Amours 2:48

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Ha ! que je porte et de haine et d’envie
Au medecin qui vient soir et matin
Sans nul propos tastonner le tetin,
Le sein le ventre et les flancs de m’amie.
 
Las ! il n’est pas si songneux de sa vie
Comme elle pense, il est mechant et fin :
Cent fois le jour il la visite, afin
De voir son sein qui d’aimer le convie.
 
Vous qui avez de sa fiévre le soin,
Parens, chasser ce medecin bien loin,
Ce medecin amoureux de Marie,
 
Qui fait semblant de la venir penser.
Que pleust à Dieu pour l’en recompenser,
Qu’il eust mon mal, et qu’elle fust guarie !
 
 
 
 
                                                                            Oh what hatred and envy I bear
                                                                            Towards the doctor who comes morning and night
                                                                            With no excuse to touch my love’s
                                                                            Breast, chest, stomach and sides.
 
                                                                            Ah, he’s not so worried for her life
                                                                            As she thinks, he is wicked and cunning;
                                                                            A hundred times a day he visits her, to
                                                                            Look at her breasts, eager to make love to them.
 
                                                                            You who have the care of her fever,
                                                                            Her parents, chase this doctor far away,
                                                                            This doctor who’s in love with Marie,
 
                                                                            Who pretends to come and put a dressing on her.
                                                                            May God please to pay him back
                                                                            With my illness, while she is cured!
 
 
 
 It seems that Marie did not just have an eye condition: here a doctor is visiting to check on a chest complaint. This time, though, the malady may be fictional, because the poem is based on one by Ovid – one of the Heroides, a series of invented letters between famous mythological characters.
 
Blanchemain offers some minor variants. In lines 7-8 he has

 
Cent fois le jour ne la vient voir qu’afin
De voir son sein qui d’aimer le convie.
 
                                                                            A hundred times a day he comes to see her only to
                                                                            Look at her breasts, eager to make love to them.
 

 

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’!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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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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