(O serment d’amoureux !) l’angelique visage Qui depuis quinze mois en penible servage Emprisonne mon cœur, et je ne puis r’avoir. J’en avois fait serment : mais je n’ay le pouvoir D’estre seigneur de moy : car mon forcé courage, Bien que soit maugré moy, surmonté de l’usage D’Amour, tousjours m’y mène, abusé d’un espoir. Le destin, Pardaillan, est une forte chose : L’homme dedans son cœur ses affaires dispose, Mais le Ciel fait tourner ses desseins au rebours. Je sçay bien que je fais ce que je ne doy faire, Je sçay bien que je suy de trop folles amours : Mais quoy, puis que le Ciel delibere au contraire ? I had a hundred times sworn never to see again (O, the vows of lovers!) the angelic face Which for fifteen months of painful servitude Has imprisoned my heart, and I cannot have her again : I’ve made an oath. But I do not have the strength To master myself; because my forced courage, Although it is unlike me, overcome by the usages Of Love, always leads me back there, misled by hope. Fate, Pardaillan, is a powerful thing : Man disposes his affairs within his heart, But heaven turns his plans upside down. I know I’m doing exactly what I shouldn’t, I know I’m following too mad a love ; So what, since heaven has made different plans ?
The later change (above) removes the clumsy “voir … voir” (which I’ve hidden by using two different words in the translation!). Then in line 10 the early version has “Je vous supply de me chasser bien loin” (‘ I beg you to chase this doctor far away for [or ‘from’] me’). Blanchemain helpfully re-spells the word “panser/penser” in line 12: no change in meaning, simply one of orthography. Clearly there was no (or very little) difference in pronunciation, though the meaning is conveyed more clearly when the word is not spelled the same as “penser”=’to think’!
Blanchemain’s version is rather different in detail throughout: you can see why he would (for instance) have re-worked “du sien n’est rien” in line 10; the reference to hell in line 6 is (perhaps) a rare moment of the later Ronsard being more vivid than the younger; and the later last line is much more effective! Si j’avois un haineux qui me voulust la mort, Pour me venger de luy je ne voudrois luy faire Que regarder les yeux de ma douce contraire, Qui, si fiers contre moy, me font si doux effort. Ceste punition, tant son regard est fort, Luy seroit une horreur, et se voudroit défaire ; Ny le mesme plaisir ne luy sçauroit plus plaire, Seulement au trespas seroit son reconfort. Le regard monstrueux de la Meduse antique Au prix du sien n’est rien que fable poëtique : Meduse seulement tournoit l’homme en rocher : Mais ceste-cy en-roche, en-eauë, en-glace, en-foue, Ceux qui de ses regards osent bien approcher, Et si en les tuant la mignonne se joue. If I had someone who hated me, who wanted me dead, To avenge myself on him I’d only want to make him Gaze upon my sweet, contrary lady’s eyes Which, so bold against me, make on me so sweet an effect. This punishment, so powerful is her gaze, Would be a horror for him and he would want to release himself ; Nor could the same pleasures please him any more, Only in death would there be comfort for him. The monstrous gaze of ancient Medusa Compared with hers is nothing but a poetic fable: Medusa only turned men into rocks, But this lady turns to rock, to water, to ice, to fire Those who dare to come near her glance, And yet, as she kills them, the darling enjoys herself.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned Marie’s eye condition: this is the poem which Belleau annotates, as I mentioned there, with an explanation of the name ‘Sinope’; and also the one in which Ronsard offers the most explicit of links between Marie and Sinope – unless of course you believe that the Sinope poems were addressed to another lady, and then simply transferred to the Marie set. He does not, after all, explicitly name Marie… Belleau’s footnote in full: ‘Marie had trouble with her eyes, and as the poet watched her intently the illness in those afflicted eyes entering his own made them ill too. And so he called Marie Sinope, which is to say ‘losing the eyes’.’Like the last poem I posted, Blanchemain’s earlier version varies only in two places, and one of them is the first line! In his version, Marie/Sinope’s eyes have been ‘struck’ with illness rather than the more precise ‘weeping’ in the later version: “Vos yeux estoient blessez d’une humeur enflammée“. The other change, in line 11, is mostly about sound and rhythm, inverting some of the words: “A couvert mon sang en larmes et en pluye” (‘Has covered my blood with tears and weeping’); but the change from a rather odd ‘covering’ image to the sharper ‘converted’ may have been Ronsard’s initial spur to change.
This was one of the (slighter?) poems Ronsard did not rework much: Blanchemain’s earlier version varies only in two places: in line 1 where his heart, rather than his soul, is attached (“J’auray toujours au cœur attachez les rameaux“); and in the penultimate line where Ariadne ‘writes’, rather than ‘relates’, her troubles (“luy trassa ses ennuis”).