Amours 2:39 (madrigal)


Another of those poems whose form Marty-Laveaux and Blanchemain disagree about:

Maistresse, de mon cœur vous emportez la clef,
La clef de mes pensers et la clef de ma vie :
Et toutesfois (helas ! ) je ne leur porte envie,
Pourveu que vous ayez pitié de leur meschef.
Vous me laissez tout seul en un tourment si gref,
Que je mourray de dueil d’ire et de jalousie :
Tout seul je le voudrois, mais une compagnie
Vous me donnez de pleurs qui coulent de mon chef.
Que maudit soit le jour que la fleche cruelle
M’engrava dans le cœur vostre face si belle,
Voz cheveux vostre front vos yeux et vostre port,
Qui servent à ma vie et de Fare et d’estoille !
Je devois mourir lors sans plus craindre la mort,
Le despit m’eust servy pour me conduire au port,
Mes pleurs servy de fleuve, et mes souspirs de voile.
                                                                            Mistress, you carry the key of my heart,
                                                                            The key of my thoughts and the key of my life ;
                                                                            And yet, alas, I don’t envy them
                                                                            Since you have pity on their misfortune.
                                                                            You leave me all alone in torment so grievous
                                                                            That I shall die of grief, anger and jealousy ;
                                                                            All alone, I’d like that, but you give me
                                                                            A company of tears which flow down my face.
                                                                            Cursed be the day that the cruel dart
                                                                            Engraved in my heart your beautiful face,
                                                                            Your hair, your brow, your eyes and your bearing,
                                                                            Which serve as my life’s Pharos and star !
                                                                            I should die now without fearing death more,
                                                                            Scorn has served to lead me to port,
                                                                            My tears served as the river, my sighs as the sail.
We’re back in the poems for Marie, so classical references are occasional rather than freely-scattered. Here, only the Pharos, the famous lighthouse of Alexandria. (Did you know it stood guard over the harbour there until the late middle ages??) 
This is one of the ‘Sinope’ poems: as Blanchemain’s footnote reminds us, “Belleau gives the explanation of this name Sinope, applied to Marie [i.e. that Sinope was simply a pseudonym for Marie]. In the 1560 edition he says on the contrary that this name is to hide a lady of illustrious birth, beloved of the poet ‘with a furious passion’.”  So, Blanchemain’s version opens with Sinope’s name not Marie’s: “Sinope, de mon cœur vous emportez la clef…”.   Blanchemain’s earlier version also ends with something far simpler than the extravagant metaphor of the later version; and (with one less line) is a sonnet not the ‘madrigal’ of 15 lines which Marty-Laveaux prints (4+4+3+3, not 4+4+4+3). His version does not have line 12, the one about the Pharos, and then his sestet reads:
Je devois mourir lors sans plus tarder une heure;
Le temps que j’ay vescu depuis telle blesseure
Aussi bien n’a servi qu’à m’allonger la mort.  
                                                                            I should die now without waiting another hour;
                                                                            The time that I’ve lived quite well
                                                                            Since such a wound, has served only to push back my death.

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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