Amours 2:62

Standard
J’ai l’ame pour un lict de regrets si touchée,
Que nul homme jamais ne fera que j’approuche
De la chambre amoureuse, encor moins de la couche
Où je vey ma maistresse au mois de May couchée.
 
Un somme languissant la tenoit mi-panchée
Dessus le coude droit fermant sa belle bouche,
Et ses yeux dans lesquels l’archer Amour se couche,
Ayant tousjours la fleche à la corde encochée.
 
Sa teste en ce beau mois sans plus estoit couverte
D’un riche escofion ouvré de soye verte,
Où les Graces venoyent à l’envy se nicher :
 
Puis en ses beaux cheveux choisissoyent leur demeure.
J’en ay tel souvenir que je voudrois qu’à l’heure
Mon cœur pour n’y penser fust devenu rocher.
 
 
                                                                            My soul is so affected by a bedful of regrets
                                                                            That no man will ever make me approach
                                                                            My love’s bedchamber, still less the couch
                                                                            On which I saw my mistress lying in May.
 
                                                                            She was in a cosy sleep, half-leaning
                                                                            Upon her right elbow, which held her fair mouth closed
                                                                            And her eyes, in which Love the archer sleeps
                                                                            With his arrow always nocked to the bowstring.
 
                                                                            Her head was covered in this fair month with nothing more
                                                                            Than a rich, open head-dress of green silk,
                                                                            In which the Graces came eagerly to rest,
 
                                                                            And then chose to make their home in her fair hair.
                                                                            So strong is the memory I have, that I wish immediately
                                                                            My heart, so as not to think of it, had become a rock.
 

 

Again, a fairly straightforward text though an attractive one. That said, I’m not sure about the picture of her sleepy mouth being kept closed only because she’d slumped on her elbow (by extension, she snores open-mouthed normally??)  Anyway, the one thing that perhaps really needs a note is the obscure headdress, the “escofion”. Fortunately we can see plenty of pictures that tell us what this particular headpiece looked like. 
 
Blanchemain offers variant versions of the first and last ‘stanzas’, as below: personally I prefer this version of line 2, but perhaps Ronsard was intent on getting rid of the verb-form “fust” (though why then introduce it in the last line above?!) or just disliked the ‘clatter’ of monosyllables in the first half of the line?
 
 
J’ai l’ame pour un lict de regrets si touchée,
Que nul, et fut-ce un roy, ne fera que j’approuche
Jamais de la maison, encor moins de la couche
Où je vey ma maistresse au mois de May couchée.
 …
 
Et dedans ses cheveux choisissoyent leur demeure.
J’en ay tel souvenir que je voudrois qu’à l’heure
Pour jamais n’y penser, son œil m’eust fait rocher.
 
 
                                                                            My soul is so affected by a bedful of regrets
                                                                            That no-one, even were he a king, will make me approach
                                                                            The house ever, still less the couch
                                                                            On which I saw my mistress lying in May.

                                                                            …

 
                                                                            And chose to make their home within her hair.
                                                                            So strong is the memory I have, that I wish immediately
                                                                            So as never to think of it, her eye had made me into rock.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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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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