Sonnets 163 and 164 are already available, so our journey through book 1 continues with no. 165 …
Saincte Gastine, ô douce secretaire
De mes ennuis, qui respons en ton bois,
Ores en haute ores en basse voix,
Aux longs souspirs que mon cœur ne peut taire :
Loir, qui refreins la course volontaire
Des flots roulant par nostre Vandomois,
Quand accuser ceste beauté tu m’ois,
De qui tousjours je m’affame et m’altere :
Si dextrement l’augure j’ay receu,
Et si mon œil ne fut hier deceu
Des doux regards de ma douce Thalie,
Maugré la mort Poëte me ferez
Et par la France appellez vous serez
L’un mon Laurier, l’autre ma Castalie.
Holy Gastine, sweet minister
Of my troubles, who reply in your wood
Now with loud, now with quiet voice
To the long sighs which my heart cannot silence;
Loir, who restrain the headstrong course
Of your waves running through our Vendôme,
When you hear me accusing that beauty
For whom I’m always hungry and thirsty;
If I’ve rightly understood the prophecy,
And if my eye was not deceived yesterday
By the sweet glances of my sweet Thalia,
In spite of death you will make me a Poet,
And throughout France one of you will be called
My Laurel, the other my Castalia.
Here again Ronsard connects his own small aprt of the Vendome with the classical sites well-known to all his readers: the forest of Gastine, and the little river Loir, become the equivalents of the victory-crowning laurel, and the Castalian spring which emerges beside the Delphic oracle – though here Ronsard is thinking less of the oracle’s link with prophecy than its link with Apollo who inspires poets. Thalia (as he calls Cassandre here) was the muse associated with pastoral poetry – but also, less relevantly, with comedy!
Once more there are only minor changes between versions. Blanchemain offers in line 1 “Saincte Gastine, heureuse secretaire” (‘happy minister’); in lines 5-6 “la course volontaire / Du plus courant de tes flots vendomois” (‘the headstrong course / Of the fastest-running of your waters of Vendome’); and in line 12 “Dorenavant poëte me ferez,” (‘Henceforward you will make me a Poet’).