Sonnet 101

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Back now to Cassandre, and into the second hundred sonnets 🙂

 
Morne de corps, et plus morne d’espris
Je me trainois dans une masse morte :
Et sans sçavoir combien la Muse apporte
D’honneur aux siens, je l’avois à mespris.
 
Mais dés le jour que de vous je m’épris,
A la vertu vostre œil me fut escorte,
Et me ravit, voire de telle sorte
Que d’ignorant je devins bien appris.
 
Doncques mon Tout, si je fay quelque chose,
Si dignement de vos yeux je compose,
Vous me causez vous-mesmes tels effets.
 
Je pren de vous mes graces plus parfaites :
Vous m’inspirez, et dedans moy vous faites,
Si je fay bien, tout le bien que je fais.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            Dreary in body, drearier in spirit,
                                                                            I dragged myself along in my dead mass;
                                                                            And not understanding how much honour
                                                                            The Muse brings her own, I scorned her.
 
                                                                            But since the day that with you I fell in love,
                                                                            Towards Virtue your eye has led me
                                                                            And delighted me, even to the extent
                                                                            That, from ignorant, I have become learned.
 
                                                                            And so, my All, if I make something,
                                                                            If worthily of your eyes I compose,
                                                                            You yourself bring about such results in me.
 
                                                                            I take from you my most perfect graces;
                                                                            You inspire me, and within me you do,
                                                                            Whenever I do something good, all the good that I do.

 

 

 I love that last couplet – though the whole poem is splendid. The earlier version in Blanchemain shows that the second quatrain took a while to get right, however:
 
 
Mais aussi tost que de vous je m’épris,
Tout aussitôt vostre œil me fut escorte
A la vertu, voire de telle sorte
Que d’ignorant je devins bien appris.
 
 
                                                                            But as soon as with you I fell in love,
                                                                            Just as soon your eye led me
                                                                            To virtue, even to the extent
                                                                            That, from ignorant, I have become learned.
 
 
 Here the repetition works rather less well than in the final couplet – and is just as clumsy as my translation! There is also one other minor change, with far less impact, in line 11 where Blanchemain has “ces effets” instead of “tels effets” (‘these results’ rather than ‘such results’).
 
 
 
 
 
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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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