Sonnet 122

Standard
Bien que six ans soyent ja coulez arriere
Depuis le jour qu’Amour d’un poignant trait
Au fond du cœur m’engrava le portrait
D’une humble-fiere, et fiere-humble guerriere :
 
Si suis-je heureux d’avoir veu la lumiere
En ces ans tards, où vit le beau portrait
De sa beauté, qui mon esprit attrait
Pour prendre au ciel une belle carriere.
 
Le seul Avril de son jeune printemps
En-dore, em-perle, en-frange nostre temps,
Qui n’a cogneu les vertus de ma belle,
 
Ny la splendeur qui reluist en ses yeux.
Seul je l’ay veuë : aussi je meurs pour elle,
Et plus grand heur ne m’ont donné les cieux.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            Although six years have already flowed by
                                                                            Since the day that Love, with a searching blow,
                                                                            In the depths of my heart engraved the portrait
                                                                            Of a humbly-proud, proudly-humble warrior-maid;
 
                                                                            Yet still I am happy to have seen the light
                                                                            In these late years, in which the fair portrait
                                                                            Of her beauty is alive, which draws my spirit
                                                                            To take to heaven its fair journey.
 
                                                                            The one April of her young spring
                                                                            Endows our time with gold, with pearls, with rich decorations,
                                                                            Though it has not recognised the virtues of my fair lady,
 
                                                                            Nor the splendour which shines out in her eyes.
                                                                            I alone have seen her: too, I am dying for her,
                                                                            And greater happiness have the heavens not given me.
 
 
 
 
In line 10, “en-frange” is an unusual word meriting a note:  “franger” was originally to decorate a dish with strips of saffron, hence the word is also the root of ‘fringe’, i.e. a decorative border. Over time the decorative role was transferred to marzipan (“frangi-pane”) which was a luxury product too. But “en-franger” needs to mean something like ‘to decorate richly’, rather than ‘to sweeten with marzipan’!  🙂
 
Blanchemain offers a number of differences in his version, though the poem carries essentially the same content: while I prefer some of his first thoughts (line 11 for instance), it must be said that the later version is a definite improvement in lines 7-8, where the repeated ‘grace’ really doesn’t work…
 
 
 
Bien que six ans soient ja coulez arriere
Depuis le jour que l’homicide trait
Au fond du cœur m’engrava le portrait
D’une humble-fiere et fiere-humble guerriere,
 
Si suis-je heureux d’avoir veu la lumiere
En ces ans tards en-noblis du portrait
De sa beauté, qui les Grâces attrait
Par une grâce aux Grâces coustumiere.
 
Le seul avril de son jeune printems
En-dore, em-perle, en-frange nostre temps,
Qui n’a sceu voir les beautés de ma belle,
 
Ny la vertu qui foisonne en ses yeux.
Seul je l’ay veue : aussi je meurs pour elle,
Et plus grand heur ne m’ont donné les cieux.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            Although six years have already flowed by
                                                                            Since the day that Love, with a deadly blow,
                                                                            In the depths of my heart engraved the portrait
                                                                            Of a humbly-proud, proudly-humble warrior-maid;
 
                                                                            Yet still I am happy to have seen the light
                                                                            In these late years, ennobled by the portrait
                                                                            Of her beauty, which attracts the Graces
                                                                            Through a grace customary among the Graces.
 
                                                                            The one April of her young spring
                                                                            Endows our time with gold, with pearls, with rich decorations,
                                                                            Though it has not managed to see the beauty of my fair lady,
 
                                                                            Nor the virtue which abounds in her eyes.
                                                                            I alone have seen her: too, I am dying for her,
                                                                            And greater happiness have the heavens not given me.

 

 
 
 
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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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