Amours retranch. 44

A pas mornes et lente seulet je me promeine,
Nonchalant de moy-mesme, et quelque part que j’aille
Un penser importun me livre la bataille,
Et ma fiere ennemie au devant me rameine.
Penser ! un peu de treve, hé permets que ma peine
Se soulage un petit, et tousjours ne me baille
Argument de pleurer pour une qui travaille
Sans relasche mon cœur, tant elle est inhumaine.
Or si tu ne le fais, je te tromperay bien,
Je t’asseure, Penser, que tu perdras ta place
Bien-tost, car je mourray pour abatre ton fort :
Puis quand je seray mort, plus ne sentiray rien
(Tu m’auras beau navrer) que ta rigueur me face,
Ma Dame, ny Amour, car rien ne sent un mort.
                                                                            With grieving and slow steps I wander alone,
                                                                            Caring nothing for myself, and wherever I go
                                                                            A nagging thought propels me to battle
                                                                            And my proud foe drags me to the fore.
                                                                            O thoughts, a short truce! Allow my pain
                                                                            To find a little relief, do not always open for me
                                                                            Cause for tears, for one who troubles
                                                                            My heart without slackening, so inhuman is she.
                                                                            If you will not, I shall really outwit you;
                                                                            I assure you, my thoughts, that you’ll lose your place
                                                                            Very soon, for I shall die to destroy your fortress;
                                                                            Then, when I am dead, I shall feel nothing more
                                                                            That your harshness does to me (you’ll have saddened me in vain)
                                                                            My Lady, nor Love: for a dead man feels nothing.
This isn’t one of Ronsard’s great poems; but still worth a look. The idea is a bit obvious, the metaphors not strong, and the phrase-structure gets a bit tortured by the needs of the metre – especially in the wholesale reorganisation of the sentence in the last tercet, which would in prose terms read ‘when I am dead, I shall feel no more of the harsh things you, my Lady, or Love himself, do to me; you’ll have made me sad in vain; for a dead man feels nothing’.
Note that it’s in 12-syllable Alexandrines, one of the rarer forms for Ronsard’s sonnets.

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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