Amours 1.201

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My, it’s a LONG time since we had a sonnet!  Here goes:

Amour, quel dueil, et quelles larmes feintes,
Et quels souspirs ma Dame alloit formant,
Et quels sanglots alors que le tourment
D’un teint de mort ses graces avoit peintes !
 
Croizant ses mains à l’estomach estreintes
Fichoit au Ciel son regard lentement,
Et larmoyant parloit si tristement,
Que les rochers se brisoyent de ses pleintes.
 
Les Cieux fermez aux cris de sa douleur,
Changeans de teint de grace et de couleur,
Par sympathie en devindrent malades :
 
Tous renfrognez les Astres secoüoyent
Leurs raiz du chef : telles pitiez noüoyent
Dans le crystal de ses moites œillades. 
 
 
                                                                            Love, what grief, what feigned tears,
                                                                            What sighs my Lady keeps shaping,
                                                                            And what sobs, while torment
                                                                            Has painted her grace with the colour of death !
 
                                                                            Crossing her grasped hands in her lap
                                                                            She slowly fixed her gaze on Heaven,
                                                                            And weeping she spoke so sadly
                                                                            That the rocks split at her moans.
 
                                                                            The heavens, closed to her cries of sadness,
                                                                            Changing their shade, their graciousness, their colour
                                                                            In sympathy, became sickly ;
 
                                                                            Frowning, the stars shook
                                                                            The rays of light on their heads ; such woes swam
                                                                            In the crystal-clear [drops] in her moist eyes. 
 
 
A simple two-section poem, separating into octet and sestet. A good place to set out from anew!
 
In the earlier version Blanchemain prints, there are small changes only, not significantly affecting structure or texture. The opening is, perhaps, more arresting: “Mon Dieu ! quel dueil …” (‘My God, what grief … !’); line 7, by contrast, clumsily alliterative through mere repetition – “Et, triste, à part pleuroit si tristement” (‘And, sad and separate, she wept so sadly’). Finally, in line 10, the heavens change ‘their looks’ (“Changeant de front, de grace …”) – alliterating with the “fermez” in the previous line, an alliteration Ronsard later decided to do without.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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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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