Sonnet 154

Puis que cest œil, dont l’influence baille
Ses loix aux miens, sur les miens plus ne luit,
L’obscur m’est jour, le jour m’est une nuit,
Tant son absence asprement me travaille.
Le lict me semble un dur champ de bataille,
Rien ne me plaist, toute chose me nuit,
Et ce penser qui me suit et resuit,
Presse mon cœur plus fort qu’une tenaille.
Ja pres du Loir entre cent mille fleurs,
Soulé d’ennuis de regrets et de pleurs,
J ‘eusse mis fin à mon angoisse forte,
Sans quelque Dieu qui mon œil va tournant
Vers le païs où tu es sejournant,
Dont le seul air sans plus me reconforte.
                                                                            Since that eye, whose influence subjects
                                                                            My own to its laws, no longer shines on mine,
                                                                            Darkness is day for me, and day is night,
                                                                            So bitterly does its absence torment me.
                                                                            My bed seems to me a hard field of battle,
                                                                            Nothing pleases me, everything does me harm,
                                                                            And that thought which pursues me again and again
                                                                            Assails my heart harder than pincers.
                                                                            Now near the Loir, among hundreds of thousands of flowers,
                                                                            Surfeited with troubles, regrets, tears,
                                                                            I would have made an end to my deep anguish,
                                                                            Unless some god had turned my eyes
                                                                            Towards the country where you are staying,
                                                                            Whose air alone, without anything more, comforts me.
 This is apparently an imitation of Petrarch, though I don’t know Petrarch well enough to have located the ‘original’. And yet, doesn’t it seem as if it were simply created freely, rather than within a framework already set, so totally within Ronsard’s idiom is it.
Blanchemain provides a couple of minor variants, in the opening and the closing lines(!):   at the beginning, “Puis que cest œil qui fidelement baille…” (‘Since that eye which consistently subjects…’); and at the end, “… où tu es sejournant, / Avec mon cœur, dont l’air me reconforte” (which contorts the grammar so much the whole tercet needs to be re-organised in English – it would become ‘Unless some god had turned my eyes, together with my heart, towards the country where you are staying, whose air comforts me.’)

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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