It’s nice to have a single sustained metaphor again, Ronsard does them so well! The Archer is of course the god of love. April, as I recall, was Cassandre’s birthday – but I may have remembered that wrongly! Blanchemain’s earlier version has the same sustained metaphor, but some detailed differences: Sous le crystal d’une argenteuse rive, Au mois d’Avril une perle je vy, Dont la clairté m’a tellement ravy, Qu’en mes discours autre penser n’arrive. Sa rondeur fut d’une blancheur naïve, Et ses rayons treluisoient à l’envy. Son lustre encor ne m’a point assouvy, Ny ne fera tant qu’au monde je vive. Cent et cent fois, pour la pescher à bas, Tout recoursé je devalay le bras, Et ja déjà content je la tenoye Sans un archer, de mon bien envieux, Qui troubla l’eau et m’esblouit les yeux Pour jouïr seul d’une si chere proye. Beneath the crystal waters of a silvery stream One April I saw a pearl Whose brightness so delighted me That in my conversation no other thought arose. Its roundness was of a simple whiteness And its rays shone in competition [with the sun]; Its lustre has still never satiated me Nor will it so long as I live in the world. Hundreds and hundreds of times, to fish it up, With sleeves rolled right up, I plunged in my arm And already now I happily would have it If an Archer, envious of my prize, Had not stirred up the water and dazzled my eyes So that he alone could play with such desirable prey. I may have misunderstood but the homely image of rolling up the sleeves in line 10 would have been exactly the sort of touch the older Ronsard would have expunged – but it fits so much better than his ardent heart!