Amours 1.221

Standard
De veine en veine, et d’artere en artere,
De nerfs en nerfs le salut me passa,
Que l’autre jour ma Dame me laissa
Dedans le cueur tout triste et solitaire.
 
Il fut si doux, que je ne puis m’en taire,
Tant en passant d’aiguillons me laissa,
Et tellement de son trait me blessa,
Que de mon cueur il ne fist qu’un ulcere.
 
Les yeux, la voix, le gracieux maintien,
A mesme fois s’accorderent si bien,
Que l’ame fut d’un tel plaisir si gloute,
 
Qu’affriandee au goust d’un si doux bien,
Entrerompant son terrestre lien,
De me laisser fut mille fois en doute.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            From vein to vein, artery to artery,
                                                                            Nerve to nerve travels the greeting
                                                                            Which the other day my Lady left
                                                                            Within my sad and lonely heart.
 
                                                                            It was so sweet that I cannot keep quiet about it,
                                                                            Though as it travelled it left me sharp thorns
                                                                            And so wounded me with its blow
                                                                            That it changed my heart to a festering sore.
 
                                                                            Her eyes, her voice, her graceful bearing
                                                                            At that moment so fitted one another
                                                                            That my soul was so drunk with pleasure
 
                                                                            That drawn to the taste of such sweet goodness
                                                                            It tried to break through its earthly bonds
                                                                            And nearly left me a thousand times.
 
 
 
Perhaps I’m being mean but this seems to me to be fairly ‘routine’ by Ronsard’s standards. That said, there are some clever details of misdirection: the opening couple of lines make it easy to read “le salut” as ‘my health’, so ‘my health is passing away’, another trope we might expect to see; until we get to line 3 and discover the real meaning is his lady-love’s greeting. Less dramatically, the verb in line 5 could mean ‘I can’t lie about it’ as much as ‘I can’t keep quiet about it’.
 
The earlier version offers a number of differences in detail, as far as the meaning goes, though substantial change to the poem! This version of the opening quatrain strikes me as more natural, less forced; and so too does the earlier version of the sestet, with its less grandiose vocabulary, and the more natural use of “gouster” compared with “gloute” in the newer version. Indeed, in this earlier version the poem has more life and naturalness, and seems to me rather less ‘routine’. In this case, newer is not better…
 
 
De veine en veine, et d’artere en artere,
De nerfs en nerfs le salut me passa,
Que l’autre jour ma Dame prononça,
Me promenant tout triste et solitaire.
 
Il fut si doux, que je ne puis m’en taire,
Tant en passant d’aiguillons me laissa,
Et tellement de son trait me blessa,
Que de mon cueur il ne fist qu’un ulcere.
 
Les yeux, la voix, le gracieux maintien,
A mesme fois s’accorderent si bien,
Qu’au seul gouster d’un si nouveau plaisir
 
Non espéré s’effroya l’ame toute,
Et, pour aller rencontrer son desir,
De me laisser fut mille fois en doute.
 
 
                                                                            From vein to vein, artery to artery,
                                                                            Nerve to nerve travels the greeting
                                                                            Which the other day my Lady spoke
                                                                            As I walked, sad and lonely.
 
                                                                            It was so sweet that I cannot keep quiet about it,
                                                                            Though as it travelled it left me sharp thorns
                                                                            And so wounded me with its blow
                                                                            That it changed my heart to a festering sore.
 
                                                                            Her eyes, her voice, her graceful bearing
                                                                            At that moment so fitted one another
                                                                            That at just the taste of so novel a pleasure,
 
                                                                            So unexpected, my entire soul was amazed
                                                                            And, to to go and meet its desire,
                                                                            It nearly left me a thousand times.
 
 
 
 
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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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