Sonnet 153

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Une diverse amoureuse langueur,
Sans se meurir en mon ame verdoye :
Dedans mes yeux une fontaine ondoye,
Un Mongibel fait son feu de mon cueur.
 
L’un de son chaud l’autre de sa liqueur
Ore me gele et ore me foudroye :
Et l’un et l’autre à son tour me guerroye,
Sans que l’un soit dessus l’autre veinqueur.
 
Fais, Amour, fais qu’un seul gaigne la place,
Ou bien le feu ou bien la froide glace,
Et par l’un d’eux mets fin à ce debat :
 
Helas ! Amour, j’ay de mourir envie,
Mais deux venins n’estouffent point la vie,
Tandis que l’un à l’autre se combat.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            All kinds of listlessness from love
                                                                            Grow fresh in my soul without ripening;
                                                                            Within my eyes a fountain flows,
                                                                            An Etna makes its fire from my heart.
 
                                                                            One with its heat, the other with its moisture
                                                                            Now freezes me and now overwhelms me;
                                                                            Both one and the other in their turn make war on me,
                                                                            Without one being victor over the other.
 
                                                                            Let one, Love, let one only win first place,
                                                                            Whether it’s the fire or whether the icy cold,
                                                                            And through one of them make an end of this argument;
 
                                                                            Alas, Love, I am eager to die
                                                                            But twin poisons cannot extinguish life
                                                                            As long as one is fighting the other.

 

 

 

Though we have returned to classical names for many classical features, other names grew up in the middle ages & replaced them. So, the Greco-Roman Mount Etna became Mont Gibel – only to become Etna again more recently.
 
Muret tells us that “almost all this sonnet is like one by an Italian named Antonio Francesco Rinieri” – who was also imitated by du Bellay. Though intrigued I’ve been unable to find any of Rinieri’s poetry online so cannot offer a judgement as to whether Muret is accurate in his statement or not; but Ronsard certainly did do some very close imitations of Italian (neo-Petrarchan) sonnets.
 
Blanchemain offers a version (the one Muret is discussing) with minor changes throughout:
 
 
Une diverse amoureuse langueur
Sans se meurir dans mon ame verdoye,
Dedans mes yeux une fontaine ondoye,
Un Montgibel s’enflamme dans mon cœur.
 
L’un de son feu, l’autre de sa liqueur,
Ore me gele et ore me foudroye ;
Et l’un et l’autre à son tour me guerroye,
Sans que l’un soit dessus l’autre vainqueur.
 
Fais, Amour, fais qu’un des deux ait la place,
Ou le seul feu ou bien la seule glace,
Et par l’un d’eux mets fin à ce debat.
 
O fier Amour, j’ay de mourir envie,
Mais deux venins n’estouffent point la vie,
Tandis que l’un à l’autre se combat.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            All kinds of listlessness from love
                                                                            Grow fresh in my soul without ripening;
                                                                            Within my eyes a fountain flows,
                                                                            An Etna flames in my heart.
 
                                                                            One with its fire, the other with its moisture
                                                                            Now freezes me and now overwhelms me;
                                                                            Both one and the other in their turn make war on me,
                                                                            Without one being victor over the other.
 
                                                                            Give one, Love, give one of the two first place,
                                                                            Either the fire alone or indeed the ice alone,
                                                                            And through one of them make an end of this argument;
 
                                                                            O proud Love, I am eager to die
                                                                            But twin poisons cannot extinguish life
                                                                            As long as one is fighting the other.

 

 

 
 
 
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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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