Amours 1.198

Quand le grand œil dans les Jumeaux arrive,
Un jour plus doux seréne l’univers,
D’espics crestez ondoyent les champs vers,
Et de couleurs se peinture la rive.
Mais quand sa fuite obliquement tardive,
Par le sentier qui roulle de travers,
Atteint l’Archer, un changement divers
De jour, de fleurs, et de beauté nous prive.
Ainsi quand l’œil de ma Deesse luit
Dedans mon cœur, en mon cœur se produit
Maint beau penser qui me donne asseurance :
Mais aussi tost que mon rayon s’enfuit,
De mes pensers fait avorter le fruit,
Et sans meurir coupe mon esperance.
                                                                            When the great eye arrives in the Twins,
                                                                            A sweeter day calms the whole world,
                                                                            Proud ears of corn wave in the green fields
                                                                            And the river paints itself in colours.
                                                                            But when its sideways flight belatedly,
                                                                            Along its path which unwinds across the heavens,
                                                                            Reaches the Archer, various changes
                                                                            Deprive us of daylight, flowers and beauty.
                                                                            So, when the eye of my Goddess shines
                                                                            Within my heart, in my heart arise
                                                                            Many fair thoughts which give me certainty;
                                                                            But as soon as my light departs,
                                                                            It makes the fruit of my thoughts come to nothing
                                                                            And it cuts off my unripe hopes.
The Twins (Gemini) and Archer (Sagittarius) are constellations, half a year apart – the sun (‘the great eye’) arrives in them in May and November. I enjoy “se peinture” (paint itself) in line 4!  
In this simple but effective simile, Blanchemain’s version offers minor variants only. In line 8, winter’s changes “De jour, d’espics et de couleurs les prive” (‘Deprive us of daylight, spices and colours’) – literally, ‘of spikenard’ but more generally ‘spices’. The ending becomes more vivid, with “avorter” as an active verb, and “trancher” (also used of cutting off heads, for instance) a much more vivid verb than “couper”: I suspect this is a case of the older Ronsard watering down his youthful exuberance.
Mais aussi tost que mon rayon s’enfuit,
De mon printemps il avorte le fruit,
Et, sans meurir, tranche mon esperance.
                                                                            But as soon as my light departs,
                                                                            It brings the fruit of my springtime to nothing
                                                                            And it severs my unripe hopes.

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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