Amours 2:49

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Chacun qui voit ma couleur triste et noire,
Me dit, Ronsard, vous estes amoureux :
Mais ce bel œil qui me fait langoreux,
Le sçait, le voit, et si ne le veut croire.
 
Dequoy me sert que mon mal soit notoire
Quand à mon dam son œil trop rigoureux,
Par ne sçay quel desastre malheureux
Voit bien ma playe, et si la prend à gloire ?
 
J’ay beau pleurer protester et jurer,
J’ay beau promettre et cent fois asseurer
Qu’autre jamais n’aura sus moy puissance,
 
Qu’elle s’esbat de me voir en langueur :
Et plus de moy je luy donne asseurance,
Moins me veut croire, et m’appelle un moqueur.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            Everyone who sees my sad, dark colour
                                                                            Tells me, “Ronsard, you are in love !”
                                                                            But that fair eye which makes me pine
                                                                            Knows it, sees it, yet won’t believe it.
 
                                                                            What use to me that my misfortune is well-known
                                                                            When to my hurt her eyes, so harsh,
                                                                            See clearly the wound I got through
                                                                            Whatever unhappy disaster, yet glory in it?
 
                                                                            In vain I’ve wept, protested, sworn,
                                                                            In vain I’ve promised and assured her a hundred times
                                                                            That no other will ever have power over me,
 
                                                                            But she rejoices to see me pining;
                                                                            And the more I give her assurances about myself
                                                                            The less she believes me, and calls me a mocker.
 
 
 
There’s not much to coment on in the text; though I am intrigued that here Ronsard is ‘dark’ with illness not pale as usual! (Nothing to do with the rhyme of course…)  Blanchemain offers a number of variants, which I’ll put in context below:
 
 
Chacun qui voit ma couleur triste et noire,
Me dit, Ronsard, vous estes amoureux :
Mais ce bel œil qui me fait langoreux,
Le sçait, le voit, et si ne le veut croire.
 
Hé ! que me sert que mon mal soit notoire
A un chacun, quand son trait rigoureux,
Par ne sçay quel desastre malheureux
Me fait la playe, et si la prend à gloire ?
 
J’ay beau pleurer protester et jurer,
J’ay beau promettre et cent fois asseurer
Qu’autre jamais n’aura sus moy puissance,
 
Elle s’esbat de me voir en langueur :
Et plus de moy je luy donne asseurance,
Moins me veut croire, et m’appelle un moqueur.
 
 
                                                                            Everyone who sees my sad, dark colour
                                                                            Tells me, “Ronsard, you are in love !”
                                                                            But that fair eye which makes me pine
                                                                            Knows it, sees it, yet won’t believe it.
 
                                                                            What use to me that my misfortune is well-known
                                                                            To each and every one, when her harsh blow,
                                                                            Through whatever unhappy disaster,
                                                                            Gave me this wound, yet glories in it?
 
                                                                            In vain I’ve wept, protested, sworn,
                                                                            In vain I’ve promised and assured her a hundred times
                                                                            That no other will ever have power over me;
 
                                                                            She rejoices to see me pining;
                                                                            And the more I give her assurances about myself
                                                                            The less she believes me, and calls me a mocker.
 
 
In line 5 Ronsard has as usual swapped out an exclamation, and found a neat way or replacing it. I rather like the earlier version of the rest of the stanza! And he tidies up the grammar in lines 9-12, another late-Ronsard feature.
 
His commentators tell us this derives from a Petrarchan original; but as so often it takes ideas from the original without really ‘translating’ it. In fact Ronsard’s poem corresponds to the first half of Petrarch’s: apologies for the slightly loose translation, I’m not sure I have really understood all of Petrarch’s Italian!
 
 
Lasso, ch’i’ ardo, et altri non me ‘l crede;
sí crede ogni uom, se non sola colei
che sovr’ogni altra, et ch’i’ sola, vorrei:
ella non par che ‘l creda, et sí sel vede.
 
Infinita bellezza et poca fede,
non vedete voi ‘l cor nelli occhi mei?
Se non fusse mia stella, i’ pur devrei
al fonte di pietà trovar mercede.
 
Quest’arder mio, di che vi cal sí poco,
e i vostri honori, in mie rime diffusi,
ne porian infiammar fors’anchor mille:
 
ch’i’ veggio nel penser, dolce mio foco,
fredda una lingua et duo belli occhi chiusi
rimaner, dopo noi, pien’ di faville.
 
 
 
                                                                            Alas, how I burn, yet others won’t believe me;
                                                                            And if every man believed, yet still she alone does not
                                                                            Who is above all others, and whom alone I wish to.
                                                                            She seems not to believe it, and yet she sees…
 
                                                                            Infinite beauty and little faith,
                                                                            Don’t you see my heart in my eyes?
                                                                            If it were not my destiny, surely I ought
                                                                            At the fountain of pity to find my reward [mercy?].
 
                                                                            This burning passion of mine, about which you care so little,
                                                                            And your praises spread throughout my verse
                                                                            Might yet, perhaps, inflame a thousand others;
 
                                                                            What I see in my thoughts, o sweet flame,
                                                                            Is one cold tongue and two fair closed eyes
                                                                            Remaining after us, full of sparks.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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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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