Odes 5.11

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Sur toute fleurette déclose
J’aime la senteur de la rose
Et l’odeur de la belle fleur
Qui de la premiere couleur
Pare la terre, quand la glace
Et l’hyver au soleil font place
 
Les autres boutons vermeillets,
La giroflée et les œillets,
Et le bel esmail qui varie
L’honneur gemmé d’une prairie
En mille lustres s’esclatant ;
Ensemble ne me plaisent tant
Que fait la rose pourperette,
Et de Mars la blanche fleurette,
 
Que puis-je, pour le passetemps
Que vous me donnez le printemps
Prier pour vous deux autre chose,
Sinon que toy, pourprine rose,
Puisses toujours avoir le sein
En mai de rosée tout plein,
Et que jamais le chaut qui dure
En juin ne te fasse laidure ?
 
Ny à toy, fleurette de mars,
Jamais l’hyver, lorsque tu pars
Hors de la terre, ne te face
Pancher morte dessus la place ;
Ains toujours, maugré la froideur
Puisses-tu de ta soefve odeur
Nous annoncer que l’an se vire
Plus doux vers nous, et que Zephyre
Après le tour du fascheux temps
Nous ramene le beau printemps.
Above all the flowers that bloom
I love the scent of the rose,
And the perfume of the fair flower
Which with its initial colour
Adorns the earth when ice
And winter take the sun’s place.
 
The other crimson buds,
The wallflower, the carnation,
The beautiful carpet which variously spreads
The bejewelled glory of a meadow
With a thousand glowing colours bursting out,
Together do not please me as much
As does the purple rose
And the white flower of Mars.
 
How can I, for the pleasant times
Which you give me in spring,
Beg anything else for the two of you
Unless that you, crimsoned rose,
Might always be able to keep your breast
All filled with pink in May ;
And may the heat which lasts so long
In June never make you ugly.
 
And for you, flower of Mars,
In winter as you emerge
From the earth may it never make you
Wilt dead upon the ground;
So may you always, despite the cold,
Be able with your pleasing odour
To announce to us that the year is veering
More gently towards us, and that Zephyr [West wind]
After the turn of the dreary weather
Is bringing us back the fine springtime.
 
Once again a beautiful little lyric. And once again the elusive ‘flower of Mars’ appears!
 
Blanchemain offers us a variant of the third stanza’s second half (“Puisses tousjours…” onwards), from 1587:
 
 
Du teint de honte accompagné
Sois toujours en may rebaigné
De la rosée qui doux glisse,
Et jamais juin ne te fanisse ?
 
 
                                                              Accompanied by the tint of shame
                                                              Might always be re-bathed in May
                                                              With the rosy pink which softly slips away,
                                                              And that June might never fade you.

 

 
 
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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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