Sonnet 150

Standard
En ce printemps qu’entre mes bras n’arrive
Celle qui tient ma playe en sa verdeur,
Et ma pensée en oisive langueur,
Sur le tapis de ceste herbeuse rive ?
 
Et que n’est-elle une Nymphe native
De ce bois verd ? par l’ombreuse froideur
Nouveau Sylvain j’alenterois l’ardeur
Du feu qui m’ard d’une flamme trop vive.
 
Et pourquoy, cieux ! l’arrest de vos destins
Ne m’a faict naistre un de ces Paladins,
Qui seuls portoyent en crope les pucelles ?
 
Et qui tastant baisant et devisant,
Loin de l’envie et loin du mesdisant,
Par les forests vivoyent avecques elles ?
 
 
 
                                                                            In this springtime, why does she not come into my arms,
                                                                            She who keeps my wound fresh
                                                                            And my thoughts in idle listlessness
                                                                            On the carpet of this grassy bank?
 
                                                                            And why is she not a Nymph, native
                                                                            Of this green wood? With its shady cool
                                                                            I, a new Wood-dweller, would retard the heat
                                                                            Of the fire which burns me with too bright a flame.
 
                                                                            And why, heavens, did the judgement of fate
                                                                            Not make me born one of those Paladins
                                                                            Who alone carry maidens behind them,
 
                                                                            And who – touching, kissing, chatting,
                                                                            Far from envy and those who speak ill –
                                                                            Live with them in the forests?

 

 

 

 Another allusion to Ariosto, perhaps, in the reference to Paladins on chargers. His wry humour amuses me – why is it OK for heroes in storybooks to go off alone into the woods with maidens, without people whispering suspiciously about what they might get up to, but not for real people to do it…?
 
In line 11, the maiden is ‘en crope’ : in case horse-jargon isn’t your thing, that is ‘on the crupper’, behind the saddle on the horse’s back.  We might also say, ‘riding pillion’.
 
Blanchemain has a few variants, including the opening, but they leave the sense unchanged: here are his opening lines
 
 
Entre mes bras que maintenant n’arrive
Celle qui tient ma playe en sa verdeur,
Et ma pensée en gelant tiedeur
Sur le tapis de ceste herbeuse rive !
 
Et que n’est-elle une nymphe native
De quelque bois ! Par l’ombreuse froideur …
 
 
 
                                                                            Why does she not now come into my arms,
                                                                            She who keeps my wound fresh
                                                                            And my thoughts in freezing warmth
                                                                            On the carpet of this grassy bank?
 
                                                                            And why is she not a Nymph, native
                                                                            Of some wood? Through the shady cool …

 

And so we complete 150 sonnets from book 1; I shall update the ‘complete’ pdf shortly.  [Edit:  pdf uploaded.]  Such is the size of Amours I that, even after more than 150 poems, we’re still less than two-thirds of the way through, however…!
 
 
 
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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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