Odelette à sa maitresse


Today, a ‘little ode’ Ronsard wrote, chiding his mistress, around 1555. Originally in the Meslanges, this was ‘retranchée’ to a Ronsardian appendix in later editions.

Je veux aymer ardentement :
Aussi veus-je qu’egallement
On m’ayme d’une amour ardente :
Toute amitié froidement lente
Qui peut dissimuler son bien
Ou taire son mal, ne vaut rien,
Car faire en amours bonne mine,
De n’aymer point, c’est le vray sine.
Les amants si frois en esté
Admirateurs de chasteté,
Et qui morfondus petrarquisent,
Sont toujours sots, car ils ne prisent
Amour qui de sa nature est
Ardent et prompt, et à qui plest
De faire qu’une amitié dure
Quand elle tient de sa nature.
                                                                             I hope to love ardently ;
                                                                            And I hope too that equally
                                                                            She’ll love me with ardent love.
                                                                            Every affair which is cold and slow,
                                                                            Which can hide the good things
                                                                            Or be silent about the bad, is worth nothing;
                                                                            For putting on a good face in love
                                                                            Is the true sign of loving not at all.
                                                                            Those lovers, so cold in summer,
                                                                            Admirers of chastity,
                                                                            Who feeling dejected make Petrarchan rhymes,
                                                                            They’re always fools, for they do not prize
                                                                            Love, who by nature is
                                                                            Ardent and eager, and who is happy
                                                                            To make affairs long-lasting
                                                                            When they are of his kind.
Ronsard invents the word (or re-uses his previously-invented word) ‘to Petrarch-ise’, implying of course inferior copyists rather than those who, like Ronsard, can imitate Petrarch’s quality as well as style!
Blanchemain’s version has only one minor variant: “Ces” for “Les” at the start of the second stanza. Oddly, Blanchemain prints it among the “Oeuvres inédites” (unpublished works) with a footnote explaining it was published in the second (1555) edition of the ‘Meslanges’…?!

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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