Sonnet 108

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Depuis le jour que le trait ocieux
Grava ton nom au roc de ma mémoire,
Quand ton regard (où flamboyoit ta gloire)
Me fit sentir le foudre de tes yeux :
 
Mon cœur attaint d’un éclair rigoureux
Pour eviter ta nouvelle victoire,
S’alla cacher sous tes ondes d’yvoire,
Et sous l’abri de ton chef amoureux.
 
Là se mocquant de l’aigreur de ma playe,
En seureté par tes cheveux s’égaye,
Tout resjouy des rais de ton flambeau :
 
Et tellement il aime son hostesse
Que pale et froid sans retourner, me laisse,
Comme un esprit qui fuit de son tombeau.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            Since the day when the frustrating blow
                                                                            Engraved your name on the tablets of my memory,
                                                                            When your glance, in which your glory dazzled,
                                                                            Made me feel the thunderbolt of your eyes,
 
                                                                            My heart, struck by harsh lightning,
                                                                            To escape your fresh victory
                                                                            Went to hide beneath your waves of ivory
                                                                            And beneath the shelter of your lovely hair.
 
                                                                            There, laughing at the bitterness of my wound,
                                                                            In safety among your locks it grew happy,
                                                                            Delighted by the rays of your flaming-gold;
 
                                                                            And so much does it love its hostess
                                                                            That it leaves me pale and cold, without returning,
                                                                            Like a spirit which flees its tomb.
 
 
 
Here again Ronsard pursues his metaphor through the whole poem; and as seems to happen regularly, that gives him trouble. The earlier version is quite substantially different, and Blanchemain offers four different versions of one line!  Here’s the whole poem in the early version:
 
 
Depuis le jour que le trait ocieux
Grava ton nom au roc de ma memoire,
Et que l’ardeur qui brilloit en ta gloire
Me fit sentir le foudre de tes yeux,
 
Mon cœur, atteint d’un eclair rigoreux
Pour éviter ta nouvelle victoire,
S’alla cacher dans tes ondes d’yvoire,
Et sous l’abri de tes flancs amoureux.
 
point ou peu soucieux de ma playe,
De çà, de là, par tes flots il s’egaye,
Puis il se sèche aux rays de ton flambeau ;
 
Et s’emmurant dedans leur forteresse,
Seul, pâle et froid, sans retourner me laisse,
Comme un esprit qui fuit de son tombeau.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                            Since the day when the frustrating blow
                                                                            Engraved your name on the tablets of my memory,
                                                                            And when the heat that shone out in your glory,
                                                                            Made me feel the thunderbolt of your eyes,
 
                                                                            My heart, struck by harsh lightning,
                                                                            To escape your fresh victory
                                                                            Went to hide in your waves of ivory
                                                                            And beneath the shelter of your lovely form.
 
                                                                            There, caring little or nothing for my wound,
                                                                            Here and there in your flowing [locks] it grew happy,
                                                                            Then dried itself by the rays of your flaming-gold;
 
                                                                            And walling itself up within their fortress,
                                                                            It leaves me alone, pale and cold, without returning,
                                                                            Like a spirit which flees its tomb.
 
 
 
And here are the extra versions of line 12 Blanchemain offers in a footnote:
 
 
1567: Et me quittant pour voir telle déesse
1584 : Et tellement il aime son hôtesse [= the Marty-Laveaux version, top]
1587 : Puis pour coustume aimé de son hôtesse
 
 
                                                                           1567: And abandoning me to see such a goddess
                                                                           1584: And so much does it love its hostess
                                                                           1587: Then as usual beloved by its hostess
 
 
 
 
 
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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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