ in the first line is meant to evoke the name of Cassandre’s husband, Jean de Peigné seigneur du Pray: “pré/Pray” sound the same. It’s even been said that Ronsard changed the earlier plural (“prés”/’meadows’) to the singular, to make the allusion clearer. It’s possible, I suppose.