Amours 2:53

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Veux-tu sçavoir, Bruez, en quel estat je suis ?
Je te le veux conter : d’un pauvre miserable
Il n’y a nul malheur, tant soit-il pitoyable,
Que je n’aille passant d’un seul de mes ennuis.
 
Je tien tout je n’ay rien je veux et si ne puis,
Je revy je remeurs ma playe est incurable :
Qui veut servir Amour, ce Tyran execrable,
Pour toute recompense il reçoit de tels fruis.
 
Pleurs larmes et souspirs accompagnent ma vie,
Langueur douleur regret soupçon et jalousie,
Transporté d’un penser qui me vient decevoir.
 
Je meurs d’impatience : et plus je ne sens vivre
L’esperance en mon cœur, mais le seul desespoir
Qui me guide à la mort, et je le veux bien suivre.
 
 
 
 
                                                                            Do you want to know, Bruez, the state I’m in ?
                                                                            I want to tell you : a wretched pauper
                                                                            Has no ills, however pitiful,
                                                                            That a single one of my own troubles doesn’t surpass.
 
                                                                            I have everything and nothing, I want but cannot,
                                                                            I live and die again and again, my wound is incurable;
                                                                            Whoever wants to serve Love, that cursed tyrant,
                                                                            Receives as all his payment just such fruits.
 
                                                                            Tears, weeping and sighs accompany my life,
                                                                            Pining, sadness, regret, suspicion, jealousy,
                                                                            All carried on a thought which has just deceived me.
 
                                                                            I’m dying of impatience, I no longer feel hope
                                                                            Living in my heart, but only despair
                                                                            Which leads me to death – and I’m ready to follow.
 
 
 
Belleau’s commentary tells us that Brués, as the dedicatee seems to have spelled it, was “learned in law and philosophy, author of dialogues”. Indeed you can still read, courtesy of Google Books, the Dialogues of Guy de Brués, “against the new Academicians”, featuring invented dialogues in the renaissance style between the men of letters Ronsard, Baif, Guillaume Aubert (dedicatee of “Versons ces roses“) and Jean Nicot (who introduced tobacco to France, and is the source of ‘nicotine’!)  In later editions, this sonnet is addressed to Claude Binet who was, says Belleau, “a very learned man and among the best-versed in understanding of law and poetry”. Binet was in fact Ronsard’s closest friend and amanuensis in his old age.
 
There are some minor variants scattered through Blanchemain’s earlier version: here’s his version of the opening quatrain,
 
 
Veux-tu sçavoir, Brués, en quel estat je suis ?
Je te le conteray : d’un pauvre miserable
Il n’y a nul estat, tant soit-il pitoyable,
Que je n’aille passant d’un seul de mes ennuis.
 
                                                                            Do you want to know, Bruez, the state I’m in ?
                                                                            I will tell you : a wretched pauper’s
                                                                            Condition, however pitiful, is nothing
                                                                            That a single one of my own troubles doesn’t surpass.
 
 
and of lines 11-12,
 
Avecques un penser qui ne me laisse avoir
Un moment de repos : et plus je ne sens vivre
 
                                                                            With a thought which lets me have
                                                                            No moment of rest; I no longer feel hope …
 
 
This is another poem ‘translated’ from Petrarch; and this time it does indeed follow the original closely, though Ronsard’s opening quatrain is not paralleled in the Italian.
 
 
Pace non trovo, et non ò da far guerra;
e temo, et spero; et ardo, et son un ghiaccio;
et volo sopra ‘l cielo, et giaccio in terra;
et nulla stringo, et tutto ‘l mondo abbraccio.
 
Tal m’à in pregion, che non m’apre né serra,
né per suo mi riten né scioglie il laccio;
et non m’ancide Amore, et non mi sferra,
né mi vuol vivo, né mi trae d’impaccio.
 
Veggio senza occhi, et non ò lingua et grido;
et bramo di perir, et cheggio aita;
et ò in odio me stesso, et amo altrui.
 
Pascomi di dolor, piangendo rido;
egualmente mi spiace morte et vita:
in questo stato son, donna, per voi.
 
 
 
                                                                            I cannot find peace, yet cannot make war;
                                                                            I both fear and hope; I burn and am ice;
                                                                            I fly above the heavens and fall to earth;
                                                                            I hold nothing and embrace the whole world.
 
                                                                            Such a lady is she who keeps me in prison, but neither frees nor binds me,
                                                                            Neither keeps me for herself nor unlooses the knot;
                                                                            Love does not kill me, does not unleash me,
                                                                            Neither wants me to live, nor rescues me from my troubles.
 
                                                                            I see without eyes, I cry out without a tongue,
                                                                            I yearn to perish and seek help,
                                                                            I hate myself and love another.
 
                                                                            I feed on grief, I laugh as I cry,
                                                                            Death and life displease me equally:
                                                                            I am in this state, my lady, because of you.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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