Amours 1.204

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Le doux Sommeil qui toute chose appaise,
N’appaise point le soing qui m’a ravy :
En vous je meurs, en vous seule je vy,
Ne voyant rien sinon vous qui me plaise.
 
Vos yeux au cœur m’ont jetté telle braise,
Qu’un feu depuis m’a tousjours pouirsuivy,
Et dés le jour qu’en dançant je vous vy,
Je meurs pour vous et si en suis bien aise.
 
De mal en mal, de souci en souci
J’ay l’ame triste et le corps tout transi,
Sans eschaufer le froid de vostre glace.
 
Au moins lisez et voyez sur mon front
Combien de morts vos doux regars me font :
« Le soing caché se cognoist à la face.  
 
 
 
                                                                            Sweet sleep, which makes all things calm,
                                                                            Cannot calm the pain which has seized me ;
                                                                            In you I die, in you alone I live,
                                                                            Seeing nothing but you which pleases me.
 
                                                                            Your eyes have thrust such a furnace into my heart
                                                                            That a fire has since then always pursued me
                                                                            And since the day I saw you dancing
                                                                            I have been dying for you and yet am happy to be so.
 
                                                                            From one ill to another, from one care to another
                                                                            My soul is sad and my body utterly numb,
                                                                            Without warming the cold of your ice.
 
                                                                            At least read and see upon my brow
                                                                            How many times your sweet glances do me to death :
                                                                            “Hidden cares make themselves known on the face.”
 
 
 
Death and life, fire and ice – formal opposites we meet often in Ronsard, yet each time he finds a way of refreshing them and avoiding mere repetition.
 
The only difference between this and Blanchemain’s earlier version is in line 6, where Ronsard simply adjusted the order of words to achieve a line ‘built’ slightly better: the old version is “Qu’un feu toujours depuis m’a pouirsuivy”. To try to catch the difference in English I suppose we could re-translate ‘That a fire always since then has pursued me’, though I am far from sure which of my two versions is the more, which the less, awkward!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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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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