Amours 1.220

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Quand je te voy discourant à par-toy,
Toute amusee avecques ta pensee,
Un peu la teste encontre bas baissee,
Te retirant du vulgaire et de moy :
 
Je veux souvent pour rompre ton esmoy,
Te saluer, mais ma voix offensee,
De trop de peur se retient amassee
Dedans la bouche, et me laisse tout coy.
 
Mon œil confus ne peut souffrir ta veuë :
De ses rayons mon ame tremble esmeuë :
Langue ne voix ne font leur action.
 
Seuls mes souspirs, seul mon triste visage,
Parlent pour moy, et telle passion
De mon amour donne assez tesmoignage.
 
 
 
                                                                            When I see you chattering to yourself,
                                                                            So amused with your thoughts,
                                                                            Your head a little lowered towards the ground,
                                                                            Withdrawn from the common folk, and from me ;
 
                                                                            I often wish, to interrupt your excitement,
                                                                            To greet you : but my slighted voice
                                                                            Keeps itself, from too much fear, blocked up
                                                                            Within my mouth and leaves me all shy.
 
                                                                            My confused eyes cannot endure your glance ;
                                                                            With its rays my soul is moved and trembles ;
                                                                            Tongue and voice cannot do what they should.
 
                                                                            Only my sighs, only my sad face
                                                                            Speak for me, and such suffering
                                                                            Gives witness enough of my love.
 
 
 
 
Another charming, simple-on-the-surface, little masterpiece from Ronsard. In line 13 “passion” carries both its meanings I think, ‘suffering’ and ‘ardour’.
 
In Blanchemain’s version, the opening line is slightly different – and this time Cassandre is not talking to herself, just sitting: “Quand je te voy seule assise à par-toy” (‘When I see you sitting alone by yourself,’). I wonder why he wanted her to be talking to herself in the later version? Maybe talking to oneself was less odd in his time!   In the first tercet, Ronsard (above) separates the glance and its ‘rays’, to develop two related thoughts; in the earlier version they are put together in the first line, requiring another separate concept in the next line: I think the later version thus achieves a more relaxed, less rushed feel which is appropriate to its context. 
 
Souffrir ne puis les rayons de ta veue ;
Craintive au corps mon ame tremble esmeue ;
 
                                                                            I cannot endure the shining rays of your glance ;
                                                                            Fearful within my body my soul is moved and trembles ;
 
 
 
 
 
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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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