Sonnet 162

Contre le ciel mon cœur estoit rebelle,
Quand le destin que forcer je ne puis,
Me fist re-voir la Dame à qui je suis,
Ains que vestir ceste escorce nouvelle.
Un chaud adonc de moëlle en moëlle,
De nerfs en nerfs, de conduits en conduits
Brusla mon cœur : dont j’ay vescu depuis
Or’ en plaisir, or’ en peine cruelle.
Si qu’en voyant ses beautez et combien
Elle est divine, il me resouvint bien
L’avoir jadis en paradis laissée :
Car dés le jour que j’en re-fu blessé,
Soit près ou loin, je n’ay jamais cessé
De l’adorer de fait ou de pensée.
                                                                            Against heaven my heart rebelled
                                                                            When fate which I cannot overcome
                                                                            Made me again see the Lady whose I am
                                                                            And again put on this new form.
                                                                            Heat then all through my marrow,
                                                                            My nerves, my canals
                                                                            Burned my heart; I have lived with it since
                                                                            Both in pleasure and in cruel pain.
                                                                            So, seeing her beauty and how much
                                                                            She is godlike, I recall clearly
                                                                            Having left her before in paradise;
                                                                            For since the day when I was wounded again by her,
                                                                            Near or far I have never stopped
                                                                            Adoring her in deed or thought.
In line 4, Ronsard talks (literally) of “putting on a new skin” or a new “hide”. Muret explains that this is a reference to Platonist views around cycles of re-birth: I had to put on a new skin “before my soul descended from heaven to enter the body, according to the view of the Platonists”. I have translated “conduits” in line 6 as “canals” in an attempt to find a vaguely antique-y word rather than the more obvious ‘veins’ (a word which Ronsard chose not to use – perhaps for metrical reasons!)
Only a couple of minor differences from the earlier Blanchemain version:  at the start of line 7, Blanchemain has “Vint à mon cœur…” (‘reached my heart…’); and in the final line he adores “de fait et de pensée” (‘ in deed and thought’).



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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