Sonnet 149

Standard
Si tu ne veux contre Dieu t’irriter,
Escoute moy, ne mets point en arriere
L’humble soupir, enfant de la priere :
La priere est fille de Jupiter.
 
Quiconque veut la priere eviter,
Jamais n’acheve une jeunesse entiere
Et voit tousjours de son audace fiere
Jusqu’aux enfers l’orgueil precipiter.
 
Pource orgueilleuse eschappe cet orage,
Dedans mes pleurs attrempe ton courage,
Sois pitoyable, et guaris ma langueur :
 
Tousjours le Ciel, tousjours l’eau n’est venteuse,
Tousjours ne doit ta beauté dépiteuse
Contre ma playe endurcir sa rigueur.
 
 
 

 

                                                                            If you do not wish to become frustrated with God
                                                                            Listen to me, never overlook
                                                                            The humble sigh, child of prayer:
                                                                            Prayer is the daughter of Jupiter.
 
                                                                            Whoever wishes to avoid prayer
                                                                            Never completes the whole of his youth
                                                                            And, as a result of his proud audacity, always sees
                                                                            Conceit hurl him down into hell.
 
                                                                            Therefore, conceited lady, escape from this tempest,
                                                                            Steep your courage in my tears,
                                                                            Be pitiful, cure my longing;
 
                                                                            Though sky and sea may always be stormy,
                                                                            Never should your spiteful beauty
                                                                            Harden its callous severity towards my wound.

 

 

 

 In typical humanist style Ronsard oscillates wildly between Christian and classical religious motifs – God and hell, Jupiter and Hades… It may be relevant that – as Muret tells us – this sonnet is based on a speech by Phoenix in Homer’s Iliad 9. It may also be relevant that the most Christian touch is ‘God’ (as opposed to ‘a/the god’) in line 1, which is a late change. Blanchemain’s earlier version is more happily classicising!
 
 
 
Si tu ne veux les astres dépiter
En ton malheur, ne mets point en arriere
L’humble souspir de mon humble priere :
La priere est fille de Jupiter.
 
Quiconque veut la priere eviter
Jamais n’acheve une jeunesse entiere,
Et void tousjours de son audace fiere
Jusqu’aux enfers l’orgueil precipiter.
 
Pour ce, orgueilleuse, eschappe cest orage,
Mollis un peu le roc de ton courage,
Aux longs souspirs de ma triste langueur.
 
Tousjours le ciel, tousjours l’eau n’est venteuse,
Tousjours ne doit ta beauté dépiteuse
Contre ma playe endurcir sa rigueur.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            If you do not wish to spite the stars
                                                                            In your sadness, never overlook
                                                                            The humble sigh of my humble prayer:
                                                                            Prayer is the daughter of Jupiter.
 
                                                                            Whoever wishes to avoid prayer
                                                                            Never completes the whole of his youth
                                                                            And, as a result of his proud audacity, always sees
                                                                            Conceit hurl him down into hell.
 
                                                                            Therefore, conceited lady, escape from this tempest,
                                                                            Soften a little the stone of your courage
                                                                            In the long sighs of my sad longing;
 
                                                                            Though sky and sea may always be stormy,
                                                                            Never should your spiteful beauty
                                                                            Harden its callous severity towards my wound.

 

 

 
 
 
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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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