Amours diverses: chanson 1 (12a)


(Numbered as ‘chanson 1’, this comes after sonnet 12, hence the 12a numbering.)

Petite Nymfe folâtre,
Nymphette que j’idolâtre,
Ma mignonne, dont les yeux
Logent mon pis et mon mieux :
Ma doucette, ma sucrée,
Ma Grace, ma Citherée,
Tu me dois pour m’appaiser
Mille fois le jour baiser. 
Tu m’en dois au matin trente,
Puis apres disner cinquante,
Et puis vingt apres souper.
Et quoy ? me veux-tu tromper ?  
Avance mes quartiers, belle,
Ma tourtre, ma colombelle :
Avance-moy les quartiers
De mes paymens tous entiers. 
Demeure, où fuis-tu Maistresse ?
Le desir qui trop me presse,
Ne sçauroit arrester tant,
S’il n’est payé tout contant. 
Revien revien mignonette,
Mon doux miel, ma violette,
Mon oeil, mon cœur, mes amours,
Ma cruelle, qui tousjours
Trouves quelque mignardise,
Qui d’une douce feintise
Peu à peu mes forces fond,
Comme on voit dessus un mont
S’escouler la neige blanche :
Ou comme la rose franche
Perd le vermeil de son teint,
Des rais du soleil esteint.
Où fuis-tu mon Angelette,
Ma vie, mon amelette ?
Appaise un peu ton courroux,
Assy-toy sur mes genoux,
Et de cent baisers appaise
De mon cœur la chaude braise. 
Donne moy bec contre bec,
Or’ un moite, ores un sec,
Or’ un babillard, et ores
Un qui soit plus long encores
Que ceux des pigeons mignars,
Couple à couple fretillars. 
Hà Dieu ! ma douce Guerriere,
Tire un peu ta bouche arriere :
Le dernier baiser donné
A tellement estonné
De mille douceurs ma vie,
Que du sein me l’a ravie,
Et m’a fait voir à demi
Le Nautonnier ennemy,
Et les plaines où Catulle,
Et les rives où Tibulle,
Pas à pas se promenant,
Vont encore maintenant
De leurs bouchettes blesmies
Rebaisotans leurs amies.
Frolicsome little Nymph,
Nymphette I idolize,
my sweetheart in whose eyes
I see my best and my worst,
my darling, my sweet,
my graceful one, my Cytherea:
to calm me you must kiss me
a thousand times a day.
You owe me thirty of them in the morning,
Then after dinner fifty,
And then twenty after supper.
What? Are you trying to cheat me?!
Pay me my quarters in advance, my fair one,
My turtledove;
Advance me all of the quarters
Of my payment!
Wait! Where are you going, mistress?
The desire which presses on me so
Cannot stop like that
If it is not happy with its payment.
Come back, come back, sweetie,
My honey, my violet,
Apple of my eye, my heart, my love:
O my cruel one, who always
Find some charming trick
Which with its sweet deception
Bit by bit overcomes my strength,
Just as you see atop a mountain
The white snow suddenly rush down,
Or as the fresh rose
Loses the redness of its colour,
Faded by the sun’s rays.
Where are you going, my little angel,
My life, my soul?
Calm your anger a little,
Sit on my knees,
And with a hundred kisses calm
The burning fire in my heart.
Give me lips against lips,
One moist, one dry,
One babbling, and one
Which is still longer
Than those of loving doves
Fluttering couple by couple.
Oh god! my sweet warrior,
Draw back your mouth a little:
That last kiss you gave
Has so overwhelmed
My life with a thousand pleasures
That it has torn it from my breast,
And has made me half-see
The Boatman, our enemy
And the plains where Catullus
And the banks where Tibullus
Wandered pace by pace,
And still go now
Again, with their pallid lips
Giving their lovers gentle kisses.

Another of Ronsard’s very famous songs. Incidentally, it became a cause célèbre when Nabokov’s Lolita emerged and was credited with introducing the word ‘nymphette’ into the language; French students actually demonstrated in public reclaiming the word for their own poet Ronsard!

The classical references in the final stanza are all to the classical underworld, where the Boatman (Charon) would ferry dead souls over to Hades. The Roman lyric poets Catullus and Tibullus are envisaged as among the privileged souls of poets who wander able still to recall their loves on earth.
There are some variants in Blanchemain. He [brackets] the second stanza (“Tu m’en dois…”) as this was added in 1578, after the date of the edition he takes as ‘standard’. Four stanzas later he has
Où fuis-tu mon Angelette,
Mon diamant, ma perlette ?
Là reviens, mon sucre doux,
Sur mon sein, sur mes genoux …
                                                                           Where are you going, my little angel,
                                                                           My diamond, my little pearl?
                                                                           Come back here, my sweetheart,
                                                                           Onto my breast, onto my knees …
Then there are minor changes at the start of the next stanza (“Donne m’en bec contre bec”, ‘Give me them lips against lips’) and the following one (“Hà ! ma douce guerriere”, ‘Ho there! my sweet warrior’); and in the middle of that final stanza
Le dernier baiser donné
A tellement estonné
De mille douceurs ma vie,
Qu’il me l’a presque ravie, …
                                                                           That last kiss you gave
                                                                           Has so overwhelmed
                                                                           My life with a thousand pleasures
                                                                           That it has practically torn it from 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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