Amours 1.193

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Ces flots jumeaux de laict bien espoissi
Vont et revont par leur blanche valée,
Comme à son bord la marine salée,
Qui lente va, lente revient aussi.
 
Une distance entre eux se fait, ainsi
Qu’entre deux monts une sente égalée,
Blanche par tout de neige devalée,
Quand en hyver le vent s’est adouci.
 
Là deux rubis haut eslevez rougissent,
Dont les rayons cet yvoire finissent
De toutes parts uniment arondis :
 
Là tout honneur, là toute grace abonde :
Et la beauté, si quelqu’une est au monde,
Vole au sejour de ce beau paradis.
 
 
 
                                                                            Those twin swellings of creamy milk
                                                                            Flow back and forth over their white valley
                                                                            Like the salty sea at its edge
                                                                            Which slowly flows in, and slowly returns again;
 
                                                                            A gap there is between them, as
                                                                            Between two hills a path runs down the midst,
                                                                            White all over with fallen snow,
                                                                            When in winter the wind has abated.
 
                                                                            There two rubies redden, standing tall,
                                                                            Whose shining finishes that ivory,
                                                                            Rounded on all sides equally;
 
                                                                            There all honour, all grace abound;
                                                                            And beauty, if there is any in the world,
                                                                            Flies to lodge in this fair paradise. 
 
 
 
Technically, the breasts in line 1 are like ‘milk that’s been well-clotted’: in English that sounds pretty awful, we think of cream as good, clots as bad [though clotted cream is perhaps an exception], so I’ve translated for meaning rather than literally.
 
You’d think this didn’t need much tweaking. But in fact you can see it was improved: Blanchemain’s opening is the less involving “Les flots jumeaux …”, and in the second quatrain he has
 
Qu’entre deux monts une sente égalée,
En tous endroits de neige devalée,
Sous un hiver doucement adouci
 
                                                                            Between two hills a path runs down the midst,
                                                                            In every part covered in snow,
                                                                            In a winter gently softened.
 
 
 
 
 
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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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