Amours 2:46

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Astres qui dans le ciel rouez vostre voyage,
D’où vient nostre destin de la Parque ordonné ?
Si ma muse autrefois vos honneurs a sonné,
Destournez (s’il vous plaist) mon malheureux presage.
 
Ceste nuict en dormant sans faire aucun outrage
A l’anneau que Marie au soir m’avoit donné,
S’est rompu dans mon doigt, et du faict estonné,
J’ay senty tout mon cœur bouillonner d’une rage.
 
Si ma Dame perjure a peu rompre sa foy
Ainsi que cest anneau s’est rompu dans mon doy,
Astres, je veux mourir, envoyez moy le Somme,
 
Somme aux liens de fer, ennemy du Soleil,
Et faites, s’il est vray, que mes yeux il assomme
Pour victime eternelle au frere du sommeil.
 
 
 
                                                                            O stars who wheel on your way in the heavens,
                                                                            Where does our destiny, ordained by Fate, come from?
                                                                            If my muse in the past made your honour resound
                                                                            Turn aside – please! – my unhappy future.
 
                                                                            Tonight as I slept, without doing any damage
                                                                            To the ring which Marie had given me that evening,
                                                                            It broke on my finger, and astonished by that
                                                                            Infect my whole heart boiling with anger.
 
                                                                            If my forsworn lady could break her faith
                                                                            Just as this ring of hers broke on my finger,
                                                                            O stars, I’d rather die; send me Sleep
 
                                                                            The sleep with iron cords, enemy of the Sun,
                                                                            And, if it is true, make him strike down my eyes
                                                                            As eternal victims for sleep’s brother.
 
 
Ronsard as always is very precise in his mythology: “sleep’s brother” is clearly Death (Thanatos), who is indeed the brother of Hypnos, god of sleep. Nowadays we’re more likely to think of Morpheus, but he was god of dreams not sleep, and the son of Hypnos.
 
The way in which Ronsard leaps to the conclusion that Marie is unfaithful seems here rather unmotivated, calling on sleep to kill him immediately “if it is true”: in the earlier Blanchemain version – which is the same until the final tercet – we get a rather stronger line of thought, with sleep being invoked initially as a test, a check on the ‘oracle’:
 
 
                    … envoyez moy le Somme,
 
Afin d’interpreter la doute de mon sort,
Et faites, s’il est vray, que mes yeux il assomme
Sans plus les réveiller, au dormir de la mort.
 
 
                                                                                                                    … send me Sleep

 

                                                                           To interpret the uncertainty of my fate,

                                                                            And, if it is true, make him strike down my eyes,
                                                                            No more to wake, with the sleep of death.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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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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