Sonnet 86

L’onde et le feu sont de ceste machine
Les deux seigneurs que je sens pleinement,
Seigneurs divins, et qui divinement
Ce faix divin ont chargé sus l’eschine.
Bref toute chose ou terrestre ou divine,
Doit son principe à ces deux seulement :
Tous deux en moy vivent également,
En eux je vy, rien qu’eux je n’imagine.
Aussi de moi il ne sort rien que d’eux,
Et se suivans en moy naissent tous deux :
Car quand mes yeux de trop pleurer j’appaise,
Par un espoir allegeant mes douleurs,
Lors de mon cœur s’exhale une fournaise,
Puis tout soudain recommencent mes pleurs.
                                                                            Water and fire are the two lords
                                                                            Of this world; I perceive them everywhere,
                                                                            God-like lords, who like gods
                                                                            Have loaded this god-sent burden on our backs.
                                                                            In short, everything in earth or heaven
                                                                            Owes its origin to these two alone;
                                                                            These two live side by side in me,
                                                                            I live in them, and I can think of nothing but them.
                                                                            Also, from me comes nothing which is not them,
                                                                            And pursuing each other in me are they both created;
                                                                            For when I rest my eyes from too much weeping
                                                                            By lightening my grief through hope,
                                                                            From my heart comes the blast of a furnace,
                                                                            Until suddenly my tears start again.



Only minor changes between Blanchemain’s edition and the ‘final’ version above:  in line 1 we read “L’onde et le feu, ce sont de la machine …” (‘Water and fire, these are the two lords / Of the world …’); in  line 10 “tour à tour ” instead of “se suivans” (‘And each in turn, both in me are created’); and in line 12 “Rassérenant les flots de mes douleurs” (‘Calming again the billows of my grief’) – this line was clearly a struggle, as here the long syllables of ‘rassérenant’ seem a bit clumsy, and later, though the link between the two tercets is more carefully managed through alliteration, “par un espoir” seems somehow a little dull …

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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