Amours 2:51

Standard
J’ay desiré cent fois me transformer, et d’estre
Un esprit invisible, afin de me cacher
Au fond de vostre cœur, pour l’humeur rechercher
Qui vous fait contre moy si cruelle apparoistre.
 
Si j’estois dedans vous, au moins je serois maistre
De l’humeur qui vous fait contre l’Amour pecher,
Et si n’auriez ny pouls ny nerfs dessous la chair,
Que je ne recherchasse à fin de vous cognoistre.
 
Je sçaurois maugré vous et vos complexions,
Toutes vos voluntez et vos conditions,
Et chasserois si bien la froideur de vos veines,
 
Que les flames d’Amour vous y allumeriez :
Puis quand je les voirrois de son feu toutes pleines,
Je me referois homme, et lors vous m’aimeriez.
 
 
 
                                                                            A hundred times I’ve wanted to transform myself and be
                                                                            An invisible spirit, to hide myself
                                                                            In the depths of your heart, and seek out the humour
                                                                            Which makes you appear so cruel to me.
 
                                                                            If I were within you, at least I’d be in control
                                                                            Of the humour which makes you sin against love,
                                                                            And you’d have no pulse or nerve beneath your flesh
                                                                            Which I did not research so as to understand you.
 
                                                                            I’d know, despite you and your appearance,
                                                                            All your wishes and your condition
                                                                            And I’d chase away the coldness from your veins,
 
                                                                            So that the fires of love could light you up ;
                                                                            Then, when I’d seen them full of his fire,
                                                                            I’d make myself a man again, and then you’d love me.
 
 
I do enjoy the mixture of science and classico-medievalism which was the state of medical knowledge in the sixteenth century. The circulation of the blood was discovered in England earlier in the century; the explorations of artists, like Leonardo and Michelangelo, and anatomists (especially Vesalius) had, since 1500, begun to revolutionise the understanding of how the body worked. Yet the humours remained part of medical ‘science’ until the 1800s!
 
Despite niggling like this, I think Ronsard’s taken the ideas and wrapped them very neatly into a fine package: he pursues his metaphor further and further, until the sudden reversal of the last line. his first version was equally successful, though he later edited out some stylistic features he’d ‘outgrown’: the repetition in line 1 (below), the hiatus in line 2, the ‘poetic’ form “encontre” in line 6, the complex verb-form in line 8, the hard-to-say verb in line 12!
 
 
J’ay cent fois desiré et cent encores d’estre
Un invisible esprit, afin de me cacher
Au fond de vostre cœur, pour l’humeur rechercher
Qui vous fait contre moy si cruelle apparoistre.
 
Si j’estois dedans vous, au moins je serois maistre
De l’humeur qui vous fait encontre Amour fascher,
Et si n’auriez ny pouls ny nerfs dessous la chair,
Que prompt je ne cherchasse afin de vous cognoistre.
 
Je sçaurois maugré vous et vos complexions,
Toutes vos voluntez et vos conditions,
Et chasserois si bien la froideur de vos veines,
 
Que les flames d’Amour vous y allumeriez :
Puis quand je les voirrois de son feu toutes pleines,
Je redeviendrois homme, et lors vous m’aimeriez.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            A hundred and a hundred times I’ve wanted to be
                                                                            An invisible spirit, to hide myself
                                                                            In the depths of your heart, and seek out the humour
                                                                            Which makes you appear so cruel to me.
 
                                                                            If I were within you, at least I’d be in control
                                                                            Of the humour which makes you angry with Love,
                                                                            And you’d have no pulse or nerve beneath your flesh
                                                                            Which I would not quickly seek out so as to understand you.
 
                                                                            I’d know, despite you and your appearance,
                                                                            All your wishes and your condition
                                                                            And I’d chase away the coldness from your veins,
 
                                                                            So that the fires of love could light you up ;
                                                                            Then, when I’d seen them full of his fire,
                                                                            I’d become a man again, and then you’d love me.
 
 
 
 
 
Advertisements

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')

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s