Amours 1.225

Standard
Si hors du cep où je suis arresté,
Cep où l’Amour de ses fleches m’enclouë,
J’eschappe franc, et du reth qui me nouë,
En libre col je me voy dé-rheté :
 
Au cœur d’un pré loing des gens escarté,
Qu’à bras fourchus l’eau du Loir entrenoüe,
De gazons d’herbe un temple je te voüe,
Heureuse saincte et alme Liberté.
 
Là je veux pendre au plus haut chœur du temple
Un sainct tableau, qui servira d’exemple
A tous amans, qu’ils ne m’aillent suyvant.
 
Et pour garder que plus je n’y retombe,
Je veux tuer aux Dieux une Hecatombe.
« Belle fin fait qui s’amende en vivant.
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                            If out of the vine in which I was caught,
                                                                            The vine in which Love with his arrows bound me,
                                                                            I can clean escape, and from the net which twists around me
                                                                            I can see myself un-netted, my neck freed:
 
                                                                            Then, in the heart of a meadow far remote from people
                                                                            Which the forked arms of the Loir’s waters twist around,
                                                                            On grassy lawns I shall dedicate a temple to you,
                                                                            Happy, holy, divine Liberty.
 
                                                                            There I intend to hang in the highest choirs of the temple
                                                                            A holy image, which will serve as an example
                                                                            To all lovers not to follow me.
 
                                                                            And to make sure I do not fall back,
                                                                            I intend to sacrifice to the gods a hecatomb:
                                                                            “A fine end makes he who mends his ways while alive.”
 
 
 
Some fine neologisms from Ronsard, neatly placed by Ronsard so their meaning is inescapable: I love “dé-rheté” in line 4, half a line after the noun appeared. Muret still felt the need to expound its meaning in his notes, though… (Muret also felt the need to explain that ‘vine’ in line 1 is intended as a synonym for ‘bond’.) This poem is also one of Ronsard’s lovely joinings of the classical and the contemporary – here, he’s offering Greek sacrifices (‘hecatomb’ is direct from Homer) in a temple of Liberty, right beside the Loir in France. He also reflects Horace, who memorably wrote of hanging up his lover’s weeds and making way for a more fortunate lover. It’s not obvious that any o the poems around this one – though it comes near the end of the book – mark an end to his love, or liberty from it. But that doesn’t stop it being a fine poem, carefully placed as a fitting classicising farewell to this book of the non-classical sonnets Ronsard had taken up instead of classical odes simply because they were more popular!
 
The second half was radically different in the earlier version, not least becasue it does NOT celebrate freedome, but the ‘liberty’ of Love’s chains:
 
 
Si hors du cep où je suis arresté,
Cep où l’Amour de ses fleches m’enclouë,
J’eschappe franc, et du reth qui me nouë,
En libre col je me voy dé-rheté :
 
Au cœur d’un pré loing des gens escarté,
Qu’à bras fourchus l’eau du Loir entrenoüe,
De gazons verts un temple je te voüe,
Heureuse saincte et alme Liberté.
 
j’apprendrai le soin et les ennuis,
Les faux plaisirs, les mensonges des nuits,
Le vain espoir, les soupirs et l’envie ;
 
Là, tous les ans, je te paîrai mes vœux,
Et sous tes pieds j’immolerai cent bœufs,
Pour le bienfait d’avoir sauvé ma vie. 
 
 
 
                                                                            If out of the vine in which I was caught,
                                                                            The vine in which Love with his arrows bound me,
                                                                            I can clean escape, and from the net which twists around me
                                                                            I can see myself un-netted, my neck freed:
 
                                                                            Then, in the heart of a meadow far remote from people
                                                                            Which the forked arms of the Loir’s waters twist around,
                                                                            On green lawns I shall dedicate a temple to you,
                                                                            Happy, holy, divine Liberty.
 
                                                                            There I shall learn of care and troubles,
                                                                            False pleasures, night’s deceptions,
                                                                            Empty hope, sighs and longing;
 
                                                                            There every year I shall pay my vows to you
                                                                            And beneath your feet massacre a hundred bulls
                                                                            For the kindness of having saved my life.
 
 
 Blanchemain also prints the later sestet, though with the dramatic (and classicising) word “macter” (‘slaughter’) for the rather tamer “tuer” in line 13.
 
 
 
Advertisements

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')

One response »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s