Sonnet 106

Standard
Je suis larron pour vous aimer, Madame :
Si je veux vivre, il faut que j’aille embler
De vos beaux yeux les regars, et troubler
Par mon regard le vostre qui me pâme.
 
De vos beaux yeux seulement je m’affame,
Tant double force ils ont de me combler
Le cœur de joye, et mes jours redoubler,
Ayant pour vie un seul trait de leur flame.
 
Un seul regard qu’il vous plaist me lascher,
Me paist trois jours, puis j’en reviens chercher,
Quand du premier la pasture est perdue,
 
Emblant mon vivre en mon adversité,
Larron forcé de chose defendue,
Non par plaisir, mais par necessité.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            I am a thief for loving you, my Lady ;
                                                                            If I wish to live, I must keep stealing
                                                                            Glances from your fair eyes, and troubling
                                                                            With my own that look of yours which make me swoon.
 
                                                                            For your fair eyes alone I am hungry,
                                                                            Such double-strength they have to fill
                                                                            My heart with joy, and to lengthen my days
                                                                            With enough to live on from just one touch of their flame.
 
                                                                            One single look that you are pleased to throw me
                                                                            Feeds me for three days, and then I come back to seek another
                                                                            When the nourishment of the first is gone,
 
                                                                            Stealing my living in my troubles,
                                                                            A thief forced to forbidden things
                                                                            Not by pleasure but by necessity.
 
 
 
 
Ronsard pursues his metaphor with unusual consistency here; though (in truth) that only means he links the opening and the close closely through the metaphor!  I should admit that I have paraphrased rather than translated in line 8, more literally, ‘Through having, as [the material for] life, a single touch of their flame’.
 
Blanchemain admits that he shouldn’t be printing this poem (it didn’t appear till the 1572 edition), but he obviously doesn’t want to exclude it – a good choice! His version is identical except for line 11, in which (after 3 days) “la puissance est perdue” (when the ‘power’ rather than the ‘nourishment’ he has gained runs out). Here, though, I think the older Ronsard came up with a finer word.
 
 
The next poem, sonnet 107, is already available as well.
 
 
 
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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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