Despite a shorter history (Blanchemain notes that it dates from 1572, which doesn’t stop him including it in his set based on the 1560 edition!) this poem is not short of variants. It was the sestet that caused Ronsard difficulties. Beside the version above (the last), we may put the following variant of the last two lines, from 1572: I’ve included line 12, to highlight the different punctuation. Ainsi ta fleur ne deviendra fanie : Mes chauds souspirs serviront de chaleur, Et mes pleurs d’eau pour te donner la vie. So that your flower does not fade; My hot sighs will provide the heat, And my tears the water, to give you life. It’s worth noting that, though Marty-Laveaux claims to be re-printing the 1584 edition, he presents a ‘compound’ version of this poem. For, according to Blanchemain’s notes, the 1584 edition of the poem was altered to end thus: Sus ! baise-moy, couche-toy près de moi ; Je veux verser mille larmes sur toi, Mille soupirs, chauds d’amoureuse envie, Qui serviront d’animer ta couleur, Les pleurs d’humeur, les souspirs de chaleur, Pour prendre un jour ta racine en ma vie. Come then, kiss me, lie down beside me; I want to pour a thousand tears on you, A thousand sighs, hot with a lover’s desire; They will serve to enliven your colour, The tears with their dampness, the sighs with their heat, So that you may for one day plant your root in my life.
I cannot claim to have gone back & re-consulted the original editions (tempted as I am!), so I will assume – for the moment – that the M-L text printed at the top is a combination of these two versions prepared by the editor rather than Ronsard’s own final thoughts. Mostly retaining the 1572 text, but re-using line 12 from the 1584 version, Ronsard tried again. Note that, though retaining the 1572 text for the first tercet, and the 1584 text for the second, lines 11 & 12 are switched round to retain the c-c-d e-d-e rhyme scheme of 1572 rather than the c-c-d e-e-d of 1584.