Ronsard likes a dramatic opening , and this is a pretty fine one! But what is really typical is his determined projection of himself as a local man of the Vendôme, with the list of minor rivers which would be unknown to most of his readers (as to us) but which create a counterweight to the reality of the man about town and Court. Blanchemain gallantly footnotes the various names. “Loir : river which passes through Vendome; Gastine: name of a forest; Braye: another small river; Neuffaune: a copse belonging to the author’s house; Sabut: a fertile hill with good vines, whose base is entirely covered in willows”. I’m not sure that Ronsard meant his readers to gather more than local colour from the list, though Loir and the forest of Gastine do come back repeatedly in his poetry and are closely associated with his own family estate. Blanchemain’s text has a number of variants, and particularly a rather different second quatrain. To avoid a cumbersome list, here’s the whole poem again in the earlier version: Je te hay, peuple, et m’en sert de tesmoin Le Loir, Gastine et les rives de Braye, Et la Neuffaune et la verte saulaye Que de Sabut borne l’extreme coin. Quand je me perds entre deux monts bien loin, M’arraissonnant, seul, à l’heure j’esssaye De soulager la douleur de ma playe Qu’amour encharne au plus vif de mon soin. Là, pas-à-pas, Dame, je rememore Ton front, ta bouche, et les graces encore De tes beaux yeux, trop fideles archers ; Puis, figurant ta belle idole feinte Dedans quelque eau, je sanglote une pleinte, Qui fait gemir le plus dur des rochers. I hate you, people, and my witnesses are The Loir, Gastine and the banks of Braye, And the Neuffaune, and the green willow Which marks the farthest part of the Sabut. When I lose myself between two far-off hills, Musing alone, hour by hour I attempt To soothe the pain of my wound Which love embodies in the liveliest of my cares. There, step by step, my Lady, I recall Your brow, your lips, the grace too Of your fair eyes, too trusty archers! Then imagining your fair image drawn Within some spring, I sob my complaint Which makes the hardest rocks wail.