De soins mordans et de soucis divers
Soit sans repos ta paupiere esveillée,
Ta lévre soit de noir venin moüillée,
Tes cheveux soyent de viperes couvers :
Du sang infet de ces gros lezars vers
Soit ta poitrine et ta gorge soüillée,
Et d’une œillade obliquement rouillée,
Tant que voudras guigne moy de travers,
Tousjours au Ciel je leveray la teste,
Et d’un escrit qui bruit comme tempeste,
Je foudroiray de tes monstres l’effort :
Autant de fois que tu seras leur guide
Pour m’assaillir, ou pour sapper mon Fort
Autant de fois me sentiras Alcide.
With biting cares and varied worries
May your eyelids, without rest, be wakeful;
May your lips be soaked in black poison,
Your hair covered with vipers;
With blood infected by those overweight leprous verses
May your breast and throat be defiled,
And with a crooked and blighted eye
May you, as much as you please, look at me crossways;
I shall always raise my head to heaven
And with my writing which thunders like the tempest
I shall overwhelm your monstrous attempts;
As often as you are their leader
In attacking me, or undermining my fortress,
So often will you find I am an Alcides [Hercules].
What is this sonnet doing in the middle of the Amours?! Muret tells us ‘this sonnet was written against some minor secretaries, dandies and darlings of the court, who, having too feeble a mind to understand the author’s writings, tried to criticise and scorn that which they did not understand’. That still doesn’t explain why it’s here!
In line 5 I have assumed in line 5 that “lezars” is related to “lazars” (lepers/leprous) though that is my intuition rather than something I have found confirmed in a dictionary!
Minor differences in Blanchemain: in line 7 “d’une œillade envieuse et rouillée” (‘with an envious, blighted eye’); and line 13 becomes “Pour m’assaillir dans le cœur de mon fort” (‘In attacking me within the heart of my fortress’).