Amours 2:67

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Je mourrois de plaisir voyant par ces bocages
Les arbres enlacez de lierres espars,
Et la verde lambrunche errante en mille pars
Sur l’aubespin fleury pres des roses sauvages.
 
Je mourrois de plaisir oyant les doux ramages
Des Hupes, des Coqus, et des Ramiers rouhars
Dessur un arbre verd bec en bec fretillars,
Et des Tourtres aux bois voyant les mariages.
 
Je mourrois de plaisir voyant en ces beaux mois
Debusquer au matin le Chevreuil hors du bois,
Et de voir fretiller dans le Ciel l’Aloüette :
 
Je mourrois de plaisir où je languis transi
Absent de la beauté qu’en ce pré je souhaite.
« Un demy jour d’absence est un an de souci.
 
 
 
                                                                            I shall die of pleasure, seeing in these groves
                                                                            The trees wrapped in thick ivy,
                                                                            And the green creepers wandering a thousand ways
                                                                            On the flowering pine near the wild roses.
 
                                                                            I shall die of pleasure, hearing the sweet song
                                                                            Of hoopoes,cuckoos and cooing pigeons
                                                                            Fluttering beak to beak upon a green tree,
                                                                            And watching the marriages of the turtle-doves in the trees.
 
                                                                            I shall die of pleasure, seeing in those fair months
                                                                            A deer being flushed out of the woods in the morning,
                                                                            And seeing the lark fluttering in the sky;
 
                                                                            I shall die of pleasure where I languish, numb,
                                                                            Away from the beauty which I seek in this meadow.
                                                                            “One half-day of absence is a year of cares.”
 
 
 
You might like to input “rouhars” (line 6) into a search engine: virtually all the hits are this line of Ronsard. My trusty Larousse dictionary explains why: Ronsard invented the word! These days the French use the verb ‘roucouler’ to describe onomatopoeically the cooing of doves; Ronsard invented the adjective ‘rouhar(d)’.
 
It’s good to be reminded sometimes that, among all the love-faints, poetic miseries etc, there is never any question of Ronsard’s absolutely real love of nature. And here, it is nature which threatens to make him die of pleasure, not Marie – indeed her absence gives him worries and cares, but he doesn’t quite say that her presence would make him die of pleasure! In fact this ending is a bit of a mess …
 
Blanchemain offers minor variants and a different ending: hard to see why in line 11 the grammatically-parallel “voyant … voyant” was changed to the rather awkward grammar of Marty-Laveaux’s version, but harder to see why the slightly awkward grammar of Blanchemain’s effective ending was swapped for a grammatically-straightforward ending which lacks punch and clarity in the later version!
 
 
Je mourrois de plaisir voyant par ces bocages
Les arbres enlacez de lierres espars,
Et la verde lambrunche errante en mille pars
Es aubespins fleuris, pres des roses sauvages.
 
Je mourrois de plaisir oyant les doux ramages
Des Hupes, des Coqus, et des Ramiers rouhars
Dessur un arbre verd bec en bec fretillars,
Et des Tourtres aux bois voyant les mariages.
 
Je mourrois de plaisir voyant en ces beaux mois
Débusquer un matin le chevreuil hors du bois
Et voyant fretiller dans le ciel l’alouette ;
 
Je mourrois de Plaisir, où je meurs de soucy,
Ne voyant point les yeux d’une que je souhaite
Seule une heure en mes bras en ce bocage ici.
 
 
 
                                                                            I shall die of pleasure, seeing in these groves
                                                                            The trees wrapped in thick ivy,
                                                                            And the green creepers wandering a thousand ways
                                                                            Onto the flowering pines near the wild roses.
 
                                                                            I shall die of pleasure, hearing the sweet song
                                                                            Of hoopoes,cuckoos and cooing pigeons
                                                                            Fluttering beak to beak upon a green tree,
                                                                            And watching the marriages of the turtle-doves in the trees.
 
                                                                            I shall die of pleasure, seeing in those fair months
                                                                            A deer being flushed out of the woods one morning,
                                                                            And seeing the lark fluttering in the sky;
 
                                                                            I shall die of pleasure where I am dying of care,
                                                                            Seeing nothing of the eyes of her whom I wish for
                                                                            Just an hour in my arms here in this wood.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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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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