In a marvellously unnecessary piece of editorialising, Muret tells us in his notes to this poem that ‘One may conjecture from this sonnet that his lady is from Blois’. Thank you…. 🙂 Perhaps surprisingly, this poem has plenty of variants. Blanchemain prints the following version. I confess myself at a loss over Ronsard’s change of Loves’s ‘bow and arrows’ (below) to his ‘lamps and arrows’ (above) in line 10, in particular?! Ville de Blois, naissance de ma dame, Sejour des Roys et de ma volonté, Où je fus pris, où je fus surmonté, Par un œil brun qui m’outre-perçe l’ame, Chez toy je pris ceste premiere flame, Chez toy j’appris que peut la cruauté, Chez toy je vey ceste fiere beauté, Dont la memoire encores me r’enflame. Se loge Amour en tes murs à jamais, Et son carquois, et son arc et ses traits Pendent en toy, comme autel de sa gloire ; Puisse-il tousjours sous ses ailes couver Ton chef royal, et, nud, tousjours laver Le sien crespu dans l’argent de ton Loire. O town of Blois, the birthplace of my lady, Resting place of kings and of my wishes, Where I was seized, where I was overcome By her brown eyes which pierce my soul right through; In you I received this first fiery love, In you I learned what cruelty can do, In you I saw that proud beauty Whose memory stirs me still. May Love stay within your walls forever, And may his quiver, his bow and his arrows Hang in you, as an altar to his glory; May he always protect beneath his wings Your royal head and, naked, always wash His own curly head in the silvery waters of your Loire. In case you might think that Ronsard had no other views on the second quatrain, Blanchemain also prints the following, completely different, quatrain in a footnote! Sur le plus haut de sa divine flame, Près de l’honneur, en grave majesté, Reverement se sied la chasteté, Qui tout bon cœur de ses vertus enflame. On the highest point of their holy flame, Next to honour, in grave majesty, Reverentially sits chastity, Which fires every good heart with her virtues. It is at least obvious why he rejected this four-line aside about the wonder of his lady’s eyes, in favour of the version in which he continues his encomium of Blois.